Election oversight agency recommends fines for group trying to repeal ranked-choice voting

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The Alaska Public Offices Commission has decided that the group trying to repeal ranked-choice voting in Alaska illegally moved money through a church in Washington State called the Ranked Choice Education Association.

According to APOC, Art Mathias, who is the leader of Alaskans for Honest Elections, sent some $90,000 to the Ranked Choice Education Association, which is registered as a church in Washington state, and some of that money then came back to Alaskans for Honest Elections as a contribution.

Another group, called Alaskans for Better Elections, which is responsible for bringing open primaries and ranked-choice general elections to Alaska, filed an extensive complaint with APOC about the efforts of Alaskans for Honest Elections, which is trying to undo the new voting method.

One of the key points of the complaint is that Matthias moved his money to a nonprofit church so that he could reap a tax benefit, knowing full well the church, which he controlled, would move the money to Alaskans for Honest Elections, which has no tax exemption from the IRS.

Kevin Clarkson, an attorney for Alaskans for Honest Elections, said the group will appeal the decision.

“The Respondents disagree in large part with the APOC staff’s conclusions and will file a response to the report within the deadline,” Clarkson wrote.

“With respect to the alleged donation in the name of another, APOC staff has (1) improperly charged Ranked Choice Education Association with a violation of the statute despite the fact that RCEA gave its donations to Alaskans for Honest Elections in its own name; (2) improperly double charged and fined both RCEA and Mr. Matthias with violations of the statute (AS 15.13.074(b)) as if there were two donations to AHE—one totaling $79,000 and another totaling $90,000–when there was only one set of donations going to AHE totaling about $79,000; (3) improperly charged Mr. Matthias with violating the statute for giving $90,000 to RCEA despite the fact that he made that perfectly legal donation in his own name—the point should have been only the $79,000 that went from RCEA to AHE in RCEA’s name; (4) has misapplied the statute—designed to prevent contributors from violating limitations and prohibitions of the campaign finance laws, like donation limits (think the old $500 limit) or donor prohibitions (think labor unions or lobbyists who aren’t permitted to donate)—to a situation where no limitation or prohibition was circumvented (Mr. Matthias could have legally given all the money to AHE himself, he announced publicly that he was giving the money, and RCEA even reported that Matthias was the “true source” of the $79,000); and (5) has applied the law in a way that violates the First Amendment. All non-profits (like RCEA or the Alaskans for Better Elections Foundation) raise their funds through donations and then they donate to the ballot groups they support (like AHE or ABE),” Clarkson wrote.

“The staff has made it impossible for a non-profit to make contributions to a ballot group without subjecting their donors to charges of donating in the name of another. For example, on June 26, 2023, ABEF [Alaskans for Better Elections Foundation] contributed $20,000 to ABE [Alaskans for Better Elections]. Does that mean that ABEF’s donors gave to ABE illegally in the name of ABEF rather than in their own names?” Clarkson wrote.

The matter appears to have First Amendment aspects to it, although Clarkson did not raise that in his explanation.

The staff of APOC will take their recommendations of fines to the commission, which makes the final decision. The staff says Alaskans for Honest Elections should be fined over $10,000, and that Alaskans for Honest Government should be fined over $3,000 for related violations relating to the group’s support for the repeal of ranked-choice voting. The staff recommends that Mathias and his Washington church be fined a combined total of $42,500.

Alaskans for Honest Elections is in the process of gathering some 26,000 signatures to put the repeal of the ranked choice voting method on the ballot in 2024. It has until early next year to turn in the signatures to the Division of Elections.

59 COMMENTS

  1. This is just more politicization and weaponization of state and ruling class establishment forces against those who dare stand against that establishment, as well as another example of the growing authoritarianism and tyranny in this country.

    Freedom is rarely lost all at once; instead, it is whittled away little by little by sociopaths in their endless lust for total power. This is yet another example of that process in action.

    • Yes Jefferson well stated. This is another leftist move to beat down any oppression of their rules or power. I bet Kendal is knee deep in this. Nonprofits are not a good business models as there is lots of intractable dollars moving around with stupid rules attached to them. The nonprofits use our infrastructure and should be taxed accordingly.

    • So when do we bring A2 into the mix with these commie traitors?? That’s all liberals are and they need to be dealt with

    • Good summation, Jefferson. RCV was brought to Alaska by little twirp Scott Kendall and the union bosses in both trade unions and public employee unions. Their primary goals are to elect liberal Democrats and to take as much money from US taxpayers as possible …….for themselves and for their communist organizations. Traitorous Lisa Murkowski would gladly support them just to be able to keep her title as US Senator. That’s how it worked.

  2. Alaskans for Better Elections is a Soros-backed group probably using Soros money to stop the Repeal Ranked Choice Voting from getting to the 2024 ballot. Satan’s minions will stop at nothing to try to bring down anything that is legal, ethical and fair.

    • Ginny, Thanks for the informative info!! Anything George SOROS is involved in should be at the top of all Conservatives list to take down!!

  3. Typical Scott Kendall tactics, but to have apoc buy into this is really sad. What is left for those who want an honest election that cannot be stolen by two potential losing candidates against a much stronger candidate? Alaska deserves better than this, but with the Alaska supreme Court made up of such liberal judgeu there doesn’t, appear to be much hope. Sure hope I am wrong. Somehow we must continue the fight.

    • We must fight at the ballot box like our and our childrens lives depend on it.
      Scott Kendall and his ilk are out to destroy, and yes, the judiciary is totally corrupted with only lefty selections given to our governor.
      APOC, we the people deserve the right to fight at the ballot box.
      APOC, stop the steal, allow we the people to vote and do not let these petty lawyers bastardize our laws to squelch our rights at the ballot box.
      Scott Kendall, resign as the disgrace you are, working for george soros is a very bad look.

    • If you believe the largest plurality should control what happens for everyone, even if they aren’t the majority, then fine, that’s your right. However if you believe in the principle of majority rule (kind of a fundamental idea for democracy), then if there are two similar “weaker” candidates who split 60% of the vote against a “stronger” candidate who gets 40% of the vote, and the “weaker” candidates are each the 2nd choices of the voters who pick the other “weaker” candidate as their first choices, then one of the “weaker” candidates represents the majority’s preference, and the “stronger” one doesn’t.

      • Just another reason to get rid of RCV and go back to the legal, and simple but yet factual and true manner of voting by voting one WINNER and ONE loser!! RCV is a criminals manner of voting because they can NOT win by a simple one winner vs one loser approach!!

  4. Democrats and their allies in the unions and in the media, initiated RCV to keep Lisa Murkowski in the Senate. They knew she could not survive a closed Republican Primary election. Furthermore, Lisa is a Democrat in every way except in name. The Alaska Republican Party denounced Lisa in virtually every one of the 40 districts in Alaska. Why doesn’t Lisa change parties and become a Democrat, where her heart lies?

  5. I hope Sarah jumps in and kicks Mary’s backside. The Wasilla Warrior vs the Beast from Bethel. Nick can sell hot dogs and popcorn. CAGE MATCH.

    • If Sarah was interested in representing Alaska, she would have been in state campaigning continuously since Nov 2020. She hasn’t, which means she isn’t all that interested. OTOH, she has been pretty good at getting democrats elected to statewide office – Mark Begich in 2008, Bill Walker in 2014, and Mary Peltola in 2020. She already has a trifecta. Isn’t that enough? Cheers –

      • In the final end….I don’t think it was Sarah’s “doings”..It was the people who hated Sarah (many in the Begich group) so much that they second picked Mary instead of keeping it ALL Red, In that decision, Mary got the vote and not Sarah. In determining they did not want Sarah to win, they determined the odds and MARY won outright. They were forewarned to vote keep it all red, except for the known Rino’s(Lisa etc).

      • If voters who preferred either of the two R candidates had given the other R candidate as their second choices, one of them could have won. Having two on the ballot isn’t a problem under RCV, it’s the voters’ preferences that was the “problem”. Or maybe the outcome corresponded to the voters’ choices.

  6. Better elections? The Left-wing Democrats love playing word games with the public. If honesty was a requirement in politics, their group would be renamed “Democrats leveraging their own interests by fraud.”

  7. No. That is partisanitus. ALL political power rests with we the people not some democrat run agency. Get that wool out of my eyes and study the US Constitution. Alaskan agencies MUST comply with the plainly written supreme law of the land the land – the US Constitution.

    • When you do not have honesty, right and justice on your side, disingenuously project your own sins and crimes onto your political opponents.
      Modern Radical Leftism 101.

      • I wonder if he lost a bet, or if he’s paid by the senseless posts.
        He’s here constantly, pointlessly babbling the same tired talking points from 1982.

      • Man you were right on that one with your Radical Leftism saying Jefferson.
        You know I have stock in a lot of Big Pharma and every time I comment I see my stock go up due to more High Blood Pressure meds being sold to
        All you angry boomers. Thanks for helping.

        • You are a sick person RINO – ever hear of schadenfreude? Get help before you hurt someone. I’d like to know how Washington is willing to register a “church” called the Ranked Choice Election Association. Non-profits are allowed to contribute to political causes, but a clear case of money laundering to avoid campaign regs is wrong. I hope APOC can make sense of it and take down the kendall doing so.

    • Modern politics 101, it is not party specific.
      .
      However, there is on political party that is trying very hard, in fact a bit too hard, to ensure that no one questions anything weird about elections. In fact, indictments are being handed out like candy on Halloween for anyone that publicly says there might have been something odd happening.
      .
      But, I am sure you are correct. Only the Republicans cheat.
      (which is odd that the Democrats are not capitalizing on that. Why are the Democrats so adamant they will not audit or investigate election fraud if it is the Republicans that are doing it?)

  8. Yes, a highly suspect and marginal “win” for proposition 2 in 2020 should NEVER be challenged. And our brave “GOP” will do nothing to repeal it. Almost makes you think that the whole thing is a scam and our “elections” are a fraud.

  9. You can’t beat Alaska for Better Elections at their own game. They are very savvy on how to use much more dark money and get away with it.

  10. Just more political theatre to distract from the fact that the machines pre-determine the outcomes regardless. How about running a story on that?

      • Just celebrate these amazing facts and keep believing our elections are real. 81 million votes!

        ‘https://thefederalist.com/2020/11/23/5-more-ways-joe-biden-magically-outperformed-election-norms/

  11. Ranked choice voting was brought to us as the best way of voting since sliced bread! The problem with it is it was not explained to anyone properly to let them know this was just another trick by the left to let them know that Murkowski was in on the setting up of this crooked and criminal way of implementing it!! We all know that as crooked as she is that the end results of the voting would end up in her favor!! It is the most corrupt and evil manner of voting that many of us has ever seen and needs desperately to be tossed out immediately!!

  12. Interesting that the left is attacking Alaskans For Honest Elections AND Preserve Democracy (Kelly Tshibaka) at the same time.
    The evil attacks from all angles in this war of good vs evil.

  13. The Left talks about fining those who are trying to get rid of rank choice voting, what about those lying, pathetic, criminals on the left that snuck through the rank choice voting trying to make people believe that this way of voting was the best way and lying to us by omission and not telling us what the REAL reason was why they wanted to vote this way!?!? This is clearly a pathetic way of voting as the majority of us can see, all except the criminal left and Progressives of course!! Lisa Murkowski fits right in there with them and of course Mary Peltola registered as an Independent which was a big lie too!! She was a full on liberal!! I have seen 3 people in politics that registered as an Independent only to find out they were true Democrats and knew nobody would vote for them if they registered as a liberal!! Walker was one of them!! We have got to stay on top of them!!

  14. The problem was the RCV!! Who was it that decided we needed a new way of voting anyway!?!? What is the problem with voting for one or the other, one winner one loser!! Seems quite simple to me, yet they bring in a new manner of voting without totally explaining it along with the fact that is is a VERY frustrating, and complicated way of voting, to understand!! Sounds to me like those who wanted the RCV knew it would confuse people and a lot of people thus the end result would surely come out in their favor!!

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