Backers of a controversial initiative that has been billed as an anti-corruption measure say they are abandoning their campaign, though the measure is expected to remain on the ballot in August.
The group called Clean Team Alaska (Committee to Stop the Corruption) still supports the initiative to put limits on lobbying and campaign contributions. But the sponsors say the lieutenant governor's recent changes in the ballot language describing the proposed law would give an unfair advantage to those who want it defeated. There's no point taking the dispute to court because that system is corrupt, too, the backers say.
"As we have traveled the state, the culture of corruption is even more embedded and profound than we realized when we started this campaign," the committee chairman, former state legislator Dick Randolph, said in a written statement Thursday.
"The current attorney general and lieutenant governor are clearly not acting within the law, and the only course of action we have is a lengthy and costly legal fight with very little expectation of a favorable ruling from a court system that embraces the same culture of corruption as the attorney general and lieutenant governor," he said.
The initiative has riled up foes as varied as labor unions, school districts and rural villages.
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