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Kyle Johansen recall, Alaska (2011)

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An effort to recall Kyle Johansen, a Republican, from his elected position as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives was launched in February 2011.[1]

The Alaska Division of Elections rejected the recall application against him on October 10, 2011. While organizers were able to collect 60 more signatures than were required, the DOE said they presented insufficient legal grounds.[2]

If Johansen was recalled, he would have been the first Alaskan state legislator to be recalled. If a legislator is recalled in Alaska, the governor would appoint a replacement, subject to confirmation by the Alaska State Legislature.

Recall supporters

  • The recall effort was led by Dick Coose. He said that what sparked the recall effort was Johansen resigning from his leadership position in the Alaska House: "Nobody understands the logic for making the decision he made. It hit a nerve, and I don't think that nerve is healing up."
  • Laura Antonsen, past president of the First City Republican Women's Club, supported the recall.

Wasilla meeting

Johansen gave up his leadership position in the state house subsequent to events that occurred at a November 2010 organizational meeting of the state house Republican caucus at the Lake Lucille Inn in Wasilla.

Charisse Millett expected to be named chair of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. However, she was not, and when she was not, she walked out of the meeting.

The next day, Johansen proposed that he would give up his position as majority leader if Millett was given a seat on the Finance Committee. However, the Republican caucus declined to go along with this proposal and then Johansen, too, walked out of the meeting.

In January, Johansen and Millett tried to rejoin the majority caucus, but were not supported by the caucus to do this.

Johansen's views

Johansen told residents of his state house district that the reason he left the caucus was because he didn't like the direction it was taking.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Alaska
  • Recall organizers could not officially start a recall effort until Johansen's new term was at least 120 days old, which occurred in May 2011.
  • Elected officials can be recalled for lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption.
  • Signatures from 10% of District 1 residents who voted in the state legislative election on November 2, 2010 had to be collected to force a special recall election.
  • This initial set of signatures had to include a reason for the recall.
  • If the reason was judged to be sufficient, organizers must then collect a second set of signatures, equal to 25% of District 1 residents who voted in the state legislative election on November 2, 2010.

Signatures submitted

On August 26, 2011, recall sponsors submitted 594 signatures and an application for recall to the Alaska Division of Elections - 531 valid signatures are necessary to move the recall along.[3][4]

Application rejected

The Alaska Division of Elections rejected the recall petition on October 10, 2011, stating that Johansen's actions were not sufficient to qualify as "incompetence" or "neglect of duties" as necessary under state recall law. Although rejected, recall sponsors do have 30 days in which to appeal the decision.[5]

Following the decision recall leader and head of the Ketchikan Republican Party Dick Coose stated, "We're disappointed and I personally disagree. These are things the representative did on his own for his own personal reasons and it had an effect on this district. He was elected by us and he is responsible to us ... He broke a trust."[6]

See also

References