envelope

Big spending, small mistakes from first time CBJ candidates

Campaign disclosures show lots of spending and some filing mistakes

Following the publication of this article candidate Paul Kelly informed the Empire his campaign treasurer submitted a corrected Alaska Public Office Commission report on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Kelly’s reported a total of $11,957 in income and 9,571.89 in expenses, making his campaign the second most expensive in this election. The article has been updated to reflect the change.

An Empire review of campaign disclosure documents for the recent municipal elections in Juneau showed a wide discrepancy in spending between candidates and some filing missteps from first-time candidates.

Spending

Expenditure reports from the Alaska Public Office Commission show candidate Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake far outraising and outspending any other candidates in Juneau’s recent municipal elections. According to the most recent results, Blake was leading her race for Assembly District 1, with more than double the number of votes for the next highest candidate, Paul Kelly.

According to APOC documents, Blake’s campaign reported a total of $35,438 in income through the most recent reporting date, Sept. 25, and total expenditures of $26,148.

Campaign reporting for the statewide municipal election began Feb. 2, 2021, according to APOC, and the latest reporting period ended Sept. 25. The next reporting period for candidates covers Sept. 26 – Jan. 3, 2022, and will be released in January 2022.

The next highest candidate spending, according to state records, came from Paul Kelly, whose campaign reported total expenditures of $11,957 but a campaign income of $9,571, through Sept. 25.

According to filings with APOC:

■ Troy Wyut-Smith’s campaign took in a total of $1,570, through Sept. 25, and spent a total of $1o,499.

■ Kelly Fishler spent the third most, spending $5,154 through Sept. 25, with a total campaign income of $6,419.

■ Mayor Beth Weldon, who ran unopposed, reported $1,496 in expenditures through Sept. 25, and $600 of income. As an incumbent, Weldon entered the race with $3,521 already on hand.

The beginning cash on hand segment shows total funds for any given campaign or election cycle, said Charles Stormont, APOC paralegal. Under state law, candidates that have leftover funds after an election are allowed to disburse a portion of these funds to a Future Election Campaign Account with a maximum of $5,000 for municipal office, Stormont said in an email.

[UA president: No systemwide mandate for now, but vaccine requirement coming]

Those funds that are allocated to the future campaign account can be held there as long as the candidate likes, Stormont said, and the funds in that account will have an annual reporting requirement due by Feb. 15 of each year until they are fully disbursed.

Paperwork problems

According to APOC, candidates intending to spend less than $5,000 on their campaign can file for an exemption to campaign disclosures. Exemptions were granted to Ibn Bailey, Thomas Buzard, Michelle Bonnet Hale, Will Muldoon, Kyle Scholl, Elizabeth Siddon and Aaron Spratt, APOC records show.

No financial disclosure documents or exemption forms were found for Wiljordan V. Sangster.

That is a violation, but as a first-time filer there won’t be a fine, according to Tom Lucas, campaign disclosure coordinator at APOC. First-time candidates receive a notice of violation and are informed of what the civil penalty could be. In this case, Lucas said the fine for not submitting disclosure or exemption forms was $50 a day until it was filed.

Lucas said in a phone interview Tuesday APOC would also notify Sangster, Spratt and Buzard about an improperly labeled campaign advertisement in the Sept. 2, 2021 edition of the Empire

Together Sangster, Spratt and Buzard placed an advertisement in the Sept. 2, 2021 edition of the Empire for a joint campaign event which Lucas said didn’t fully disclosure who paid for the message. The advertisement says, “paid for by the candidates,” but Lucas said campaign ads must give the names and addresses of the payers. However, Lucas noted the violation was not something he would be inclined to file a formal complaint about, though if a citizen or employee were to file a complaint an investigation would have to be conducted.

Lucas said that the Empire hadn’t violated any laws or regulations by running the ad, but that news outlets try to inform candidates when their ads are mislabeled. An Empire advertising representative was told of the oversight and will notify candidates of future omissions.

Sangster, Spratt and Buzard did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Dec. 1

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

A man missing for more than 40 years was identified by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation as a Chugiak resident who was last seen in 1979 before being discovered murdered years before on an island near Anchorage in 1989. (Courtesy photo / Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Body found in ’80s ID’d with DNA analysis

The body, found in 1989, had been unidentified until now.

teaser
Planet Alaska: Visiting the ancestors through glimpses of glyphs

We live in Tlingit Aaní on Kaachxaan.akw’w where our petroglyphs are a symbol of home.

Wilson Valentine (right) and John Staub rehearse ahead of the Juneau Symphony’s return to in-person performances in October. Earlier this month, Christopher Koch was named music director of the symphony. He will conduct his first concert in that role in late January. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Making beautiful music together

Meet the symphony’s new music director

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Tuesday, Nov. 30

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This photo shows a raven in the snow. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
On the Trails: Transition to winter — maybe

A mat of old leaves lined the roadway, each leaf fringed with crystals, making a pretty mosaic…

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Thin ice sheets form near the Mendenhall Glacier in early November. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

Most Read