As Alaska’s special election to replace U.S. Congressman Don Young heats up, it is important to remember there are election law restrictions and requirements that apply to Alaska Native Corporations. For example, there are stringent campaign-finance rules for federal contractors. 

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, federal contractors (including those that are leasing property to the federal government) are prohibited from using their general funds to make expenditures that may affect the outcome of a federal election. That ban does not apply to parent companies that are not themselves prime contractors on federal contracts and simply have wholly-owned subsidiaries that are, if the parent company can demonstrate it has sufficient other revenues such that its expenditures on the election did not come from its federal-contract-holding subsidiaries. 

Moreover, Alaska law requires anyone (including Alaska Native Corporations) to report certain expenditures to the Alaska Public Offices Commissions. Expenditures to create printed materials need to be reported when those expenditures exceed $500. However, all other expenditures need to be reported regardless of the amount of the expenditure.

This column is intended to provide readers with general information and not legal advice. Consult professional counsel for help regarding specific situations.

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