SHADES OF LITIGATION TO COME FROM YES ON 1 ADVOCATES?
The “Stand for Salmon” advocacy group changed the name of its campaign to “Yes for Salmon” to match the goal of communicating to voters what the group wants them to do in November.
That goal is to get voters to pick “yes” on Ballot Measure No. 1, should it survive a court challenge.
Another group emerged to get voters to say “no.” That group is “Stand for Alaska – No on 1,” and it’s pushing hard to educate the public about the dangers of Ballot Measure 1.
Now, Stand for Salmon wants Stand for Alaska to change its name. It’s gone to the Alaska Public Offices Commission with a set of demands.
As a harbinger for lawsuits that would surely come with passage of Ballot Measure 1, Stand for Salmon has complained to APOC that the Stand For Alaska group has a name that is confusingly similar to Stand for Salmon.
Stand for Salmon says that the name Stand for Alaska, is just too ambiguous.
The group has asked for, and last week was denied, an expedited decision from APOC on the matter.
APOC wisely appears to be in no hurry to tell any group they cannot call themselves Stand for Alaska, when so many groups have names like “Alaska’s Future,” “Families for Alaska,” and other names that are just as vaguely aspirational.
Stand for Alaska responded to the complaint that “to the extent that Complainant sees to interfere with Respondent using Stand for Alaska as part of its name, Complainant’s request runs smack into SFA – Vote No on 1’s first amendment rights to the name of its choice, so long as it meets statutory requirements, which it clearly does. Complainant has no right to dictate Respondent’s choice of name.”
In other words Stand for Alaska could call itself “Salmon Lovers Need Houses Too” or “Puppies and Kittens Against Ballot Measure One.” It’s not up to Stand for Salmon to choose an opposing group’s name.
“We believe that, in light of SFA – Vote No on One’s actions taken to comply with the law, and with the length of time yet remaining until the election, Stand for Salmon’s request for expedited treatment is baseless and, frankly, reflects a bad faith attempt to use APOC as an electioneering ploy to salvage its faltering campaign,” wrote the Stand for Alaska – Vote No on 1 attorney, Thomas Amodio.
APOC spent 20 minutes on the matter and denied the expedited hearing.
WHAT IS BALLOT MEASURE 1?
Ballot Measure 1 is an attempt to block the development of industry or construction in any watershed that is related to anadromous fish habitat. That’s a lot of Alaska — and a lot of Alaskans are concerned by its language. From home builders to bridge builders, there is opposition to the measure’s stringent environmental language, and opposition is coming from the hardhat sector all the way up to the governor.
But who isn’t for salmon, clean water, and habitat? The war for the hearts and votes of Alaskans continues.
Read the Initiative that Stand for Salmon has proposed for the November ballot:
A ruling from the State Supreme Court is expected soon on whether the ballot measure is even legal. The ballot printing deadline for the General Election is Sept. 5, but if the Supreme Court waits too long, it may be difficult to resolve aspects of the ballot language that the court may carve out as unconstitutional.