Politics & Government

Alaska 'Open Government' group faces record fine

A group that poured tens of thousands of dollars into a ballot measure that aims to be against government corruption faces penalties topping $300,000 for failing to publicly report its contributions and donors for months.

If the fine proposed for Alaskans for Open Government holds, it would be the largest penalty for a campaign money violation in Alaska.

Backers of the controversial Ballot Measure 1 say it targets sweetheart deals and seeks to curb undue influence by government contract holders and unions.

Opponents say it would crush the ability of many Alaskans to lobby government and have a voice in political campaigns. Even a village mayor would be barred from traveling to Juneau to lobby, they say.

The measure is on the Aug. 24 primary election ballot.

Alaskans for Open Government was the top financial contributor to Clean Team Alaska, the group behind Measure 1, but it didn't file its first financial disclosure report to the state -- revealing the source of its money -- until June, long after various deadlines had passed, according to a letter sent this month by the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

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