Alaska Group to Pay for Voter Turnout

Alaska Group to Pay for Voter Turnout

November 3, 2022

Imagine if Power The Future, the American Petroleum Institute or any other pro-development organization announced it would be making direct payments to communities for turning out to vote. The mainstream media would jump all over the story, level charges of ‘bribery’ and ‘collusion’ and splash the story on every front page, every newscast and every Twitter feed available.

In the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, instead of vilifying the perpetrators of such a scheme, one local news organization praises them.  KLDG, the local public radio station, featured a piece yesterday on how the United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB) plans to provide $20,000 to communities who have the highest voter turnout and increased participation during the general election.

UTBB’s willingness to stretch the truth and disparage the villagers closest to Pebble are well-documented.  They’re the worst type of ‘local’ organization; one that claims to respect (and speak for) the entire region, but receives millions of dollars from non-Alaskans to fight against their fellow Alaskans and opportunities to improve other regional communities nearby.

The most egregious portion of the KLDG story was UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley’s comment that “This is not about who you vote for. It’s about people showing up to the polls and voting their values, whomever that may be for.”

This is false, and Hurley knows it.  She hopes her payments help elect anti-Pebble candidates at federal and state levels.  She further hopes that – by ‘gifting’ money to communities – she provides them incentive to look only at short-term gains and overlook long-term benefits Pebble and other projects would bring to the region.

The only redeeming part of this travesty is that Pebble continues to plug along, despite the hundreds of millions spent by eco-ideologues and radical organizations like UTBB to end it.  Its trillion dollars of potential copper, gold, molybdenum, rhenium, and other mineral deposits would allow the U.S. to establish a domestic supply chain for the very types of energy transitions UTBB and others desire, rather than be dependent on Communist China for an overwhelming percentage of the materials for that goal.

Across the world, people literally take their lives in their hands for the honor and privilege to vote.  It is too bad Hurley, her organization and others believe this brazen and disgusting payoff is the right way to encourage participation. We’ll be watching the results in hopes that their shameless activities backfire.