Sunday, 22 February 2009
Here's a (partial, I suspect) list of people who found themselves on the wrong side of Sarah Palin:
John Stein - Helped launch Sarah's political career, helping her to get elected for Wasilla's City Council in 1992. In 1996 she ran for mayor against Stein. Her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor", implying that Stein was Jewish. He's a Presbytarian. They also started another vicious whisper campaign, spreading the word that Stein and his wife - who had chosen to keep her own last name when they were married - were not legally wed. "We actually had to produce our marriage certificate," recalled Stein, whose wife died of breast cancer in 2005 without ever reconciling with Palin.
Randy Ruedrich - Sarah was appointed in 2003 by the then Governor, Frank Murkowski, to the state oil and gas regulatory agency. She blew the whistle on fellow GOP Commissioner Randy Ruedrich for using his office for party politics. She hacked into his computer, printed batches of documents and filed an ethics complaint against him. Ruedrich resigned. She wanted more documents and e-mails made public. Sarah later resigned herself, saying "I'm forced to withhold information from Alaskans, and that goes against what I believe in as a public servant." (She had used Wasilla's mayoral office facilities to run her lieutenant governor campaign in 2002...)
John Bitney - Mr. Bitney was a key aide in Sarah Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. When she took office, she gave Mr. Bitney a job as her legislative director, and a few months later stood beside him at a news conference and praised his work. Seven weeks later she fired Mr. Bitney for what her spokeswoman described as "poor job performance." What really happened? Governor Palin got a call from another old friend, Scott Richter, informing her that his wife, Debbie Richter, and Mr. Bitney were having an affair. Scott and Sarah's husband Todd are great friends.
Walt Monegan - The Commissioner of Public Safety was fired when he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, from his state trooper job. The whole fiasco became what's known as Troopergate.
Talis Colberg - Had to resign due to his poor performance as Attorney General during Troopergate. He challenged the validity of the subpoenas issued to witnesses by the state legislature in court. It appears he put his loyalty to the Governor above his duties as attorney general. After a grilling by Alaska's lawmakers, he resigned. (Pushed?)
Lyda Green - Palin was a guest on the right-wing Bob and Mark Show. Bob Lester, the conservative shock jock who hosts the show repeatedly called State Senator Lyda Green a “cancer” and a “bitch”. How did Sarah Palin react to all this? She laughed along and said she would be “honored” to have Lester with her when she gives her State of the State address.
Mike Wooten - Sarah and Todd Palin pursued a long drawn-out vendetta against the state trooper former brother-in-law, which culminated in Troopergate. Todd Palin was heavily involved in the efforts to have Wooten fired.
Mary Ellen Emmons - Wasilla's former city librarian, who was fired, reinstated following public outcry and finally resigned. The start of Ms Emmons misfortune started after Sarah inquired on the procedures to have books removed from the library. Ms Emmons wouldn't entertain the idea of removing any books.
Irl Stambaugh - Sarah fired the popular Police Chief of Wasilla stating that she did not feel he fully supported her efforts to govern the city. Apparently he "intimidated" her.
Andree McLeod - Between 2002 and 2005, Sarah was a great fan of Andree, a republican political watchdog. Some snippets of e-mails Sarah sent to Andree during that period: "That was a great letter to the ed. this week Andree. I haven't had time to call but wanted to tell you it was, again, insightful & educational & good writing."; "Ugh! I know you must get so frustrated because you’re all about accountability! Thanks for working to instill public trust in all this Andree!"; " I'm proud to know you!!!". There were many more, all very friendly. In 2008 Andree requested copies of e-mails from the Governor's private e-mail accounts used for state communications to clarify some ethics issues. Sarah Palin now: "This is the same Andree McLeod that follows us around at public events and camps herself out in our waiting area and hounds us for a job..." referring to Andree as the "falafel lady".
These are some of the people who were once on good terms with Sarah Palin. Some were summarily fired, some were forced to resign and other were tossed aside or set upon when they had served their purpose and were no longer useful to her.
Sarah Palin doesn't place any limits on how far she's prepared to go to fulfil her political ambitions. If it is within her power to fire those who stand in her way, she will. If they once mentored her but are no longer part of her scheme to achieve her ends, she doesn't hesitate to discredit them. If they dare ask awkward questions or look too closely into her "transparent" administration, she'll smear and ridicule them.
This is her attitude in the political arena. There are other victims, but on a personal level. We'll look at them in a future post.