It was a legislative proposal like no other. Television reporter Brian O'Donoghue got the Alaska House to pop the question Friday to an unsuspecting Kate Ripley, a reporter for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Right on the House floor.
Rep. Ron Larson read into the record an official legislative citation that spoke of "a certain joint venture that has potential for being even more productive."
"Be it resolved that the 18th Alaska State Legislature assist Brian O'Donoghue in popping the question, the question being: Shall Kate marry Brian?" Larson read.
As Ripley sat stunned at the press table, her mouth agape, O'Donoghue left his camera and knelt in front of her with an Alaska-size diamond ring.
Ripley hugged O'Donoghue, grabbed his hand and escaped into the relative privacy of the House hallway. When the smiling couple re-entered the chamber, House Speaker Ramona Barnes asked Ripley to deliver her answer into Larson's microphone.
"The answer is yes," she said. The House erupted in applause.
O'Donoghue, who reports for KTVF in Fairbanks and KTVA in Anchorage, and Ripley have been dating for two years. When not covering the legislative session in Juneau, they live in Fairbanks.
A crush of lawmakers, aides and reporters later congratulated the couple in the hallway.
O'Donoghue said Ripley had been dropping hints about marriage but had not been pressuring him.
"I had no idea," she said.
"That may be the best thing the Legislature's done this year," Minority Leader Fran Ulmer said.