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Tshibaka campaign blames Kenai River Sportfishing Association for Kelly Tshibaka’s illegal sport fishing license

In the latest twist to “Fishgate,” the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka blamed the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) for Tshibaka’s illegal acquisition of a resident sport fishing license in 2019. The Landmine broke the story after a records request related to her “Fish Camp” video, which shows the U.S. Senate candidate fishing on a commercial net without a license, revealed the illegal sport fish license.

Tshibaka campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh attempted to excuse the illegal sport fish license, telling political blog Must Read Alaska that Tshibaka had obtained the license at a charity event, the Kenai River Classic, in 2019:

“‘Kelly attended the 2019 Kenai River Classic in her capacity as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration. Her confirmation hearings had been very public and it was well known that she had recently returned to the state to serve in the governor’s cabinet. The event organizers asked if she had a current fishing license, and when she said she didn’t, they issued her one,’ said Tim Murtaugh, spokesperson for the Tshibaka campaign. ‘Lisa Murkowski’s allies are clearly worried about Kelly, if they are willing to attack her on this.'”

According to the Department of Fish and Game’s License Vendor Manual, license issuers are prohibited from assessing an applicant’s residency status. The manual states that “Vendors should not challenge possible false statements made by the licensee.” A spokesperson for KRSA told the Landmine, “KRSA issued numerous licenses at the 2019 classic, and the license for Commissioner Tshibaka was one of the them. We complied with the state of Alaska law and guidelines when issuing these licenses.”

Must Read Alaska posted a copy of the license Tshibaka illegally obtained in 2019. The license, which is signed by Tshibaka, states that the applicant must “read and understand” the definition of Alaska “resident,” and that “making false statements herein is subject to criminal penalties.” Tshibaka wrote she was a resident for 15 years, while she in fact had only returned to the state six months prior, after an absence of 23 years. As previously reported by the Landmine, Tshibaka’s resume states that she worked U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General in Arlington, Virginia, until January 2019. Tshibaka was a Maryland resident and remains registered to vote in that state.

Tshibaka’s resident fishing license is below:

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Scott Kless
2 years ago

Slow news day.

Jedediah Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Kless

No. If she is willing to put herself out there to represent this state, she needs to withstand the most basic scrutiny. If you think falsifying information on a sportfish license is okay, then you truly have no respect for the state’s resources. If this was an oversight on her part, that is almost worse, considering she was responsible for millions of dollars worth of contracts in her role as commissioner of administration. Either way, overlooking this is inexcusable.

Fred Yates
2 years ago

So how can she run for Alaska senate if she isn’t a resident of Alaska? If she registered to vote in another state clearly she isn’t a resident of Alaska

2 years ago

Okay, beside the point, but . . . why is there a category for blind residents hunting?

Retired journalist
2 years ago
Reply to  slipstream

Blind people can have a proxy hunt for them but they still have to be licensed.

2 years ago

Thanks. Didn’t know that.

Lynn Willis
2 years ago

When it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and floats like duck it might just be a duck. Then when the suspect “duck” denies being a duck you should take warning. Same principal applies to a dishonest person. Alaskans you have been warned.

2 years ago

Does claiming residency when you don’t meet the residency criteria in orders to obtain a resident license constitute perjury?

Cathy Lindsworth
2 years ago

The $29 resident tag area is punched, and class is written as “01”, which means this is a resident tag. And Kelley wrote that she had been a resident for 15 years, which is flat out false since she had just moved to Alaska from Maryland. I don’t want to assuem the worst but I am really struggling to see how this could have been an accident. It is possible that the person issuing this said “oh, they never check these” or something. But Kelley TShibaka signed it herself. So… this is sloppy at best. Alaska needs to do better.… Read more »

2 years ago

LOL check out the comments on Must Read Alaska. Her campaign is in full damage control mode.

Smiley Bitters
2 years ago

She’s a Harvard Law graduate. She has absolutely no excuse for not understanding the residency requirements on a fishing license.

2 years ago

So haters…the motivation was to pay $4 more than the 1-day Non-Resident License?

Bob Weinstein
2 years ago
Reply to  Dumbar

Actually, the date and times are 6 am on one day until 3 pm the next. This is 2 days, and of course there is no two day license. So it would have been $45 for a 3 day nonresident license. And she also lied about being a resident for 15 years, since as a Harvard Law graduate she should be capable of reading and understanding the definition of residency (which she lost when she was gone for many years)- which by her signature she claims she did (“I have read and understand the definition of Alaska “resident'”). If she… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Bob Weinstein
Gil Aegerter
2 years ago

Making a false statement about residency is appalling.

Kelly Shebotchedit
2 years ago

Who else has been getting creepy friend requests on Facebook from Kelly sent out so that she can pretend to be surrounded by support? Fake bitch and fake bitch campaign advisors 💁‍♂️

Frank Rast
2 years ago

Excercising rivelege and flouting the law is the standard for a Trump Republican

The ghost of Tshibaka's campaign
2 years ago

The Tshibaka campaign is claiming that KRSA filled the license out for her and she just signed it. In other words, her own campaign’s DEFENSE is that Kelly just signs whatever is put in front of her. Even when the document specifically reminds the signee that they have to read and understand what the document means. This is pathetic. Utterly, stupendously, pathetic.

Joe Macinko
2 years ago

The party of personal responsibility.