Group behind campaign ad doesn't exist in state records
It's a mystery the state now says it's working to solve -- who is behind a political ad paid for by a group that doesn't exist in state records. And why is a supposed veteran's group supporting non-veteran state House candidate Joe Riggs?
The candidate's campaign itself says it's hoping for answers to those questions.
A Sunday ad in the Anchorage Daily News supporting Riggs' campaign for House District 26 says it was paid for by Veterans for Alaska.
Although Riggs isn't a veteran, the two candidates running against him -- Laddie Shaw and Albert Fogle -- both are. Why would a veterans group support the only non-veteran in that primary race?
Regardless of the group's motives, it appears to be operating illegally.
It's not registered anywhere online with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, a requirement for any entity contributing to campaigns. APOC confirms it has no record of a group with that name.
Anchorage Daily News sales officials say it's against policy to release information about who purchased the ad, but a representative referred KTVA to the group's Facebook page.
KTVA left a message there, but has not received a response. While registered groups are required to provide a physical address, Veterans for Alaska provides only an email in its ad. Attempts to contact the group that way were also unsuccessful.
In an email Friday, Zachary Freeman, a spokesperson for Riggs' campaign, said he was aware of the ad but didn't know who was behind it.
"We don't know anything about the organization, who is a part of it, or why they chose to promote Joe," Freeman wrote.
KTVA emailed photos of the ad to APOC at the organization's request. Executive Director Heather Hebdon says she will assign a staff member to research the case.
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