Elections mean nothing?
When Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth ruled the effort to recall Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy may proceed, it was no real surprise. All sides believe the case eventually must be settled by the Alaska Supreme Court.
The court case sprang from Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai’s decision, based on an opinion from Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, to not allow the recall to go forward. Clarkson said the grounds offered for the recall were “factually and legally deficient.”
All of that will be hashed out before the state’s high court. We are left to wonder what will happen if the justices let the ruling stand.
Would that mean that a small minority can claim it does not like what a sitting governor – one barely in office, mind you – has done and demand a new election. Will “we do not agree with what you did” become sufficient grounds to remove an elected official from office?
Alaska’s grounds for recall are very limited: lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption. The grounds claimed by Recall Dunleavy backers – and they do not include corruption – are laughably specious.
For all intents and purposes, the grounds they are offering amount to little more than “we do not like Dunleavy because he has not done what we wanted him to do and now we want a new election.”
If the Supreme Court upholds this nonsense, if it accepts the ridiculous “charges,” Alaska is in real trouble. If elections can be undone on little more than a whim, if the threshold for recall is so very low, there will be no end to the political chicanery.
Elections in the end will mean nothing.