Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Alaska APOC Wrestles with New Salmon Initiative Allocation

With just weeks to go before the Nov. 6 general election, opponents of an Alaska ballot initiative to create a new regulatory system to manage fish habitat are filing a new complaint alleging violations by backers of the initiative.

The complaint filed by Stand for Alaska Vote No on 1 with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) alleges that several groups campaigning in support of the initiative have violated state campaign finance laws and regulations by not disclosing the source of their funding.

The allegations target three environmental groups, including The Alaska Center. According to the complaint these groups “failed to report the true source of the dark money they have received from Lower 48 non-profit entities that are used to launder large outside donations into respondents’ campaign in support of Ballot Measure 1.”

The APOC held a special hearing on Sept. 25 that lasted for several hours. A final decision is expected on Oct. 3.

Stand for Alaska Vote No on 1, whose campaign resources total more than $9 million, counts among its financial supporters the oil and gas and mining industries, including backers of the Pebble mine.

Yes for Salmon’s campaign funds amount to about $1 million, including in-kind contributions from conservation and environmental groups.

The new complain comes on the heels of an APOC decision just a week earlier to fine Stand for Alaska $1,925 for violating a rule that requires an organization contesting an initiative to clearly state its opposition to the initiative in its name.

Stand for Alaska Vote No on 1 started out as simply “Stand for Alaska.”

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