Alaskan Independence Party

The Alaskan Independence Party (AKIP) is an Alaskan nationalist and a paleoconservative political party that advocates an in-state referendum which includes the option of Alaska becoming an independent country. The party also advocates positions similar to those of the Constitution Party[citation needed], Republican Party and Libertarian Party, supporting gun rights, privatization, home schooling, and limited government.[2]

Alaskan Independence Party
ChairpersonBob Bird
FoundedJune 14, 1984; 36 years ago (1984-06-14)[1]
Alaskan nationalism
Libertarian conservatism
Political positionCentre-right to right-wing
Colors    Blue and Gold
Seats in the Senate
0 / 20
Seats in the House
0 / 40


The Alaskan Independence Party was founded with the goal of obtaining for Alaskans the right to vote on statehood. Referring to Alaska's 1959 admission to the union, the AKIP charter states: "The Alaskan Independence Party's goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four choices:

  1. Remain a territory.
  2. Become a separate and independent country.
  3. Accept commonwealth status.
  4. Become a state.

The call for this vote is in furtherance of the dream of the Alaskan Independence Party's founding father, Joe Vogler, which was for Alaskans to achieve independence under a minimal government, fully responsive to the people, promoting a peaceful and lawful means of resolving differences."[3][better source needed]

Since its founding, the AKIP has radically changed with respect to the issue of secession. At present, it does not support secession though, at its founding, it did.[inconsistent][citation needed] In 1973 Vogler began arguing about the validity of the Alaskan statehood vote. Early in that year, he began circulating a petition seeking support for secession of Alaska from the United States. Alaska magazine published a piece at that time in which Vogler claimed to have gathered 15,000 signatures in three weeks.[citation needed]

Vogler has been quoted as stating "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."[4][5]

In early 1973, Vogler founded Alaskans For Independence, originally to label the petition drive. The organization took on a life of its own in the following years, and actively pursued secession for Alaska from the United States. Vogler also founded the Alaskan Independence Party at around the same time. During its first decade of existence, the Party was used exclusively by Vogler for his first two campaigns for governor and campaign for lieutenant governor (with Don Wright as his running mate). Largely in response to the lawsuit Vogler v. Miller, the State of Alaska enacted emergency regulations, effective June 14, 1984, which gave official recognition to the party in Alaska. The party has maintained its recognized status since, first by maintaining thresholds in gubernatorial elections, then through same with voter registration.[1] The AKIP, while a home to many secession-minded people, has from the start sought to explore whether the 1958 vote by Alaskans authorizing statehood was legal, as outlined in the excerpt from the party's charter found above.[citation needed]

Vogler would serve as the AKIP's standard-bearer for most of the party's first two decades. He ran for governor in 1974, with Wayne Peppler as his running mate.[6] Jay Hammond was elected over incumbent governor William Egan, with Vogler trailing far behind. Typical political discussion of the day included the contention that Vogler was a "spoiler," and that the result would have been different had he not been in the race, however Vogler ran on a conservative platform and perhaps if he hadn't run the margin of victory would have been larger for Republican Hammond.[citation needed]

Vogler's running mate in 1986 was Al Rowe, a Fairbanks resident and former Alaska State Trooper. Rowe took out a series of newspaper ads, fashioning himself in the image of Sheriff Buford Pusser. These ads were a major attention getter during the race.[citation needed] Between Rowe's ads and the turmoil existing in the Republican Party over the nomination of Arliss Sturgulewski, the AKIP gained 5.2 percent of the vote, becoming a recognized party in Alaska for the first time.[citation needed]

Since then, AKIP candidates have disapproved of initiating a statewide vote revisiting the status of Alaskan statehood.[clarification needed][citation needed] In 1990, former Republican governor Walter Joseph Hickel won the election for governor as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, with Jack Coghill as his running mate. This was the only time since Alaska joined the union that a third-party candidate has been elected governor, until the election of Jesse Ventura in Minnesota in 1998, and then Bill Walker in Alaska in 2014. Hickel refused a vote on secession called on by a fringe group within the AKIP loyal to Vogler's original vision. He rejoined the Republican Party in 1994, with eight months remaining in his term.[citation needed]

Carl E. Moses, a businessman from Unalaska who had served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1965–1973 as both a Republican and Democrat, was elected again to the House in 1992, running under the AKIP banner. He was elected to a district comprising mostly the area between the Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay. He switched his party affiliation back to Democrat at around the same time that Hickel switched, and continued to serve in the House until 2007.[citation needed]

The party did not get involved in presidential elections until 1992, when it endorsed Howard Phillips, the candidate of the U.S. Taxpayers Party (now the Constitution Party).[citation needed]

Registered membersEdit

As of May 2009 the party had 13,119 registered members, making it the state's third largest; the Republicans had 124,892 members and the Democrats had 75,047.[7]

On September 2, 2008, the Alaska Division of Elections had records that Todd Palin, husband of Governor Sarah Palin (a Republican and vice-presidential candidate), had registered in 1995 as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. He remained registered with the party until 2002.[8] David Niewert and Max Blumenthal wrote in Salon about the third party's influence in gaining election of Sarah Palin as mayor of Wasilla in her first political office.[9]

2006 ballot initiativeEdit

In 2006, members of the AKIP collected the one hundred signatures needed to place on the fall ballot an initiative calling for Alaska to secede from the union or, if that was found not to be legally possible, directing the state to work to make secession legal. However, in the case of Kohlhaas v. State[10] the Alaska State Supreme Court ruled any attempt at secession to be unconstitutional and the initiative was not approved to appear on the fall ballot.[11]

Gubernatorial nomineesEdit

Alaskan Independence Party Gubernatorial Tickets
Year Nominee Running Mate # Votes % Votes Place Notes
1974 Joe Vogler Wayne Peppler 4,770
4.96 / 100
3rd [12]
1978 Don Wright Joe Vogler 2,463
1.94 / 100
5th [13]
1982 Joe Vogler Roger Dee Roberts 3,235
1.66 / 100
4th [14]
1986 Joe Vogler Al Rowe 10,013
5.58 / 100
3rd [15]
1990 Wally Hickel Jack Coghill 75,721
38.88 / 100
1st [16]
1994 Jack Coghill Margaret Ward 45,838
19.81 / 100
3rd [17]
1998 Sylvia Sullivan None 4,238
1.93 / 100
6th [18]
2002 Don Wright Daniel DeNardo 2,185
0.94 / 100
4th [19]
2006 Don Wright Doug Welton 1,285
0.54 / 100
4th [20]
2010 Don Wright None 4,775
1.86 / 100
3rd [21]

Presidential nomineesEdit

Alaskan Independence Party Presidential Tickets
Year Nominee Running Mate # Votes % Votes Place Notes
1992 Howard Phillips Albion Knight 377
0.15 / 100
8th [22]
2004 Michael Peroutka Chuck Baldwin 2,092
0.70 / 100
2008 Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 1,660
0.51 / 100

Notable party officialsEdit

Dexter Clark, shown in May 2002 demonstrating gold panning to tourists at the El Dorado Gold Mine, is a former chairman of the AKIP.

Notable past party officials include:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Alaskan Independence Party History". Alaskan Independence Party. Web Alaska. 2006. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "Alaskan Independence Party - Issues". Alaskan Independence Party.
  3. ^ "Goals of the Alaskan Independence Party". Alaskan Independence Party.
  4. ^ "Curiouser and Curiouser". CBS News. 2008-09-02. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  5. ^ Introduction, Alaskan Independence Party, at (January 16, 2008).
  6. ^ Election Candidate Pamphlet. Juneau: Alaska Division of Elections. 1974. (This is the first official reference to the party. The pamphlet contained, amongst other information on Alaska elections in 1974, a party platform and biographical profiles of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor Joe Vogler and Wayne Peppler.)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Zernike, Kate (2008-09-03). "A Palin Joined Alaskan Third Party, Just Not Sarah Palin". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  9. ^ Neiwert, David; Blumenthal, Max (July 17, 2008). "Meet Sarah Palin's radical right-wing pals". Salon. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Kohlhaas v. State (11/17/2006) sp-6072, 147 P3d 714
  11. ^ Kohlhaas v. State (11/17/2006),, retrieved October 11, 2008
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 05, 1974". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 07, 1978". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 02, 1982". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 04, 1986". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 06, 1990". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 08, 1994". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 03, 1998". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK - Governor Race - Nov 05, 2002". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 07, 2006". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Our Campaigns - AK Governor Race - Nov 02, 2010". Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  22. ^ "State of Alaska Official Returns : November 3, 1992 General Election" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  23. ^ "Contact the Alaskan Independence Party". Alaskan Independence Party. Web Alaska. 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  24. ^ "Alaskan Independence Party – Past Officers". Alaskan Independence Party. Web Alaska. 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2010.

External linksEdit