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Reform Initiative Clears Legal Hurdle
Alaskans will vote on measure in 2006


January 01, 2005

The Campaign Finance Reform Again (CFRA) initiative which supporters say is designed to limit the influence of special interests on Alaska legislators was upheld in a decision issued by the Superior Court on Wednesday. Under the ruling, the initiative sponsored by Representatives Eric Croft (D), Harry Crawford (D), and David Guttenberg (D), will be placed on the primary 2006 ballot.

Refuting a challenge by the Alaska Libertarian Party that the reforms proposed were too sweeping to be contained in a single initiative, Judge John Suddock ruled Wednesday that all aspects of the initiative fall under the single subject of ensuring that special interests do not unduly influence elected officials.

"The citizens of Alaska deserve ethical and accountable behavioral from our state government officials. This initiative guarantees that Alaskans will know who puts money in our legislators' pocket and who is lobbying the legislature; it will set real limits on campaign contributions," said Eric Croft, "I sponsored this initiative, I gathered signatures for this initiative, and I was proud to defend it in court."

Croft said, "From the Reudrich scandal to the conflicts of interest over coal bed methane to the current situation with Gregg Renkes, this administration and this legislature have established a new ethical low. When the legislature passed, and Governor Murkowski signed the legislation undermining our campaign laws, the bar was set even lower."

In 2003, the Legislature changed Alaska's campaign finance laws by doubling the amount special interests could give to candidates, allowing special interests to send undisclosed lobbyists to Juneau, and allowing legislators to receive up to $5,000 in side payments without any public disclosure. Supporters of the CFRA initiative says it will restore the original intent of the campaign finance laws by:

  • Decreasing the amount individuals may give candidates from $1,000 to $500;
  • Decreasing the amounts individuals can give political parties for any purpose from $10,000 to $5,000;
  • Decreasing the amount groups may give candidates, groups, or political parties from $2,000 to $1,000;
  • Requiring any person who lobbies the legislature more than 10 hours per month to register as a lobbyist;
  • Requiring legislators to disclose outside income sources greater than $1,000.


Source of News:

Office of Representative Eric Croft
Web Site

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Ketchikan, Alaska