The Alaska Public Offices Commission says that the law that limits contributions to Alaska campaigns to $500 per year per candidate will stand for now, in spite of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that it is unconstitutional. The commission is waiting for the final order from the court.
“The 9th Circuit’s decision in this case is not technically effective yet. The court’s mandate will issue, making the decision effective, seven days after the deadline for filing a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc if the state does not file a petition. If the state does file a petition and it’s denied, the mandate will issue seven days after the denial order. As such, the state’s $500 contribution limits that have been found unconstitutional are technically still in effect now and until a mandate is issued,” APOC said in a statement.
The State of Alaska has not yet appealed the ruling and has not indicated if it intends to do so. Leading Democrats want the court’s ruling appealed because they get most of their campaign funds from unions, and the $500 limit harms Republicans the most, as they do not typically get union support.
The state law limiting campaign contributions to $500 does not apply to federal campaigns, which are covered by Federal Election Commission regulations.
The limits apply to the governor’s race on down to school board elections. A person may donate $500 per calendar year to a declared candidate’s campaign account, which means typically no more than $1,000 over a two-year cycle. Many candidates declare in the year prior to the election year in order to be able to banks the bigger donations needed to run an effective campaign.