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Lisa

Group supporting Anchorage alcohol tax has received over $200,000 from nonprofits

The group supporting the Anchorage alcohol tax proposal, Yes for a Safe, Healthy Anchorage, has reported over $250,000 in contributions since their first Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) report on March 9. Over 80% of the money has come from three non-profits: The Alaska Children’s Trust has donated $105,000, Recover Alaska $72,862, and Providence Health and Services Alaska $25,000. Brown Jug, a for profit business, donated $15,000. Labor groups and individual Alaskans make up the rest of the donations.

You can see their reports here:

Thirty Day Report, filed 3/9/2020

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We Build Alaska

Seven Day Report, filed 3/31/2020

24 Hour Report, filed 3/31/2020

24 Hour Report, filed 4/1/2020

The money from Recover Alaska is interesting. It is listed on the reports as “Other Group,” but Recover Alaska is not listed as a group with APOC. The only place the money they donated shows up is in a “Statement of Contributions” report filed on 3/27/2020. But unlike a regular report, this does not show where the money came from. According to their website, Recover Alaska’s funding comes from:

  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
  • MAT-SU Health Foundation
  • Providence Health and Services Alaska
  • Rasmuson Foundation
  • Southcentral Foundation
  • State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Alaska Children’s Trust
  • Alaska Community Foundation
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Bristol Bay Native Corporation
  • Doris Duke Foundation
  • Doyon Ltd.
  • Hearst Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Knight Foundation
  • The State of Alaska
  • Sultana New Ventures (a service of The Foraker Group)
  • Weinberg Foundation
  • Wells Fargo

Recover Alaska is also running ads on Facebook in favor of the alcohol tax. This seems to be a violation of Alaska law as there is no ‘paid for by’ disclaimer. They would likely argue they are just providing information and not telling people how to vote.

 

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Walker Drygas

Yes for a Safe, Healthy Anchorage has engaged Yuit Communications and Porcaro Communications for campaign strategy and media buys. They have paid Yuit $160,802 and Porcaro $47,850.99. Porcaro, who has never seen an issue he can’t change his mind on for the right price, was an outspoken critic of the tax until he started taking money from the group. You may recall that Porcaro was all for the Chugach/ML&P merger until he lost the bid to run the campaign. Then he magically changed his mind and was against it. Ironically, Yuit Communications ended up winning that contract. I guess they are all friends now!

The group opposing the tax, Alaskans Against Unfair Alcohol Taxes, has reported just over $100,000 in contributions. $40,000 came from the Alaska Beer, Wine, & Spirits Wholesalers Association and $10,000 from the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association. The rest came from alcohol companies (Miller, Anheuser Busch), bar owners, and other alcohol groups. Their reports show a bunch of other income but it does not appear it’s being used for this campaign. Someone should talk to them about how to file their APOC reports!

You can see their reports here:

Thirty Day Report, filed 3/9/2020

Seven Day Report, filed 3/31/2020

24 Hour Report, filed 3/31/2020

An alcohol tax failed on last year’s Anchorage municipal ballot 53.76% to 46.24%.

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Stephan Smith
2 years ago

Nonprofits are the cornerstone to majority of the prevention work and help provided to our neighbors who suffer from mental illness, health issues, substance misuse, homelessness, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, food insecurity, and the list goes on and on. Those nonprofits provide services at a cost that no government could do, or most for-profits. To see them stand-up, once again, for the issues that are important to us living in Anchorage, I thank them. I appreciate seeing the list of supporters of Recover Alaska. Alcohol misuse costs our community hundreds of millions of dollars every year. To see… Read more »

Scott Kohlhaas
2 years ago

Imagine how many people these “non-profits” could have helped with that $250,000! Too bad they use their donors money to shove a tax down our throats.