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Gabrielle LeDoux: The untold story

By John Nelson

February 20, 2019
Wednesday AM

Gabrielle LeDoux: The untold story and how Governor Dunleavy can defeat this impasse while also obtaining a majority in the House at the same time...

John Nelson How we got here should already be known. There exists immediate issues that every Alaskan deserves the right to know that are trustworthy and credible. My writing here is based on the hope that the general public may more properly understand a realistic explanation of what presently has occurred absent the media bias on whichever side one falls on. I have previously supported Gabrielle LeDoux in no less than two election cycles.

I recognize that what I must write requires restraint, as I am presenting a viewpoint of subject material that neither side never made any real attempt to ferret out the details to begin with. Likewise, the readership ideally should attempt to be impartial as well. It’s time to think through what is really going on, and place into the proper context of the concerns that presently are manifesting themselves. I will hazard an explanation here:

From the beginning, before Gabrielle LeDoux relocated to Anchorage from Kodiak after serving as the Democratic Mayor of Kodiak of three and a half years, and prior to becoming a Republican House member for four years in Kodiak. A change occurred that would challenge and change her ideological underpinnings of her life. 

It all began back much further than what many are willing to recall. It was in 1992 when her husband and one of her two sons died in a car accident. This weighed heavy on her for many years. It was as if everything she ever believed about politics and life in general was upended. The reason being that the value of one’s family was so precious, yet cut tragically short that a principled stand to protect life in whatever manner it manifested itself is and for that matter will always be the guiding light of her career. She is unequivocally a pro-life Republican.

LeDoux subsequently ran unsuccessfully against Don Young for the US House in 2007. Two years later she moved to a Muldoon area neighborhood and has remained there ever since.

By 2010 where she lost the general election again as a Republican to Democrat Pete Peterson. Then in 2012, the first year I took any significant interest in her campaign for State House, she finally won after a new District was created. Her campaign manager was Dirk Moffet who at the time resided in Anchorage at his family’s home. Dirk and I both assisted in Joe Miller’s unsuccessful US Senate campaign against Lisa Murkowski in 2010 general election. We were the ones, who among others, constructed and put up signs all around Anchorage not long after Miller won the Primary Election. There seldom is an occurrence to this day when we meet that something from that election doesn’t come up in our personal conversations.

Apart from the immediate race LeDoux had in 2012 there were a lot of other oddities that occurred. However, for the sake of brevity, she won her first race as a Republican in the General Election in the Muldoon area of Anchorage. She hired at the time Lisa Vaught as a staffer, who ran unsuccessfully for State House as a Republican elsewhere in Anchorage that year, and eventually Harmony Rowe (maiden name “Shields”) who also was a former and major Joe Miller supporter from his previous campaign as well. In all fairness she and her family were onboard and committed to the Miller campaign long before I came around. Eventually, Lisa Vaught took over as Chief of Staff later on in LeDoux’s first session in Anchorage as a Republican. She remains at that post today.

Nonetheless the election of 2012 occurred, and another contentious and ominous situation occurred.

If one recalls that this was during the end of the era of the Tea Party that rapidly was assimilating into the mainstream Republican Party. During 2012 the establishment Republican Party officials in the Alaska Republican Party hierarchy from years before remained in place. It was also equally true of Alaska’s Republican State legislative delegation. 

Randy Ruedrich (Now former-Chairman), and former employee John Casey both of which were perennial foes of Joe Miller, and for that matter all things truly “Tea Party” conservative at the time. I recognize that Ruedrich can claim he spoke positively for Joe Miler at one rally, yet the actions of his administration demonstrated otherwise. Especially as it related to their unbridled support of Lisa Murkowski In 2010. For that matter, Al Green more commonly known as “Rick Rydell” from AM 650 in Anchorage like his colleague Mike Pocarro were both Lisa Murkowski supporters at all times since 2010, and both were once again in 2016. Green is currently the Commissioner of Department of Natural Resources in Governor Dunleavy’s Administration. A rather quiet addition as he maintained his support of Governor Dunleavy’s campaign for the duration of this past election season, which assisted and propelled Micheal Dunleavy into office.

However I must return yet again to 2012 as a watershed year on a far more local level, and it is from there a power struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party in Juneau began. There were several moderate Republicans and one Democrat in the House who caucused with Republicans in the State House. 

To be more precise the names of these politicians in my own observation were Jim Colver of Eagle River who was elected as a Republican for two years in the State House in 2016, yet after the State Republican Party apparatus supported his opposition Republican candidate the following election season, George Rauscher won the primary and General Election. Carol Carmon seems to be a name who comes up in support of and was present for that situation in the capacity as a Alaska Republican Party official at that time. She also divulged to me that Governor Dunleavy’s Chief of Staff, Tuckerman Babcock, sanctioned LeDoux very early on shortly after she switched coalitions. A point she joyfully brings up publicly, and if left unchecked intends to do that again. In my estimation, it will only result in a permanent separation of LeDoux, Stutes and Knopp.

There was also Bryce Edgemon, a Democrat from Rural Alaska who used to caucus with Republicans, and who can forget Paul Seaton who was also a moderate Republican. All of which fell into the crosshairs of the Republican Party establishment in varying levels for political extermination. 

However, when it comes to bucking trends in the Republican Party, may we also call into question the very actions of our beloved Governor Dunleavy? As a State Senator he voted against a budget proposal which cost him a committee chairmanship and seats on at least two separate committees that led in one manner or another to his resignation from the State Senate altogether shortly thereafter. 

In principle, I have to agree with Governor Dunleavy’s courage to stand up to the Walker Administration and the prevailing Republican establishment in the State Senate, especially as it would impact the PFD and the spector of new taxes. Had Governor Dunleavy not done that as a State Senator, I would daresay he would not be Governor today. To that end I have a deep respect for him. The Governor, simply put, means what he says, and does what he feels is right. The voters in large measure agreed with him, he gained the trust of the Alaska electorate, and was rewarded with the privilege of being our Governor today.

Likewise, the Governor likely knows the best options to mediate this situation with all due recognition of State House legislative rules of the Alaska Republican Party. These types of grievances, whether real or imagined, cannot get to a point where disagreements in principle or premise are listened to once the party line is established. Especially when situations arise where votes against the party line are not tolerated under the current state of affairs. It’s high time for you Mr. Governor to get involved. It is my greatest hope if anyone will stand on the principles of their convictions, and hold fast to them while governing, that minor change of prospective could very well be the agent which changes this equation and impasse in the State House. You deserve a majority Republican coalition in the House, yet it will require your direct intervention at this time.

Even as it cost everything in terms of personal standing within the party of the three Republican legislators, it is from that understanding that the issues you had as a State Senator can be uniquely enjoined to what LeDoux, Stutes, and Knopp are all going through right now. The critical point is nobody wants this, and it is highly disruptive to governance of the State.

Especially in the last year, your Chief of Staff acting in the capacity as the Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party went out of his way to deride, stir up dissent, and even anger traditional Republican voters away from these legislators (absent Knopp). A more precise understanding is he effectively alienated these party members away from the Republican Party to the point where they had to seek shelter under the banner of the independent coalition. This condition goes back several election cycles as stated before. What has lacked up to this point is a calm, fair, and reasonable mediator who can simply get at the root of this problem. Governor Dunleavy, the time is ripe for you live up to your credo of “Standing Tall for Alaska.” Naturally, if you feel that there are merits for it, I can come to Juneau and assist in that conversation.

My parting words of encouragement to Governor Michael Dunleavy is this: Gabrielle LeDoux is not Hillary Clinton, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Just meet with her, Louise Stutes, and Gary Knopp privately and without any media fanfare. All of your offices are connected in the same building in Juneau. This can be done via email.

I’d also recommend that you ensure your Chief of Staff is scarce to be seen. I’d also suggest that you bring out the best asset your administration has for these types of conflict resolution situations. More properly your Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer. He is an honorable and highly respected man, even Democrats do not attack him as he is both an honest and likable man. Allow him to serve as a mediator and advisor for you. You will likely thank him as you have done previously elsewhere after he assists you in obtaining a majority Republican House delegation. 

For that matter, I would highly encourage that you insist this discussion gives allowances for a fair articulation of all the issues of the past several years has resulted in for all parties involved. May I remind you, Governor Dunleavy you were removed from all your assignments in the State Senate for objecting to differences in the state budget appropriations. You aren’t the only one who is in the position of differing with Republican Party rules. 

In my opinion, an apology is due from the Republican Party for years of questionable electioneering practices. As the Governor you can readily bridge this gap. You have the authority on your own to do so. I’d also suggest that these legislators have been placed into a political pickle of which they can’t be freed from apart from your leadership. The power really does reside in your own will to confront this issue, why wait in limbo any longer?

More importantly, if this situation can be resolved by your efforts as Governor, you will pick up three life long allies in the process. For a lack of a better term you can end this internal Republican Party civil war. I yield back to the Governor to weigh this situation out. I’d also suggest as an act of good faith that each of these legislators should be granted at minimum one committee chairmanship and two separate committee assignments.

John Nelson
Wasilla, Alaska

About: John Nelson, Republican, recently ran in the 2018 primary race for U.S. House of Representatives against Alaska Congressman Don Young who served for 45 years.



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received February 14, 2019 - Published February 20, 2019

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