Screenshot from complaint filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission
An image purportedly from the computer screen of a digital media specialist for Gov. Mike Dunleavy shows numerous files and folders of campaign advertising. A complaint filed against the governor, plus other individuals and organizations, claims administrative staff is illegally doing paid campaign work on behalf of the governor.

Screenshot from complaint filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission An image purportedly from the computer screen of a digital media specialist for Gov. Mike Dunleavy shows numerous files and folders of campaign advertising. A complaint filed against the governor, plus other individuals and organizations, claims administrative staff is illegally doing paid campaign work on behalf of the governor.

Dunleavy faces more accusations in campaign complaint

Governor calls it “specious and unfounded.”

Additional details accusing Gov. Mike Dunleavy of illegally using his state staff for campaign purposes, including a screenshot of an employee’s computer screen with a multitude of draft campaign advertisements, were included in a supplement filed Friday to a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

The supplemental filing also states another employee was still being paid by the state months after being retained to run a super PAC to reelect Dunleavy and a third employee received a state contact from the governor exceeding the no-bid limit. The filing also requests APOC obtain independent counsel to investigate the allegations instead of counsel appointed by the state’s attorney general.

“It is unclear if APOC has been faced with investigating a complaint against a sitting governor while that governor was a candidate for re-election,” the notice filed by the Alaska Public Interest Group and the 907 Initiative states. “Because APOC is typically assigned counsel from the Department of Law, which is under the purview of the Attorney General, and because the Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the Governor, it would be appropriate for APOC to obtain independent counsel for this proceeding.”

Dunleavy, in a response filed with APOC to the original complaint filed, called it “specious and unfounded,” and “categorically denies that there has been any coordination or cooperation” with other people and organizations accused. Furthermore, the governor’s reply states “a large portion of the complaint falls outside of APOC’s jurisdiction and should not be considered here” because they allege personnel rather than campaign finance violations.

The original complaint includes accusations against a total of six people and organizations, alleging a pattern suggesting illegal coordination and activities, and noting Dunleavy’s official campaign spending this year is minuscule compared to his main opponents’. It also notes Dunleavy’s staff assert they are volunteering for the campaign rather than illegally performing paid work.

Among the prominent aspects of the complaint focuses on Brett Huber, a former staffer and political operative for Dunleavy starting in 2014, whose contract with the state ended June 1, 2022. He now owns the political consulting company Strategic Synergies LLC, and the complaint alleges Huber was being paid to work for the Dunleavy administration and by his reelection PAC simultaneously.

Dunleavy’s response, filed by attorney Thomas Amodio of Reeves Amodio LLC, denies any consulting work by Huber before June 1 was campaign related.

“Strategic Synergies and Brett Huber had indeed entered into a contract with the Governor’s Office to provide consulting services pursuant to a contract signed April 25, 2022, that contract was ended or cancelled on or about May 31, 2022,” the governor’s reply states. “Significantly, the consulting services to be provided under that contract were completely unrelated to the 2022 campaign and election.”

Also, “although Huber was listed as a deputy treasurer for the Campaign, this was purely an administrative oversight and did not result in any coordination or cooperation.”

Friday’s supplemental filing expands on the general allegations, including asserting Huber received a $10,000 payment from the state on June 29, 2022. It also includes one specific item of evidence in a screenshot purportedly from a computer being used by Jeremy Cubas, who is listed in the state employee database as a digital media specialist for the governor. The screenshot appears to show a video call taking place with three reporters, while elsewhere on the desktop are images of advertising samples and copy, along with related folders with titles such as “ads to send out.”

Aubrey Wieber, executive director of the 907 Initiative, acknowledged in an interview Friday the screenshot is not proof Cubas did any work on the ads.

“It’s not a smoking gun,” Wieber said, noting he has no information the ads were actually published anywhere. “It’s a vehicle in there to get answers.”

He said he received the screenshot from a person he declined to name following a Sept. 18 news conference about the original complaint.

Wieber, a former Anchorage Daily News political reporter who was the communications director for Democratic candidate Chris Constant’s U.S. House bid this year, became head of 907 Initiative when it registered as an Anchorage-based nonprofit earlier this year. The attorney representing the two nonprofits is Scott Kendall, who served as chief of staff for former Gov. Bill Walker, who is running against Dunleavy this year.

Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna bumps vote on use of accessory housing as short-term rentals

An accessory dwelling unit is a subordinate, detached dwelling unit located on a lot or parcel with an existing residence

Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Law enforcement to host women’s self-defense class in January

Within 48 hours of the course being advertised, 120 women had signed up to participate

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Local hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

Glover said he didn’t even strike out from his home to go hunting

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
EPA proposes restrictions to block Pebble Mine

Mine developer Pebble Limited Partnershi called the EPA’s decision a preemptive veto

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at this year’s final Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Building with the environment in mind

Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats conclude

Johni Blankenship signs her name after being sworn in as Soldotna City Clerk at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Blankenship sworn in as Soldotna city clerk

Blankenship comes to the City of Soldotna from the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Justin Ruffridge and Jesse Bjorkman for state office on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nov. 8 election results certified

The outcomes of local races for state office remain unchanged

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is photographed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
4 candidates vie for borough mayoral seat

The special election is slated for Feb. 14

Spruce trees are dusted with snow on Dec. 22, 2020, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Soldotna, Alaska. Some areas of the refuge are open to harvest of holiday trees for non-commercial uses beginning Thanksgiving. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Snowmachine use permitted in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge beginning Dec. 1

Areas now available include those “traditionally open to snowmachine use”

Most Read