BUT NOW EVERYONE MUST TAKE TRAINING
Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux issued an edict this month that demands every member of the House of Representative take a sexual harassment prevention course, or she will strip them of their staff.
Yet a year ago, LeDoux prevented a simple recognition that April is Sexual Awareness Month — from reaching the House floor for a vote.
Instead, she smothered Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 in the Rules Committee after an amendment was added that she didn’t approve of.
Why? Because Rep. Geran Tarr put in an amendment to add child abuse to the resolution. And Rep. David Eastman amended that amendment by adding abortion to child abuse.
That was something that LeDoux could not advance to the House Floor — not in her role as Rules chair for a Democrat-led House majority.
Readers familiar with the incident will recall it blowing up when Rep. Lora Reinbold asked LeDoux why she would not accept amendments.
“Because I don’t want any amendments,” LeDoux replied. She quickly adjourned the meeting as she and Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak put their heads together and laughed. But the next day she accepted the abortion amendment, and then proceeded to kill the bill by not allowing it to the floor for a vote.
For the first time in many years, the Legislature did not recognize the problem of sexual assault — in a state that has the highest rates of sexual assault in the nation.
LeDoux is under a cloud regarding her ability to do her job because, as the person in charge of the legislative staff during session, she allowed a staff member who worked for Rep. Scott Kawasaki to be harassed by former Rep. Dean Westlake, who has since resigned.
How much she knew about the ongoing harassment is unclear, but the legislative aide made the complaint in a letter to House Majority Leader Chris Tuck and Speaker Byron Edgmon in March of 2017, neither of whom acted to sanction Westlake or counsel him about his behavior.
Westlake went on to harass numerous other women who worked for the Legislature, according to accounts given to the Democrat-led majority. It wasn’t until the original complainant took the matter to the public that the House Majority leadership took action.
LeDoux’s negligence led Rep. Tammie Wilson to call for her to step down as Rules chair.