APOC: Treadwell ad services didn't violate campaign law

DISCOUNTED? They were commercially reasonable, staff says.

Anchorage Daily NewsJanuary 2, 2012 

The Alaska Public Offices Commission staff investigated whether Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, in his election campaign, got discounts for ad services that amounted to a corporate contribution, and has concluded that he didn't.

The APOC staff is recommending the commission accept a consent agreement with Treadwell over a variety of campaign finance disclosure issues.

The APOC staff had alleged Treadwell failed to report spending with a law firm accurately in timely fashion, didn't properly amend reports for spending in a restaurant, and failed to correctly report spending with an ad firm, Burkewood Creative of Princeton, N.J.

The commission turned down the consent agreement in November because the question of whether the Treadwell campaign received commercially unreasonable discounts for the ad services was unresolved.

APOC staff thought Treadwell had received such discounts, but Treadwell denied it.

The commission asked the staff to investigate further.

"APOC staff reviewed the practices of Burkewood Creative with three media consultants and finds that, despite some oddities in its billing practices, Burkewood Creative did not violate campaign finance law in this case," said a recent report to the commissioners from APOC attorney Martha Tansik.

Despite the fact that some transactions with Burkewood were marked "discounted" or "deferred," they were actually commercially reasonable fees, above market rates, the report said.

The proposed agreement calls for Treadwell to pay $6,704 in penalties and costs for other violations, but doesn't include any penalties related to spending at the ad firm.

The commission is scheduled to consider the agreement again on Jan. 12.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at rshinohara@adn.com or 257-4340.

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