[Redacted] City Attorney Libby Bakalar, who demands Must Read Alaska not name the city for which she is counsel, has written a letter threatening Suzanne Downing, publisher of the Must Read Alaska news site.
Through her attorney, Juneau trial lawyer Mark Choate, Bakalar demands Downing must not write about her anymore, or else there will be lawsuit.
In October, she had posted a social media message (seen above) saying anyone harassing her would be hearing from her lawyer. Now, even writing about her social media political work is enough to trip that trigger.
Bakalar is suing Gov. Mike Dunleavy because she was let go after the Walker Administration was shown the door by voters in 2018. She was an attorney with the Department of Law and says she was wrongfully fired by Dunleavy. She doesn’t want Downing writing about that, either.
“Your ongoing mining and re-publication of Ms. Bakalar’s personal social media in tandem with repeated references to her position as the City Attorney of Bethel is clearly intended to provoke requests and actions to end that employment. You engaged in similar critiques of her while she was an Assistant Attorney General and continued those after her wrongful termination by the Dunleavy Administration. Your resumption of these efforts constitutes ‘tortious interference’ with an employment contract, for which you and your business may face significant liability
and damages,” says the letter from Choate.
Bakalar is evidently upset about a republication of her social media artwork in which she depicts male genitalia on a logo used by the governor for a podcast that features his commissioners talking about their departments. The social media post makes it appear as though she or someone drew the male genitalia on the logo as a joke:
“When considering claims of tortious interference with a contract, the Alaska Supreme Court recognizes a clear distinction between persons who interfere with the contracts of competitors and those who interfere with contracts in which they have a direct interest themselves. Even when there is a direct financial interest involved, “the essential question in determining if interference is justified is whether the person’s conduct is motivated by a desire to protect his economic interest, or whether it is motivated by spite, malice, or some other improper objective.” Burton v. Fountainhead Development, Inc., 393 P.3d 387 (Alaska 2017). My client is a hobby blogger and litigant against the Dunleavy administration, for which you are a widely-known and vocal supporter. You utilize your blog to attack what you perceive as its foes and write frequently about the “Deep State”. You have attacked Ms. Bakalar in your blog for years. You have no business relationship with or financial interest in my client, her hobby blog, or her job. Your continued harassment of Ms. Bakalar and the goading of your supporters to harass and threaten her—both at work and at home—is rooted exclusively in political disagreement, malice, and spite,” according to Bakalar/Choate.
Bakalar has been a political actor for many years on and off social media, commenting on any manner of issues and political figures in Alaska as well as former President Donald Trump. She and other liberal women traveled to Washington, D.C. to implore Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, and Must Read Alaska has written about such exploits and others by the Juneau woman, who is a social media sensation, with over 9,000 followers on Twitter and who writes op-eds for the Anchorage Daily News. Her blog is titled One Hot Mess Alaska.
She has alleged in her lawsuit against Dunleavy that her free speech rights were being infringed by his Administration.
The entire letter threatening legal action follows: