The APOC hearing between Yes on 2 for Better Elections v. Defend Alaska Elections, alleging that Defend Alaska Elections has been constantly violating campaign finance law on several different levels, is underway.

#akleg #akelect
The main topic of today's case before APOC is whether APOC should take up the complaints on an expedited basis.

Yes on 2 has brought three different claims against Defend Alaska Elections but is focusing in on a complaint about how DAE has been violating the three biggest contributors.

"It has never been correct," argues attorney Samuel Gottstein.

Up until two weeks ago, DAE claimed its top 3contributors were Sturgeon, Begich and Parnell. That was after several big-$ contributions came in.

It was never right, Yes on 2 argues, because Begich and Parnell were actually tied for 3rd (after Sturgeon and Corey Mulder)

Gottstein is now arguing that DAE is continuing to run ads with Sturgeon, Begich and Parnell as its top contributors when it's now AKGOP, RLSC and Americans for Prosperity.

Gottstein: "This is not a speculative violation, this is clear violation of the law by DAE based on their own disclosures."

Baxter, the attorney for Defend Alaska's Elections, say that this meeting is improper. Say they haven't received any notice because APOC sent the notice to the wrong email.

He says he was "unable to download whatever software you're on" which, I think, is Zoom...

Baxter: "There is no irreparable harm here because Defend Alaska is disclosing all its expenditures and income in its 10-day independent expenditure reports."

Basically arguing that the top contributors on ads doesn't matter as long as the APOC report is accurate.

He argues that the top contributors only matter when you place the ads. Says it's unreasonable to expect them to update the ads as they're purchased.

(They purchased $250K of ads when they had something like $1,500 contributions)

Baxter on reporting of Corey Mulder's $1,000 in-kind contribution: "Defend Alaska made a very silly first-timer campaign mistake."

Defend Alaska is run by Brett Huber, Dunleavy's campaign manager...

They recorded Mulder giving them a FB page as worth $1,000. Baxter says it's just worth $5 and their report has been properly updated since then.

Baxter on DAE's activity: "Like every one, it makes mistakes."

APOC Commissioner Lawrence asks Baxter if they disagree with Yes on 2's facts. Baxter says, no, and that DAE's disclosures have ALWAYS been accurate.

Baxter on ads: "Once they have been produced and placed, Alaska law does not require campaigns to go back and revamp those disclosures at that point."

APOC Commissioner notes, though, that it's about the time of communication NOT time of placement.

APOC Comm. not convinced.

Comm: How come you didn't change the contributors?
Baxter: Because it is our understanding once you have produced and placed an ad, a campaign does not need to keep going back and revamping its top three contributors.
Comm: I'm not convinced.

After some questions, commission asks if they are still running ads with the Sturgeon, Begich and Parnell disclosures.

Baxter: Yes.

Baxter not sure how difficult it would be to update the disclosures.

Commissioner says it sounds like the information isn't accurate.

Baxter: We don't believe the information is inaccurate.

Gottstein says DAE is warping state law: "It's a warped definition that hides the true contributors of its campaign. They were untrue when they placed the advertisements."

Gottstein: "What's important about this is the purpose of the law is to make sure Alaskan voters don't have to try to navigate the APOC website so when they're listening to the political speech they know who is funding it. ... It's purposely misleading who's funding DAE."

Gottstein: "What we're asking for is that these purposely misleading ads are corrected immediately. That's what needs to happen. Those ads need to go today."

Baxter: Nuh-uh.

They've gone into executive session. It's expected to last about 30 minutes. and be back at 3 p.m. This would simply be a decision to actually hear the complaints on an expedited basis. Could result in an immediate hearing or one in the next two days.

Still waiting...

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More from @mattbuxton

6 Oct
The House State Affairs Committee is underway with a hearing with a former procurement officer. They're talking about some MORE fishy contracts inked by Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka.

And no it's not the one @DermotMCole has been digging into.

Speaking now, I believe, is Barry Jackson, Retired State Procurement Officer, who's looking at a contract Tshibaka is the project manager on. He's pointing out that the prior experience requirements are biased.

#akleg Image
Read 39 tweets
5 Oct
APOC is now back after a break. They have voted 3-2 to hear the issue of the Defend Alaska Elections' disclosure on an expedited basis.

They will likely take it up at some time on Wednesday. Figuring out precise timing now.

Yes on 2's Gottstein says anytime on Wednesday works for him.

Is Lee Baxter good with that? ....

Oh, he's not on the phone.

They're literally just waiting for him to call in.


"Mr. Baxter, is that you? .... No.... We will continue to wait."

Ah, now he's on.

Read 4 tweets
15 Jul
The House HSS and State Affairs committees are meeting on COVID-19 safety in high-risk state facilities.

It'd be REALLY interesting given state's plan to open Pioneer Homes to visitors but it looks like the administration is a no-show.

#akleg #akgov…
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That some hotels have no safety and no training in place to deal with it.

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The employee said they had some symptoms and got tested.

Read 38 tweets
22 Apr
Woo! A busy #akleg day!

Up first is the H. Finance, which will hear an updated fiscal outlook and an update on federal CARES $. It sounds like they're still in a digesting stage on Dunleavy's proposal from last night.

Leg. Fin. Director Pat Pitney going over the state's spring revenue forecast that estimated oil would drop by $20 per barrel and production would be down ~4K barrels.

"We believe that both the price estimate and the production estimate could be very optimistic."

And if oil revenue wasn't bad enough, Pitney says if the COVID-19 market crash lasts ONLY one year that the long-term impact on the state's POMV draw would be a $300M hit. And that's IF it returns to 7% returns.

That's because the draw is a rolling five-year average.

Read 28 tweets
30 Jul 19
The Board of Regents is now hearing from Gov. Dunleavy directly. Follow live on

#akleg #akgov
Dunleavy, whose budget cut the university by $136M: "What I'd like to say is the university is an integral part of the state. ... The university has been a beneficiary of the state for years. ... Some of us are still living in a belief of $85 to $90 per barrel oil." #akleg
Dunleavy says his Feb. 13 budget "has caused quite a conversation for the state."

He says it's about "a new funding reality for the state" and calls "the game in Juneau about how much funding we can get for services in our districts." #akleg
Read 52 tweets
22 Jul 19
The Board of Regents is now back. President Johnsen is giving a presentation about the budget. "Yes, we enjoy huge public support ... but a simple majority is not enough and as a result uncertainty reigns and uncertainty is disabling the university in many ways." #akleg
Johnsen on financial exigency: "Given the very poor hand we have, it is the only tool available to us. ... None of us want to be here today." #akleg
Johnsen, rhetorically: "How can something so great, built by so many over so many years, be crippled by so few so quickly?" #akleg
Read 29 tweets

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