One of the Republican state Senators targeted by a recall is raising questions about the timeline for collecting petition signatures.
Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) argues groups collecting recall petitions are being given an extra day to finish their work. The recalls against the governor, lieutenant governor, and four Senate Republicans were launched on November 15th. Counting out from there, Fitzgerald says Friday, January 13th would bring them to the 60 day mark and petitions should be due.
However, the timeline set up by the Government Accountability Board when the recalls began and supported by a memo from the Department of Justice indicates the final day to collect signatures is Saturday, January 14th. Fitzgerald says that gives recall groups 61 days.
Fitzgerald has filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board, which asks the agency to either order the petitions to be turned in by the end of today, or to strike signatures gathered on November 15th or January 14th. If the agency does not, Fitzgerald says he is ready to take the issue to court.
Recall committee attorney Jeremy Levinson dismissed Fitzgerald’s argument, noting the timeline has been clear from the start and has been used by the GAB, DOJ, and even in legal challenges brought by Republicans and Governor Scott Walker’s campaign. Levinson called the complaint “pure circus, and nothing more.”
While the GAB says recall groups have until Saturday to collect signatures, the petitions are not going to be turned in until January 17th. That’s because the first business day after the end of the signature gathering phase is Tuesday, due to the weekend and Martin Luther King holiday.
: Andrew Beckett reports (:57)