SNOW AND ICE – Dancers throw paper snow into the air in the Land of Snow and Ice during Saturday's performance of "Sitka Nutcracker – Land of Sweets." Dancers from the Fireweed Dance Guild, directed by Melinda McAdams, performed in front of several full houses at the Performing Arts Center over the weekend. Some 65 dancers took part in this year's ballet, which is produced biennially. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Group Gets Signatures In Effort to Recall Gov

By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press
    JUNEAU (AP) — The group pursuing a recall of Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said it plans to submit signatures today as part of an initial phase of its push.
    The Recall Dunleavy group last month said it had obtained more than the 28,501 signatures needed but planned to collect signatures through the recently ended state fair to compensate for any that could be disqualified.
    The group said it plans to submit the signatures to the Division of Elections in Anchorage following a kickoff in the parking lot of Cook Inlet Region, Inc., an Alaska Native corporation whose board of directors has endorsed the recall effort.
    If the application is certified, it would trigger another signature-gathering phase, with supporters needing 71,252 signatures in a bid to try to put the issue to voters. Individuals who signed during the first round of signature-gathering would be allowed to sign during the second, said Cori Mills, a Department of Law spokeswoman.
    The Department of Law has said there is not a specific, required time frame for the initial review. Mills pointed a reporter inquiring about the review process to a 2013 department analysis of an effort to recall a state legislator, which in addition to ensuring proper signatures were gathered and other technical requirements met also made a determination on the whether the claims outlined were sufficiently stated.
    Grounds for recall under state law are lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption.
    Public anger over Dunleavy budget vetoes helped fuel the recall campaign, which accuses Dunleavy of separation of powers violations and violating state law by not appointing a judge within a statutory timeframe, among other things. A message seeking comment was sent to a Dunleavy spokesman. Dunleavy took office in December.
    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there have been many attempts to recall governors across the country, but few have gone far enough to trigger recall elections. Then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election in 2012.
    This appears to be the most serious effort aimed at recalling a governor in Alaska since 1992, when there was a push to recall then-Gov. Wally Hickel and Lt. Gov Jack Coghill. According to the Division of Elections, the application in that case was certified and the matter went to court, but the recall attempt was not completed.
   

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