Alaska House members and senators are holding meetings this week to organize new caucuses leading each chamber. But it won’t necessarily be smooth sailing even if the Alaska Capitol ends up under one-party control, according to interviews with members.
In the last few days before an election, it’s pretty common for political groups to start playing fast and loose with Alaska’s campaign finance laws — and the state’s cash-strapped campaign finance regulators say they’d need a larger staff to monitor all the ads in the last-minute barrage.
Until a late influx of money in the final weeks of the campaign, most of the cash for the pro-Dunleavy independent expenditure group came from two people: Dunleavy’s brother Francis, and Bob Penney, the developer and recreational fishing advocate who’s long donated to Republican candidates and causes.
For the past four years, Begich has owned a public affairs and consulting firm, working with clients that intersect with state government. If elected, he’ll likely be faced with decisions that will directly affect the businesses, unions and Native organizations that have been paying his business for advice.
Some of Alaska’s most prominent lobbyists are boosting the fundraising efforts of political candidates, prompting questions about whether they’re breaking a state law that’s designed to limit lobbyists’ influence over the legislative process.