State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Alaska Public Offices Commission

Alaska Department of Administration, Alaska Public Offices Commission

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 1998 98-213

SUPREME COURT ISSUES STAY OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE DECISION

Stricter Limits Again in Effect, Oral Arguments Scheduled for September 16

The Alaska Supreme Court today issued a stay of Monday's decision in the Alaska Civil Liberties Union challenge to the state's new campaign finance laws, pending appeal.

The decision means that the campaign finance laws passed by the Legislature in 1996, including a personal contribution limit of $500 to candidates and a ban on corporate and organized labor contributions, are again in effect, effective immediately, pending the Supreme Court's final decision in the case. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for September 16.

Superior Court Judge James Wolverton declared the 1996 campaign finance law unconstitutional on Monday but later declined to stay his own ruling pending appeal. Attorney General Bruce Botelho filed for a stay before the Alaska Supreme Court on Thursday. The Supreme Court issued its stay at 1:15 p.m. Friday, August 14.

With the prior law in effect following Monday's ruling, contributions permissible under that law are still allowable if they were physically received by a campaign before 1:15 p.m. Friday, August 14, according to the Alaska Public Offices Commission staff. The 1996 contribution limits went into effect again at 1:15 p.m. Friday. Consistent with past APOC rulings, any contributions prohibited under the 1996 reform law that are received after 1:15 p.m. Friday must be reported and returned.

Candidates with questions about the impact of this week's rulings should contact the Alaska Public Offices Commission at 800-478-4176, or 276-4176 in Anchorage.