Alaska Pro-Voter Reform Opponents Fined Nearly $100K for Breaking Campaign Laws
The Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) has fined Anchorage pastor Art Mathias and the anti-ranked choice voting and anti-open primaries groups he founded nearly $100k for violating several campaign laws in their effort to overturn nonpartisan reform in the state.
Members of APOC's staff investigated complaints filed against the reform opponents and came to the conclusion in August 2023 that they failed to register with APOC, did not file campaign disclosure documents, and failed to identify who paid for videos and campaign materials released to the public.
For these violations, APOC ordered Mathias and his groups to pay civil penalties that total $94,610. The largest of the penalties was against Mathias himself for $45,000 for running campaign contributions through a church-associated nonprofit.
Mathias and his groups are spearheading a ballot initiative to overturn nonpartisan election reforms approved by voters in 2020, which include a nonpartisan top-four primary with all voters and candidates participating on a single ballot and ranked choice voting in the general election.
None of the penalties levied by APOC will prevent the initiative from moving forward if there are enough valid signatures to advance it to the November ballot. Opponents of the new voting system are expected to file signatures later this month to put the matter before voters once again.