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Rep. wants release of coastal zone donors

Posted: January 22, 2012 - 1:09am

JUNEAU — The lead sponsor of a law setting new disclosure requirements for ballot initiatives on Friday called on the organizers of a coastal management initiative to release their contribution list earlier than required.

Rep. Kyle Johansen, R-Ketchikan, said the ballot group, the Alaska Sea Party, is following the law, which calls for quarterly reports. But Johansen said it is important that lawmakers know who funded the effort.

Johansen made his call for early disclosure on the floor of the House Friday.

The Alaska Sea Party handed in signatures Tuesday in a bid to get a coastal management initiative on this year’s ballot. Lawmakers can pre-empt the measure if it qualifies by passing substantially similar legislation this session. The Division of Elections has 60 days to review the signers and make sure they’re qualified.

The Alaska Sea Party registered in October, and its latest financial disclosure, filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, shows fourth quarter contributions. It reports $67,359.64 in income, with the North Slope Borough, the Alaska Conference of Mayors and the Alaska Pribalof Island Community Development Association the biggest contributors.

Bruce Botelho, a leader of the initiative effort, said the steering committee won’t meet for another week. But he said he would recommend that it provide a status report on income and spending.

He said if it means lawmakers would be ready to start working on the coastal management issue once the report is made, “we’d be delighted,” he said.

He said the group has an “income gap” that it’s working to close.

Johansen said quarterly reporting may be a weakness of the law but says he wants to see the process play out to fully evaluate the law’s strengths and weaknesses.

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