The District 15 Republican primary may go down as the loosest race of 2018. Newcomer Aaron Weaver was up three votes to Representative Gabrielle LeDoux (R – Anchorage) on election night. LeDoux’s fundraising prowess, campaigning chutzpah, and caucus switching versus Weaver’s surprisingly effective strategy of doing almost nothing has confused nearly everyone who follows Alaska politics. But there might be even more to this story.
Does Weaver even live in District 15? The Landmine received an anonymous tip that Weaver, in fact, lives in a commercial condo unit that he owns located at 101 E 9th Avenue in Anchorage, which is located in District 20. According to the source, who has direct knowledge of the situation, Weaver has been living there for years. They said Weaver’s cat also resides there.
I was told Weaver parks his SUV outside of the building. I went by last night around 10:15 pm and found an SUV parked outside. One unit had the lights on and the window was open. Here are some pictures I took:
Interestingly enough, a Must Read Alaska article was recently published that shows he used this address for his PFD application. The article, “Election Division has moved hundreds of voters to new districts” was meant to show that some Alaskan voter registrations were erroneously changed to reflect the address they used on their PFD application. This is due to a ballot initiative passed by voters in 2016. The truth is it updated many voter registrations to the address they actually reside at. If you have ever gone door to door for a campaign, you know how many people are registered to vote at addresses they do not live at.
The article states, “Weaver, who is a photographer and videographer, uses his downtown business address for most business transactions and had used it for his Permanent Fund Dividend application.” The simple explanation is that this was likely not a mistake, but this is where Weaver resides.
Weaver is said to be renting a room in the district. When he rented it, and how often he stays there, is something I will follow up on. He would have had to be renting and living in the room since June 1, 2017 to be an eligible candidate. If he rented the room for the sole purpose of running for office, and has not actually lived there, that could be a big problem.
Alaska Division of Elections Spokesperson, Samantha Miller, confirmed in a text message that a complaint about Weaver’s residency was submitted to the Division and, “It’s under review.” If Weaver falsely claimed he resided in a place he does not on his declaration of candidacy, he may have committed a crime.
Remember his cat that is also said to be living there? One would think the litmus test for where a person lives would be where the person’s pets live.
How We Got Here
The result of the District 15 Republican primary shocked everyone, maybe most of all Weaver. No one thought he had a chance. The race will be decided by absentee and early votes. The Division of Elections sent out a press release today saying there are some irregularities, but included, “The division’s second round of review of absentee ballots from House District 15 revealed that there is no reason to be concerned about the vast majority of absentee ballots from the district.”
Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock appeared on KTVA today in a story titled, “Alaska GOP blames lawmaker for potential voter fraud.” He basically said LeDoux tried to fix the election. According to the story:
“There are no irregularities on the Democratic side, just on the Republican,” Babcock said. “All fingers point to Gabrielle LeDoux.”
It went on to say:
Babcock says the party believes irregularities are linked to LeDoux and a $10,000 consulting contract she a had with California resident Charlie Chang. This contract is part of LeDoux campaign finance reports.
“She is the one who hired the get-out-the-vote expert for $10,000,” Babcock said. “She’s the one who has objected to every vote that the division of elections has thrown out. So I think she’s knows exactly what she’s looking at.”
Babcock readily acknowledged his longstanding opposition for LeDoux, adding, “this is just beyond anything to take any pleasure in. It’s real corruption going on. I would not be surprised if this warrants a criminal referral and that a criminal investigation gets underway,” he said. “And sad to say this is something where that’s warranted.”
The absentee votes in question appear to be many Hmong voters, who are likely being targeted. There are questions about who voted and the residency of some voters. It was also reported that seven dead people applied for absentee ballots, but were not sent ballots. This KTOO story was recently published about the race, “State attorney says there’s evidence of voter fraud in hotly contested Alaska House district”
According to the Division of Elections press release, “There is no reason to be concerned about the vast majority of absentee ballots from the district.” But what about what looks like a major irregularity of Weaver not even living in the district? This might end up being the biggest fraud of this election.