Lawmaker wants PAC “loophole” closed

Published: Dec. 23, 2016 at 6:50 PM AKST
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Alaska lawmakers recently started supporting political candidates with lobbyist dollars from outside their districts, an approach one lawmaker is calling a loophole he has plans to close.

“It truly is a loophole because we never intended for legislators to be able to collect and accept money from lobbyist during session or actually any time of the year,” said Senator Kevin Meyer.

The senator from Anchorage plans to pre-file a bill that removes a lawmaker’s direct control over PAC dollars. “We don’t want to give off the appearance anyway, the perception that your state government is not being ethical,” said Meyer.

Last October Representative Gabrielle LeDoux found herself the subject of a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission after her PAC took donations from lobbyists that went to candidates she supports.

“It allows me to support people that I believe are deserving of support,” said LeDoux who disagrees with the proposal, saying there’s nothing wrong with a legislator having a PAC.

“I think he has it wrong from start to finish, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this and I see it as somewhat akin to lobbyists give money to let’s say the Democratic and Republican Party and then that money is dispersed to candidates,” said LeDoux who is the Rules Chair in the State House and decides which bills more forward to get a vote and which do not.

The 30th Alaska State Legislature will gavel in January 17th in Juneau.