Vetoes' eve announcement? Recall signatures top off at 29,577 - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
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Vetoes’ eve announcement? Recall signatures top off at 29,577

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On what many think may be the eve of the signing of the the spending package known as HB 2001, the group that has started to try to recall the governor issued an advisory: They have exceeded the first threshold for a recall by acquiring 29,577 signatures.

The timing of the announcement is not accidental. It is intended to pressure Gov. Michael Dunleavy into not vetoing some programs from the current spending package that some call a supplemental Operating Budget.

Dunleavy has announced that the budget decisions have largely been made and will reflect most of his vetoes of the first operating budget, with a few tweaks.

In the past week, Dunleavy announced he will restore funding for Senior Benefits Program, Earning Learning (Head Start and similar), Alaska Legal Services Corporation, and a major compact with the University of Alaska System to step down state support over three years. The Recall Dunleavy group has taken credit for these add-backs to the budget, but insiders say the decisions were made weeks ago. The governor did not receive the budget from the Legislature until Aug. 7.

His final budget, counting undesignated general funds, is expected to have the largest budget cuts in Alaska history. No one knows when he will sign the spending package, but it could be as early as Friday.

The Recall Dunleavy group says it intends to continue to gather signatures at the Alaska State Fair through Sept. 2 before submitting them to the Division of Elections, mainly in order to send a message to the governor.

It took the group just two weeks to gather the signatures; they needed 28,577 in order to apply for an official recall petition from the Division.

If they get one — and that’s a decision the lieutenant governor must make — they’ll need to collect 71,252 signatures to get a recall election scheduled. The entire matter would likely end at the Alaska Supreme Court.

Gov. Michael Dunleavy has been in office for just nine months and is now at the beginning of his first fiscal year. The group seeking to unseat him via recall says he has violated Alaska law and acted incompetently.

But it may be that they pulled the trigger too soon on the recall, because a judge will no doubt look at the actions of the “person” of Michael Dunleavy, and also the sequence of events, including the highly dysfunctional legislature. A judge would also likely look at the actions of the recall group, which started the recall movement back in February, just after Dunleavy offered his budget to the Legislature and before his final budget was signed.

Here are the grounds given by the recall group, which must prove neglect of duties, incompetence, and/or lack of fitness:

  • Governor Dunleavy violated Alaska law by refusing to appoint a judge to the Palmer Superior Court within 45 days of receiving nominations.
  • Governor Dunleavy violated Alaska Law and the Constitution, and misused state funds by unlawfully and without proper disclosure, authorizing and allowing the use of state funds for partisan purposes to purchase electronic advertisements and direct mailers making partisan statements about political opponents and supporters.
  • Governor Dunleavy violated separation-of-powers by improperly using the line-item veto to: (a) attack the judiciary and the rule of law; and (b) preclude the legislature from upholding its constitutional Health, Education and Welfare responsibilities.
  • Governor Dunleavy acted incompetently when he mistakenly vetoed approximately $18 million more than he told the legislature in official communications he intended to strike. Uncorrected, the error would cause the state to lose over $40 million in additional federal Medicaid funds.
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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

  • Seems like a real stretch, and the AKLEG has violated a lot more than this. The governor will stand strong and restore our dividend to full statutory. PERIOD

    • He hasn’t. He can’t. It’s right there in the words of the spin doctors — they are trying to help us “understand” why we are only getting $1600 and *cough* “reminding” us that he only promised to _try_ for the full amount.
      He can veto and get zero. He can sign and get $1600.

      • You will soon see what he can do…

    • Totally Agree with you Stephen! It’s time these time wasters collecting signatures accept that the state can no longer afford to fund everything they wish. They need to get back to work, stop complaining and deal with what is. The Governor, like the rest of the adults in Alaska (50 yr res here) want some control of the insane spending that has been unchecked for YEARS. In my opinion he needs to stop undoing these vetoes and apologizing for what needs to be done and let the chips fall where they may! Collect all the signatures you want. Be is here to stay and iam GLAD! It’s time!

      • Just in case you aren’t following along Karaboo, Dunleavy administration has read the tea leaves and has determined that those seniors (who originally lost their benefits and got them restored) may choose to vote for Recall.
        You think he should stop “undoing these vetoes” but that’s a surefire way to his Recall IMO.
        We’ll see, of course, as those chips fall.

  • So what? A whole lot of people living in the Villages have figured out that it’s not the Governor that’s stealing the PFD.

    • Yep we have. His name rhymes with Ice .

  • Pay the full PFD using the original formula and put it in the Constitution so nothing can be done with it without the vote of the people.

  • Slow day in the big city.
    The unions and the Dems wasted a lot of money.
    This governor is doing just what he told us he would do, and we voted for him, affirming his intent.
    If the idea of the public trough being bottomless is not ended, Alaskans will lose their PFD, and soon, the Legislature will be into spending the PF directly.
    Dunleavy has to hold the line, he was right, but he cannot set the Legislature thwart his agenda.

    • “he told us he would do”
      He told us that he had no plans to cut education and he ran on his experience as educator.
      He said nothing about forcing Elders onto the street.
      He promised to find efficiencies, instead he has created more waste.
      He told his followers to expect a full PFD. ( Google the quote, don’t trust second hand accounts)
      He lied. Time to recall.

      • “He said nothing about forcing Elders onto the street.
        He promised to find efficiencies, instead he has created more waste.”

        what planet are you from, elders to the street? Creating more waste? You are delusional and fit the profile of DDS…Dunleavy derangement syndrome. make sure and turn your PFD back into the general fund to heal the pain.

  • The Governor must stick my his budget cuts no matter what. I have lived in Alaska since 1963 and this uncontrolled spending MUST STOP A.S.A.P.. Everyone needs to learn what a Constitutional Republic can own and what they can spend OUR money on. In a Constitutional Republic ALL the Land and ALL the resources are only held by the government until We The People claim and settled it. Most of the money spent by the government is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Many of the people want to be supported by the government. Adults need to support themselves instead of demanding welfare. We are suppose to be adults instead of acting like little children. Seymour Marvin Mills Jr. sui juris

    • Bravo I agree!! 50 yr resident here and I’m sick of the spending that has been out of control!! Good to see there are more adults here that knows what this state really needs.. To break away from people who think we owe them a free ride on everything!

  • WOW!!! 0.3% of the population of the state signed the petition… nothing like being reminded why he’s the Governor, and Hillary isn’t the President!!

    • please check your arithmetic, unless the population of AK greatly increased, 29,000 signatures would represent approximately 3.9% of a total population of 750,000


      • Yep.. 3.9% of Alaska’s population are triggered democrats and never trumpers. I assume most are transplants from down south or grew up communist er- democrat.

  • It seems to me that 29,000 signatures in two weeks is a significant “statement” in and of itself…
    I believe the last recall attempt in Alaska took nearly a year to gather that many.
    Regardless of the final outcome, all government officials should support the democratic process through to the end.

    • Significant indeed, Steve. We are seeing some significant push-back from all sorts of Alaskans to his budget cuts and Dunleavy seems to be feeling it IMO. We’ll see how it shakes out, of course, but I expect him to resign.
      He has turned out to be an amateur, just like those who showed up in Wasilla (also IMO).

  • Just keep your promises that you made when elected as Governor and let the welfare whiner whine. We are at a crossroads in history folks. “We The People” must save our Republic no matter what. If they steal and spend the PFD Dividend money on welfare—Then what will happen to the Seniors and to ALL Alaskans after that is gone too. Remember when the State of Alaska sold Oil Rights in the late 1960 or early 1970’s for $900 Million and very conveniently nobody knows where that money went. VERY STRANGE, right here in River City.. I lived here then too. We got a bunch of thieves running Alaska and that needs to STOP IMMEDITELY!!!!! ALL the Oil Money already belongs to “We The People” now and the P.F.D. Money is just a very small piece of that Oil Money.
    Seymour Marvin Mills Jr sui juris

  • I voted for Dunleavy thinking he was what Alaska needed to get this budget under control. He caved and reinstated his vetoes. I am so disgusted Dunleavy that I signed the recall petition outside of REI yesterday.
    When the recall is put on the ballot, I will tic the block Yes to recall!

  • Is Dunleavy a French name? He sure is doing a lot of surrendering.

  • RD, you voted Dunleavy but now will back the recall movement? Did you really think that weaning the 29,000 public employee’s from drinking all of mommies milk would be an easy task? Granted the Guv could have handled things differently but have you not been following the push back this last 8 months?
    Do you watch a lot of TV? Addicted to video games? Is instant gratification your expectation? Got a really short attention span? Keep signing petitions at REI my man!

    • Do know that Dunleavy financially destroyed many Alaskans lives?
      Dunleavy said he was going to cut the UA budget by 130 million dollars. He did so by vetoing the budget as promised. Based on that, many University of Alaska employees left UA for other jobs in fear they would laid off. Now, Dunleavy caves and reinstates the funds that he previously cut. These employees could have kept their jobs. Dunleavy has no compassion. No Democrat would do what he did to Alaskans.
      That’s why I have changed my view of Dunleavy and vote to recall.

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