Former Walker-Mallott group doles cash to chameleon candidates - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Former Walker-Mallott group doles cash to chameleon candidates

OUTSIDE MONEY UNITES FOR GRENN, DIMOND, ORTIZ, SEATON

The Unite Alaska for Walker-Mallott group has given $25,000 to a Florida group that was on contract with the Unite Alaska group.

The new group is called “Alaskans for Grenn, Dimond, Ortiz, and Seaton,” and it’s based out of Gainesville, Fla. But the money is traced back to Unite America, which supports political chameleons — those who change allegiances depending on convenience and whose votes can be purchased for a price by a group trying to create a majority caucus.

Reps. Jason Grenn of South Anchorage District 22, Chris Dimond of Juneau District 33, Rep. Daniel Ortiz of Ketchikan District , and Rep. Paul Seaton, who ran in the Democrats’ primary for Homer District 31, are all considered, like Walker, to be political chameleons who won’t say what they stand for.

Grenn, Dimond, Ortiz, Seaton, all candidates without a political home.

Sycamore Lane is the same company that was associated with Unite Alaska’s horrific ad campaign that used the death of Bree Moore to blame gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy for not being supportive enough of “Bree’s Law.”

The attack ad backfired on Unite Alaska, which disbanded shortly thereafter after receiving intense public condemnation. But the group had leftover money, so they’ve created the new group to support the remaining no-party candidates.

[Read: Walker group weaponizes Bree’s death]

The Alaska Public Offices Commission expenditure report shows that Sycamore Lane is not the only Outside group that is involved supporting the Grenn, Dimond, Ortiz, and Seaton ads.

“1716 Strategy” of Canton, Ohio has received a large transfer of the Walker-Mallott money to push digital ads. The group is not exactly transparent, but appears to be a small and secretive group that was behind the Unite Alaska for Walker-Mallott digital advertising strategy.

UNITE AMERICA IS THE HOME FOR THE POLITICALLY HOMELESS

The Ohio company 1716 Strategy contracts with Unite America, which is pushing no-party candidates across the country and which had invested heavily in the re-election of Alaska Gov. Bill Walker until his spectacular fall from grace.

Here’s how Unite America describes its support for four Alaska no-party candidates:

A Cross-Partisan Coalition (AK): In 2016, two independents elected helped flip control of the State House from thirty years of Republican rule to a new “bipartisan governing majority” of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. They succeeded in passing bipartisan fiscal reform. Those two independents, along with a Republican member who became an independent, are running for re-election. Unite America is supporting them alongside a first time candidate to defend and grow this cross-partisan coalition in Alaska.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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