Enough is enough! Three years ago Assemblyman Jim Powell's campaign for re-election mistakenly reported each of its expenses at the time its bill was received, rather than at the time the expense was contracted. This was in violation of the Alaska Public Offices Commission's rule which requires expenses to be disclosed on the date they are accrued, even if, in the absence of a bill, the campaign must estimate what the cost will be. The rule is a complex one, and APOC has stated that many candidates make the same mistake.
APOC also attributed Mr. Powell's error to an honest misunderstanding and noted that his campaign had exhibited "good faith" by fully cooperating with its staff "in a prompt and thorough manner." Mr. Powell took full responsibility for his mistake, apologized and paid the fine assessed by APOC.
One would expect that to be the end of the matter. However, recent vitriolic letters to the editor from Betsy Fischer, who as campaign manager for Powell's opponent three years ago filed the complaint with APOC and who later publicly stated that she accepted the Commission's findings, as well as from John Bishop, who blames Democrats for every pestilence known to mankind, have insinuated that Mr. Powell is a terrible person.
The Empire, obviously biased against Powell, has piled on by pulling an old newspaper trick run a story, then run a correction, then another and another, just to keep the issue alive. When I was earning a journalism degree and then working as a reporter and editor, that was known as yellow journalism. I haven't heard that the label has changed.
In the meantime, during his term of office, Mr. Powell has been doing his job as an intelligent, conscientious and fair-minded assemblyman (if he hadn't, you surely would have had many more letters to the editor in recent years).
That's why I am pleased to be able to vote for Jim Powell's re-election on Oct. 2, and I urge you to join me.
Gordon E. Evans
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.