A newly formed independent expenditure group, Begich for Alaska, has announced they will be supporting Mark Begich in his bid for governor. In a press release they said:
The group of Alaskans plans to raise money and work to support Begich to be Alaska’s next governor. The group is chaired by Kim Metcalfe; and Walter Featherly will serve as the treasurer.
Metcalfe is active in the Alaska Democratic Party. She previously served as chair of the Juneau Democrats and National Committeewoman for the Alaska Democratic Party. Featherly is the executive partner at the law office of Holland & Knight in Anchorage.
They aren’t shy about going after both Governor Bill Walker and Mike Dunleavy. The press release states:
After four years of Bill Walker and Mike Dunleavy in Juneau, Alaska has the highest unemployment rate in the country, crime continues to jeopardize our basic safety, and our kids’ education is continually on the table for negotiation among politicians. From PFD and education cuts to proposing employment and gas taxes, Walker and Dunleavy have both put forward a combination of policies that will hurt hard-working Alaskans for generations to come.
The full press release can be seen here
Begich for Alaska will be competing with another monied-up independent expenditure, Dunleavy for Alaska. They have reported over $600,000 in contributions to date. That group is mostly financed by Mike Dunleavy’s brother, Francis Dunleavy, and Alaskan Bob Penney. I don’t think the name the pro-Begich people choose was an accident.
According to the press release, they already have $100,000 pledged, though they have not yet reported any contributions with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. It is not clear who or where the money is coming from.
The 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United opened the floodgates by removing the limitations on financial contributions to independent political groups. After the ruling, the Alaska Public Offices Commission determined that people or businesses could make unlimited donations to independent expenditure groups. Candidates are limited to $500 per person per year in donations or $1,000 per year from a PAC. Businesses cannot donate to candidates for state or local office in Alaska.
It’s definitely about to get lit for the general election.