Unbelievably, Dunleavy complains about 'deep-pocketed special interests'

If anyone in Alaska has cause to complain about "deep-pocketed special interests throwing crazy amounts of cash" into the governor's race, it's not former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy.

The Dunleavy family has a corner on deep-pocketed special interests throwing crazy amounts of cash into the election. 

But Dunleavy sent out a fund-raising letter complaining about how much cash Bill Walker and Mark Begich are getting from "big money" interests.

"It's a tale as old as time," Dunleavy said in his plea for cash under the title "David vs. Goliath," we see "big, moneyed interests trying to cancel out the will of average citizens."

"Big government special interests are hoping their deep pockets will give them a decisive advantage on Election Day," Dunleavy wrote in his pitch for donations as little as $5.

But as Walker's campaign manager said in a fund-raising letter of his own, the biblical story is not "David's brother vs. Goliath."

"The Dunleavy campaign strategy hinges around the notion that Alaska politics is sufficiently small-time, and the Alaskan electorate sufficiently tuned out, that an out of state Wall Street exec can buy his brother a governor's race," Walker campaign manager John-Henry Heckendorn said in the letter.

Dunleavy's brother in Texas, along with Alaska businessman Bob Penney, have given more money to the Dunleavy shadow campaign than the total amounts raised by the "real" Dunleavy campaign and those of Mead Treadwell and Begich.

Francis Dunleavy, whose name is mispelled on all of the APOC forms as "Frances," has invested $305,000, while Penney has chipped in $250,000.  Francis was a key figure in a scandal about electricity rates in California and the Midwest that led JP Morgan to pay a $410 million settlement five years ago.

Alaska news organizations have failed to cover this story about the two biggest investors in the governor's race.

The "real" Dunleavy campaign has raised a total of $268,732 in donations of $500 or less. But Francis and Penney alone more than doubled that amount.

Mike Dunleavy says that because Walker is unpopular and because his campaign has raised more than the "real" Dunleavy campaign, "that proves how out-of-touch the 'big money' interests are from ordinary voters!"

In truth, the big money is in the shadow campaign for Dunleavy, which functions like a real campaign in almost every respect, but it does not have to follow the campaign rules that limit donations to $500 per person because it is not legally connected to Mike.

The Associated Press reports that Mike says he hasn't spoken to his brother about his campaign. Perhaps all it takes is a wink and a nod.


Dermot Cole4 Comments