Billionaires and big donors: A Yes for Salmon mainstay

If you’ve been following our series of posts, you’ve already read about the increasingly prominent role Outside money is playing in our state’s policy debates – and you also know that this is nothing new. For the last 40 years, environmental activists have parachuted into Alaska from around the world to dig in their heels against development in the state of Alaska. While ANWR may have been the primary battleground for most of the last 40 years, Yes for Salmon is the environmentalists’ new rallying point. Earlier pieces in our series focused on the role of Outside foundations like the New Venture Fund and Hewlett Foundation– big-money groups that spend millions to influence local policy debates in a manner that...

Complaint, APOC hearing underscore prevalence of Outside money

Election Day is rapidly approaching, and as Alaska voters come closer and closer to deciding the fate of the immensely consequential Yes for Salmon proposal – also known as Ballot Measure 1 – public and stakeholder concern about the Outside money responsible for funding and orchestrating the efforts of Ballot Measure 1’s supporters is growing more pronounced by the day. Recently, Stand for Alaska-Vote No on One filed a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission alleging that three groups pushing for passage of Ballot Measure 1 are illegally benefiting from “dark money” being funneled into Alaska from out of state. The complaint, which names Yes for Salmon-Vote Yes on 1, The Alaska Center, and Stand for Salmon, alleges that...

Usual Suspects and a Common Thread: ANWR

The sudden interest in Alaska politics on the part of San Francisco foundations and environmentalist billionaires may seem out of place or surprising at first glance given the nature of their current project. Why do a bunch of Outside green elites care about salmon, after all? It’s fair to question these Outside groups’ and billionaires’ devotion to salmon. But that’s missing the bigger picture – and the core, shared cause driving these activists’ desire to airdrop millions of Outside dollars into our state. That common thread is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR. An old debate enters a new era ANWR represents a now decades-long debate over resource development in Alaska. Since the late 1970s, Outside eco-activists have adopted...
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