Recall group files appeal in Superior Court - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, November 22, 2019
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Recall group files appeal in Superior Court

Recall Dunleavy, the group trying to remove the governor with a special recall election, has filed an appeal of the Attorney General’s decision that their complaint lacks merit.

The appeal, signed by former Gov. Bill Walker Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth in Superior Court in Anchorage, comes a day after the Division of Elections rejected the group’s initial application for signature-gathering petitions. The appeal was expected, and was also signed by former Gov. Walker’s former chief of staff Scott Kendall.

Lindemuth says the director of the Division of Elections is denying the group their constitutional right to a recall petition. She is arguing that when the director of the Division of Elections makes a determination that “the application is in the required form, the director must assume that all allegations made are true and valid.

According to this argument, if the recall petition says that the governor hates green jello, the director of the Division of Elections must assume that the allegation is true for the purposes of her decision to allow or prohibit the matter from proceeding.

The arguments made in the recall petition accuse the governor on these grounds:

  • That he violated statute by not appointing a judge within 45 days of receiving nominations from the Alaska Judicial Council.
  • That he violated statute by using state funds to make statements on partisan issues. This relates to social media and postcards from the governor’s office in support of a full Permanent Fund dividend.
  • That he violated separation of power by using a line-item veto on the Alaska Court System. The Recall Dunleavy group is arguing he does not have the power of the veto pen when it comes to the court system.
  • He was incompetent when he mistakenly vetoed $18 million more than he had intended to veto, although the group admits that the error was corrected.

The Recall Dunleavy attorneys — Lindemuth, Kendall, Sam Gottstein, Jeffrey Feldman, Susan Orlansky — are asking for an injunction so that the Recall Dunleavy group can start collecting signatures for the next phase of the recall process.

They are also asking for their attorney fees to be covered by the State of Alaska.

[Read: Attorney General says recall petition lacks valid reasons.]

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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

  • The last line: state of Alaska to pay for the recall campaign attorneys, same folks are the ones crying because of the budget cuts by the governor?! This taxpayer says NO.

  • The recall and court filings are only about Democrat mischief. If the courts want to entertain the mischief……have at it. Bar complaints will be generated en mass. At the SCt level, recusal will also be in mass for prejudicial statements made by the justices……as well as judicial misconduct complaints, if no recusals. Democrats do not like the waters that flow from Republican victories.

    • These Bill Walker attorneys are BIG losers, like Bill Walker. Asking for the people of the State of Alaska to pay their fees in their losing effort to recall the governor. These are lawyers who can’t make it in the private sector. The same little boys and girls who don’t want Alaskans to receive a PFD. Yet, they want Alaskans to pay them because they are third rate attorneys. Scott Kendall would have better luck trying to defend pedophiles. Wait, ….he already did that.

      • Susan Orlansky is one of the best lawyers of any political persuasion in Alaska.
        Jeff Feldman is also a very competent lawyer.
        You can chip your teeth all you want about Scott Kendall but he’s traveling with solid counsel in this dispute.
        It will be interesting to see who handles this case for the State if Alaska. If former AG Craig Richards is on the case it will be a mis-match.

  • Some days it seems there is not enough “green jello” to go around…

    • Steve, didn’t you mean yellow…..hello?

  • Take a look at the actual filing. The filing is calling for injunctive relief (and of course, attorneys fees) because the state is wrong. No discussion, no explanation, just simply that the Division of Elections and AG’s office were wrong.

    Now if that isn’t a compelling argument I don’t know what is.

    Maybe they will flesh out the argument later but the initial filing it looks pretty pathetic.

  • I just realized. Following the argument put forth by Recallers the Div. of Elections is not allowed to make a determination if the complaint has any basis in fact or not.

    Think about that line of reasoning. Any person could simply claim Legislator X is a pedophile, stand in front of the supermarket and collect signatures. Div. of Elections has to accept the claim as fact and move the recall along.

    Who would refuse to sign a petition calling for the removal of a pedophile?

    What a stupid theory put forth by Recall Dunleavy.

    • With your reasoning I can see why it is that some think that registered voters are stupid! And there is a difference between someone claiming Legislator X is a pedophile and Legislator X being a pedophile.
      You seem to think that registered voters would take someone’s word for a wild claim-now that is a stupid theory IMO.

      • If SC follows the tortured logic of Lindemuth et. al. the floodgates are open and ANY claim, no matter how outlandish is grounds for recall because Div. of Elections must accept whatever is written on the petition as factual.

        In all seriousness, if that is the new standard, Kenai Republicans’ can start a recall petition claiming Gary Knopp is incompetent and corrupt because aliens ate his brain behind the dumpsters at Walmart and replaced it with seven valuable crystals belonging to the Yugoslavians whom use it to control his thoughts from a secret moon base. Division of Elections would have no choice but to certify the petition. And in all reality, hatred for Knopp is so extreme in Kenai it would be easy to get the required signatures. Knopp would lose his seat in the next election.

        Is that the way you want Recalls to work?

        • Scott, the courts will determine how recalls work and it will not have a thing to do with what I want. And Knopp may very well find himself facing his own recall election if there are grounds for it-aliens eating his brain is a stretch on the order of claiming he is a pedophile IMO.
          Of course it may take the courts to make the determination on grounds IMO.

        • LOL. Well said.

        • Wow! Where do I sign the Knopp recall petition?

    • Scott: the Complaint suggests the recall is pretty much a procedural process whereby the citizens get to decide the merits of the recall allegations if the petitioners get the requisite signatures.
      That’s about right.
      The citizens of Alaska will decide this matter on the merits, not the judiciary. And what’s wrong with that, anyway?

  • “They are also asking for their attorney fees to be covered by the State of Alaska.”

    Ya sure, ya betcha!

    • Well, they will get them if the plaintiff prevails.

      • Only “reasonable fees” Joe. But don’t worry, it would get kicked up and they will lose at the SCt. Technical grounds and appeallable to even higher levels. This one could go all the way, considering the current, nasty climate of politics

  • The involvement of Bill Walker’s former chief of staff in the appeal to the Superior court should be a conflict of interest.

    • Scott Kendall doesn’t have enough legal brains to know what a conflict is.

    • It’s not.

      • Until it becomes one.

  • These are the same Murkowski friends….losers.

  • What a bunch of spoiled children this world has born and raised. Don’t get my way go to court. You lib’s cannot win any battle without the threat of going to court. I am going to work harder to stop your agenda and the loser mentality of “we will take you to court.” Just move to California or Oregon and you will fit right in. Quit whining; you lost; go home.

    • These are the same people when as kids, threw themselves on the floor at Walmart wanting whatever it was in the checkout lane that caught their eye. Problem was, many parents gave into that behavior and the kids learned well.

  • This group is “FULL” of crap just like the Cali driver who obviously never read the drivers education booklet at airport heights intersection.

    • What a thoughtful and insightful comment.

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