On July 10 I reported on some political mailers that were sent out praising Senator Mia Costello (R – Anchorage) and Representative Josh Revak (R – Anchorage). The Revak mailer was problematic because it did not have a ‘paid for by’ disclaimer on it. Revak has filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). Costello was re-elected last year and is not up for re-election until 2022. So the mailer for her was less of an issue. Here is the original article:
The content on the mailers was similar to ads that Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) has been running on Facebook. I suspected the Governor’s Office sent out the mailers. After several inquiries, his spokesperson, Matt Shuckerow, confirmed they did in fact send out the mailers. Shuckerow sent me the following in an email:
The Office of the Governor has explored a variety of different options to best communicate with Alaskans, including the use of digital and printed communication, traditional media, radio, social media, and more. In an ever changing media and information landscape, examining how best to inform Alaskans continues to be a goal of the Office of the Governor.
These forms of communication all represent an effort to inform Alaskans on the issues of the day and how best to remain engaged on items of critical importance, including issues such as crime and public safety, the budget, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and a permanent fiscal plan for Alaska.
The printed communications represent only one small part of the Governor’s Office outreach to Alaskans. This form of communication was used in a limited capacity to measure whether or not it was an effective way to communicate with Alaskans.
In total, approximately $3500 was allocated for printed communications.
Approximately $31,500 has been spent on paid communication through Facebook.
The Office of the Governor places a great deal of priority on scarce financial resources, particular in the face of budget deficits, but believes dollars allocated to inform Alaskans are well-spent and are in-line with other efforts and actions taken by Governor’s offices.
According to the email, they spent $3,500 on the mailers and $31,500 so far on Facebook advertising, totaling $35,000.
Heather Hebdon, the Executive Director of APOC, said they were aware the Governor’s Office had sent out the mailers. APOC advised them that if they do any further mailers for legislators that are declared candidates with either APOC or the Division of Elections, they must include a ‘paid for by’ disclaimer.