Judge puts signature gathering for Dunleavy recall on hold

  • The Associated Press
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 4:42pm
  • News

JUNEAU — A state court judge on Tuesday put on hold a decision that would have allowed supporters of an effort to recall Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy to begin a new signature-gathering phase.

Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth in Anchorage said petitions should be issued by Feb. 10, unless that date is stayed by the Alaska Supreme Court. At that time, he said he “does not intend on granting a stay of that process.”

Aarseth’s order Tuesday followed recent written arguments by Stand Tall With Mike, a group opposing the recall. The order did not go into detail for the judge’s reasoning in granting a stay but said the decision was made upon consideration of the group’s filing. The decision states that the matter is stayed pending resolution of the case in the Alaska Supreme Court.

Claire Pywell, campaign manager for the Recall Dunleavy group, said Tuesday’s decision “does not impact the merits of his primary ruling — the recall application that over 46,000 Alaskans signed is still valid.”

Aarseth in his initial ruling struck one of the allegations raised by the recall group but determined the others should be allowed to proceed.

“Recall Dunleavy intends to pursue all necessary procedures at every level to guarantee that Alaskans will have the opportunity to sign the recall petition as soon as possible,” Pywell said in a statement.

Stand Tall With Mike said in a court filing its supporters would suffer irreparable harm if the signature-gathering was not halted pending appeal. If the Republican governor faces a recall campaign, “he will be less able to focus on fulfilling his campaign promises while defending against this recall effort,” the document states.

The group also said that if signature gathering moved forward and the Supreme Court ultimately struck down at least part of the recall application, it would lead to more legal disputes and create confusion. “Such a result does not accord with Alaska’s orderly process of recall for cause,” the filing states. “It is better for all to measure twice and cut once.”

The filing also states the recall opposition group is prepared to seek an appeal on an expedited schedule.

Brewster Jamieson, an attorney for Stand Tall With Mike, said he was pleased with Aarseth’s order, adding the matter needs to be fully decided by the Alaska Supreme Court.

A tweet from Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s account said Tuesday that Aarseth’s order “makes sense because the Supreme Court’s direction on statewide recall standards is needed.”

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 20

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, July 18, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Buttons on display at a campaign event Monday, July 8, 2024, in Juneau, urge supporters to vote against Ballot Measure 2, the repeal of Alaska’s current election system. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Ranked-choice repeal measure awaits signature count after Alaska judge’s ruling

Signatures must be recounted after judge disqualifies almost 3,000 names, citing state law violations.

The offices of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Juneau are seen on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska demographers predict population drop, a switch from prior forecasts

For decades, state officials have forecast major population rises, but those haven’t come to pass.

Neil Steininger, former director of the state Office of Management and Budget, testifies before the House Finance Committee at the Alaska State Capitol in January of 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Neil Steininger, former budget director for Gov. Dunleavy, seeking District 1 Juneau Assembly seat

Downtown resident unopposed so far for open seat; deadline to file for local races is Monday.

A mother bear and a cub try to get into a trash can on a downtown street on July 2, 2024. Two male bears were euthanized in a different part of downtown Juneau on Wednesday because they were acting aggressively near garbage cans, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Two black bears in downtown Juneau euthanized due to aggressive behavior around people

Exposed garbage, people insistent on approaching bears contribute to situation, official says

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, July 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Cars arrive at Juneau International Airport on Thursday, July 11, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau seems to have avoided major disruptions following global technology-related outage

911 centers, hospitals, airport, and public safety and emergency management agencies are operating.

Most Read