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TNC

Kelly Tshibaka stages “fish camp” video featuring Lisa Murkowski supporter’s boat

On July 15, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka posted a campaign video showing her and her family at “fish camp” in Ninilchik. The video post stated, “I got to take a break from the campaign trail in Ninilchik, where I got to enjoy Fish Camp with my kids. This is what Alaska is all about! Check it out!”

But some simple research paints a strange picture. The video was filmed at a commercial set net site owned by former Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, and a tender in the video is owned by a supporter of Lisa Murkowski.

You can see the video here.

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In the video, Tshibaka and her family can be seen taking fish out of a net, and at one point selling fish to a tender. The tender, the Anna Lane, is owned the Scalzi family in Homer. Luke Scalzi, the son of Barbara and the late former legislator Drew Scalzi, told the Landmine the Tshibaka campaign did not ask if his boat could be in the video, and if they would have asked he would have said no. Scalzi, whose father served in the Alaska House with Lisa Murkowski, said that Tshibaka “seems like a nice person” but that he supports Lisa Murkowski.

Former Alaska Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, the owner of the set net site, told the Landmine that he gave the Tshibaka family permission to use the site, but was not aware of any video production involving his site. He said he routinely lets his friends use the site.

The state of Alaska shows no record of Tshibaka in possession of a commercial or subsistence permit. Neither is there a record under Hartline, Tshibaka’s maiden name. An email to the Tshibaka campaign asking about the site where the video was filmed and whether Tshibaka holds a commercial crew license, was answered by Tim Murtaugh, Donald Trump’s former Director of Communications. Murtaugh responded, “Kelly and her campaign followed the rules under the guidance of the operator.” The email stated Murtaugh is spokesperson for the Tshibaka campaign.

The Landmine will be submitting a records request to Fish and Game to see if Tshibaka holds an Alaska commercial crew license or fishing license. Tshibaka moved back to Alaska in 2019 to after nearly two decades working in Washington D.C. for various government agencies. She returned when Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) appointed her commissioner of the Department of Administration. In late March, Tshibaka filed to run against incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska). She has attacked Murkowski for not supporting Donald Trump. She was recently endorsed by the Alaska Republican Party.

This is not the only recent instance in which a U.S. Senate candidate in Alaska has appeared to embellish hunting and fishing credentials. Al Gross, who unsuccessfully challenged Senator Dan Sullivan (R – Alaska) last year, landed in hot water after it came out that the Gross campaign had been spreading a misleading account of an incident in which a bear snuck up on Gross. The Gross campaign had claimed that Gross had killed the bear, but official records stated that Gross’s companion had killed the bear. The Gross campaign’s story unraveled following a records request to Fish and Game.

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Governor Dike Munleavy
3 months ago

This woman literally believes she baby-talks “African languages” with God. And you’re surprised she faked a fishing photo-op???????

Get real Jeff
3 months ago

Jeff, all Alaska politicians feel that they need to do this kind of thing. Helping out at somebody else’s fish site isn’t illegal, either. Kelly is smart, successful, God-fearing, and a big threat to Lisa Murkowski. Please focus on the real issues. This article is fishy. Pun intended.

3 months ago
Reply to  Get real Jeff

Actually helping out on someone’s setnet site is illegal if you don’t have a crew member license. Selling fish to a tender without the permit holder present is also illegal.

Ron Dusenkrantz
3 months ago

Why should I care who owns the tender she “sold” the fish to? It’s just a photo op. Chill.

Jill Scalzi
3 months ago

Because this footage aligns my family with a candidate we do not support. And including our daughters image in a political campaign without our permission lacks class and professionalism.

SaltyDawg
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Scalzi

Duly noted on the public record and Lisa’s campaign that the Scalzi family supports Lisa not Kelly. The risk of Lisa returning your past or future campaign donations has been averted. Can we move on now?

AK Jane
3 months ago

She looks so uncomfortable in that boat…she’s just another grifter, DC can have her.

Jacob Sonneborn
3 months ago

Sneaked

Actual credentialed journalist (retired)
3 months ago

Screw Tshibaka. But, I personally have legally gillnetted multiple times on a commercial set – with a subsistence card. The nets are smaller but the site is the same.

Bridge5
3 months ago

But you certainly can’t sell subsistence-caught fish to a tender.

Actual credentialed journalist (retired)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bridge5

Ah, excellent point.

Lynn Willis
3 months ago

Thanks again Jeff. Tshibaka is comparable to a communist “Potemkin village” – a fake propaganda image of a reality that does not exist.. Tshibaka is being told by her “handlers” where to be, what to say, and in this case how to act. She was foisted on Alaskans by the Trump organization to defeat Murkowski and was of course endorsed by the “Joe Miller” faction of the Alaska Republican Party who have not forgotten or forgiven Murkowski’s victory.

SaltyDawg
3 months ago
Reply to  Lynn Willis

Remember Lisa was foisted upon us by her daddy. The seat belongs to her family, obviously. We’re just too stupid hold her family accountable for brazen actions that reinforce such entitlement. Heretofore a majority of voters have valued tenure above conservative values.

Lynn Willis
3 months ago
Reply to  SaltyDawg

Remember Murkowski then defeated Joe Miller in a write in election. That in itself removed any doubt of her popularity with Alaskans. Murkowski already has more campaign money than Tshibaka. And you even have Dan Sullivan endorsing Murkowski should she run (I must point our that Sullivan’s endorsement is the bravest action I have ever seen from our Marine “Colonel” Sullivan.). To sum up, in this Senate race to date the “traditional” Republican Party in Alaska is still functioning while the “Trumplicans” have chosen to water ski behind an anchor.

Warren
3 months ago

This from the mouth of the woman who wants to be our senator: https://youtu.be/cyXaBVDDCPY

Paul
3 months ago

This is an odd video since her former boss is in the pocket of Bob Penny who has made it his life’s work to eliminate nets from Cook Inlet. Please God of Kelly for Alaska, let her lose in a landslide.

Art Cambell
3 months ago

Kelly Tshibaka, Did God tell you to throw the Hon. Lt. Governor Loren Lehman “under the Bus” to hide your illegal commercial fishing activity, during your regular weekly talk?

Jonathan Butzke
3 months ago

Tshibaka, a liar just like Trump. Keep the exposure all year. There’ll be a lot more.

3 months ago

Can we find out if the permit holder, assumingly Loeren Lemond was there? If he didn’t know about the filming that would imply he wasn’t there.

If he wasn’t there then nobody would be allowed to fish the site. Would be easy enough to find the fish ticket and see who signed it.

Permit holders can’t just “let friends use their site”

Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

They cannot deliver without a permit card, and the card needs to be in possession of whoever’s name is on card. They don’t just pull up with fish and sign a ticket.
Tenders don’t just buy from anyone who pulls alongside with fish. Typically tenders have a route, just like the mailman and they buy once or twice daily from the fishermen. They know who the fishermen are and will not just buy from some random person pulling alongside.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rob
Areal Bilk
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

The permit holders are Joseph and Erica Leman. They’re both in the video & on the boat. No nefarious fishing going on… just dramatic marketing.

Taku
3 months ago

Gettin’ all mavericky and whatnot. Seems that she is going off of the playbook of another failed Alaska politician.

Maybe her husband should run the Iron Dog to give her more authenticity?

Areal Bilk
3 months ago

I’m no fan of Tshibaka’s politics but this is ridiculous. Tshibaka isn’t claiming it’s her camp – it’s a puff marketing piece. This is the Leman fish camp in Ninilchik – a spot that virtually every Alaskan republican lawmaker has visited – the the Leman gradchildren are all over the ad. The Leman’s may be extremely conservative – but they’re still really nice people and if you talk to them for all of 15 minutes they will invite you to visit their place in Ninilchik. Looks like Tshibaka took them up on the invite. Focus on Tshibaka’s politics and stop… Read more »