Monday, September 01, 2008

We so don't have to go there

Really. We can have very meaningful discussions about whether we think Sara Palin would be a good vice president without talking about anybody's babies. [Update: which doesn't mean that I don't think that there are reasonable things to be said and discussion to be had, just that well, I don't want to go there.]

Who has she fired?

Early in her tenure as mayor, the city council threatened to recall her over accusations that she fired the city's police chief, Irl Stambaugh, and the library director, Mary Ellen Emmons, without warning. She accused them in a letter saying: "I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment ..." Stambaugh sued but his case was dismissed because the mayor was within her rights to fire him, even if the reasons were political. (The Anchorage Daily News, via nexis) ...( (

Matanuska Maid Dairy ( Summer of 2007 – Creamery board voted to close the state owned dairy. After failing to convince them not to, Palin replaced the entire board. Two months later she closed the dairy.

Currently under investigation for possible unethical firing of Monegan, Department of Public Safety Chief. Monegan reports that he was fired because he refused to fire Trooper Wooten who is in a messy divorce from Sara Palin’s sister. Appointed Kopp to post to replace Monegan, gave him $10,000 severance pay two weeks later when the fact that he had been reprimanded for sexual harassment at a previous job came to light. (There are lots of sources on this story, but this blogger gives a good summary). As you may have heard, she has hired a lawyer. Did you know that she is having the state of Alaska pay for it? The report is due in October. Although it appears the lawyer is doing what he can to stall, so maybe the report won't be out until after the election.

Other fun facts:

Left Wasilla almost 20 million dollars in debt after botched land deal.

Sued Bush admistration to get polar bears off the endangered species list.

Supported the “bridge to nowhere” until the project became too expensive. The funds still went to Alaska. Though the bridge will not be built, the road to it is under construction.

She was one of three directors of a 527, which McCain opposes, to support Ted Stephens currently facing his own problems.

She was reportedly a member of the fringe Alaska Independence Party.

You probably also know she favors drilling for the Alaska Wilderness.

NEW: Hired a lobbyist to secure earmarks for Wasilla. Few towns have lobbyists.

Some other things to know:

Now I've just given you the bad, so here is a story that gives a brief biography, covering the good parts too.

Palin supported changes in health care laws which I believe will not reduce costs. It would take another post to explain why I oppose these changes, but reasonable people disagree.

Her record on educational issues is one which may or may not agree with.

She has a BA in journalism from Idaho University.

So...that should give us something to talk about until the next thing comes along.

My view response to all of this, most especially the ethics investigation, is that McCain's team did not do their job in vetting her. It is what this shows about his decision-making that bothers me the most. I don't think he vetted her. I think he made an impulsive, shoot-from-the-hip decision. I think ultimately a woman who has worked hard, accomplished a fair amount and made some mistakes, might have had a real chance of furthering her political life, was thrown into a place which she is not ready for. I don't think it is fair to her, and I don't like at all what it says about him.


  1. And yet it proves that women should be home barefoot and pregnant. Maybe that was what he was really shooting for.

    Based on the right wing Christian conservative outrage I'd have to say that SOMETHING is up. Hmm.

  2. My husband thinks it's a fake, designed to draw attention to his campaign during the Dem convention. He doesn't know how it will be changed, but bets she'll be dropped for some really good reason shortly and the real candidate will be chosen.

    Me, I'm just tired of her family getting raked over the coals. They weren't the ones chosen and shouldn't be in the spotlight. :(

  3. I can't believe that it is a deliberate fake. I could believe that floating Leiberman and Ridge was a fake-out (except there in increasing evidence that McCain wanted Leiberman). It makes sense to do that BEFORE the pick -- to make the independents believe that he really wanted to pick an independent and then to actually pick someone like Pawlenty. It would send the message that his heart is in the middle, but he needed to appeal to the base.

    Picking someone that makes the religious right over-the-top THRILLED and then sending her away will make them angry at him and will cause many other people to question his judgment. Although many of us are doing that already.

    And I feel sorry for her family too.

  4. The religious right isn't thrilled. They are outraged because it isn't biblical to have a woman in power, and the republican party should know better.

    Blogs are exploding all over the place because they want her home raising her kids, so Ann Marie's theory makes sense to me.

  5. The firing issue alone is enough to make me distrust her judgment. Thanks for giving me additional fuel for the fire!!

  6. In an effort to not say anything if I don't have something nice to say, I think Palin was picked because she is pretty, female and has a reputation for being a "maverick". Part of McCain's "straight talk" appeal is that he can be a maverick, right?


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