The misguided signature-gathering effort to begin a recall effort aimed at Gov. Mike Dunleavy because of his deep budget cuts kicks off statewide today.
The Recall Dunleavy effort is set to begin rounding up signatures in Juneau and Yakutat this morning as well as in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and several other coastal communities.
The bid to remove Dunleavy from office will be as difficult as it is silly. Article 11, Section 8, of the Alaska Constitution says almost any elected official, except judges and a few others, can be recalled, but state law stipulates the grounds for recall. They include lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption. It also lays out the complicated, difficult process.
How trimming government to an affordable size fits any of those criteria is a mystery to us.
The recall effort first will need to round up 28,501 signatures, or 10 percent of the votes cast in last year’s general election, just to apply to the state director of Elections for its recall application certification. If that is successful, the group then must collect signatures equaling a whopping 25 percent of the previous general election, or 71,252 signatures. Once those are certified, then the group must wait for a special election to be called.
Meanwhile, there likely will be court battles aplenty and an endless cacophony of political nuttiness. Instead of focusing on fixing Alaska, Alaskans will be treated to government-first hyperbole from those who want ever-larger budgets to fund their vision of Alaska.
Dunleavy’s $444 million in budget cuts and his insistence on a full $3,000 Permanent Fund divided has driven some Alaskans wild, but whether they can sell the rest of the state on recalling him is a big question.
We would not bet on their success.