Articles written by Beverly Churchill


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  • "Hold Them Accountable" campaign targets Congressional candidates

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|Sep 1, 2022

    Big, Outside money is flooding our Alaska elections this season. Alaska’s strong, citizen-initiated campaign finance law was struck down by the courts last fall, and the Legislature failed to act to correct the problem, leaving our elections wide-open to this form of legalized corruption. Recent polls show that 72% of Alaskans want limits on such spending. The citizens are pushing back. The “Hold Them Accountable” campaign is asking each candidate to sign a pledge to honor the wishes of most Alaskans by supporting an amendment to the U.S....

  • Legislature fails to pass limits: Now what?

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|Jul 1, 2022

    The Alaska state legislature failed to pass any bills this session to replace the campaign finance laws that were struck down by a federal court recently. So now, there are no limits to how much a person can donate to one or more candidates running for office. Attorney Robin Brena, in a recent article regarding this issue, boasted that he had just donated $25,000 to one candidate. He was the attorney who brought the lawsuit against the state claiming its laws were unconstitutional, and he won. It is doubtful that the bulk of Alaskans have that...

  • The origins of corporate "Constitutional Rights"

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|May 1, 2022

    May 10 is the 136th anniversary of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Corp., 118 U.S. 394 (1886). This decision of the U.S. Supreme Court was purported to state that corporations (as opposed to natural persons) have constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment. The court did not actually decide this; the court reporter—a former railroad attorney—misrepresented the substance of the decision when he wrote the published headnotes. The case nevertheless led to a long line of cas...

  • Over 70% of Alaskans want them; Will we get them back?

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|Apr 1, 2022

    The Alaska Legislature has taken up four bills to address the damage that has been done to our campaign finance laws in a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. It has been a breath of fresh air to watch the legislative process in action, and to communicate with our legislators, as these bills have been considered and debated. From all appearances, our legislators recognize the importance to our democratic form of government of reinstating reasonable limits on campaign donations in Alaska. As of the date of this writing in mid-March...

  • It's time to stop runaway campaign money

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|Feb 1, 2022

    January 21 marked the 12th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates of campaign spending. This led to a cascade of finance laws across the country being struck down by the courts, most recently Alaska’s Campaign Finance Law. While the top “one percenters” are gleeful in their ability to fund war chests to campaign for the candidates who will support their causes, the rest of “we the people” are left wondering if our $50 checks can possibly keep up, or why we should even bother...

  • Disclosing huge campaign contributions is not enough

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|Dec 1, 2021

    After the 2020 election in Alaska the hidden backstory came out: GCI donated $100,000 to the national Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which gave $380,000 to the Alaska Council on Good Government, which launched late-in-the-campaign attack ads against Alaskan Independent and Democratic legislative candidates, and ads supporting five Republican candidates in Anchorage and Fairbanks. At the same time, another group, Defend Alaska, collected $150,000 from the Sixteen Thirty Fund based in Washington D.C. and spent it in support of...

  • Top taken off campaign spending limits

    Beverly Churchill, Alaska Move to Amend|Nov 1, 2021

    It appears the sky may soon be the limit on campaign donations in Alaska. In the case Thompson v. Hebdon, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down three provisions of Alaska law. With the chief justice dissenting, the two-judge majority overturned the $500 per-year limit on the amount of money an Alaskan can contribute to an individual candidate; the $500 per-year limit on contributions to a particular political group; and the $3,000 per-year limit on the amount of money a candidate can accept from all out-of-state donors...

  • Protesters rally for state campaign finance reform

    Beverly Churchill, For Senior Voice|Oct 1, 2021

    On Sept. 17, a group met outside the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Anchorage with Senator Bill Wielechowski to protest a recent decision by the 9th District Federal Court that would strike down several provisions of Alaska's campaign finance law. The decision of the court strikes down three limits set by the law: a $500 per year, per person limit on contributions to a single candidate; a $500 per year per contribution to a political group; and a $3,000 per year limit on money donated...

  • Is it time to amend the U.S. Constitution again?

    Beverly Churchill, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2021

    Sept. 17, 2021 is Constitution Day, the 234th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. The state of Alaska, and several of its local jurisdictions have called for a Constitutional Amendment to implement needed reforms. To understand the need for changes to our Constitution, we need to understand the Constitution we have. Our Constitution establishes the fundamental structures of our democracy and helps protect us against governmental abuses. The drafters also provided for changes (amendments) to the Constitution. Jefferson wrote that it ought to...

  • Starting a discussion on voter, civic issues

    Beverly Churchill, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    Seniors are known nationally for being “super voters”. But many voters find it challenging to understand and evaluate the issues and candidates. Hence this series has been created to dive into civic issues to help our Alaskan seniors, friends and families become more familiar with some issues that should be considered when casting a vote. In this series, we will start by focusing on campaign finance. In the next few columns, we will identify some of the problems that currently exist in our political system, provide history about how these probl...

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