'The fight's on,' as Dunleavy recall gets national attention - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, November 27, 2020
HomePolitics‘The fight’s on,’ as Dunleavy recall gets national attention

‘The fight’s on,’ as Dunleavy recall gets national attention

Photo of Michael Dunleavy, governor of Alaska

Gov. Michael Dunleavy wrote an opinion piece that appeared on Fox News, he was interviewed on the Joe Pags talk radio show, the Lars Larsen show, featured in a long article in Breitbart, a conservative news website, last week.

It’s just the beginning of the counter-offensive operation. Dunleavy has clearly hit the national stage in his fight against being recalled by those who didn’t vote for him in the first place.

Alaskans might expect to see him on Fox and Friends in coming weeks and in a much more visible role in the national media.

He also has a StandTallWithMike.com website set up to begin the fight of his political life.

From Breitbart:

“The fight is on in the northernmost American state as its newly elected GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy faces an effort pushed by leftist special interests to recall him after he delivered on his promises to reduce the size and scope of government and reignite the state’s economy.

“Dunleavy, an ally of President Donald Trump, faces an effort in his state to recall him because he has cut the state budget significantly and got the economy booming again—a very similar fight to the national impeachment battle that Trump faces.

“Dunleavy, just like Trump, is fighting through it. He has launched a website to rally voters to his side amid the recall push and appeared on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel this weekend to make his case for why he believes the leftist special interests are targeting both him and Trump.”

[Read the entire Breitbart story at this link]

Dunleavy is drawing the parallels between himself and Trump: Democrats, Socialists, and other resisters, rather than accepting the results of an election, are trying to overturn the election and disenfranchise voters through creating chaos with impeachment or recall. It’s a win-win for Leftists either way because it requires the target — whether it’s Trump or Dunleavy — to focus energy and play defense.

The recall effort is starting to influence the governor’s schedule, too. On Saturday night, he had to choose between attending the Alaska Outdoor Council, a group of “friendlies,” (where he has hero status for his support of the Sturgeon vs. Park Service lawsuit) and the HIPOW (Happiness is Paying Our Way) Catholic school fundraiser in Fairbanks, where he could use more political help.

Dunleavy went to HIPOW, and sent his senior policy adviser Brett Huber to stand in for him in Wasilla with the sportsmen.

WEBSITE STANDS UP

The Stand Tall With Mike group registered with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, although it doesn’t actually have to register at this point. Its treasurer is Bob Griffin, an education advocate who serves on the Alaska Board of Education and who is a senior fellow at the Alaska Policy Forum. No other big names have been announced.

The Stand Tall With Mike group is starting to raise money through the spartan website, with the goal of opposing the signature collection for the recall effort. From the looks of it, the effort is just getting going.

Under law, these recall and no-recall efforts now under way have no actual reporting requirements at this stage. They can raise and spend money as they wish until the recall petition is approved for the ballot, and that will be weeks or months away.

[Read: Wild, Wild West of recall campaign laws]

Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has until Nov. 4 — three more weeks. — to decide if the group wanting to recall the governor has a legitimate case.

Photo of Attorney General Kevin Clarkson and Governor Michael Dunleavy
Gov. Michael Dunleavy and Attorney General Kevin Clarkson

Regardless of Clarkson’s decision, the case will go to the Alaska Superior Court on appeal from one side or the other. That court will quickly kick the matter up to the State Supreme Court.

But Dunleavy and his supporters are evidently not waiting, and not counting on the Supreme Court to turn down the petition.

And the small-dollar donations that come in from the website are not going to be enough to step up a strong message. Dunleavy will need to secure national dollars — big money — to fight the big money being spent against him.

WHAT ABOUT THE COMM TEAM?

This fight against the recall will likely consume more of the governor’s time, and take away from his policy agenda. As he makes his case on the national stage, groups not attached to the Governor’s Office itself will begin to work on his behalf.

Mary Ann Pruitt

For this reason, it would make sense if Mary Ann Pruitt, Dunleavy’s “communication director on contract,” decides to step away from her contract with the Governor’s Office, and roll back into her primary business at PS Strategies, where she has a contract history with the Republican Governor’s Association.

The RGA has already come out with a statement of support for Dunleavy and will most likely be looking to PS Strategies once again to execute a campaign on in support of the governor in the event of the recall going to the ballot.

[Read: Republican governors take notice of recall]

Pruitt’s departure, however, would leave the governor without a strategic leader on his communication team. He may have to add this challenge to his growing “to do” list.

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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

  • I am not in favor of recalling Governor Dunleavy.
    The thread in this story about Mary Ann Pruitt is fascinating. M. A. Pruitt is part of Governor Dunleavy’s problem and certainly not part of any coherent strategy to prevent his recall. M. A. Pruitt has been ineffective in assisting Governor Dunleavy from the day she was hired at $183,000 salary and should have cashiered months ago.
    Why the Republican Governor’s Association would waste funds on hiring Pruitt is anyone’s guess but if they do allocate funds in support of Governor Dunleavy it would make sense to find someone with skills and abilities relevant to Alaska and useful to Mike Dunleavy.
    Pruitt has exhibited unending poor communication technique in regard to advancing Governor Dunleavy’s agenda and needs to disappear from fooling around with government or political issues.

    • We should stand tall with our Governor Michael Dunleavy. We need to get qualified people that will do the job in keeping the STATE OF ALASKA AND ITS CITIZENS FIRST. AMERICA FIRST!

      • Consider adding another cliche or two to this analysis.

      • Then why why wouldn’t Dunleavy promote Alaskan jobs first? And promote education first so the residents have the skills needed here? And why risk sustainable fisheries for one-time mining profits?

    • Not an objective point in the whole post.

      Data? Proof? Anything beyond conjecture and heartburn?

  • “As he makes his case on the national stage, groups not attached to the Governor’s Office itself will begin to work on his behalf.”
    .
    There it is. The corruption is in plain sight.
    .
    Why did Dunleavy veto Alaska Hire? Why did he veto a measure preventing him from handing out well paid positions to whomever he likes? Because his handlers are from from the lower 48. He was elected with the help of outside money and he is being run by outside money. Of course it’s going ‘national’ — national interests are running the governor and they want to protect their investment.
    .
    Make promises you can never keep (6.7 K PFD with no cuts to education) and if you get into trouble the corporate ministries of propaganda will bail you out.

    • You are aware that the money for the Recall Dunleavy effort comes from mostly outside interests? I am curious if you consider that corruption as well? Does equity matter to you or are liberal special interests allowed unlimited and unregulated funding, but a conservative standing up to it must be handicapped by local support only.

      • And you don’t think the recall effort is outside money? LOL.

      • 1. I’m all for getting all money out of politics, period. Do you feel the same? Seriously, do you?
        .
        2. There might be some outside money but I’ve mostly read about funding from inside Alaksa. I really don’t think that “outside money” is a fair description of the recall efforts. It was and is a grassroots effort. Any money came in after people started organizing. No one paid the native corporations to take up the cause, AFAIK they have only given space and statements of support. No one is paying me to promote the recall campaign.
        .
        Btw, I’m not a liberal. I’m lefty but strange. Biden is corrupt, Trump is corrupt. I’m all for a trade war with China, an end to hot wars, a full investigation of the deep state, an end to domestic spying, an audit to the fed and I think Clinton and Trump should be in side by side cells. I support off grid living, DIY culture and all around strangeness. We might agree on some issues.

    • Adam,

      Do you know what corruption is? From your post it seems like you do not.

      Alaska hire has been ruled unconstitutional by the courts, if you have a problem with that then you need to take it up with them, BTW there was no veto involved.

      All politics in Alaska are funded by outside sources, to some measure. If you cannot understand that fact or come to grasps with it then you might as well not get involved in politics…or is it that you only like outside money to influence your political bent?

  • Dear Governor Dunleavy, We elected you to do a job the others would not do. There is also a reason Mark Begich was not elected, so playing nice with these people will get you nowhere fast. I recommend you pick up an axe with one hand, and a machete with the other, and start swing like your life depends on it.

  • I am still behind Dunleavy but very disappointed in him caving on getting our full PFD well giving them back some of the money for their pet projects.I know he is trying and they are stopping him every step of the way. But he ran on getting us a full pfd and should not cave on that issue

    • He hasn’t “caved” on PFD.
      Governor Dunleavy supports adoption of constitutional resolution embedding a PFD formula and placing the formula in front of the voters next year. This is the only way to guarantee PFD payment and end the annual appropriation fight in the legislature over how to pay the citizens their dividend.
      The Governor needs to call a special session so the resolution to amend can be taken up by the legislature and adopted.

      • What you left out Joe, was Governor supports a full PFD payment and he is willing to cut government sufficiently to afford it. Also, your “their dividend” is something the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled against.
        A constitutional resolution could overrule that court ruling but, I suspect, our legislature will have trouble getting there. And until our legislature has completed its task of confirming Governor’s appointment, no chance of a special session.

        • He didn’t leave out anything you pompous snob. What he said is what he intended to say.

          • And I’m sure that Joe has delegated his response to you Griz. Talk about pompous.

  • And there you have it ..in plain site .. this clown show Administration has *always* been about a National audience ..AFP and “Trumpian” You will see no end of fundraisers and ads with pictures of Tall Guy and Orange Man together, “Draining the Swamp & The Tundra together” or somesuch. BTW if that gets used, I *DO* want royalties.

  • Dunleavey is following the lead of his dear leader (Trump) by making all kinds of promises to get elected and then blaming everyone else when he can’t deliver. It’s textbook Trump. You were never going to get 6700 dollars in your PFD.

    • “Delivery” will follow once the lawless legislators are where they belong. Out on the street or looking through bars. Does anyone really believe we Alaskans don’t recognize we and our families have been robbed in broad daylight? Anyone?

      • Sorry you didn’t receive your full socialist check. Maybe with another special session the government will give you some more money, for doing absolutely nothing. You didn’t earn it, you just want the free money part. Spare us the, but it’s our money stick.

        Love the spin on communications people, priceless, like a SNL cold open.

      • He hires for the former crooks to be his advisers, and chief of staff. Soon he will have another made up position for the other tall criminal from the valley. Dunleavy doesn’t speak to the public as he is afraid of tough questions he doesn’t have a script from his handlers to read from.

    • This isn’t just happening here folks. There’s a nationwide attempt to oust Republican governors. This recall effort is happening in many states buy a bunch of sore losers. Of course we weren’t going to get the full PFD not as long as Bryce edgmon was intent on stealing half of it which he successfully did. We’re still putting up the fight and trying to balance the budget and get the poor people of Alaska their full PFD but a lot of people got to get fired from their jobs before that can happen.

      • My search shows 5 recalls currently. 4 are Democrats. Seems like a right wing conspiracy.

  • What annoys me, as an Alaskan Native, is that the AFN is turning this into an “Indian War.” Like the tribes which sided with the French in the French and Indian war.

    “The war pitted the world’s two superpowers, France and England, against each other in a titanic struggle for imperial domination … It was a competition to determine who would dominate the other continents of the world.”

    The above quote paraphrased: “This political battle pits two opposing domestic groups against each other in a scruffy struggle for domination of a minor fiefdom. The struggle is about the usual familial claims to level 20+ state jobs and access to unregulated funding sources for paying off political debts, and buying “friends” in high places in China.”

    The Environazis are largely responsible for the AFN getting involved, as they had groomed and indoctrinated many Alaska Natives into their delay and obstruct agenda – sponsored by China.

    My people have forgotten the Indian wars, which would have reminded them that every time they sided with an enemy of America, they suffered defeat. If Alaska’s economy really tanks, the easiest place left to make up any shortfalls will be the regional corporations and the IRA villages. ANCSA is much like the old Indian treaties … it can be “forgotten”.

    Have we also forgotten the NOL’s bail-out so soon? A “friendly” political environment made that possible. That “friendly” environment doesn’t exist any more.

  • I look forward to The Guv (Dunleavy) making future ‘SIGNIFICANT’ cuts from the bloated budget. Start by cutting 25% across the board, consolidate Gov’t Agencies focused on providing ‘only’ essential services, require employees to do more with less, eliminate – furlough the dead weight.
    Git-R-Done!!!

    • While cuts and consolidation are justified and necessary when evaluating state agencies, the call for “across the board” percentage cuts is dumb. If you have a vital agency doing necessary work and chop funding at same percentage as an unnecessary agency that yields little value what does that yield? Sure, some savings but across the board chopping punishes good activity and weirdly rewards bad agencies and bureaucrats. Targeted cuts like eliminating the Alaska Commission on Human Rights are what is needed.

  • The recall is coming from uncorked elements of the Walker Administration, most notably, Scott Kendall, who is a third rate attorney and wacked-out Lefty. Yep, the boy who threw a tantrum when he couldn’t defend Byron Mallot’s pedophilia behavior. Kendall’s bro in law, Grier Hopkins, and pop in law Luke Hopkins, are two of the biggest dummies in Alaska politics. All are involved in the recall of our current governor.

  • Project the landslide failure of the disrespect these special interests are showing for Alaska’s voters onto the national scene around 5 years from now.

    Easy to see Governor Dunleavy as a logical successor to President Trump. They stand for the same principles (smaller government, responsible spending). My only reservation is that Governor Dunleavy has been far too gentle so far. Perhaps that’s about to change.

    • Cue up soundtrack for the Twilight Zone for this guys post.

  • What is it with these damned Democrats? If they can’t steal an election through voter fraud they try and thwart the legally and Constitutionally elected office holders they don’t like and don’t agree with. Whatever happened to fair elections and waiting for the next election?

    • Couldn’t agree more Erik, all conservative politicians have a bulls eye on their backs led my the lunatic fringe, Democrat party. The demise of said party can not come fast enough.

  • This Gov is one of, if not the, most conservative in the nation. It’s about time the rest of the nation knew about it. He’s in the middle of fighting battles here that could affect the nation, and that is why so many elites and outside interests oppose him.

  • Fantasize all you want about conspiracies that might be fueling this guy’s recall, but the truth is that a recall can’t happen without an overwhelming majority of his constituents voting in favor of it after it clears several difficult review hurdles. The anger that gives this thing momentum comes from broken promises and seeming ineptitude (maybe just bad communications, as referenced above?). At the end of the day Alaskan’s weren’t prepared for GD’s slash and burn approach to government downsizing, and they also weren’t prepared for the pure incompatibility of his promises (see PFD and education reference above). Finally, this guy’s Alaska is Open for Business campaign shrugs off basic tenets of economic development, first of which is economic growth gravitates to areas with strong infrastructure (transportation, education, population). Dunleavy shined when he made promises, but tarnished when it came time to act. It may make you all feel better to blame this on some fantasy cabal, but the truth is this blog is so outside of mainstream representation that the light from the middle won’t hit it for a thousand years. The fact the she references Bri-Bart as a conservative news source just hits that point home.

  • I support Dunleavy, and I look forward to voting out of office the RINO’s who have betrayed both Dunleavy and Republicans across Alaska.

  • I am all in for recalling Gov. Dunleavy (even though I voted for him) because he caved on the budget cuts that he vetoed.
    Dunleavy treats the people who voted for him like a yoyo. Time for him to go

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