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‘No on 1’ campaign will continue despite announcement of campaign suspension by so-called Clean Team

ANCHORAGE -Stop the Gag Law coalition will continue to fight Ballot Measure 1, despite today's developments.

"Given the potential impacts for Alaskans and their families, and the fact that this initiative will still appear before voters on the primary ballot on August 24, we're going to keep informing the public about the negative consequences contained in this rambling, poorly worded initiative," said Stop the Gag Law campaign manager Josh Applebee.

Initiative proponents announced the campaign suspension in a press release and statement on their campaign website. In it, they assert that Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell "unilaterally and capriciously" changed the ballot language to unfairly bias voters against the initiative, and that Attorney General Dan Sullivan "used a tortured interpretation of the ballot initiative statutes in order to give the Lt. Governor cover to make the ballot title changes."

"The only changes to the ballot language were to make it clear that the criminal penalties associated with the initiative would extend to family members," Applebee said. "Including family members of state contract holders (nieces, nephews, in-laws, parents, grandparents, etc.) exponentially increases the number of people potentially affected by this initiative. We felt Alaskans had the right to know exactly what they were voting on."

According to Article 11, section 4 of the Alaska Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor has a legal obligation and the ultimate authority over the language that appears on statewide ballots.

"If Measure 1 passes, it will severely limit the ability of families, non-profits, businesses and communities to take part in the political process," Applebee continued. "It will be detrimental to every person who calls Alaska home and is why we are asking Alaskans to vote no on 1."

The Stop the Gag Law coalition is made up of a number of diverse Alaska associations, business/industry organizations, non-profits and unions.  A full list of registered opponents, as well as a copy of the initiative and legal opinions by the state attorney general and Legislative Legal, are available online at www.stopthegaglaw.com

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