Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Sarah Palin, another day, another lawsuit. LATEST
In the latest development of the brewing federal lawsuit against Governor Sarah Palin for failing to issue a 2007 Juneteenth proclamation in Alaska, a former supporter and mother of six joins the suit as a co-plaintiff, announces lead plaintiff Gregory Charles Royal.
Kim Chatman, an Alaskan resident, Air Force veteran and mother of six, might seem an unlikely litigant in the suit which claims that Governor Palin violated Alaska law by failing to issue the 2007 Juneteenth Proclamation, because she voted for Palin for governor in 2006 and she is white. Chatman's children, who range in age from 28-11, are bi-racial and her husband is African American.
According to the plaintiff, a bill enacted by the Alaska legislature requires that the Governor of Alaska issue a proclamation each year to commemorate Juneteenth. He alleges that Governor Palin not only failed to issue a proclamation in 2007, but also refused to issue a proclamation retroactively. As a result of Governor Palin's inaction, the activities of citizens and civil groups which had celebrated Juneteenth were disrupted, resulting in unrealized event revenues and event cancellations. Plaintiff demands a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and damages."
However, Governor Palin's office has pushed back in an email response to Royal's original filing stating that though the failure was a clerical oversight, she is "not aware of any "great distress" in the African-American community of Alaska", and that, "except for those few of you involved in the mudslinging campaign last fall," she is not aware this matter "was ever commented upon by anybody".
"I know there are many Alaskans who would differ and this is precisely why Kim has joined the suit and class action status may be warranted here", says Royal. "The utter disrespect in failing to issue the 2007 Proclamation, even retroactively, is a slap in the face to black people.
In a related development, National Juneteenth Chairman Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D has requested a meeting with Governor Palin to allow her an opportunity to reconcile the conflict surrounding Juneteenth, stating that in addition to the 2007 failure, Palin "not responding to invitations to participate in the annual Alaska Juneteenth Celebration has created doubts in the minds of Alaska Juneteenth leaders about ever receiving any support for Juneteenth from the governor". Myers, who is Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), will travel to Alaska in May.
Juneteenth, a holiday observance which celebrates the freeing of the last remaining slaves in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, was signed into law in Alaska in 2001. The bill known as HB 100 specifies that the "governor shall issue a proclamation observing the day."
More about Kim Chatman
Full news report
Original lawsuit post, palingates