APOC Advisory Says Legislators OK to State Opinions on Ballots

After legislators asked for clarification, a draft advisory has said it is ok for them to use state resources, such as their websites, to tout positions on ballot measures.


Speaker of the House Mike Chenault said he and Senator Charlie Huggins brought the issue forward.


Speaker Chenault: “I wanted to make sure it was clarified so that no legislators were crossing any ethical boundaries in regards to to either support or not support of a ballot initiative, ya know, we have lots of different rules that we go by and we just wanted to make sure that we had a clear understanding from the ethics committee and from APOC on just how far you can go as far as stating what your position is on any particular ballot measure.”


The staff of the Alaska Public Offices Commission stated that a legislative ethics committee decision was made that said lawmakers are often asked to take a stand on public issues and the action to support or oppose an initiative is related to their job duties.


The staff draft opinion did however recommend there should be reporting and identifying requirements specified which include a “paid for” tag.


Another commissions meeting is scheduled for Thursday on the topic.

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