In anticipation of the mountain of financial information that will come out, we spent the day going down the rabbit hole on what’s already available. Sorry for the late publish, but thanks for sticking with us as we’re hammering some stuff out. We have a lot of fun stuff in the works for next week.
Stay tuned, and as always take everything with a grain of salt.
The deadline for candidates to file their fundraising figures with the Alaska Public Offices Commission is midnight tonight, which explains a flurry of emails everyone’s receiving in their inboxes over the last few days. It’ll be the first major insight into the progress of each campaign and people will be looking particularly closely at the numbers of the governor’s race as well as the plenty of contested legislative primaries.
The deadline has already passed for U.S. Rep. Don Young and his challengers, Democrat Dimitri Shein and independent-running-in-the-Democratic-primary Alyse Galvin, who all get to file with the Federal Elections Commission. We put together a quick breakdown of the fundraising efforts of each candidate.
- To date, Young has raised the most with $743,778.34. Galvin is behind with $503,683.22 and Shein is far behind with just $173,694.55 to his campaign.
- Shein’s campaign is largely self-funded with a grand total of $142,690.75 coming from his own pocketbook. Galvin has reportedly given her campaign $13,581.29 of her own money. Young’s kept his own money out of his campaign completely.
- Young’s benefited the most from out-of-state contributions. Just $185,915.25 of his itemized contributions (contributions that are more than $200 and are listed by address) come from addresses in Alaska, which amounts to an even 25 percent of his campaign money. Virginia, D.C., and Washington state are the most common non-Alaska addresses.
- Galvin has similarly benefited from Outside contributions, but to a far lower degree than Young (less than 20 percent). Clarification on how ActBlue actually works: In the original post, we described ActBlue like an organizing platform. It’s not. It’s essentially an online small-dolor contribution system favored among progressives that allows candidates or groups to collect contributions online. Think of it like PayPal. Unlike state law, the feds only require reporting names of contributors above certain levels.)
- Just $3,552.21 of Shein’s itemized contributions (contributions that are more than $200 and are listed by address) come from Outside, which when combined with the fact that his campaign is mostly self-funded still amounts to roughly 11.5 percent of his overall non-personal campaign contributions.
- Galvin also has the fastest pace of fundraising, far outpacing both Young and Shein.
On the offensive
Back in the realm of Alaska gubernatorial races, the one fundraising email that’s gained a lot of traction is on penned by Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. Insiders are pointing to its lines “When Alaska faced the most serious fiscal crisis in our history, Mike Dunleavy quit, and Mark Begich was nowhere to be found” as the first negative attack launched by the Walker and Mallott campaign.
The line against Dunleavy isn’t particularly exciting, but the swipe at Begich is notable and a reminder that the race is still far more interesting on the Left side of the ticket than it is on the Right (despite Mead Treadwell’s bizarre attempt to mix things up this week. More on that below). As we’re watching where organized labor will throw its support, most have been happy to see the race stay on the positive side of things.
One email is still far short of any laaaaaame tricks, but it won’t take much for this contest between Begich and Walker to turn sour.
Mallott expounds on his jab at the Democrat, adding “I say to Mark Begich: If you wanted to help, we were waiting for you for three and a half years… ”
One insider reminds us that Begich, who was in the middle of bitter and hotly contested race for U.S. Senate, endorsed Walker in 2014 (not to mention the affiliated boost from the parallel campaigns) to get no corresponding endorsement from the Walker campaign. There’s also the matter that much of Walker’s administration includes people who were brought up by Begich or were close allies.
Begich has been quiet in his involvement in the Alaska Legislature, but most insiders will tell you that he was a regular presence in the last few years, particularly when it came to the dividend.
Regardless, this whole row reminds us of some long-running complaints we’ve heard about Walker: Namely that he’s not been as stalwart of an ally for Democrats as folks had hoped in 2014. His efforts to work with Republicans, as admirable as bipartisanship is, have seemed like coal to a lot of Democratic operatives who see the Republicans, particularly Pete Kelly’s Senate, as uninterested in compromise of any sort.
Still, the general unease of some Democrats–and the outright opposition by a lot of Republicans–will likely help Walker hold onto his label as an independent voice.
11:59 p.m. on July 22
That’s the deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 21 primary elections.
The ballots are already printed.
The Primary ballots are here! Register to vote or update your info by 11:59 p.m. Sunday July 22 to participate in the August 21 Primary Election! Regional offices are open on Sat. 10 am-4pm and Sun. 12pm-4pm. #akelect #akvotes pic.twitter.com/JZC1tYxX8N
— AK Division of Elections (@ak_elections) July 20, 2018
That’s the cost to the state incurred by Rep. David Eastman’s attempt to clear his name after the House Ethics Committee found probable cause that he leaked the existence of a confidential complaint to the media. The state had to get two $10,000 contracts to litigate the appeal (it’s unclear if that full amount will actually be paid out). Eastman spent more than seven hours of his and everyone else’s time arguing his case on Tuesday, claiming that he never told Alaska Journal of Commerce reporter Naomi Klouda to go ahead and check in on the existence of a complaint filed against Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux.
Not only did Eastman’s effort come up short when the committee stood by Klouda’s rock-solid honest over Eastman’s shifting explanations, but it also revealed quite a bit more about Eastman.
Here’s the key takeaways from the meeting that you should know:
- Eastman thought about filing a complaint himself, but decided to pedal it around to other legislators and people outside the Legislature, including Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock. He didn’t specifically admit that he shared it with Must Read Alaska’s Suzanne Downing, but the complaint was sure to reach her.
- That’s important because, as ethics Director Jerry Anderson explained during the Tuesday hearing, that would have allowed Eastman, who was at the time a member of the ethics committee, to be involved in handling the complaint. He said during the hearing that he would have probably recused himself, but Anderson was clear that nothing in the rules would have specifically required him to do so.
- The letter by Eastman that was the foundation of the blog post gave the impression he personally saw or overhead LeDoux directly threaten or harass another legislator, but he admitted during the hearing that it was actually just second-hand knowledge. The attorney for the state pointed out that this was misleading, and Eastman seemed to recognize that.
- Even though the radio host who filed the complaint against LeDoux claimed to have not told anyone about filing the complaint, it was the following day that Eastman told Klouda about it during an interview where he was already going on the offensive against LeDoux.
- Also, Tuesday was the first and only time that Eastman had thoroughly denied that he had leaked the confidential report. His previous statements had either been vague or nonexistent.
House Bill 44 signed
Gov. Bill Walker signed Rep. Jason Grenn’s House Bill 44 on Thursday, finally putting an end to the voter initiative that would have put per diem and legislative ethics on the general election ballot. That initiative had the backing of Midnight Sun Publisher Jim Lottsfeldt, but I’d personally would have liked to see the issue on the ballot if for nothing other than the chaos it would have created. It sounded like legislators, particularly those in the Senate where the bill was made into the initiative buster, weren’t thrilled about the additional scrutiny.
Here’s a bullet list of what it’ll do what was put out with the governor’s statement:
- Common sense conflicts-of-interest rules. When a legislator votes on an issue they (or their immediate family) have a financial stake in, they must disclose it.
- No more junkets. Legislative travel abroad — often paid for by the state — must be approved and have an official legislative purpose.
- No free lunch. Lobbyists can no longer buy meals or alcoholic drinks for legislators.
- More accountability. If legislators don’t pass an operating budget by the constitutional deadline (day 121 of the legislative session), per diem payments (as much as $295 per day) will stop.
Player two enters the game
In the many months since Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel announced that he wouldn’t be seeking a second term of what many local politicos call “the worst job out there,” the question on many minds is will any serious challenger appear against North Pole Mayor Bryce Ward? Ward, a Republican with respect from across the political spectrum, has been in the race since pretty much day one and plenty would have been fine with his election (though we heard some dissatisfaction could be brewing in conservative circles over some recent policy decisions).
But it looks like the Interior has a big race in store for the October municipal elections.
Today, progressive Fairbanks Assemblyman Christopher Quist entered the race. Quist is currently on his second term with the assembly and has worked with public radio and owns a local coffee roasting company. He’s well-liked, particularly among progressive circles, which should make the race interesting in the increasingly blue borough races.
That technically makes the race a three-way, but Robert Shields, who’s the third guy in the race, is best described as “The Interior’s Dustin Darden.”
Unlike Begich, Mead Treadwell hasn’t really changed a whole lot of the dynamics on the Republican side of the ticket since his entry. He’s certainly got a pool of supporters, but has yet to make much of a splash. This week, he sought to change that when he issued a news release saying he would be answering the “Dunleavy challenge” about their records. Before we get into that news conference itself, we gotta talk about the announcement so helpfully provided by the Alaska Landmine.
— The Alaska Landmine (@alaskalandmine) July 17, 2018
We showed the news release to another friend of the blog with some copy editing chops who had yet to see the Landmine’s edit, and the response was a literal gasp. Another response from another friend who’s issued a press release or two: “Uh, are those two different fonts?”
(It almost makes the errant “Mallot” excusable).
The news conference was a bit of a let down after starting well after the initial start time. The press release and talk surrounding it made it seem like there was some kind of dirt he was preparing to release on Dunleavy, which would at least make the race interesting. Instead, it was to roll out a sloppy website comparing the records of the two candidates.
This week, one insider brought some interesting political giving to our attention: that Walker gave $500 to Mike Dunleavy’s Senate campaign in 2012, when Dunleavy was one of several right-wing legislators seeking to knock off key Republican members of the bipartisan coalition. We thought it was interesting, so we went ahead and grabbed all the available contributions made by the four main gubernatorial candidates from the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The numbers cover the 2012 elections and onward.
Bill Walker gave to:
Bill Walker a total of $177,036 on multiple dates
A.L.I.V.E. – Voluntary a total of $200 on 11/27/2013
Dan Sullivan a total of $1000 on 9/28/2011, 3/24/2012
Lynn Gattis a total of $250 on 9/14/2012
Bert Cottle a total of $500 on 4/14/2014
Verne Rupright a total of $1000 on 9/13/2014
Gary Stevens a total of $250 on 8/9/2012
George Rauscher a total of $500 on 8/8/2012
Michael J Dunleavy a total of $500 on 9/20/2012
Mike Dunleavy gave to:
Mike Dunleavy a total of $34423.98 on multiple dates
Valley Republican Women of Alaska (Formerly Valley Republican Women’s Club) a total of $10 on 7/20/2017
John B. Coghill Jr. a total of $500 on 9/23/2016
Matanuska-Susitna Republican Women’s Club a total of $30 on 7/9/2016
Capital City Republicans a total of $150 on 1/9/2016, 2/19/2015
Robert A. Doyle a total of $250 on 9/23/2015
Craig Johnson a total of $100 on 11/10/2011
Shelley Hughes a total of $1500 on 5/10/2012, 11/2/2016, 11/2/2016
Lance Pruitt a total of $100 on 12/3/2011
Cathy Giessel a total of $500 on 8/26/2016
Catherine “Cathy” Giessel a total of $500 on 7/14/2014
Rebecca Logan a total of $600 on 3/28/2018, 3/28/2018
Anchorage Republican Women’s Club a total of $60 on 7/6/2017, 7/6/2017
Alaska Republican Party a total of $243 on 10/1/2015, 5/28/2014, 5/28/2014
Randall D Kowalke a total of $390 on 6/13/2015
Valley Republican Women a total of $200 on 7/16/2015
George D. McKee a total of $250 on 8/27/2015
Ray Michaelson a total of $250 on 9/20/2013
Bob Roses a total of $150 on 10/30/2012
Lynn Gattis a total of $250 on 9/12/2012
Mead Treadwell gave to:
Anchorage Republican Women’s Club a total of $3614 on 2/6/2018, 2/17/2018, 2/17/2017, 2/18/2017, 2/18/2017, 5/3/2014, 2/12/2013, 6/11/2013, 2/1/2014, 2/1/2014, 2/1/2014
Fairbanks Republican Women a total of $150 on 2/26/2016, 2/22/2013
Alaska Republican Party a total of $410 on 3/23/2016, 5/22/2013, 10/30/2013
Valley Republican Women a total of $15 on 4/10/2015
Gabrielle LeDoux a total of $750 on 8/7/2014, 11/25/2012
Dave M. Talerico a total of $200 on 2/25/2014
Sean Parnell a total of $500 on 7/12/2013
Elizabeth (Liz) Vazquez a total of $100 on 3/8/2014
Valley Republican Women’s Club a total of $20 on 3/15/2013, 2/16/2012
Andy Clary a total of $500 on 2/20/2013, 12/31/2012
Cheryl Frasca a total of $250 on 3/25/2013
Amy Demboski a total of $150 on 12/8/2012
Natasha Von Imhof a total of $100 on 12/27/2011
Dan Sullivan a total of $200 on 12/28/2011
Sitka Republican Women a total of $250 on 2/15/2012
Mark Begich gave to:
Friends of Deena Mitchell a total of $200 on 12/26/2017
Matt Claman a total of $1250 on 10/19/2017, 12/22/2015, 8/16/2016, 10/6/2016
Elvi Gray-Jackson a total of $500 on 11/6/2017
Ethan Berkowitz a total of $1000 on 10/12/2017, 2/27/2018
Tasha Hotch a total of $500 on 3/3/2018
Ivy Spohnholz a total of $100 on 10/8/2017
Austin Quinn-Davidson a total of $250 on 6/22/2018
Christopher Constant a total of $650 on 2/21/2017, 1/10/2016
Felix Rivera a total of $1000 on 12/24/2016, 2/19/2017
Andy Holleman a total of $250 on 2/21/2017
Pete Petersen a total of $2700 on 9/20/2016, 12/23/2016, 2/2/2017, 12/16/2013, 3/27/2014, 3/27/2014
James Smallwood a total of $250 on 2/3/2017
Eric Croft a total of $1250 on 10/14/2015, 1/15/2016, 3/9/2013
Nicholas Begich a total of $500 on 3/9/2016
John Weddleton a total of $1000 on 3/31/2016, 3/31/2016
Forrest J McDonald a total of $750 on 9/22/2015, 9/1/2016, 9/26/2016
Forrest Dunbar a total of $250 on 4/13/2016
Karen R. Crane a total of $200 on 2/18/2016
Hilary Morgan a total of $500 on 9/15/2015
Jason Grenn a total of $500 on 10/14/2016, 11/18/2016
Pat Higgins a total of $400 on 10/18/2016, 8/23/2016
House Democratic Campaign Committee a total of $3500 on 11/2/2016, 8/18/2016, 11/2/2016, 10/1/2015, 1/18/2016
John Eberhart a total of $450 on 10/4/2016, 5/10/2016
Vince Beltrami a total of $500 on 10/27/2016
Shirley Ann Cote’ a total of $250 on 12/31/2015
Tom Begich a total of $500 on 6/5/2016
Luke Hopkins a total of $500 on 7/22/2016, 8/9/2012, 8/23/2012
Daniel (Dan) H Ortiz a total of $500 on 9/1/2016
Harry T. Crawford Jr. a total of $250 on 7/28/2016
Zach Fansler a total of $450 on 7/22/2016, 8/1/2016
Dean Westlake a total of $250 on 8/1/2016
Sue Levi a total of $300 on 10/6/2016, 12/1/2016
Adam Wool a total of $500 on 8/29/2016, 8/31/2016
Harriet A. Drummond a total of $250 on 11/2/2016
Chris Tuck a total of $200 on 8/16/2016, 8/16/2016, 10/9/2012
Maria Ann Serrano a total of $500 on 9/25/2015
George McGuan a total of $500 on 9/4/2014, 7/12/2014
Samuel Duff Combs a total of $500 on 6/24/2014
Alaska Democratic Party a total of $1550 on 12/5/2014
Dick Traini a total of $500 on 2/22/2013
Tim Steele a total of $500 on 2/22/2013
Interior Democrats a total of $100 on 5/4/2013
Nick Moe a total of $600 on 3/26/2013, 3/26/2013
Bettye Davis a total of $600 on 3/31/2013, 8/8/2012, 10/11/2012
Bob Miller a total of $150 on 8/23/2012
Joe Paskvan a total of $150 on 10/8/2012
Lupe Marroquin a total of $150 on 7/24/2012
Ron Devon a total of $200 on 11/2/2012
Paul Honeman a total of $500 on 1/21/2012
Roberta C. Goughnour a total of $150 on 8/3/2012
Patti Higgins a total of $100 on 9/21/2012
David Guttenberg a total of $200 on 8/28/2012, 10/2/2012
Greater Juneau Democratic District a total of $45 on 2/5/2011