Alaska State Sen. Tom Begich, a shadow member of the Alaska Redistricting Board, told the Board this week that he was not involved at all in creating a map offered by one of his puppets on the board, Melanie Bahnke. The rumor was that he had helped with the map.
Despite his protestations, the text-message record shows the “Bahnke Plan” to divide up Senate districts in Anchorage is the exact plan provided to her by Tom Begich through board member Nicole Borromeo.
That was just one of the many dramas unfolding today in the Alaska redistricting capers, as the Alaska Redistricting Board continues to try to find a Senate political boundary map that will pass legal muster, after the Supreme Court sent the last map back to the drawing board, saying that not enough time was allotted for public testimony. Another drama was when Bahnke impugned the integrity of board member Bethany Marcum, which caused Marcum to object, and for Bahnke to eventually back down.
Two plans are now being considered to address concerns with how House districts are paired into Senate seats in Anchorage. The map offered by Bahnke has been withdrawn, and the ones left reflect the desires of Democrats to wrest more Senate seats away from Republicans, and a less partisan map known as 3-B.
The first map being considered would give Democrats four Senate seats in Anchorage. It would also quash the military vote by pairing JBER with downtown Anchorage, making it pointless for military members to vote in local and legislative elections, as they would have their votes far outnumbered by downtown liberals. If the military voters don’t vote, that can have an effect on presidential races.
The 3-B map would maintain three Republican seats and give the Democrats two seats. Republicans still lose a seat under this map, but not as drastically as under the map proposed by the Democrats.
Conservatives are needed to testify in support of what is being called the 3-B map, seen above, which preserves most of the political boundaries in the “proclamation map” that has been approved. The salient point for testimony is pairing Eagle River with the South Hillside area of Anchorage would adequately address the concerns Democrats had when the approved map that was challenged in court took a slice of Muldoon to even out population in the Eagle River area. Both Eagle River and South Hillside in Anchorage trend conservative.
Here are the opportunities to testify:
- Thursday at noon.
- Friday at 10 am
- Saturday at noon.
- Wednesday, April 13 at 10 am, a meeting that includes testimony, debate and a likely decision by the board.
People can testify in person, at the Legislative Information Office in Anchorage, or in writing, (although an Anchorage Superior Court judge said written testimony isn’t as valid as oral testimony.).
Testifiers should know that two hardline leftists on the Redistricting Board — Bahnke and Borromeo — have Sen. Tom Begich coaching them via text from behind the scenes. They are bullying the conservative testifiers by asking them technical questions the testifiers can’t answer, thus trying to discredit them and humiliate them in public. Those testifying are advised to give their testimony, say thank you, and then hang up or leave the room to avoid the Bahnke and Borromeo bullying.
When: Thursday April 7 at Noon
The Alaska Redistricting Board will meet via Zoom, as well as in person.
Anchorage Legislative Information Office
1500 W Benson Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99503
Denali Conference Room, 1st Floor
The public may listen or testify via the Legislative Teleconference System by dialing: