Pebble developers added $150,000 to anti-initiative push

Becky BohrerAssociated Press

JUNEAU -- The group promoting a mine project near the headwaters of Bristol Bay donated $150,000 to defeat an initiative aimed at Pebble Mine in the waning days of the election.

Records filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission show Pebble Limited Partnership made the donation Sept. 26. It also made an in-kind contribution of $4,168.11 on Oct. 3.

The measure, seeking to ban large-scale resource extraction activity that would "destroy or degrade" salmon habitat, was on the ballot in Lake and Peninsula Borough, where municipal elections are conducted by mail. Ballots had to be postmarked by Oct. 4.

Willis Lyford, who worked with Defend Your Rights, Vote No on the Save Our Salmon Initiative, said the $150,000 was mostly to pay off debts, not some last minute dump of money to affect the outcome of the election.

Campaign records show Pebble was the largest contributor to Defend Your Rights, contributing $350,000, plus such things as clerical and staff support.

Unofficial results showed the measure passed 280-246.

Associated Press