Move to Amend Anchorage, along with several other community sponsors, has invited Jeff Clements, President of American Promise, on a two-week speaking tour across Alaska to build support for a national, cross-partisan movement to win an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to address out-of-control spending in U.S. elections and secure the equal rights of Americans to effective representation and participation in self-government.
Jeff will talk about the dramatic growth in SuperPAC spending, the increasing role of concentrated wealth in elections and government, and what we can do to ensure that all of the American people are equal citizens in our republic.
Public events include:
• Fri 3/15 12:00 noon Juneau Bar Association at the Baranof
• Sat 3/16 4:00pm League of Women Voters at Mendenhall Library
• Mon 3/18 5:00 pm Juneau World Affairs Council at the studios of KTOO
• Tues 3/19 7:30 pm William H Seward Lecture at UAA, in Library 307
• Weds 3/20 6:00pm Anchorage Forum, with speakers talking about the legal challenge to Alaska’s campaign finance law (pro and con), citizen actions in Alaska and Massachusetts, and proposals for a 28th Amendment pending in Congress; moderated by retired Justice Bud Carpeneti; at 49th State Brewery. Cosponsored by Alaska Common Ground
• Sun 3/24 10:30am Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks
• Mon 3/25 6:00 pm UA Free Speech lecture sponsored by the UAF Political Science Department, in Schaible Auditorium
The 2018 election cycle in Alaska showed an unprecedented level of outside super PAC spending in campaigns. Stand for Salmon/Stand for Alaska, the governor’s race, and legislative races in Anchorage and Fairbanks all had large amounts of outside money spent to influence the races. “Alaskans are fed up with Outside interests telling us what to do,” says Sharman Haley, a resident of Anchorage. “It is swamping the political voice and preferences of Alaska citizens, and eroding our right to self-governance. More money does not mean better information for voters’ decision-making: it just means an incessant flood of emotionally manipulative soundbites.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Alaska’s campaign finance law limiting out-of-state contributions to candidates violates the First Amendment based on the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United narrowing the reasons states can limit campaign contributions to preventing “quid pro quo corruption.” The stated purpose for Alaska’s campaign finance law is to restore the public’s trust in the electoral process and to foster good government, based on findings that “(1) campaigns for elective public office last too long, are often uninformative, and are too expensive; (2) highly qualified citizens are dissuaded from running for public office due to the high cost of election campaigns; (3) organized special interests are responsible for raising a significant portion of all election campaign funds and may thereby gain an undue influence over election campaigns and elected officials, particularly incumbents; and (4) incumbents enjoy a distinct advantage in raising money for election campaigns, and many elected officials raise and carry forward huge surpluses from one campaign to the next, to the disadvantage of challengers.”
This law was proposed by citizen’s initiative, passed by the legislature in 1996, amended by initiative in 2006 to restore and reaffirm the $500 contribution limit for individuals, and approved with a margin of 73% of the popular vote. “In order for Alaska’s campaign finance law to be effective, we need to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United v. FEC, so that’s what we fighting to do,” said Beverly Churchill, spokesperson for Anchorage Move to Amend.
The Anchorage Assembly recently passed a resolution in support of such an amendment, joining resolutions of support by Homer, Sitka and 23 Anchorage Community Councils. Similar resolutions will be introduced in the Alaska House and Senate this session. Nineteen states and over 800 municipalities nationwide have already gone on record in support of the 28th Amendment. Resolutions introduced in Congress have 200 cosponsors.