Group seeking public funding of elections loses

Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010

JUNEAU - A group supporting publicly financed elections has lost its fight over a failed ballot initiative.

The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling siding with then-Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell in his refusal to certify an initiative proposed by Alaskans for Clean Elections.

The initiative proposed a system of publicly financed elections, and a special tax on oil produced in Alaska to fund the system. Parnell determined the language violated a single-subject requirement for initiatives.

He approved a later version that removed the tax provision. Voters defeated it in 2008.

Attorney Eric Croft, who represented the ballot group, said it had options, such as putting two initiatives on the ballot, one for each question. But he said that would have been expensive.

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