ALONG WITH LEDOUX, HER FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF
One of the key architects of the current Democrat-led coalition in the Alaska House of Representatives is accused by the Department of Law of felonies relating to ballot tampering in the 2014 and 2018 elections.
Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, an original member of the “Musk Ox Coalition” rebellion against the Republican Majority in 2015, faces 18 counts of first- and second-degree voter misconduct and unlawful interference of voting.
Also facing charges is LeDoux’s former chief of staff, Lisa Simpson, and Simpson’s adult son, Caden Vaught.
LeDoux issued the following statement today: “Earlier today, I learned of the charges from the Department of Law. Because this is a pending legal matter, I cannot comment about the details other than to state that I am innocent of all charges and look forward to clearing my name in a court of law.”
The charging document says LeDoux and Simpson conspired to register voters — Simpson and Vaught, specifically — who were not eligible to vote in House District 15, the district served by LeDoux.
Simpson is co-chair of the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission, but no longer works for LeDoux’s office. Her address for the commission role lists her at an address on Dorbrandt Street in Spenard; while some of her voter files list an address in Rabbit Creek. She is also listed elsewhere as living in District 15.
District 15 had an extraordinary number of absentee ballots and multiple irregularities associated with it, such as having as many as 17 people registered to vote who were purported to live in a tiny trailer in one of the trailer courts.
But none of those voter irregularities appear to be part of this set of charges. Instead, the document focuses on a very narrow set of people — LeDoux, her chief of staff, and her chief of staff’s son.
Prosecutors say that Simpson, her husband, and her son registered to vote in the district in 2018, although they had not lived in the district and were not eligible.
In 2014, LeDoux texted former residents of the districts with messages such as this one to a person named Dot: “This is going to b a VERY CLOSE election and I am going to really NEED your vote. Can u please request a ballot TODAY.”
Another message advised Dot, “don’t worry about the legality of this. Remember when I wanted to challenge people 4 years ago the division of elections was simply not interested.”
None of the charges by the Department of Law refer to the now-deceased Charlie Chang, who LeDoux paid to travel to Alaska to harvest ballots from people in her district; particularly of concern was the number of ballots cast by dead people.
That was a scandal of a different order that erupted after an abnormal amount of absentee ballots came from District 15. After the primary win, LeDoux travelled to Northern California. While she was there, Chang died, somewhat mysteriously.
LeDoux, Rep. Louise Stutes, Rep. Bryce Edgmon, Rep. Neal Foster, and former Reps. Jim Colver and Paul Seaton made up a “Musk Ox Coalition” that challenged Speaker Mike Chenault in 2015 over the Permanent Fund dividend. In a letter to Chenault, they said any change to the way the Permanent Fund dividend was handled should go to a vote of the people.
Since LeDoux, a Republican, helped put Democrats in charge of the House, her district political leadership and the Republican Party itself has sanctioned her and no funds may be expended to help her with her race; rather, the Party has looked for a legitimate primary challenger.
In 2018, that person was Aaron Weaver, who came close to beating LeDoux in the primary.
Today, Weaver said he was “gobsmacked” when he learned of the news, and said that District 15 deserves better than to have someone like LeDoux representing it.
Jake Sloan, who described himself as a “Hail Mary” candidate in 2018, ran as write-in campaign after Weaver lost the primary to LeDoux.
Today, he said that the damage she has done to the state is substantial, since she prevented the House from making the cuts to the budget that were needed last year, and with the price of oil dropping, the situation has just gotten more serious.
The charges against LeDoux will be heard in court at a later date, according to the Department of Law. They have, however, been reviewed by the U.S Department of Justice. These are just state charges. The matter of Charlie Chang would be federal because he came from California to assist in the committing of fraud, and the mail-in ballots constitute mail fraud, a federal offense.
Must Read Alaska has learned that LeDoux’s fingerprints are on ballots from various people in the district from 2018.
Must Read Alaska would not be surprised if there was some kind of action taken by the House of Representatives. The House has the ability to remove her, but Mason’s Rules requires due process. The Speaker is empowered to appoint a committee on committees to shake up LeDoux’s committee assignments, subject to a vote of the body.
Tuckerman Babcock, former chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, said “if you can’t trust the integrity of election then the entire faith in the system is in question.” He has called for her resignation.
Meanwhile, David Nelson has file to run against LeDoux in the primary this year.