Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Sarah Palin, WAR and the AIP

Todd Palin, the power behind the throne?

Sarah Palin with Walt Hickel and with W.A.R.

I found a very well researched article about Sarah Palin's connections with the Alaska Independence Party, in particular with Mark Chryson. Below are some excerpts, with some words highlighted by me:

In 1994, Sarah Palin attended the AIP's statewide convention. In 1995, her husband, Todd, changed his voter registration to AIP. Except for an interruption of a few months, he would remain registered as an AIP member until 2002, when he changed his registration to undeclared.

Mark Chryson became the AIP's vice chairman in 1996 and its chairman in 1997, a position he held until 2003.

Chryson pursued a dual policy of cozying up to secessionist and right-wing groups in Alaska and elsewhere while also attempting to replicate the AIP's success with Walt Hickel in infiltrating the mainstream political parties. (Hickel was elected governor as a Republican in 1966 and again in 1990 as the AIP candidate)

In 1996, Palin decided to run against John Stein for mayor of Wasilla. While Palin pushed back against Stein's policies, particularly those related to funding public works, Chryson said he and Steve Stoll prepared the groundwork for her mayoral campaign.

Once elected, Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives.

Sarah Palin endorsed Chryson's unsuccessful initiative to move the state Legislature from Juneau to Wasilla. She also lent her support to Chryson's crusade to alter the Alaska Constitution's language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. "It took over 10 years to get that language written in," Chryson said. "But Sarah was there supporting it."

She joined in their vendetta against several local officials they disliked, and listened to their advice about hiring. She attempted to name Stoll, a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as "Black Helicopter Steve," to an empty Wasilla City Council seat. Palin was blocked by the single vote of then-Councilman Nick Carney, who had endured countless rancorous confrontations with Stoll and considered him a "violent" influence on local politics. Though Palin considered consulting attorneys about finding another means of placing Stoll on the council, she was ultimately forced to back down and accept a compromise candidate.

Emboldened by his nomination by Mayor Palin, Stoll later demanded she fire Wasilla's museum director, John Cooper, a personal enemy he longed to sabotage. Palin obliged, eliminating Cooper's position in short order.

"Gotcha, Cooper!" Stoll told the deposed museum director after his termination, as Cooper told a reporter for the New York Times. "And it only cost me a campaign contribution." Stoll had donated $1,000 to Palin's mayoral campaign.

Nick Carney later proposed an ordinance that would have prohibited residents from carrying guns into schools, bars, hospitals, government offices and playgrounds. Infuriated by the proposal that Carney viewed as a common-sense public-safety measure, Chryson and seven allies stormed a July 1997 council meeting.

With the bill still in its formative stages, Carney was not even ready to present it to the council, let alone conduct public hearings on it. He and other council members objected to the ad-hoc hearing as "a waste of time." But Palin -- in plain violation of council rules and norms -- insisted that Chryson testify, stating, according to the minutes, that "she invites the public to speak on any issue at any time."

When Carney tried later in the meeting to have the ordinance discussed officially at the following regular council meeting, he couldn't even get a second. His proposal died that night, thanks to Palin and her extremist allies.

"Every time I showed up her door was open," said Chryson. "And that policy continued when she became governor."

When Palin ran for governor in 2006, marketing herself as a fresh-faced reformer determined to crush the GOP's ossified power structure, she made certain to appear at the AIP's state convention. To burnish her maverick image, she also tapped one-time AIP member and former governor Walter Hickel as her campaign co-chair. (The other was Wayne Anthony Ross)

When Palin delivered her victory speech on election night, Hickel stood beaming by her side. "I made her governor," he boasted afterward. Two years later, Hickel endorsed Palin's bid for vice president.

I couldn't find any direct links between W.A.R. and the AIP, but I found an article he wrote in 1990 which includes these words:

"We still have strong leaders in State government in Alaska of the likes of Walter Hickel."

Sarah Palin appears to have strong ties to AIP members to this day. In WAR's own words to the Legislature in recent days, he clearly stated that he sees the federal government as the enemy. Todd Palin's last known party affiliation was to the AIP and he is extremely influential in Sarah Palin's administration.

From another article:

In the Palin administration, Todd appears to have had an unusually strong role, the extent of which remains unclear. He is not on the state payroll and was never elected -- but the First Dude has crossed over from the standard-issue supportive political spouse to something far more influential, weighing in on policy and political matters in ways that few observers seem to understand.

Considering all these factors together, we have to ask this question:

Who's behind W.A.R.'s appointment for Attorney General of Alaska?

AIP article
Todd Palin article
WAR's article about Hickel

AIP platform
WAR's "Soldier of Fortune" article, including interesting critique which challenges WAR's legal credentials...


Anonymous said...

Hickel referenced in Alaska Real blog today on another palin pick:

Palin is drawing criticism for yet another appointment. Her appointment of Brent Johnson to the state Board of Fisheries goes against the norm of what governors have been doing since Hickel:


Basheert said...

Things are getting really bad for Alaskans. As long as SP had "cover" for her actions, the people of Alaska could just go on their merry way and assume things were fine.
She is now under a microscope - and is proving dangerous to all living things.
WAR isn't worth a comment - he is a pig and that would appeal to her. She thinks she is in charge - but he's gonna run roughshod over her.
I don't know how this will turn out, but I think the citizens of Alaska need help badly.

These people are dangerous.

Dianne said...

Sarah Palin is an insult. She's reckless and selfish in her choices and is doing nothing to "progress" Alaska. I agree with Basheert - WAR is a pig. I've met men like him and his respect for women is nil. He is the one who will be running the show. She, I really believe, has chosen him to get her out of ethics complaints and legal issues. He, in return will at some point begin to hold them over her head to "progress" his own agenda. The two are evil hand-in-hand. Thursday will be an interesting day and I really hope the legislature votes a great big NO on this one.

SoCalWolfGal said...

I hope the Dems in Alaska Legislature continue to have a spine; and hopefully the Republicans see that putting this man in as Attorney General would be irresponsible in the least, and downright dangerous for all Alaskans. GINO is dangerous all by herself. With WAR as AG, they both would truly embody the word "evil".

Thanks again for your very thorough research.

Lee323 said...

Great investigative post, Regina. The truly troubling aspect of your findings is how often and easily Palin has tried to bend the law for her own purposes.

Lisabeth said...

Anti-government militia groups!! Yiikes. I am speechless. This man should not be in public service!! Your legislature should be ashamed for not calling out Palin on this! If he is confirmed I am sorry!!

Emily said...

A couple of things which caught my eye:

First, Todd Palin won't declare which political party he's in? That's rather suspicious for the husband of a powerful politician. Also reminds me of Sarah's refusal to tell anyone who she voted for last election day.

Second, Palin trying to move the state legislature to Wasilla... doesn't she have some kind of grudge against Juneau because not many people there voted for her?