We are still pouring over the latest batch of Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) reports that were required to be submitted last night by midnight. Those reports, called 30-Day reports, cover donations from August 7- October 7 and are filed 30-days before election day.
Here are some first thoughts on what we have seen so far:
GCI BUYING FRIENDS
Top dogs at Alaska telecommunications company GCI, who has angered plenty of legislators by spending generously to unsuccessfully influence state budget negotiations and supporting the new left-leaning group Together for Alaska, appear to now be trying to buy their way out of the doghouse. Since August 1st, both GCI CEO Ron Duncan and COO Greg Chapados wrote a combined $10,000 in checks to over a dozen candidates
The two also wrote $5,000 checks each to the Alaska Republican Party. Is it just a coincidence that according to APOC records those party donations came the day after the primary election in August? Probably not.
Top Fundraisers (This Period)
Here are the candidates who raised the most money over the last two months:
|John B. Coghill Jr.||$72,607.96|
|Natasha A Von Imhof||$61,655.85|
That top five is interesting for a few reasons:
- It shows Vince Beltrami can really raise money. But most people expected that.
- Both Sen. John Coghill and Luke Hopkins will have plenty to spend in their Fairbanks senate battle. This too, was expected, but now we have seen it come true.
- Natasha Von Imhof, who raised a ton of cash in the primary, continues to do so in the general even though she is widely considered to be a sure bet to win in November.
- Rep. Cathy Munoz continues to enjoy enough support to win re-election in the wake of a scandal that broke around her penning letters of support for leniency towards defendants in two child abuse cases. Munoz enjoyed quite a blend of campaign cash sources including labor unions ($5,000), industry PACs ($3,000), Republican Women’s groups ($4,000), and her own money ($10,000). That blend of continued support is a good sign for her going forward.
Top Fundraisers (Entire Campaign Period)
|Natasha A Von Imhof||$188,276.22|
|Mike W. Gordon||$133,924.93|
|John B. Coghill Jr.||$107,936.82|
The big takeaway from this list is that the Giessel-Beltrami race in Anchorage is going to get bigger, badder, and nastier. Both candidates have a mountain of money and an absolute willingness to go negative, very negative.
Is Lance Pruitt Safe?
Rep. Lance Pruitt is well-connected with the Republican Party establishment and industry groups. He also has what would appear to be a credible opponent in former Rep. Harry Crawford.
Why then did he raise a pedestrian $20,711 in this reporting period? Pruitt can and has done much better. From this report, both the size of it and the composition of donors, it appears both Pruitt and party insiders feel very assured of an easy Pruitt win in November.
Don’t get the wrong impression, however, it isn’t like Pruitt is without campaign cash, he has raised a total of $55K and still has almost $22K cash on hand. That puts him right in line with Crawford’s $62K total and $32K cash on hand. That should allow him some campaign flexibility should Republicans view the race as tightening up towards the end.
National Republicans Getting In The Game
Independent expenditure group The Accountability Project received another infusion of campaign cash from the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). That name my make you think this is a local group, but, in fact, the RSLC is a Washington D.C. based sister committee to the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and is tasked with impacting state legislative races.
APOC records show that the vast majority of The Accountability Project’s $126K in donations came from the D.C. group, $80K.