State Rep. David Eastman (R), a member of the Oath Keepers, was formally reprimanded with a censure Wednesday by the Alaska House of Representatives for asking whether there could be economic benefits to the deaths of abused children.
The vote was 35-1 with Eastman being the only one to vote no.
This comes days after Eastman – who was in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 but claims he did not storm the Capitol – argued that the death of an abused child could provide “cost savings” for the government during a state House Judiciary Committee hearing this week.
“It can be argued, periodically, that it’s actually a cost savings because that child is not going to need any of those government services that they might otherwise be entitled to receive and need based on growing up in this type of environment,” Eastman said at Monday’s hearing.
Democratic Rep. Andrew Gray, who introduced the motion to censure Eastman, said the language used by Eastman was “atrocious” and “indefensible,” according to Anchorage Daily News.
“We must do something. This body must act,” Gray said.
Republican Rep. Sarah Vance, who is chair of the House Judiciary Committee also joined the effort, saying the questions asked by Eastman were “messy” and “insensitive.”
And Rep. Jesse Sumner (R), who ran against Eastman in 2020, took a stronger stance, saying the Wasilla Republican should be expelled. But it remains unclear whether the state House will take further action against Eastman.
This is not the first time Eastman has come under scrutiny.
In 2017, Eastman became the first Alaska House member to be censured in the state’s history, after he claimed that women in rural villages in the state try to get pregnant so they can get a free trip to the city for an abortion.
Following yesterday’s vote, he is now the first and only Alaska legislator to have been censured twice. Eastman has not responded to TPM’s request for comment.
His very position as an elected official has been questioned previously, too. Eastman recently faced a lawsuit from a former constituent who argued his membership in the far-right militia group, the Oath Keepers, made him ineligible to hold office in Alaska. But a judge ruled in his favor late last year, allowing him to keep his position in the state House.
Correction: This article initially misstated Eastman’s status with the Oath Keepers. He is a lifetime member. TPM regrets this error.