RDC APOC Complaint
February 26, 2010 - APOC Consent Decree (pdf)
February 26, 2010 - A consent decree between APOC and Bob
Gillam, the Renewable Resources Coalition, and Alaskans for Clean Water has
been accepted. Despite having to make one of the largest payments to the
state resulting from an APOC investigation of $100,000, the final decree resulted in no admission of wrong doing, but rather a commitment by these
parties not to repeat this behavior again. Amazingly, this does not even cover the cost of staff's investigation.
The evidence clearly pointed to wrong doing and indeed, the original APOC
staff report called for very stiff penalties and referral to the state
Attorney General for criminal investigation. Unfortunately, nothing in this
agreement will deter similar actions in the future by these, or other
parties. If this type of slap on the wrist is what APOC will consent to or
settle for given the facts in this case, it makes one start to wonder why it is there in the first place. With this ruling, it sets the precedent
for future campaigns to simply budget 1-2% into their races for
post-election fines as a cost of doing business. RDC is very disappointed
with the actions of the APOC commissioners.
February 25, 2010 - There will be an APOC hearing February 26 at 9 am in Juneau regarding
the proposed APOC consent decree for campaign violations committed by the Renewable Resources Coalition, Alaskans for Clean Water, and Robert Gillam, with an agreement to pay costs to the State of Alaska somewhere between of $60,000 and $100,000. This proposed consent decree also states 'no further proceedings against Respondents will be brought by APOC with regard to these matters.' The proposed consent decree is below (January 22, 2010).
Last June, APOC staff suggested that the Commission consider referring this case to the Attorney General under 2 AAC 50.476(b)(2) to investigate whether violations of AS 15.56 have occurred. The staff report also recommended the maximum civil penalty for these violations, which by rough calculations could reach over $300,000. In addition, parties could be responsible for State costs for the investigation, which to date are close to $200,000.
The APOC Commissioners made a decision of openness and transparency in Alaskan elections by rejecting a similar agreement last October. As one of the parties that brought the original complaint, RDC will once again be expressing its serious concerns with this proposed agreement.
January 22, 2010 - Proposed Consent Decree: RRC, AFCW, and Gillam (pdf)
November 23, 2009 - RDC and the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) asserted 18 claims against the Renewable Resources Coalition (RRC), Alaskans for Clean Water (AFCW), Americans for Job Security (AJS), and Robert Gillam March 2009. The APOC staff investigated and found substantial evidence to support 17 of 18 claims in its June 2009 staff report. The APOC staff also filed a new complaint, naming Richard Jameson, Mike Dubke, Art Hackney and Robert Gillam. The APOC staff accused these four of forming an informal group, called "the Gillam Group" and failing to register as group under the campaign laws.
AJS negotiated a consent decree with APOC and so is no longer part of the case. All of the remaining respondents negotiated a proposed consent decree with APOC which they submitted to the Commission in October 2009. That settlement, which provided no admissions of fault and a paltry $35,000 fine, was rejected by the Commission.
All the respondents filed motions for summary judgment. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) recently issued a series of decisions. He found that the law supported the claims raised by RDC and PLP, and that those claims should proceed to hearing. As to the claims in the complaint filed by the APOC staff against the Gillam Group, the ALJ recommended dismissal, finding that a "group" required more formal organization and assets than this collection of individuals. The APOC commissioners heard oral argument the week of November 16, 2009 on the ALJ's orders, and then issued its own orders which mirrored the recommendations of the ALJ.
November 20, 2009, the ALJ convened a status hearing with lawyers for APOC, RRC, AFCW, and Gillam. The parties tentatively agreed to a hearing date the first week of February, 2010, subject to confirmation that the APOC commissioners are available. During the hearing, Gillam's lawyer asked the ALJ if the the commissioners would be willing to consider another settlement. The ALJ said that he thought the commission would entertain another settlement proposal, but would not delay the hearing date while settlement talks were pending.
At the hearing, APOC will hear testimony and evidence presented by the APOC staff. The respondents will have the opportunity to cross-exam and to call their own witnesses. After the hearing, APOC will issue a decision and may order payment of a substantial monetary penalty.
Finally, APOC staff in its June 2009 staff report suggested that the Commission consider referring this case to the Attorney General under 2 AAC 50.476(b)(2) to investigate whether violations of AS 15.56 have occurred.
October 13, 2009 - There will be an APOC hearing Thursday, October 15 at 9 am regarding
the proposed APOC consent decree for campaign violations committed by the
Renewable Resources Coalition, Alaskans for Clean Water, Robert Gillam,
Michael Dubke, Arthur Hackney, and Richard Jameson with an agreement to pay
"costs to the State of Alaska in the amount of $35,000." This proposed
consent decree also states "no further proceedings against Respondents will
be brought by the State of Alaska with regard to these matters."
APOC staff in June suggested that the Commission consider referring this
case to the Attorney General under 2 AAC 50.476(b)(2) to investigate whether
violations of AS 15.56 have occurred. The staff report also recommended the
maximum civil penalty for these violations, which by rough calculations
could reach over $300,000, though APOC will not disclose what this exact
As one of the parties that brought this complaint, RDC will be expressing
its serious concerns with this consent decree on Thursday.
For additional background, we encourage you to read Andrew Halcro's piece on
this issue, published today at:
October 12, 2009 - REJECTED RRC, AFCW, Dubke, Hackney, Jameson and Gillam Consent Decree (pdf)
September 3, 2009 - AJS Consent Decree (pdf)
June 5, 2009 - APOC Staff Report (pdf)
March 20, 2009 - RDC and the Pebble Limited Partnership filed an Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) compaint against some of the proponents of Ballot Measure 4, the so called "Clean Water" ballot initiative which failed by an overwhelming margin last August.
The complaint was filed against the Renewable Resources Coalition, Alaskans for Clean Water, Americans for Job Security, and Robert Gillam for violation of Alaska's campaign disclosure laws.
RDC would like to emphasize that we are not opposed to organizations taking a position on initiatives and working to convince voters about their position - they have every right to do so. However, as Alaskans, we feel all groups working to influence voters on these initiatives must register with APOC and meet the requirements of Alaska law, especially when it comes to disclosing financial resources.
The complaint speaks for itself and it is now in the hands of APOC to research and sort out.
APOC Complaint Forms and Summary