Pro-Walker group accused of ‘sanitizing’ campaign contributions

The Alaska Public Offices Commission has filed a complaint against two political action committees that backed Gov. Bill Walker’s campaign in the 2014 election.

The complaint, dated Nov. 3, alleges Your Future Alaska Inc. was created specifically “to ‘sanitize’ money collected from donors, by contributing the money to two other persons, in its own name.”

It is illegal under state statute and regulation to use a third party to hide the source of a campaign donation.

The complaint states that YFA gave $21,000 to Alaskans First, which had the same officers and directors as YFA.

YFA also contributed $50,000 to Walker Mallott 1, a registered group whose treasurer was a director and vice president of the other two political groups.

Marcia Davis, who was treasurer of Alaskans First and Your Future Alaska, now serves as deputy chief of staff to Walker.

In an email Tuesday afternoon, the Alaska Republican Party said the complaint and Davis’ ties to it are cause for her resignation.

“Money laundering is the worst campaign finance violation we can think of. It’s time for Marcia Davis to resign,” GOP chairman Peter Goldberg said in a statement.

He added that the complaint “calls into question Gov. Walker’s entire election.”

In an emailed statement provided late Wednesday, Walker spokeswoman Grace Jang said “the APOC complaint against Your Future Alaska and Alaskans First is not connected to Marcia Davis’ role as the governor’s deputy chief of staff.”

In addition to the alleged failure to identify the true source of donations, the APOC complaint says Your Future Alaska spent money before registering as a campaign organization.

According to filings, the nonprofit registered Oct. 28, three days after it contributed $50,000 to Walker Mallott 1.

The complaint further charges that Your Future Alaska didn’t disclose its contributors until almost a full year after the election and that it didn’t disclose its contributions until 20 days after the election.

Alaskans First is accused of failing to disclose its contributors until Dec. 31 — 57 days after the election.

If upheld, those alleged violations could bring financial penalties against the directors or officers of the political nonprofits.

Thomas Amodio, an Anchorage attorney representing the two nonprofits in the complaint, said by phone that “we’re working on resolving the matter, and we have no comments while it’s pending in front of APOC.”

The Empire attempted to contact Davis, who did not respond by the end of the business day Tuesday. The Empire will continue its attempts to reach her and continue to follow the progress of the complaint.

According to APOC filings, Your Future Alaska received $50,000 from Barney Gottstein, $20,000 from Bristol Bay Native Corporation and $5,000 from Ahtna Inc., the regional Native corporation for the Glennallen area.

In October, Davis told the Anchorage Daily News that Your Future Alaska sought legal advice and followed state and federal law. Any ambiguity in the process can be attributed to the Citizens United decision in 2010. That ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down limits on corporate and union spending on elections.

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