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$350 fine recommended for Tosi campaign violations

Nathaniel Herz

The staff of the Alaska Public Offices Commission is recommending that Anchorage Assembly candidate Mao Tosi pay a $350 fine to resolve a 15-point accusation of illegal campaign activities.

The recommendation will be presented to the members of the commission Wednesday, who must approve it before it becomes final.

Tosi, a community activist and the manager of the Northway Mall, is running in a fiercely contested Assembly race in East Anchorage and is not affiliated with a political party. He is running against incumbent Adam Trombley, a Republican, and challenger Pete Petersen, a Democrat.

The complaint against Tosi was filed in February by John E. Lewis, an East Anchorage resident and a registered Democrat.

Among Lewis's allegations were that Tosi had used space, phone lines, and facilities at the Northway Mall for his campaign, which would have been a corporate contribution that's prohibited.

Tosi was also accused of spending money on his campaign--creating a website and using a campaign Facebook page--before he had officially declared his candidacy, on Feb. 7.

An investigation by APOC ultimately confirmed elements of five of Lewis's 15 allegations.

The violations were that Tosi had omitted information from a financial disclosure form, and that his campaign had used the corporate space, and improperly used a post office box of a Tosi-affiliated nonprofit, as well as omitted a "paid for" message from some political communications. (The last violation covered two of the allegations.)

The violations carried a maximum penalty of $1,760, but APOC staff recommended that the fines be reduced to $350 given that Tosi is a first-time candidate, and quickly fixed the "paid for" violations.

According to the recommendations, which have already been signed by Tosi and APOC Executive Director Paul Dauphinais, Tosi will pay the $350 fine, and his campaign will reimburse his management company $125 for use of the mall facilities, and pay $6.72 to the Tosi-affiliated nonprofit for use of its post office box.

Tosi could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

 


By Nathaniel Herz
nherz@adn.com