Emails show former Permanent Fund CEO had extensive political consultations and personal alliance with Sen. von Imhof

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A series of emails obtained through a public records request show that former CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Angela Rodell had extensive email conversations of a political nature with then-Senate Finance Co-Chair Sen. Natasha von Imhof.

Von Imhof, in announcing this month that her Legislative Budget and Audit Committee would be subpoenaing the Board of Trustees for the Alaska Permanent Fund, said she wanted to ensure that the fund is not being politicized. She is investigating the firing of former CEO Angela Rodell.

But the record shows that over the years she was having extensive political conversations and influence on Rodell on many matters related to the fund, including a bill that Rodell was trying to get passed in the Legislature.

Their relationship is also personal, something Von Imhof has not disclosed to the public. In one of the emails, von Imhof’s chief of staff made an arrangement for von Imhoff and Rodell to attend a theater performance together in Juneau. In a text message that reveals a friendship, Rodell commented that von Imhof was “da bomb.” Von Imhof had given Rodell the cell phone for fund trustee Corri Feige.

In Alaska, the leadership pool is close, and people who work in leaderships have relationships for many years. Thus, it’s not uncommon for friendships to occur and alliances to develop.

But von Imhof has stated repeatedly that she was concerned about the firing of Rodell, she has held hearings on that firing and brought the chairman of the board of trustees before her committee to interrogate, and said she fears the Permanent Fund was being politicized — all while not disclosing her relationship.

The record shows she was having political influence on the fund as far back as 2020.

Von Imhof was not the only political conversation in the emails. Also involved in political side email discussions on matters that were being legislated were former Rep. Jennifer Johnson and Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, both foes of a full Permanent Fund dividend.

In the dozens of email pages received through a public records request, the public can now see that von Imhof was working closely with Rodell not only on bills of interest to the two of them, but on a sovereign wealth professional development program with Mozambique, and to work through the possibility of a government shutdown and what that would mean to the fund and its personnel. During a meeting that was set up between the two entities (Mozambique and Alaska), von Imhof offered to discuss the political consequences of the fund as her area of expertise.

The Department of Law is already on the record saying that the relationship between Rodell and von Imhof is a sticky wicket, now that Von Imhof has issued legislative subpoenas to the Permanent Fund Board of Trustees, which voted nearly unanimously to fire Rodell.

The Department of Law stated that the Permanent Fund Board believes that the committee’s investigation exceeds its statutory and constitutional authority – and the manner in which the investigation has begun raises serious concerns about its fairness and impartiality. The trustees believe a third party is a more appropriate way to investigate its actions, rather than the political body of the Legislature.

The Law Department wrote, “This delegation of subpoena power to one individual and its current use as a threat to APFC Trustees and employees has been made even more problematic because of a clear conflict of interest at the center of the Committee’s investigation.”

The emails MRAK was able to obtain — and they are likely a fraction of what is available — show that von Imhof has a deep and influential relationship with Rodell. The question for legislative leadership and the public is: Was von Imhof, who is the vice chair of the board of the Rasmuson Foundation, her family’s wealth fund, exerting undue influence on the Permanent Fund all along?

33 COMMENTS

  1. In Wyoming people have access to minerals, oil companies does pay residents a royalties for that resource. And good for them, I’d love to have an oil well pumping oil to create revenue for that community, This is how I view the PFD, I don’t care what political parties you belong to. If you don’t like the pfd don’t sign up for it. I’ve worked and supported Alaska all my life.

  2. Regardless of political ideology, voters, who vote for statists like Von Imhof, are delusional to think that she or any of the other statists in the Alaska Legislature majority, especially the House, have their interests at heart. It is time to change the diapers.

    Von Imhof sold the Anchorage School District out years ago with her insistence on capital construction projects and union empowerment. She has never changed.

    She and a long list of those who have traded honor and integrity for a seat on the majority to have power and control over their respective fiefdoms must be voted out of office in 2022 if we will ever gain fiscal and regulatory sanity over our state. This is not startling to MRAK readers. It is, however, very sad for those who continue to get their news feed from fake news and are ignorant of the realities politicians like Natasha Von Imhof present.

  3. Just because you are stepping down, doesn’t mean you can’t still be brought in for questioning.

  4. “Von Imhof, in announcing this month that her Legislative Budget and Audit Committee would be subpoenaing the Board of Trustees for the Alaska Permanent Fund, said she wanted to ensure that the fund is not being politicized.”

    In other words, Von Imhof is investigating……..herself??

  5. Mozambique? Seriously? Mozambique is a communist country. Sounds like Employee Imhoff is a deep stater that can’t be trusted. The more I read this, it’s smells like money laundering done at the congressional level in DC (economic aid to country’s, provide cushy jobs to congress kids, kickback to congressional members), but at a state level. So, who was going to benefit most, Employee Imhoff (more like I’m off my freaking rocker)?

  6. Intricate cronyism between money people, even if the money belongs to the people. PF Board Trustees made the right call.

  7. So now we see that there is blatant corruption within the State of Alaska legislature, as well as the PFD corp. The next question is will those involved be held accountable, and or resign from their position in govt? What was going on with Mozambique? Looking for professional help on money laundering schemes?

  8. Well now isn’t this interesting? I think she should be removed from her position, along with the other’s.. As she has been using her position and association to make agendas, regarding our PFD’s.. Maybe a swift boot out the door would work also. This has to be illegal. Hello people make sure they hear from you

  9. While this link between Von Imhof and Rodell is fascinating its completely expected. What would be far more interesting is details regarding the relationship between Kriess Tomkins, Stedman and Rodell…..

  10. We are owed the Statutory Formula Dividend.
    We should accept nothing less.
    We the People should not be allowing the State to take those monies for over-inflated government.

    Natasha is a prime example of this. Collusion at its finest.

    Good job outting her, Jeff.

    NOW PAY US WHAT WE ARE OWED.

  11. Von Imhof just cannot stand seeing money that she can’t control. Us Alaskans to her are just a bunch of hicks that can’t be trusted to spend money wisely like her high society friends. We might spend our PFDs on stupid things like a new motor for the boat so we can provide food for our family, or parts to repair a forty year old backhoe so we can dig up a new septic system. Maybe a new snowblower. Or maybe food or diapers or a new washing machine. Stuff the elite class has no need for. She would rather spend our money in ways that will impress her paramours. But it is not her money. We Alaskans can always send it in more meaningful ways. And if we have extra, we have always been generous to real charities, not the kind that are already subsidized by the government where the staff brings in huge wages, while volunteers perform the equivalent of slave labor, and get little credit. We don’t need Russian Balet, Mongolian tongue dancers, or any other such nonsense to make us feel good. Give me a fishing pole, and a hunting rifle . If I want culture, I will take my PFD and buy a ticket to NYC.

  12. I am glad von Imhof is not running. South Anchorage? Can we get a little help? Can you find a conservative rather than a selfserving political hack?

  13. Ms. Downing, you stated, “Their relationship is also personal, something Von Imhof has not disclosed to the public.” That is incorrect. At the first LB&A hearing in December 2021 that followed Ms. Rodell’s termination, Sen. von Imhof’s opening remarks on the matter included, “Before we go any further, I’d like to state for the record — in the spirit of full transparency — during my time as a state senator, I met and became friends with Ms. Rodell. I have tremendous professional respect for her and the strong financial performance during her tenure at the fund.” This is on the record and available for the public’s review at http://www.akleg.gov, Committees, Joint Committees, Legislative Budget & Audit, December 15, 2021 hearing. Thank you.

      • Someone please check to see if Rodell was ever given courtesy rides on Von Imhof’s business jet. Maybe to some island?

    • Shareen and her next words should have been:
      “…therefore I am recusing myself from this investigation and turning it over to the department of law.”
      Since she did none of that, it still looks like a legislator pissed of that her “inside woman” into the PFD was canned by the board and Natasha is determined to exact revenge at taxpayers expense.

  14. Hmmm. I knew they were friends but this is not good for Von Imhoff to be the one issuing subpoenas which I thought was odd even before these emails were made public.
    I have previously suspected that Rodell felt that she was un-fireable (an attitude I am sure the Trustees could detect).
    The good news for Rodell is she is now free to campaign for Walker and Gara and land another high-profile government job.

  15. I can think of no legitimate purpose for the Permanent Fund Corporation using corporation assets (translation – property of Alaskans) to help the government of Mozambique create a wealth fund. What possible benefit would Alaskans derive from this use of their resources? All that could be said is that such a thing might make someone, somewhere, feel good. Those involved in this activity should be required to return resources wasted on this project to the APFC. Perhaps the Attorney General has someone drafting up the pleadings on this right now.

    The last time I looked, the Federal Government and the Biden Administration having been doing just about everything they can to kill the Alaska economy and reduce the wealth of Alaskans. If it were me that received the note from the Economic Officer at the US Embassy in Mozambique, I would have responded simply: “No thank you.”

  16. The subpoena power is not given to one senator per the US Constitution. The legislative branch expressly is THE court of justice for WE the people. That is why courts deign to accept cases cases of unjust usurpation done to individuals created by legislative creation – after state issuance of business or other license to entities who proceed to institute usurpatious business practices Subpoena power is exactly how the US Constitution is defended by oath takers in emoluments. Shall we not overturn tyranny in our republic after all these years?

  17. This explains Von Imhof’s opposition to Mike Dunleavy. She has a dog in the hunt, as they say. Also, someone mentioned before that Ms. Rodell had been fired before from a state position dealing with state finance by then Gov. Walker. If this is true, why did he appoint her to the Permanent Fund position afterward? So many questions here. And there is still the question of the way the books were kept. Someone else needs to take this investigation over. And Mozambique? Really? Of all of the African countries to choose from, why that one? If our ambassador was involved, which ad ministration was it? Trump or Biden? So many intriguing questions! I always thought and somewhere it was hinted at, that her real target was Governor Mike. At least get Von Imhof out of the area and off the case!

  18. Wow!
    A few days ago, per MRAK a former ADN editor obtaining Municipal emails was an outrage.
    Now, MRAK obtaining government emails is good.

    Which is it?

  19. Interesting photo of Von Imhoff shrieking on the floor about how Alaskans don’t deserve the full statutory PFD while Senator Bishop naps behind her. 😉

  20. If there is someone out there that hasn’t heard KENI’s rendition of “Rich Girl” starring Ms Von Imhof, it seems time to play it a time or two.

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