Dunleavy: Recall campaign ‘not affecting how I do my job’

Gov. Mike Dunleavy listens to questions from a reporter on Tuesday, Jan. 21, in Juneau. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Listen to the full interview with Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Download here)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said on Tuesday that the campaign to recall him hasn’t changed how he does his job. But he said he has given the issue some thought.

Dunleavy said in an interview that he’s continuing to pursue the agenda he campaigned on, regardless of the recall campaign.

“It’s not affecting how I do my job,” Dunleavy said. “There’s no doubt that you have to give some thought to this effort, this action. But it’s not impacting the job; we still have to govern every day. We have to make decisions every day. So, no, we’re going to continue to do what’s best for Alaska.”

He said he thinks the Alaska Supreme Court will rule to end the recall campaign.

“We haven’t agreed with the concept of the recall from the get-go. We believe that the so-called breaches that were leveled against myself are unfounded, that they’re not supported by fact.”

A Superior Court judge in Anchorage issued an order Tuesday that temporarily halts the recall effort, but the Recall Dunleavy campaign filed a motion within a few hours asking the judge to reconsider his order.

Dunleavy said he’s open to working with the Legislature to solve much of the state’s long-term budget problem.

He’s planning a series of meetings around the state to discuss the budget.

“We want to hear from Alaskans: What are the services and programs they value; what is their position on resource development, as well; and how do they want to pay for government going forward?” Dunleavy said.

That’s if, the governor added, Alaskans want more government services than the state currently has revenue to pay for.

Dunleavy said he wants any major changes to taxes or permanent fund dividends to follow constitutional amendments he’s proposed that would require public votes on changes.

One potential way to pay for the budget is to permanently lower the amount of permanent fund dividends. Some legislators have discussed setting dividends at a quarter of the annual draw from permanent fund earnings. Dunleavy didn’t directly say he’d veto such a bill, but he was skeptical.

“That’s a tough one for me to believe, that the people of Alaska would support that. So I would be very hesitant,” he said. “That’s a hypothetical … but no, I don’t think government should be taking any more than the people of Alaska.”

The governor said he’ll meet with legislative leaders as frequently as possible.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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