Friday, June 2, 2023
HomeAnchorage Daily PlanetRecover Alaska help pass alcohol tax, possibly illegally

Recover Alaska help pass alcohol tax, possibly illegally


The Alaska Public Offices Commission this week heard its staff complaint against Recover Alaska’s actions in the April election, where voters approved a 5 percent alcohol retail tax they had killed only last year.

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APOC made no decision after the Wednesday hearing and has 10 days to reach a finding.

Recover Alaska, a nonprofit, is a coalition of groups trying to reduce the harm of excessive alcohol consumption in Alaska. Its website indicates its has several “funding partners,” including the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, a state corporation, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, a state agency.

Recover Alaska failed to register with the campaign watchdog agency as a campaign group, as required by law, and did not reveal its income and spending, APOC staff says.

The nonprofit polled Anchorage voters to discover what messages would get them to support an alcohol tax, then it worked to persuade voters and have them return their mail-in ballots.

Recover Alaska gave the campaign’s public face, “Yes for a Safe, Healthy Anchorage,” at least $70,000 of the nearly $250,000 it received in contributions. There also were Facebook and radio ads.

“These expenditures required Recover to register and report their activity. Staff now files this complaint and believes the facts will show that Recover violated provisions of campaign disclosure law,” the APOC staff complaint states.

While the commission decides what to do, or not do, with Recover Alaska, we, and all Alaskans, are left to wonder whether any state money – through Recover Alaska’s “funding partners” – made its way into the campaign to pass the tax.

Read more from The Anchorage Daily Planet here.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. Go Figure. Iit seems to be a revolving theme of Break the Election Laws and go unpunished. Won’t surprise me that APOC will not rule against them.

  2. Anchorage tax and spend policies are going to decimate the economy of the city. Every taxpayer in Anchorage is getting hammered to support the union employee contracts that would, in no way, be possible in any privately held company. You would be unable to charge enough to support such idiocy in a competitive, for profit environment.

  3. So no one had any idea about this before the election? In this small of a town where everyone knows everyone or at a minimum, six degrees of Kevin Bacon?
    Hard to believe.
    Harder to belief any action will be taken.
    Since it doesn’t take affect until (February 2021?) it should be struck down.

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