Gov. Dunleavy to Sen. Reinbold: ‘The misinformation must end’

Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, smiles before taking her seat on the Senate floor on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy  has told Senator Lora Reinbold that his administration will no longer respond to her as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dunleavy wrote Reinbold a letter on Thursday saying she has “abdicated the tenets” of her oath of office. Reinbold has attacked his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Dunleavy and Reinbold are Republicans.

In his letter, Dunleavy wrote, “I will not continue to subject the public resources of the State of Alaska to the mockery of a charade, disguised as public purpose.”

Reinbold has compared the state response to living under martial law. She has described state mandates in response to the pandemic as unconstitutional. She also has questioned the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines and whether all residents who have received the vaccines had consented to it.

Reinbold criticized the administration’s response to health commissioner Adam Crum’s face in a Judiciary Committee hearing and had planned to call health officials back for more grilling.

Dunleavy wrote in the letter that Reinbold had deceived Alaskans about the government health response and betrayed the public trust by repeating inaccurate information. He added that he never imposed martial law or forced vaccinations. He said the state has some of the best health outcomes with some of the least restrictive measures of any state.

“Your baseless, deleterious, and self-serving demands on government resources amounts to an abuse of public services and will no longer be endured,” the letter said.

Dunleavy said Reinbold’s constituents in Eagle River and Chugiak are “deprived of meaningful representation.”

A spokesman for the governor said he had nothing further to say on the matter. An aide to Reinbold said she wasn’t available. She faces re-election next year.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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