Lawsuit filed to block CARES Act funds from going out - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, September 24, 2021
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Lawsuit filed to block CARES Act funds from going out

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Two experienced litigants have filed the lawsuit that Democrats promised would be filed if the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee approved the major relief package for Alaska businesses and communities.

Joe Geldhof, a Juneau attorney, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Juneauite Eric Forrer today.

The gist of the lawsuit is the the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee was not the proper venue for approving the hundreds of millions of dollars for relief.

“This lawsuit is brought by Forrer in the interest of the public to enforce the obvious and express provisions of theAlaska Constitution, including the provisions requiring that expenditures of money in the treasury of the State of Alaska be allocated and withdrawn in accordance with appropriations made by law,” the lawsuit says.

“The failure by the Alaska Legislature to provide for proper legal authorization to make all of the proposed expenditures set out in paragraph 14, supra, is an abdication of the legislature’s constitutional power and a violation of the separation of powers implicit in the Alaska Constitution,” it continues.

“If people are mad about this, they should contact their legislators and insist that they follow the constitution. That doesn’t mean that they need to fly to Juneau. They can have a 60-legislator Zoom meeting, have two hours of public testimony, and two hours of debate, and then vote on it,” Geldhof said tonight.

The lawsuit did not ask for a temporary restraining order.

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Written by

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.

Latest comments

  • Why is no one suing the state for stepping over Alaskans rights. Most of the mandates have blatant violations of our rights including breaking state law. Example Mandate 9.1 is a blatant violation of the 14th amendment.

  • Analogy: I have earthworms in my golf green here in Eagle River. The worms have left thousands of castings on the green, ( poop) making impossible straight shots.
    ( for the record, this a big year for worms on this continent). I ordered a fertilizer, 3-0-1, and when, after application and subsequent watering, this fertilizer will make the worms crawl up on top in broad daylight and die. I’m told that the stench will be terrible. But my golf green will again become green and usable.

    May we Alaskans enjoy the stench of Political Worms dying. Someone knows the answer. What is the equivalent of 3-0-1 fertilizer being applied to legislators who constantly leave castings on our hope to save small business and the formerly productive citizens?

  • One would think the grounds for the lawsuit would be in force only for income to the state and expenditures thereof. The federal funds have already been ‘appropriated’ by the federal gov’t and are not ‘income’ for the politicians to blow. The sole responsibility of the legislature should be to disburse the emergency $$ to the intended recipients, not have those funds be a political football. The ’emergency’ is for the citizens, not the politicians. I don’t believe any ‘politicians’ have been the least bit distressed, financially or most any other way. Their paychecks didn’t even slow down, let alone stop. I’ll bet neither litigant has felt the pain like every ‘commoner’ Alaskan, either.

  • So it was okay for Walker to accept Federal Funds without legislative approval, but not for Dunleavy to distribute Federal funds with the Legislature’s approval? Is that what I am seeing here?

    • Great point. I think that even went to court, with the AK Supremes finding in favor of Walker, which means there is a legal precedent. Cheers –

  • So what is the “jist” of all of this ~ are the funds still being held up in the legislature, and the courts? Are the funds still not being dispersed?, and how many weeks has the money been held up (by the “legislature”)? … Somebody, please enlighten me.

  • These jackwipes have no interest in helping Alaskans who have suffered because of the Unconstitutional restrictions from everyone including Anchorage Mayor

  • The letter of our laws has been written to guard the spirit of our laws, not to displace the spirit.
    In other words no harm, no foul.
    This suit is adding insult to injury. It harms, it’s a foul. I call for a 5 yard penalty, against the offensive legislators, for delay of game.

  • How nice of Geldhof to ask us Alaskans to use the communist Chinese-owned Zoom spyware software to express our feelings to the legislature about this injustice.

    Look it up.

    Zoom has been banned by the Pentagon.

    • A lot of things are banned by the Pentagon, for mission related risks and readiness, not the average American. Quick, get a new tin foil hat.

  • Question for Joe Geldhof:
    How does you client get standing, if he can’t prove injury in fact?

  • Between the legislature, political activists, financial predators, litigators, bureaucrats, and auditors? Why would anyone want to open or run a small business today?

  • This is the same plaintiff/attorney team that is litigating the oil tax credit debt legislation. I have not heard or read of a now long overdue ruling in that litigation, which is with the Alaska Supreme Court. The tax credits are also long overdue, and given current circumstances I cannot see how there will ever be a payment (or bonds) no matter the eventual ruling. Joe Geldhof was the point man for the Walker-Mallott team in Juneau during the 2014 election campaign but I think there was a serious falling out sometime after the election. I happen to believe that this team should lose both cases on the law, but our Alaska Supreme Court often makes its own law so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen. In this latest case it seems most likely that the Legislature will come back in session and more or less endorse what LB&A did. As always, Must Read Alaska is the only reliable and the most prompt source of Alaska news.

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