People complain about the Legislature wasting time. Some of that time was wasted this month after an anonymous man in Rep. Sarah Vance’s district in the Kachemak Bay-Ninilchik-Kasilof area complained to the Legislative Ethics Committee that Vance said in campaign ads she will defend Alaskans’ “God-given constitutional rights.”
The campaign ad appeared on KBAY 93.3 FM. The complaint-filer said that Vance’s promise violates the U.S. “constitutional freedom from religion in the long-held separation of church and state in the 14th amendment.”
The committee dismissed the complaint on Friday with a terse comment:
“Significantly the complaint does not allege the use of any state resources by the Representative as part of or in the allegations,” Legislative Ethics Committee wrote. “The House Subcommittee finds that the specific allegations outlined in the complaint, if proven true, do not give rise to a violation of the Legislative Ethics Act AS 24.60. The Select Committee on Legislative Ethics has no jurisdiction regarding potential issues of constitutional violations. The Select Committee on Legislative Ethics has no jurisdiction regarding campaign activities except for the prohibition on the use of state resources in partisan or campaign activities under AS 24.60.030(a)(2) and (5). There was no allegation involving the use of state resources in the complaint.”
It’s a new form of campaigning via harassment without having to declare the effort to the Alaska Public Offices Committee: File an anonymous complaint in Legislative Ethics Committee for something the committee has no jurisdiction over, and tie up state resources and a candidate’s attention.
Vance, a Republican, is running for re-election to the Alaska House of Representatives to represent District 6, Kachemak Bay/Ninilchik/Kasilof. She is on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 8 after advancing from the Aug. 16 primary. Also running are Louis Flora and Ginger Bryant, both liberals registered as nonpartisans.