Today marks the anniversary of the announcement of Sen. John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 American presidential contest. It was the most unfortunate decision of McCain's political career.
In the intervening 365 days, that choice, the inappropriate nature of it, and subsequent further polarization of Alaska politics helped galvanize Alaska's progressive bloggers into a fairly unified force that gained national attention. Because of McCain's action, the changes national attention wrought on Palin's personality, and Palin's incessant need to stay in the national eye, two Alaska issues reached an out-of state audience that might not have been noticed so well otherwise.
The first of those, the plight of the Yupik villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, has been covered here at PA in earlier roundups. The second of these, the long battle for Anchorage's Ordinance #64, has not. In fact, my coverage of how we covered that has been somewhat faulty.
Two blogs in particular warrant special notice regarding Ord. #64, Bent Alaska and Henkimaa. Of the two, PA hasn't given enough attention to the central role Bent Alaska has played in this ongoing civil rights battle. As an example, the timeline PA ran on the day of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan's veto of the ordinance, I managed to completely misrepresent the importance of Bent Alaska's coverage, not only that day, but in terms of the cumulative impact of that blog on community action on the days and days of public testimony through the late spring and summer of 2008.
I'm truly sorry.
The two above blogs cover LBGTQ issues as well as any other blogs in the world. And they cover other issues of importance too. This past week, Bent Alaska covered local resources for young people who might be contemplating suicide. and today, posting from Homer, I believe, Bent Alaska gave a heads-up on an upcoming play at Out North Theater, Dog Meets God.
And today, Mel at Henkimaa, posted another brilliant investigative article, Miller v. Carpeneti: Where was the Press? (cross-posted at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis). In the article, Mel observes that the lawsuit seeking the U.S. Supreme Court take a very, very judicial activist point of view, by overturning the section of the Alaska constitution that allows the Alaska Judicial Council to play a role in the selection process of our highest judges.
Mel, like most of us, was unaware of the lawsuit, filed in early July, until the Associated Press reported about it last week. Mel, rather than chastising our Alaska press on their negligence in informing the public on this, instead posts a very authoritative rundown of the history of this case, so far. Not only is Mel's article true journalism at its very best, it is one more example of why Alaska's progressive blogging community is providing Alaskans and a wider reading audience important information that might otherwise remain either under-reported or missed.
cartoon from Bent Alaska - by Glenn Harvey