Former GOP chair Ruedrich files APOC complaint against Republican women’s club

In a rare move that’s likely to shock many in political circles, former Alaska Republican Party chair Randy Ruedrich has filed an APOC complaint against the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, the club chaired by Judy Eledge.

In his complaint, which was filed late Tuesday afternoon, Ruedrich alleges that the ARWC is not keeping proper donor-records. Specifically, he says that it has failed to disclose aggregate contributions. Contributions to political groups under $100 are not subject to detailed APOC reporting rules. However, names and address of donors are required when donors exceed more than $100 a year, even if those contributions are in small increments.

Ruedrich said that it appears that the ARWC wasn’t keeping track of small donations, and therefore couldn’t account for aggregate contributions that might have passed the $100 threshold.

To Ruedrich’s knowledge, all other Republican clubs are trying to comply with the “spirit of the law,” he said. The ARWC isn’t.

Eledge didn’t have time to look at the specifics of the complaint, but did say that they were all volunteers doing the best they could and that as far as she knew, the club was compliant. She also questioned Ruedrich’s motives.

There has been long-brewing tension between Ruedrich and Eledge, and Eledge contends that Ruedrich filed the complaint because she won’t “go along to get along.”

“I will not bend to threats and harassment,” she said.

For his part, Ruedrich said that he’s just trying to do the right thing. “If you know something is being done that’s not right, you have a moral obligation to file (a complaint), otherwise you’re conspiring with that person for failure to disclose,” he said. Even if it is a Republican organization, he said. He remembered filing a complaint against at least one other Republican, the husband of short-term former GOP chair Debbie Brown.

Ruedrich said that he first became concerned about ARWC’s reporting after he received an email from Eledge related to a debate the ARWC is sponsoring on Thursday night, for which the club plans on charging $10 per person. Apparently, a question was raised about whether or not the charge would trigger reporting requirements. In the email, Eledge says, “We have NEVER kept records of every times (sic) someone spends $10 for an event they attend that is Republican and I don’t think other clubs do either.”

That sentence prompted Ruedrich to look deeper into the books. What he found was that the ARWC reported that 528 donors contributed under $100, for a total of $35,511. After accounting for membership and other small donors, it appeared to him that at least some donors who weren’t named gave more than $100.

In any case, it’s incumbent on clubs to keep records of small donors, even if they aren’t required to be named, he said.

Much of this tension appears to be developing as a result of the ARWC’s Thursday night GOP Senate debate. Questions have been raised as to Eledge’s neutrality, and the legality of the debate.

Federal election law dictates that all expenses and revenue for a federal candidates’ event put on by a political club be handled by a federal account. None of the four women’s clubs sponsoring the debate have a federal account. In the email that Ruedrich included in the complaint, it appeared that Eledge was aware that the event could fall under FEC guidelines. Nothing was done to address the issue until Tuesday.

A fix, apparently, is in the works.

Contact Amanda Coyne at

Clarification: The story was edited to indicate that groups like the Alaska Republican Women’s Club must report all donations, but they don’t need to include the names and addresses of those who donated less than $100 a year and can lump-sum the small donations in their reporting.


17 thoughts on “Former GOP chair Ruedrich files APOC complaint against Republican women’s club

  1. J.L.

    Sullivan agreed that write-in names could be posted at the polls irregardless of the fact that it was in direct violation of the law. (Also misspellings of Murkowski’s name were accepted as a vote for her, even when it was clear that the person was not voting for her but instead casting a protest vote.)

  2. Brad Keithley

    This isn’t about APOC or rules violations. Its simply the latest example of the code that Randy Ruedrich and his mini-me, Frank McQueary, increasingly have come to live by over the years: if you can’t control it, (attempt to) destroy it. That is the same philosophy that Tom DeLay, the former House Majority Leader followed. The result? Quoting the Wall St. Journal, ““It isn’t easy to spend so much money so egregiously that even Nancy Pelosi could campaign as a relative fiscal conservative, but the Tom DeLay Republicans managed the feat in 2006.”

    Ruedrich and McQueary are going down the same track. Like DeLay, they have long since forgotten the principles they started with at the beginning, and its become all about controlling and maintaining power. With DeLay it was earmarks; with Ruedrich and McQueary its all about preserving state and federal spending. In the last two years, the Republicans they have helped elect to the legislature and put in the Governor’s office have enacted the two highest budget deficits in Alaska’s history and spent away more than $6 billion (35%) of the state’s savings they found when they walked in the door following the 2012 election. Like DeLay, as people call them out on that — or attempt to foster the discussion of alternatives — they avoid dealing with the issues on the merits, but instead seek to shut down the discussion with personal attacks, APOC complaints and whatever else they have handy.

    As with DeLay, it will come to an end as others increasingly lose patience with the result. Likely we are nearing that point as Ruedrich/McQueary now appear to find it necessary to file APOC complaints against one of the core organizations of their own party — the equivalent of calling in bombing strikes on their own position — in their increasingly frantic efforts to hold on to power and “discipline” those who fail to follow their direction. Hopefully, their self-destruction will be in time for the state to survive with some savings — as some semblance of fiscal policy — intact. But at the rate at which their favored candidates are draining the state treasury, its going to be a close call.

  3. Lynn Willis

    I don’t know what a “federal account” is. If the law requires you to have a federal account is there any penalty for not having one?
    But who cares what the law requires? I am inspired by the ability of politicians to either ignore campaign finance laws or render them ineffective so politicians like Rep. Tuck can parlay 1.4 million worth of APOC violations into an actual fine of $14,000 (1% of the original amount). I suppose these Republican Ladies clubs will be afforded the same “justice”. Will this effort result in another financially devastating APOC fine of $187.50?
    This is why we the people have no protection. Politicians and their associates have absolutely no fear of campaign finance laws, other than personal embarrassment, because they render these laws impotent and attempt to neutralize any enforcement power so they may choose when to subscribe to the law only when it suits them for political gain. Even today I hear how unjust, unfair, bias, overly complicated, and otherwise hurtful APOC has become toward these hardworking representatives of the people who seem all to willing to make law, just not so willing to follow it.
    Remember the classic justification for her behavior from Leona Helmsley when charged with income tax evasion; “We don’t pay taxes, only the little people pay taxes”. Well, that same attitude regarding campaign finance law is alive and well within the ruling class in Alaska.

  4. Milton Friedman

    So now Dan Sullivan was part of the conspiracy to keep Joe Miller from being elected too? Also, how exactly do Attorneys General change Alaskan election law all by themselves? That’s a new one to me.

  5. Young Republican

    Judy and Randy both remind me of bed bugs. They’re really hard to get rid of. I think the GOP in Alaska might benefit from some new blood and leadership.

  6. Honest Abe

    Judy Eledge thinks she’s above the law. I know her and unfortunately have worked with her. She is intolerant of anyone who thinks doifferently than she. She doesn’t care about FEC or APOC laws or regulations. Why should she? The fines wouldn’t come out of her pocket. This whole mess between Randy and Judy is petty; however, Randy is right and the law is the law. Nipping the issue before it grows into a bigger problem is the right thing to do. Judy needs to grow up and be less petulant. Randy needs to take a deep breath.

  7. Ellie Phant

    Shame on Randy! Anyone who knows these two understands that Judy has always been honest. She can be aggressive and pushy, but that’s because she cares about the truth and refuses to be bullied into following the crowd. She does not show partiality to any candidate in contested primaries. Just this week I saw her at a Sullivan tea party and then heard she was eating ribs up at the Treadwell rugby event. She has also attended some of Miller’s functions. Judy has integrity and just wants to beat Begich. Randy is the one sending out numerous invites to Sullivan fundraisers; his bias is so blatant. What’s sad is the three candidates should be trusted to duke this out themselves. I’m voting for the gentleman of the group. Hopefully the debate on Thursday proves one of them can be – regardless of what their “handlers” do. Kudos to Judy and the ARWC for putting this debate together!!

  8. anabanana plum

    Judy Eledge is a hard working Conservative….the only ones NOT deterred by State, Federal laws or any laws at all is the AK GOP!!
    gee, everyone should know that it was Dan Sullivan himself that changed election law in 2010 to favor the traitor Murkowski…un and hide Sullivan and Rudreich, you are so afraid of the public finding our what frauds you all are….liars, cheated, nothing stops you from being the biggest cowards in the State.

  9. anabanana plum

    Ha ha this is so funny !!
    Ruedrich is calling the kettle black!
    He paid one of the biggest fins to APOC if I remember correctly….why don’t you resurrect that story!

    the fact of the matter is, Ruedrich supports only big global elitists like Murkowksi and sullivan…he has his CBC knickers in a wad, trying to keep his UN-Alaskan candidate hiding in the shadows…..typical behavior from the defacto head of the CORRUPT BASTARDS CLUB!!!!

  10. Randy being honest... yea right

    Yea right… since when did Randy R ever give a damn about “doing the right thing” this is all to protect his golden boy Sullivan and take a personal dig at Judy. And these people wonder why the party won’t grow. If they got in there and helped instead of just trying to throw curve balls the republicans would not look like such idiots. Randy – time to get the hell out of the way! Sullivan doesn’t stand a chance in the general against Begich and the party would do well to stop putting up smoke and mirrors for him.

  11. Mae

    So Judy and randy, gee, thanks for bumping the Parnell -Fleener name calling off the page.

    Alaskan republicans, ever so entertaining.

  12. Fishing Fanatic

    Who needs TV for comedy when we have the Republican Party of Alaska. If it were a TV show, I would vote to call it “Wackos In The Wilderness”.

  13. Milton Friedman

    I have feeling that the other Republican Women’s Groups are about to start dropping out of this thing like flies.

  14. 357

    Once again, you’re the source for breaking political news. Not only are you the first media outlet usually to break political news, you also are the most fair and seem to understand what you’re saying and do so succinctly. Congratulations. Keep up the good work.
    LOL. Crazy Judy isn’t detered by federal or state laws or regulations. In her world, there’s only one way – – her way. Unfortunately, her attitude is now hurting Republican candidates and the party. Her behavior and attitude is an embarrassment.

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