The Alaska Public Offices Commission has voted 4-0 to uphold the right of an Alaska legislator to operate her own political action committee. The decision last week allows Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, to collect money from lobbyists who otherwise would be barred by state law from contributing to her.
The Alaska Dispatch News first reported the ruling.
In August, the Alaska Democratic Party filed a complaint against “Gabby’s Tuesday PAC,” alleging to APOC that the organization was simply a way to bypass state regulations.
The PAC was able to collect contributions that were then directed to candidates of LeDoux’s choosing. Under state law, an individual can contribute $500 to a candidate. That same individual can contribute $500 to a “group” such as a political action committee.
The Democratic Party said in its complaint that LeDoux’s PAC should be considered part of her campaign and not a separate organization.
Commission staff disagreed, and the commission followed the staff recommendation, noting that the PAC’s stated purpose is “to raise money for common-sense conservative candidates” and that while the PAC is chaired by LeDoux, “to date it has not expended any monies in support of her election.”
The commission went on to say that it believes the LeDoux PAC violates the spirit of the law, but because it has to follow the letter of the law, it does not have the power to rule against the PAC.
“The Commission shares the concern raised by the complaint that some may use what could be seen as a ‘loophole’ to circumvent the campaign contribution limits,” its ruling states. “However, the Commission is obliged to apply the law as enacted. Thus, the concerns in the complaint are more properly directed to the legislature for review.”