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Fake News Alert: Mental Health budget transmitted to Governor Dunleavy

In what has become routine for Suzanne Downing, a story published earlier today in Must Read Alaska contains nothing more than a political attack wrapped in fake news. Publishing false or misleading information is nothing new for Downing, but today’s attack was sloppier than usual and demonstrates the extent to which Downing ignores basic journalistic standards in a transparent attempt to attack political opponents.

The article, The Mental Health Budget, agreed on nearly unanimously, remains locked in Legislature as time runs out on July 1 shutdown, reports on a letter that Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) sent to Senate President Peter Micciche (R – Soldotna) and House Speaker Louise Stutes (R – Kodiak) this afternoon. In the letter, Dunleavy asks them to transmit the Mental Health budget to him. But there’s just one small problem. House Bill 71, the Mental Health budget was transmitted to Dunleavy today at 5:30 pm.

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DOC

The conference committee report (the final version of a bill after the House and Senate negotiate their differences) for the Mental Health budget passed the House and Senate almost unanimously last week. It passed the House on June 15 and the Senate on June 16. Both bodies also voted for a July 1 effective date. What Suzanne Downing seems to be unaware of is that after a bill is passed it needs to be engrossed and enrolled by nonpartisan legislative staff. For complex appropriation bills, like the Mental Health budget, that process can take several days. After the bill is enrolled, a process where legislative lawyers carefully review it to ensure it is ready for transmittal, it then needs to be signed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House.

Micciche signed it on June 22. Stutes signed in on June 23. It was sent to Dunleavy today, June 24. The letter was sent to Miciche and Stutes today at 4:48 pm. The bill was transmitted to Dunleavy today at 5:30 pm. Speaker Stutes’ office confirmed they did not even see the letter until after the bill was transmitted to the governor.

So why did Dunleavy send the letter, and why did Downing do this story? Well, based on the timing of when she published the story, it’s clear Downing had prior knowledge of the letter, and might have had the letter itself, before Micciche and Stutes received it. This appears to be yet another orchestrated attack by Dunleavy’s people and Suzanne Downing against the Legislature. In this case to deflect from the ongoing mess with the budget. Except this time Downing botched the timing badly, revealing Must Read Alaska’s “journalism” to be a combination of amateur hour and fake news.

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1 month ago

Hey Jeff
Why don’t you challenge Suzanne to a leg wrestling contest.

Akite
1 month ago
Reply to  Richie Romero

She’d get tossed back to Florida 🤭

Florida woman
1 month ago
Reply to  Akite

Back? SD is a resident of Florida not Alaska. It is cute when she talks of outsiders since- she is one. What is really funny is when- she pretends to be in Juneau, in the cold rain, while typing from sunny Florida. Though who can blame her-cold rain? meh.

Marlin Savage
1 month ago

Unfortunately, there is no visible time line on her article, so one doesn’t know if it was posted prior to 5:30pm or not………

Marlin Savage
1 month ago

Without the timeline, I’m not sure which article is the “Fake News”……

Journalistic Standards
1 month ago

Landfield calling Downing–or anyone–out for ignoring basic journalistic standards is very hypocritical. Glass houses. Pot kettle black. Landfield runs for office, co-manages a House campaign, canvasses door-to-door with a Senate candidate, parties with legislators and aides, and publishes unverified “tips,” all of which are violations of basic journalistic standards. He has no room to chide any journalists or bloggers about journalistic standards.

Lay Down with Dogs
1 month ago

I disagree. I think Landfield is the perfect person to call Downing out for her BS. I would hate to think anyone with high-end journalistic chops was wasting their time on Downing. And further, it really does take one to know one.

Flordiawoman
1 month ago

One could just stick with the facts. Downing is a resident of Florida.
Fact.

Landfield is a resident of Alaska.
Fact.

Journalistic Standards
1 month ago
Reply to  Flordiawoman

Okay. I don’t really know where either of them claim residency, but let’s say your statement of their residency is correct. What’s that got to do with journalistic standards? Reporters in Seattle, Washington D.C., and even other countries report on Alaska issues. Please explain how Landfield residing in Alaska makes him a better adherent to journalistic standards. Where a blogger (which Landfield is) or journalist (which Landfield isn’t) claims residency is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to judging her or his meeting or falling short of journalistic standards.

Florida woman
1 month ago

Facts are objective.
Has Downing derided “outside” money in Alaska politics?
Fact.
Is Downing outside money?
Fact
Opinions are subjective.
Should Landfield pay better attention to his diet and exercise regime to live a long and healthy life?
Yes-opinion.
Ok maybe that is a fact also.

Journalistic Standards
1 month ago

Calling the people you’re reporting on “Fuckos” meets no journalistic standard. I understand, that’s an advertisement, but no ethical journalistic enterprise would accept such an ad.

Actual credentialed journalist (retired)
1 month ago

That has absolutely nothing to do with ethics. Politeness yes, commercial viability yes, but not ethics.

Mike
29 days ago

Warning: Alaska political blogs are for entertainment purposes only.