The pro-ranked choice voting group, Alaskans for Better Elections (ABE), is being accused of violating many of the same campaign finance laws that its leaders leveled against a group that is now trying to repeal the controversial voting system and reinstate traditional party primaries.

Earlier this year, ranked choice voting proponents alleged that anti-ranked choice voting groups broke several campaign reporting laws.

Last month, following an investigation into those allegations, staffers at the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) suggested that APOC commissioners issue reduced fines of roughly $50,000 for the individuals and major groups behind the ongoing effort to repeal Alaska’s ranked choice voting system.

Now, ranked choice voting activists are facing similar accusations from the repeal side.

On Oct. 6, Phillip Izon, who serves as a director of Alaskans for Honest Elections, submitted a complaint stating that ranked-choice voting advocates have broken many of the same rules they accuse the repeal side of breaking.

Izon asserted that ABE and its affiliates “apparently believe campaign laws only apply to others and not them.”

“While leveling complaints with APOC against the people and the groups who are pursuing the initiative to repeal the flawed ranked choice voting and open primary election system, respondents have been violating many of the same Alaska campaign finance laws that they tout in their complaints,” Izon’s states.

Izon alleges that ABE and its affiliated groups have been funneling money from unidentified donors to ABE, while they “cavalierly flout the very campaign finance laws that they have wielded as swords against those supporting” efforts to repeal ranked choice voting and restore traditional party primaries.

Izon asserted that ABE and its affiliates “apparently believe campaign laws only apply to others and not them.”

In particular, Izon alleges that ABE failed to register as political opposition group to the effort to repeal ranked choice voting. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that ABE’s affiliate groups – Alaskans for Better Elections, Inc (ABEI) and Alaskans for Better Elections Foundation (ABEF) – failed to register with APOC as either groups or entities, but they were both formed as non-profit organizations and granted tax-exempt status by the IRS.

“ABEF and those who formed and operate it apparently believe that tax deductions for donors to groups working related to rank choice voting and open primaries are only problematic if the organizations and donors oppose the ranked choice voting and open primary election system,” Izon’s complaint states.

He also noted that ABE, ABEI and ABEF “all share a joint website under the banner of Alaskans for Better Elections. They also share a common physical address (721 Depot Dr. Anchorage) as well as common leaders – Bruce Botelho, David Monson and Paula DeLaiarro and legal counsel Scott Kendall.”

Izon’s complaint accuses ABE and its associated groups of issuing press releases, releasing television ads and accepting millions of dollars in tax-exempt donations to fight the repeal effort, all while failing to file reports as ballot opposition groups.

The complaint also accuses ABEF of violating the “giving in the name of another” prohibition by receiving funds donated by others and then repurposing those funds into a donation to ABE in the name of ABEF – thus giving its donor’s funds to ABE in the name of another, namely its own name.”

Izon is asking APOC staff to undertake a full investigation into ABE and its groups for the alleged violations.

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Alaska’s pro-ranked choice voting groups hit with elections complaint from leader of repeal side

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    I guess this is the old adage, if you give them enough rope they’ll hang themselves. It’s about time someone puts these commies out of business and we get back to a good hard count vote on the day of the election. Nobody, since RCV (RANK CHOICE VOTING), ever really knows who won. You get tired of waiting for results and don’t pay attention unless you are in the race.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander! Thank you for pursuing this Mr. Izon! Prayers for a successful outcome in the endeavor to get rid of rank choice voting.

  • Foghorn Leghorn says:

    This is nothing but petty harassment on the part of Mr Izon

  • Joe Drayton says:

    Typical of the Top radical Demorats of Alaska.
    “Accuse others of what you are doing.”
    That is what the Demorats have done to Trump on numerous occasions.
    To maintain power and control by any means is the Demorats game plan.

  • John J Otness says:


  • Shelia says:

    Hope APOC investigates both organizations and that the large donors from out of state are exposed. Then let’s turn the light on the leaders of these two organizations as well. About time!

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Your boy dunleavy should have already responded to this Shelia, make a call to your uncle Mike and ask him why the hell he hasn’t!