Letters to the Editor

Letter: Limiting money in politics

Imagine if a politician could have their whole campaign bought and paid for by a single wealthy donor. No limits. One check. Super easy.

If that sounds like paradise, you’re in luck.

Alaska has no limits on contributions to state and local elections. You can write a check today for $100,000 to the school board candidate of your choice and fund their entire campaign.

Great news for the very wealthy, terrible news for the rest of us, because even the most well-intentioned politicians are going to have a hard time ignoring their most prominent mega- donors.

People who support unlimited contributions frame this as a freedom of speech issue. They say people should be able to spend as much as they want on elections because throwing cash around to influence elections is the same thing as speech. Which it so obviously isn’t. If anything, this is an equity of speech issue. When deep-pocketed donors are handed a megaphone, the rest of us are drowned out.

Alaskans know this. Previous limits on campaign contributions were established by an overwhelming 73% of voters in 2006 and held strong until 2021, when a federal court threw them out for being some of the lowest in the country. There was an opportunity to go to bat for this popular policy, but our chronically absent Gov. Mike Dunleavy didn’t even bother stepping up to the plate.

The Legislature could have also passed legislation to reinstate campaign contribution limits but has so far failed to do so. This leaves Alaska’s state and municipal elections vulnerable to unlimited contributions from wealthy donors unless we Alaskans do something about it. Citizens Against Money in Politics (CAMP) is a local group working to put the question of campaign contribution limits to the voters of Alaska. These new limits are inflation-adjusted and should pass muster with the courts. We appreciate your support in putting the question on the ballot by initiative — or by prodding your legislator into action on this important issue.


You can get involved or learn more about our efforts at campaignlimits.org

— Pat Race


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Pat Race

Pat Race is a founding member of Alaska Robotics, a group in Juneau publishing short films, comics and many other creative works. Follow their projects online at AlaskaRobotics.com or in person at their gallery at 220 Front Street.