Irony: 'Better Elections' files complaint, uses Outside $$ - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
HomePoliticsIrony: ‘Better Elections’ files complaint, uses Outside $$

Irony: ‘Better Elections’ files complaint, uses Outside $$

Alaskans for Better Elections, which was denied its ballot initiative because it was found to be illegal, filed an immediate lawsuit in Superior Court to appeal the decision of the lieutenant governor.

From the looks of it, the Better Elections group has the advantage in court; it’s getting friendly treatment from a liberal judge.

Judge Yvonne Lamoureaux, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker, has ordered the State to begin printing petition booklets so the Better Elections group can continue progress toward its attempt at overhauling the Alaska election system.

Jason Grenn of West Anchorage, who is the front man for the national groups behind the ballot initiative, issued a press release saying the group believes its initiative is lawful.

“We strongly disagree with the opinion of Attorney General Clarkson, and we are confident that we can resolve this issue quickly,” Grenn said. “Ultimately, we’re fighting for Alaskan voters to have the right to decide whether or not they favor the improvements made to our elections through this initiative.”

The improvements he references have to do with open primaries, which would rob political parties from being able to control their own primaries; ranked voting, which would allow people to vote for a first, second, and third choice; the initiative would also ban Outside money in campaigns.

Unless there’s a legal intervention by some unknown entity, the State of Alaska will print petition booklets and allow signature gathering during the litigation. The state and Grenn’s group have also agreed to an expedited litigation schedule, including a court hearing on Sept. 30 and oral arguments on Nov. 1 in Anchorage Superior Court.

No group has come forward to fight the ballot initiative, which is a creature of liberal Outside groups that are trying to change Alaska from a red to a blue state. They’ll be paying for signature gatherers to get the 28,000+ signatures they need to get onto the 2020 ballot.

At issue is whether the ballot initiative violates the single-subject rule. The initiative was written by former Attorney General Bruce Botelho with the help of former Gov. Bill Walker’s Chief of Staff Scott Kendall. They say it’s perfectly legal.

Alaskans for Better Elections is underwritten and advised by Outside special interest groups, including Represent.Us, of Massachusetts; Voters’ Right to Know, of California; and Fair Vote Action Fund, of Maryland.

According to Grenn, “The initiative would put an end to secret “dark money”—much of which comes from outside Alaska—that anonymous, big-money spenders use to influence our elections. It would also open Alaska’s primary elections to all Alaskans, regardless of political party, and ensure majority winner elections. The measure gives voters the option to rank candidates in general elections, or, if they choose, voters can vote for just one candidate as they do now.

The speed at which Judge Lamoureaux made her decision and the decision itself bodes well for the Better Elections group, which may rightfully see it as an outcome that portends a speedy reversal of the decision by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer.

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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

  • Nothing mysterious or nefarious about prompt issuance of relief in an election case like this.

  • Outside money is what is driving this, not the people of Alaska. Turning the state to a Liberal playground will end this state for sure!!

    • Do you understand that the effort intends to limit outside money? There is indeed an irony — an effort that accepts some outside money is trying to end the influence of outside money. It’s trying to use the corrupt system against itself.
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      If this succeeds outside money won’t be able to use Alaska as a playground. Anyone who wants to end the influence of outside money should sign.

      • Pretty sure you’re misreading the intentions of the whole FairVote.org mission. This will not end outside money from pouring in. It does absolutely nothing to end outside money from influencing votes. This is an effort to overturn incumbency and flip districts.

        • It would ban dark money. It would open primaries and it would allow people to vote for the candidates that best represent them.
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          This is important to me as someone who doesn’t identify with either party.
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          I do think you are right to say that it would lead to Republican loses. I also think it would lead to Democratic loses. In the long run ranked choice voting leads to the growth of third parties — which is why the major parties dislike it.

          • You would lose your voice if they do away with the Electoral College. You would be ruled by southern California and New York.

        • Adam, the “dark money” behind this effort is rooted in Progressive ideology. FairVote.org, Demand Justice, Democracy Alliance, Open Society Foundation…they’re all Leftist organizations who advocate, purely and simply, for the abolition of the Electoral College. This effort has been published in study after study to benefit the Democrat Party and will eventually lead to a purple-leaning district to turn all Blue. You talk about how this is fought against by the major parties, but that’s not true. Only the Republicans are against this effort. The DNC is fully charging ahead on this. There’s a very good reason. As an Independent or Unaffiliated/Undeclared voter, I believe you should be making a pros and cons list of what you believe and determine if it’s more important to remain on the fence, or if the moral choice is significant enough to push you over to one side or the other. There is no middle ground in this fight to retain the US Constitution in its original format, because make no mistake: this effort is nothing more than a veiled attempt at a long game intended to abolish the Electoral College.

      • But it’s not just about limiting or ending outside money. I would be for that. But the rest is pure BS.

        • I’m absolutely opposed to eliminating the electoral college. No one would care about AK.
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          But I don’t see anything about the electoral college in the proposal. But I read it quickly — if you have a page number or a quote I’ll reconsider my support.
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          If it’s guilt by association, that something different.

  • This was just instituted in Maine and made law by its Governor and its been instrumental in turning districts Red to Blue, both in theory and in practice. The group behind it is FairVote.org, but ultimately the strings and tendrils from Soros’ Open Society Foundation are deeply involved in this effort. The long game here is to abolish the Electoral College, one small moving of the needle to the Left at a time. If it can turn enough states to blue through this process, it can have the needed muscle to begin implementing its ultimate goal of amending the US Constitution. This is a dangerous precedent and will also lead to nearly 100% incumbent defeats for the Republican districts. RCV systems are just another corruption of the original design of the voting system meant to circumvent the populace and install a power grab in political hostile territories and districts. “Better Elections” is just code for “Rigged Elections.” https://www.foxnews.com/politics/maine-to-become-the-first-state-to-allow-presidential-ranked-voting-governor-will-allow-bill-to-become-law

  • Yes, highly suspicious of this initiative especially considering the outside weight behind it. Carol, you haven’t shared your opinion on this?

    • Ever notice how leftist groups are always pushing changes to the electoral process? Why do we need a ranking procedure? Can one of these leftist explain that to me?
      I believe that the more you muddy the water in the election process the easier it gets for some judge to disinfrancise the voting public.

  • Adam, if you go to the FairVote.org and look up their funding track record, you’ll find Democracy Fund is the backer and you’ll also find George Soros, Open Society Foundation, the Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation and the Soros Fund Charitable Foundations are pouring heavy money into their push.

    Democracy Fund makes grants to a number of classes of organizations. They include liberal-leaning journalism outfits, most notably the publisher of controversial “fact-checking” website Politifact; election-related groups like Issue One which seek to institute tighter limits on political advocacy, like Democracy Works which seek to change how votes are cast, and like Rock the Vote which register left-leaning voters; and nominally centrist policy organizations like the No Labels Foundation.

    In 2016, Politifact announced that Democracy Fund had pledged $500,000 over a two-year period to expand Politifact’s operations. In October 2016, during the height of the 2016 Presidential election, Politifact apparently wrongly classified reporting by a conservative-leaning news website on a partly Omidyar Network-funded Clinton Foundation program as inaccurate. Politifact initially denied receiving funding from Omidyar groups (which include Democracy Fund) when questioned about its report.

    There’s also this:

    The National Popular Vote seeks to eliminate the Electoral College in national elections. Rob Richie, as executive director of FairVote, co-authored Every Vote Equal, a book that includes a forward from John B. Anderson. FairVote advertises the fact that they have been the research arm of the national popular vote movement since 2005.

    I’ve been following this for a while now and the idea behind the abolition of the Electoral College is simple. Since this method has a thick track record of flipping Red districts to Blue (as in the case of US Representative Bruce Poliquin of Maine found out the hard way after losing his election to Democrat Jared Golden, despite having way more votes in 2018) its aim is to alter the political balance of enough states to get the two-thirds majority to push for the amendment to the US Constitution, which then obligates the Congress to act. If the states have already been influenced and flipped, it only stands to reason that the majority of the Congressional members will also be Democrats…hence, the extermination of the Electoral College.

    If you don’t under those implications, then you should examine how your vote in Alaska without a federal Electoral College system will never, ever be counted again in a national election. There will be no need for your vote…or for 22 other states’ votes. The candidates will just skip the caucuses because, conceivably, the candidate need never spend another dime on travel to campaign in different states. The votes will already be pre-determined by populace, mainly on the two coasts, and they won’t ever require your approval again. In fact, truth be told, the only way that could ever change is if the Liberal populace in the big cities would migrate out because of high taxes and conservative voice is reinstated. And if you’re betting on that…I’d say it’s a bad bet at that point. Because, truth be told, this won’t be the last scheme that they come up with in order to tilt the elections in their favor. I implore you to read up a lot more on this before you climb on board the Soros wagon.

  • Barry A.A. Dillinger, spot on! Would be great to have your explanations published in something like the ADN.

    • Bob, thanks! I am a writer with another site and have been following this story. Suzanne’s addition to the conversation about it referencing Alaska specifically really got me concerned and I just completed a huge investigative article which will be published sometime today or tomorrow, linking Must Read Alaska as well. So, yeah, this is a REAL important issue about the integrity of both elections and the US Constitution.

      • Looking forward to reading your article. On a closely related note, absolutely blown away when I read about Arabella. Keep up the good work, and thanks again.

        • Thanks for your support, Bob…it’s good to see everyone so engaged in the issues. I really appreciate the job that Suzanne is doing and I think it only enhances everything that’s out there on any given important subject. The piece I did on RCV is out now and again, links back here as well. Keep it all in the family, right?

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