Alaska regulators planned disclosure on initiative

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010

FAIRBANKS - Supporters of an initiative to ban the use of public money for lobbying or campaigning say Alaska regulators were seeking more financial disclosure before supporters withdrew.

The supporters, Clean Team Alaska, received the bulk of their money from the Anchorage-based Alaskans for Open Government.

Attorney Ken Jacobus, of Anchorage, the deputy treasurer for Alaskans for Open Government, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that state officials told him last month they planned to extend tougher reporting requirements to his group.

Jacobus said that move would have required Americans for Limited Government, a group in Washington, D.C., that supports Alaskans for Open Government, to identify its major contributors.

Jacobus said the Washington group was unwilling to disclose that information.

When announcing it would suspend its campaign last week, Clean Team Alaska also accused state executives of trying to sink the measure by inappropriately tinkering with its title last month.

Dick Randolph, chairman of Clean Team Alaska, quit his post Tuesday, citing a "culture of (state) corruption" that he said his measure sought to help correct.

"The blatant disregard for the law by people in highly influential positions of power is appalling," Randolph said.

Jacobus said the prospect of tougher financial reporting provided the second reason that initiative supporters closed up shop last week. Americans for Limited Government had to date contributed $142,500 to the campaign behind Ballot Measure 1, he said.

Both Randolph and Jacobus said they'll still encourage voters to support the proposition, which has drawn opposition from union, municipal and business groups.

In addition to banning the use of public money for lobbying or campaigning, it would also block people and groups affiliated with unions and companies that hold government contracts from making financial contributions.

The measure has been alternately called an "anti-corruption" act by supporters and a "gag measure" by critics.



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