Alaska State Rep. Jennie Armstrong, an Anchorage Democrat who ran as a pansexual and won to represent urban Anchorage, got off easy in the complaint made against her by citizen activist Jay McDonald, who filed a report with the Alaska Public Offices Commission earlier this year saying that Armstrong had not reported a large debt she owed to election attorney Scott Kendall. McDonald also reported numerous other failings of Armstrong’s legally required filings.
Armstrong has over- and under-reported income and expenditures in various amounts, ranging from $50 to about $2,600. APOC staff investigated McDonald’s allegations and found that each of Armstrong’s reports was inaccurate to some degree, and they were in violation of Alaska Statute. A maximum penalty can be made of between $50 and $500 a day, depending on the violation.
But Armstrong is an inexperienced filer, the commission decided, and therefore, reduced the final penalty by about 99%. The Instead of a $32,392 penalty for five inaccurate reports, the commission let her off the hook with less than $324 in fines.
McDonald had also filed a complaint that Armstrong owed a personal debt of nearly $15,000 to lawyer Scott Kendall, which she did not disclose in her required filings. She had hired Kendall to defend her right to run for office, since her recent arrival in Alaska had brought lawsuits against her due to residency issues.
Armstrong barely made the two-year residency requirement; she convinced the court that she had really moved to Alaska and into the district she represents in time to run for office for District 16, Anchorage.
Ultimately the commission fined her $405 for this violation of nondisclosure because, again, she was “an inexperienced filer.”
But the commission dismissed another allegation that she has a close association with Kendall, even though he was an advocate for ranked choice voting and the preservation of his brainchild, Ballot Measure 2, which established Alaska’s unique voting system.
The total penalties for Armstrong by the commission are $728.92. She may appeal it to the Alaska Superior Court within 30 days or ask the Commission to reconsider it within 15 days.