Who said politics was boring? The latest episode in the never-ending saga that is American politics stars none other than Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor, and twice-unsuccessful 2022 United States House of Representatives candidate has thrown her weight behind a controversial campaign aimed at ending ranked-choice voting in Alaska. This move comes hot on the heels of her second defeat to Democrat Mary Peltola in as many attempts. But here’s the juicy part: the ‘church’ supporting Palin’s crusade is under legal fire for alleged campaign finance violations.
Alaskans for Honest Elections, the ‘church’ behind Palin’s campaign which she endorses as its national spokesperson, is currently being accused of multiple violations. These include attempts to sidestep disclosure laws, masking its financial trails, contriving tax breaks for contributors, and illicitly enriching its own officials.
“You turn over one rock and there’s more; turn over another and there’s more there too,” says plaintiff’s attorney Scott Kendall about the allegations. He seems as intrigued as the rest of us by the increasingly complex case, describing the twists and turns as “almost intoxicating.”
But the plot thickens! This lawsuit boasts a truly unique ingredient: a ‘church’ named the ‘Ranked Choice Education Association’. But according to Kendall, the so-called ‘church’ is about as real as unicorns. He straightforwardly brands it as ‘completely fake’.
Court filings indicate the puppet master behind these groups is none other than right-wing megachurch minister Dr. Art Mathias. This is a man infamous for his endorsement of LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’ and his baseless claim that COVID vaccines cause ‘spontaneous abortions’ in 80 percent of pregnant women. Reports suggest that Mathias has personally funneled at least $90,000 to the ballot committee through the RCEA.
As for Palin, she’s made the abolition of ranked-choice voting her rallying cry. She’s hopped on board with Alaskans for Honest Elections and made her case at the group’s CPAC conference booth. However, the growing allegations against the ‘church’ supporting her may just serve as a stark reminder of the old adage, ‘you are known by the company you keep’. The former governor’s alliance with such a controversial group seems, at the very least, to be a questionable choice.
If nothing else, this saga highlights the lengths some political actors will go to in order to influence the system and obscure their methods. It paints a vivid picture of the complex and often sketchy underbelly of American politics. Stay tuned for more updates on this intricate political web.