So you remember that big Pebble Mine scandal that U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R. AK) got busted in? Here’s a click reminder:
Dr. Al Gross, a Democratic-aligned independent running to unseat Sullivan, had been, even before the recording, blasting Sullivan for failing to explicitly oppose the mine’s construction. Sullivan opposed the Obama administration’s preemptive veto of the proposed mine and supported allowing it to go through the federal permitting process.“These tapes make clear that Dan Sullivan does not care about Alaskans ― all he cares about is winning his next election,” Gross, a commercial fisherman and retired orthopedic surgeon, said in a statement. “He should be ashamed of himself.”Gross also began airing a 30-second TV ad on Wednesday that features a key excerpt from the Environmental Investigation Agency’s video to argue that Sullivan is secretly a supporter of the mine. “Dan Sullivan hides his support for Pebble Mine,” the ad’s narrator says.
This whole fiasco forced Sullivan to come out publicly against the Pebble Mine. Well The Intercept is actually doing real coverage on the Republicans now and they have some new info:
One of the powerhouse lobbying firms advocating on behalf of Alaska’s controversial Pebble Mine project has close ties to the company RPM International, which is partially owned by Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, and run by Sullivan’s brother, Frank Sullivan.
The close relationship complicates the politics of an unfolding scandal for Sullivan, which rocked the state’s Senate race after audio emerged of Pebble Mine executives confidently claiming that Sullivan was privately supportive of the project but staying mum publicly until the election. Sullivan responded by declaring his opposition to the proposal to create the largest mine in North America. The mine, which is staunchly opposed by environmental groups, would sit smack dab in the middle of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.
One of the top lobbying firms for Pebble Mine, Squire Patton Boggs, has close ties to Sullivan’s family business. Squire Patton Boggs has received at least $980,000 in lobbying payments since 2018 from Pebble Limited Partnership to advocate for permitting of the mine. Fred Nance, a top executive at Squire Patton Boggs, is an independent director on the board of Sullivan’s family company, meaning he has supervisory powers over Sullivan’s brother Frank, who is the company’s CEO. By hiring Squire Patton Boggs, the Pebble Mine’s owners have entangled themselves not just inside the complexities of Alaska politics, but inside the business interests of the Sullivan family.
Judd Legum’s newsletter Popular Information has previously reported that executives from the mine partnership and their lobbyists had contributed $34,000 to the senator’s campaigns. In addition to that, Nance and two other Squire Patton Boggs employees have delivered $15,500 for Sullivan’s campaigns — $10,300 of that since the mine hired the lobbying firm in 2018. As a senator, Sullivan remains enmeshed in his family’s company as a substantial shareholder; federal financial disclosures show that he owns between $1 and $5 million in stock, and the family and the company have donated over $90,000 to his campaign and PAC since he won his first election in 2014.
Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Alaska Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Gross, Galvin and Biden’s campaigns:
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