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Alaska Supreme Court says recall campaign to oust governor can proceed

PoliticsJul 16, 2021 10:50PM ET
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© Reuters. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy speaks at the Petroleum Club in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. January 15, 2020. Picture taken January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Yereth Rosen/File Photo

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Political foes of Alaska's Republican governor have legally sufficient grounds to pursue their campaign to oust him from office through a recall election, the state’s highest court ruled on Friday.

The campaign to recall Governor Mike Dunleavy, who has about 17 months left in his term, is legal and may proceed, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled.

Whether Dunleavy's detractors have made their case that his alleged shortcomings - that he is incompetent and corrupt - justify his removal from office is up to the voters, the court said.

“The people asked to sign petitions must decide whether the allegations are serious enough to warrant a recall election; each voter in the voting booth must decide whether the allegations are serious enough to warrant removal from office,” the opinion said.

Dunleavy, a former teacher, school administrator and legislator representing Wasilla, was elected governor in 2018, positioning himself as a political acolyte of then-U.S. President Donald Trump. His tenure has been rocky as Alaska struggled with financial difficulties and its dependence on dwindling oil revenues.

The governor's foes argue that he deserves to be recalled because he is unfit and has abused his power. Among grounds cited by recall supporters, Duleavy is accused of illegally using his budget veto to punish judges for abortion-rights rulings and violating ethics laws by using state funds for partisan campaign purposes.

To qualify a gubernatorial recall for the Alaska ballot, campaigners must satisfy a two-phase test, gathering petition signatures totaling 10 percent of votes cast in the previous statewide election and, subsequently, gathering signatures totaling 25 percent of the votes cast. The Recall Dunleavy campaign reported it had 81 percent of the required second-phase signatures as of April.

In a statement Friday, Dunleavy blasted the court’s ruling, saying it will subject elected officials “to baseless, expensive, and distracting recall elections by their political opponents.”

Dunleavy faced problems other than the recall threat.

In a showdown with the legislature, he vetoed this year’s entire Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, a cherished oil-wealth payout to residents made annually since 1982.

This week CNBC ranked Alaska’s business climate dead last among all 50 U.S. states. CNBC cited Dunleavy’s actions specifically, saying he “relentlessly slashed” University of Alaska funding and made other poor decisions.

Alaska Supreme Court says recall campaign to oust governor can proceed
 

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Comments (4)
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jul 17, 2021 2:30AM ET
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Complete BS from Reuters. Dunleavy vetoed the RINO led senate trying to steal more from the Alaskan people. Governor Dunleavy is extremely popular and will easily brush off this feeble attempt by the state's wokist fascist dreamers.
Mark Maxwell
MaxAnalysis Jul 17, 2021 2:30AM ET
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extremly popular doesn't add up for an offical in second phase of a recall that requires an enormous signature count.. just saying
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jul 17, 2021 2:30AM ET
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Mark Maxwell  enormous? It's the government employees vs the citizens.. Alaskan politics is a trip..
Ivan Geiger
Ivan Geiger Jul 17, 2021 1:53AM ET
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He revoked legislator funding until they fix the messy budget situation they wrote up. Now they want him out. Just goes to show, money is powerful
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Jul 17, 2021 1:29AM ET
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Again, everything from Reuters are fake
charles ck
charles ck Jul 16, 2021 11:23PM ET
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Funny how you propogandists report on this, but not on California where Newsome was recalled and he forgot to file his paperwork correctly as per his own policy, so he has been in court having to fight his own policy because he might not appear on the ballot for not filling paperwork correctly to run again after his recall. Governor of New York Cuomo also under risk of recall as he has multiple pending sexual assault allegations and lied about the death toll when he put people into nursing homes last year.
Adrian White
Adrian White Jul 16, 2021 11:23PM ET
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Nice try. They've reported on both Newsom's recall and the allegations against Cuomo. Just because they publish a story against somebody from "your side" that doesn't mean they're "propogandists".
 
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