Unlimited Campaign Expenditures Flood Alaska

Contributed by Beverly Churchill

Alaskans Seeing Results of Runaway Spending in Recent/Upcoming Election; Learn More

Most of us can’t begin to “get even” by matching the tens of thousands of dollars pouring into our recent election campaign of 2018. But, as the saying goes, you can “get mad” and folks often do. But instead of letting it eat at you, use that energy to learn about how we got here and what each of us can do to fix it.

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That is what one group, Move to Amend Anchorage, has been doing in Alaska since 2010, when the US Supreme Court’s decision came down on the Citizens United vs the FEC, allowing unlimited money to be spent by anyone, on any campaign issue they care to promote. The court reinforced the 1972 decision that “money” is “free speech”, and therefore ruled that the people cannot regulate expenditures.

Move to Amend is one of a dozen or more national organizations working on this issue. Each has their own approach, but in the end, they want the same outcome, to overturn elements of the Citizens United decision. It is the only national organization with a presence in Alaska, although we know of a couple of members of WolfPac who are in the state. And, “we welcome them and any other groups to coordinate efforts with us”, stated Beverly Churchill, one of the founding members of the local group.

It is not a pretty picture; finger pointing goes on, lawsuits are filed, airways are inundated by negative aids, while the average Alaskan stands by helplessly to do anything but switch the channel. Many may not even know that as these words are being written, there is a lawsuit to do away with Alaska’s campaign finance laws, sighting them as unconstitutional. But Move to Amend Anchorage wants to see change, and they are looking for more Alaskan communities to join on as affiliates.

Already, three communities in Alaska have passed resolutions supporting the efforts, and in Anchorage, 25 community councils as well as unions and non-profits that have also signed resolutions, with the understanding that the Supreme Court decision included unions and non-profits. “We believe this is a non-partisan issue” states Churchill, who cites several polls done that show regardless of political affiliation, most folk not like the idea of those with wealth influencing elections with no oversight by the people, that is, an inability to pass any laws regulating campaign expenditures.

While Move to Amend is based in Anchorage, the group would like to see affiliates form across the state. Churchill will be speaking this coming Monday, November 12, 6pm at the Matsu College, Snodgrass Hall, room 118, and again on Thursday, November 29th at 5pm at the Bistro Red Beet. Both events are free.

Contact: Beverly Churchill, anchorage@movetoamend.org; 907-244-4987