The Republican Governors Association filed its quarterly financial report with the IRS late Monday.
I thought that perhaps the group would have been warned by its attorneys about the legal problems it faces in Alaska and amend its IRS reports to try to erase a serious campaign finance scandal before it goes any further.
But we can be thankful that the news didn’t get back to D.C. or the organization isn’t worried about the level of Alaska campaign finance enforcement.
Simply put, the new IRS report adds more evidence that the Republican Governors Association is paying the freight for the Dunleavy support group.
This is not what the Republican Governors Association is telling Alaskans and the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
The GOP group claims that the Dunleavy support group it allegedly created, “A Stronger Alaska,” is boosting Dunleavy and attacking his opponents with money from the $3 million the RGA transferred to the support group in 2021.
This assertion is critical because A Stronger Alaska is registered with the state as an “independent expenditure” group for this campaign, while the Republican Governors Association isn’t.
It doesn’t matter that the same D.C. individuals control both groups. This is not a matter of moving money from your left pocket to the right pocket.
The Republican Governors Association has filed legal documents in Alaska going back to early 2021 claiming it created a separate legal entity to back Dunleavy and gave it $3 million to spend any way it wanted.
The IRS filings show that A Stronger Alaska hasn’t received any money from the RGA, which means that it doesn’t have any money to spend. Which means that the unregistered RGA is calling the shots and that A Stronger Alaska is a political scam.
But A Stronger Alaska is claiming to the APOC that it is paying for services that the RGA is really paying for.
The GOP governors may not know it yet, but they’ve made it much easier with their IRS reports for the Alaska Public Offices Commission to act quickly and decisively on a new campaign finance complaint.
The complaint charges that A Stronger Alaska is a “sham entity” that appears to exist only on its registration form with the Alaska Public Offices Commission and may not even have a back account.
As I wrote here Sunday, the RGA claimed that it transferred $3 million to the Dunleavy support group on Feb. 25, 2021, three days before a new law went into effect that required the identification of donors.
If a transfer took place, it would have to be reported to the IRS.
The RGA has never reported a $3 million transfer to the IRS.
The only place it has mentioned $3 million is in filings with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
The RGA is either filing false reports with the IRS or false reports with the APOC. I believe the false reports are those filed with the Alaska commission, a notoriously understaffed entity that doesn’t have the resources to do its job.
There is more evidence in the public record that A Stronger Alaska is not what it claims to be. The RGA keeps reporting to the IRS that it is paying for the services of Brett Huber, who is the leading Alaska figure hired to run the Dunleavy support group.
Huber’s contract with A Stronger Alaska requires him to send invoices to an employee with an RGA email address.
The new IRS document reinforces the earlier reports. The significant expenses that A Stronger Alaska claims to be paying are coming out of the Republican Governors Association coffers.
This should clarify matters for Huber, who testified Friday that he wasn’t sure who was paying him $11,500 in monthly installments as the money is automatically transferred into his bank account.
The RGA told the IRS it sent $11,500 to Huber on Aug. 1 and Sept. 1.
Here is the report the RGA filed with the IRS.
On Monday, the Alaska Public Interest Research Group and the 907 Initiative filed a detailed complaint about the shell game. The complaint says the evidence supporting the allegations is “incredibly strong” as it is based mainly on sworn filings with the IRS and APOC from the RGA and its Dunleavy support group.
The allegations are serious enough and the amount of money is large enough that the agency should not hesitate to deal with this on an emergency basis before the election.
There are rarely campaign finance complaints that are this obvious. The APOC should shut down the Dunleavy support group.