APOC punts on complaint against pro-Dunleavy group, OKs continued spending at ‘own peril’
If it turns out they broke the laws that it sure looks like they're breaking, they could be hit with big fines... or, you know, the cost of doing business nowadays.
It’s Wednesday, Alaska.
In this edition: The long-awaited APOC complaint is finally here… and it’s a punt. As commissioners laid out in an order today, there’s a load of fishiness going on with a pro-Dunleavy independent expenditure group and its backer, the Republican Governors Association, but they’re just not sure it’s against the law. The ruling allows the group to spend however it wants to support Dunleavy’s reelection with the commission meekly warning that it could eventually levy fines against both groups if it turns out they are, in fact, breaking the laws that they look like they’re breaking. Or, you know, the cost of doing business. Also, the reading list.
Current mood: 🙄
Programming note: I’ve got a dear friends’ wedding coming up this weekend and may be in and out of things. Let me know if you’ve got any Chicago recommendations!
APOC punts on complaint against pro-Dunleavy group, but warns fines could come after election
After nearly a week of deliberations on a complaint against a pro-Dunleavy independent expenditure group and its Outside backer, the Alaska Public Offices Commission has punted it to after the election.
The decision, which moves the complaint from the expedited process to the regular staff-driven investigation, will allow A Stronger Alaska—which is accused of being one in the same with its backer, the Republican Governors Association—to continue to spend the remainder of a $3 million contribution made by the RGA last year on re-electing Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Read the report: APOC order on expedited consideration
The core of the allegations, which were brought by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group and the 907 Initiative, argued the RGA was basically using A Stronger Alaska as a front to shield the wealthy donors backing Gov. Dunleavy from public scrutiny. They argued the independence was undercut by the fact that expenditures A Stronger Alaska told Alaska campaign regulators they made on their own were claimed by the RGA on tax filings.
During last week’s hearing, the attorneys representing ASA and RGA acknowledged that there was little separation between the two—they share the same staff, same phone number and that they are literally considered the same group in the eyes of the IRS—but argued Alaska’s campaign regulators can’t take that into consideration.
All those problems appear to be concerning to APOC commissioners with today’s order referencing a law that makes it illegal for an unregistered group to campaign in Alaska using a fictious name or using the name of another. From the decision:
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