Breaking: Recall petition stayed for now



Judge Eric Aarseth ruled today that the Recall Dunleavy petition won’t be printed and distributed by Feb. 10, opposite his originally ruling on the matter on Jan. 10.

In court this morning, it was apparent Aarseth was concerned about making a mess of the recall petition process. He had already thrown out one of the “charges” made by the Recall Dunleavy committee — the charge that the governor had somehow obstructed the Legislature from doing its job.

Aarseth perhaps didn’t want to put the cart before the horse since the Supreme Court may throw out other charges made by the group — that the governor is incompetent, for instance, or that he broke the law because he didn’t appoint a judge in time.

If people are allowed to sign a petition, and then some of those charges are cancelled by the Supreme Court, it could create a bigger mess.

The former attorney general for Gov. Bill Walker didn’t like that decision. Jahna Lindemuth argued in court that the Supreme Court on the Stand for Salmon measure struck some of the petition language and did not require signatures to be regathered. As as aside, Must Read Alaska readers will recall that as attorney general, Lindemuth had helped the radical environmentalists draft the “Stand for Salmon” ballot measure, rewriting it to make it constitutional.

Of course, the argument she made concerned initiatives, not recalls, and rules are different. Initiatives are required to appear on a regular ballot, while recalls often go to a special election. Thus, there is no harm in terms of missing an important deadline.

That Stand for Salmon petition was then approved by the courts and the matter made it to the ballot, where it was defeated. If she could do it as attorney general, then the court could rewrite a petition to make it legal, after it had been signed, she seemed to be saying.

But having people sign a petition and then changing that petition is problematic, and it appeared that Aarseth was unwilling to take the chance that such a ruling would attract a messy appeal, one that could possibly be taken to federal court system and the U.S. Supreme Court: “Can a government change a petition after people have signed it?”

The Gov. Dunleavy camp might be celebrating a rare victory, but it will likely be short-lived, as the Recall Dunleavy Committee, with Lindemuth and Scott Kendall as their legal team, will appeal this decision to the Alaska Supreme Court, hoping the court allows the petitions to be circulated for signatures before the state’s high court takes up the case of the validity of the recall effort.


  1. It would seem that the Recall Dunleavy group is going to need more than signatures to overcome this setback. One has to wonder just exactly where do the “sawbucks” come from to keep this absurd effort going? Just saying …

  2. Put Aarseth on the AK Supreme Court. That way, with all the back and forth, Dunleavy will be ready for his second term upon their decision

  3. This coup d’etat never did have any merit. just a bunch of sore losers like the little kid that throws himself on the floor of Walmart and kicks and screams until the moms shoves a big ol sucker in their face.

  4. Bill Walker getting all his X’s to do his dirty work. Can’t he get Byron Mallott something to do? Maybe find another underage girlfriend?

    • Walker and his wife do a lot of walkering on the Hawaiian beaches contemplating how they effed up our state. It seems all of the grifters, grafters, and pedifers come directly out of the previous Administration, looking for ways to take out Dunleavy. Democrats are such a sorry bunch of losers. Harassment and complaining out-loud is all they have left in their toolbox.

  5. I guess I thought judges actually used judgment in their rulings, this guy seems to lack any judgment…good or bad. It really is time to think about the level of competency, no matter which side you are on.
    This guy should not be a judge, he has displayed an alarming level of incompetence.

Comments are closed.