Commission in charge of Alaska elections upholds $38,500 fine for Bronson mayoral campaign

A white man speaks into a microphne with his hand on his hip
Dave Bronson speaks to supporters on election night, May 11, 2021 (Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

The Alaska Public Offices Commission has ruled that Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson did not file accurate campaign spending reports during the runoff election earlier this year. As a result, it has fined Bronson $38,500.

The initial complaint was made in April by lawyers for Forrest Dunbar, an Anchorage Assembly member and Bronson’s opponent in the runoff. Dunbar’s campaign asked that the complaint be expedited ahead of the election, but commissioners declined. The final order was announced on Monday. 

Among the faults that APOC found with the Bronson campaign was a failure to disclose a $95,000 debt to advertising firm Hackney & Hackney until months after it had spent the money. The campaign also didn’t describe how the firm would use the money until June, which was, according to the final order, “well after the runoff election.”

APOC also found that the Bronson campaign had failed to return two contributions that were larger than $500 to supporters of the campaign. State law caps the amount of money an individual can donate to a campaign at $500, but APOC did not penalize Bronson for those infractions because that limit has been overturned in the 9th Circuit Court. The ruling stated that the court’s decision will likely stand. 

Lawyers for Bronson’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Paula DeLaiarro, a representative for the Dunbar campaign, said in a statement that the ruling from APOC “sends a clear signal that haphazard, late reporting will not be tolerated and will meet with commensurate fines.” 

RELATED: Bronson administration aims to restore Anchorage testing levels with $2.65 million Assembly request

Previous articleHometown Alaska: Indigenous Peoples’ Day can be celebrated all year. Here’s how.
Next articleAlaska reports 16 recent COVID deaths, 475 new infections