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From the Staff of the Alaska Landmine: Alaskans deserve a safe and orderly transfer of power

Last week the world watched in horror as a violent mob broke into and ransacked the United States Capitol, leaving dozens injured and five dead. There is no doubt that rioters were motivated by false claims about the 2020 election promulgated by President Donald Trump, who began making statements intended to delegitimize the election long ago, and who still refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden–a move without precedent in modern history.

At this point, over sixty election-related lawsuits filed in support of Trump have failed, including many suits brought before Republican and Trump-appointed judges. Investigations have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, or fraud significant enough to impact any election outcomes. No credible institutions support Trump’s claim that the election was “stolen,” and key Republicans have abandoned the Trump Administration. Vice President Mike Pence has broken with Trump, saying that he will attend President-elect Biden’s inauguration.

Much has already been written about these events in a national context. We want to address the political situation within Alaska and explain how the Landmine intends to react.

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Be Safe

The three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation, all of whom are Republicans, have acknowledged President-elect Biden’s victory. Congressman Don Young, the Dean of the House and longest-serving Republican in Congress, congratulated President-elect Biden just days after the election, stating in a November 7 press release that “it is time to put the election behind us.” Senator Lisa Murkowski also congratulated Biden on November 7. Senator Dan Sullivan acknowledged Biden’s victory in a statement on December 14, which read, in part:

“This is not the result that I, and the majority of Alaska voters who supported President Trump, had hoped for, ultimately as a U.S. Senator, my oath and fidelity are to the Constitution and the laws of our nation, which include the orderly transfer of power—one of the most sacred elements of our great constitutional republic—and the Electoral College process that took place today.”

The response among Alaska’s state and local leadership has been less consistent. Representative David Eastman flew to Washington, D.C. to attend Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in person, and repeatedly posted false claims that Antifa–and not Trump supporters–were responsible for violence at the Capitol. The FBI has stated that there is no evidence to support these claims. Other members of Alaska’s House and Senate have used their platforms to promulgate similar false claims about the election and post-election violence. Anchorage mayoral candidate Dave Bronson has re-posted a debunked conspiracy theory from Trump that “4,000 ballots” were “found” in Fulton County.

Alaska media has broken along predictable lines. The Anchorage Press has run several editorials by outside writers calling for Trump’s impeachment. The ADN editorial board called for accountability for those who engaged in the D.C. riots and encouraged a return to bipartisan cooperation. Must Read Alaska has published multiple op-eds falsely claiming the election was “fraudulent,” that “the 2020 presidential election was one of the most corrupt in history,” and that the “ballot box is broken.” One op-ed asks “when is it OK for Americans to rebel?”

The op-ed claims it cannot answer that question. We can. The answer is: Obviously not now.

Here at the Landmine we shy away from editorial pronouncements and endorsements, and we rarely comment on national topics. However, this moment compels us to make some positions clear, both as managers of an online news site and as individuals who live and work in a relatively small community.

First, we have a journalistic duty to report accurately about events, including the 2020 presidential election. We do not promote conspiracy theories. The Alaska Landmine has not published any content that advances or entertains debunked conspiracy theories about the validity of the 2020 presidential election, and we will not do so in the future. We urge other Alaska media outlets to make a similar commitment (internally or otherwise) to accurate reporting, including a commitment not to publish op-eds that spread election misinformation.

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Second, we urge all of Alaska’s elected officials to gracefully acknowledge that President Trump lost his bid for reelection, and do everything possible to encourage peaceful acceptance of Biden’s victory in the coming days and months. Though we are far from D.C., words here have consequences too. As we saw last week, false claims about the election inflame unjustified feelings of dispossession and grievance that can swiftly tilt into chaos and violence.

We are especially concerned by calls for armed pro-Trump protests at all state capitols currently going viral on Parler and other conservative-leaning social media networks. Alaska’s political leaders and their staffers are our readers, colleagues, and friends. They deserve to live and work in safety. Moreover, freedom of the press–the freedom that we need to do our work at the Landmine–is utterly incompatible with political violence. Conflicts in our political system must be settled by the courts, not by violent individuals or angry mobs.

The events of the last week have raised many interesting subjects: whether Republicans should have acted sooner to oppose Trump, whether the responses to political violence over the last year have been consistent, the role of social media as a viewpoint-neutral platform, and much more. These are all valid topics and the Landmine will not shy away from addressing them as appropriate. However, over the next ten days these discussions pale in importance compared with ensuring the safe and orderly transfer of federal power that Alaskans deserve.

– Paxson Woelber, Special Features Editor
– Jeff Landfield, Editor-in-Chief
– Cale Green, Director of Photography

Enjoy this article? Please consider making a donation to the Alaska Landmine. The Landmine is made possible by a team of Alaskans who work hard to deliver unique content you won’t find anywhere else. Your donations make articles like this possible. Thank you for reading!

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Nope
8 days ago

Damn those ongoing investigations and broken state laws regarding elections. Nothing to see

Bob Saget
8 days ago
Reply to  Nope

The only thing to see at this point are the images of right wing conspiracy theorists bludgeoning a police officer to death in our nation’s Capitol. This extremist violence serves no one, and the future of our society should not be decided by people who shout the loudest from its partisan fringes. A fair election was held and the will of the voters determined its outcome. This article is right, conflicts in our political system should be settled by the courts, not by violent individuals or angry mobs. The time for that has ended. Now it is time to move… Read more »

Nope again.
8 days ago
Reply to  Bob Saget

Negative. The government is not for the people at this point. The “oh well move on” with no explanation doesn’t fly. We deserve answers. You realize our country was founded by violent mobs who clashed with their government yes? A police officer bludgeoned to death? Please tell me you mean the fire extinguisher story that has now been proven false. They sent Cale to Chaz. That was full of political conflict. Political conflict should be a journalists bread and butter as political as the landmine is. This article is a bullshit we want to save face attempt. Dive deeper into… Read more »

Robert Saget
8 days ago
Reply to  Nope again.

The government remains for the people. The government does not exist to cater to the whims of extremists, regardless of what innocuous names they use to label themselves (“patriots”, “anti-fascists”, etc.). Demand answers? How about we demand evidence. The claims made by Donald Trump are extraordinary and would be easily demonstrable. The burden of proof for an allegation this consequential rests on those who are advancing the claims. The reality is that there is no proof of voter fraud on this scale. As Lindsey Graham said, “They say there are 66,000 people in Georgia under 18 who voted… I asked… Read more »

Cale Green
8 days ago
Reply to  Nope again.

Hey, this is Cale. I just wanna be clear, they didn’t ‘send me to CHAZ/CHOP’. I just happened to be in Seattle at that exact moment and decided to go. The landmine is far too low rent to send me anywhere, haha. That was such a weird experience

Big E
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob Saget

While all summer we watched BLM/ Antifa terrorists burning and looting and murdering and not a peep from you left nuts…

Steffen
8 days ago

Thank you for taking a stand, Jeff. Staying neutral on this topic isn’t nonpartisan. The nonpartisan reality is that Trump decisively lost the election, and the pols who are still supporting Trump’s fantasies are committing a dangerous and seditious crime against our democracy. Eastman knew exactly what he was getting into by going to an event called “Stop the steal.” What an an appalling and un-American disgrace.

Joan Fiskars
8 days ago

Glad to see you didn’t give in to that “same-sides” bullshit. I didn’t like the riots in Portland either (or the other burning and looting) and the media was too quick to excuse it. But NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING compares to a sitting US president tryng to steal an election nad unleashing a crazed mob on the Capitol. As you say, discuss the other stuff later. Right now the most important thing to do is get the traitor in the White House OUT of power. Permanently.

Areal Bilk
8 days ago
Reply to  Joan Fiskars

Except that he does. Look at his personal twitter page.

Joan Fiskars
8 days ago
Reply to  Areal Bilk

I just did. Jeff said he thought there was hypocrisy in how some people responded to the riots this summer vs. the DC riot. I don’t find that argument very worthwhile but he didn’t say, or even imply, that the events themselves were equivalent. Swing and a miss.

Spongerobert
8 days ago

Best thing I’ve read in the Landmine so far.

The Alaska Poaster
8 days ago

The whole thing was a honeypot operation…although I am intrigued to find out what the fate of Speaker Pelosi’s laptop is… Anyway, Alaska should start preparing itself for secession-by-default and independence, because the USA is on the downswing. No matter how you cut it, tens of millions of Americans believe that they have had their vote stolen, which has provoked the government to now crack down on basically anyone who’s opinion is apologetic towards what happened on 1/06. People who were just let in the building by Capitol police and may have done nothing but walk around inside now may… Read more »

turbodigits
8 days ago

Alaska has about 730,000 residents. About 132,000 of them are kids under the age of 12. Another 57,000 are over 70. That leaves about 541,000 men, women, and teenagers to defend 6,600 miles of coastline and a land mass of 570,000 square miles in a theoretical world where we have no monetary resources because the United States has fallen and our money is therefore worthless. We aren’t going to be a sovereign nation if the U.S. falls, we’re going to be offering our resources up to Canada in exchange for saving us from Russia. (“So you didn’t mean it when… Read more »

The Alaska Poaster
7 days ago
Reply to  turbodigits

You are describing things in terms of an imminent US collapse, which I agree we are in no way prepared for at the moment. Planning for independence would take at least a generation.

DB Copper
8 days ago

When did the entertainment site-must read alaska-become news media?

Big E
6 days ago
Reply to  DB Copper

About the same time the Landmine became nonpartisan…

Areal Bilk
8 days ago

So Jeff – when are you going to delete the following tweet? Or does your roll as “staff” differ from personal tweets? “As I said before, this is a sad day for our country. But what’s also sad is all the people I see condemning the protestors who stormed the Capitol, who were either silent or supportive of the riots this summer where businesses and cities were vandalized and burned.”

Areal Bilk
8 days ago
Reply to  Areal Bilk

Also… love how you hide comments that you disagree with on your FB page. The landmine fomented the division we’re seeing every bit as much as Downing. Own it.

Joan Fiskars
8 days ago
Reply to  Areal Bilk

What an utterly insane comment. Must Read Alaska has been posted election fraud fake news for over a month. I don’t see anything like that on Landmine. You seem to be incredibly obsessed with Jeff’s tweets, posting multiple comments here alone. Honestly, give it a rest. There are better things to be doing right now, yeah?

Cale Green
8 days ago
Reply to  Areal Bilk

Hey Areal, this is Cale Green. While I don’t have an impact on a majority of content Jeff puts out on the site – I’m one of the admins on our social media channels. We’re pretty laissez-faire with the comment section. We generally don’t hide anything unless it’s promoting actual violence. People disagree with Jeff on nearly everything he says. If we hid all the people who disagreed with him we probably wouldn’t have much of a conversation in those comment sections. I generally find the comments are pretty robust and diverse.