Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

04/19/2018 03:15 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HJR 30 URGE U.S. SUPPORT OF REFUGEES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 30 Out of Committee
*+ HJR 11 CONGRESS: OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED V. FEC TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Approval of introduction of potential committee TELECONFERENCED
legislation
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HJR 11-CONGRESS: OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED V. FEC                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:25:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 11,  Supporting action  to                                                               
overturn  the decision  of  the United  States  Supreme Court  in                                                               
Citizens  United v.  Federal Election  Commission,  558 U.S.  310                                                               
(2010);   and  urging   the  United   States  Congress   to  pass                                                               
legislation  overturning  the  decision   of  the  United  States                                                               
Supreme Court in Citizens United  v. Federal Election Commission,                                                               
thereby restoring free and fair elections in the United States.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAGDALENA  OLIVERAS,  Staff,  Representative Geran  Tarr,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  advised that HJR  11 urges the  United States                                                               
Congress  to overturn  the United  States Supreme  Court Citizens                                                             
United  v. Federal  Election Commission,  [558 U.S.  310 (2010)],                                                             
decision   which  removed   restrictions   on   the  amounts   of                                                               
independent  political  spending.    She  advised  that  Citizens                                                             
United is  a 26  U.S.C. 501(c)(4) nonprofit  organization founded                                                             
in  1988.   In 2010,  the United  States Supreme  Court ruled  in                                                               
Citizens  United  that  corporations   and  unions  can  give  an                                                             
unlimited  amount  of  money  to  political  election  campaigns.                                                               
Thereby overturning the foundation  of America's campaign finance                                                               
laws  which,  up  until  that   time,  prevented  the  wealthiest                                                               
individuals and large corporations  from undue influence over the                                                               
American political system.  The  fact of the matter, she offered,                                                               
is that large  corporations own much of the  American economy and                                                               
wealth.  The decision in  2010 allowed large corporations and the                                                               
wealthiest people  in the nation  to heavily  influence campaigns                                                               
at all levels  of the nation's governments.   The Citizens United                                                             
decision relies  on the idea  that corporations are  people, that                                                               
money  is speech,  and  that the  ability  to donate  undisclosed                                                               
amounts  of money  to politicians  is  not a  form of  (indisc.).                                                               
This [decision] is  not the vision our  American Founding Fathers                                                               
had for  this country or  for its federal government,  but rather                                                               
it  is actually  the complete  opposite.   American democracy  is                                                               
where all  people, regardless of  income, can participate  in the                                                               
political process  and run for office  because American democracy                                                               
is one person/one vote and that equal access is essential.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:27:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. OLIVERAS  stated that returning  to a government of,  by, and                                                               
for  the people,  will  not  be easy,  but  a  movement has  been                                                               
building  all over  the country.   It  is important,  she pointed                                                               
out, that the  members of the legislature recognize  that this is                                                               
not a  partisan issue, Democrats, Republicans,  and Independents,                                                               
all across  the country  are coming together  to say,  "enough is                                                               
enough."   She  advised that  19 states  have gone  on record  in                                                               
favor  of adopting  a United  States Constitutional  Amendment in                                                               
order to restore  power to the United States Congress  and to our                                                               
50-states by putting  limits on campaign spending.   At the local                                                               
level,   more   than   700  local   governments   have   demanded                                                               
constitutional   action  to   re-instate  controls   on  campaign                                                               
spending.    She then  pointed  to  the  letters of  support  the                                                               
sponsor's office  received from all  areas of the state  and from                                                               
people registered with different  parties who are coming together                                                               
for this American cause.  She  noted that letters of support have                                                               
been  received  from  most  of  the  community  councils  in  the                                                               
Anchorage area, together with other parts of the state.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:28:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GERAN  TARR, Alaska State Legislature,  added that                                                               
during her  time in  the legislature, her  goal has  been looking                                                               
for opportunities  to increase  voter participation  and increase                                                               
participation  in  "our  government,"  such as,  same  day  voter                                                               
registration and PFD voter registration.   Contrary to that goal,                                                               
she pointed out,  so much money is being spent  in campaigns that                                                               
people are tuning  out and do not want to  participate due to the                                                               
number  of  commercials  on television,  the  number  of  mailers                                                               
received  at  their  homes,  and  so forth.    Her  concern,  she                                                               
remarked,  is that  if  the financial  ability  and influence  of                                                               
corporations  and  billionaires is  not  limited,  it will  cause                                                               
people  to not  participate because  they are  turned off  to the                                                               
process.   There is so  much negative campaigning that  they feel                                                               
nothing  is   true,  and  those  beliefs   can  damage  America's                                                               
democracy,  she described,  and this  resolution is  essential to                                                               
civic participation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:30:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  related that  the problem  with campaigning                                                               
is that  there is no truth  in advertising any longer,  people do                                                               
not have any idea whether truth is  in any message.  He said that                                                               
he imagines  the amounts of  money Representative  Tarr mentioned                                                               
probably lean toward that issue.   There are truth in advertising                                                               
laws that are  completely ignored and he is hopeful  that at some                                                               
point, pursuing  such a  resolution will get  the nation  back to                                                               
truth in advertising.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:30:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated that he does  not support HJR 11.  He                                                               
countered that  the issue  about too  many dollars  in campaigns,                                                               
too many  brochures in the  mailbox, and too many  people showing                                                               
up at a person's home to talk about  issues, is that it is a free                                                               
country and free  speech is a bedrock principle.   This principle                                                               
allows the  public an opportunity  to hear from everyone,  and if                                                               
the public  so chooses to  write a  check and support  someone in                                                               
one manner  or another, and  they have  every right.   He offered                                                               
that  he  could  not  find   any  good  reason  to  support  this                                                               
resolution  urging the  United States  Congress  to overturn  the                                                               
Citizens United decision.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR,   in  contrasting   Representative  Birch's                                                               
comments,  pointed out  that Alaska  does  have campaign  finance                                                               
limitations.  To  the extent an individual  wants to participate,                                                               
they can donate up to $500  per year per candidate, and there are                                                               
limitations on  political action committee (PAC)  donations.  She                                                               
offered  her belief  that legislators  do not  want to  limit the                                                               
ability for  that participation, but she  questions whether there                                                               
is value in  having unlimited participation or  value in allowing                                                               
those unlimited  dollars.   Her questions are  not so  much about                                                               
whether  that  activity happens,  but  rather  her questions  are                                                               
whether there are reasonable limits  the legislature can place on                                                               
to make  sure there is more  truth in advertising.   Thereby, she                                                               
remarked,  people receive  accurate information  and receive  the                                                               
government they want to support.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH commented that he  does not see it favorably                                                               
for the government  to intervene in deciding what  sort of limits                                                               
or constraints it may  want to put on that level  of speech.  The                                                               
fact that it is speech, he  opined, the legislature needs to walk                                                               
carefully   in   any   effort  to   constrain   that   level   of                                                               
communication, he said.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:34:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON commented  that he has not  yet read the                                                               
Citizens United  decision, but it  is his understanding  that the                                                             
decision allows donations to come in  from out of the country and                                                               
strikes him as  not particularly uncanny that  there was meddling                                                               
in  the  2016   election.    The  State   of  Alaska's  financial                                                               
limitation  of  a $500  donation  was  challenged in  the  United                                                               
States  District  of  Alaska, and  the  Honorable  Judge  Timothy                                                               
Burgess affirmed  Alaska's right to  have that limit.   He opined                                                               
that the  decision is now  headed to  the United States  Court of                                                               
Appeals for  the Ninth  Circuit.  He  advised that  former Alaska                                                               
House of  Representatives David Finkelstein testified  in support                                                               
of the existing law and was  involved in the creation of that law                                                               
in the late  1980s/early 1990s, he advised.  This  law has served                                                               
Alaska  well  because,  although  it   has  plenty  of  money  in                                                               
politics, the  power of  the individual has  been supreme,  and a                                                               
person's voice cannot  be drowned out completely by  the sound of                                                               
corporate money.   He remarked  that he has grave  concerns about                                                               
the Citizens  United decision and  finds it appropriate  to refer                                                             
to  Presidents   George  Washington,   James  Madison,   and  The                                                             
Federalist Papers because  he suspects that decision  is not what                                                             
they had in mind or could have  even envisioned.  He said that he                                                               
supports CSHJR 11.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:36:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked whether  the Citizens  United decision                                                             
meant that  corporations could  donate any  amount of  money, and                                                               
whether this resolution attempts to put  a limit on the amount of                                                               
the donation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  answered that there  has been more  than the                                                               
Citizens  United   decision,  "they   have  had   influence  over                                                             
political spending  and campaigns."   It is the  unlimited nature                                                               
and the non-disclosure issue which  are the two key elements that                                                               
are  problematic.   She advised  that in  2006, $286  million was                                                               
spent  on  campaigns  by  Super-PACs,  non-profits,  unions,  and                                                               
political organizations,  and by 2016,  that figure had  grown to                                                               
$1.6 billion spent on campaigns.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:37:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL commented that he  realizes the system is not                                                               
what  it  should  be  and  while he  knows  the  Citizens  United                                                             
decision was close,  if it had gone the other  way there wouldn't                                                               
be as much  spending.  He asked, who is  doing the spending, PACs                                                               
do not disclose  the individuals, but there is too  much spent on                                                               
the  overall  game.   He  would  like  there  to be  a  one-month                                                               
election period  where everyone receives  a set amount.   Changes                                                               
need to  be made  and if  this resolution helps,  it is  good, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:38:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  added that for  the members of  Congress, it                                                               
is estimated that  they spend 20-30 hours a  week on fundraising.                                                               
When considering  some of  the gridlock  in Washington  D.C., and                                                               
possibly why  some things  are not  getting done,  she questioned                                                               
whether  this pressure  to raise  so much  money has  changed the                                                               
context  in which  everyone  is operating,  and  that is  another                                                               
manner wherein the nation's democracy is impacted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  questioned whether  the opposite  could be                                                               
said,  that  if  Super-PACs  allowed under  the  Citizens  United                                                             
decision were done away with,  that the members of Congress might                                                               
actually have to spend more time fundraising.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR responded  that part  of the  motivation for                                                               
this is getting to a point  where there is less money, whether it                                                               
be  through independent  expenditures or  Super-PACs, which,  she                                                               
advised, is  not quite as  important as the overall  influence of                                                               
unlimited dollars.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  re-stated her  question and asked  that if                                                               
members of Congress  are spending 20-30 hours  a week fundraising                                                               
and the  Citizens United decision was  overturned, donations from                                                             
independent  expenditures and  Super-PACs would  not be  allowed,                                                               
how  would that  affect the  amount of  time members  of Congress                                                               
spend fundraising.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  responded that  if Candidate  A had  a well-                                                               
financed opponent in  that Candidate B received  support from the                                                               
Super-PACs in the  amounts of $10 million and  $100 million, that                                                               
would put  more pressure on  Candidate A  to keep up  and compete                                                               
with  that level  of fundraising.   In  that regard,  Candidate A                                                               
would have to spend more  time fundraising to match Candidate B's                                                               
time and money because Candidate A  did not have donations from a                                                               
Super-PAC.    She  acknowledged  circumstances  where  those  two                                                               
things are  not the  same in  terms of  knowledge by  a candidate                                                               
versus  totally independent  money going  directly to  a campaign                                                               
versus  money spent  to influence  voters  about that  particular                                                               
candidate.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:41:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR then referred  CSHJR 11, labeled 30-LS0274\D,                                                               
page 2, lines 20-25, which read as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     FURTHER  RESOLVED that  the  Alaska State  Legislature,                                                                  
     together with the  people of the state,  calls upon the                                                                    
     United States  Congress to prepare  and present  to the                                                                    
     states  for ratification  an  amendment  to the  United                                                                    
     States  Constitution  clarifying that  corporations  do                                                                    
     not have  the rights of individuals,  that expenditures                                                                    
     of money  are not to  be protected as speech,  and that                                                                    
     the authority  to regulate campaign finances  lies with                                                                    
     elected  representatives of  the people  of the  United                                                                    
     States.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  advised that  there is an  evolving approach                                                               
as to  how to address  this issue in  terms of what  mechanism to                                                               
use  in  overturning the  decision.    Currently, she  explained,                                                               
there is  a move  towards looking  at a  constitutional amendment                                                               
process ratified by individual states.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:43:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS opined  that  conventional  wisdom is  that                                                               
generally,  the labor  movement  donates  more to  left-of-center                                                               
candidates,  and  corporations   donate  to  the  right-of-center                                                               
candidates.   He asked whether  it is fair  to say that  were the                                                               
decision to be reversed, that  that would allow for limits placed                                                               
on the independent expenditures of both unions and corporations.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   replied  that  Chair   Kreiss-Tomkins  was                                                               
correct,  and  in  that  sense, the  reversal  would  have  equal                                                               
impact.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  commented  that he  shares  Representative                                                               
Birch's concern  that if a  candidate was coming up  against "the                                                               
buzz  saw of  a  huge  amount of  unlimited  money"  it does  not                                                               
necessarily  appear   fair  to  either  side   of  the  political                                                               
spectrum.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked whether  the Citizens United decision                                                             
interprets a  federal law,  or whether it  was strictly  based on                                                               
constitutional  grounds.   She  referred to  Version  D, page  2,                                                               
lines 15-19, and  noted that it urges the  United States Congress                                                               
to pass legislation  overturning the decision.   She advised that                                                               
if  the United  States  Supreme Court  ruled  that something  was                                                               
unconstitutional, she did not believe  the United States Congress                                                               
could  pass  a  law  and   decide  that  it  was  constitutional,                                                               
"period."   She  related  that  if she  is  correct, the  Further                                                               
Resolved  clause  [page 2,  lines  20-25]  makes sense,  but  not                                                               
necessarily the Be It Resolved clause [page 2, lines 15-19].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  responded  that   there  are  a  couple  of                                                               
different  ways people  have approached  this issue  in terms  of                                                               
making positive changes.  The constitutional amendment would re-                                                                
define free speech  to be limited to individual  human beings and                                                               
it would not apply to corporations  and unions.  Absent that, she                                                               
explained, a person  could otherwise look at laws  that are about                                                               
fair campaigns and improving elections.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:46:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked that  if the Citizens United decision                                                             
was  eliminated  from this  equation,  could  an individual  make                                                               
unlimited  contributions  to  an independent  expenditure  group,                                                               
such as  George Soros on the  left, and the Koch  brothers on the                                                               
right.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR related  that she  wanted to  be careful  in                                                               
answering  that  question  because  if  the  entity  can  do  the                                                               
unlimited spending  because corporations  are defined  as people,                                                               
to not  limit the peoples   free speech  right.  Backing  up, she                                                               
said,  where  the money  comes  from  to support  that  unlimited                                                               
spending from a wealthy individual,  there are a couple of things                                                               
that  would influence  that because  there are  existing campaign                                                               
laws.   Those  laws are  why the  Super-PACs become  so important                                                               
because  those funds  are bundled  up,  wherein people  otherwise                                                               
have to operate under existing  contribution limits.  She offered                                                               
that  by  bundling all  of  that  money together,  the  unlimited                                                               
spending would  come from the  Super-PAC.  She stressed  that she                                                               
wanted  to  double-check  and  make   sure  she  has  a  complete                                                               
understanding  of Representative  LeDoux's question  that if  the                                                               
unlimited  money  is  coming  from   the  entity,  how  it  would                                                               
otherwise limit the individual person's ability to donate.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:48:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX remarked that  if unlimited money is banned                                                               
coming  from an  entity,  a  wealthy person  who  wished to  make                                                               
contributions  could  make  those  contributions  on  a  personal                                                               
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   answered   that  currently,   there   are                                                               
restrictions  about  an  individual's  ability to  donate.    For                                                               
example,  under Alaska's  campaign  laws an  individual can  only                                                               
donate  $500 per  calendar year  to each  candidate.   Under this                                                               
mechanism,  the money  is not  moving from  an individual  into a                                                               
candidate's campaign,  the money  is moving  into this  other pot                                                               
through  the Super-PAC  and then  being distributed  through that                                                               
entity.   An  individual  contributes to  a  campaign under  both                                                               
federal and  state limits, for  example, a  presidential campaign                                                               
has a  $4,000 limit per  person.   She reiterated that  there are                                                               
limits on  individuals donating to  a candidate's  campaigns, but                                                               
under this  other mechanism where  the individual is  putting the                                                               
money into  the bigger  pot of money,  the unlimited  spending is                                                               
the problem.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:49:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  commented that the sponsor  is correct,                                                               
there are  limits on an  individual person's capacity  to donate,                                                               
which in  some respects makes  the Citizens United  decision even                                                             
more onerous.   He opined  that the thinking behind  the decision                                                               
was that as long as there  is no coordination between the PAC and                                                               
the campaign, it somehow cleanses the process.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:50:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  opined that  Michael Bloomberg in  New York                                                               
put  as much  as $260  million to  $270 million  of his  personal                                                               
money  into the  unprecedented 3  terms  that he  ran wherein  he                                                               
started out  as a democrat  and switched to become  a republican.                                                               
He said,  "I don't know that  we're going to prohibit  that being                                                               
separate."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR related that that  is yet another category of                                                               
spending  where  "you  have  different things  that  you,  as  an                                                               
individual, can do to invest in your own campaign."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:51:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL, in response  to Representative Birch, opined                                                               
that  (audio  difficulties)  gave   Barack  Obama's  campaign  $1                                                               
million of  his own dollars, and  it seems like he  wrote a check                                                               
"person to candidate for a campaign."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  related that  that is yet  another challenge                                                               
in   understanding  what   is  going   on  with   campaigns,  the                                                               
presidential campaigns have multiple  organizations and she would                                                               
have to check on that particular donation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:52:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  commented that someone had  suggested to him                                                               
that Alaska should only allow  contributions from individuals who                                                               
actually live  in Alaska,  there would be  no corporate  or union                                                               
donations,  simply people  giving  to the  candidate at  whatever                                                               
limit is  allowed by  law.   He related  that that  concept would                                                               
certainly  strip out  all  of  the noise,  but  he  did not  know                                                               
whether it would  work on a national level.   Corporations do not                                                               
vote, individuals vote, he said.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  responded that  currently, someone  is suing                                                               
to  increase  Alaska's  campaign   contribution  laws,  and  when                                                               
considering a  legislator's role  and how  to ensure  that people                                                               
have equal  access, "we  are really founded  on a  one person/one                                                               
vote  foundation."   The  perception, she  opined,  is that  when                                                               
there  is  too  much  spending, it  erodes  one  person/one  vote                                                               
because one  wealthy voice  can drown out  so many  other smaller                                                               
and   poorer   voices.     Alaska's   limits   for   out-of-state                                                               
contributions are  fairly low, she offered,  (audio difficulties)                                                               
and it  may be double  that amount for  the others.   These days,                                                               
candidates are spending  $100,000 and $250,000 on  their House of                                                               
Representatives campaigns,  so that  influence of a  few thousand                                                               
dollars probably isn't  substantial, she opined.  In  the event a                                                               
person is from a national group  that wants to set a precedent on                                                               
a  policy or  have  influence,  Alaska might  be  a  place to  go                                                               
because their  dollars can stretch  farther than in  other areas.                                                               
There is reason for concern about  the dollars coming in from the                                                               
Lower-48, maybe not so much  on the individual campaigns but more                                                               
on the initiatives and other efforts.   Alaskans do not feel that                                                               
residents of another  state should try to  dictate Alaska policy,                                                               
she said.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:55:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  offered  concern  about  overturning  the                                                               
Citizens   United   decision.       Alaska's   current   campaign                                                             
contribution laws makes  it more difficult, to  a certain extent,                                                               
for people  to raise money for  campaigns.  It is  more expensive                                                               
to  get  a  candidate's  name  out  there  if  they  are  not  an                                                               
incumbent.   For example, the  United States  Congress incumbents                                                               
have the ability  to send out mail, "the privilege  of the Frank,                                                               
which I  never knew how important  that could be until  I started                                                               
sending  out   legislative  newsletters   and  figured   out  how                                                               
expensive  it  was."   Incumbents  can  send  out mail  to  their                                                               
constituents  without being  charged whereas  someone challenging                                                               
an  incumbent will  spend many,  many dollars  on those  sorts of                                                               
things.   When  discussing the  United States  Congress, and  the                                                               
United States  Senate, there are  many very, very  wealthy people                                                               
who could  easily write out multi-million-dollar  checks to their                                                               
own  campaigns.   Therefore,  "you" make  it  more difficult  for                                                               
people  to raise  money  from other  sources,  "those people  and                                                               
Congress  and the  U.S. Supreme  Court,  I think,  has said,  you                                                               
know, clearly  and emphatically  that you  can't, you  know, that                                                               
it's one  thing to put  a campaign expenditure or  a contribution                                                               
limit on the outside or a contributor  but you can't do it on the                                                               
candidate  themselves.   That that  is inherent  to free  speech.                                                               
So, when a  multi-millionaire, like John Kerry, I  can't think of                                                               
too many right now,  but I know, you go and you  list, you take a                                                               
look and you see  what the net worth of our  U.S. Senators are in                                                               
this country and most of them  are folks who could actually write                                                               
a couple of $1  million checks.  So, the minute  you make it more                                                               
difficult for  people to  raise money, then  the folks  who could                                                               
simply write  a check are  at a huge  advantage, even more  of an                                                               
advantage than normal."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR acknowledged  that Representative LeDoux made                                                               
some good  points, some points related  to CSHJR 11, but  some of                                                               
her  points  speak  to  other  issues  that  should  probably  be                                                               
addressed in  the state's overall  governance in terms  of access                                                               
to  being  a candidate.    She  noted  that some  people  support                                                               
publically  financed  campaigns  for that  reason,  for  example,                                                               
everyone  has equal  access to  the  same number  of dollars  and                                                               
media.     Interestingly,   she  offered,   when  comparing   the                                                               
scenarios, in Alaska  if someone donates $51 to  a candidate, the                                                               
candidate  must declare  their  name,  employer, and  profession.                                                               
Except here, the discussion is  about people being able to donate                                                               
millions and millions  of dollars in an undisclosed  manner.  She                                                               
described that  that is  a such  a contrast  because if  there is                                                               
such  concern  about  the  $51 donations  due  to  the  potential                                                               
perception of  influence, shouldn't  there be real  concern about                                                               
the people who are spending  millions, and millions, and millions                                                               
of dollars to have some sort  of influence.  She surmised that if                                                               
this   money  had   to  be   disclosed,   people  might   respond                                                               
differently, which is why it is described as "dark money."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:00:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX  commented   that  she   would  be   more                                                               
comfortable with  a law or  a resolution requiring  disclosure of                                                               
the names  of the people who  donate to ballot initiatives  or to                                                               
the independent expenditure  campaigns.  She said  she would like                                                               
to  see  transparency  and  she   is  not  necessarily  all  that                                                               
concerned with the dollar figure itself.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:00:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON referred  to Version  D, page  2, lines                                                               
11-14, and  noted that it  refers to  a state election  to affirm                                                               
contribution limits in some manner and asked the date.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  answered that she  believes it was  the work                                                               
of former  Representative David Finkelstein  in the  early 1990s,                                                               
but she would research its exact date.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  commented that he has  a vague recollection                                                               
there was an initiative in 1998 or 2000.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  recalled that  there was an  initiative in                                                               
the same election year Sarah Palin became the governor.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR, in  response  to Representative  Josephson,                                                               
offered  her  belief  that it  references  the  earlier  campaign                                                               
finance laws, but she would perform  research and get back to the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX remarked  that the  campaign finance  laws                                                               
changed in  2006 wherein everything  was halved.  Prior  to 2006,                                                               
PACs could  give $2,000 and  individuals could give $1,000,  to a                                                               
voter  initiative.   She opined  that was  spearheaded by  former                                                               
Representative Eric Croft and it went down to $1,500.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:02:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  objected  to  a previous  comment  that  a                                                               
candidate would respond to communications  that would favor those                                                               
who are contributors.  On a  personal note, he said, he literally                                                               
responds  to every  email and  phone call  that comes  across the                                                               
threshold.   He  related that  he does  not know  anyone in  this                                                               
building that is  put together such that they  would screen their                                                               
communications   in  a   manner   that  favors   those  who   are                                                               
contributors or supporters, and he did  not think that was a fair                                                               
characterization.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  related that she  appreciates Representative                                                               
Birch's comments in  being careful in how issues  are stated, and                                                               
she agrees  100 percent.   Unfortunately, she  opined, it  is the                                                               
public  perception that  candidates are  up against  and not  the                                                               
reality of "actually how we operate."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:03:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  moved  to   adopt  CSHJR  11,  labeled  30-                                                               
LS0274\D, as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH objected.   He  said, "I  just don't  think                                                               
this is a good idea."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Josephson, Knopp,                                                               
Wool, LeDoux  and Kreiss-Tomkins voted  in favor of  the adoption                                                               
of CSHJR 11,  Version D.  Representative Birch  voted against it.                                                               
Therefore, CSHJR 11, Version D, was adopted by a vote of 5-1.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[HJR 11 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR030 Sponsor Statement 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 4/10/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/12/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 30
HJR030 ver D 2.28.18.pdf HSTA 4/10/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/12/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 30
HJR30 Fiscal Note LEG 4.9.18.pdf HSTA 4/10/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/12/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 30
HJR30 Supporting Testimony 4.12.18.pdf HSTA 4/12/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 30
HJR011 Sponsor Statement 3.21.2018.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR011A.PDF HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR11 Fiscal Note LEG 04.16.18.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR011 Supporting Document - Federal legislation Citizens United.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR011 Supporting Document Community Councils Letters of Support.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR011 Supporting Document Sharman Haley Op-Ed.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR011 Letters of Support 4.16.2018.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11
HJR011 Letter of Support Michael Patterson.pdf HSTA 4/19/2018 3:15:00 PM
HJR 11