It is not often the public is treated to a public smackdown of a sitting state senator by a governor, but the feud between Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Eagle River Sen. Reinbold apparently is boiling over into the public domain.
In a sizzling letter, Dunleavy accuses Reinbold of violating the Ethics Act and her oath of office with misrepresentations and wild allegations about his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor fired back in a letter dated Feb. 18, in which he accuses Reinbold of abdicating “the tenets of your oath….”
“You impugned the motivations of unelected and non-political employees working for the State of Alaska with baseless allegations that, on multiple occasions, were demonstrated to you to be false. Time and again, when provided the information unequivocally illustrating the blatant inaccuracies in your public statements about the State of Alaska’s health responses, you persisted in continuing to betray the public trust with those statements. You deceived the people of Alaska about their government’s response to the largest public health crisis in a century. In doing so, you violated the obligation you have, as a member of the Legislature, to promoting and protecting public health,” Dunleavy wrote.
“The misinformation must end,” he said.
He says Reinbold’s continual badgering of his staff and others also must stop.
“It is clear, from the unrelenting correspondence between yourself and the members of my administration, that your demands are not based in fact, or in concert with the intent granted legislative oversight. Your baseless, deleterious, and self-serving demands on government resources amounts to an abuse of public services and will no longer be endured.”
And, finally, Dunleavy told her his administration will no longer respond to her:
“This letter serves as notice that all ofﬁcials and staff, employed and serving the State of Alaska’s Executive Branch of government, will not be responding, or participating, in any matter that pertains to yourself, your ofﬁce, or, currently, in your capacity as the chair of a committee. The resources of the State of Alaska are not yours to abuse for your own, as yet undiscemible, personal beneﬁt. It is lamentable that the good citizens of Eagle River and Chugiak are deprived of meaningful representation by the actions of the person holding the office of Senator.”
It is an unusual, angry letter – and eye-opening.