CAUCUS ORGANIZATION FOR 2009
In some respects, this is the second campaign and election of the two year election cycle - and I'm here to tell you it can be just as tense and exciting as the general election. Obviously, everybody doesn’t get the position or committee they want. It is, after all, a political process.
The organizational meeting is a closed door caucus, and that’s quite legitimate. There is no legislation to consider because no legislation will be introduced until January. It’s also a discussion of personnel matters, which is always private. There are always political factions within a caucus (same with the Democrat caucus) that need to be reconciled, or at least accommodated to some degree. Votes for Caucus leadership, and for Committee Chairs, are by secret ballot, if there’s more than one candidate for a position. Basically, what we do and say in the organizational meeting is “family business.”
The new elected Speaker of the House is Rep. Mike Chenault from Nikiski, the new Majority Leader is Rep. Kyle Johanssen from Ketchikan, and Rep. John Coghill from North Pole is once again Chair of the Rules Committee. I was re-elected as Chair of the State Affairs Committee, and I’m very pleased with that. Committee membership in non-elected positions will be determined December 1st.