Here’s where the money’s being spent in the Anchorage election

(Anchorage Municipal Clerk's Office)

Another year, another Anchorage election that we told ourselves we would get around to covering at some point in the whirlwind that is the Alaska legislative session.

Anyways, today’s the final day to get your by-mail ballots postmarked to be counted in the election that will decide 11 propositions, three assembly races and two school board races. If history is any indicator, we’ll start to results late tonight with regular updates released in the afternoon on following days.

Locations of accessible voting centers and secure drop-boxes can be found here. The accessible voting centers and drop boxes will be closed at 8 p.m., ballots must be postmarked by today.

Alcohol Tax

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz proposed the 5 percent tax on alcohol sales late last year, covering both beverages sold at bars and restaurants and package store sales. The tax is estimated to raise about $13 million annually with those funds going to “alcohol and substance misuse prevention and treatment, community behavioral health programs, public safety, and homelessness prevention and response, including abatement of prohibited campsites.”

The measure has easily drawn the most spending this cycle with a total of $367,828.86 total spent on independent expenditures according to reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission as of Monday afternoon. That money breaks down into $297,411.36 spent to oppose the measure, with funds mostly coming from the Alaska Beer Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association Inc, CHARR and the companies like Anheuser Busch, MillerCoors and even a contribution from the Anchorage-based King Street Brewing.

The support for the measure has totaled $70,417.50 from a combination of spending by Recover Alaska and the “Yes for a Safer Anchorage” group, which reports a $10,000 contribution from IAFF Local 1264 PAC, a $10,000.00 contribution from Brown Jug and a $2,500 contribution from the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association as its income, as well as multiple small contributions.

Outside money

The alcohol tax isn’t the only place where money from the Lower 48 is seeking to influence the Anchorage elections.

Families of the Last Frontier, a proxy group for national conservative groups, has poured more than $106,945.34 into the two nonpartisan Anchorage School Board. It’s an unprecedented amount of national attention for the usually lower-profile school district races. Much of the funding comes from the national GOPAC, a group that’s designed to find and promote emerging conservative candidates.

Those candidates are conservatives Kai Binkley Sims, who’s been on the receiving end of $55,083.59 of independent expenditures, and also-ran David Nees, who’s on the receiving end of $17,287.25.

The group has also targeted their opponents with matching $17,287.25 spends targeting Margo Bellamy (who’s running against Binkley Sims for an open seat on the board) and Starr Marsett (the board’s president who’s fending off a challenge by Nees). Bellamy and Marsett both have been on the receiving end of smaller, supportive independent expenditures cut by Putting Alaskans First Committee, an independent expenditure group funded largely by union contributions, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. Both candidates’ supportive expenditures are less than $5,000 in total.

Individual candidate fundraising

We pulled the seven-day reports from last week to build these numbers. These figures won’t reflect 24-hour reports that have come in since this filing deadline. Those reports are only required to cover contributions above $250.

RaceCandidateCampaign Income TotalCampaign Expense TotalClosing Cash On Hand
Assembly District 2 - AOliver Schiess$11,904.11$11,770.68$133.43
Assembly District 2 - ACrystal Kennedy$34,974.59$26,180.29$8,794.30
Assembly District 3 - DKameron Perez-Verdia$68,706.00$41,050.12$27,655.88
Assembly District 3 - DDustin Thomas House Darden$0.00$0.00$0.00
Assembly District 3 - DLiz Vazquez$22,456.00$19,186.09$3,269.91
Assembly District 4 - FMeg Zaletel$46,073.39$38,633.13$7,940.26
Assembly District 4 - FChristine Hill$44,092.99$40,798.71$3,294.28
Assembly District 5 - HForrest Dunbar$66,972.54$41,344.38$27,043.29
Assembly District 5 - JJohn Weddleton$54,351.59$36,066.86$19,363.75
School Board Seat AMARGO Bellamy$46,188.33$21,877.38$24,310.95
School Board Seat AKAI BINKLEY SIMS$57,793.60$32,624.50$25,169.10
School Board Seat BStarr Marsett$12,580.00$12,088.94$3,731.94
School Board Seat BDavid Nees$8,300.00$7,108.00$1,192.00
School Board Seat BRon Stafford$0.00$0.00$0.00

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3 Comments on "Here’s where the money’s being spent in the Anchorage election"

  1. It’s crazy to me that the 2nd and 4th highest fundraisers were both unopposed. Why the need to hoard resources like that? [thinking face emoji]

    • Both are “running for mayor,” that’s why.
      Watch their Assembly voting records, not so much about cutrent Anchorage needs as trying to stack chips in future race.

  2. Really running for mayor next election, that’s why. Also watch their Assembly voting record. Instead of focusing on what’s good for Anchorage now, they’re trying to get elected bext msyoral election.

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