Friday, November 22, 2013

Alaska: State set to decide on whether Rep. Lindsey Holmes recall can go forward

The attempt to recall Alaska Rep. Lindsey Holmes (who flipped parties from Democrat to Republican after winning her fourth term) is now being reviewed by the state to see if it meets the malfeasance standard. Petitioners handed in more than 1000 signatures -- they need 808. If certified, they then have to get 2,020 signatures to get on the ballot (25% of turnout).

The article notes past attempts to recall Alaska officials (there has never been a state-level recall in Alaska). Former Senate President Ben Stevens in 2005, Rep. Kyle Johansen, who walked out of the Republican caucus (and gave up his Majority Leader position) during a dispute. Stevens didn't run for reelection and Johansen got slaughtered in his reelection bid.

Apparently, petitions were approved for a recall of Senator Scott Ogan (a Republican) in 2004, who resigned before anything happened. Ogan was accused of using his legislative position to assist a company that employed him as a consultant.

In US History, only one state legislative recall has occurred in a "judicial recall" or malfeasance standard state -- that recall was in 1981, Washington State Senator Peter Von Reichbauer. Von Reichbauer (who won the vote) also went from a D to an R, which flipped control of the chamber. I researched the recall and while there was an administrative dispute on whether the recall should be allowed, there didn't appear to be a lawsuit.

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