APOC rules against expediting complaint from nonprofits against Dunleavy campaign

APOC rules against expediting complaint from nonprofits against Dunleavy campaign
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Public Offices Commission has issued a ruling on the complaint filed by two nonprofits alleging coordination between Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s reelection campaign and A Stronger Alaska, among others.

Final arguments were provided on Friday, and APOC ruled on Monday against expediting the complaint filed by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group and the 907 Initiative. Attorney Scott Kendall — who previously served as chief of staff to former Gov. Bill Walker — argued that circumstantial evidence showing Brett Huber as a deputy treasurer for the campaign until May showed coordination between the governor’s staff members and the campaign.

“Today’s ruling by APOC was no surprise given the complete lack of evidence produced on Friday by Scott Kendall,” Dunleavy campaign spokesperson Andrew Jensen wrote in an email on Monday. “This has always been a politically motivated attack dressed up in the guise of public interest, and we appreciate APOC’s swift denial of Kendall’s baseless motion to expedite.”

A joint release from the nonprofits who filed the complaint said that they filed an additional expedited complaint against the Republican Governor’s Association — one of the groups listed in the initial complaint.

“Last week, we learned hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on communications claiming to be funded by A Stronger Alaska, but records indicate it might be the RGA directly and illegally spending the money,” Executive Director of the 907 Initiative Aubrey Wieber said. “We were advised that this egregious issue was outside the scope of our original complaint, and therefore a new complaint was necessary.”

The release from AKPIRG and the 907 Initiative said that the initial complaint “remains active” and will proceed “on APOC’s standard timeline.”

The new complaint is directed at the $3 million contribution from the RGA.

“Either the RGA’s IRS reports are materially false, or the RGA is illegally operating as an unregistered independent expenditure group in Alaska, and is actively working to cover their tracks by using A Stronger Alaska as a shell entity,” the release said.

“This complaint seeks clarity on a substantial amount of money that is currently unaccounted for,” said Veri di Suvero, Executive Director AKPIRG. “If the Republican Governors Association and A Stronger Alaska have been operating legally, they should quickly be able to produce records to demonstrate full compliance with Alaska’s campaign finance laws.”