In 1994, Scott Ogan, Beverly Masek and Vic Kohring won seats in the state legislature. Coming in on the Newt Gingrich-led "Contract
Kohring inspired Palin. I listened to him describe how he hoped to convince her to run for mayor. He helped craft her campaign. It was the most dishonest municipal campaign I can ever remember witnessing. She dismissed Stein as part of a corrupt "good ol' boys network." A whispering campaign about John's wife and alleged Jewish heritage was conducted with full knowledge of Palin.
After Palin beat Stein, she not only took full credit for many reforms and improvements Stein had either implemented or begun planning for, she continued to denigrate his accomplishments. She began using terms only Masek and Kohring were using, when describing civil functions. For instance, other than Masek and Kohring, Palin was the only local public official to go around describing public schools as "government schools," in a scornful, dismissive tone.
Masek, her former mentor, is facing prison. Kohring, her former mentor and advisor, is in prison. Stein, the person she abandoned, and so dishonestly treated, has gone on to lead a very successful career as one of Alaska's most honored administrators.
After her two terms as Wasilla mayor, Palin claimed to have reined in more "corrupt" people - like Randy Reudrich, for instance. However, Reudrich is still - as he was when Palin lied about how she dealt with him - the state chair of the political party she represents. She openly cooperated with him several times during the fall presidential campaign.
Palin has recently been forced to return more money to the state of Alaska that she illegally took, than Vic Kohring is serving his time for having gotten from Bill Allen.
She was forced to do that a a result of an ethics complaint.
To compare Linda Kellen to Anne Kilkenny may be a stretch. I know Linda very well, but have only known her for about two years. I've known Anne for 20 years, but we barely know each other.
I've worked with Linda on several projects, though not on this complaint. I'm a member of the Alaska Press Club Board, but missed the meeting at which the decisions about Anne were made that have come under criticism this week.
Linda is being criticized for having complained about Palin's self-serving conduct at the start of the 2009 Iron Dog race. Anne isn't being criticized, but the Press Club's elevation of her to an honor, is. Kilkenny was, after all, a runner-up, and awards are seldom given to runners-up (unless they are powerful, vindictive people).
I probably would have voted to honor Anne the way she is being honored. Although I don't think I would have joined Linda in this particular complaint, had she asked me to, I'm not sure. I do believe Linda's complaint is fully justified. How best to honor Anne is perhaps another matter.
The Anchorage Press' BJ Kelley is working on a feature for Thursday's edition that appears to be, from the questions he is asking, a fairly critical view of the AKPC's decision. Club president John Creed has detailed his reasoning, and Club vice president Rhonda McBride, has written an op-ed that comes down against the Kilkenny decision.
Kelley and others have raised an interesting point - was Andrew Halcro considered for this award? I don't remember. Whatever, the First Amendment award is being given to a very deserving couple.
Andrew is certainly deserving of an award of some sort. As Kelley observed in an email late yesterday, "I submitted a name (Andrew Halcro's, for breaking Troopergate on his blog) in early December to [name deleted by PA] when she asked if we at the Press had suggestions for potential candidates."
My view is that had the Anchorage Daily News, KTUU-TV, the Frontiersman, KMBQ-FM, APRN and others fully covered Palin between 1996 and 2004, there would be no controversy over an award to Anne Kilkenny, or about Linda Kellen's valid complaint. And Andrew Halcro might be Governor of Alaska.
Palin is the most polarizing figure in Alaska history. The two distinguished Alaskans she got to write an ethics white paper in early 2007, Wev Shea and Ethan Berkowitz, have come down on opposite sides recently, on issues relating to Palin's ability to do her job, or to understand what the term "ethics" means.
Sarah Palin's divisiveness and attractiveness, in combination, are certainly historical too. Here's Glenn Beck, this afternoon, fawning over her, as he and a FOXblonde take on Celtic Diva:
image - Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis