The group behind the initiative to merge voter registration with Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividend applications has pulled in another $45,000 from unions, Alaska Native groups and the campaign committee of Forrest Dunbar — a former candidate for U.S. Congress. In a report filed Monday, the campaign reported donations of $5,000 from Doyon, the Tanana Chiefs Conference and Get Out the Native Vote; $10,000 from the National Education Association; and $5,000 from a political action committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Retired Alaska Supreme Court justice Walt Carpeneti gave $250. And Dunbar, who recently announced he was running for Anchorage Assembly, gave $4,500 in funds left over from his federal campaign committee.
Dunbar, a Democrat, said in a phone interview Tuesday that he was in the process of closing the federal committee as he shifts his focus to his Assembly campaign; he gave another $2,000 left over from his House bid last year to programs of Bean’s Cafe, the Anchorage soup kitchen. Dunbar is also a deputy treasurer of the voter registration initiative.
The initiative currently claims a broad, left-leaning coalition of support, with other officers that include Sitka Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, political consultant Jim Lottsfeldt and officials from unions and Alaska Native groups.
If it passes, the initiative would automatically register dividend applicants to vote — a move that backers say would add as many as 70,000 people to the state’s voter rolls.