A petition book from Fairbanks for the Coastal Zone Management ballot measure was never turned in to election authorities by sponsors because it looked suspicious. Now Deborah Carrol faces charges of forgery. Alaska Sea Party Chairman Bruce Botehlo says they turned the book over to enforcement authorities.
“It was quite evident just as a lay person looking through that the signatures – indeed the handwriting throughout – looked suspiciously similar. So, we withheld it. The following week, I delivered this booklet to the Office of Special Prosecutions, and they in turn delivered it to the State Troopers for investigation that resulted in the criminal complaint.”
The charges were originally announced by Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell’s office, which erroneously said Carroll was hired by the Sea Party. Botelho says actually she worked for consultant Scott Kohlhaas, a veteran petition campaigner, and he’s proud of the volunteers who got the measure qualified for the ballot:
“Throughout the process I frankly had expected our signature gatherers would bring integrity to the process and 99.5% of them did.”
It’s pretty clear now that the Legislature is still stalemated on the issue and will not attempt to pass anything substantially similar.