Non-profit

Alaskans for Better Elections (ABE)

Website:

www.alaskansforbetterelections.com/

Location:

Anchorage, AK

Alaskans for Better Elections (ABE) is a ballot committee advocating for changes to the voting process affecting state elections in Alaska. Its initiatives include ranked choice voting, open primaries, and regulating anonymous campaign speech. [1] The committee is associated with a number of people aligned with the Alaska Democratic Party and liberal interests in the state.

On January 15, 2020, Alaskans for Better Elections turned in the required signatures in order to place a substantial revision to Alaskan election and campaign procedures to the state ballot. [2] The proposal would change party primaries to a “top-four” system, use the ranked-choice voting procedure for general elections, and restrict anonymous election-related speech. [3]

Funders

The three largest funders of Alaskans for Better Elections are Unite America, Action Now Initiative, and Represent.Us. All of these funding organizations are located outside of Alaska. [4]

People

Alaskans for Better Elections is advised by Scott Kendall, former Chief of Staff to former Governor Bill Walker, an Independent elected on a “unity ticket” backed by Democrats in 2014. [5]

Bonnie Jack is co-chair of the board. Jack was part of an ACLU lawsuit against Governor Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) in 2019,[6] and is a member of Alaskans for Integrity, whose most recent ballot initiative aimed to cut back on legislative per diem spending. [7] Alaskans for Integrity is largely funded by groups outside of Alaska, including Represent.Us and End Citizens United. [8]

Bruce Botelho is co-chair of the board, and the former Democratic Attorney General of Alaska and former mayor of Juneau, Alaska. [9]

Jason Grenn is the chair of the board, and a former state legislator. Grenn serves as the emeritus co-chair of the Alaska Future Caucus, a project of the Millennial Action Project. [10] Grenn is also part of Alaskans for Integrity. [11]

Board treasurer Paula DeLaiarro is also the treasurer of the Recall Dunleavy campaign, an initiative to recall the current Republican Governor of Alaska. [12]

Other members of the board include deputy treasurers Matt Farina, and Shea Siegert. [13]

References

  1. “About.” Alaskans for Better Elections. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://www.alaskansforbetterelections.com/. ^
  2. “Alaskans for Better Elections turns in signatures for certification.” Delta Discovery, January 15, 2020. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://deltadiscovery.com/alaskans-for-better-elections-turns-in-signatures-for-certification/. ^
  3. “Alaska Top-Four Ranked-Choice Voting and Campaign Finance Laws Initiative (2020).” Ballotpedia. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_Top-Four_Ranked-Choice_Voting_and_Campaign_Finance_Laws_Initiative_(2020). ^
  4. “About.” Alaskans for Better Elections. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://www.alaskansforbetterelections.com/. ^
  5. Jenkins, Paul. “Jenkins: ‘Better Elections’ Initiative Would Give Alaska Law Without Government.” Anchorage Press, September 10, 2019. Accessed March 9, 2020. https://www.anchoragepress.com/jenkins-better-elections-initiative-would-give-alaska-law-without-government/article_c189d1fe-d415-11e9-8b7d-034378c6dbe4.html. ^
  6. Hughes, Zachariah. “ACLU Sues Dunleavy Over ‘Punitive’ Cuts to Court System.” Alaska Public Media, July 17, 2019. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/07/17/aclu-sues-dunleavy-over-punitive-cuts-to-court-system/. ^
  7. Raines, Liz. “Lt. Gov. Approves Initiative to Limit Legislative Per Diem.” KTVA, October 9, 2017. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://www.ktva.com/story/36557293/lt-gov-approves-initiative-to-limit-legislative-per-diem. ^
  8. Downing, Suzanne. “‘Integrity’ Ballot Group Operates with All-Outside Money.” Must Read Alaska, May 29, 2018. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://mustreadalaska.com/integrity-ballot-group-operates-with-all-outside-money/. ^
  9. Herz, Nathaniel. “Governor’s Transition Coordinator Signs Off the Job.” Anchorage Daily News, September 28, 2016. Accessed March 9, 2020. https://www.adn.com/politics/article/bruce-botelho-completes-job-walker/2015/02/19/. ^
  10. “Jason Grenn. Millennial Action Project, 2019. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://www.millennialaction.org/jason-grenn. ^
  11. Downing, Suzanne. “‘Integrity’ Ballot Group Operates with All-Outside Money.” Must Read Alaska, May 29, 2018. Accessed March 8, 2020. https://mustreadalaska.com/integrity-ballot-group-operates-with-all-outside-money/. ^
  12. Jenkins, Paul. “Jenkins: ‘Better Elections’ Initiative Would Give Alaska Law Without Government.” Anchorage Press, September 10, 2019. Accessed March 9, 2020. https://www.anchoragepress.com/jenkins-better-elections-initiative-would-give-alaska-law-without-government/article_c189d1fe-d415-11e9-8b7d-034378c6dbe4.html. ^
  13. “Independent Expenditures Form 15-6.” State of Alaska, March 5, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2020. https://aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/Common/View.aspx?ID=4174&ViewType=IE. ^
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Alaskans for Better Elections (ABE)


Anchorage, AK