APOC staff puts chill on free speech as it recommends fining Preserve Democracy group $16,000

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A chill is in the air for free speech in Alaska, after the staff of Alaska Public Offices Commission on Friday gave oxygen to a lengthy “lawfare” complaint against a national group, based in Alaska, called Preserve Democracy, which is fighting ranked choice voting schemes like the one Alaskans for Better Elections designed for Alaska.

On the website, Preserve Democracy talks about its national mission to preserve election integrity. Its founder, Kelly Tshibaka, ran against Sen. Lisa Murkowski and lost in 2022, and she immediately began working on a national project to warn Americans about what open primaries and ranked choice voting does to democracy.

But APOC staff now believes because she advocated publicly for a repeal of Ballot Measure 2, she was somehow coordinating with another Alaska-based group, called Alaskans for Honest Elections, led by Art Matthias. That group filed a petition application with the lieutenant governor to get a repeal on the 2024 ballot for the Ballot Measure 2 that brought open primaries and ranked choice voting into existence.

Tshibaka argues that her work began immediately after the election cycle ended and that she stood up her nonprofit as soon as possible. Her free speech rights are now being curtailed a the request of Scott Kendall, the lawyer for Ballot Measure 2.

APOC, while rejecting most of Kendall’s claims against Tshibaka, says that because of her statements at certain public events in support of the petition by Honest Elections, Tshibaka is running a group that comes under the speech regulation thumb of APOC, and should be fined over $16,000 for supporting the repeal of Ballot Measure 2.

Alaska Statute says that anyone who tries to influence an application for an initiative is regulated by APOC.

Most Alaskans in the political arena assume that regulated speech only happens after the lieutenant governor certifies a petition as ready to accept signatures. But another interpretation is that the campaign rules apply the moment a group submits the petition language for approval.

The problem is, that no one but the applying group knows when that application has been submitted and when their speech might be suddenly regulated.

Only one basic claim by Kendall is being supported by APOC staff, and that will go to the APOC commission for a final decision. If the decision by the commission goes against Tshibaka, she will have a First Amendment case to take all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Alaskans to determine if a person can, at a meeting, answer a sidebar question about the efforts of another group.

The complaint by Kendall also accused Tshibaka of lobbying, because during a Must Read Alaska podcast, she said she was advocating that the Legislature overturn ranked choice voting. Kendall complained that she is not a registered lobbyist. The agency found no evidence she had lobbied, other than testimony in committee, which had been invited testimony.

Although there is ample evidence that Alaskans for Better Elections coordinated with sitting Sen. Lisa Murkowski to install a new voting system in Alaska that would allow Murkowski to avoid a Republican Party primary, no legal action has been successful against that group, which now has a mission, supported by outsiders with money, to keep in place the system it convinced voters to pass under the marketing of “stop dark money in Alaska elections.”

43 COMMENTS

  1. I like Kelly but I have a grievance against the name of her group. Somebody, somewhere needs to start emphasizing the reality of our country being a REPUBLIC and DE-emphasizing the bad D word. So I wish she hadn’t called her group Preserving Democracy. We have been indoctrinated with that terminology for so many years that most people either shrug their shoulders or actually don’t know the difference.

    • I agree with you on the name of the organization. Not the best name choice, but as far as Kelly, she is a fighter that is putting her life on hold to rid us of RCV. I’m grateful to her for that and will continue to support her efforts. Alaska needs election integrity now. Dunleavy needs to make it his personal mission to cleanup our rigged election system.

    • Gretchen OBarr, yes, our nation is founded upon a constitution guaranteeing protection of each individual American’s God-given, sovereign rights. It is why our nation is called a constitutional republic. However, our constitution also includes democratic features. One example is how we conduct elections. That is, a candidate can win or lose with only 50% + 1 vote. Unlike with our civil rights, which are immutable, in elections we win or lose. If you know a better election process we are all waiting to hear about it.
      .
      Inasmuch as Tshibaka’s organization focuses on democratically-conducted elections, then it makes sense for her to use the word “democracy.”

  2. Wouldn’t it be be great if Mr. Kendall had enough love of his country and used his talents for the good of our republic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay as well. But here’s to hoping.

  3. With Kendall involved I hope he looses and gets sued for lying and using his influence to get what he wants. He needs to be stopped.

  4. These APOC rules are very confusing. So is APOC saying Kelly can not talk about the initiative to repeal RCV? It’s 2 different groups. The participants have made that clear at many events. They have common ground but different goals. And if Kelly can’t talk about it, can anyone? I get that APOC is there to make politics more transparent but it’s being used as a club to shut people up by an attorney(s) in this case. It also gives people pause who are considering running for office or trying to participate in politics.

  5. RTV favors no political party, it’s just that some people don’t understand it and I question if they have enough intelligence to vote anyway.
    The Honorable Senator from the great State of Alaska Murkowski proved that primaries are not effective, just ask Joe Miller.
    You lost Kelly, fair and square 😉

      • Masked Avenger;

        Big on military spending, highway construction with new bridges everywhere in Alaska, broadband for rural, infrastructure package, 3 fighter squadrons, helped fund worlds deadliest U.S. Navy destroyer and was endorsed by the honorable Senator Ted Stevens.
        Legislated new Coast Guard Cruisers, all with federal money that would have been spent anyway, and much, much more, not to mention she was born in Alaska, hard worker, always fighting for our state.
        Summarize; Lisa brings home the bacon.
        She serves on several senate committees, highly respected by Senate Republican leaders, colleagues all rise when she takes the senate floor.
        With Senator Sullivan, is Alaska’s double barrel shotgun 😉

        • Fighters have been in state for over 40 years. Giving Lisa credit for them is a bit of a stretch.

          OTOH, you need to revise your broadband cheerleading to grift, funneling taxpayer dollars into communications companies who in turn donate to her campaigns, not unlike what the unions do to democrats. Starlink is available, selling units and service statewide, with reliability and up/down speeds comparable with broadband here in ANC, all without a dime of taxpayer $$$.

          Lisa as a hard worker? As long as it benefits her, I suppose. You might want to investigate what she, the Usual Suspects from the native activist community and Biden Interior people were doing in state over the summer, especially given the State wasn’t invited to the meetings. I sense a disturbance in the Force. And Lisa is in the fat middle of it. Cheers –

        • So your premise seems to be if Princess overspends on pork you approve of, she’s honorable?

          Any chance of accepting your fiction that you are right of center just died a really ugly death.

        • I’m gonna have more fun with this. It’s too easy not to;

          How Princess is “honorable”

          -she creates a way to circumvent the GOP to keep from losing her senate seat. She circumvents election rules a lot.

          -she loves killing babies.

          -she voted against Justice Kavanaugh, despite him being totally railroaded. Then voted “present”.

          She follows that up with voting for the marginally affirmative action SCOTUS member.

          -she voted to impeach Trump.

          -she is a valued ally of Mitch McConnell.

          -she loves her some pork.

          -she helped bring back earmarks.

          -she voted to confirm Myorkas.

          -she supported most of Biden’s spend America into oblivion acts.

          And so, so, so much more.

          Seems 3rd and I have two very different definitions of “honorable”.

          • Great response to the mindless pro-establishment drivel of 3rdGenerationAlaskan, TMA! You have more patience than I in even deigning to address in detail his inanities and contemptible support for ever-swampy Princess Lisa.

    • If your great “State of Alaska Murkowski” was the least bit “Honorable” she would return the stolen money she received from Sam”the Bankman”Fried instead of hiding it with her other family grifting nonprofits.
      Investigators are actively trying to return the embezzled funds to their rightful owners.
      She knows this as well as you do yet you refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing on her part.
      Knowingly receiving and concealing stolen property is a crime…. unless you vote democrat and support the Biden crime family.
      The Murkowskis and Peltolas are as corrupt as the Bidens.

      • Your answer confirms Lisa Murkowski is as guilty as Joe and Hunter Biden but is totally immune from prosecution simply because she supports Joe and all his criminal activity and will defend him to the end. She is just another evil swamp creature that President Trump tried to uproot but just like the hooligans they are they stick together like smashed bugs on a bumper.
        She showed her true colors long ago when she voted against Brett Cavinaugh because of a phony accusation so far from the past she couldnt even remember details about the alleged incident that wasnt worth reporting at the time. Blousey Ford should be investigated for perjury but just like Liza she skates away from criminal activity.
        Daddys shoe in should be tossed but as long as she has you fooled her criminal conduct is not only allowed but applauded.
        I have to give some credit to your cheerleading posts but sadly they are on the wrong side of the law.

    • You lost me at honorable. Murkowski is a snake on par with McConnell. Why do you dislike 1 voter, 1 vote? Ranked Steal Voting is ripe with fraud. As the criminal foreign agent Biden says, it isn’t who votes, it is who counts the votes!

    • 3rd Generation, you imply you understand RCV better than some with less intelligence. If so, kindly explain the precise sequence of events that must unfold to trigger my fourth-ranked candidate choice to be utilized.

    • More “honorableness” from Princess

      -all Ukraine, all the time. Even at the expense of the US military she allegedly loves.

    • Its very clear that the woman is a democrat and if that is ones persuasion then you got what you wanted thanks to RCV.

    • RINO Murkowski used her position and influence as a sitting Senator to change the voting rules to strongly favor herself. It’s no different than what the Democraps have been doing for the last few years. They’re working hard at changing state and federal voting rules to ensure that they remain in power forevermore. There’s nothing surprising about them using the same strategy. The RINO’s and the Democraps are members of the same party, the Deep State Uniparty, otherwise known as the swamp.

    • Sorry you lost most of us when you referred to Murkowski as honorable. She showed her Rino colors loud and clear when she fully supported the grifter aka Petola for Congress. Lisa calls herself a Republican yet she rolls non stop with the far left wing of the Dem party, including Petola. Hardly honorable, it shows she has no problem with saying one thing and doing another.

  6. RCV feels unstitutional to me in conflict with the plain English of the US Constitution , one man one vote is not one man four preferences in order. Different words mean different things and feels like a scheme, scam and a fraud and a state sheriff would declare it in violation of the plain, proper language of the US Constitution and is therefore null and void from inception and without effect.

    • I think (big word in this matter) its constitutionality come from the lack of prohibitions in how votes are cast.

      RVC, ranking, isn’t expressly forbidden by the US Constitution. As such, it bounces back to each state to chose if they want it.

      I agree it’s slimy, but it appears more Constitutional than not.

      • Anything in conflict with the US Constitution is void for effect. The US Constitution always wins. To change this foundation law of nation creation the process due is a having a continental Constitutional convention held as when the nation and Constitution were adopted by the Continental Congress: ergo there is “Congress shall make no law…” alienating rights. States are not free to break the US Constitutional declarations either. Not the process due for changing the US constitutionally; bad legal advice freely given notwithstanding as a popular contemporary custom.

  7. I read this twice. Far as I can tell Kendall wants to fine Kelly for disagreeing with him in public.

    Wonder how the PM radio host feels about this? This what he wanted? He worked hard to bring it to life.

  8. APOC is too woke to allow the first amendment. They know better than we the people; aren’t we Alaskans lucky to have such wise rulers? Who needs we the people in AK? We apparently have APOC for that instead. Wonder where they were delegated “all political power remaining in the people” as plainly expressed in proper English in the US Constitution? Did I miss a constitutional convention? What date was it held? ‘Cuz that is the process that is due to make that sort of “change”. Nothing else is. Not even whispering, demure, garden party manners.

  9. Isn’t kendall doing what he’s charging Kelly with – influencing an initiative? This slimey creep needs to be disbarred, then exiled to another planet.

    • Thank you, Rich – I agree with you entirely. As for RCV, it was made to let two lesser candidates take out a front runner that they could not touch otherwise. If that isn’t vote manipulation I don’t know what is.

  10. Sounds as if Kendall is an admirer of DOJ attorney Jack Smith who files frivolous lawsuits designed to harass his political opponents, only to have his prosecutions overturned by the appellate courts. Scum.

  11. Third Generation Alaskan & Scott Kindell need to go on a double date with Christopher Constant & Felix Rivera “CONSTANT FELICKS’s” and hopefully catch and give each other some DNC love….

    “HIV”

  12. Tell that to the Bidens, Clinton’s, and the Murkowski’s…. How does someone who makes $175,000 a year have $20-million in the bank. (1+1 = 200) really???

    SERIOUSLY: you sound like an “Idiot”

    Nothing to see here… “nothing to see”

    INFLATION, EDUCATION, ENERGY, NEWS, U.S. BORDER, MILITARY, UKRAINE…. We are at a full out take over of our country, at many espionagic levels…

    You “I like my man/coffee BLACK” need to pull your head out of where “Constant Felick’s” sun don’t shine and WAKE UP!

    One of your own; former DNC, Tulsi Gabbard a Hawaii U.S. Legislator, renounced being a Democrat and left the party with all this insanity! As well as I have too!

    “DEMOCRATS ARE FOR COMMUNISM”
    bottom line, not for the rest of us American people!

    DEMOCRATS are not the party I grew up with, and are a traitor to our democracy and everything for which it stands for of our REPUBLIC! TRUMP 2024!!!

    *gaslighting from the TRUTH
    again rhinos/democrats…

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