Dirty tricks: Municipality neuters recall application, says petition sponsors can’t hire signature gatherers?

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BUT MUNI ATTORNEY THROWS OUT RECALL AGAINST ZALATEL

The applications for recall petitions for two sitting Assembly members have been answered by the municipal attorney and clerk of Anchorage, and the answer is mystifying to the petitioners.

Municipal Attorney Kate Vogel rewrote the application for the petition to recall Assembly Chair Felix Rivera. She removed language relating to misconduct in office and only allowed the petition application to say that Rivera had failed to perform his duties when he violated the mayor’s emergency orders against the number of people allowed inside the Assembly Chambers.

Vogel simply threw out the application for a petition to recall Assembly member Meg Zalatel.

Then the Municipal Clerk went further. She told the sponsors of the application that they may not hire a signature gatherer to collect the signatures needed to put Rivera on a ballot for recall. Instead, the Clerk stated that the petitioners would have to gather the signatures themselves.

Municipal Attorney Vogel’s response to the petitioners was to neuter the language of their complaint against Rivera, deny them the right to recall Zalatel.

“Recall Application 2020-04 only partially satisfies the statutory requirements for legal sufficiency. We recommend that Application 2020-04 be granted in part and denied in part, and a petition prepared only as to the allegation regarding “failure to perform prescribed duties,” Vogel wrote.

The original language of the petition was:

“Assembly chair Felix Rivera committed misconduct in office on August 11, 2020 by violating EO-15, an emergency order intended to protect the health and safety of Anchorage citizens, issued by the Mayor of Anchorage pursuant to AMC 3.80.060(H) by: 1) knowingly participating in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people (a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly) and 2) continuing to participate in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people at a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly after being specifically informed of the violation. Assembly chair Rivera failed to perform prescribed duties as chair of the Assembly by allowing the August 11 meeting he was presiding over to continue in violation of EO- 15 after the violation was brought to his attention by a point of order. Of all citizens in Anchorage the chair of the Anchorage Assembly should have been scrupulous in obeying the gathering limitation established by paragraph 4 of EO-15. His failure to do so needlessly endangered the lives of Anchorage citizens, encouraged the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community, and merits recall from office.”

She further noted that “…assembly meetings during [Emergency Order 15] EO-15 were closed to the public and had far fewer people in attendance than normal. The allegations do not explain why the applicants believe that participating in a too-large gathering and violating the emergency order constitutes ‘misconduct in office.'”

Vogel added, “Even ‘liberally construing’ the statutory language as the Alaska Supreme Court instructs, we do not see that the alleged conduct of merely ‘participating’ in a meeting with a number of persons exceeding what is allowed by law, constitutes ‘misconduct in office’ for the purposes of legal sufficiency of a recall application. We conclude that participating in a public meeting that allegedly violated the gathering restrictions of Emergency Order 15, without more, does not constitute the type of corrupt or abusive behavior that the Legislature encapsulated under ‘misconduct in office.'”

She continued, “For these reasons, we recommend denying as legally insufficient the portion of Application 2020-04 that seeks to recall Chair Rivera for misconduct in office.”

Instead, Vogel rewrote the application for a petition:

“Assembly chair Felix Rivera [COMMITTED MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE] on August 11, 2020 [BY VIOLATING] violated EO-15, an emergency order intended to protect the health and safety of Anchorage citizens, issued by the Mayor of Anchorage pursuant to AMC 3.80.060(H) by: 1) knowingly participating in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people (a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly) and 2) continuing to participate in an indoor gathering of more than 15 people at a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly after being specifically informed of the violation. Assembly chair Rivera failed to perform prescribed duties as chair of the Assembly by allowing the August 11 meeting he was presiding over to continue in violation of EO-15 after the violation was brought to his attention by a point of order. Of all citizens in Anchorage the chair of the Anchorage Assembly should have been scrupulous in obeying the gathering limitation established by paragraph 4 of EO-15. His failure to do so needlessly endangered the lives of Anchorage citizens, encouraged the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community, and merits recall from office.”

The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that petitioners can allege anything, whether or not the grounds seem sufficient. That’s what the court decided on the petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy last year.

In a memo to the lead sponsor of the petition, Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones wrote “Signatures may only be collected by petition sponsors. Current petition sponsors are yourself, Ms. Brophy, and 11 of the 12 people who signed the petition application. Signer Paula Ferguson’s signature could not be verified, so Paula Ferguson is not authorized to be a sponsor and collect signatures. Additional sponsors may be added at any time before the petition is filed by submitting the name of the sponsor to the clerk.”

Sponsor Russell Biggs says because of his work, he cannot gather signatures himself and he and his cosponsors had intended to hire a professional to finish the job.

 The petition must have signatures from enough voters to equal 25 percent of the number that voted in the last election for that office. The group is looking for signature gatherers to volunteer.

Biggs has asked the Clerk to clarify the terms she laid out for gathering signatures.

The last election for Rivera was in 2020. Some 11,000 voted in the Assembly election that Rivera recently won, which means the group will need 2,750 good signatures of voters to force a special recall election.

39 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a battle for control of the city.
    Like the same one the country is engaged in, it’s between a group of people who want to control every aspect of your life..not just what you do, but what you say, and what you think.. vs an electorate that just wanted to be left alone to live their lives, and let this foul element creep in and grab firm hold of the levers of power in government. That second group has only recently awoken, and it may in fact be too late.

    Statewide? People maybe woke up a little sooner. They took back quite a bit of power, apparently, we will have to see if it holds. But in Anchorage, just like we are seeing down south, when you ignore the problem for so long, by the time you figure out you really need to do something about it..it may end up being too late.

    • Assemblypersons were legally elected, there is an election in April. We would be better served focusing on issues, rather than namecalling.

  2. Fraud, Fraud and MORE Fraud. All of these liberals, who moved to Alaska from California, Washington and Oregon, are trying to RUIN this great state. They are corrupt, horrible people who bring their voting virus, with them. Just because they want to ‘retire’ or ‘vacation’ here. Wake up, Alaska!

  3. I’ll volunteer to gather signatures.
    So will my wife.
    What totalitarian fist will be thrust to no paid backers of the recalls??
    I’m sure It’ll be something.

  4. I’ll sign it to. Then we need to remove both the attorney and clerk. Sick and tired of them viloating the law.

    • There is an election in April, to date the Courts have ruled that no laws have been broken. Perhaps you can be a little more specific?

  5. Suzanne,
    You might do the Anchorage folks a favor and set a time and date for a sign-in against tyranny and bad government. Its sort of like a sit-in, but for busy folks who have jobs. Identify volunteers, and maybe some businesses in several parts of town, who will offer to volunteer their parking lot and serve coffee -set a date and times-Veteran’s Day or Black Friday-where people can come to the business and sign to express their indignation with the current situation. Most importantly, you use your platform to tell us where and when to drive in and sign in. You will get 2700 signatures in a day.

  6. Please post who you contact to help with signature gathering on a volunteer basis and how you donate $$ to fund the legal battle ahead on this issue as I am sure it looms. These people are not giving up power until absolutely forced to. They are taking over every aspect of control they can possibly muster without regard to the Charter or the citizens of Anchorage.

  7. Huh, didn’t a Judge recently rule that a recall is in order just because you don’t like the ” cut of their jib”?

  8. Didn’t the ” Recall Dunleavy” folks use paid Outside signature gatherers? The corruption & fraud by the Left is breathtaking!

  9. The credit for a Red Wave goes to MRA. The opportunity for MRA was created by an Orwellian ADN, (who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past) like the rest of the global MSM could not resist abusing its power.
    Similarly, Left’s abuse of its dominant control of the MOA Assembly will motivate Anchorage conservatives, and could result is a shake-up and different outcomes in the future. Right out of Br’er Rabbit.

  10. I wonder if the vast majority of Anchorage residents pay enough attention to realize that their city has been taken over via a coup, and they are now firmly under the iron fisted control of an oligarchy of Communists with an insatiable lust for power over them?
    .
    Given the historically apathetic low voter turnout for your municipal elections, I’m guessing that the sheep haven’t a clue.
    There are only a small minority of people in your city who have a clue, because they care enough to keep themselves informed, many of whom read Suzanne’s top notch, spot on and extensively researched journalism.

  11. I am so glad that I decided to not live in Anchorage after what we have seen this last year.
    Unfortunately a Biden/ Harris win will empower these liberal quacks well into 2021.
    Look for more lock-downs to come before the Democrats roll our their mandatory vaccination plan.

    • Listen to the acting mayor right now clamp down with a whole bunch of new code enforcement officers being hired to enforce. .. Welcome in the blue wave!
      April can’t come soon enough but this is what Anchorage voted for… And apparently the country… I remember a little freedom, it was nice.

  12. Tired of ‘playing by the rules’ yet Republicans? See what happens when you ‘cross the aisle’ and make deals with people who hate you? When the leftist presents you with a 100% radical agenda and you negotiate it down to 30% do you know they just got 30% of something they never dreamed possible? Anyone ready to opt out yet, stop paying our taxes, yank your kids our of school or do we wait until AQD’s code enforcers pay us a little visit? So how many rights are we willing to watch get pilfered away before we say no more? Next election…next time…next thing…Uh-huh. The radical left may have just undermined forever our faith in the electoral system. 2016 may have been the last legitimate election. Schools and Universities are pumping out the ignorant by the millions as the last sane living people die of old age. But don’t worry. Someone will probably do some thing about it. Sometime…back to Tucker…

  13. Tyranny and discord is what you get when you have a disproportionate number of social deviants attempting to exercise an artificial and self granted authority. Wait until there’s a code enforcer looking to verify that you and your wife are not being paid, MJD.

  14. Should have done recall based on his sending emails to political friends about Muni job posting prior to public notice. Also his request that his friends not tell anyone else about the job post. No way the muni attorneys can deny that. See archived articles Must Read Alaska for story in Politics tab.

    Quote from MRA: In the posting, Rivera said, “ANCHORAGE JOB OPPORTUNITY — please don’t share publicly. The Anchorage Assembly will be hiring 6 full time (40 hour) aides from mid-September to December 30 to assist us with our COVID-19 response. Duties will be varied, including constituent outreach, policy research, to policy development and more. All focused on COVID-19. It will be contract job (so pa attention to this for tax purposes) and will be a $11,200 contract for these approximately 3.5 months. Please message me if your (sic) interested or know others who might be interested. I’m trying to get these positions filled ASAP. Thanks all!”

  15. Anchorage, you got the socialists you elected. Now pay up or move out. But please, out of state. Don’t corrupt the freedom loving parts of it.

    • Cut us some slack, OG….
      .
      The Anchorage Assembly -forced- their easily corruptible mail-in vote system on productive residents so no bond, tax, or incumbent gets left behind.
      .
      Now Anchorage voters are told by easily corruptible bureaucrats who or what wins.
      .
      Good news is freedom-loving parts are still there.
      .
      Problem is voters have to figure out how to ditch mail-in voting while they’re mashed under a hostile Mayor, a hostile Assembly, and a court system obsessed with leniency for violent sex offenders and overthrowing Governor Dunleavy.
      .
      Could happen… Pis (whoops, can’t say that!) off enough people, anything’s possible, yes?

  16. Time to employ the tactics of the left. If you see the Assembly members around Anchorage get up then their face and let them know they are not wanted here and they better leave for their own good.

    • Powder dry. Weapons locked and loaded. When free speech is gutted and fair elections are disrespected and foiled, the Second Amendment will be the one remaining right we will execute freely and liberally.

  17. If they are breaking the law and it is so obvious, then why don’t we come together and bring them to court over it? It should be an easy win.

    • Except the AK judiciary is every bit as radical and corrupted as they are, and many Alaskans remain inert, useful idiots. We couldn’t even get rid of Carney, who apparently could not possibly care any less about the law she’s supposed to uphold, preferring to invent her own.

    • Nothing easy in a court where the judges are likely on their side. You’re assuming a fair trial in an unbiased court. The existence of Alaska and America hang in the balance of whether we can purge fraud from our elections. The only other recourse is to join them and see if we can out-fraud them… NOT: 1. we don’t believe in such dishonesty, and 2. to give in to fraud is to forfeit our freedom. What would happen if the shoe was on the other foot? The only choice we have is to verify clean elections and out-message the left. I just can’t believe (even in the propagandized youth) that a voting majority of communists live in America and Alaska – even in Anchorage. Whatever happened to valuing truth? (Yeah I know, I’m assuming that “they” even know what truth is.)

  18. Here’s the problem…

    Without consequences there’s no accountability and in this example how might they be held accountable? Sue the assembly? Big deal; none of them would have to pay the cost of upholding their own nonsense.

  19. Can we “recall” the city attorney? Seems to me, she is in with the Assembly in tandem with this acting mayor (and prior with Berkowitz) to contribute to a very left leaning and power hungry agenda – this attorney is clearly partisan in her behavior and demeanor, and disgustingly unprofessional.

  20. The real question is: what is our recourse when the Assembly is derelict in its duty to hold a special election?

    The Muni Charter says they shall hold a special election. Muni Attorney Kate Vogel says that means they have a choice.

    So, when I read these emergency orders and amendments to emergency orders, I’ll presume that shall means the same thing as it does for the Assembly: it’s my personal choice to follow or not to follow!

  21. Alaska
    As of June 2020, Alaska capped payment on a per-signature basis at $1.00 per signature.

    On April 10, 2020, six business organizations filed a legal challenge to Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer’s (R) certification of certain signatures for the ballot initiative. Plaintiffs argued that Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share (Vote Yes) paid signature gatherers in excess of the legal maximum, which was $1.00 per signature. As of 2020, Alaska Statutes 15.45.110(c) read, “A circulator may not receive payment or agree to receive payment that is greater than $1 a signature, and a person or an organization may not pay or agree to pay an amount that is greater than $1 a signature, for the collection of signatures on a petition.”[3] Vote Yes hired petition-collection firm Advanced Micro Targeting, which offered signature gatherers $3,500 – $4,000 per month for 480 to 600 signatures per week.[4]

    Robin Brena, the chairperson of Vote Yes, responded that the law addressed paying circulators for each signature, not paying circulators salaries. He said, “It does not address any other form of payment to circulator. To state the obvious there is no bounty when petition circulators are paid by salary.”[5]

    On July 16, 2020, Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Matthews dismissed the case. Judge Matthews agreed with the plaintiffs’ (six business organizations) interpretation of the law, but stated that Alaska Statutes 15.45.110(c) was unconstitutional. “Petition circulation is core political speech because it involves interactive communication concerning political change, and First Amendment protection for such interaction is therefore at its zenith,” wrote Judge Matthews.[6]

    DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Alaska Statutes, Sec. 15.45.110

  22. Who cares? Isn’t it interesting that Downing is absolutely silent about the most important thing in our lives? Bluto is going down! Watching him (gag) in his final flail is like watching a man wither in his own karate chops. I don’t believe in god therefore I don’t believe in karma but I’m here to say a double scoop of schadenfreude with sprinkles is delicious!

    • …and it is our zeitgeist that we tolerate opinions from those that contribute little beyond complaint. To say that this is the most important thing in your life identifies you squarely as one who lives for free stuff, earned by others.

      Thelonious’ music was best re-gifted and every comment I’ve seen you post has been similar. Aspire to self sufficiency and cast away your EBT card. Your future is a desert with the hair sniffer and the woman best known for legislation that has incarcerated thousands of black men. There’s your double scoop of poorly chosen deliciousness.

  23. I see some of Nicolás Maduro’s relatives have moved to Anchorage, Alaska and now run the local government.

    His kin in Venezuela would be proud of this earthly putrescence.

  24. The Lawless Assembly assisted by a Corrupt Lawless Judicial System choose to Rule rather than Serve!
    There is no Elections for Assembly Seats until April 2023.

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