Dale Durrwachter thought he had received some kind of tax notice. The envelope states, “Fairbanks North Star Borough Area Assessment.”
When he opened it, he saw it was a political solicitation and survey. He wasn’t happy and showed it to borough officials.
The sender, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, based in Washington, D.C., will be getting a call from Jim Williams, borough chief of staff.
Williams said Wednesday that this is not the first use of the borough name or crest by a non-borough entity.
The municipality typically handles minor brand infringement by contacting the organization and requesting it stop.
“It erodes trust in us,” Williams said. “We’re trying to do a job here, and it isn’t helpful.”
The borough government is nonpartisan under local code.
It’s not clear if the National Republican Senatorial Committee meant the mailing to appear as an official borough notice. Pictures of the materials were texted to the NRSC press secretary, who is looking into it.
Williams said he received one complaint. Staff at the borough Assessing Department were shown the mailing on Wednesday and said it was the first they had heard of it.
Aside from the the borough-related title and a label stating “Assessment Document,” the contents appear to be a traditional political mailing. There’s a survey and a request for a donation of $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25.
The NRSC works on getting Republican senators elected, according to its website.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, is running for reelection in 2020.
The mailing doesn’t mention Sullivan. It mentions a host of other leaders: President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, to name a few.
The survey has 32 questions and is billed as a means to compile a “detailed, highly accurate profile of GOP voters across the nation.”
Here is an example of a survey question: “Do you think many federal programs should be shifted to the states or even eliminated?”
Survey takers can check a box for yes, no or undecided.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.