A full-page ad in the Juneau Empire with the names of people supporting a massive arts and cultural center that is Prop. 3 on Tuesday’s ballot contains signatures of several people who are dead, and dozens who don’t live in Juneau.
One reader noted that her mother’s name was included, although she had been dead for over a year. Others who are deceased include Harriet Botelho and Marie Darlin. But there are several more; MRAK was able to identify six signers who have been dead for some time.
Also signing the ad were non-Juneauites such as Jake Metcalfe, Jane Anvik, Vic Fischer, Pat Pitney, Mike and Merry Vediner, Gregg and Judy Erickson, Jeff Bush, and even Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins — folks who can’t vote on the tax package on Tuesday and who won’t end up paying the property taxes.
Another person on the list of supporters had written an op-ed against the tax package.
Ramifications for using the names of deceased on an ad are mainly in the court of public opinion. There’s little recourse for “The Partnership” behind the tax package for the huge new arts center, which is led by former Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court Walter Carpeneti and former Alaska Attorney General Bruce Botelho.
The ad contains no apparent disclaimer as required by law for one that is clearly attempting to sway voters by showing an overwhelming amount of support for the three-part tax measure that has confused voters from the beginning.