Political attacks in Juneau have stepped up in the past two weeks. It feels like late October, with a General election around the corner. Of course, that’s a long ways away.
The anonymous (not anonymous) attack mailers on Representatives Les Gara, Jason Grenn, Scott Kawasaki and Paul Seaton helped create that election-right-around-the-corner feel. These mailers may have annoyed these legislators, but it didn’t hurt them politically or practically . Gara was mainly concerned that he was being mocked for gaining weight. Imagine his relief when the same portly cartoon body was used on svelte Grenn and Kawasaki.
But the most acidic vitriol is aimed at Representative Gabrielle LeDoux. Whether it’s her Rules Committee meeting of last week, or the existence of her leadership PAC, the Republican Old Guard is on full-attack mode. She’s being attacked for taking lobbyist dollars for her leadership PAC–but the Republican Party Senate and House PACs solicit the same lobbyists, and more, before and after every session. Having a leadership PAC for an individual legislator is new in the Alaska legislature, but not for the Republican Party’s Senate Leadership committee, House Leadership committee, or of our Federal office holders. They have had one for years.
Paul Jenkins’ recent attack column goes after LeDoux, with the Alaska Republican Party commenting like this on Facebook.
The Republicans are out to get LeDoux, ostensibly because she organized with House Democrats and Independents. But when GOP chairman Tuckerman Babcock’s mother-in-law, Lyda Green, did the same thing–not a peep.
LeDoux is brave, feisty and a canny operator. Her PAC, like all political fundraising, is unpopular with the public. But it’s unlikely that she gets beat in a Primary or General election in 2018. Its safe to say that she has made strong alliances with folks that will want her to stay active in the House organization.