Chum salmon swim beneath the surface of Salmon Creek on Monday afternoon, Aug. 3, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Ballot measure opponents get financial boost

Some of Alaska’s biggest mines are putting more money into their fight against a pro-fisheries ballot initiative scheduled for this fall’s general election.

According to a report released Thursday by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the parent companies of Pogo Mine, Fort Knox Mine, Kensington Gold Mine and the proposed Donlin Creek Mine each contributed $400,000 to Stand for Alaska this week.

A pro-construction group also contributed $5,000 to Stand for Alaska.

Stand for Alaska is the independent expenditure group created to oppose Ballot Measure One, which would impose tough new restrictions on development that affects the state’s lakes, streams and rivers.

To date, Stand for Alaska has received more than $5 million in contributions.

The group supporting the measure, Yes for Salmon, also filed a contributions report with APOC this week. That report shows a $3,700 contribution from the Portland, Oregon-based Wild Salmon Center and a $5,958 donation from the Sitka Conservation Society. Both donations appear to be in-kind contributions of staff time, rather than cash up front.

To date, Yes for Salmon has received just under $728,000 in contributions.

Ballot Measure One is under consideration by the Alaska Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments April 26 about its constitutionality. The justices, who have not yet released their decision, are deliberating whether the ballot measure is so stringent that it effectively allocates the state’s waters for fish. Constitutional limits prohibit ballot measures that make appropriations of money or resources.

The measure is scheduled to appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


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