Advertisement. For information about purchasing ads, please click here.

We Build Alaska

Fishing licenses provide additional evidence that Jennie Armstrong was ineligible to run for legislature

Last week, the Alaska Landmine reported that Jennie Armstrong, a Democrat running for the open West Anchorage House seat, had made statements on social media suggesting she did not meet residency requirements to run for the State House. The Alaska Constitution requires that legislative candidates reside in the state for three years prior to filing for office. To be eligible for her current race, Armstrong, a former resident of Louisiana, had to have begun her residency on or before June 1, 2019. However, in a string of Instagram posts dating back to 2019, Armstrong documented a road trip in Alaska in May of that year and stated that, after leaving the state late that month, she had moved to Alaska the weekend of June 8–a week after she would have had to begin her Alaska residency in order to be eligible for the current race.

After the Landmine published its initial reporting, Armstrong’s social media posts were edited, replacing a claim that she had moved to Alaska “last weekend” to a claim that she had moved to Alaska “last week.”

Now, the Alaska Landmine has obtained fishing licenses documenting that Armstrong had repeatedly declared herself a resident of Louisiana in June 2019. The first license, a nonresident one-day sport fish license, was issued June 15, 2019. The second license, a 2019 nonresident annual sport fishing license, was issued June 23, 2019. When she applied for both licenses, Armstrong declared her current residence to be in Metairie, Louisiana.

Alaska fishing licenses require licensees to affirm that they have read and understood the definition of residency in Alaska, and warn that false statements can lead to criminal penalties.

On June 21, 2020 Armstrong applied for a resident sport license. She listed her Alaska residency as one year and zero months, nominally dating back to June 2019. On July 20, 2021 Armstrong applied for another resident sport license. She listed her Alaska residency as two years and one month, again dating her residency back to June 2019.

But on July 26, 2022–after Armstrong filed to run for office–her residency story changed. This time, when she applied for a resident sport license she declared her Alaska residency to be three years and two months. The additional month of claimed residency now aligned Armstrong’s fishing licenses with the May 2019 residency she had recently claimed on her declaration of candidacy. But it did not match the length of residency Armstrong had previously declared on her resident fishing license applications.

 

The Division of Elections takes people at their word when they fill out their declaration of candidacy. Investigations are only launched if a complaint is filed.

Armstrong is in a heads-up match against Republican Liz Vazquez, a former one-term representative, for the open West Anchorage House seat. Incumbent Representative Matt Claman (D – Anchorage) waited until the final days before the filing deadline to announce he would fun for the State Senate; Armstrong declared on June 1 – the filing deadline. Such eleventh-hour changes often reflect coordinated attempts by incumbents or political parties to hand-pick successors and discourage challengers. Sources tell the Landmine that Armstrong’s candidacy was strategically advanced by prominent Alaska Democrats.

In response to questions about her fishing licenses, Armstrong provided the following statement, along with screenshots of a May 10, 2019 flight reservation, to the Landmine:

Alaska has been my home since May of 2019. As you can see in the following plane ticket, I arrived here on May 10 of that year, and after a life-changing road trip with my now husband, I moved in with him in Anchorage.

In order to qualify for a residential fishing license in Alaska, you have to live in Alaska for 12 months. That is why I had a non-resident license during my first summer here. I have lived in Alaska since May 2019, and there is nowhere else I have lived or called home since then, a fact that is well-documented[original emphasis]

When I considered running for office earlier this year, for the first time ever, I went back through my calendar to find the exact date I moved in with Ben. This was important to me so I could confirm that I am qualified to run for office. My residency and eligibility to run for State House was certified by the Division of Elections.

When the Landmine asked Armstrong why her Instagram posts stating when she moved to Alaska had been edited, she responded:

The posts you’re asking about from Instagram were made retrospectively (not posted in real-time) and were my way of announcing a big life decision to family and friends and sharing the story of what made me fall in love with this place, not to provide a detailed legal record.

Subscribe
Notify of

21 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
P.A.A.
1 month ago

Armstrong completely ignored the important point about the fishing licenses in her response, which is not that she got a nonresident but that she got a nonresident and declared (under penalty of law) an out-of-state address. The inconsistency between her claimed residency duration is not a good look. Based on what is here, it appears that she moved here some time in June. At this point I do not see how she is going to avoid an APOC investigation or lawsuit.

Jeremy P.
1 month ago
Reply to  P.A.A.

She wrote she moved here in June. She took photos of herself moving here in June. She said on her fishing license that she moved here in June. All of this editing to make her residency start in May was after-the-fact. This is almost too stupid for words. What a mess.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeremy P.
Tabitha
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy P.

Her fishing licenses suggest a move date between April and June, but the only dates that are possible if all three licenses were filled out truthfully are May 20-25, 2019. So I think the question is was she even in Alaska from May 20 to 25? Or had she left the state to continue her vacation by then? I do agree that any reasonable person would conclude here that she moved in June, when she said she did. Her road trip in May looked fun but it’s insane to think that driving around Alaska but taking no other actions is… Read more »

Dan
1 month ago

Let’s examine this. At no point prior to maybe May 2020 was Armstrong a resident of Alaska for purposes of sport fishing licensure which requires that you be domiciled in Alaska for 12 months prior to claim residency. Do you have really expect a person applying for a non-resident fishing license, still using a Louisiana drivers license to claim residency in Alaska. She has to claim residency somewhere, but according to Fish and Game she isn’t a resident of Alaska. You seriously expect her to navigate that paperwork accurately? 2. It’s a word problem. If on June 21, 2020 you… Read more »

Tabitha L.
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

On June 21, 2020 Jennie claims 1 year 0 months of residency, ie: “I moved to Alaska between May 20, 2019 and June 20, 2019” On July 20, 2021 Jennie claims 2 years and 1 month of residency, ie: “I moved to Alaska between May 19, 2019 and June 19, 2019” On July 26, 2022 Jennie claims 3 years and 2 months of residency, ie: “I moved to Alaska between April 25, 2019 and May 25, 2019” The license claims all align if Jennie moved to Alaska on or between May 20, 2019, and May 25, 2019. The only issue… Read more »

Tabitha
1 month ago
Reply to  Tabitha L.

My point is that the fishing license dates require a May 20-25, 2019 move date, so they aren’t necessarily inconsistent. But if Jennie did actually move here in June then she lied on her last fishing license. That would mean that not only was she not eligible to run for office but she also committed a crime.So I guess the question is really where was Jennie from May 20 to 25? And does an extended trip that has one road trip segment in Alaska really qualify her for Alaska residency? From May 20 to 25 was she still a resident… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Tabitha
Tabitha
1 month ago
Reply to  Tabitha

Sorry I thought I was responding to another comment but I don’t see it now, not sure what happened.

Jared
1 month ago

Jeff has so little credibility this is such a Nothing Burger until anyone who isn’t affiliated with this juvenile gossip rag, except that Paxson guy, reports this.

WSx
1 month ago
Reply to  Jared

Jared- This isn’t about Jeff- the information is a starting point to be investigated & verified by others.
Go deeper & do the work, which is what AKF&G & the courts will do.
AK Fishing license applications are legal documents, used in many court cases , for which there is long established legal precedent in Alaska. Check case law going back decades on this. The facts will prove out one way or another- not the gossip.

Akwhitty
1 month ago
Reply to  Jared

Subway needs you back.
Go.

Tommy2
1 month ago

Jeff, can you do something useful and provide some updates on the “investigation” of Joe Gerace, APD and lack of bodycams, the seaplane and boat incident at Halibut Cove etc? I know you have the ability to do some reporting that is actually important instead of this ridiculous high school gossip.

Admin
Paxson Woelber
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy2

We are working on content related to APD’s foot-dragging on body cams. That is an important story that merits a lot more coverage.

Gimli
1 month ago

Nice work Jeff. Jennie’s explanations are transparently self-serving and weak. She moved here in June, EOS. She should have just waited till the next election to run.

Pablo
1 month ago

Even if you intend to stay in this state, by fish and game standards, you cannot receive a resident fishing license until you have lived here for one year. This is a big nothing burger. Is she not a resident because she didn’t get a PFD for 2019 or 2020? The PFD office has similar rules. Armstrong did the right thing in purchasing a non resident fishing license as she is not a resident in the eyes of fish and game. Pulled directly from AK Fish & Game’s website as to who is an Alaskan Resident in their eyes: Alaska… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Pablo
Ruth
1 month ago
Reply to  Pablo

You completely missed the point. Nobody has criticized her for getting a nonresident license. The issue is that she stated, in June of 2019, that her permanent residence was in Louisiana. Note that this is actually consistent with HER OWN statements that she moved here in June, so it is really just further evidence (in her own legal, signed statements) that she still had her primary residence in Louisiana much later than she now claims.

Pablo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ruth

Read what Fish and Game state regarding Alaska Residency. One who intends to remain, and has lived here for 12 months preceding the application for license Also, intent to remain is all that matters for filing for office. She made her decision to make Alaska her home in May of 2019 and filed to run for office in June 2022. That looks like three years to me. Can you tell me her intent from a non resident fishing license? Whether it was to make Alaska her home or to maintain her residency in Louisiana? In the end, who gives a… Read more »

Ruth
1 month ago
Reply to  Pablo

Again, missing the point. The issue with the fishing licenses is not that she (correctly) chose a nonresident license, it’s that she declared her residence to be an address in Louisiana. This is consistent with her other documented claims that she moved to Alaska in JUNE, not May. She only started claiming she moved here in May when that was necessary for her to run. All that matters is her residency for the purpose of seeking office, and contrary to what you wrote it is not as simple as simply being here and mentally deciding that Alaska is your home.… Read more »

Martin
1 month ago

The Beacon correctly and clearly points out that anyone can file a complaint ‘within ten days of a candidate’s filing.’ That ten days is long over. AK Fish & Game is also clear that one must first live in Alaska for 12 consecutive months before being eligible for a ‘resident’ fishing license (Tshibaka’s problem). If Ms. Armstrong hadn’t yet obtained her AK driver’s license or yet have a permanent local street address, that does not negate her intention to remain. Jeff, this election season seems to have brought out your old republican roots. Are you angling for another job in… Read more »

Ruth
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

See my other comments in this thread: Jennie getting a nonresident sportfish license wasn’t an issue. The issue was that she declared that she resided at a Louisiana address. This is just more evidence (on a legal document that she herself filled out and signed) that she still lived in Louisiana into June. There is no evidence at all that she established residency in Alaska in May. None. She came here to drive around and party, which is great, but she did nothing to establish residency.

Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Ruth

If she hadn’t established a new mailing yet, it’s perfectly reasonable to use one’s former address as a mailing residence. She may have had family in LA who’s kept her mail until she had a new address up here. The only “proof” required is her stated intention. Some form of written proof is NOT required.

This is all moot, since nobody filed a complaint within the 10-day limit, and she IS on the ballot.