APOC hearing on free speech has a twist

Kelly Tshibaka

One of the big takeaways from the Alaska Public Offices Commission hearing on conservative activist Kelly Tshibaka’s free speech case came down to simple math when the commission met on Thursday.

Commission staff member Tom Lucas had evidently miscalculated the amount of fine the staff recommended against Tshibaka, and in the middle of the meeting said that instead of $16,400, he was recommending $23,700 as a fine for a couple of instances of what he and APOC staff says was illegal speech. APOC governs campaign finance matters for the State of Alaska, and enforces laws and regulations pertaining to financial disclosures and now, evidently, what people can say during public and private meetings.

Tshibaka, who lost to Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2022’s senatorial election, founded a group called Preserve Democracy last December, and was a public speaker around the state and nation on the topic of transparent elections and the problems with ranked choice voting.

Election lawyer Scott Kendall, who is the architect of Alaska’s ranked choice voting system, filed numerous complaints on behalf of Alaskans for Better Elections, the group that advanced Ballot Measure 2 in 2020, against Tshibaka for speaking out against his election creation. All of the complaints were dismissed but one.

That one was heard on Thursday by the commission itself. The staff told the commission that Tshibaka and Preserve Democracy were acting as an independent expenditure group, since there was a petition being advanced by another group to repeal Ballot Measure 2.

The matter got tangled up as a couple of Democrat commissioners kept intermingling the dismissed complaint topics with the remaining complaint.

Tshibaka, through her lawyer Matt Singer, explained that she was being penalized because she opposes ranked choice voting and because she spoke out against it at events. Tshibaka said no such case would have been brought against her about the website had she not spoken against Ranked Choice Voting at events the Commission already has approved.

Singer emphasized that Tshibaka is willing to make a First Amendment case out of any adverse ruling against her, something that could end up going to the U.S. Supreme Court and could become costly for the state commission.

The commission is likely to rule on the matter before its January meeting.

A much more lively hearing was held to weigh the merits of Alaskans for Better Elections and its efforts to overturn Ballot Measure 2. That case was also brought by Alaskans for Better Elections against a group founded by Art Matthias, called Alaskans for Honest Elections. In the case, the lawyers for Alaskans for Better Elections accuse Matthias and his group of breaking various campaign laws and for using a church to funnel funds through to the Alaskans for Honest Elections group.

Alaskans for Better Elections is asking for a maximum fine for Alaskans for Honest Elections, which would be between $46,000 and $312,000, according to the group.


  1. Lets hope Singer gets a First Amendment case into court. Its about time the unconstitutional restrictions imposed by APOC were tossed. Nowhere in the Constitution- state or federal- is there an allowance that free speech is okay, but only if one files government mandated reports- or has their speech/advertising limited by APOC disclosures.

  2. We need to help these power freaks to move out of free Alaska. Free speech means you can say what you want. Look at the misinformation coming from every lying politician. The government has been spreading false narratives for a very long time like
    Weapons of mass destruction and who killed Kennedy. The money sucking lawyers are the only winners in these stupid lawsuits. Kendall needs to be sued for being a disruptor of government.

    • ….and Lisa Murkowski who is close friends with the Bidens and every person who hungers after any communist plan that has big donations attached.

  3. Are we in a Communist country? Last I checked we are not. “Illegal speech?” For stating your rightful opinion? Rest assured we are over the target. The RCV subject is the trigger. They will do everything and anything to hold onto that. Interesting that deep blue states and areas such as MA., CA., Wash DC, NYC are vehemently AGAINST RCV. Is Scott Kendall going after them? Why not?
    Take this to the Supreme Court. All the way. We can not allow these bloodsuckers to prevail.
    Now—who is the one that is thwarting “democracy”? The left’s favorite word.

  4. Alaskans for Better Elections is just another dark money (think Soros) group to interfere in actual free and fair elections. Their sole mission is to not allow a normal election process. This type of thing happens all over America as part of the lefts “Color Revolution”. Their sole mission is to cause as much chaos and division as possible. Kendall needs to be investigated; he is obviously on someone’s payroll. What kind of money is he collecting under the table and where is it coming from? This is communist subversion tactics at its best.

  5. The MO for Scott Kendall is to use APOC to punish their political enemies for daring to oppose their latest nonsense such as Rank Choice Voting. He does this through his organization Alaskans for Better Elections. This group is Kendall’s permanent ‘aggrieved party’ which files endless alleged complaints with APOC. These APOC complaints can accumulate astronomically with daily penalties for these violations. Nothing like suppressing your political opposition by using a state agency to do your dirty work.

  6. From the Kendall complaint: “Although there is some overlap, this Complaint largely concerns another entity, Preserve Democracy (“PD”), which appears to be acting as an unregistered ballot group and/or providing unreported “in kind” support to AHE, the official ballot group seeking to repeal Ballot Measure 2.” and “Moreover, PD and its CEO Ms. Tshibaka also appear to have committed other violations. PD has likely acted as an employer of a lobbyist (Ms. Tshibaka) in favor of legislation to repeal Ballot Measure 2 without registering with APOC as such or reporting any of the associated lobbying costs. Likewise, Ms. Tshibaka herself did not register as a lobbyist, which is required if PD in any way compensates her for her employment with PD. Finally, PD appears to have unlawfully participated in the April 2023 Anchorage Municipal elections without registering or reporting as required by APOC.” GASP! Didn’t properly register with the GOVERNMENT to pursue her natural right to free speech! F*ck Kendall and the APOC and the idiots in state government who put all this registration garbage into state law. If Kelly wants to run around bad mouthing Prop 2 (and what honest elections advocate doesn’t want to?) and if other citizens want to financially or in other ways support that then the GOVERNMENT should have exactly zero to say about it. Repeal these laws along with RCV and vote some people into office who understand that the State has too many laws that aren’t meant to protect our natural rights but to suppress and oppress us.

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