For years, a wealthy Alaska businessman who funded opposition to the proposed Pebble mine has shunned the spotlight.
But now E-mails, bank transactions and sworn testimony newly released as part of an Alaska Public Offices Commission investigation provide details about Anchorage financial manager Bob Gillam's involvement and the extent of his check-writing. The commission is investigating whether he illegally gave $2 million to back last summer's expensive ballot measure campaign seeking stricter pollution rules for hard-rock mines. The commission also is scrutinizing a few anti-Pebble groups and individuals who worked with Gillam on the ballot measure.
The documents and testimony provide a rare window into Gillam's role in the fight over Pebble, a multibillion-dollar copper and gold mine prospect that is controversial due to its location near the headwaters of two of the five rivers that feed Bristol Bay's rich salmon runs. The Pebble fight pits environmentalists, fishermen, hunters and some Native villages against mining companies and their supporters.
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