Interest money

Fritz Pettyjohn: If you don’t like Sixteen Thirty Fund black money meddling in our election, vote yes for Ballot Measure 1


Ballot Measure 1 is not just about calling a constitutional convention to propose amendments to the Alaska Constitution. It is also about the power of black money, special interest money.

‘Defend Our Constitution’, the group that opposes Ballot Measure 1, tells voters to fear a convention because it would be controlled by black money, special interest money, the Lower 48 .

This is a blatant lie.

There is no black money to push Ballot Measure 1. All black money spent on this referendum is against it. Specifically, the notorious leftists Sixteen Thirty Fund contributed $1,851,500. This is two-thirds of the money that “Defend our constitution” raised. They got another $500,000 from the NEA, the outside interest group.

In contrast, ConventionYES raised $21,395, all in small donations. Not a penny of black money.

So, is the game over for Ballot Measure 1? Normally, a campaign spent more than 100-1 doesn’t stand a chance.

This is not the case in this case. To look at the APOC report proof. The Sixteen Thirty Fund contributed $500,000 on July 29. It was enough to allow Defend our Constitution to outspend their opponents 30-1. But that was not enough of an advantage. They needed more money because too few Alaskans were fooled by their campaign of fear and misinformation.

Thus, at the end of September, the NEA and the Sixteen Thirty Fund contributed an additional 1.8 million dollars.

The great irony of the campaign for Ballot Measure 1 is that if it succeeds and a convention is called, the power of black money will be defeated. If you don’t like outside black money corrupting Alaska politics, vote yes on Ballot Measure 1. By doing so, you are telling the Sixteen Thirty Fund to stay out of our politics.

Ballot 1 will pass if enough voters understand that it is the only way to protect the Legislature’s Permanent Fund dividend. Put the dividend in the Constitution. Remove all politics. Over the past six years, Alaskans have witnessed the sad spectacle of endless legislative wrangling over the dividend. Many Juneau politicians hate the dividend. They think they should spend the money, not the people. The big PFD of 2022 was the result of an unusual alignment within the legislature, which is unlikely to be repeated. If people want more such dividends in the future, they should adopt vote measure 1.

The campaign for Ballot Measure 1 and a permanent permanent fund dividend is in its final stages. ConventionYES does not and will not have the resources to effectively counter the lies and distortions of “Defend Our Constitution”. They have millions of dollars of outside black money at their disposal.

What ConventionYES has is the truth, so it has a chance. His message is compelling and simple. Vote for your dividend, vote yes on Ballot Measure 1.

It is up to each Alaskan to spread this message to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. It must be a classic grassroots movement. It’s the people against the powerful, the truth against a campaign of lies, the grassroots against black money.

In other words, it’s up to you.

Fritz Pettyjohn served in the Alaska Legislature in the 1980s.