Alaska lawmakers reject attorney general nominee

When Alaska Natives voiced opposition to Wayne Anthony Ross as state attorney general, the media said their concerns would probably not convince lawmakers to oppose him.

But the Alaska Legislature voted 35 to 23 on Thursday to reject Ross. It was the first time in state history that a governor's nominee was not confirmed.

"I think he is too controversial for the state of Alaska. We've got in some people's mind a controversial governor, and I think that he just has too many controversies out there," said House Speaker Mike Chenault (R), The Anchorage Daily News.

Ross discounted Native opposition to his nomination. He believes tribes should be subject to state control and opposes federal preferences for Native subsistence.

"It's a massive response from the Native community, tremendous opposition," said Senate President Gary Stevens, the Daily News reported.

Lawmakers asked Ross about sovereignty and subsistence but their biggest issue seemed to be the legal advice he gave to Gov. Sarah Palin (R) about filing vacancies in the Legislature.

Get the Story:
Lawmakers reject Ross as AG in historic vote (The Anchorage Daily News 4/17)
Interior legislators vote along party lines for attorney general (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 4/17)
Legislators Reject Palin Pick for Alaska Attorney General (The New York Times 4/17)

An Opinion:
Our View: No on Ross; Nominee did himself in (The Anchorage Daily News 4/17)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Bigotry an issue for Alaska attorney general pick (4/16)
Alaska nominee grilled on Native rights issues (4/9)
Editorial: Alaska nominee's past views not an issue (4/8)
Alaska nominee won't discuss tribal sovereignty (4/3)
Alaska Natives oppose state attorney general pick (4/1)