Ketchikan independent Representative Dan Ortiz faces up to $6,000 in fines for campaign violations.
The Alaska Public Offices Commission says he failed to properly report some campaign contributions and spending. It also says he accepted an illegal donation and did not state who paid for several campaign fliers.
Ortiz admits making mistakes.
“They were errors purely out of omission, not commission. It wasn’t anything that was planned. It wasn’t anything that was something that benefited my campaign or anything like that,” he says.
Complaints were filed during and after last fall’s campaign for the House seat representing Ketchikan, Wrangell and part of Prince of Wales Island. They included copies of fliers and newspaper advertisements without legal “paid for by” wording.
They were filed by his Republican opponent, Chere Klein, and the district’s Republican Party organization. Ortiz won the election by 104 votes. He caucuses with House Democrats.
He challenges some of the allegations in the complaints, while admitting others. Commission staff reports recommend close to $6,000 in fines and repayment of an improper $316 contribution.
The fines could have been far higher, but staff took into account his status as a first-time legislative candidate, as well as his cooperation.
“It is what it is. And I look forward to making my case in front of the commission and whatever the decision is, I’ll live with it,” Ortiz says.
Commission staff filed separate reports on the complaints by Klein and District 36 Republicans.
The violations and fines were on the agenda for a public offices commission meeting Wednesday. But complaints cannot be heard during a legislative session, so the issue was pushed back to the next meeting, in September.