NEWS: House Minority Coalition Shakeup: New Leader, New Whip and New Media Outlet

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Rep. Tuck to Focus on Kids, Rep. Gruenberg to Focus on Cooperation

April 1, 2015

JUNEAU- Today, Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) suddenly resigned as leader of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition.  Rep. Tuck intends to spend mornings before the daily floor sessions co-hosting a public radio program focused on children.

“History has proven that I communicate better with kids than I do with lawmakers,” said Rep. Tuck.  “I may not be in leadership any more but I will continue to talk about the Coalitions priorities, which includes a lasting commitment to public education, affordable and accessible healthcare, safer communities and opportunities for Alaskans.”

Rep. Tuck’s co-host of the new kids based public radio program will be his life-partner and conservative talk show host Bernadette Wilson.  The program will be called “Tuck & Bernadette in the Morning” and will be recorded in Wilson’s home studio in Wasilla.

“We already have the public radio station in McGrath signed up to air the show,” said Wilson.  “They won’t have any money to pay, but the Foundation for Government Accountability is a major underwriter. They’ll cover the cost.”

Rep. Tuck will be replaced as Coalition Leader by Minority Whip Rep. Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage).  Rep. Gruenberg is the most senior member of the Alaska Legislature and he previously served 4 terms in the Legislature from 1985 to 1993.  During that time he served two terms as Majority Leader.

“I expect the biggest change will be the relationship with the House Majority,” said Rep. Gruenberg.  “Speaker Chenault has agreed to let me set up a desk in the corner of his office so we can be in constant communication.”

The 13-members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition have chosen Rep. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) as the new Minority Whip but declined to offer her membership in the Coalition.

“I’m going to whip those fat-cat, big government Democrats into shape,” said Rep. Reinbold.  “I’m not so sure about that Independent from Ketchikan.  He seems a bit out of control.”

Rep. Tuck will formally announce his resignation as Minority Leader in a “Special Order” speech during today’s House Floor session.  His “Special Order” subject will be April Fools.



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