Recover Alaska promoted alcohol tax illegally, APOC complaint says


A group that campaigned for an alcohol tax in Anchorage is the subject of a complaint from the staff of the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Recover Alaska engaged in trying sway an election, but without registering as a campaign group or revealing how much it was spending, something that is required by law.

The group not only had polled the Anchorage voters to discover what messages would get voters to pass an alcohol tax, the group then went to extraordinary expense to persuade those voters and get them to return their mail-in ballots.

That 5 percent tax was passed by Anchorage voters — it’s basically the same tax voters had rejected the year before. The measure with about a 2 percent margin.

Although one knows how much Recover Alaska spent to convince voters, since the group never filed with APOC, it’s believed to be over $100,000 to win the campaign. Recover Alaska also gave $70,000 in contributions to “Yes for a Safe, Healthy Anchorage,” which was the main group, properly registered, that formed to advocate for the alcohol tax.

Shortly after the Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance to put Proposition 13 on the April ballot, Recover Alaska started running Facebook ads encouraging people to “learn more” and advocating for the passage of Prop. 13. But the group never reported to APOC, which has opened an investigation.

“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 complaint reads.

Recover Alaska is a coalition of groups trying to reduce the harm of excessive alcohol consumption in Alaska, which has the highest per-capita alcohol consumption in the nation.

Partners in Recover Alaska include the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, Providence Alaska, the State Department of Health and Social Services, and South-central Foundation.


  1. Additionally, wording in the measure results in a change to the municipal charter allowing the next election to include another sales tax initiative that will require a simple majority of 51% to pass it instead of the 3/5 margin in the charter. It is purely subterfuge to get the charter changed.

    • Yeah, they snuck it thru, though not without some of us pointing it out.

      Ethan and his Assembly are working on a judicial opinion that holds that the Charter only requires a 50%+1 vote to change it.

      This means that any 3/5 requirement is statutory and can be either inflicted or repealed by a majority vote. Cheers –

  2. Thanks for your Reporting.

    The list you mentioned contained some heavy hitters with people who would know the requirements. These organizations are frequently around the Legislature pushing policy. The tax money raised by Prop 13 passage would benefit Recover Alaska members (and those they serve.) That doesn’t relieve them of the requirement to report expenditures and more importantly where the money came from?
    Here’s an idea, since HSS is on that list. Maybe the Legislative Audit Division could do there real job and look at HSS, something that is under their perview.

    If any money came from the Mental Health Trust Authority (a State Cooperation), I would like to know the color of the money. If it came from any of the people working in the Trust, we still have a right to know who.

    As a disclosure, I voted for prop 13.

  3. As an alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in years, I can tell you this: there is no tax on the planet that will make anyone stop drinking. It is the day you decide to stop being sick and tired and make a change. One day at a time.

  4. Like I keep saying, Anchorage citizens. You “ain’t seen nothing yet”. This targeted alcohol tax puts the burden of the leftist assault on Alaska on the very citizens that can least afford it. Another example of spending “other peoples'” money on leftist BS. There are so many laws and regulations on alcohol that it’s mind boggling. New taxes aren’t going to change one single thing except force those who must have alcohol to do “whatever it takes” to keep the ‘monkey on their back’ fed, similar to a drug addict (alcohol is a drug). All the posturing and promises made by the left that this tax will help is absolute bullsh-t. If someone is prone to drinking, a measly 5% tax won’t even slow them down. The only difference is that 5% must come from somewhere else than currently available to the “drinkers”. Where do you think that extra 5% will come from? Not from work, I assure you.

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