Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can We Return to Our Lives Now, Governor....?

Sometimes it has seemed - Since August 29th 2008 - that Alaskans have been held hostage.

From the moment our governor became a national figure, our state has been governed differently. Differently from how Palin had performed her job up to that time. And differently from the approaches any of her predecessors had taken.

The timing of the Legislative Council's Branchflower Investigation helped begin to define how different the post-selection Palin administration would be. The O'Callaghan-Stapleton Truth Squad, and its take-no-prisoner approach to diverting what had been a bipartisan investigation about fact-finding, into a far right jihad against some of the legislators involved in the initial council vote, was immediately a low point in Alaska history. Many recognized it as such.

From the huge, sometimes overtly racist and homophobic crowds at her rallies, to her ineptitude in unscripted situations, to the growing friction between her handlers and McCain's, as the presidential campaign failed in front of the entire world, Alaskans were being held hostage.

The election that defeated McCain and Palin nationally, also brought some modest gains for Democrats and progressives in Alaska. The new bi-partisan makeup of the 2009-2010 Alaska Legislature might have been welcomed by the pre-August 29th Sarah Palin. But Palin's handlers appear to have felt that if she accommodated the body Alaskan elected, she would lose Iowa and New Hampshire in 2012. Consequently, this has been one of the most dismal legislative sessions in Alaska history.

There's more than enough blame to go around, but a large share of it rests squarely on the ongoing dissonance between Palin's executive branch employees and her 2012 campaign advisors. We're the hostages in this intramural spat.

Here's New York Times columnist Frank Rich, writing about Palin and Iowa today:

In 2008, 60 percent of Iowa’s Republican caucus voters were evangelical Christians. Mike Huckabee won. That’s the hurdle facing the party’s contenders in 2012, which is why Romney, Palin and Gingrich are now all more vehement anti-same-sex-marriage activists than Rick Warren. Palin even broke with John McCain on the issue during their campaign, supporting the federal marriage amendment that he rejects. This month, even as the father of Palin’s out-of-wedlock grandson challenged her own family values and veracity, she nominated as Alaskan attorney general a man who has called gay people “degenerates.” Such homophobia didn’t even play in Alaska — the State Legislature voted the nominee down — and will doom Republicans like Palin in national elections.

Rich and many Outsiders - and Alaskans as well - see Palin's choice of one divisive person after another, whether it be recent convert Tim Grussendorf, recent convert Joe Nelson, Clam Gulch set-netter Brent Johnson [please see the comments about my characterization of Mr. Johnson], or Wayne Anthony Ross, as moves aimed at the people of Iowa and New Hampshire, and to the Old South, rather than as actions designed to move Alaskans forward. Or, in Palinese, "To progress Alaskans...."

GOP activist, and architect of the immensely destructive Contract With On America, Newt Gingrich, in an interview with Sarah Pulliam, published yesterday by Christianity Today, showed surprising reluctance in even mentioning Palin as a potential national figure. When he as finally pushed, with, "You didn't mention Sarah Palin," Gingrich replied:

Sarah Palin has an obvious role if she wants it. The question for her has to be, are she and her family willing to go through another couple of years of the kind of media coverage that they currently get? Is she willing to do the kind of development of national issues and development of a national profile that would be required? She is a celebrity in her own right. She is probably the most successful figure in the party right now, and she's a formidable figure. I think to go from there to becoming a national leader would take a significant amount of work.

The support is there. But possibly not in Alaska, at least to the degree her narrative seems to demand. When post-legislative session polls come out, her popularity in Alaska will probably be down around the mid-50s. But her base is as enraptured as ever. Here's from a comment attached to the Christianity Today article:

After seeing Palin's speech at the Right to Life event on Thursday, my respect for her has grown. Despite the 24/7 carpet bombing of her by the media, the DNC, the 0bama/Axelrod axis, and even those within her own party, she exuded confidence, spirit, and determination. She did not seem worn down by the attacks at all. Like she said, she's going to restart her engine. I suspect we will see a lot of her over the coming months, and if she performs like she did on Thursday, she'll be in a very good position. As for the substantial amount of work Gingrich mentioned, he and so others seem to forget is that she is not a wealthy person without a job who can pop up on TV every day, and attend events at will. She actually has a job to do.

And here's a comment attached to the Conservatives4Palin version of Videmus Omnia's article PA posted early yesterday:

I watched Sarah's Indiana speech just now. This lady is eloquence personified. I have been studying Demosthenes in the original Greek and Cicero in the original Latin for decades, so I have some experience with oratory: Our Sarah is a great orator. My eyes were not dry, and my right hand was going up in the military salute, as I watched her.

Within hours of Sarah's deliverance of her speech, I had an experience In BERKELEY that should give hope to all that the Holy Spirit, the Dove , is moving! A young woman, an African-American bank teller, remarked quietly that she liked my button, referring to the "Palin in 2012" button with Sarah's face that I wear everywhere. Minutes later outside the bank I met an African-American Vietnam vet: he told me that he had hoped Obama would win, but that now he was disillusioned. He called Sarah, " a nice lady," and said she had been treated unfairly. Remember all this was in BERKELEY, CA. Friends, a great giant is stirring.


Back to the hostage situation.

With the end of the 2009 legislative session, Gov. Palin will have more freedom to attend events in Iowa, Washington DC, Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, Iowa, Texas and Iowa.

Will she continue to pander to the far right as she digs deeper into her base base?

Will she continue to mischaracterize Alaska, Alaskans, and her accomplishments here?

As the national narrative of expanded and more rational LBGTQ rights grows, will she move in that direction, or as the Ross nomination clearly indicated, in the other direction?

hat tips - The Mudflats for the Gingrich interview, and to Mudflats commenter wired differently for a link to Frank Rich's NYT column


regina said...

The comment that refers to Demosthenes and Cicero borders on the pornographic, eeew!

mlaiuppa said...

It's now been put forth that Palin could run as a third party candidate.

Maybe for a newly formed "Tea Party".

I'm thinking....YES! The Ralph Nader of the GOP, split the party.

Greytdog said...

"Our Sarah is a great orator. My eyes were not dry, and my right hand was going up in the military salute, as I watched her"

That is one the most frightening statements made in modern American politics.

Anonymous said...

One more question:
Will Palin continue to flaunt and violate the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act?
The Act states that "each public officer holds office as a public trust, AND any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust".
When will Sarah Palin, Megan Stapleton, other cohorts and gov's office employees quit blurring the lines between Palin's gubernatorial resources and interests and her personal and political resources and interests?
The Act also states that "a fair and open government requires that executive branch public officers conduct the public's business in a manner that preserves the integrity of the governmental process and avoids conflicts of interest".
It's time for Palin and the bureacrats that allow her to erode the integrity of the governor's office to be held accountable for their actions.
Andree McLeod

Philip Munger said...


Thanks for commenting. Your courage should be an example.

Please, readers, contrast Andree's ongoing actions to the attitude of the commenter at Conservatives4Palin, quoted in the above article.

Anonymous said...

Andree, did Palin take any admin staff with her to IN? Just curious, I wouldn't put it past her, or coming up with a "whatever" reason later to explain it.

ella said...

Meg was there according to sources. Poor prop (Trig) at home with a cold; My guess is that Bristol happily taking care of both babies now.

Andree McLeod said...

Did Palin take any admin staff with her to IN?
I posed the question to gov's office head Linda Perez and NEVER heard back. The gov's office "Politics Cloud Judgment in Final Week" press release did state "...this event doesn’t cost the state a dime – the governor has no staff, not even state security, with her..." and then goes on to compare her conduct with the conduct of previous governors. (However, she is getting paid lots of $$$ as governor for that day.) This seems to be the first time that state funded staff and security did not accompany her. Which is good because this Indiana trip to "restart her engine" is clearly a partisan political trip and her attempt to keep herself viable for the 2012 republican presidential election...(and to keep generating the buzz for her book).
One must note that the Palin's speech in Indiana video Part 2 starts off with Sarah Palin talking about "my governor's office staff" having such a good time going through the invitations and how much fun she had with the bribes this Indiana group kept pushing her way. She then describes this trip as a personal one...although the invitation process goes through the state-funded gov's office. her own words, Sarah Palin admits to a systemic coordinated corroboration process between the publicly-funded gov's office and the partisan political sarahpac. And the blurring of those conflicts of interests is illegal under the AK Executive Branch Ethics Act.
Where are the legislators on this? Who will provide the checks and balances for stopping Palin's flagrant misuse of state time, staff and resources for her personal and partisan political purposes?
Andree McLeod

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

"This lady is eloquence personified. You Betcha Our Sarah is a great orator. My eyes were not dry, and my right hand was going up in the military salute,The salute of Hitler? as I watched her."
Oh my! What do they put in that kool aid?? Got the recipe from Jim Jones???

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Andree said:"It's time for Palin and the bureacrats that allow her to erode the integrity of the governor's office to be held accountable for their actions."
Does that mean impeachment time?
Andree you are a warrior! You know if you need any help what so ever...all you need to do is ask!
Truth over Lies!!!

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

"although the invitation process goes through the state-funded gov's office. "
And they probably checked the "is the first family invited?" box....
And meg stapletongue is whatever for SarahPac...which probably...cough...had enough $ in the coffers to fund this little excursion.
And she has her "blackberry" to handle state biz...doncha know...!

midnightcajun said...

Well, I too have read Demosthenes in the original Greek and Cicero in the original Latin, but even without that elitist credential, I can tell you that our Sarah is a lousy orator and about as far from eloquence personified as you can get. What's this guy Videmus Omnia smoking? And why is it that right wingnuts always claim to be quoting African-Americans who love her/hate Obama? Are they all pathological liars? Stand up and lie for Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Andree, I think she's playin some Gov gotchya game.....I just listened to the radio interview posted below, she says she met with TransCanada before her dinner event while on this "trip".

She's playin cat and mouse. Not telling everything upfront, then pulling a card to "prove" she's always doin her job, always putin Alaska first.

onejrkitty said...

"Will she continue to mischaracterize Alaska, Alaskans, and her accomplishments here?"

EXCUSE ME? Mischaracterize?

Let's call a spade a shovel.

The woman lies like a rug.

Pure and simple lies. Not spin, not mischaracterize, not misspeak.


Anonymous said...

Ooh! That's me! Wow, mentioned in the same sentence as AKM. Thanks for the shout out, and for yet another head-shaker from Sarah's World.

wired differently

Andree McLeod said...

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...You know if you need any help what so ever...
I've received word from the gov's office that it's going to cost me about $250 for the state to hand over Kris Perry's offical state emails for the period of time she was gallavanting around with Palin on the campaign trail. I'm not able to come up with the funds to get what I assume will be emails that are redacted and heavily blacked out. Do you have any ideas?

HistoryGoddess said...

Just before GWB was elected in 2000, I began hearing perfectly normal people starting so say some pretty min-numbing political stuff. Now I live in Birch country anyway, but the comments were increasingly not making any logical sense. Then the Palin selection. After a week or so, I thought surely people would see how she was one big talking point full of red meat. HOW could people honestly not see through her rhetoric???

Well, I got my answer today. I now know where she came from-
and my neighbors, and the silly man who yelled his thoughts on taxes and Obama across the restaurant last week. All those teabaggers partying their anger? Predicted in the book. What I had apparently not known was that the "base" people like Palin attract have been being cultivated for quite some time.

I finally got around to reading Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas. It was written in 2004. No Obama. No Palin. But, I saw the birth of Sarah on almost every page. I saw Team Sarah. DAMN! The writing was on the wall. FINALLY I don't feel so crazy. It wasn't my imagination. Seriously, so many of her comments and actions- almost all- are out of the pages of that book.

I highly recommend this book. He just came out with another. He has several essays posted on his website.

On his website are also clips from interviews. Many of you might also have read his blogs on HuffPo.

If Palin and that movement don't make sense to you, read this book.

And thanks, Phil, for the post. And to the others- great comments!

Philip Munger said...


Looks like we may need to be holding a fundraiser for you, if you're OK with that.

I'll see if I can convince some good people like Bob Poe, Ethan Berkowitz and Diane Benson to help.

Anonymous said...


where do you get off with your unfounded accusation that Brent Johnson is divisive?

Yes, Bob Penney and the guide organisations lobbied against him, and they hired robo-calling to drum up negative opinion but that alone doesn't make Brent Johnson divisive, and certainly doesn't put him in league with Ross, or the others you mentioned.

You set forth the accusation, what do you have to back up that accusation?

Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Brent Johnson has been or would be divisive ?

Just because Palin tried to appoint him and just because Penney and his co-horts worked against him is not reason enough to paint him with the same brush as the others you cite.

What proof do you have that Brent Johnson deserves your accusation?

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

I've received word from the gov's office that it's going to cost me about $250 for the state to hand over Kris Perry's offical state emails for the period of time she was gallavanting around with Palin on the campaign trail. I'm not able to come up with the funds to get what I assume will be emails that are redacted and heavily blacked out. Do you have any ideas?
I would say a paypal button on one of the Progressive Alaska blogger sites or maybe AFT would help?
Or set up a paypal account for yourself and post the email of it to all the blogs, that way we who have paypal can donate :)
I would also file a complaint with CREW about GINO's high charge for FOIA emails! That's outragous!

Philip Munger said...

Brent Johnson isn't so divisive. His nomination certainly was. I've met him at lunch at the Doner's set net site at Clam Gulch, about six or so years ago.

I guess you are correct to defend him, and I may end up apologizing.

Palin may have nominated him, expecting him to fail. The pushback came from Penney's minions? If you can prove that, we've got a whole set of posts coming, and I may ask you to help me write them.

I thought the pushback was across the board, so to say - especially from the Alaska Native community, which is under represented, to say the least.

Thanks for jumping on me about my hasty characterization of Brent Johnson.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 7:01 pm - my e-mail is at my "complete profile" E-mail me and I'll give you my phone number. I want to find out more about Bob Penney's robo-calls. I was wondering why the pushback against Johnson was so powerful.

I've bracketed my mention of Johnson with a note for people to refer to the comments.

HistoryGoddess said...

Anon@7:01 and Phil-
I don't know a thing about what either of you are talking about, but Anon- good for you for challenging Phil to provide more information to back up his statement. And Phil, your willingness to admit to making perhaps a hasty comment and requesting further info makes your blog one of the best for respectful discourse. It's so nice at the adult table!

mlaiuppa said...

I have not read Demosthenes or Cicero in the original nor have I taken any speech classes. I only have two master's degrees. But I'd like to think I can spot a good orator when I hear one. And one of the basics of good oration I would have though would have been a basic command of the English Language particularly where it pertains to grammar and sentence structure, also. You betcha.

Andree McLeod said...

Thank you for your encouragement and willingness to assist towards a more open, honest, transparent and ethical government Phil.

empish said...

I'm willing and able to contribute to the email process. I promise the first $50, and offer a challenge to the other blog readers to match me.
If Phil doesn't have paypal set up perhaps AKM could handle the donations for us.

Andree McLeod said...

People against Corruption has recently formed. We are dedicated to advance good government and root out corruption in Alaska (and maybe beyond). Stay tuned for more details. And thank you!!!!
Fear is the currency of corruption. Boycott fear!

basheert said...

Good orator?
It's a joke right?

Aside from the snobbery exhibited by VidO (who may very well be a paid troll for SP and the C4Peers), and the verbal personal attacks VO engages in whenever anyone disagrees with what he says - anyone who considers SP to be a great orator needs not only his head but his ears examined.

She spends all of her time looking down reading notes, she engages in childish dialogue, she hair-flips, she makes childish faces, she uses improper words and meanings, she strings 500+ words together with no meaning and double/triple topics and worst of all, she does not look at her audience.

Her presentation reflects her complete lack of intellect. Most often her speeches indicate she does not have any familiarity with her topic.

VidO is a flaming SP worshipper. If you disagree, VidO attacks shrilly - he's simply another C4Peeeeer who's found someone to love.

You guys do realize that she doesn't give a rats a** about the C4Peers right? The C4Peers exist only to further SP. They are nothing without her and she doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

VidO is responsible for some of the ugliest and most threatening personal attacks against me in response to my testimony against WAR. He is a frightening person that is obsessed with her and represents a larger audience out there just like himself.

He is still responding to my blogs with venom. I see he lives in Berkeley...I was hoping he further away.

BTW...has anyone looked up ""? That gave me a chuckle!

basheert said...

Since this is my first time on a blog with you LL, I'd like to thank you for standing up and coming forward, in spite of knowing the venomous attacks that might come your way.
Your letter was succinct and credible and I cannot imagine that the majority of people who read it, did not believe every single word.
You put a lot of your personal integrity on the line and you deserve thanks!

VidOm is a jerk that obviously has NO life.

What are the C4Peers going to do when SP crashes and burns. I'm also of the belief that Newt will toss her before she 100% destroys the party.

She's going to bleed off their money and they won't like it...she's going down and I'm waiting to see it happen.

And VidOm will go right into the sewer with her. Nasty nasty man. I doubt if he even knows HOW to read.

mlaiuppa said...

I understand Team Palin is now working to block Sebelius nomination.

Casey said...

@Andree....I have been following your battle for a long time now. I would be glad to contribute to an "email" fund..if such thing were established. Just let me know.


Philip Munger said...

To those commenting here and hoping to help A. McC with expenses,

What I hope to do is find a way to hold a fundraising event for Ms. McLeod. As soon as I've turned in my grades for the semester at UAA, I'll get to organizing something.

I don't have a tip jar or paypal stuff on this site for some specific reasons, and I'm not going to change that at this time.

Anyone with ideas about where/when/what on a McLeod fundraiser, please comment here. I'll do more specific posts on that soon.


basheert said...

Great idea - I'd also be happy to contribute.

Ideas everyone?

haraSmaeT certainly needs something to do. Perhaps the could spend more time with their families?

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Andree can sign up with pay pal herself, she just needs a gmail/email account for it. (to avoid harassment)She could then post it a the blogs and we could sing in to donate. Also wanting to hear about PAC.
Leah, You are right up there with Andree and Diva those who Have DARED to say NO to the queen gino! I think your letter really tipped the scales (of justice) and along with other info that was presented.
I would think about filing stalking charges against VO. IT is a malevolent troll!

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

sign not sing, lol!

Anonymous said...

SP obviously has narcissistic personality disorder:

Anonymous said...

Phill, annoy-mouse here, gee, our govenor has some creepy followers...

EyeOnYou said...


Call it: