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Incomplete coverage

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2001

The Juneau Empire's story in Sunday's paper on municipal election campaign finances omitted important facts regarding Jim Powell's 1998 re-election campaign. The story reads "Powell's reporting was $3,200 off." That is correct information. The Powell campaign failed to report $3,200 in expenses and they were 234 days late in disclosing this information to the APOC office.

However, the findings of the APOC office cite several other violations by the Powell campaign. Thirty days before the election the Powell campaign failed to report $7,437 in accrued expenses. They disclosed this information 58 days late, 28 days after the election. The APOC staff wrote "the omission was significant and potentially misled the public."

Seven days before the election the Powell campaign failed to report $10,020 in accrued expenses. The APOC staff wrote "Because the amount of accrued expenses that were omitted was substantial, the campaign's 7 Day Report was incomplete until Nov. 5, 1998, a total of 37 days." The 7 Day Report is the last report disclosed to the public prior to the election and provides vital information to the public about a candidate's campaign activities immediately before the election. Many voters use this information to make their decision about which candidate to vote for.

Ten days after the election, the Powell campaign failed to report $4,474 in accrued expenses. Again, this failure to report was substantial. The 10 Day Report discloses important information about a campaign's activities just prior to and after the election. The omissions cited above total $25,131.00!

I believe the Juneau Empire's failure to report the complete facts surrounding Jim Powell's 1998 APOC violations is misleading to the public. The cycle of misinformation involving Jim Powell and his 1998 campaign treasurer, Juneau's State House Rep. Beth Kerttula, seems to be never-ending. When will the public be provided with full and complete information regarding Powell's election campaigns? Why can't the Juneau Empire simply report the facts?

Betsy Fischer

Juneau



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