THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
Dead Republican voters in House District 15 must be rejoicing today with state voter misconduct and election interference charges being filed against Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and two cohorts.
If you will recall, LeDoux, a staunch Republicrat and the District 15 incumbent, was absolutely agog after election officials in the 2018 District 15 GOP primary election discovered seven absentee ballot applications — seven — from dead people, not to mention absentee votes cast in the names of at least two very much alive people who said they had not voted.
In all, officials yanked 26 ballots because of residency or legitimacy questions. All the ballots with residency or legitimacy questions, it is worth noting, were for LeDoux.
Unbeknownst to Alaskans, all that triggered a quiet, two-year investigation that culminated with 18 charges against LeDoux, her former chief of staff Lisa Simpson, and Simpson’s son, Caden Vaught. Those charges include five felonies and 13 misdemeanors. The trio was issued summonses to appear in court April 3.
While the case grinds through the justice system, it will be more than a trifle interesting to see how the powers-that-be in the House – the same folks who depend on LeDoux to help control the Democrat-led chamber – deal with her, as she has not been indicted, much less convicted of a crime. They could issue a stern tsk-tsi-tsk, strip her of committee posts, or censure her. Or, they could do nothing.
Precedent is hard to find. Two senators were removed from office in the 1980s – Sen. Milton “Ed” Dankworth, after he was convicted of conflict of interest, and George Homan, after his bribery conviction.
None of the current charges appear to involve the dead voters, but the Department of Law is to be commended for doggedly pursuing the case in the people’s interest – even if the dead voters appear to have escaped justice for the time being. There is nothing as important in our civic affairs as fair and honest elections, the very backbone of our political system.
As for LeDoux, the chips will fall where they may. She should be sure she is not standing beneath them. Perhaps this would be a good time to bid public life an adieu.