Staff Quotes

Sharon Newsom

Former staffer

“It was an honor to work as Rep. Reinbold’s staff. The work was intense and fulfilling and a first hand experience on how state government functions. I was first one of her many unpaid volunteers that included researchers and policy experts before becoming a paid member of her staff. Her highly skilled and dedicated team seeks to protect our liberty-not to secure a bloated government pension.”

Dana Smith

Former staffer

“I have consistently supported Lora Reinbold in her political pursuits because she has represented my family’s concerns for our comminity and state.

I worked for her part time during her first term, and continue to volunteer for her because of her steadfast drive to do the right thing, whether politically beneficial or not.

I remember after just a few days into her first session we got word that she had (changed the way we talk to each other) in the legislature. Apparently open honest discussion wasn’t a thing before our BOLD conservative leader arrived.

There are two types of people willing to go to Juneau. Those who seek personal gain; and those like Rep Reinbold, willing to serve us the people. Our state NEEDS us to vote for people willing to stand firm on the important issues like smaller government with fewer regulations and taxes! A proven leader like Lora Reinbold.”

Andrew Hunt

Former staffer

“Lora is an incredibly bold and hard working legislator that refuses to stand by as the state government recklessly spends our states resources. She keeps big government accountable and stands up for the conservative values that built our great nation. Working for Lora was an honor and she taught me a great deal about how manipulative and biased our media is towards true conservatives. If you want a bright future for Alaska, vote Lora Reinbold for Senate.”

Jeanne Mungle Vogt

Former staffer

“Lora has support from Alaskans inside and outside of her district. As a staffer, I fielded numerous calls daily from constituents and non-constituents in support of her efforts. I heard time and time again from Alaskans everywhere that if she were in their district or if she ran for Governor she would have their vote.

Working for Lora means caring about what is in the best interest of the state. I admire Lora for standing up for Alaskans and what is best for Alaska. She fights the fight every day and takes her job seriously.”

Aaron Bigelow

Former interim staffer

“Lora Reinbold does way more than is asked of her in order to keep our state safe and our government in check.”

Donn Liston

Former staffer

“It was with great pleasure that I accepted the honor of serving Rep. Lora Reinbold as her staff during the Alaska Legislative Session beginning January 10, 2018. She is the elected official from Eagle River I have most admired.

This came at a difficult time for me. My wife Cathy and I had previously lived 20 years in Juneau but had been away for 15 years. Rep. Reinbold knew Cathy had been diagnosed with lung cancer–but treatments had been going well and we had every hope this adventure would be good despite health concerns. Lora, too, had family members with serious health issues and her father passed during session. Cathy and I looked forward to renewing old friendships and seeing how Juneau has changed.

Within two weeks of relocating to Juneau Cathy became very ill. After three days at Bartlett Memorial Hospital Cathy and I returned to Anchorage where she was given “Gamma Knife” treatments for brain tumors. Rep. Reinbold assured me that “family comes first” and provided flexibility with work to do in district. Ultimately my wife of 28 years went to live with her daughter’s family near the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for the rest of session.

I was familiar with the general duties of legislative staff, after having worked for a previous legislator in 1983, and I took great pride in having such a great team with Carol Sampson in Room 409 of the capitol. I took the early shift and arrived every morning to set the stage for what every day was a pleasure to experience. When events turned difficult I would declare: “Isn’t this great!” and Lora sometimes burst out laughing.

The legislature is an intensive, challenging, and sometimes difficult workplace. Schedules and paperwork and interactions between people of varied interests make every action of a staff person potentially perilous. Lora set expectations, invited suggestions, asked for views and welcomed my initiatives on her part. I wasn’t as fast as I once was, had to learn quickly how systems had changed, and did my best to keep up with the demands of this hardest working legislator in Juneau.

As difficult as it was for me, I would work for her again if she asked me to, and I would be a better employee for what she has already taught me about being an effective voice for constituents of our region.”

Tom Blackley

Former staffer

“Two years ago, I found myself unemployed. Representative Reinbold graciously offered me a position in her office. Serving as a Legislative Aide in the Alaska Legislature was not something that I had considered previously and I learned a lot working for Representative Reinbold. However, in a few months, my job prospects picked up and I was able to return to a job in my chosen field in the private sector. I was grateful for the opportunity and assistance that Representative Reinbold afforded me and I believe that I was able to contribute to her office and serve District 14 constituents.

Some of the things that I learned while working for Representative Reinbold are important for all Alaska residents to understand. The Legislature operates on a set of formal rules. But, like all organizations there is an official rule book and an unofficial rule book. What most people don’t know is how the unofficial rules work. To begin with, Legislators write very little legislation. Most of it is written by special interest groups and handed to a like-minded legislator who shepherds it through the process. For instance, SB 91 was written by Pew Research. The process of a special interest group hiring a lobbyist and courting legislators is where the real negotiations are done. What happens on the floor of the senate or house is a mere formality. As you can imagine, this is a party. These parties are everything from fine dining to drunken debauchery as lobbyists entertain and court legislators. They are salesmen and the prize is the state treasury. This can be an attractive lifestyle to some. The state budget is slightly different. In reality, it’s a living document that survives from year to year with little modification. It’s owned by the respective Finance chairs. The official rule book governs how it gets changed while the unofficial proceedings influence how the chairs allow changes. Lobbyists from unions, construction companies, telecom vendors, healthcare providers, and anyone with a slice of the pie at stake will be courting legislators to make sure that money is allocated to benefit their patrons. Once it comes to the floor, the political party in power has a goal to make it’s approval procedural, not a debate.

This is important to understand as you consider who deserves your vote. There are too few candidates that are willing to stand up for limited government and conservative principles. Some will woo voters with conservative platitudes at home and then fly to Juneau and jump on the party boat. They will have slick justifications for why all the spending and bad policy needed to be approved by the citizen’s legislature and why they are doing their best to represent you all the while government spending is as out of control as is crime.

Fortunately, in Eagle River we have a choice. Representative Reinbold has stood for limited government, accountability for regulatory bodies, law enforcement and victim rights, fiscal restraint, equal access to the states natural resources, personal privacy, and against Common Core and government data mining. She has demonstrated a willingness to stand up to the herd mentality in Juneau that elevates the party over sound policy. Many of the criticisms leveled against Representative Reinbold are actually evidences of her efforts to lead and chart a new course for our state. Those on the party boat are more interested in their Juneau lifestyle than making the hard choices to reign in the budget, repeal SB 91, and create an environment that fosters economic opportunity.

Voters need to look beyond what candidates are saying. Look to their records and see who voted for bloated budgets, for SB 91, and against the citizens of Eagle River/Chugiak. Representative Reinbold has earned our respect and will continue to serve our best interests if elevated to the Senate. We also need to elect a true conservative to replace her in District 14. Jamie Allard is such a candidate. We need a like-minded individual to take up where Representative Reinbold has left off in the House as opposed to Kelly Merrick who is offering conservative platitudes while accepting $8,000 from unions and is married to the Business Manager for the local Laborers Union.

I suggest that we continue to Vote Bold.

Thomas Blackley
21 Year Eagle River Resident”