How much has Senate President Cathy Giessel stockpiled for her reelection campaign over the past few months? There’s no way of knowing.
Giessel filed her “Year Start Report” back on June 2, 2019, to go through the Feb. 1, 2020 filing period, but she never filed any amendments to that filing, due on Feb. 18, 2020, and her report shows she has just shy of $10,000 in her campaign account.
Normally, $10,000 would not be enough to hold that seat. That amount of money in a campaign war chest would look like an invitation to a challenge.
But since that timeframe, Giessel has had several fundraisers, and it’s likely that the Senate president has close to $80,000 for her District N re-election. During her last election, she raised $207,159.
It’s just that she never updated her reporting to the Alaska Public Offices Commission for this particular report, and strangely, filed it nine months before it was due and before her actual fundraising season began.
It’s a loophole that Giessel has discovered that allows her to keep her finances out of sight for any possible challengers.
APOC fines candidates $500 a day for every day they miss the Year Start Report deadline, but has no fine on the books for the accuracy of those filings. If they aren’t up to date, there’s nothing APOC can really do about it.
Look to other candidates to follow Giessel’s lead in the future, filing nine months early on this key report, which is designed to create transparency in elections.