Deputy Gary Knopp took off the mask today. He went back to his word and turned back to his fellow republicans. This time he tried to become speaker of the house himself.
For weeks he told the public that he wanted to form a two-person leadership team in plenary, a 50-50 plan to share power with Democrats. Nothing he found was acceptable to both sides.
On Monday he pledged to vote for the Republican candidate Dave Talerico.
He told his Republican counterpart he was tired of fighting and though he felt a Republican caucus could not hold together, he would be the 21st vote for the original majority, Dave Talerico as spokesman.
Knopp knew he had three meetings in his home district on Friday, and he runs out of time before he has to deal with the voters of the music.
On Monday, he told his republican district chairman, Neal DuPerron, that he would return to the Republican side with Talerico as chairman. This happened just as his district voted for him to "reunite or resign."
Today, after all that he had promised, he turned around and voted against Talerico.
It went on: He voted for himself as a speaker.
This is what happened in the house today, a day when many long-time political observers said he was unprecedented in his bizarre twists.
Republican Chuck Kopp has appointed Republican Dave Talerico as spokesman. The Republicans were stunned when Talerico had only 20 votes instead of 21 votes.
For the third time Gary Knopp had voted against Talerico, denied the Republican majority and withdrew his word.
Representative Louise Stutes nominated Gary Knopp, and Ketchikan MP Daniel Ortiz stood up and made the motion to vote on Knopp as speaker.
The Democrats were all aboard, along with the two Republicans who are exchanging views with the Democrats – MEP Louise Stutes and MEP Gabrielle LeDoux.
Obviously, on the eve of Stutes, who had had dinner with Knopp, this had been arranged on behalf of the Democrats.
Representative David Eastman asked that before the vote, Knopp should first talk about why he had refused to vote for Talerico when he said the day before that he would do so.
"I never said who I would support," Knopp replied. He said he had been contacted the previous evening, and he admitted that the move was undoubtedly unexpected, and admitted that he had surprised his Republican counterparts.
"I support a Republican candidate: myself."
However, the regulation did not go according to plan. The vote was between 20 and 20 and his Republican colleagues denied him the chance to take the spokesman's hammer. They had been crossed twice.
TRUST BROKEN IN REPUBLICAN KAUKUS
At this point in the Republican caucus, there is so much suspicion that it is hard for this long-time observer to see the Republicans putting together their organization.
You know now that Knopp, who has been a broker between Republicans and Democrats for weeks, has never been an honest broker. In addition, many of them have now concluded power contracts, and some of those contracts have taken hold of the Democrats.
[Read: Knopp refuses to show up to vote for Speaker]
Everywhere Republicans look in their ballot room, they see people who have done business with the power that is throwing the rest of the Republicans – and Republicans' principles – under the bus.
On the Democrats side, confidence is still intact; her caucus works in lockstep.
[Related: Bryce Edgmon reregisters as undeclared]
Back on the Kenai Peninsula, angry voters are now demanding a "resignation" from Gary Knopp. But Knopp is stuck.
In a message sent by Knopp to one of his constituents, he tells the complaining member that he is too dense to understand what's going on in Juneau:
"Ed, let me make it clear the last and last time. no chance in hell that I will resign!
Getting a household bill through the house will be difficult without a permanent speaker. But the words of a former lawmaker were right this morning when he said, "If you come to Juneau, all you have left is your word." In Juneau, there is very little solid "word" at the moment.
Or, as Sharon Jackson of Eagle River put it, there is an "inconsistency of truth."