And early this week, Palin credited these same pesky bloggers with spreading lies that led to the defeat of her nominee for Attorney General. To illustrate her point, she once again failed to cite the lie she believed we had created.
What we have done, though, must annoy her. We have challenged her to the point that she can no longer claim the mantle she once wore as an "ethics reformer."
Between Palin's initial complaint and this week, Alaska bloggers have helped stir interest in the food and fuel crisis in villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, watched over her administration's role in the North Pacific Management Council's Bering Sea Chinook Salmon Bycatch deliberations, filed ethics complaints against the governor, and played a key role in the defeat of Wayne Anthony Ross, her nominee for Alaska Attorney General.
In January, Palin told Esquire Magazine that, "Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me." At the same time, Alaska bloggers were attempting to send reporter Dennis Zaki to Emmonak on the lower Yukon, to bring back information, and to help organize assistance in that community and dozens of others.
In February, Alaska's progressive bloggers monitored Palin's trip to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta with Televangelist Franklin Graham and Alaska's most prominent homophobe, Anchorage Baptist minister, Jerry Prevo, where they handed out cookies, bibles and blankets. When Palin came back from the trip, suggesting rural Alaska Natives be moved to "cluster villages," Alaska bloggers called it for what it was - patronizing misunderstanding at best, not-so-subtle racism at worst.
In February, we also assisted keeping the record straight about Wasilla resident Frank Gwartney's success in getting the Palin's to return almost $10,000.00 in illegal travel expenses the Palins had bilked from Alaskans.
In March, one of our progressive bloggers, Linda Kellen, filed an ethics complaint, based on the Governor wearing Arctic Cat gear that had been part of a promotional package to her husband from the company, at the same time she was officially opening the state's biggest snowmobile race. The overall package with the Palins has been lucrative to them, but far more beneficial to Arctic Cat, the sports product maker.
In late March, through the second half of April, Alaska bloggers were instrumental in the fight to defeat Wayne Anthony Ross for Attorney General. We knew we were a key part of the battle, but were surprised when she promoted us to her chief foes in the WAR battle.
Most of the serious progressive Alaska bloggers were fairly benign toward Palin until she was nominated as John McCain's running mate. That nomination changed her. And it changed us. Here's how Alaska's leading progressive commentator Shannyn Moore described our coalition and battles, so far:
Feeling like an endangered species, Alaska progressives are tight. The Alaska Bloggers are tighter. Right after the nomination of Sarah Palin for VP, Wasilla blogger, musician, professor, and all around renaissance man, Phil Munger, threw a party at his home-the first of many. Secrecies were sworn; we were not alone in front of our computers-we had each other; Mudflats, Immoral Minority, Writing Raven, Celtic Diva, Progressive Alaska, Alaska Report, What Do I Know, and myself, Just a Girl From Homer. Documentary crews interviewed us and protected anonymous identities at the time.
What we were going up against was so much bigger than any one of us. We’d email or call each other daily. We’d comment on each other’s blogs. We shared a community and a desire to make Alaska better. We told each other when we were wrong.
As a group, we’re like herding cats. But Sarah Palin is right; we made a difference.
Yesterday, another Alaska progressive, Sondra Tompkins, filed an ethics complaint against Palin. The number of complaints so far against the Governor is now twelve, including one she filed against herself, in an attempt to derail a legislative investigation into her ethics. Here's a summary of Tompkins' complaint:
“An ethics complaint against Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be filed this afternoon asserting that Palin’s involvement with SarahPAC constitutes “outside employment” and “misuse of official position.” Anchorage resident Sondra Tompkins, child disability advocate and mother of a special needs child, is filing the complaint after observing Governor Palin repeatedly display “a pattern of unethical behavior.” Sondra believes that the tipping point for her was Sarah Palin’s most recent abdication of her role as Governor and apparent conflict-of-interest when she spoke at two outside events in Indiana rather than work with the Alaska Legislature during the most critical time, the end of the session.
The complaint alleges:
a) Governor Palin has entered into a contract outside of her official duties with the donors, employees, partners and any or all other participants involved in Sarah PAC.
b) The recent partisan trip to Indiana by the Governor was purely to benefit personal interests, had no benefit for the State of Alaska and was in direct conflict with her official duties.
c) The Governor left the State to participate in these events during the most critical end-of-session Legislative activities, at a time where the legislators themselves are not permitted to leave.
Late yesterday, Palin issued a statement on the complaint:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 09-95
Latest Ethics Complaint Deemed Outrageous April 22, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – The Office of the Governor today expressed outrage that yet another baseless ethics complaint has been filed as part of an alarming new development in Alaska politics.
“In the past several months, we have seen an orchestrated effort by the governor’s opponents to make differences of opinion and ideology almost criminal,” said Mike Nizich, the governor’s chief of staff. “Governor Palin has spent a considerable amount of time and money fighting ethics complaints – and no charge has been substantiated. I hope that the publicity-seekers will face a backlash from Alaskans who have a sense of fair play and proportion. I served six previous governors, and I’ve never seen anything like the attacks against Governor Palin.”
The latest ethics complaint against the governor alleges that she entered into a “contract” outside of her official duties in regard to a political action committee and that her recent trip to Indiana also conflicted with those duties.
“These allegations are categorically false and ridiculous, and are an abuse of the Executive Ethics Act,” Nizich said.
“We are blessed to live in a democracy in which everyone has the right to free speech, to petition their lawmakers, to vote, to run for office and, yes, to allege misconduct by public officials,” said Bill McAllister, the governor’s communications director. “But obviously the purpose of this complaint and the previous ones is to distract the administration and the public, and to paralyze the Department of Law and the executive branch.
Wow! The Governor thinks that this ragtag group of pathetic, annoying bloggers want to "paralyze the Department of Law and the executive branch." And I only thought we were trying to report on the unreported and seek transparency in government.
Meanwhile, Alaska's pathetic bloggers are covering ComFish 2009 in Kodiak, where, Thursday evening, ex-Sen. Ted Stevens will give his first speech since electoral defeat, conviction and dismissal of charges. He'll be addressing the largely Japanese, Norwegian, Korean and Seattle-based factory fishing ship fleet owners he enriched through control of a combination of earmarks and possession of seats on the rule-making North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.
Flying down to Kodiak, at state expense, will be Sarah and Todd Palin.