Saturday, May 30, 2009

At Saturday's Wasilla Teabagger Picnic - Updated

Dennis Zaki and I were at Wasilla Wonderland Park this afternoon.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and family came, but, apparently, the governor didn't even get out of her silver-grey SUV. Todd and Piper did, as a Palin staffer came up to the car and talked to somebody in the rear seat.
Then they left.

At the time, Dennis was covering one side of the park, and I was on the other.
I'd been tipped off that the governor would be there briefly. We couldn't find anyone attending who had actually seen her. Eddie Burke, who was there when Palin visited, didn't see her. Weird, huh?

Additionally, both Alaska Sen. Charlie Huggins and Alaska Sen.
Linda Menard had been asked to speak, but didn't. Sen. Huggins hung around for about a half hour. When Sen. Menard got there, Charlie and his wife were starting into the parking lot, on their way out. Charlie spoke with Linda for a while, and left. Linda walked into the event area, spoke to about three or four people, and snuck out a side entrance. She was probably inside the event area for less than six or seven minutes.

I did two head counts, one at 2:30, one at 3:30. The first indicated about 185 people, the second, 225. This was a very poor showing.
It wasn't raining at all, and was sometimes sunny.

Representatives Bill Stolze, Wes Keller and Carl Gatto all spoke to the "crowd."
They all spouted teabagger talking points. The most truth challenged of the three was Stolze, who claimed that Obama's current FY budget contains more debt - or funds (he changed his take as he repeated the false mantra) - than all the Federal budgets in the history of the United States, strung end-on-end. Do these people actually believe that? They seemed to, by their applause and hypnotically induced arm waving, back and forth.

There were no evident Asian, Native or African Americans there. When one young skateboarder of color skated through, hundreds of sneering eyes followed his brave journey.

With Dennis, I interviewed Eddie Burke for about ten minutes on the teabaggers, John Ziegler, Jerry Prevo, equal rights, and other issues.
Dennis is pretty busy, so we'll see how long it takes for him to put something together.

Here are some pictures:

The event stand
Anti New World Order coat (where were they during the Bush years?)
Rep. Stolze
Rep. Gatto
Rep. Keller
Sen. Huggins - probably advising Sen. Menard the place was full of nutcases
Eddie Burke
Updated - Sunday 10:30 a.m: In the above post I described the scene around the silverish-grey SUV in which the Palins were sitting, in the northernmost Wasilla Wonderland parking lot. That description - of Todd and Piper outside the car, while another person appeared to be speaking to somebody in the back seat, was my own description, from what I saw of the Palins.

I was looking for Dennis Zaki's truck at the time. He had 3-ring binder for me, from Ray Metcalfe, in the truck. So I didn't focus on them directly, expecting the Palins to emerge from the vehicle and come into the park. A minute later I realized that the Palins' vehicle was leaving the parking lot. It headed then toward the main parking lot, but then drove by, leaving the scene for Glennallen.
all images - Progressive Alaska


EyeOnYou said...

Sarah didn't get out and mingle with those like minded folks? Shocking I tell you ... shocking. Of course it did not stop her from twittering about it making sure she let everyone know she was there.

Met w American Freedom Day Rally coordinators at Iditapark in Wasilla. Strong Patriots who love America. They throw good tea parties, too.about 7 hours ago from web It's all about her ability to use this as propaganda. She will make use of any situation in order to appear like she cares about those “little people”.

HistoryGoddess said...

I enjoyed listening to your radio interview. Great conversation and some excellent points were made. One of your funniest lines was being "saved by Jerry Falwell."

AKPetMom said...

I parked and went to the bathroom and then wandered around for a bit but felt like the "granola hippy girl" at the conservative party.

I looked for Phil and Dennis but perhaps I was there to early. I was desperately seeking likeminded people, but alas, there were none to be found.

However, just like the Ziegler affair in Anchorage, very few people seemed to be in attendance.

I just feel like a fish out of water when around such staunch conservatives and I applaud you Phil for seeming to be comfortable and nonjudgemental in any circumstance. My husband and I spoke last night about how you seem to remain so impartial both in your actions and your writing and we are both so impressed....well, mostly me because this political stuff stirs me up to no end. My hubby, he's more like you; live and let live and don't be a "knee jerk" judge until you get to know the person.

At any rate, thanks for going into the "lion's den" for me...

Philip Munger said...



I'm sure there are lots of folks who would disagree on your feelings that I'm impartial. Me included, to a certain extent. But I'm realizing more and more, that a lot of people who are basically good-at-heart are attending these very creepy events. I didn't exactly go around trying to convert people, and I agree with about 5% of what the teabaggers tout as their platform. The whole ball of wax is dangerously fascist, though.

Dennis Zaki said...

A few of those teabaggers freaked me out. I think some of them had their hoods in their pockets just in case the occasion arose. Too bad Palin bailed, the organizer said "she is with us more than you know". I'll post some video later tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that guy with the jacket that says "Death to the New World Order" pretty much says it all for what must have been the mentality of the crowd there. Very scary. What is wrong with these people? Seriously?

I have to wonder what the educational level of someone like that is.

Anonymous said...

Phil and Dennis

Great job! Dennis, I agree with your comment about the "hood" thing. Wow! I'm guessing "low information" voters were in attendance and some were there for the free food???

AKPetMom said...

To both Phil and Dennis;
What I do appreciate about these events are the men who have given their hearts and souls and time to the American Military. I mean the old time military. I see these men in their 60's and older who gave their time in either Vietnam or even Korea and I feel the need to honor them for their service yet I feel that we don't see eye to eye on some issues.

That's what gets to me, I'd like to have the wherewithall to say "thanks" even if we don't agree on every political point and I think perhaps I should take time to say "thanks" to these men and not feel intimidated because their political culture is different than mine.

And you know what, sometimes you do meet people and become great friends with them and as a group you don't all agree and that does enrich your in point I'm good friends with the 30 year old "motorhead" that lives next door to me whom I've known since he was 13 years old. We don't talk politics and we don't talk religion. I know that we are probably not in agreement w/one or both of those topics, but we still coexist and help each other out when we need to depend on each other.

I'm a great relationship counselor and he's wonderful at fixing things so that's how we live. Sorry to meander on so much, but so many things happening in the world have made me question how I view other people and my environs.

AKMuckraker said...

Thanks for going, and reporting back Phil & Dennis! Sounds like the creepiness was up a notch from the one in Anchorage last month.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

The twit that the "twit" twitted earlier is gone!
"Met w American Freedom Day Rally coordinators at Iditapark in Wasilla. Strong Patriots who love America. They throw good tea parties, too."
Is that like shredding emails???

Anonymous said...

So is the one about her message on Colbert! Shredding twits or tweets or whatever! What a twit she is.

How can one twit and then have it deleted?

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

anon@10:40...Your right the "shout out" tweet is gone! Someone on mudflats yesterday said we should keep records of all the twits/er tweets!
I wonder if they are saved somewhere???
Or can just be "shredded"????
Gone, Poof????

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Twitter was having tech problems earlier:
Now this is from her twitter:
# Met w American Freedom Day Rally coordinators at Iditapark in Wasilla. Strong Patriots who love America. They throw good tea parties, too.about 11 hours ago from web
# Was also at press conf anouncing Operation Denali, a climbing team of real American heroes! Follow their progress @ 11 hours ago from web
# Just presented honored AKn Wayne Stackhouse w/long over-due Purple Heart for his service & sacrifice during Viet Nam war. Photos to come...about 12 hours ago from web
# Met w/Education Com. LeDoux to review progress on State Education Plan & to discuss next year's priorities. Appreciate his good work.about 13 hours ago from web
# Link to my op-ed explaining impacts of 1 aspect of Fed Stim Pkge, desire for local control & dvpmt opportunities. 23 hours ago from web
# More info on food safety training 1-87-SAFE-FOOD; PM May 29th from web
# State helps keep AK food sources safe by training 57 temp food handlers in safe cleaning & processing for Kodiak Crabfest.5:21 PM May 29th from web
# For more info on relevance of AK strategic global positioning, go to PM May 29th from web
# UN sanctions repeatedly fail to stop N. Korea’s dvpmt of nuclear weapons. Missile Defense Agency/AK's Ft. Greely must be funded to secure US4:42 PM May 29th from web
# Meeting with gasline team to progress new energy for AKns, energy independence for the nation. AGIA project is making great strides.12:32 PM May 29th from web
# DF&G Com. Lloyd & Rural Advisor Moller mtg w/Yukon River res re: upcoming salmon season. Wish I were w there, instead I'm inside Anch office12:04 PM May 29th from web
# Getting ready to tape shout-out for our awesome US troops serving overseas! Will be on ‘Colbert Report’ next month, broadcast from Iraq…11:12 AM May 29th from web
# Getting ready to go on Michael Dukes show now. Looking forward to talking to good folks in FBX...5:58 PM May 28th from web
so maybe it was twitter's fault afterall???
Well its saved here for posterity!

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Ok reading the "twit" and Phil's report, he says Dud and Piper came out briefly at the tea party. But her twit says she went to pick up Piper and Willow afterwords???
Is everyone being Palinized?????
Do you guys have video of Piper?
(yes please)
# I went north towards Glennallen, picked up Willow & Piper from camp. Gorgeous drive, new snow in hills but greenery reminds it's almost Juneabout 3 hours ago from web
# For photos of Purple Heart ceremony & Operation Denali events honoring America's heroes, go to 9 hours ago from web
# Met w American Freedom Day Rally coordinators at Iditapark in Wasilla. Strong Patriots who love America. They throw good tea parties, too.about 11 hours ago from web

Anonymous said...

Dull minds at work here, the education level is so low. If one of them would stop drinking the tap water and shut off the proganda news, and do research a lot more. Then their eyes will stay open and the truth will set them free. But no these comments 75% worth about Palin, get this straight Palin will never be recalled too much to write about, lost cause. New World Order is the shadow government, obama is a puppet serving Israel by military weapons and $30 billion to blow up Gaza and whomever they please, that means you too. Using your sons and daughters as cattle in a slaughter house to serve in their wars. Bailout money is pronzi scheme by the Federal Reserve. So get the real facts before you put down those who want to stand up and fight against the tryanny of the shadow government of the new world order: the elite rich.

RINETTE said...

After all the sexually loaded comments about teabagging, how could any conservative be seen with anything that calls itself teabagging? I lean right of center and I can't hang with my people because they are hanging and embarrassing themselves.

HistoryGoddess said...

I often feel as you do about differing politically, yet wanting to thank veterans and find areas of common interest with neighbors and those we work with. On the radio last night, Phil mentioned one of the strongest speakers at the picnic as being someone whose kids played on the same team as his kids. Those coaching/team relationships are strong. Families bond- for good or bad- over a season. Those types of small town/community relationships exist, and I think all of us struggle with that. We know the good and bad, and they know the same about us.

The photos could have been taken where I live, and most likely the crowd would have been larger. Almost all of these people I would have known for years. They are afraid...but aren't quite sure of what. I have neighbors who make comments such as "right out of Alinsky's playbook" and make references to Atlas Shrugged. I am pretty sure they haven't read these, especially when I ask who they thought John Gault was.

I think all of us are a bit afraid of the future. But, some of us don't have bumper stickers still on our rigs that say "My country- love it or leave it." This is a tough time for a lot of people. It is way more than just accepting the current administration, though. They also have to accept some truths about the last one. And, as long as their news only comes via Fox or hateful ministers or leaders who think nothing of spinning or tweeting a lie...

Signs of hope, though- our local paper (that had Obama's win on the back of the sports page) has run several articles on how the stimulus money is being used around here. Very positive articles. 'Course, the R's are taking credit, but who cares. Things are happening in a positive way. I will continue to love my neighbor, but watch and speak up for the good and respectfully call out the bad, regardless of party.

Anonymous said...

You should write a blog that does nothing but stalk Sarah's Tweets on Twitter 24.7

Anonymous said...

"Rumor Central: Big story still heading towards the S.S. Palin
A deal-breaker is heading toward the Palins. Can it be stopped? I don't think so. Will it topple the house of cards, all signs say yes. Stay tuned..."

Now there's some real journalism for you.

This is an example of what separates the bloggers from bona fide journalists.

Rob in Ca said...

A lot of people at the first round of tea party rallies were conscientious folks genuinely concerned about government spending and debt - and not particularly partisan about it.

You will see that the second and ongoing rounds, like the Wasilla event, tend to no longer include those people, because they were turned off by the rabid right wingers that coopted their movement (the same reason Palin stayed in her car, and those legislators left as soon as politely possible).Tea parties will turned further and further right, and get smaller and smaller, for the same reason that the Republican party is shrinking.

It will take a leader to guide the party out of this mess, and that leader is not likely to come out of the tea parties as they are now comprised.

HistoryGoddess said...

Rob- Very good observation regarding the changing makeup of the tea party attenders. On the April 15th rally in our most conservative area, the organizer made a big point that this was to be non-partisan and NOT an Obama bashing rally. I think the signs reflected that. Who ISN'T upset about our economy and an increasing debt? People differ as to the cause and the cure.

The most vocal members of the GOP have been chasing away those who truly want effective, fiscally conservative actions. Key word is effective. They are trying to rally people based on hate and fear, all under the umbrella of being "true Americans."

Sadly, any leader from the GOP who could attract me would have to be right now working with the current administration to help our state and country get out of this mess. I respect people who do what is right, not what is politically advantageous. I don't see that happening much, but I will say I have some local R's trying to work with our D governor for the good of our state. I make sure they know of my appreciation.

Ratfish said...

So why didn't she get out of her car, and then twittered to make it appear that she met with the party leaders?

Perhaps worried that it was a small crowd, it would paint her again with the AIP brush?

How very mavericky- if spineless.

mlaiuppa said...

So Sarah didn't get out of the car?

Not a big enough crowd or not enough TV cameras?

Anon 2 said...

Ratfish - Just an FYI... you can't believe everything Palin writes or says.

Anonymous said...

hopefully she is this smart: these nutjobs say crazy things. could be used against her in the future if there were pictures of her at the event and Zaki camera caught it. political calculation

hopefully she is that smart...hopefully...or she had to run an errand for lithium

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:02....hey ok??? lol...perhaps you should lay off the "spirits". You sound very very confused.

Anonymous said...

CANKLE alert!

the problem child said...

I can hardly wait for the conservative movement to be small enough to drown in a teapot.

onejrkitty said...

Phil, thanks to you and Dennis for having the courage to go there and report for us. I not only mean the courage to be around people like that, but the courage to stand there and listen to what was being said. You both must almost no gag reflex.

People like this remind me of one of the final scenes in the movie "Easy Rider"where Fonda, Hopper and Nicholson are shot by the red necks in the truck. I could not go to work the next day for being so upset. I was in San Francisco at the time---this was when the movie was first released--- and understood for the first time that, since I was a "beat" --this was before "hippies"---that those rednecks would murder me too, just as quickly and for as little reason.

Just seeing photos of Burke upsets me.

onejrkitty said...

Someone posted:
Rumor Central: Big story still heading towards the S.S. Palin
A deal-breaker is heading toward the Palins. Can it be stopped? I don't think so. Will it topple the house of cards, all signs say yes. Stay tuned..."

Now there's some real journalism for you.

This is an example of what separates the bloggers from bona fide journalists.


Never telegraph your punch. If you fail to land it, you really messed up and if you are serious about your "punch" it will have far more impact if not "telegraphed" first.

I also think that Rumor Central item has been up so long that it's time has come and gone a couple of times over. Nothing like promising a "surprise" and then having nothing to report.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

if you don't want to read it don't go there.
The iceberg is coming.
Take it or leave it. Whatever.
I'm sick of you bitchin' about it.

AKPetMom said...

Why can't we all just get over the "indoctrination" aspect and follow our common sense and our hearts?

That is my biggest question regarding religion and politics and other brainwashing attempts put forth through media channels in our modern culture.

COMMON SENSE. Most of us have it and the majority of us seem to disregard it because people that we "respect" tell us to think a certain way or act in a certain manner.

Let common sense prevail and we will have a more peaceful and coherent world. Free yourself from the chains of indoctrination and "follow the leader" and you will see the world as it is.

Granted, it takes the voice of the people to help stop some of the atrocities that are taking place under our noses but the spirit that guides you should be your own understanding and common sense, not a blind idea whispered in your ear by someone that thinks themselves an authority.

My word verification is "veersi" as in Verisimilitude, as in real, truthful, latin root "verum", truth. True to self and your ideals, not someone else's.

EyeOnYou said...

Oddly enough the C4Pers are saying that Palin did indeed "get out of the car" and they have posted photos to prove it.

What is funny is that you don't see any people around in these photos except the event organizers. Just a few people, the same ones in the photos, over and over again. It looks like she might have stopped by prior to people arriving, but in a couple of those photos she does't look too pleased at all. Or maybe she was just cold, the way she has her arms wrapped around her midsection. Too bad she didn't think to grab that nice and warm arctic cat jacket out of the closet.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Well she standin' there lookin' like she smellin' moose nuggets! Not attractive.
It looks like If that was where she was it was before everyone else showed up, and seemed quit distasteful to the queen!

alaskalive said...

The night Sarah Palin gave her acceptance speach, my family of 5 just happened to tune in.
Normally, my son Christian, age 15, my daughter Megan age 14 my wife and I do not listen to Politicians as we have been fed so many lies and are use to the corruption in office.
But this night was different. I heard her start to speak.. and the room got quiet. We all sat there and listened and you could have heard a pin drop.
We loved what we heard.
I do not know a lot about Mrs. Palin, but I do know a sincere person when I see one. I do not see that sincerity in Obama.. oh, he is smooth and eloquent..Would I trust Obama over Sara Palin with my children, Heck NO.
I trust and admire Mrs. Palin.
At least She showed up for the Reformation Tea Parties... Obama and his cronies can give us our tax money, our guns and our constitutional rights, he can keep his CHANGE.

And another thing. All you people in this blog who are so critical of Sarah Palin, do me a favor, show me all your noted accomplishments!
And the leader of this blog, show me what you have done to make America better for all the citizens.

You people sit back with your sniper words and do not do a D. Thing to help this country.

You all should be ashamed of your selves.

Sneaking around observing and taking photos to run down what others are trying to accomplish.

If you put as much energy into helping change America for the better as you do hiding under rocks and shooting shots at people who are actually out there trying tho help this country, this country would be a better place.

alaskalive said...

One last note to all who may find this hole in the wall publication...

You did all this work, you went out with your little camera, and you slithered around this meeting of Good Citizens of the United States of America, you did your counting, you wrote your little words... and for what? 35 people commented.
Thirty Five, not counting my TWO!

Wow, Thank God nobody listens to your weak writings.
And this blog is so far down in the ratings that it is almost non existent.

I personally am looking forward to having you up on stage July 4th, mark that down on your calendar, July 4th at Wasilla Lake Park.. I definitely want to read what you say about these good citizens and then have you up on state to tell them what you think of them...C U There!

Anonymous said...


Many people read even if they don't comment. Phil has a good following because he publishes a quality blog.

Philip Munger said...


I'll see you there, too. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

I'll be playing with the Mat-Su Community Band during the pre-parade and parade time, but expect to stop by at Newcomb Park soon afterward.

BTW, I don't fucking slither around, asshole.

Mario said...

In case Progressive Alaska subscribers have forgotten, people living in the United States of America have rights protected under the Constitution. Freedom of assembly/association is just one of those Constitutional rights. There is no menu of specific causes that one must adhere to in order to practice this right.

The prefix "Progressive," which entitles this leftist blog, is all I need to know about you, your colleagues and most of your readers who hate Governor Palin. Your poll question: Should Alaska's Governor Be Able to Sign a Contract to Write a Book While in Office?... with current standings at Yes 14% and No 85%, gives me a good idea of your readers' tolerance of my 1st amendment rights. In other words, you and your readers don't know the meaning of the word tolerance.

Furthermore, from some of the infantile comments posted by your fawning readers, it is obvious to me who the racists, bigots and intolerant thugs really are. A great American patriot once said: “Tolerance brings with it an implicit moral relativism. Who is to say what is right and what is wrong?” His name was Martin Luther King Jr.

sauerkraut said...

alaskalive - other than getting herself elected to office, what exactly has Sarah Palin accomplished? All I've been able to see since Aug 08 is the controversy she's been at the center of... oh, and what about those of us who serve(d) our country? Are we not allowed to comment, either?

Sarah Palin has brought the controversy upon herself. If she does not want the attention, all she needs to do is step down and go back home.

sauerkraut said...

Pretty funny, Mario.

You want Phil's readers to shut up while at the same time hording all the rights and privileges of the 1st Amendment.

You are correct that you have the right to assemble. But Phil and others have the same right to report and comment upon that gathering. And I'll continue to read Phil's accounts of said gatherings whether you like it or not.

Philip Munger said...


I voted for her in the poll in the "Yes" column. I was gauging my readers, and was disappointed in how lopsided the result was.

Anonymous said...


I was driving in my car, some where... and I thought to my self, I should apologize to Phill...I went on HIS blog and got upset at what I read about His thoughts of the Patriotic Tea Party.

How ignorant of me!

If I did not like what he and his followers were writing and saying, I did not have to come there.

Unfortunately, in my old age, and sometimes reading news and blogs at 4 am...I tend to jump off and say the very first thing which comes into my mind when presented with information.

What we have is s difference of opinion.

I, in my limited knowledge of all that is going on in Sara Palin's life really like and respect her as a person, mother, wife and Governor.

On the other hand, many readers of this blog do not like her at all. Maybe not as a wife, mother, governor or even a person.

I was upset that your group would come on here and talk trash about the Patriot Tea Party.

The patriot tea party is a group of United States Citizens who are not happy with the way our government is handling things.

I, now openly apologize for getting upset and spouting off.

This is YOUR blog and YOUR followers. If I do not like what you say in here, I should not come here.

I would say, it seems low to me to come out and attend an even and then go on the net and talk bad about the people the way you do.

But that is your right as this is America.

If you did not have that right, and they are trying to take that away from you, then this would not be a free country.

I admonish you to give the Patriot Tea Party folks a better shake. Consider their plight. As people, citizens of the United States they have the right to protest what they believe in.


Anonymous said...


Again, late at night, I tend to jump and post my thoughts.... and some times they might be posts of things I believe, but under more rested circumstances would not say.

I truly believe we all are stuck in this nation together.

If we all do not come together and quit bickering like little spoiled children, we are going to hand our children and grand children such a mess of what was once a great nation, a huge mess.

Why do we all have to constantly fight amongst ourselves.

Why can we not all get together and work out ways to make this country great again??

"Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us." -- Patrick Henry

I thought just now.. and realized why we all cannot come together and work towards a common goal.

Our goals and your goals for this nation are not even remotely alike.

My goal for this country is for the god of the Bible to be in charge of the leaders of this country. If the leaders of this country are NOT Born Again Christians, than they should not be allowed to hold office.

My goal is for English to be the National Language.

My goal is for homosexuality to be against the law as it is an abomination to God.

My goal is for the Bible to be taught to our children as The way to live a moral and just life.

My goal would be to rid our televisions electronic games and media of all the sex and violence.

You cry foul, you cry censorship... yes, hell yes, if it put back our good standing as a nation with God almighty and fixed the evil-sunken morality of our nation, YES.

But you know what, none of this will ever fly.

From the saturation of the evil that is now among us through television, radio, printed media and now the internet... Americans have taken Freedom and destroyed themselves.

It has been said, with freedom comes much responsibility... We have failed as a nation to live up to our responsibility as free persons... and now, all Americans will reap the harvest of that irresponsible behavior.

This nation is finished....

Your group, those who hate God, love homosexuality and all that comes with it will win, and truly has already.

I know it, but many are trying to fight for justice, God and Country as they have not yet realized.. it is too late.

Yes, I realize now, after waking up, we all cannot work together to heal America as I will fight to the death to protect My children from learning the filth that is being placed on this country and people like you and your groupies will fight to the death to persue your beliefs.

Those two will never come together as one.

Anonymous said...

At Saturday's Wasilla Teabagger Picnic - Updated.....

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