Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Public Interest Research Group and the 907 Initiative have filed supplemental evidence in their Alaska Public Offices Commission complaint against Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the Dunleavy for Governor campaign, the Republican Governors Association, A Stronger Alaska, Strategic Synergies, and Brett Huber.
AKPIRG claims "unprecedented" violations of Alaska’s campaign finance laws.
The addendum to the Sept. 6 complaint states that the governor’s office engaged in additional abuse of public dollars, violations of procurement law, violations of the Executive Ethics Act, and utilization of state equipment for campaign purposes.
“What we’ve uncovered so far shows a Governor who has little interest in following the law,” said 907 Initiative Executive Director Aubrey Wieber. “These laws are in place to provide faith in our democracy, and I fear that we’re just scratching the surface of Gov. Dunleavy’s abuse of public dollars and breach of the public trust.”
The supplemental complaint details the following:
- Brett Huber was still being paid public funds by the Governor’s office months after he was retained to run a superPAC working to re-elect Gov. Dunleavy.
- Jordan Shilling’s contract exceeded the $50,000 threshold for a “no-bid” contract, violating procurement code.
- During a Sept. 18, 2022 press conference, a member of the Governor’s communications team shared his screen on the webcast. In doing so, he exposed the desktop of his state-issued computer, which included several thumbnail images of Governor Dunleavy in what appear to be campaign ads and are labeled as ads for several Alaska newspapers. State equipment cannot be used for campaign purposes.
- The governor’s office contracted with Virginia-based conservative political firm Vought Strategies for communications assistance during a period heavily overlapping with the campaign cycle.
- An analysis of Governor Dunleavy’s 2018 campaign shows the re-election campaign has a staffing budget that is about 10% of the 2018 budget. It’s confounding that a candidate for re-election would deviate so starkly from a successful staffing strategy despite raising more money. This corroborates the allegations that he is subsidizing his campaign with official staff, contractors paid with public funds, and former aides who have received “no bid” contracts paid with public funds.
“These laws exist for a reason: to maintain the fairness of our electoral process,” said Robin O’Donoghue, AKPRIG’s Communications Manager. “As we continue to uncover more information it is critical to AKPIRG’s mission to bring it to the attention of regulators and the public.”
Additionally, AKPIRG and the 907 Initiative are requesting APOC obtain independent counsel to investigate the allegations, rather than counsel appointed by the Attorney General’s Office, which is supervised by the Attorney General, who serves at the pleasure of Gov. Dunleavy.