Are Alaska Democrats Raising Money To Defend Rogue Republicans?

 

Rep. Les Gara

The Alaska Republican Party has openly declared war on three Republican state house members — Gabby LeDoux, Paul Seaton and Louise Stutes — who crossed party lines to form a bi-partisan House majority. Now Democrats are raising money on the premise those funds will be used to defend the three.

Without mentioning the three rogue republicans by name, a fundraising email sent in Rep. Les Gara’s name on behalf of the House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC), an arm of the Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) clearly points towards protecting them.

The email says:

“It’s important in this world of Citizens United corporate election money to start building the funds we will need to ward off the attacks coalition members will likely face. Monied attacks will come from those who demand party loyalty and purity over statesmanship…”

and

“I’m proud of the Democrats, Independents and Republicans who have joined across party lines to find a fair way to solve Alaska’s fiscal crisis.”

and

“If you’d like to help us keep a House majority Coalition that values statesmanship over partisanship, please help.”

This email was sent out to raise money for the Alaska Democratic Party, so Gara clearly isn’t referencing them when warning of attacks “from those who demand party loyalty and purity”. Independents Jason Grenn and Dan Ortiz, also members of the House majority Coalition, aren’t affiliated with any political party that could make such demands. That only leaves Stutes, LeDoux and Seaton.

I tried to query either Gara or ADP Executive Director Kay Brown as to whether any of this money will be used to support the re-election campaigns any of the three, but calls to the two indicated they are traveling and unavailable for comment.

*UPDATE* This evening I spoke with incoming ADP Executive Director Jay Parmely. When asked if the party would use their resources to defend Republican members of the House majority he said, “I don’t know. We haven’t had a thorough discussion about that yet.” He continued, “I can just tell you from my own inclination that we will do everything we can to protect our democratic lead coalition.” Parmley went on to say he was uncomfortable going beyond that because he hasn’t looked into what party rules are on the subject.

Here is the full text of fundraising pitch:

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Thank you for all your support over the years! It’s helped us add great new legislators to the Alaska State House, and helped us form a Bi-Partisan House majority for the first time in over 20 years.  We can’t raise funds during the legislative session that starts January 17, and would ask for your help now, if you can.

It’s important in this world of Citizens United corporate election money to start building the funds we will need to ward off the attacks coalition members will likely face. Monied attacks will come from those who demand party loyalty and purity over statesmanship, and from corporate interests that think those with less privilege should bear the full burden of fixing our budget deficit.I’ll also send out an e-mail on our traditional day-before-session fundraiser in Juneau.  After that, and during session, the fundraising stops, as it should.

I’m proud of the Democrats, Independents and Republicans who have joined across party lines to find a fair way to solve Alaska’s fiscal crisis.  Ducking your head in the sand and making a recession worse isn’t leadership.

If you’d like to help us keep a House majority Coalition that values statesmanship over partisanship, please help.  If you believe in a Legislature that puts people before well-funded interests, who demand that you pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in unaffordable oil company subsidies when we have a $3 billion deficit, then please help.

Donations should be made before January 17.

Thank you for all your help!  And call if you have any questions.

My Best,
Les Gara, Deputy Treasurer, HDCC

About the Author

Casey Reynolds
Reynolds served as communications director for the Alaska Republican Party from 2008-2011. He left the Party in 2011 to host his own popular morning radio political talk show on AM750 / FM103.7 KFQD. Reynolds now runs The Midnight Sun (midnightsunak.com), crowned by the Anchorage Press as “Alaska’s best political blog.”