Charlo Greene, the former news reporter who made herself famous in September by quitting her job on-air while admitting to being a cannabis activist, may have violated state campaign finance laws. The state Public Offices Commission says they are debating whether or not to subpoena Greene over an online fundraising they say went directly to Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2, which legalized small amounts of pot for adults 21 and up.
According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Greene admits she collected donations to the tune of $8,400. But says she wasn’t collecting for the measure and says she never had to register as an official entity advocating for a campaign, which is Alaska law.
For her part, Greene contends that the money collected on an online IndieGogo campaign was going to her own “freedom and fairness” campaign that wasn’t exactly linked to Measure 2. All the money, she says, went to her and her business – something the APOC has no jurisdiction over. Greene is starting a cannabis club in Alaska.
But APOC campaign disclosure coordinator Tom Lucas says that’s not the case. He says even businesses have to disclose their advocacy for or against a campaign or politician. He also noted that Greene has been difficult through the entire process.
“The fact that it is a business entity does not take it out of the jurisdiction of the Alaska Public Offices Commission,” Lucas said at a hearing yesterday, according to ADN. He also denied claims by Greene that Lucas had harassed her with constant calls and voicemails. He says he was merely trying to settling the issue. “The purpose of the contact was to try to bring her into compliance as soon as possible so any civil penalties that could be growing could be stopped in their tracks.”
Greene says she’s being targeted for being an outspoken opponent. She says that other campaign groups that are directly tied to campaigns – including ones on Facebook – have not faced the same scrutiny.
“We understand the position that we’re put in and that we have extra scrutiny paid to us and probably will for a long time,” Greene told the commission yesterday. “But we just want to make sure we understand the position we’ve been put in and protect ourselves and other people’s rights.”