Recall or sneak attack?
After months of languishing, the Recall Dunleavy campaign has put out a call through its compliant, dutiful media pals that it is “rebooting”; that it needs to drum up more signatures to move the moribund effort forward.
Yet, not the first word on who or what is financing the recall campaign that started publicly with much media fanfare Aug. 1, 2019. In actuality, the effort to unseat Gov. Mike Dunleavy for sins mostly imagined began only days – days – after he took office.
To date, the recall website reports it has collected 49,520 signatures. It reported 49,022 signatures at the end of December. At that rate, it might take a while to reach its goal of 71,252 signatures to force a special recall election.
While the public faces of the effort are Vic Fischer, a former Democratic state senator and 1955 Alaska Constitutional Convention delegate, former state Sen. Arliss Sturgulewski, a moderate Republican from Anchorage, and Joe Usibelli, chairman of Usibelli Coal Mine, it is guided by former Gov. Bill Walker’s chief of staff, Scott Kendall.
You might think Recall Dunleavy would have to tell the Alaska Public Offices Commission what money it has collected, and from whom, and what it has spent. But the APOC reports show no income, no expenditures, zero, nada, squat. Alaskans may never know who is paying the bills. Are they unions? Outside interests? Democrats? People with an agenda for Alaska?
Oddly enough, state law allows Recall Dunleavy to collect and spend money from anybody, except foreign interests, and – unlike political campaigns – not reveal where it came from or went, at least until the effort gathers enough signatures to win a spot on the ballot.
Only if any signature-gathering money eventually is plowed into a recall election campaign would backers be forced to report every penny collected and spent since the effort’s beginning. If none of the signature-gathering money ends up in the election campaign, Alaskans might never know who paid the bills.
If the signatures are not turned in, the money gathered from who-knows-where to Recall Dunleavy can go just about anyplace without Alaskans or the APOC having any idea where it was used.
Alaskans should be very, very wary of efforts to influence Alaska politics by anonymous backers whose identities are kept secret. Their names are being shielded for a reason. To reveal them would reveal much of what they are up and, apparently, they are up to no good.
Alaskans voted Dunleavy into office. If somebody wants to undo that election, he, she or they should be required to tell Alaskans who they are and what they are about. Skulking in the shadows does nothing to improve their legitimacy and not detailing the campaign’s revenue sources or where the money is being spent is an egregious affront to open elections. What they are doing now amounts to little more than a sneak attack.
When somebody sticks a signature booklet in front of you, stand up for transparency in politics and ask: Who or what is paying for this?
Then, judge for yourself.