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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Palin's "Horror Stories": Part 1

A recent RealClearPolitics article, which also made its way on to Yahoo news, cited Sarah Palin as one of John McCain's top potential running mates. It was heartwarming to see, but there was one line that really got under my skin, because I hear it far too often and it simply isn't true:

"The problem of course is that Palin is relatively inexperienced and unvetted. While [Governor Bobby] Jindal has gone through the ringer in the circle of Hell known as Louisiana politics, Palin is mostly a question mark."

Now, we get (and successfully refute) the "inexperience" argument all the time. However, this new wrinkle disturbs me because it claims that Jindal, who has not been governor as long as Palin, has been "vetted" by Louisiana's hellish political system, while Palin has had smooth sailing up in Alaska. This is hogwash.

Alaskan politics are very similar to Louisiana politics, and the two states compete for the title of "most corrupt in America". In fact, a serious case can be made that Palin has had to deal with a much more difficult situation than Jindal, who at least enjoys some cooperation from his state Republican Party. So, for the benefit of those who don't think that Sarah Palin has been tested by fire, I've decided to recount a few horror stories from the Great White North. In the coming days, I'll be posting accounts of Sarah's various encounters with the corrupt Alaskan establishment. I'll start with today with Palin's time as Mayor of Wasilla and work my way forward to the present. Stay tuned for the rest of the series.

HORROR STORY #1: The showdown at City Hall (1996).

Having already made enemies on City Council by not rubber-stamping senior members' pet projects (namely a ridiculous law requiring all citizens to purchase service from Councilman Nick Carney's garbage collection service), Councilwoman Palin ousts incumbent Joe Stein in the mayoral election. Councilman Carney personally tells the new mayor that he will do anything he can to make her life difficult, and stonewalls the proceedings to fill two vacant City Council seats. As nominations to the City Council require unanimous approval, Carney personally vetoes every nomination except that of Phillip Lockwood (who he supports, but who does not have the votes to receive the appointment). Mayor Palin responds by threatening to personally appoint new council members if the council cannot reach a decision, and Carney backs off.

Meanwhile Police Chief Irl Stambaugh (a loyalist of Mayor Stein's) makes it clear that he is not pleased with the election of the new mayor, leading to his firing a few months later. Stambaugh then joins Carney and Stein in forming "Concerned Citizens of Wasilla" to push for Palin's removal from office. He also files a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination, contract violation, and (to top off the silliness) gender discrimination. The lawsuit fails, and Concerned Citizens of Wasilla's attempt at a town meeting disintegrates into what the Anchorage Daily News called, "two hours of sometimes raucous debate, occasionally interrupted by an incoherent man in his socks threatening to cue Carr's (a local grocery store) and the the fire marshal." They decide against a recall effort.

(Information taken from the book "Sarah" by Kaylene Johnson.)

So, in rising to the mayorship, Palin had to confront not only Mayor Stein, but also Councilman Carney and Chief Stambaugh. She came through with flying colors and neutralized the entire "good old boys" club in a matter of months.

Next Time on "Horror Stories": The Randy Ruedrich Scandal.


Anonymous said...

That radio show you were on was quite awful. The hosts were either rude, strange or boring. I didn't know there were so many odd ducks out there. I really wanted to hear more about Sarah Palin and they never really got around to the pluses that she'll add to McCain's campaign.

Anonymous said...

Yes it was disgusting, lost of claims banded about, no proof at all. Especially about her being pro-choice! wtf.

And do they not understand to win the election you have to appeal to the center ground, not staunch conservatives.

Ted said...

Albeit much of the show was quite funny, especially Sarah's neighbor and school mate with an ax to grind, or complaining that Sarah took her 10 year old daughter to the Governor's Ball past 10:00PM, if anything, it enhanced my picture of Palin. It showed that, like anyone in politics and life, you make some enemies along the way, and it showed that Sarah is where she is today through true political grit, not just luck! It shows that Sarah's been working at this stuff for a long time; that she's in it for the long haul, that she has savvy, and that she DEFINITELY WOULD TAKE THE JOB OF VP (there's absoultely no question bout that)!

Adam, you held up better than well!

Tom C. said...

Yes, what reactionary rock did those neanderthals crawl out from under.

Just a disgusting display of grandstanding, egotistical, smug, selfish popping off.

Syrin was especially rude and pompous.

Just a really really disgusting display.

Nobody even got to the issue of the show which was details supporting why Palin might not be as good on some issues.

Nothing but angry little people who had absolutely no clue that the purpose is to defeat Obama.

None of them had even one legitimate argument backed up with facts.

These are the rightist bloggers who give blogging a bad name.

Burke and Kirk would be ashamed of such an ugly bunch trying to pass off as conservatives.

I'm a total conservative and I was shocked.

Anonymous said...

Dittos Ted.

I'm even more impressed with Palin after listening to that batch of degenerates.

Good job Adam, although I felt kinda sorry for you taking all that uncalled for mud.

Keep your chin up and power dry my man.

Anonymous said...

Do not feel sorry for Adam, he is a big boy. Why would he keep his head down or up?

He was polite and respectful, and he actually sounded like the only one who should have hosted the show.

As soon as that guy admitted to being a drug user, they lost their cred.

It was very funny, I laughed a lot of the time.

Oh, and Adam, please tell them that the Governor of Michigan was foreign born. :)

Adam Brickley, aka "ElephantMan" said...

It was definitely an experience, but getting to talk to some of the radical anti-Palin people was half of the reason I wanted to go on.

Also, lay off Loki. I've known a lot of very nice people who were former drug users. Loki was very gracious in allowing me to come on, very polite, and he's not anti-Palin.

flapper said...

i didn't know jindal was catholic til i read that article.

palin has gone from a longshot to a slam dunk, imo. if mac picks her, commits to drilling anwr, offshore, nuclear, shale oil, etc., he'll totally win. he can still pledge to explore other things for the future, and voters will see him as a realist.

sure, obama will try to move center on this issue, but what can he really do? commit to any of those things? no. he'll just talk about how he'll "consider" those things.

Ted said...

flapper, I'll go one step further. If McCain does NOT tap Alaska Gov Sarah Palin as his Veep (sooner before Obama makes his pick first), I would question McCain's sanity or fitness to serve as President.

Kristofer said...

Ted, you are a little over the top. This is his only opportunity for major headlines before the DNC convention.

The later he picks, the better it is for Palin. Palin cannot leave her state to campaign if the AGIA is not voted on.

Ted said...

kristofer, so you're saying McCain is waiting primarily because he wants to save the big news for later? I'd ask you, what if Obama went first with Sebelius? Don't you see the disastrous impact this would have on the McCain campaign vis a vis Palin?

Moreover, Palin is a story which will keep on giving. Right now McCain's campaign is moribound -- it's currently dying on the vine -- McCain hasn't even seized on the dill now/Alaska story Palin is handing him.

Excitement has to be generated up now, not later!

Kristofer said...

Ted, if McCain picks now, it will not be Palin. She is not ready. Palin politically cannot leave her state before AGIA. I am not from Alaska, but that would not look good.

Kathy said...

All hail Queen Sarah, the woman who fired the Chief of Police, because he refused to sign an oath of loyalty to her. Sarah felt that she was more important than Wasilla.