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HomeThe SocialDunleavy fundraiser/rally raises cash to defend gov.

Dunleavy fundraiser/rally raises cash to defend gov.


About 200 people came through the fundraiser for Gov. Mike Dunleavy in Anchorage on Friday evening, Jan. 10. More than $60,000 was raised; the suggested donation was $250 to the Stand Tall With Mike account.

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The event in the Megan Room at Davis Constructors took place just hours after a court decision that allowed the Recall Dunleavy Committee to proceed with signature gathering on the next petition it must file to get the matter onto a statewide ballot.

The fact that the fundraiser was scheduled for the same day as the court hearing indicates the Stand Tall With Mike group had a good idea the judge’s ruling would not be favorable to the governor, and was proceeding with the raising money for what will be a battle to fend off a gloves-off, anything-goes attack on him this year, much like his opponents went after him during the 2018 election cycle.

The campaign to unseat Dunleavy has had a year’s head start. Documents filed in court show that the website name “” was purchased on Feb. 18, 2019 — just five days after the governor’s amended budget was sent to the Legislature. It’s clear that the governor’s attorneys were correct when they said this is a policy battle in search of grounds for recall:

A year’s head start on fundraising and publicity has given the Recall Dunleavy group a cash advantage — it has raised far more than $60,000. The exact amount is unknown, but it raised $40,000 at a Sitka fundraiser alone. The group has paid staff and the names, addresses and email addresses of 50,000 Alaskans who signed the initial application for the recall petition. Major funders of the recall campaign include Ed and Cathy Rasmuson, parents of Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, and principals of the Rasmuson Foundation.

Recall Dunleavy Committee needs those 50,000 people to sign the next petition, and will need to get another 30,000 signatures from around the state, just to make sure it has enough to meet the 71,252 threshold. The committee is hoping to do this and force a special election, when the more motivated voters — largely Democrats and angry liberals — would be likely to make time to go to the polls. The group seeks to avoid the November General Election ballot, when Trump voters are likely to come out.

The Stand Tall With Mike group has been slow in forming because it was unclear for months whether the attempt to recall the governor had a sound legal basis.

Judge Eric Aarseth’s ruling on Friday made it clear that anything goes in politics. His ruling is not likely to be overturned by the Alaska Supreme Court. Therefore, those supporting the governor will now need to raise millions of dollars to defend against what will become a vicious attack on his official conduct and his character.

The $60,000 raised to defend the governor is a drop in the bucket. Stand Tall With Mike will likely require over $1 million to essentially run another campaign in 2020, two years after he was elected by a wide margin.

Everything that Dunleavy does between now and that to-be-calendared special election will be scrutinized, and will be fodder for his opponents to use against him as further evidence of the need to recall him.

The Supreme Court hearing, whenever that occurs, is just a speed bump to what is going to be a savage political year in Alaska.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. If our govenor can make my house value rise like the Anchorage mayors have then I’ll support him. My 1953 900sq. Ft. House is worth a quarter million dollars now and in a few years it should be worth maybe a half million or so.
    People up here sure appreciate historical/ antique houses. So glad I invested my money here.

    • It’s worth pretty much what it has always been worth unless your neighborhood has been significantly improved or the house itself has been modernized. You’re just bragging about owning a bunch of inflation. I sold my 947 sq.ft. piece of 1964 in Juneau ten years ago for well over a quarter million. I’d made some improvements, but most of that was simply inflation.

    • Is it a house investment, or is it your home? If it’s just a house investment, then why would you care where you live? If it’s your home, then why would you forever worry what it’s worth on a resale? Just asking.

      • Property taxes, the higher the assessed value the more the taxing authority can tax the property. In this case the MOA assesses the value and taxes the value…no conflict of interest there at all.

  2. Why is the Republican’s answer to everything: “Toss more money at the problem?”
    Looking at the mess in the middle east, we can clearly see this does not always work.

    • Steve, at that same token, why are the Democrat’s answer to everything: “We need more money to save the problem!” Looking at our mess in both the Middle East and Africa, we can clearly see this does not always work. Both parties are guilty of throwing money around yet solving nothing (and often making problems worse). Can’t you at least acknowledge that?
      The Republicans aren’t the only party that has helped worsen the problem in the Middle East and beyond. Obama’s 2,800+ drone strikes; starting a war in Libya; and killing Gaddafi, bin Laden, and al-Awlaki didn’t accomplish anything other than wasting lives and money. All without Congressional approval. Congress passed the bill under President George W. Bush allowing presidents expanded war mongering authority without Congress approval so he could start the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

      How far back in history do want to go? Back to Wilson who dragged America into WWI that was a bunch of European kingdoms vying for power and control and, arguably, started America’s interventionism ever since?
      If you’re going to try and place blame about throwing money and/or the mess in the Middle East, at least try and be fair that the correct answer is that both parties are equally guilty.

    • Steve Stine is a closet Lefty who pops out to appear neutral. His hand has been played throughout his postings here and everyone knows it.

  3. This recall effort decision by the AK Courts bodes very badly for Alaska’s future. Now with this precedent, anyone can start a recall effort because of policy differences. The Alaska Apparatchiks win, Alaskans lose.

    • Anyone has always been free to start a recall effort-it’s the gathering of 50 thousand signatures that has made this situation so telling IMO.

      • 50K signatures are pretty easy to come by; just go after teachers and other public employees and welfare recipients.

        • Art, next you’ll be telling us that those 50k signers are not influencing this gov. And why was this not done by those upset with Walker’s initial taking of pfds, if it was so easy?
          Again, it’s the gathering of 30 thousand signatures that has made this so telling IMO.

          • First, I have great respect for most of the employees who do that sort of work, and I’ve actually represented all of them. I have close to zero respect for most of their unions and less than zero respect for the politicians who pander to them; stick to stuff you know something about.

          • It would be easy to even find 50,000 Democrats in Alaska who would still vote for a child sex abusing Lt. Governor. In fact, I think HE signed the recall petition.

    • Well said David. Sadly this is the world we live in with “new” democrats. I used to be one but have become sickened by their partisanship, lies, hard move left and what I consider a fascist attack on democracy. It seems if the Dems don’t like it, despite being in office or not, they have a global tantrum and do what they can to spite, cause problems, and over turn elections. It’s not about the people to them, it about their power. That is fascism.

  4. Your property values will go down because Democrats let meth heads and homeless drug addicts crap in the streets…

  5. We’ve made one small donation to stand tall with mike. We’ll make another small one soon. No matter how much money these anti-Dunleavy people raise it won’t make any difference if we still support the Gov at the ballot box if it comes to a recall election.

    • First people in line to fill out this year’s PFD application…..
      ……..recall petitioners. Free handouts = Democrats. If Dunleavy plays like Donald Trump, he wins. In fact, he should invite Trump to Alaska to stump for him. That would seal the deal for Dunleavy. Bring it on !

    • Here here, myself as well. And thank you to Suzanne for her honest journalism. One of the few left with integrity.

  6. I am glad to see that the recall movement started after the proposed budget was released. Anything before certainly wouldn’t have had merit. It was an incredibly poor, unethical, and probably illegal idea for Governor Dunleavy to withhold money from the courts because he disagreed with one of their decisions. That should be obvious to anyone as an incredibly disturbing political action for any side to take. Looks like this fundraiser is another important part of the process. If he did nothing wrong, if Alaska truly is behind him, and if he really is delivering on campaign promises then he has nothing to worry about.

  7. Governor Dunleavy lost his base support when he caved on the budget cuts. He will be recalled because hi base is unlikely to defend him very much.

  8. It is amusing to hear anyone say Dunleavy had lost the majority support. The actual minority opinions just don’t matter. We voted him in and we’ll slave to keep him there for 8 years.

  9. Follow the Wisconsin model of recall. Governor Scott Walker became so popular during the WI recall that he later ran for president…..and did pretty well. Bring Scott Walker to Alaska and have him stump for Dunleavy. Recall elections are the method of harassment by the losers. They rarely are successful.

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