Recall petitioners continue signature gathering in spite of national emergency



The Recall Dunleavy Committee put a pause on “static” and “pop-up event” signature gathering at Anchorage gatherings due to the pandemic COVID-19 virus.

The unstated reason is that there are no longer any public events that the committee can collect signatures at, with almost all events cancelled right now in Anchorage. This is a practical decision by the group.

But individual signature gatherers, most of whom are paid per signature, will still be allowed to collect signatures on their petition to recall the governor. Those people will still be found at the doors of stores and inside the aisles of Walmart, or wherever they determine they can meet up with possible signers.

Paid petition worker in the Midtown Mall on Saturday.

Recall Dunleavy Committee says it is advising the staff to observe sanitary practices.

The sanitary practices described by health officials include avoiding contact with people and maintaining a six-foot distance from others, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s unclear how this will work for the Recall Dunleavy signature gatherers and the pens they offer people.

Brendan Spees, field manager, Recall Dunleavy Committee

Brendan Spees, field manager at Recall Dunleavy Committee (and former field manager for the Alaska Center for the Environment), sent an email notice out about the Anchorage “pause,” but advised that all other locations in the state are still up and running, including signature stations in Juneau, Fairbanks, Bethel, and dozens of other locations around the state where the petitions are located.

On a sunny Saturday in Anchorage, the streets are nearly empty and the stores are seeing little foot traffic.

People in Anchorage have taken the coronavirus seriously and many are self-quarantining until it passes, which could take several weeks. Schools and universities are closed, and all public events have been cancelled.

Normally busy, C Street in Anchorage was empty at 9:30 am on Saturday.

This could have an effect on the signature gatherers, who need to get more than 71,000 signatures in order to take their recall to a general election or special election ballot. If nothing else, it will have an impact on their momentum, especially as the public begins to wonder if this is the best use of the public’s time right now.

The well-funded group also is preparing for a date at the Alaska Supreme Court, also coming during the middle of a national emergency.

Criminal jury trials that were to begin on March 16 in Palmer, Kenai, and Anchorage have now been suspended, according to the Alaska Court System.

[Read: New Jury Trials in Anchorage Suspended Week of March 16, 2020]

Chief Justice Bolger of the Alaska Supreme Court has not yet said if he will allow a purely political trial to take place during a national emergency, as is scheduled for March 25 in Anchorage.

That court date is when oral arguments will be made to determine if the claims made by the Recall Dunleavy Committee are legal reasons for a recall of a duly elected governor.

But this is the same Supreme Court that already decided that, even without the oral arguments and decision, the gathering of signatures could proceed.

Therefore, even if the court delays the oral arguments, the signature gatherers can continue their efforts and hope for a break in their luck, which has been hampered by public health concerns.


    • Humans are at risk. Leftists, being space aliens, are immune. You can tell the latter by looking at the eyes. Schiff, Nancy, Chuck, Spees. It is usually obvious.

    • It’s amazing how biased this article is as well as most of the comments. It’s interesting how Ms. Downing is able to mischaracterize the facts in bashing the Supreme Court. It was the recall Dunleavy people who petitioned the Court to order a stop to the gathering of signatures. Both sides submitted briefs, the Judge carefully reviewed them and then ruled that the Recall Dunleavy people would suffer harm if their signature gathering was halted until the Court’s final decision. The Judge noted that it did not look likely that the Pro Dunleavy side would win. After all , the Dunleavy side claimed the reasons for recall were unot valid. They didn’t deny that the reasons for recall weren’t factually true, just that they weren’t valid. In other words yeah Dunleavy did do wrong but we don’t think these rules or laws should apply to him. Their rationale was based on an opinion by Kevin Clarkson Attorney General who no one can claim is unbiased. The point about the Recall Dunleavy signature gatherers continuing is a red herring. We are supposed to avoid group gatherings of more than 50. One person gathering signatures using sanitary procedures is not a violation of this guidance. The fact that the Keep Dunleavy Committee suspended activities is not surprising . What kind of activities are they suspending? There is no one to one signature gathering process to sign something to oppose the recall. The whole goal of the Keep Dunleavy group is to try to shape public opinion by convincing large groups of people that Dunleavy should not be recalled,
      The Alaska Constitution provides provisions for recall. It is up to the Court to rule on whether the reasons for recall on the petition are valid or not. If the recall is approved by the Court, it will be up to the voters to decide if the Governor should be recalled or not.
      The process is working as it should.
      We should have open minds and not assume that the Recall Dunleavy is a bunch of stupid liberals or Democrats. It is a bipartisan movement.

      • These recall libs are afraid of losing their jobs. Soon we will see who they are because the virus will spread through the recall group.

  1. An example of just where the liberal left will go to further their leftist agenda. These “signature gatherers” and their bosses (liberal dems) are more than willing to jeopardize the safety of every Alaskan to further their socialist goals, with the same reasons and probability of being true as “the big one that got away”. It’s really too bad that Alaskan judicial officials (judges) are actively abetting the left, against a duly elected and very competent Governor. If these are not “coup” intentions and actions taking place to negate the last gubernatorial election, then grandma was Geronimo.

  2. This is probably the best job these people can get. They’re not going to let a pandemic stop them.

  3. This is not China…it is one thing to limit large public gatherings and quite a different thing to suggest Americans cannot “move about” if they wish.
    The reality is that more Veterans have committed suicide this month in America than citizens have died of Coronavirus…although no one is suggesting we spend billions to fight the millions of cases of PTSD.

    • Don’t forget the 130 people who overdose every day due to opioid addiction. that’s more of a problem then the Coronavirus here in alaska. Why not spend the time and money making help more available for these people. And the ones suffering from PTSD and any other psychological problems people may have. From what I’ve herd there has been 1 confirm case of the virus here how many cases of people suffering from these other cases are there.

  4. I think the governor looks stronger every day as this crisis unfolds and Alaska seems to be ahead of it on almost every level. Anyone thinking now is the time to change up leadership is beyond partisan.

    • A term coined in the 50s. This originated when Nixon was running against Senator Douglas of California. He accused her of wearing pink underwear, implying that she sympathized with communist parties.

  5. I recall a recent article where a Juneau business that spoke out against parking a cruise ship here was harshly criticized for her words of caution. Glad you all finally listen to CNN.

      • And Red the Red Flag Journal! You got me pegged. I also meditate to the gods of Endor and ask them for the total elimination of free will and the destruction of self. How did you figure me out?

        • Because “B” stands for brainwashed. That’s why you stay with CNN. Over the cliff you go……

  6. If you didn’t vote for the Governor in the first place, you shouldn’t be able to vote him out. Right? The people signing the petition didn’t want him in the first place, no matter how he governed. This doesn’t make sense. Impeachment, recall….these people are trying to undo legitimate elections.

    • Let them put it on the ballot. We will just vote him back in. Then what will Brendan Spees do for a living? Jump on the “climate change / global warming” bulls—? Message directly to Brendan – Go BACK to Commifornia, or Oregon -. … There, I feel better.

  7. This cracks me up! Not a single word about Bluto grinning that vapid Stepford grin all the while shaking others hands. I wonder if this piece meets Medred’s standards for actual journalism? But of course, it’s those dirty hippie lib-rools trying to take down the State in concert with the commie asians, the Trilateral Commission and Michelle Obama. Youin’s are completely insane. If Bluto showed up tomorrow at McDonalds Spenard, you’d all be there to SHAKE HIS HAND and hopefully kiss his ring.

  8. There was a fellow at Carr’s Huffman this afternoon seeking signatures. He did not appear to be gathering very many.

  9. Where’s the Lady complaining about people hugging their kids, you would think she would be concerned about these vectors of disease…

  10. The communist can not live with losing an election! These anti-americans are dangerous to the country and should be verbally assaulted when encountered! ENUF IS ENUF!

  11. If I encounter one, I will give them a lecture, ask who they are and where they are from/. Then I will go to the manage of the establishment and ask why they are allowing someone to collect names on their property. Regardless of their answer if signers aren’t removed, I will let them know I will not be shopping there again.

  12. Judy Eledge – Let me know if own a business so I can be sure not to give you any.
    OJ Baker – You underestimate the arsenal.
    MQ – That’s nuts.
    Ben Hadd – I voluntarily collect signatures, I’m not a communist, I’m pro-America, and your verbal assaults won’t deter me.
    Paul G – Nope.
    JR – Yes the election was legitimate, as is the Recall effort. (Read the Alaska Constitution).
    Lawrence – I’m a lifelong non-partisan who thinks it’s past time to eject Dunleavy.
    Pepe – Nonsense.
    Suzanne Downing – Your article is mostly pap. FYI, as one who gathers signatures (without pay) in a very rural area, everyone who signs is offered a pen wiped with anti-viral disinfectant. After signing, everyone gets squirt of hand sanitizer containing 70% alcohol. I’ve met numerous wonderful Alaskans who share one common desire… to give Dunleavy the boot.

    • I’m looking so forward to seeing your head, along with all these others’ who want to fire our Governor explode when he’s retained. It will be like watching the vote returns come in on election day 2016. That was THE BEST day ever!! Watching liberal snowflakes laying on the ground, writhing, crying and throwing fits better than a 2 year old was….. extraordinarily fantastic!! I truly find joy in that.

Comments are closed.