RECALL PETITIONERS ALSO RAISING FUNDS TO GET SIGNATURES
PSEA, the Public Employees Safety Association, which represents Alaska State Troopers, local police, and other public safety professionals, today donated $5,000 to the Stand Tall With Mike committee, continuing their support of the governor. PSEA endorsed Dunleavy during the 2018 election cycle and Dunleavy has made public safety his top priority.
On the other side of the political issue, the Recall Dunleavy Committee is also busy raising money while waiting to get petition booklets issued by the State Division of Elections. Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth ruled last week that the Division has until Feb. 10 to issue those booklets.
When they do get their hands on the petition booklets, the recall organizers will fan out across the heavily Democrat and liberal parts of the state, such as Juneau, Anchorage, downtown Homer, and Fairbanks, and gather the 71,252 signatures needed to get the recall onto the ballot in what they hope will be a special election.
The signature gatherers are looking for a slightly larger raw number — probably about 76,000, to be sure they have met the threshold of legitimate signatures. They must turn in 25 percent of the number of Alaskans who voted in the 2018 general election.
The group gathered 49,006 signatures during the first round when they applied for petition booklets, although they only needed to collect 28,501.
As it turns out, there are 74,424 registered Democrats in the state, most of which would be happy to recall any Republican governor.
Those trying to recall the governor have the contact information for each of them through their election database software that they can cross-reference with Division of Elections records.
They also have the contact information for the 125,739 “likely voters” who cast a ballot for Democrat Mark Begich in 2018. This information is fairly easy to determine with today’s sophisticated campaign software.
The Stand Tall With Mike group, opposing the recall, is preparing to appeal Judge Aarseth’s ruling to the Alaska Supreme Court. They may also ask for a stay to prevent those petition booklets from being issued while the matter is in court.
Getting a delay, while unlikely, would make it more possible that the recall question goes to the Primary or General Election ballot, although there is no guarantee. The Recall Dunleavy group is hoping for a special election.
The Recall Dunleavy group can gather signatures up until 180 days prior to the termination of Gov. Dunleavy’s first term in office. That means the opponents of the governor can continue their efforts up until about June 1, 2022, putting pressure on the governor for essentially his entire term. Those signatures, whether gathered now or later, will be used by the next Democrat Party opponent to rally forces to take the seat away from Republicans.
From the day that the Recall Dunleavy Committee turns in the signatures, the State would have 30 days to certify the signatures and the election would be held between 90 and 120 days.
The Alaska Supreme Court, with its liberal bent, is likely to allow the recall election to go forward.
While both sides are raising funds, the Recall Dunleavy group has been more aggressive. A fundraiser was held at the IBEW Hall in Anchorage on Sunday, and another one will be held Jan. 23 at the home of Eleanor Andrews of Anchorage.