Muni Attorney, Clerk deny two more recall petitions

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By SCOTT LEVESQUE

The acting mayor of Anchorage shall not be recalled — at least not this acting mayor, and not by this petition request.

The Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s Office denied two petitions on Monday — one to recall Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, and another to remove Assembly member Kameron Perez-Verdia.

The denial was at the recommendation of the Municipal Attorney’s Office.

Municipal Attorney Kate Vogel stated to the petitioners that the recall petition “does not satisfy the legal standards required for recall, and we, therefore, recommend that the application for recall petition be denied.” 

Vogel explained, “The allegation that an assembly member voted yes on an ordinance, without more, is nothing more than a statement of political disagreement with the elected official’s legislative decisions. But this is not a valid basis for recall in Alaska.”

A recall is permitted only under three substantive statutory grounds: Misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform prescribed duties. All three present the public with a broad scope for potential recall efforts. 

The Municipal Attorney’s Office is using a narrow and subjective review process to determine a petition’s validity and David Nees, one of the recall organizers, is dumbfounded:

“We’re really frustrated with it [the decision]. She [Vogel] is tightly interpreting a law that is supposed to be loosely interpreted so the general public, not attorney-types or full-time politicians, can participate in the process without being tangled in red tape and regulations.” 

Delays from the Clerk and Municipal Attorney on the recall petitions have become standard since Sept. 2, when the first denial was issued after 30 days of review

Alaska State Statues, Section 29.26.290., states the Clerk’s Office must, within 10 days after the date a petition is filed: (1) certify on the petition whether it is sufficient; and (2) if the petition is insufficient, identify the insufficiency and notify the contact person by certified mail.

In August, the Municipal Clerk’s Office declared it would take 30 days, not 10 days stated in the statute, to certify a sufficient or insufficient recall petition. The Muni has also stated it has no certain deadline it must meet in terms of responding to an application for a recall petition.

Thus far, the only recall petition approved by the Clerk’s Office is a watered-down version, rewritten by the Municipality Attorney. That petition is to remove Assembly Chairman Felix Rivera.

Additionally, the sponsors of that petition request were initially informed they would not be allowed to hire signature collectors, although they have since determined on their own that they have a legal right to do so.

The Anchorage Clerk’s Office has denied four separate recall petitions — for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia and two recall petition requests against Assembly member Meg Zalatel, at the Municipality Attorney’s recommendation. Rivera’s is the only recall that is able to move forward at this writing.

As for the recent recall rejections from the Clerk’s Office, David Nees sees a long legal battle ahead:

“Yes, we are going to court. These decisions make no sense, and unfortunately, our only two options are to rewrite a recall petition, which we’ve already done, or head to court. We’ll go with the latter. It’s just so sad. The municipality keeps taking a narrow approach to the recall process, including how you can collect signatures. Personally, it’s against the fundamental groundwork of the state constitution.”

A prior attempt to recall Assembly member Zalatel — the first recall to be filed — is now awaiting review by Judge Kevin Saxby, after an appeal was filed by citizen Russell Biggs.

12 COMMENTS

  1. And once progressives take charge there is no further challenge… recalls are irrelevant, elections become irrelevant, and the law means what they decide. People may vote their way into socialism but there is only one other way out, and it is not through mail-in ballots counted by the progressives. Woe to our nation.

  2. Once the leftists taste power, the intoxication is irresistible to them. They will fight to their last stand against giving any power up. Legal, illegal, moral, immoral, it makes no difference to them. The end justifies the means as far as they are concerned. It’s called ‘tyranny’. Nothing is ‘above the game’. The only way to deal with them is fight fire with fire. Fight smart, fight hard, fight to win. President Trump is going to deliver an object ‘how to’ lesson soon. Stand with him and Americans who love America. We will win. The left has been trying to do this same thing to America since our country was founded. They deserve nothing but a jail cell. Anchorage has a disease, not policy or representative government.

    • Yes! Now if only we could get Alaskans off their couches (and off their smart phones). Too many here – and many other states – just roll over.

    • I stand with Trump and laugh at the faux potus elect in his basement doing speeches on his soundstage to NOBODY… same ones who voted for him.

  3. Vasquez: All right, we got seven canisters of CN-20. I say we roll them in there and nerve gas the whole [email protected]@king nest.
    Hicks: That’s worth a try, but we don’t know if it’s gonna affect them.
    Hudson: Let’s just bug out and call it even, man! What are we even talking about this for?
    Ripley: …I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    Couldn’t help myself

  4. This Quinn-Davidson has been reminding me of someone but I couldn’t put my finger on it, then it came to me: She’s the lady from that movie “Misery.”

  5. Wow. Just wow. This is becoming more like “ The Lost Frontier “ not “The Last Frontier “ whatever has happened to our beloved Alaskan values and our once Great State? Big government, that’s what!!!

  6. There exists an obvious removal of public oversight with regard to our local government and the oligarchy that has formed over the past year continue to constrict the rights of the citizens that pay the bills in this town. Additionally, the scam that was the sale of ML&P under false pretense will result in the further taxation of the citizenry through increase rate fees for service by AWWU. The fact that AWWU paid ML&P every month for water removed from Eklutna Lake was also with held during all the cheerleading from the administration about the sale and I wonder if those checks are now being sent to Chugach Electric? I am sure they are. The obfuscation by the city attorney should be grounds for review by the Alaska Bar but I fear the Bar is complicit in the execution of the removal of our freedoms.

  7. Does she prefer Gavin Quinn-Davidson or Austin Newsom? Wake up Anchorage – vote these socialist tyrants out or end up like California – seriously.

  8. The Municipal Clerk works for the Anchorage Assembly and the Municipal Attorney works for the Mayor. It it obvious they are protecting their own and do not have the best interests of the public in mind when they make decisions.
    The first time I filed an ethics violation against various Assembly members in about 2003, I was given five minutes to present my case. The Assembly spent one hundred thousand dollars hiring lawyers to present their case which took the better part of the day. The Ethics Board them took one minute to rule there was no violation. I knew I was up against a stacked Deck.
    Similar situations have played out over the years. You can not, can not trust any part of city hall. Even the ombudsman who is supposed to be in place to protect the citizen works for and is hired by the Anchorage Assembly.

  9. Mail in voting must be banned forever. Voting should be done in person only, and a new system of verification has to be put into place. These tyrants will never stop cheating. Shameful.

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