McGuire donations not against the law after all, APOC decides

The Alaska Public Offices Commission has reversed itself and ruled that Sen. Lesil McGuire didn’t violate campaign finance law when she made two contributions to charities from her campaign account.

In a decision reached Nov. 9, the commission ruled that the two 2011 donations, totaling $450, were not illegal. In September, the commission decided McGuire shouldn’t fined for the donations but described the gifts to the Alaska Brain Injury Network and Special Olympics as “prohibited use of campaign contributions.”

In its reversal, the bipartisan commission accepted McGuire’s explanation that the donations, made from contributions to her campaign account, “aligns her candidacy with the values and policies of the two charitable organizations.”

Alaska law authorizes surplus donations to be given to charity after an election, the commission noted, but says nothing about such donations when a candidate is still running for office. Before an election, expenditures must be made for items “that reasonably relate to election campaign activities,” and that could include charitable donations, the commission said.

Anchorage Daily News