Palin Ignores Mosquitoes at Her Peril.

11 11 2008

Turns out there was just too much in that little 9 1/2 minute interview to cover in one day. This is installment #4 in picking apart Sarah Palin’s interview by the Daily News and KTUU in her Wasilla home on Sunday.

I found this particular question to be quite fascinating…probably because I was involved personally in the incidents discussed. I covered extensively the protest rallies in Anchorage that occured while Palin was on the campaign trail. I’ll recap, just to clarify:

1) Alaska Women Reject Palin – This rally happened at the Loussac Library and had about 1500 attendees, mostly women. Nobody had ever seen anything like this. Anchorage rallies usually manage to round up a couple dozen people…if they’re lucky. This was epic. There was a sea of homemade signs slamming her positions on reproductive rights, aerial wolf hunting, troopergate, global warming and croneyism. Anyone at that rally knew that something had awakened in the Alaskan people, that had resulted in something unexpected – an engaged citizenry.

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2) Alaskans for Truth Rally – This rally happened at the Park Strip in downtown Anchorage, and had approximately 1800 attendees. The focus of this rally was to hold our Governor accountable for her actions, and to demand the immediate resignation of Alaska State Attorney General, Talis Colberg. Colberg advised state employees that they could disregard legislative subpoenas, and they did. Sarah Palin had promised to cooperate with the Legislative investigation, and she didn’t. The organizers were wondering if that first rally was an anomaly. They wondered if they could pull off a repeat. They did, and more. Speakers included local activists, progressive media, Republicans, representatives of the Native community and the Alaska State Troopers, and even Walt Monegan’s mom. The other purpose of this rally was to show support for former Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan, independent investigator Stephen Branchflower, and State Senator Hollis French, all of whom had been mercilessly and unfairly slandered in the media by Palin and her mouthpiece, Meg Stapleton.

This rally got much more media coverage than the first one, and resulted in Mudflats having its busiest day ever, with more than 1/3 of a million hits in 24 hours. It was covered by the Anchorage Daily News, CBS, national blogs, local blogs and all local TV stations. The national coverage was not massive, but it was significant, and it’s doubtful that this went unnoticed by Palin, and it certainly didn’t go unnoticed by her staff still in Alaska.

So, yes….I was curious to see how Palin would answer this question.

Q. Governor, were you aware that during the campaign there were some large protests in Anchorage against your candidacy, as well as your handling of the Walt Monegan issue? What do you think about that and what can you do to bring those people back?

Palin: To bring those people back in terms of…..and I wasn’t aware of the protests ’til like after they happened. I’d hear about it. A friend emailed me or somethin’ sayin’ there were placards out there saying whatever they’d say. (waves hand dismissively) I think that’s the nature of a a national level campaign also some you know they evidence of that the opposition to our ticket on the national level that that’s going to be expressed here on the local level too.

The thing that really got me was the hand wave. She brushed us away like a mosquito. An annoyance. Not worthy of even breaking out the flyswatter. I hope this will be Palin’s big mistake. She underestimates those who have defected. Her approval ratings went from over 90% when she was first elected, to about 60% now. When one third of your supporters turn, it can make life difficult, especially when that 30% is angry, riled up, and out to change things.

An interesting thing has happened during this election, especially for progressives. All of a sudden, we feel like we’ve made a difference. We feel like we’ve taken our country back from the brink of something that no longer looked like the America we learned about in grade school. We have ushered in to office, the first African American president, who is a northerner, an educated, literate man with progressive ideals, and we’ve done it $5 or $25, or $100 at a time. We’ve seen a grassroots movement that actually shaped not only the future of our nation, but the future of the world. It feels pretty good.

My hunch is that this feeling is not going to help the likes of Sarah Palin. Why? Because people feel empowered to make change. I don’t know if Alaskans will sit idly by while our Governor charges the state per diem to sleep in her house, or charges the state for her children’s one way tickets and fancy hotel rooms, or while political appointments are based on religious idealogy and/or presence in the Wasilla High School year book. I don’t know if we’ll be willing to swallow an administration that fires people and sullies their reputations because of a personal vendetta. I don’t know if Alaskans will forget the “other” Sarah Palin who incited cries of “Kill him!” when she said that our President Elect was “palling around with terrorists.” I don’t know that Alaskans were able to deposit their permanent fund checks, and their energy rebate checks this year, and square that with watching our Governor sling accusations of “socialism” like it was a four letter word, and “spreading the wealth” like it was a moral crime.

Who knows. Maybe I’m wrong. Alaskans have surprised me before….like when they voted en masse for a convicted felon.

But anyone who lives here, does not underestimate the power of a mosquito. There’s a joke that the mosquito is the Alaska State Bird. And when you get a whole lot of them agitated and looking for blood, you can definitely affect some kind of change in behavior. I’ve seen a giant bull moose standing in water up to its nostrils just to get relief from big black clouds of those pesky little creatures. So why not a state government?

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Alaska Republicans vs. Gandhi

3 10 2008

“First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you. Then you win.” So said, Mahatma Gandhi. How can it not make a person chuckle when the McCain-Palin crew makes you think of Gandhi?

There’s no doubt that the Alaska Republican Party is not amused by the massive anti-Palin rallies that have been taking place here in the great city of Anchorage. The “Hold Palin Accountable” rally, which drew a crowd of about 1800 was the largest in Alaska history. It broke the record set two weeks earlier by 1500 who assembled at the “Alaska Women Reject Palin” rally. What was the third biggest? No one even remembers.

And then there was the delivery of the petition to remove Attorney General Talis Colberg from office for telling state employees to ignore subpoenas, and furthering the stonewalling of the ethics investigation known as “Troopergate” which looks into Palin’s alleged abuse of power.

They ignored the first rally, but they couldn’t ignore the second one, or the petition, which garnered much more media attention.

The second rally was dismissed by McCain-Palin as being a “pro Obama rally and nothing more,” or so said Meg Stapleton. Stapleton, Palin’s mouthpiece, and member of the “Truth Squad” was the subject of several of the scathing signs present at last week’s rally. She is now reviled by many Alaskans for slandering respected public figures who have dared to speak truth to power regarding Palin’s ethics investigation.

So, (counting on fingers)…that’s ignoring, and then mocking….what’s next? Ah…now they fight you.

Well guess what landed in my inbox last night? A plea from the Alaska Republican party! Please enjoy the email in its entirety:

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Alaskans Call to Action

3 Ways to Show Your Support for Governor Palin!

Thank you for supporting the McCain-Palin ticket. Right now, we are calling upon all Alaskans to help in three simple ways.

  • 1. Sign our petition in support of Governor Palin. Barack Obama‘s operatives have attempted to smear and politically damage our Governor. Please print, sign and fax in the petition below to show your support. We need as many signatures as possible to put a stop to this politically motivated injustice.
  • 2. Join us for a McCain-Palin Victory 2008 vice presidential “debate watching” party at our Alaska Headquarters tonight, October 2nd, as Governor Palin and Senator Biden debate in St. Louis! The debate starts at 5:00 PM, so the party will start at 4:30 PM at our Anchorage Headquarters (307 East Northern Lights Blvd.). Don’t miss this important and historic opportunity to show your support for our Governor!
  • 3. Join us for a McCain-Palin Victory 2008 rally to “Support Governor Palin” this Saturday, October 4th! It will take place at the Anchorage Christian School Gymnasium (6401 E. Northern Lights Blvd, at the corner of Northern Lights and Baxter Rd) at 1:00 PM. All are encouraged to attend.

This is your call to action, and please forward it to friends. Please help us show Alaska’s support for Governor Palin to the nation and world. Thank you.

Petition in Support of Governor Palin:

Please print, sign, and fax to the Alaska Republican Party at (907)276-0425.

We the undersigned voters of Alaska, herby [sic] call for an immediate end to the Obama operative led inquiry in the Alaska Legislature, whose sole purpose has been to smear and politically damage Governor Sarah Palin. The Legislative Council’s Walt Monegan investigation has been hijacked by Obama supporters and as a result no longer has the support of its own committee. We urge our elected officials to stand up and put an immediate end to this political circus that is wasting countless taxpayer dollars and tarnishing the fair reputation of the great state of Alaska.

Print Name: ______________________

Signed:__________________________

No fax machine? You can also drop off your signed petition at one of the following places:

McCain-Palin/Victory 2008 Alaska Headquarters
307 East Northern Lights Blvd.
Anchorage, AK 99503

Alaska Republican Party Headquarters
1001 West Fireweed Lane
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

************************************************************************

I just can’t stop smiling. I’m not sure how many people will show up at the Anchorage Christian School Gymnasium for the Pro-Palin rally, or why they have scheduled it at exactly the same time and day as the Alaska statewide Obama rally, which may break a record again. I also don’t know where these petitions are going to end up, or what they are actuallly asking for. But I am proud of them for providing the high-tech “fax it in” option for those who can’t drive to the Republican Party headquarters to submit them in person. Soon they will have mastered the spell check on their email, and it surely can’t be much longer after that before they master the free online petition.

And as for “tarnishing the reputation of the great state of Alaska”? I think Alaska politicians are doing a fine job of that without the help of “Obama operatives”. I wonder what conservative Republican Wasilla resident and State Senate President Lyda Green will think when she finds out she is an Obama operative? How about right wing radio pundit and columnist Dan Fagan? I wouldn’t want to be in THAT room!

OK….(fingers again)….that’s ignore, mock, fight… There’s only one left.





Brutus Speaks! Palin’s Reaction to Alaskans for Truth Rally.

29 09 2008

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Sunday, organizers and rally-goers were basking in the afterglow of the “Hold Palin Accountable” rally. The rally got front page coverage in the Anchorage Daily News, and was featured on local and national broadcast news. It was also picked up by newspapers across the country. This was a big step up from the coverage of the last anti-Palin rally. We are being heard.

Shortly after the rally, we heard the official response from Sarah Palin, via Meg Stapleton. For a little background, Stapleton was a former news anchor at KTUU, Alaska’s most widely viewed news station. She has at various times also been Palin’s press secretery , and special assistant. She was offered and accepted a position as mouthpiece for the McCain-Palin campaign in August. People used to like Meg Stapleton, the way you do news anchors and assistants to popular governors.

Since Stapleton’s faustian bargain with the McCain campaign, she has been the smirking, smearing, condescending, fib-telling face of the “Truth Squad.” The very name of the Squad is Orwellian, and so is Stapleton. She keeps saying, “2+2=5”, and expecting the world to believe it. Not only has the Truth Squad been dishonest, but they have systematically and surgically attacked well-respected public servants, for doing their jobs with integrity and the best interest of Alaskans at heart.

Here’s a good summary from The Anchorage Press (9/25/08)

“Today, we reiterate and emphasize the ongoing cooperation in the truly independent investigation involving the only legal forum in the state for the Monegan inquiry,” Stapleton said Monday. “As you know, that is the Personnel Board.”

Except that we don’t know that. And that was never asserted prior to Palin’s August 29 selection by McCain as his running mate.

And that’s not the least of the inaccuracies and inconsistencies being peddled by Stapleton and O’Callaghan.

When Stapleton alleged that Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage) decided not to subpoena Palin’s former chief of staff Mike Tibbles, KTUU’s Jason Moore pointed out that it was actually Fairbanks Republican Representative Jay Ramras that requested Tibbles not be subpoenaed. Following that report on KTUU, according to TPMMuckraker.com, Stapleton called Moore’s wife and told her that Moore was calling Stapleton and O’Callaghan liars, then followed up by calling KTUU news director Steve Mac Donald to complain.

In trying to paint Commissioner Monegan as a rogue, the Truthers alleged that Monegan had sought to go to Washington, D.C. in July to seek federal funds to fight sexual violence in Alaska without the administration’s approval (the campaign called this “the final straw”). However, ABC News unearthed the travel authorization—signed by Palin’s chief of staff Mike Nizich—authorizing Monegan to go to Washington to attend a meeting with Senator Lisa Murkowski.”

OK, now we’re ready for the official response from Meg Stapleton about the rally that saw more than 1500 people converge in a downtown Anchorage Park. It is conveniently color coded for you in a lovely shade of muck…just to beat the point to death.

“Clearly this was an Obama rally and nothing else. The rally proves the point of partisanship which the Governor has been trying to remove from the investigation in an effort to get a fair and just result.

The Governor remains an open book and is fully cooperating with the non-partisan Personnel Board and its independent investigator, which are statutorily authorized to conduct an investigation.

As you no doubt noticed the personal attacks at this rally, it is unfortunate that while we discuss the Governor and her record, the Obama campaign is resorting to personally attacking those who will continue to stand with the Governor and Alaskans and against personal smears.”

Now you know why several people at the rally had signs directed squarely at Meg Stapleton. When Alaskans start quoting Julius Caesar’s “Et tu, Brute?” (Even you Brutus?) you realize the extent to which she is seen as the ultimate betrayer.

Strangely, the last time Meg Stapleton got national media attention was during her days at KTUU when a story she was filming made it to Jay Leno. While she was reporting a human interest story, at Christmas time, she knelt down by one of Santa’s reindeer. It got spooked and literally ran her over. Sometimes animals have pretty amazing instincts.






“Alaskans for Truth” are Hopping MAD!

24 09 2008

Shhh. Those of you in the Lower 48 (+Hawaii)…be verrrry quiet…. Hear that? You may just be able to make out the sound of a whole lot of Alaskans throwing open their windows, leaning out, and yelling, “WE’RE MAD AS HELL! AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!” (Remember that movie?)

Who’s yelling? Progressive talk show hosts and Conservative talk show hosts, Democrats and Republicans, Indpendents and Non-Partisans, Libertarians and Librarians, Lawyers and Teachers, Politicians and Political Junkies, Hockey Moms and State employees, Legislators from both sides of the aisle, and ….pretty much anyone up here who is paying attention. Those are the kind of people that always seem to gum up the works for those who try so hard to get away with things. We’re such an annoyance, us damn attention-payers…

This contingent of strange political bedfellows have just about had it with Sarah Palin, John McCain and the shenanigans they are pulling with our state government, specifically the department of law. They’re also sick of watching the insidious influence of nasty national politics (in the form of McCain lawyer Ed O’Callaghan) turning once respected local journalists like former KTUU reporter, now Palin mouthpiece, Megan Stapleton into vicious attack wolves who seem to have no qualms about sinking their teeth into the necks of revered public servants and giving them a good shake. To quote a certain presidential candidate, “ENOUGH!”

So what’s an angry mob to do? There have been letters to the editor, opinion pieces in the Daily News, open letters from Legislators, ceaseless clacking on the keyboards of inflamed bloggers, talk show hosts that sound like they’re going to have cardiac arrest…but it just didn’t feel like enough. People kept asking, what can we DO??

Enter “Alaskans for Truth”, a grassroots organization that has come together to give Alaskans a venue to come and vent. Sometimes there’s just nothing like torches and pitchforks signs and bullhorns. A major rally is being organized that will take place on Anchorage’s Park Strip, a downtown park with plenty of grass and plenty of visibility. Guest speakers are planned.

So, if you are in Anchorage, or within driving distance of Anchorage, mark your calendar, make your sign, bring your friends, and bring some good ol’ moral outrage.

Here’s the official press release:

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Hold Palin Accountable Rally

Saturday, September 27th, Noon – 2:00 pm

Downtown Park Strip between I and L Streets, and 9th and 10th.

Main Stage at the Veterans’ Memorial, east end of the park.

Join your Alaskan neighbors in demanding that:

  • Gov. Palin uphold her promise to us for an “open, honest & transparent” government.
  • Gov. Palin uphold her promise to us to cooperate fully with the independent investigation as initiated by the bi-partisan Legislative Council.

We, the People of Alaska, also

  • Demand the immediate resignation of Attorney General Talis Colberg.
  • Demand the McCain campaign immediately remove itself and its influence from our state and local government.
  • Demand the McCain Campaign ends its attorney, Ed O’Callahan’s unlawful intrusion into our Department of Law.