A new standard

Have you ever felt like perhaps the fix was in?

After a legal opinion by Anchorage’s municipal attorney, the city clerk – who, by the way, serves at the Assembly’s pleasure – dumped a recall application WHEN calling for removal of Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel.

The group pushing for her recall accuses her of:

“Removable misconduct by violating the Alaska Public Meetings Statutes at the Anchorage Assembly meeting July 28th, engagingly in willful, flagrant, and obvious collision to limit public testimony inside the assembly chambers. Zaletel conducted municipality business following the barring of public presence within the chambers except those approved by the assembly in a manner not disclosed to the public prior to the meeting.”

What she did, as vice chairwoman, was run an Assembly meeting after Mayor Ethan Berkowitz ordered such meetings closed to the public, and she allowed only one person to testify in the chamber while the public was locked out. Former Municipal Manager Mike Abbot, who runs the Alaska Mental Health Trust, was brought in to discuss land availability issues.

The city’s legal opinion on the recall application, authored by Municipal Attorney Kathryn Vogel and Assistant Municipal Attorney Jessica Willoughby, says, among other things, the “recall application is factually sufficient; it is sufficiently particular to allow the reader to understand the allegations, and to permit Assembly Member Zaletel to respond in 200 words.”

But there is always a but.

“Determining the legal sufficiency of the application is more complex, and requires analysis of the governing law on open meetings in Alaska as well as factual context of the allegations in the application.”

You might think because the application was “factually sufficient” and “sufficiently particular,” Zaletel’s recall would be a matter to put before voters. You would be wrong. The municipal attorneys found there was no violation of the Open Meetings Act and denied the recall petition application.

With the Zaletel recall effort at least temporarily stymied, you have to wonder how a shadowy group – we still do not know who is paying its bills – could manage to win Supreme Court approval to attempt a recall of Gov. Mike Dunleavy on little more than a whim. Where, we wonder, was all the complex analysis on the legal sufficiency of the blah-blah-blah factual context and governing law?

There are, apparently, different standards. The recall standard in Anchorage seems to be: Did you murder somebody? At the state level, at least for Dunleavy, it is,“We don’t like you.”

Recall Dunleavy is lucky it did not have to undergo scrutiny by Anchorage’s city lawyers. It is unfortunate the Zaletel recall effort did.

4 Responses to A new standard

  1. Marlin Savage September 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    The Municipal Rubber Stamp Attorney and Municipal Rubber Stamp Clerk for Anchorage have rejected the petition…………….

  2. Jim Schradle September 3, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    The present American legal system: Professional legal types with years of training and mentoring bend, twist and manipulate the meaning of words, sentences and phrases to meet the definition desired by their clients/benefactors. The most skilled of them can metamorphose the meaning of the simplest of phrases such as “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.”
    Judges are former lawyers who are now referees of a sporting event.

  3. Jack September 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Real Alaskans please, please always find a way to vote whenever there is an election. That said, it is especially important in the next City of Anchorage election to pay attention who is running and vote for the most conservative candidate. Do not allow this mayor and assembly leave a mandate for the next administration to continue to dismantle any semblance of a representative government responsible to the people of Anchorage and Alaska.
    Vote for responsible government not a “we don’t give a damn what you think or care about.”
    They, being the current city administration, only care about their unicorn and tooth fairy world.
    If that works for you then perhaps the Disney Corporation should incorporate the City of Anchorage as Disneyland North.

  4. John London September 4, 2020 at 11:06 am

    This is happening all over the country at many political levels. A sub-culture of demo/lib/socialist ultra virtue signalers who promoted the illegal drug trade to the tune of millions of deaths over a period of 50 years should not be allowed in any form to determine any political policy anywhere.

    I never even want to hear how they want to “help” or promote their misanthropic demented agenda that can only lead to destruction.


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