Alaskans turning to the state's Official Election Pamphlet this year to find out more information about the candidates might notice the omission of Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, among others.
Edwards, along with 13 other state and national political candidates, did not submit information to the Alaska Division of Elections to have his picture and biographical information included in the pamphlet.
None of the excluded candidates was from Southeast Alaska. Other candidates left out include Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, D-Anchorage; Rep. Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue; and Democratic U.S. House of Representatives candidate Thomas Higgins.
State law requires candidates for president and vice president to pay $300 each to be included in the pamphlet. Candidates for the Legislature must pay $100.
Phyllice Bradner of Juneau said she was shocked last week when she opened the pamphlet and found Edwards, Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Patricia LaMarche and others missing. Bradner, 59, a former graphic designer who produced campaign signs and brochures for various candidates over the years, said the state should provide the information as a service to voters, regardless of whether the candidates pay.
"I'm aghast to think that an informational brochure mandated should cost something like an advertising space," she said. "If the state mandates that you have to have the information on all the candidates and all the issues, how can you leave that out?"
Suzanne Mullen, the state's Official Election Pamphlet coordinator, said she sent requests for information in June. She said the deadline for president and vice president was Aug. 30, and the deadline for other candidates was July 22, according to state law.
Mullen said she made several attempts to contact candidates who had not paid or submitted information. She said she contacted the Kerry-Edwards campaign on the filing deadline but was told that they had decided not to pay for the page.
With two hours left, Mullen called Bridget Gallagher, executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party. "She ran $300 over to the office and had time enough for Kerry's page but didn't have time for Edwards'," Mullen said.
Gallagher said she contacted the Kerry-Edwards campaign and was told that they were not going to submit the material and pay the cost to be included in the book. Gallagher said she paid the cost and wrote the biographical information because, "We didn't want them to go unlisted."
Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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