Monika Kunat, left, signs an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy with others at the Planet Alaska Gallery on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Monika Kunat, left, signs an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy with others at the Planet Alaska Gallery on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneauites gather signatures for Dunleavy recall

Volunteers begin effort to recall the governor

Volunteer took to the streets in events across the state Thursday in an effort to get the 28,501 signatures needed to submit an application to the Division of Elections to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

In Juneau, volunteers gathered in front of the Planet Alaska gallery on Ferry Way downtown. By noon Thursday, volunteers estimated that they had collected over 300 signatures.

Juneau residents line up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau residents line up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Chris Dimond, an organizer for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters and one of the volunteer signature gatherers, sat at a table in front of the gallery, instructing citizens on how to properly fill out the application.

“I don’t think it was any one thing,” he said in response to a question about why he chose to volunteer. “I think it’s definitely been a combination of actions that got me motivated.”

Dimond said that he had been in front of Planet Alaska for several hours already and that he would stay for as long as he was allowed.

“I believe this recall effort does two things,” he said. “It sends a message to the governor that Alaskans are not on board with his plans and ideologies, and I believe that we as citizens and voters have the right to recall him due to the actions and the stated purpose in the recall effort.”

The Recall Dunleavy campaign, chaired in part by former Alaska Writer Laureate Peggy Shumaker and her husband Joe Usibelli Sr., created a application listing several instances where they say Dunleavy violated state law.

Image from a memorandum sent to the Juneau Empire from the Recall Dunleavy campaign enumerating reasons for recalling Gov. Mike Dunleavy. August 1, 2019.

Image from a memorandum sent to the Juneau Empire from the Recall Dunleavy campaign enumerating reasons for recalling Gov. Mike Dunleavy. August 1, 2019.

Among by reasons cited by the campaign are the use of state funds for partisan purposes and violation of separation of powers through improper use of the line-item veto.

One Juneau resident who turned out to sign the application was Gretchen Bishop, “I don’t think that our state is headed in a good direction economically,” she said. “I think we need an income tax and I think we need to get rid of the oil tax give-away,” Bishop said, referring to the tax credits given to oil companies for operating in the state. Both citizens and some state lawmakers have said that oil taxes could be a source of revenue to help boost state coffers.

“I think we need to hang on to as many state services as we can,” Bishop said, “and we need to get ready for global climate change (by) upgrading our infrastructure.” Huge cuts right now, while the state has money, “doesn’t make good economic sense,” she said.

Recall Dunleavy campaign spokesperson Meda Dewitt said Thursday afternoon that smaller communities like Nome and Bethel had received over 100 signatures each, and that despite Anchorage’s event having not yet started, people had begun showing up wanting to sign the application.

Juneau residents line up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau residents line up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Once the application is submitted, it will either be approved or rejected by the Director of the Division of Elections. Once the application is approved, a petition will be circulated which must be signed by 71, 252 voters, or 25 percent of the total numbers having voted in the 2018 General Election. Once that stage is completed there will be a recall election.

Should the recall election succeed, the Lt. Governor will assume the role of governor for the remainder of the term.

The campaign’s website states that Alaska law allows for any side of the process to challenge the effort in the superior courts. “Given the history of past recall efforts — it is almost certain that the question will wind up in the court for final determination,” the site says.


• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com


More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Nov. 27

Steve Lewis, foreground, and Stephen Sorensen from the Alaska State Review Board scan ballots from precincts where they were hand counted at the Division of Elections office Nov. 15. Board officials spent the period between the Nov. 8 election and its certification Wednesday performing about 20 different to verify the results. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Election certified, but challenges pending

Outcome of at least two state House races unknown, which may determine chamber’s leadership

Errol Culbreth and Scotlyn Beck (Polichinelles) rehearse ahead of Juneau Dance Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker.” The immensely popular ballet is coming to the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Friday through Sunday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau Dance Theatre is ready to get cracking

“The Nutcracker” is set to run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB investigator Clint Crookshanks, left, and member Jennifer Homendy stand near the site of some of the wreckage of the DHC-2 Beaver, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, that was involved in a midair collision near Ketchikan. The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration should tighten rules about minimum visibility during flights and require more weather training for pilots who fly around Ketchikan.  (Peter Knudson/NTSB via AP)
Safety board recommends new measures for Alaska air tours

The board wants regulations for Ketchikan similar to requirements in Hawaii and the Grand Canyon.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Wednesday, Nov.30

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

Harbor seals have a face full of whiskers, which the seals use to follow hydrodynamic wakes left by prey fish; even a blind seal can track a fish this way, discriminating victims by size and shape and direction of movement.  (Courtesy Photo / Jos Bakker)
On the Trails: The sense of touch

Touch is a mechanical sense, detecting physical stimuli such as pressure, texture,… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Tuesday, Nov. 29

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

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Nov. 26

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

Sugar Bear Alaskan Treasures, seen here, was one of many artist vendors featured at the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Indigenous Holiday Market features local artists

Market’s first return since 2018.

Most Read