Governor resolves complaint made over pro-PFD campaign - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
HomePoliticsGovernor resolves complaint made over pro-PFD campaign

Governor resolves complaint made over pro-PFD campaign

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One of the charges made by the Recall Dunleavy Committee is that the governor used state funds for partisan political purposes. That matter has now been put to rest.

The complaint concerned social media posts and mailed flyers by the Governor’s Office to get the public engaged to push to put the Permanent Fund dividend in the Alaska Constitution.

Seven categories of problematic communications were alleged in the one complaint made. But only one category of communication was found to be possibly problematic by the special counsel to the Personnel Board, who thought it crossed the line to partisan political purpose: A mailer.

Some of the language in the mailer landed in the districts of two legislators who had filed their notices that they intended to run for reelection. Because in the communications, the Governor’s Office had referred to those legislators, this could be seen as partisan politicking.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy had no role in the drafting, design, publishing, or approving the communications that went out from his office, and did not intend for State resources to be used for partisan purposes. The media campaign was done by staff at the broad direction of the governor to do outreach to the public, according to the settlement.

However, rather than fight it, the governor has decided to resolve it by reimbursing the State $2,800 for the communications. He has not admitted guilt and expresses concern that governors in the future may be held financially liable for the actions of their staffs.

“I don’t believe I violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act. Nevertheless, I believe it is in the best interests of the State to resolve these complaints, and, for this reason, I am reimbursing the State for the cost of these advertisements and ensuring that my staff undergoes all appropriate ethics training. I am also taking this opportunity to remind the devoted public servants in my office of the very high ethical standards that Alaskans rightly demand,” Dunleavy wrote.

The matter never was heard by The Alaska Personnel Board but was resolved by Dunleavy and the Board’s special counsel John J. Tiemessen.

Read the settlement statement here:

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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.

Latest comments

  • Just a bunch of nit-pickers that are upset because the recall campaign failed. After November 3rd they will probably cower away back to whatever Rock they crawled out from under.

  • He’s not the fire breathing rhetoric brandishing figure that some wanted, but this guy is the most mature, honest politician to hold this position in my lifetime. He’s quite literally, just about the only grown up in the room.

  • Class act by the Governor of Alaska. I am sure the Left will somehow want to twist it as they consistently do. I kind of look forward to how it will be twisted! But when a solution is so simple, I am glad he took it.

  • But no one is talking about the back pay from the dividend that we have a right to. Dunleavy is a coward as he has been hiding from us. Grow a set and be the Trump that we elected you to be.

    • Troy, did we miss something here? If Dunleavy was our dictator, I am sure he would have allocated that money right back where it belongs – into our pockets. But since it is a Republic, he is required to get the OK and votes from the legislature, even though he would basically be saying, “FOLLOW THE LAW, elected officials!”
      If you’re just trolling to make sure he looks bad by NOT mentioning the Democrat roadblock since day one, then I totally understand your angle, Troy. On the other hand, if this was a sincere ask, then by all means expound if I have missed something.

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