Rep. Mary and Gene Peltola may not be millionaires yet. But using the Nancy and Paul Pelosi Playbook, they may be millionaires soon: Get the wife into Congress, and then the husband can peddle influence and make investments based on valuable intel and leverage acquired in Washington, D.C. and other seats of power.
Gene Peltola is making deals, and Rep. Mary Peltola already is on the record supporting legislation that makes those transactions valuable.
Gene Peltola didn’t wait for Mary to get elected before he started peddling his influence. After Mary Peltola had made the “final four” for the special general election to replace Congressman Don Young, Gene Peltola was already busy setting up a business with three other individuals. Through a lobbyist contract, he got a meeting with Gov. Mike Dunleavy to get his brand-new Alaska Carbon Solutions business a piece of the pie of the carbon trading program the governor is trying to set up.
Contracts in this sector are worth millions of dollars and Gene Peltola needed work. With Mary Peltola likely heading for Congress, he’d be leaving the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Gene Peltola’s meeting with the governor that concerned his new business venture took place in mid-July, at the same time he was the most senior executive for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Alaska.
“Regional Director – Mr. Eugene R. Peltola, Jr., retired on July 29, 2022. Our Region will have Acting RDs until the position is permanently filled,” the BIA’s website reports.
According to the Alaska Landmine, a left-leaning blog that first reported the scent of corruption, Gene Peltola said he retired in May. But the official record shows differently.
Gene Peltola and his company made a pitch to the governor on July 11, 2022, while Gene was still a federal employee,
On July 5, Gene Peltola and two of his business partners met with Gov. Dunleavy in Anchorage. On July 10 they met with the governor in Houston, where Dunleavy had traveled to work on Alaska natural gasline issues.
Then, on July 11, Alaska Carbon Solutions was registered with the Department of Commerce.
As a federal official in senior ranks, Gene Peltola is still covered by the Federal Ethics law, which is designed to prevent corruption in government. For those in senior positions, there’s a one-year cooling off period that they must abide by after leaving government service before working in any business enterprise for which they had government oversight or involvement.
“This statute prohibits a Federal employee from participating personally and substantially, on behalf of the Federal Government, in any particular matter in which he or she has a financial interest. In addition, the statute provides that the financial interests of certain other ‘persons’ are treated as the employee’s interests. These other persons include the employee’s spouse; minor child; general partner; an organization in which he or she serves as an officer, trustee, partner, or employee; and any person or organization with whom the employee is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning future employment,” the law reads at 18 U.S.C. § 208.
In 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502, “You must take appropriate steps to avoid any appearance of loss of impartiality in the performance of your official duties. An employee should not participate in a particular matter involving specific parties if it is likely to affect the financial interests of a member of the employee’s household, or if the employee knows that he or she has a ‘covered relationship’ with a party or party representative in such matter, and where the employee believes that a reasonable person would question his or her impartiality in the matter. The term ‘covered relationship’ includes a wide variety of personal and business relationships that an employee or his or her family members may have with outside parties.”
Rep. Mary Peltola repeated many times on the campaign trail that she is “not a millionaire,” referring to her main competitors Nick Begich and Sarah Palin.
While all this was going on with her husband, Mary Peltola was pushing for the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a massive climate change bill that has a section devoted to carbon credits.
That federal law includes $369 billion in green energy initiatives and “includes funding to encourage carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project,” according to the Department of Energy. It’s the sweet spot for Gene Peltola and his Alaska Carbon Solutions LLC.
Now as congresswoman, Mary Peltola serves on the House Natural Resource Committee and House Transportation Committee, both of which address carbon credit issues. Already, Mary Peltola has influence on the Ambler project, which Gene Peltola is also working on through his side company Peltola Solutions.