The Legislative Ethics Committee decided last week that Rep. Tammie Wilson of North Pole violated the Ethics Act because in January of 2014 she sent a postcard out to people who were in and out of her district to tell them about some air quality issues.
Air quality is a big issue in the Fairbanks area, and Wilson has been one of the most prominent advocates to protect the rights of people to burn wood for heat.
Wilson admits she used the Legislative Information Office as a return address, but she used her own funds to produce and mail the post cards.
But evidently there is value to a return address: “Regardless of intent, the committee recognizes the fact that state resources were used to produce and distribute an air quality postcard to individuals not in Rep. Wilson’s current legislative district,” the committee wrote.
The action provided a private benefit to Wilson, the committee said, and could be construed as campaigning.
The instance took place over three and a half years ago. Wilson was never given the opportunity to address her side of the story with the committee, as required by statute.
If that is campaigning, then what is this web site, produced by Rep. David Guttenberg of Fairbanks, who is trying to improve broadband in Fairbanks?
Guttenberg’s web site is not limited to his Goldstream district, but is clearly aimed at all of Fairbanks, and is was produced by his legislative office.
A website like this, complete with video, is far more of a public resource drain than a post card where the only violation was using the Legislative Information Office as the return address.
And then there’s Rep. Adam Wool. On April 22, the Fairbanks representative invited Revenue Commissioner Randall Hoffbeck and other state officials to the “Blue Loon,” his establishment, for a state meeting.
During that meeting, he sold them food and beverages, making a profit off of those sales to state officials and anyone else who attended. He also used state resources to create a poster advertising the townhall meeting at his watering hole.