Surprise! Anchorage Republicrat Gabrielle LeDoux has jumped ship – yet again. This time, she broke with the House’s Democrat-led caucus to be the only “yes” vote for the Senate’s $3,000 Permanent Fund dividend – while her caucus-mates voted “no.’
Not toeing the party line is a no-no among our betters, and the coalition showed her the door.
But flipping and flopping like a fish out of water is nothing new to the District 15 representative, who serves an area where even the dead try to vote.
In 2016, she and two other Republican turncoats – Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, and then-Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, joined the Democrats, giving them control of the House – and not for nothing. They all received powerful legislative positions. She joined the Democrat-led caucus again this year.
She told lawmakers from the House floor last week that her constituents – the live ones, we presume – demand a dividend based on the 1982 statute that has been ignored for the past three years, first by former Gov. Bill Walker and then by the Legislature. Those actions cut the annual dividend by about half.
What the dead voters in her district want remains largely unknown. In last year’s GOP primary, LeDoux and a political unknown were separated by only three votes in the initial vote count. That all changed with the absentee ballots count.
Oddly, it turns out, at least seven civic-minded dead folks asked for absentee ballots and at least two living people said absentee ballots were cast in their name – despite their not voting. Add to that: 26 ballots were disqualified – all of them for LeDoux, as luck would have it – because of residency or legitimacy concerns.
With all that unresolved, we suspect next year’s election played a huge role in her vote for the $3,000 payout. It would be awkward for her to tell her constituents – even the dead ones – the annual payout is small because the Legislature, her included, opted to spend the rest of their dividends on out-sized government. Oh, and forget about that election thingy, she would have to tell them.
For some, getting re-elected apparently is more important than loyalty to any party or cause.