Rep. Ben Carpenter

Carpenter comments net national blowback

May 19, 2020
State of Alaska

This week, the Legislature returned to Juneau from a recess to work on distributing COVID-19 relief funds in the state. Because they were coming from all over the state to gather in a single building before going back home to their communities, legislators were required to wear masks and be temperature checked as they headed into the building. Once they were checked, they would receive a sticker noting that they were clear of symptoms.

The stickers turned out to be a source of controversy. In an email posted to social media, Rep. Ben Carpenter of Nikiski compared the stickers to the badges with a yellow Star of David on them, which Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to wear as identification prior to being segregated and later shipped to concentration camps.

Chaos quickly followed. Comments were polarized on both sides, with critics saying it was offensive to compare a health screening to genocide, and supporters saying his comments were misunderstood and taken out of context.

Carpenter apologized for the analogy and said he was trying to make a point about loss of liberties and government overreach amid the pandemic response. He also noted concerns about the Legislature requiring the general public to wear similar stickers in the future, noting their medical status.

On this week's Kenai Conversation, the central Kenai Peninsula's legislative delegation shared their thoughts on the state budget, COVID-19 stimulus efforts and next year's budget outlook. Thanks to Reps. Ben Carpenter and Gary Knopp and Sen. Peter Micciche.

State of Alaska

 

Nikiski Republican Ben Carpenter has filed a letter of intent to run for reelection to the state House of Representatives. He spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what he hopes to accomplish in the coming legislative session, and where the focus of the legislature will be on the budget, taxes and the Permanent Fund.

 


House Finance looks at early education cuts

Apr 8, 2019

 

Early literacy programs were a target for budget hawks last week in Juneau, including some of the Kenai’s delegation to the House Finance Committee.

Alaska Legislature

 

A House sub-finance committee went through its regularly scheduled business Monday morning, but not all members stuck around to the end.

 

 


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