Jay Ramras: "We won't necessarily be coloring within the lines"

My last post was about how WAR seems not to care about the rule of law in the advice he gives to Gov. Palin about how to fill the Alaska Senate vacancy for the Juneau seat vacated when Democrat Kim Elton took a job in the Obama administration. By Alaska statute, the vacancy must be filled through a particular process, one which Sarah Palin is now on her third iteration of  ignoring.

This post, I’ll let Rena Delbridge of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner explain it:

Gov. Sarah Palin is not complying with state law to fill a Senate vacancy by submitting three names at once, according to a legal memo.

Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow told a reporter Tuesday that Wayne Anthony Ross, the governor’s recent appointment to attorney general, had checked off on her process.

Ross, who has not been confirmed by the Legislature, told Rhonda McBride, a KTUU reporter, that he approved Palin’s process.

In other words, a process which does not follow Alaska Statutes — in this case AS 15.40.320, 15.40.330, and 15.40.350 (see the legal opinion of Pam Finley of Legal Affairs, Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency) — was vetted & okayed by the guy who Palin wants to serve as the head of Alaska’s biggest law firm, the Alaska Department of Law.

I’ll say that again: the would-be head honcho attorney of the entire state said that a process which does not comply with Alaska law was a process that the governor was okay to follow.  What were those scores in the bar surveys on Ross’s legal competence, again?

Not that Ross apparently cares about following the rule of law to begin with, as I earlier discussed:

“It seems to me the most important thing that can be done by the Senate is not argue with legal or illegal but to appoint somebody to represent Juneau,” said Ross, whose own appointment is up for a confirmation vote by the Legislature tomorrow.

Enter Rep. Jay Ramras.  He’s a Republican state representative from Fairbanks who is also chair of the House Judiciary Committee.  Rep. Ramras presided last week over the House Judiciary hearings on whether or not to confirm Wayne Anthony Ross (aka WAR) to be Alaska’s Attorney General.  Here’s what he said today to the News-Miner:

“The murmurs around the building is that his confirmation is in jeopardy, but at this point I still intend to be a yes vote for him,” Ramras said.

“But I think this foretells the larger-than-life relationship that he is going to have with the governor and with the state,” he said. “We’re in for a colorful, bumpy ride. We won’t necessarily be coloring within the lines… There will be more of this to come.”

Pretty scary.  As I wrote in my reader comments on that story at the News-Miner website:

Representative Ramras: the lines you’re willing to stop “coloring within” here are the lines of Alaska state law. And yet you will vote for the appointment to be Alaska’s chief law enforcement officer, & head of its largest law firm, someone who thinks that legal vs. illegal is OPTIONAL?!!!

It’s disheartening to learn that the chair of the House Judiciary Committee seems to care no more about the rule of law than does the nominee himself.

Let’s hope the Legislature votes tomorrow in such a way that there won’t, in fact, be “more of this to come.”

But this is Alaska under Palinocracy.  So even if WAR goes down… there’s not too much doubt the circus will continue.

Update 7:25 PM: Andrew Halcro has an excellent analysis of the Juneau appointment fiasco.  Read it.

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