Sickly start to recall petition kickoff drive across Alaska - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, March 5, 2021
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Sickly start to recall petition kickoff drive across Alaska

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Not surprisingly, Juneau reported a robust turnout for the signature gathering on the Recall Dunleavy petition over the weekend. Both at Centennial Hall and at the Mendenhall Library, signature gatherers were reporting steady lines.

But statewide, the response was soft.

In Anchorage, hundreds of people were in midtown for the snowshoe softball game at the Mulcahy Park stadium and ball field, and the sled dog sprints associated with Fur Rondy. Both were close to the signature-gathering location at Sullivan Arena.

But several supporters of Gov. Mike Dunleavy went to the arena to check on progress at what was supposed to be a blow-out event, and came away describing it as a ghost town. There were few cars in the commanding parking lot beyond what belonged to volunteers inside the arena at the folding tables with their recall petitions.

Those arriving to sign were mostly male-female couples or middle-aged women who arrived and left alone.

In Fairbanks, observers reported a steady, but unremarkable trickle of visitors to the Carlson Center, the second largest venue in the state after the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.

The Sullivan Arena was rented over three days, but it appeared that fewer than 3,000 signatures were gathered.

Recall Dunleavy had purchased the three large venues in Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks to get a fast start on signatures, and they hope to have the booklets turned in with enough signatures before the case is heard in the Alaska Supreme Court.

The group needs 71,252 signatures to put the recall of the governor onto a ballot at a date yet to be determined, but the Supreme Court may still rule against the merits of the recall, which some say are frivolous accusations that don’t deserve the time and money that the effort will cost the State to conduct a do-over of the 2018 general election.

Today, Chief Justice Joel Bolger recused himself from the case to avoid any appearance of bias, after he had made several public statements that were critical of the governor.

In the Lower 48, signature gatherers were found in four states with booklets trying to get people to sign. The practice is illegal under Alaska Statute.

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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

  • Well if they can’t get signature gathered in state they have to look out of state, and if they can’t find them there maybe Gabby can give them a few pointers!

  • Further wasting our money that they could otherwise fritter away on useless things as an excuse to take the PFD and raise taxes because they think we are all to rich.

  • Surprised it is illegal for Alaska residents to sign petition outside of Alaska. Could you please show me the appropriate statute?

  • Gale Good -it is AS 15.45.580 which states (a) The petitions may be circulated only in person throughout the state. That’s pretty clear – further AS 15.45.580 (c). A person or organization may not knowingly pay, offer to pay, or cause to be paid money or other valuable thing to a person to sign or refrain from signing a petition. Many that were out of state also mentioned “swag” to give out for the signers.

    • Very clear. Thank you

    • It seems that should be grounds for voiding the recall – are there no consequences for violating this statute? Is there a way to identify those petitions circulated out of state and just void those?

  • John Binkley will be leading the charge to retain Dunleavy as our duly elected governor. ELECTIONS MATTER!. Binkley for US Senate in 2022.

    • The same Binkley that owns the Anchorage Daily Worker?

      • No. That is his son. Not sure what the deal is there but it certainly appears the junior Binkley may not share same views as dad.

    • I’m in!

      • I’m in too. Binkley would be a great replacement for Lousy Lisa.

  • John Binkley’s oldest son, Ryan, owns the ADN. But you can bet that John is in the shadows. The Binkley family is old school Republican. Frank Murkowski promised the old man (Capt. Jim) that he was going to appoint John to his US Senate seat in 2002 when Frank decided to run for governor. The Binkley family donated heavily to Murkowski. But Murkowski changed his mind late in December 2002 and appointed his daughter Lisa. It was a dirty move by Frank Murkowski. John Binkley ran for governor in 2006, but an upstart named Sarah Palin beat them both. John Binkley is a successful businessman in Alaska and will probably take a shot at Lisa’s seat in 2022. For now, he is backing Dunleavy and looking pretty conservative Republican. Watch for some political changes coming to the ADN too. Binkley doesn’t roll with wacky libs.

    • Ha, sounds like Binkley got fleeced trying to buy a seat with donations. I find it amazing that you describe the situation as Binkley getting wronged (“a dirty move by Frank”). To me it reads like Binkley tried to play a player and got played instead.

      • Wrong interpretation, B. Please don’t comment unless you know the true facts. Lisa Murkowski was not Frank Murkowski’s first choice. That’s why it took Frank 7 weeks to make his Senate replacement pick, a choice that he is uncomfortable with 18 years later.

        • Donna, props for trying to be the gatekeeper on comments but I stand by my observation even if it rankles your sense of reality.

        • Donna, sounds like it bothers you that he got played. You know what bothers me? A grown person that is so out of touch with the definition of the word “fact” that she qualifies it with the word “true.” If you can’t get that straight, how can I trust that you have any special insight into Frank’s motivation for playing Mr. Binkey?

          • B:. Go back and look at the facts on record. Frank got elected as governor in early November 2002. He didn’t pick his replacement until late December 2002, when Lisa became the replacement US Senator, 7 weeks later. Why so long, if in fact he had promised the seat to Binkley? Lisa BARELY retained her seat in the state House in November 2002 election. Binkley ran against Frank for governor in 2006. Don’t you think Binkley was a bit pissed off at being lied to by a supposed life-long family friend. Use your inference skills, B.

          • I heard this account too, way back in 2003. I do believe Governor Murkowski was about to pick John Binkley as his replacement, but something happened at the last minute. What it was, we will probably never know. Lisa was a back-up choice and Frank Murkowski looked pretty up-tight when he picked his own daughter. Would be interesting to learn the truth about all this. I remember watching the governor debates in the 2006 primary. Binkley and Murkowski really went after each other……..on personal grounds. I would be comfortable with Binkley in the US Senate.

          • There would be a ground swelling to get Binkley to run against Lousy Lisa in the 2022 Republican Primary. Sign me up for donations and campaign volunteering.

          • B…..’true’ is a qualifying adverb…..because we all know that Democrats LIE with their facts.

  • Yeah, yeah, I supported John B. for Guv back in ’06, a very decent man for sure. Tell me, however, whatever does this have to do with the Recall Big Mike plot?

    • John Binkley has started a group to fight the recall efforts. Perhaps a bit of history as Binkley has been pretty low profile for a few years and many people do not know who he is nor his background. I did not know about the Murkowski intent and switch.

  • Poor turnout is not surprising. Gov. Dunleavy is listening to the people of the State of Alaska. He has backed off the radical budget proposals. Got rid of the out of touch with reality Babcock. Appears to be willing to negotiate on the PFD amount.
    The recall jerks are using the same M/O as the anti-Trump crowd. Cannot win at the ballot box, so therefore let’s backdoor Dunleavy out of office. Radical leftest Vic Fisher and Miss Jane are leading the charge on this crap and the oil tax increase. Over and over Alaskans are being subjected to minority sore losers’ inability to accept defeat.

    • So you really think Dunleavy would have softened his stance if the recall never organized against him?

  • The Murkowskis really screwed the Binkley family back in 2002 over the US Senate seat. Lisa’s appointment has never really sat right with Alaskans. John Binkley would be a tremendous Challenger against Lisa in 2022. Thank you, John Binkley and Cynthia Henry for standing up to these creepy recall Democrats. Thank you for supporting our governor.

    • Yes, thank you Mr. Binkley.

      • I agree. Yes, I would support John Binkley. Solid Alaska family.

  • This is the same Binkley that lobbied for the cruiseship industry. Reduced the head tax that the citizens voted for. Has easily cost the state over 100 million. Probably helped line his pockets. I lost some respect.

    • Good for Binkley, voting against more taxes in Alaska. He’s got my support.

  • Yup no need to worry about this.

  • My kind of Alaskan. Put me in the yes column for Binkley for US Senate 2022.

  • IMO, outside interests have instigated this recall petition…probably because Dunleavy isn’t giving in to their agendas.
    Dunleavy want’s to diversify Alaska’s income, cut wasteful duplication of efforts, and restore the rule of law.
    Outside interests want to keep Alaska divided against itself, so that they can gain control – you know, the old divide and conquer game.

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