Put Alaska First is a fairly straightforward name for a Super PAC. A person would think that the Put Alaska First PAC is dedicated to making the needs of Alaskans the top priority… if that person was a sucker.
The funny business going on over at Put Alaska First came to my attention this morning as I was reviewing records of independent expenditures over that FEC. I saw that the PAC filed a report with the FEC yesterday, acknowledging that it spent about $80,000 on a television advertising campaign opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Republican Dan Sullivan. The money went to a business called Waterfront Strategies.
Alaska has a considerable coastline, so I expected that Waterfront Strategies would be headquartered in Juneau or Anchorage. With a name like Put Alaska First, a political action committee would surely spend its money in Alaska, helping the local economy, right?
Wrong. Waterfront Strategies isn’t located anywhere close to Alaska at all. It works out of an office suite on K Street in Washington D.C.
It turns out that Put Alaska First is run by a lobbyist, Jim Lottsfeldt. Lottsfeldt specializes in transforming big money into political influence – whether the big money comes from Alaska, or somewhere else.
So, the Put Alaska First PAC is actually sending money out of Alaska, rather than hiring local firms to do its work. That’s only natural, given that most of the money that Put Alaska First receives appears to come from outside of Alaska as well. In the current congressional election cycle, 91 percent of the donations that Put Alaska First has publicly acknowledged have come from outside Alaska.
Among the donors to Put Alaska First is the San Pablo Lytton Casino, way down in California. What on earth is that casino planning that involves putting Alaska first?