Governor’s office buying radio ads to encourage pro-PFD testimony

Updated, 8:30 p.m. Thursday:

According to an email sent at 8:22 p.m. by the governor’s office, the anonymous radio ads are the work of the office of the governor. According to an email from spokesman Matt Shuckerow, the ads were placed by the governor’s office in Kenai, Wasilla and Fairbanks at a cost of approximately $9,000.

“From discussions on our fiscal future to debates on whether the PFD belongs to the people or to politicians, the governor believes Alaskans need to play a critical role in these once in a generation decisions,” Shuckerow said in a prepared statement. “We encourage Alaskans to join the conversation, take part in a variety of events and let lawmakers know where you stand on these critical issues. The governor’s message has been clear, if we’re going to use the PFD to cover the costs of state government, it should be approved by a vote of the people.”

Original story:

Do you know who created this radio ad?

JUNEAU — A new radio ad is urging Alaskans to show up to this weekend’s House Finance Committee town hall meeting on the Kenai Peninsula in support of the Permanent Fund dividend.

Whose is it?

We don’t know. You might. If you do, let us know in the comments below or email reporter James Brooks.

It started airing on KSRM-AM this week, and staff there said it’s not considered political, so it’s not subject to disclosure. (Normally, the Federal Communications Commission requires political advertising orders to be posted online.)

KSRM didn’t say who bought the ad, so we figured we’d ask you.

If you can’t listen to it (or don’t want to), it’s about a minute long and features a male voice, sometimes overlaid by music. The man explains that Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants a vote before any changes to the Permanent Fund dividend.

“One (budget) option that’s being discussed is an 80 percent tax on your PFD,” the man states.

“Do you believe there should be no change to the PFD without a vote of the people? To participate in the House public testimony, go to the Soldotna Sports Center ... this Saturday, March 23, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Gov. Dunleavy will be in your area on Monday, March 25 at the Cannery at 6 p.m.”

The ad does not contain any information about who made it or paid for it. Americans for Prosperity is hosting the governor’s visit to the Kenai Peninsula, but state director Ryan McKee said his group didn’t create the ad, and the Kenai event reached capacity Thursday anyway.

Under state law, campaign advertising is required to include a notice of who paid for it — but this isn’t a campaign ad.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.