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Controversial 'Gag Law' Initiative on August Ballot

Anchorage Chamber Reviewing the Issue for Impact on Business

On Aug. 24, Alaskans will not only vote in the Guebenatorial primary elections, but on a controversial ballot initiative called "The Alaska Anti-Corruption Act."

Simply said, supporters say Ballot Initiative 1 would reduce the appearance of corruption in government in two parts. First, the initiative would prohibit the use of public funds for lobbying and or advocating in ballot measure campaigns. Second, prohibits government contractors from making contributions to candidates or hiring a legislator out of office less than two years.

Opponents fear the language is too vague, raises too many legal questions and could limit citizen's access to government. Local governments may not be able to advocate for important community projects and priorities.

Recently, the supporting group called Clean Team Alaska (Committee to Stop the Corruption) said it continues to support the initiative but feels recent changes in the ballot language have caused them to abandon their campaign. The initiative will remain on the August ballot and the opposing coalition of local governments, non-profits, unions and trade organizations called Stop The Gag Law will continue their efforts to defeat the measure.

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce board of directors is in the process of researching and reviewing the issue, after hearing presentations from both the above mentioned groups of initiative supporters and opponents. A position is expected during the next regularly-scheduled board meeting on Fri., June 18.

As a member of the Anchorage Chamber, your opinion matters. If you have any questions or comments about the issue, please contact Emily Ford or call 677-7105. Please see the links in this e-mail to read the full measure, ballot language and learn more about the supporters and opponents of the issue.

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