Group launches effort to recall Gov. Dunleavy over vetoes and broken campaign promises

Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Photo by Matt Buxton/TMS)

Update: The group behind the recall has postponed the launch of the signature-gathering effort to Aug. 1 in order to have time to draft a legally solid recall statement. The Monday night event is still planned, but will serve largely as an informational and organizational session.

“It’s time to hold him accountable for his lies,” reads the landing page of dunleavylied.com, the newly launched website of a group hoping to recall Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy.

The group publicly announced its efforts on Thursday night after the Alaska Legislature, still split between Juneau and the Wasilla special session called by Dunleavy, failed to muster enough votes to override the more than $400 million in vetoes that have been called an attack on Alaska.

The website says it is paid for by Future North PAC, a group that was formed earlier this year with the purpose to “support candidates, causes, legislation, and groups with a forward-looking, pro-Alaska vision to build a prosperous and sustainable future for all Alaskans,” according to its registration forms.

The recall effort will first need to collect signatures equal to 10 percent of the previous general election, or 28,501 signatures, to be considered for certification. It announced an event in Anchorage at Writer’s Block on from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to begin the collection of the initial signatures. Once that is done, the group will need to collect signatures equaling a whopping 25 percent of the previous general election, 71,252 signatures.

Though the recall election is focused on the vetoes and a long list of stark differences between the promises made by candidate Dunleavy and actions taken by Governor Dunleavy, the bar for qualifying a recall election will be trickier than corralling public outrage.

According to state law, the grounds for recall include lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption.

It’s likely that the effort will be more focused on actions like Dunleavy’s refusal to appoint judges on time, his vindictive vetoes targeting the courts or his use of public dollars to run (and likely continue to run) political campaigns targeting legislators and legislative caucuses. Any justification can be challenged by the Dunleavy administration and its allies, meaning the matter would likely head to the courts.

The recall petition itself must be approved by the director of the Division of Elections, which reports to Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer. Meyer, a relatively mainstream pro-business Republican, has kept a low-profile throughout Dunleavy’s tenure. He could also be targeted by a recall but is not currently.

Once the 71,252 signatures have been turned in and certified, the Division of Elections would have between 60 and 90 days to call a special election to remove Dunleavy from office.

The effort to recall Dunleavy has been swirling for some time.

A closed Facebook group called “Alaskans for Recalling Governor Mike Dunleavy” was created on Feb. 13, 2019, the same day that Dunleavy announced the details of his budget. The budget was widely unpopular and many legislators, even those who’ve now refused to help override the vetoes, said it was unrealistic and damaging to Alaska.

The organizational efforts on Facebook moved into the public at the Alaskans Take A Stand group.

Many of the vetoes ended up cutting the Legislature’s budget down to the governor’s proposal even though the administration failed to ever fully explain the vetoes or the impact on Alaska. Legislators complained during the joint sessions on the override vote that they’re still being stonewalled by the administration when trying to get answers about the budget and the vetoes.

Dunleavy’s long-declining approval rating took a nosedive after the release of the vetoes, according to a poll conducted in the days before and after the cuts were announced. His approval rating fell from 41 percent to 31 percent while his disapproval rating spiked above 60 percent.

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7 Comments on "Group launches effort to recall Gov. Dunleavy over vetoes and broken campaign promises"

  1. Good Luck he is the best Governor Ever…

  2. I wonder how well his office has been covering up their money trails in anticipation. There’s been a lot of “anonymous” pro-Dunleavy mailings bouncing around, not to mention Donna Arduin’s usual modus operandi.

  3. Barbara Poss | July 13, 2019 at 10:03 am | Reply

    Where do we sign?

  4. Lies, what lies? Not a single lie specified. Awe, but for the new socialist democrat unsubstantiated accusations only need to be effective, not factual. Fit for governor? So the new socialist democrat finds efforts by leadership to get our state fiscally healthy to be repugnant and unacceptable. We are now #1 in per capita state spending, in the nation. No, dear ones, this is not an honor. We are highest in the nation for government employment. Reality – money to run the government only comes from the private sector, as government does not produce. When your private sector shrinks, it is not a good thing. This is a very unhealthy imbalance. I wonder how many of the entitlement addicted even care to learn basic economics or where money comes from? It does not grow on trees or fall from the sky, no matter what you are being told. Lastly, I have seen no solution from the left for our 2 billion dollar budget deficit. ? ??

    • Justyn Durnford | July 14, 2019 at 4:17 am | Reply

      I think the issue is instead how many students who show extreme merit but were unfortunate enough to have wealthy parents may not be able to pursue higher education, thus lowering the supply of qualified people to take on jobs, which in turn could reduce the money Alaska generates. Not to mention the people who need medical treatment, especially for mental disorders such as PTSD. And for what? An extra $3,000 in the bank? I’ve spent much time dwelling over politics and I’ve noticed, with disgust, how both the Republican and Democratic parties seem so incomptent that they are incapable of making any compromise. This only serves as another example for me.

  5. Elizabeth, Dear One: The lies are manifold for anyone who paid even the slightest attention to his campaign promises. We can be sure everyone will be well reminded before this is very far along. For starters, you might want to talk to the stalwart citizens of Ketchikan who believed Dunleavy ‘s line of crap about his support for the Alaska Marine Highway System. And to further school you: most any Alaskan with a pulse knows the many solutions that have been promoted by “the left”( which actually includes some Republicans), in this budget argument, including income taxes and oil tax credits. As for our per capita expense, perhaps you haven’t noticed that this state far out-strips all others in size and geographic adversity, etc. And that ranking, (if it is the only true statement in your rant), might easily be considered an honor for the good work being done by “government” for many, including protecting generations in the future. It might be interesting to hear how full of wind your sails get on the subject of our number one “socialist” jobs creator, the Military Industrial Complex we were warned about years ago by a Republican President, in a speech that would have done Abbie Hoffman proud. (One suspects your sails might lose their wind on this subject)

  6. Dr. Paul Maguire | July 14, 2019 at 10:20 am | Reply

    Children and elderly?

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