State argues grounds listed by recall group insufficient

Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 11:36 AM AKST
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Legal arguments made by the group seeking to recall Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy fall short and give the recall effort the appearance of a “political gambit” based on policy differences, according to a court filing by the state.

Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh, in a recent filing, contends the Recall Dunleavy group’s statement of grounds and a motion it filed “are heavy on hyperbole and short on the basic process requirements of recall.”

She wrote the statement of grounds “fails to state with particularity conduct that meets the statutory criteria of cause.”

Last month, Gail Fenumiai, director of the state Division of Elections, rejected the group’s bid to advance the recall effort. She said her decision was based on a legal opinion from the attorney general that found the reasons listed for recall were “factually and legally deficient.”

The recall group argues Fenumiai erred in not allowing the effort to proceed to a second signature-gathering phase and is seeking to have that decision overturned.

Among its claims, the recall group said Dunleavy violated the law by not appointing a judge within a required timeframe, misused state funds for partisan online ads and mailers and improperly used his veto authority to “attack the judiciary.”

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