Sunday, March 25, 2007

One Legislator's Loony Lot Lust

Meet Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks. We didn't, but we feel like we know him and his mustache. But let's start from the beginning.

We pull up to the Alaska State Capitol in a frigid downpour shortly after noon today and it’s confusing where to park and where to enter. The place is pretty quiet since it’s Sunday, so we pull into a back lot for legislators which is, by and large, empty, as you can see in these pictures.

Figuring we’d only be a few minutes – the Alaska statehouse rivals the strangely phallic Tallahassee one as the least attractive and most architecturally dull of any of the 30-odd that I’ve seen in my Capitol-loving travels – so we pull into a spot labeled “Guttenberg.”

As it happened, the inside of this Capitol held our interest for about 20 minutes, largely because an energetic, somewhat flamboyant security guard charmed us into taking interest in a few bits, namely a state seal made of locally mined gold, that we would have otherwise overlooked.

Miles went back to the car first as I insisted on reading absolutely everything. Again, this took us 20 minutes and snapping the picture here on the right (taken a little later when we returned after the rain calmed down) was the central purpose of our stop in Juneau. (It looks nice from this angle, but those marble pillars are the biggest enhancement in what otherwise looks like an insurance building.)

When I emerged, I noticed a wet piece of paper on the back window. It fell apart when I tried to pick it off to see what it said. But we have a pretty good idea what it was – based on these other two notes Miles had already found on the car. To your left, see the handwritten one by Minority Whip Rep. David Guttenberg of D-Fairbanks.

To the right, see the printed out one. Click on them to make them bigger if you can't see it this way.

Let’s take just a moment to point out the obvious here. There was a lot full of empty spaces. And yes, we acknowledge that we shouldn’t have parked there, but we couldn’t have known that we'd displace a deranged legislator. And not just any deranged legislator but one so proprietary about his parking space that he first stands in the rain and writes a note to the offender who forced him to park a few paces away on a dead afternoon. And then, perhaps worried that the rain would wash away that missive, Rep. Guttenberg went to his office (apparently on the fourth floor, according to the state's website) to print out another note about his parking crisis and, probably, a third, although it fell apart in my fingers so thank GOD he covered his bases with the others. One shudders to ask oneself what important piece of state business wasn't getting done while Rep. Guttenberg plotted his maniacal revenge over this injustice!

Alaska, we love you. You’ve been nothing but terrific to us. We even picked out an adorable two-bedroom with hardwood floors and killer glacier views in Palmer we'd move into in a heartbeat if only your media market was big enough for either of us. We loved our visit and, as weird as this makes us, your weather so much.

But Rep. Guttenberg, get a life.


Anonymous said...

Wow. What a loser. It's people like that who give politicians a bad name. Nice job documenting.

Anonymous said...

This guy is a schmuck. It's a parking space. But to some people, that's how they find their self-worth. Nice job, guys.