The elections office will print booklets for the referendum backers to use as they gather the more than 30,000 signatures required for the measure to make it to the ballot. They have until July 13 to collect the signatures, which must be from 30 of the 40 House districts.Of the 370 signatures collected, 352 were valid. That is an error rate of 5.12%. So, the referendum's supporters need to get at least 32,000 signatures - the state will require 30,169 real ones.
Which 30 of the state's 40 legislative districts will be targeted is yet to be seen.
The clock is ticking.
I'm predicting about 40,000 signatures within 80 days.
II. Since SB21 was passed, ConocoPhillips announced two things.
First, they announced new projects for 2013, implying SB21 was already working. Yet the projects announced had been approved months ago, if not longer.
Then, Thursday, they posted their most recent earnings statement [emphases added]:
ConocoPhillips financial statements released today indicate 1st quarter profits in Alaska of $543 million.
Adjusted earnings in Alaska exceeded those in the Lower 48, Canada, Latin America, and Europe combined. Capital expenditures in Alaska increased 13% to $262 million.
A non-partisan Legislative Research Report showed Alaska’s profits per barrel continued to remain among the highest in the world, at $27.99 per barrel, much higher than the $17.80 total global average profit per barrel, and over eight times the $3.15 Lower 48 profit per barrel.Successfully getting this referendum's state-certified signature booklets distributed, cared for, documented fully in their chains of custody, and turned in early with anything over 150% of the required voters might be a 2014 election game changer.
It will draw people to the polls. The GOP and the energy companies will have to address the referendum and the bill in many campaigns, local and regional. It will have an impact on both the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate elections.
All this will cost the GOP major money - maybe up to $5 million - with only about $300,000 or so having to be spent by donors who usually support Democrats.
Begich, his opponents, and Parnell, and his opponents, will be asked to state their positions on SB21 and the referendum.
Oil company lobbyists and their associates are already crafting the ads they will have to carry when the referendum is placed on the ballot. So, they're already bleeding over this.