The ultimate goal is to achieve the best result for Alaska.
That’s what elected officials are expected to do once they take a seat in the state’s executive or legislative branch of government.
This year, not unlike others, a collage of priorities presented at the start of the session. So did the continuance of the novel coronavirus.
Despite the pandemic, the state Senate and House convened, and members agreed to conduct business under specific rules.
Like it or not, the rules this session included behavior in response to COVID-19. It had appeared at the capital, specifically in the building in which elected leaders gather.
Legislators were asked to wear masks and to behave so as to respect the institution and fellow lawmakers.
Most complied, but several violations have led to state Senate Republican leadership making what might be an unprecedented move.
Sen. President Peter Micciche, along with other senators in leadership, voted to remove Sen. Lora Reinbold as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Only she voted against the idea.
Sen. Micciche says Reinbold flouted health precautions implemented to prevent the pandemic’s spread at the capital, violated rules of civility and disparaged others on social media.
Micciche says the COVID-19 violations weren’t a factor in Reinbold’s removal, but other senators indicated that those violations were taken into consideration when they voted on the matter.
Reinbold is a Republican. For the Republican-led Senate to respond to her behavior in such a way speaks volumes about the importance of looking beyond oneself to get the job a lawmaker is elected to do done — for the Senate, the Legislature and the state.
A legislative seat — or any other elected position for that matter — isn’t about its occupant and it shouldn’t be about attention-getting theatrics. It’s about what the occupant does in order to achieve a healthy future for the state, not specifically in regard to the virus, but for the economy, for education, for public safety and a slew of other topics of concern to Alaskans.
The masks are a nuisance. While some folks think them needless, others do not — there’s a full spectrum of beliefs on the subject. But, if it makes the latter comfortable, it is a simple gesture to put one on — particularly if it’s the agreed upon rule of the legislative body.
Micciche isn’t ruling out that Reinbold may regain her leadership position.
Leaders err, especially under the pressures of the times. The successful ones correct their actions and continue to benefit the office in which they serve. Those who don’t correct become an asterisk in history books.
It is reassuring to see the party hold its own accountable. It’s an example that includes, as well as transcends, politics.
And it’s a practice other bodies and parties throughout the state, the nation and the world do well to imitate.
Such accountability will lead Alaska to be its best.