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)

Recall Dunleavy campaign gears up for court

First oral arguments to be heard this month

After having its application for a recall petition denied, the Recall Dunleavy campaign is gearing up for court.

The campaign is slated to have oral arguments in Anchorage Superior Court on Jan. 10 before Judge Eric Aarseth.

Recall Dunleavy Campaign Manager Claire Pywell said the campaign’s general counsel and former Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth and Susan Orlansky from Anchorage law firm Reeves Amodio will argue in court why the petition should not have been denied.

Pywell called the 10th a “big day” and said the campaign was looking forward to it.

“Our allegations reinforce in so many ways he is the wrong man for the job,” she said in a phone interview Thursday. “Alaskans deserve a governor that will faithfully execute the laws under the constitution.”

Chief Assistant Attorney General Margaret Peton-Walsch will be making arguments on behalf of the State of Alaska, according to Cori Mills, senior assistant attorney general with the Department of Law. Mills said the DOL could not comment further on the case due to the ongoing litigation.

On Nov. 4, the Department of Law denied the campaign’s application for a recall petition of Gov. Mike Dunleavy, saying the application was “both factually and legally insufficient to meet the statutory grounds for recall.” Attorney General Kevin Clarkson said in a statement at that time that a recall cannot be based on “disagreements with the elected official’s policies.”

The recall application met all the technical requirements and received a total of 49,006 signatures, well over the 28,501 required by law. It alleged four legal reasons Dunleavy should be recalled: he showed neglect, incompetence and lack of fitness for office. Those allegations include violating the state constitution by using state funds for political advertisements and violating the separation-of-powers by using his veto power to attack the Legislature and Judiciary

On Nov. 27, the campaign filed a motion against the Division of Elections, which oversees the recall process, following the Division’s refusal to certify the application for recall.

“The allegations by the recall group are not legitimate reasons to overturn the outcome of the statewide election held barely a year ago,” Dunleavy said in a statement following the application’s denial in November. “My priorities continue to be making Alaska safer for all Alaskans, growing the economy and enacting a solution to the state’s budget deficit.”


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


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