Readers Write: 12 Stomach-Turning Revelations About Sarah Palin

By AlterNet Staff, AlterNet. Posted October 16, 2008.

AlterNet readers respond to the latest evidence of just how bad Sarah Palin is for an office that puts her a heartbeat away from the presidency.
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Over the weekend, a perfectly good PR opportunity was ruined for Sarah Palin when the audience at a Philadelphia hockey game booed the Alaska governor during the ceremonial dropping of the puck.

Philly hockey fans have not been the only ones to loudly express their disapproval of Palin in recent weeks. The VP candidate's spiraling drop in popularity is reflected in polls, in the press and among prominent conservatives -- by everyone, that is, but the die-hard fans who still eat up Palin's forced folksiness at campaign events.

Palin's drastic loss of support has been driven in large part by the endless revelations about her competence and character that have emerged since her nomination -- revelations that can't be glossed over with frantic winks and "you betchas."

Last week, AlterNet compiled yet another list of stomach-turning new facts about Palin, ranging from her attempts to undermine trust in Obama with racially tinged rhetoric to her shady history as governor of Alaska.

AlterNet's readers had a lot to say about the latest evidence of just how bad Sarah Palin is for an office that puts her a heartbeat away from the presidency. We've compiled some of the best reader comments below.

Many of our commenters were especially incensed by Palin's recent character assaults on Barack Obama. Several readers attacked the unfathomably skewed logic used by both Palin and McCain in their attempts to paint Obama as dangerous:

Bgroat makes the point that by McCain and Palin's standards, McCain would be considered a "terrorist":

... the fact that McCain has worked with Obama for the past four years puts him in the same boat. In other words, they can't paint Obama as a terrorist using their logic without simultaneously painting McCain as one, as McCain, through working in the Senate with Obama, has done exactly the same thing they accuse Obama of doing (associating with former member of the Weather Underground Bill Ayers).

Waimea Witch agrees, pointing out that if we judge politicians by their "associates," we should be deeply concerned that every Washington senator is on the verge of lobbing bombs at federal buildings:

... Senator Robert Byrd is an ex-KKK member, so, does that make every member of the Senate a domestic terrorist by association?
Purple Girl invokes yet another fine illustration of the maxim about stones and glass houses, pointing out that unlike Barack Obama, Sarah Palin actually shares the ideologies of many domestic terrorists:
Sarah has some Ideologies which are akin to some rather notorious Domestic Terrorists -- McVeigh (hated U.S. Govt too), Charlie Manson (End Of Dayer, with Death Valley as the "Refuge"), and of course the "Pro Lifers" who thought nothing of Bombing Planned Parenthood Clinics, assassinating MD and Blowing a Pipe bomb Off in the middle of the Atlanta Olympics. Strike 3 Sarah, YOU ARE A BONAFIDE SOCIOPATH. Terrorist Doctrines spew out your mouth, and have been unearthed from your Recent History.

Jest2007 highlights another worrisome aspect of Palin's history: her connection to the Alaskan Independence Party, a radical organization that calls for Alaska's succession from the United States:

Maybe this would be a good time to examine Palin's association with the AIP. The AIP's creation was inspired by the rabidly violent anti-Americanism of its founding father Joe Vogler. The central purpose of the AIP is to drive Alaska's secession from the United States. In 1992 Vogler renounced his allegiance to the United States explaining that, "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government." He cursed the stars and stripes, promising, "I won't be buried under their damned flag ... when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home." Palin has never denounced Vogler or his detestable anti-Americanism.

dayahka optimistically argues that all the recent revelations about Palin are essentially irrelevant, since soon enough the Alaska governor will disappear from the national spotlight:

Palin will shortly return to Alaska and will probably be recalled, impeached, censured, and/or jailed. But what of the reckless fool who put this scum on the national scene?

But Truthteller is less optimistic, writing that despite Palin's recent embarrassments, she could still help the Republican ticket pull in a last-minute win:

I've been saying for a long time that I believe the fix is in and McCain is going to "win" another stolen election. I just couldn't see how they could get it close enough to steal before the Palin selection. Now, I can. All the arguments are in place to explain away the theft like they were four years ago -- religious voters make last-minute turnout surge, they don't like talking to exit pollers, or lie to them to fuck with the results.

Tom Degan agrees, pointing out that there's nothing new about Republicans appealing to their base with incompetent candidates:

Twenty years ago, Poppy Bush nominated a man who had all the substance of a department store mannequin -- and yet the GOP won that election! The Democrats have every reason to be cautious. Given the American people's absolute genius for doing the wrong thing in the voting booth, anything can happen between now and Election Day -- and probably will.

Lreal also argues that while Palin's methods are detestable, they may turn out to be effective:

The history books of the future will show that the Republicans from 1980 to present and probably at least 10 years into the future is a party of dangerous demagoguery. Sarah Palin, and the acceptance by the majority of people in her own party shows that a demagogue mentality can get you far within this sector of the population no matter your true and obvious intellect. This also shows that if you can magnify this demagogue quality, then it can replace intelligence as a matter of accepted quality; and any opponent with a bit of intelligence is a liberal elite, no matter how much more humble they are than the subject.

Spritgirl writes that McCain and Palin are resorting to the usual Republican tactics: using Rovian character assaults to get bad candidates into office:

... the McShame/Failin ticket should not be rewarded for their efforts! These tactics of appealing thru peoples fears are straight out of the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove book, they are despicable and dangerous! Since they cannot run on the issues, they should both just sit down and shut up!!! These are extremely desperate attempts by two very unqualified individuals to get into the Oval Office! Their theory of divide (the body politic) and conquer appeals to those sheeple that want to be led around, and hopefully they will lead themselves and their sheeple off a cliff!

Whether or not the McCain campaign's tactics will be successful in swaying voters, McCain's desperate gambit to include and keep Palin on the ticket -- despite the unending stream of revelations throwing her character into question -- has added a terrifying component to the election.

As John Orford writes: "AlterNet is giving me sleep problems ... I keep dreaming McCain died and then I can't get back to sleep."



Palin needS to clean up her own back yard before she tries to tie Obama to Ayers.

Rick Sanchez spoke about the ties that Sarah and Todd Palin has to AIP.
Check this out:
Yes, Sarah Palin is linked closely with the AIP--even though she claims to "love America" (and notwithstanding the McCain Team's loud denials that she was a member of that outfit).

Anyone who wants to see the video of Dexter Clark, AIP vice chair, telling a whole roomful of secessionists about the governor's prior membership, and her successful "infiltration" of the GOP, should go right here:

AIP is Alaska independent party who founder has "hatred for american govt" and calls old glory "damn flag" they want to succeed.
McCain should have checked her out more before he selected her to be his VP.



(AIP) Alaskan Independence Party CNN Breaking News Involving Sarah Palin and Todd Palin Involvement IN This Radical Organization!

October 14, 2008 05:26 PM EDT (Updated: October 14, 2008 07:51 PM EDT)
Cnn broke this hair raising story about Sarah Palin and Todd Palin, Todd was a member of this radical party in Alaska and CNN reporting on their association with this radical party. This organization hates the United States Government and hopes to have some of their own infiltrate our government. Here is small excerpt of the article reporting by Max Blumental and David and what was discussed today. I think Republicans and Democrats need to read! They showed a video on CNN, Showed Palin the governor Alaska praising this organization and the work they have been doing. Get it at CNN!


Extremists Mark Chryson and Steve Stoll helped launch Palin's political career in Alaska, and in return had influence over policy. "Her door was open," says Chryson -- and still is.

Story By Max Blumenthal and David

Though Chryson belongs to a fringe political party, one that advocates the secession of Alaska from the Union, and that organizes with other like-minded secessionist movements from Canada to the Deep South, he is not without peculiar influence in state politics, especially the rise of Sarah Palin. An obscure figure outside of Alaska, Chryson has been a political fixture in the hometown of the Republican vice-presidential nominee for over a decade. During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin's campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.

Get the rest of the story here: Neiwert

Oct. 10, 2008 | PALMER, Alaska -- On the afternoon of Sept. 24 in downtown Palmer, Alaska, as the sun began to sink behind the snowcapped mountains that flank the picturesque Mat-Su Valley, 51-year-old Mark Chryson sat for an hour on a park bench, reveling in tales of his days as chairman of the Alaska Independence Party. The stocky, gray-haired computer technician waxed nostalgic about quixotic battles to eliminate taxes, support the "traditional family" and secede from the United States.

So long as Alaska remained under the boot of the federal government, said Chryson, the AIP had to stand on guard to stymie a New World Order. He invited a Salon reporter to see a few items inside his pickup truck that were intended for his personal protection. "This here is my attack dog," he said with a chuckle, handing the reporter an exuberant 8-pound papillon from his passenger seat. "Her name is Suzy." Then he pulled a 9-millimeter Makarov PM pistol -- once the standard-issue sidearm for Soviet cops -- out of his glove compartment. "I've got enough weaponry to raise a small army in my basement," he said, clutching the gun in his palm. "Then again, so do most Alaskans." But Chryson added a message of reassurance to residents of that faraway place some Alaskans call "the 48." "We want to go our separate ways," he said, "but we are not going to kill you."

Though Chryson belongs to a fringe political party, one that advocates the secession of Alaska from the Union, and that organizes with other like-minded secessionist movements from Canada to the Deep South, he is not without peculiar influence in state politics, especially the rise of Sarah Palin. An obscure figure outside of Alaska, Chryson has been a political fixture in the hometown of the Republican vice-presidential nominee for over a decade. During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin's campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.

Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives, including one that altered the state Constitution's language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. 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. "Every time I showed up her door was open," said Chryson. "And that policy continued when she became governor."

When Chryson first met Sarah Palin, however, he didn't really trust her politically. It was the early 1990s, when he was a member of a local libertarian pressure group called SAGE, or Standing Against Government Excess. (SAGE's founder, Tammy McGraw, was Palin's birth coach.) Palin was a leader in a pro-sales-tax citizens group called WOW, or Watch Over Wasilla, earning a political credential before her 1992 campaign for City Council. Though he was impressed by her interpersonal skills, Chryson greeted Palin's election warily, thinking she was too close to the Democrats on the council and too pro-tax.

But soon, Palin and Chryson discovered they could be useful to each other. Palin would be running for mayor, while Chryson was about to take over the chairmanship of the Alaska Independence Party, which at its peak in 1990 had managed to elect a governor.

The AIP was born of the vision of "Old Joe" Vogler, a hard-bitten former gold miner who hated the government of the United States almost as much as he hated wolves and environmentalists. His resentment peaked during the early 1970s when the federal government began installing Alaska's oil and gas pipeline. Fueled by raw rage -- "The United States has made a colony of Alaska," he told author John McPhee in 1977 -- Vogler declared a maverick candidacy for the governorship in 1982. Though he lost, Old Joe became a force to be reckoned with, as well as a constant source of amusement for Alaska's political class. During a gubernatorial debate in 1982, Vogler proposed using nuclear weapons to obliterate the glaciers blocking roadways to Juneau. "There's gold under there!" he exclaimed.

Vogler made another failed run for the governor's mansion in 1986. But the AIP's fortunes shifted suddenly four years later when Vogler convinced Richard Nixon's former interior secretary, Wally Hickel, to run for governor under his party's banner. Hickel coasted to victory, outflanking a moderate Republican and a centrist Democrat. An archconservative Republican running under the AIP candidate, Jack Coghill, was elected lieutenant governor.

Hickel's subsequent failure as governor to press for a vote on Alaskan independence rankled Old Joe. With sponsorship from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Vogler was scheduled to present his case for Alaskan secession before the United Nations General Assembly in the late spring of 1993. But before he could, Old Joe's long, strange political career ended tragically that May when he was murdered by a fellow secessionist.

Hickel rejoined the Republican Party the year after Vogler's death and didn't run for reelection. Lt. Gov. Coghill's campaign to succeed him as the AIP candidate for governor ended in disaster; he peeled away just enough votes from the Republican, Jim Campbell, to throw the gubernatorial election to Democrat Tony Knowles.

Despite the disaster, Coghill hung on as AIP chairman for three more years. When he was asked to resign in 1997, Mark Chryson replaced him. 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 Hickel in infiltrating the mainstream.

This has meant rubbing shoulders and forging alliances with outright white supremacists and far-right theocrats, particularly those who dominate the proceedings at such gatherings as the North American Secessionist conventions, which AIP delegates have attended in recent years. The AIP's affiliation with neo-Confederate organizations is motivated as much by ideological affinity as by organizational convenience. Indeed, Chryson makes no secret of his sympathy for the Lost Cause. "Should the Confederate states have been allowed to separate and go their peaceful ways?" Chryson asked rhetorically. "Yes. The War of Northern Aggression, or the Civil War, or the War Between the States -- however you want to refer to it -- was not about slavery, it was about states' rights."

Another far-right organization with whom the AIP has long been aligned is Howard Phillips' militia-minded Constitution Party. The AIP has been listed as the Constitution Party's state affiliate since the late 1990s, and it has endorsed the Constitution Party's presidential candidates (Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin) in the past two elections.

The Constitution Party boasts an openly theocratic platform that reads, "It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations." In its 1990s incarnation as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, it was on the front lines in promoting the "militia" movement, and a significant portion of its membership comprises former and current militia members.

At its 1992 convention, the AIP hosted both Phillips -- the USTP's presidential candidate -- and militia-movement leader Col. James "Bo" Gritz, who was campaigning for president under the banner of the far-right Populist Party. According to Chryson, AIP regulars heavily supported Gritz, but the party deferred to Phillips' presence and issued no official endorsements.

In Wasilla, the AIP became powerful by proxy -- because of Chryson and Stoll's alliance with Sarah Palin. Chryson and Stoll had found themselves in constant opposition to policies of Wasilla's Democratic mayor, who started his three-term, nine-year tenure in 1987. By 1992, Chryson and Stoll had begun convening regular protests outside City Council. Their demonstrations invariably involved grievances against any and all forms of "socialist government," from city planning to public education. Stoll shared Chryson's conspiratorial views: "The rumor was that he had wrapped his guns in plastic and buried them in his yard so he could get them after the New World Order took over," Stein told a reporter.

Chryson did not trust Palin when she joined the City Council in 1992. He claimed that she was handpicked by Democratic City Council leaders and by Wasilla's Democratic mayor, John Stein, to rubber-stamp their tax hike proposals. "When I first met her," he said, "I thought she was extremely left. But I've watched her slowly as she's become more pronounced in her conservative ideology."

Palin was well aware of Chryson's views. "She knew my beliefs," Chryson said. "The entire state knew my beliefs. I wasn't afraid of being on the news, on camera speaking my views."

But Chryson believes she trusted his judgment because he accurately predicted what life on the City Council would be like. "We were telling her, 'This is probably what's going to happen,'" he said. "'The city is going to give this many people raises, they're going to pave everybody's roads, and they're going to pave the City Council members' roads.' We couldn't have scripted it better because everything we predicted came true."

After intense evangelizing by Chryson and his allies, they claimed Palin as a convert. "When she started taking her job seriously," Chryson said, "the people who put her in as the rubber stamp found out the hard way that she was not going to go their way." 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 was an AIP member until 2002, when he changed his registration to undeclared.

In  1996, Palin decided to run against John Stein as the Republican candidate 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.

Chryson and Stoll viewed Palin's ascendancy as a vehicle for their own political ambitions. "She got support from these guys," Stein remarked. "I think smart politicians never utter those kind of radical things, but they let other people do it for them. I never recall Sarah saying she supported the militia or taking a public stand like that. But these guys were definitely behind Sarah, thinking she was the more conservative choice."

"They worked behind the scenes," said Stein. "I think they had a lot of influence in terms of helping with the back-scatter negative campaigning."

Indeed, Chryson boasted that he and his allies urged Palin to focus her campaign on slashing character-based attacks. For instance, Chryson advised Palin to paint Stein as a sexist who had told her "to just sit there and look pretty" while she served on Wasilla's City Council. Though Palin never made this accusation, her 1996 campaign for mayor was the most negative Wasilla residents had ever witnessed.

While Palin played up her total opposition to the sales tax and gun control -- the two hobgoblins of the AIP -- mailers spread throughout the town portraying her as "the Christian candidate," a subtle suggestion that Stein, who is Lutheran, might be Jewish. "I watched that campaign unfold, bringing a level of slime our community hadn't seen until then," recalled Phil Munger, a local music teacher who counts himself as a close friend of Stein.

"This same group [Stoll and Chryson] also [publicly] challenged me on whether my wife and I were married because she had kept her maiden name," Stein bitterly recalled. "So we literally had to produce a marriage certificate. And as I recall, they said, 'Well, you could have forged that.'"

When Palin won the election, the men who had once shouted anti-government slogans outside City Hall now had a foothold inside the mayor's office. Palin attempted to pay back her newfound pals during her first City Council meeting as mayor. In that meeting, on Oct. 14, 1996, she appointed Stoll to one of the City Council's two newly vacant seats. But 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, who donated $1,000 to Palin's mayoral campaign, did not respond to numerous requests for an interview. Palin has blamed budget concerns for Cooper's departure.

The following year, when Carney proposed a local gun-control measure, Palin organized with Chryson to smother the nascent plan in its cradle. Carney's proposed ordinance 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.

"A lot of it was the ultra-conservative far right that is against everything in government, including taxes," recalled Carney. "A lot of it was a personal attack on me as being anti-gun, and a personal attack on anybody who deigned to threaten their authority to carry a loaded firearm wherever they pleased. That was the tenor of it. And it was being choreographed by Steve Stoll and the mayor."

Asked if he thought it was Palin who had instigated the turnout, he replied: "I know it was."

By Chryson's account, he and Palin also worked hand-in-glove to slash property taxes and block a state proposal that would have taken money for public programs from the Permanent Fund Dividend, or the oil and gas fund that doles out annual payments to citizens of Alaska. 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 on gun rights so cities and counties could not impose their own restrictions. "It took over 10 years to get that language written in," Chryson said. "But Sarah [Palin] was there supporting it."

"With Sarah as a mayor," said Chryson, "there were a number of times when I just showed up at City Hall and said, 'Hey, Sarah, we need help.' I think there was only one time when I wasn't able to talk to her and that was because she was in a meeting."

Chryson says the door remains open now that Palin is governor. (Palin's office did not respond to Salon's request for an interview.) While Palin has been more circumspect in her dealings with groups like the AIP as she has risen through the political ranks, she has stayed in touch.

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 born-again Republican Walter Hickel as her campaign co-chair. Hickel barnstormed the state for Palin, hailing her support for an "all-Alaska" liquefied gas pipeline, a project first promoted in 2002 by an AIP gubernatorial candidate named Nels Anderson. 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 has endorsed Palin's bid for vice president.

Just months before Palin burst onto the national stage as McCain's vice-presidential nominee, she delivered a videotaped address to the AIP's annual convention. Her message was scrupulously free of secessionist rhetoric, but complementary nonetheless. "I share your party's vision of upholding the Constitution of our great state," Palin told the assembly of AIP delegates. "My administration remains focused on reining in government growth so individual liberty can expand. I know you agree with that ... Keep up the good work and God bless you."

When Palin became the Republican vice-presidential nominee, her attendance of the 1994 and 2006 AIP conventions and her husband's membership in the party (as well as Palin's videotaped welcome to the AIP's 2008 convention) generated a minor controversy. Chryson claimed, however, that Sarah and Todd Palin never even played a minor role in his party's internal affairs. "Sarah's never been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party," Chryson insisted. "Todd has, but most of rural Alaska has too. I never saw him at a meeting. They were at one meeting I was at. Sarah said hello, but I didn't pay attention because I was taking care of business."


This information has been known for quite a while, yet most new medias, which includes McCain TV,aka Fox news, have opted not to write or report on it. Perhaps they are afraid that if McBush becomes President, Palin might go after them, like she did her ex-brother in-law.
Juan J Martinez , Oct 14, 2008, 5:50pm EDT
It was reported today on CNN that Palin give a keynote address at the AIP's 2006 convention and she recorded a video greeting for this year's 2008 convention. In other words, this is not something that happened when she was eight! This was said on the report given during the interview today on CNN!
Sharon K., Oct 14, 2008, 5:56pm EDT
I'm watching this story carefully. Thanks, Sharon.
Joe T., Oct 14, 2008, 6:15pm EDT
Joe, I do not believe we haven't heard the whole story about this until now! How could this woman be trusted in our government if this is true... call me whatever, but I would think this would be a very disturbing story, for any American. Correct me if I am wrong but from the report I just heard, this party hates our government, constitution and all we stand for.

Thanks for your comments Joe and Juan!
Sharon K., Oct 14, 2008, 6:31pm EDT
It's been on the internet for a long time. I don't see anything new here. Richard Owl Mirror is very interested in the AIP as well.
Wilma D., Oct 14, 2008, 6:32pm EDT
Thank you Wilma, I guess I have missed it some how, but after watching the report by Rick Sanchez on CNN, what could people be thinking to even consider such woman to run for the second highest office in our Nation, that would praise such a party's actions.

Thanks for your comment...
Sharon K., Oct 14, 2008, 6:40pm EDT
I like the statement from the campaign regarding this. I'll see if I can dig it up. It was pretty funny.
Lisa C., Oct 14, 2008, 6:50pm EDT
Hello Lisa, I hope you post the statement, I would also like to read it, but I do not know how they could explain such a thing like this. The video Rick Sanchez played where Palin was praising such party, says it all. What are people thinking to back a woman such as this?
Sharon K., Oct 14, 2008, 7:12pm EDT
I saw this video. She had been a registered member of their party and spoke at their last two conventions.
Carla G., Oct 14, 2008, 7:18pm EDT
Carla, I am surprised how many people would praise such a woman if they are aware of this news! This appears to be a radical organization plotting against our government from what I heard today. What could people be thinking? I must do more research on this...

Thanks for your comment have a great day!
Sharon K., Oct 14, 2008, 7:34pm EDT
Funny the McCain screening process didn't bring this up...
Bounder .., Oct 14, 2008, 7:52pm EDT
Good article, still voting for McCain/Palin rather then Obama, do not want higher taxes, more social programs, higher taxes, more social programs, higher taxes, more social programs, hopefully have not repeated myself here. Millions of voters do not want higher taxes neither to pay for more social programs.
Ray L., Oct 14, 2008, 7:59pm EDT

I cant tell if you are being straight or satirical. I guess thats kind of sad, isnt it?
Sy g., Oct 14, 2008, 8:12pm EDT
Not that it has much to do with the AIP but regardless of who wins the election we'll have higher taxes and more social programs.
I'm glad CNN is running this story. It's an interesting sidebar on the judgment of the McCain campaign strategists. Palin may not be Spiro Agnew yet, but all the results aren't in.
Ray, Joe Volger is founder of the Alaskan independence party. Joe Volger was killed during an attempt to purchase plastic explosives. Ray, why did this man want plasitic explosives?

Joe Vogler, told an interviewer in 1991: "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. ... And I won't be buried under their damn flag."

What do you think he was planning to use his Plastic explosives for Fourth of July? Think logically...

Ray, forget the taxes for a moment... Does Palin's association with this party not worry you at all? The AIP talked about infiltration... infiltration to our government! Think about what this possibly means... AIP-Palin-Infiltration...?
Sharon K., Oct 14, 2008, 8:21pm EDT
I saw the video on YouTube about a month ago and I heard that it was taken down.
"Millions of voters do not want higher taxes neither to pay for more social programs"
No, what millions of voters DO want is for our taxes NOT to keeps banks afloat while kids go hungry, homeless and without health care. "Social programs" are what keep society (get it? "social-society") from falling apart. They are what taxes are supposed to pay for, instead of bailing out greedy insurance companies and millionaire bankers.
Dame Ruth, Chief Executive Elitist D., Oct 14, 2008, 8:37pm EDT
Good article! Does this mean that you-know-who might have been palling around with those people? Maybe they launched her career in their living room...
Robin "Buffy's Stunt Double" D., Oct 14, 2008, 8:47pm EDT
Just to throw some more fuel on the fire: the symbol of the AIP is the polar bear. Gov. Palin has been photographed several times wearing a polar bear pin! Hmm. Coincidence?
N.K. *., Oct 14, 2008, 8:55pm EDT
The videos of her doing the greeting for the convention are still up along with her talking to a "class" graduating a program in that strange church she belongs to.


Todd Palin: If You Thought Cheney Was Bad, Watch out for the "First Dude"

By Bill Boyarsky, Truthdig. Posted October 15, 2008.

Todd Palin interfered regularly in his wife's affairs as governor, and there's every reason to assume he'd do the same in the White House.
More stories by Bill Boyarsky


Todd Palin seated behind a White House desk and shaping national policy could be one of the most dangerous aspects of a potential Sarah Palin presidency.

An overlooked part of the Alaska state trooper investigation is its finding on the influence of Gov. Palin's husband, Todd -- the "First Dude" or, as he is known around the Alaska statehouse, the "First Gentleman."

This is crucial in view of the age of the Republican nominee, John McCain, 72, and the fact that he has suffered from melanoma skin cancer. His doctors have pronounced him in excellent health, but his age and the serious nature of this type of cancer should focus attention on his running mate and her operating methods.

A fascinating picture of Todd Palin's influence in Alaska's capital is provided in the report of a legislative investigation that concluded that Gov. Palin unlawfully abused her power in seeking the firing of a state trooper once married to her sister. The report, released Friday, also criticized Palin for allowing Todd Palin to push hard for the dismissal of Trooper Mike Wooten.

Wooten had been married to the governor's sister. Their divorce was messy. So, apparently, was Wooten's career as a trooper. He had been accused of illegally shooting a moose, drinking beer in a patrol car and using a Taser gun on his stepson. He was disciplined before Palin became governor and was allowed to remain a trooper. 

When Palin took over, the Wooten case was high on the family agenda, with Todd Palin leading the effort to get rid of the trooper. As Associated Press writer Mike Apuzzo put it in his story on the report, Todd Palin had "extraordinary access to the governor's office" and he "used that access to try to get [Wooten] fired."

His target was Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, who said he lost his job because he refused to fire Wooten.

The report, by investigator Stephen Branchflower, a retired state prosecutor, shows how Todd Palin operates.

Monegan's secretary, Cassandra Byrne, said that on Jan. 4, 2007, she received a phone call from the governor's office. An aide told her "the First Gentleman would like to have a meeting with Commissioner Walt Monegan. At the time, I was not familiar with the term 'First Gentleman.' So I kept asking 'Who?' and she eventually said 'Todd Palin.' I said, 'Oh, OK,' so we set the time and the place which was the governor's office in Anchorage. "

Investigator Branchflower said that when Monegan arrived there he was directed into the governor's office. Todd Palin, wearing a business suit, was alone, waiting for him. "Mr. Palin was seated at a large conference table and invited Mr. Monegan to sit," the report said.

Monegan said, "What I recalled was Todd sitting there. He had three stacks of paper in an array in front of him" dealing with the Wooten case. One was from the Department of Public Safety, under which Alaska state troopers serve.

Monegan told Branchflower that he got "the impression that Todd was not happy with the investigation [that the department had made before disciplining Wooten].

"He told me that he [Wooten] just got a few days off [suspension] and didn't think that was enough. And this guy shouldn't be a trooper."

Describing Todd Palin, Monegan said, "I saw someone who was somewhat animated. Not certainly out of control but he was passionate about how he was addressing the issue.

"And my impression was that he was venting. I mean there was a complaint, the troopers investigated it and that they had come up with a conclusion and that he was not happy with the conclusion."

The telling vignette shows Todd Palin's position in the governor's office. Dressed in a business suit, seated behind a big conference table with state documents in front of him, he tried to tell the state's top cop how to do his job.

This is a man who was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a radical group advocating Alaskan secession from the United States. Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, told TPM Muckraker that Palin registered as an AIP member in October 1995 and continued in that status until 2000, when he registered as undeclared for a few months. He registered as an AIP member again and remained with the party until 2002, when he registered as undeclared. 

What other radical ideas are percolating in the mind of a man who is now portrayed in the media as sort of a lovable guys' guy?

If Sarah Palin ever becomes president, it is safe to assume that the First Gentleman of Alaska will slip into the role of First Gentleman of the United States with as much access to the Oval Office as he has to the governor's office in Anchorage.

That is a truly scary thought.


Oh say it ain't so Mr. First Dude!
Posted by: milox on Oct 15, 2008 1:24 AM   
Todd Palin, hubby of Sarah, Gov of AK, is either a rube for his assumption he was in the right place doing official business or a meddling idiot...perhaps both.

The way these things usually works is it's filtered through the pants wearer but she's incompetent as it stands....he probably didn't trust her to pull it off.

If somehow McCain/Palin get elected and John kicks the bucket...we're so hosed, you betcha.
Palin is the Emperor of Alaska who wore no clothes and Todd is her dresser.

Posted by: NoMcCainPalin on Oct 15, 2008 1:36 AM   

Not that I want to see Sarah naked, because I don't. It's just that I can't think of a better metaphor for a dimwitted hockey mom governor who thinks that gazing at neighboring Russia gives her foreign affairs experience.

Or believes humans hunted dinosaurs.

Or thinks man has no influence on global warming.

When applied to Sarah Palin, Hans Christian Anderson's famous "Emperor's New Clothes" story makes sense because it's a metaphor for MASS STUPIDITY -- in this case, the millions of Americans who believe Palin is qualified to be president of the United States.

Consider, for example, the opening paragraph of Anderson's tale:

MANY years ago there lived an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of grand new clothes that he spent all his money upon them, that he might be very fine. He did not care about his soldiers, nor about the theatre, and only liked to drive out and show his new clothes.

Is that not Sarah Palin, a former beauty queen more concerned about her appearance than her empty head?

Anderson's story went on to describe two con artists who figured out that the Emperor's vanity could be exploited by selling him nonexistent clothes.

Wrote Anderson, One day two rogues came: they gave themselves out as weavers, and declared they could weave the finest stuff any one could imagine. Not only were their colors and patterns, they said, uncommonly beautiful, but the clothes made of the stuff possessed the wonderful quality that they became invisible to any one who was unfit for the office he held, or was incorrigibly stupid.

That's us -- the American people -- incorrigibly stupid if Palin becomes our vice president.

Finally, for more damning information about Scary Sarah and her unfit running mate, including his treasonous POW record, click on: Vote Against McCain (one of the HOTTEST anti-McCain sites on the Web)

Other websites freedom-loving Americans should visit, especially veterans, are:
How McCain Betrayed His Fellow Vets
Iraq Vets Against the War
U.S. Veterans Dispatch
Vietnam Vets Against John McCain
Veterans Voice
Vote Veterans
Posted by: Tom Degan on Oct 15, 2008 1:49 AM   
Not having any ideas on which to base their monunentally stupid campaign, Camp McCain can only run on the "character" of Barack Obama.

Character? Character??? These assholes what to talk about chararcter? Let's talk about character, shall we?

One of the founding fathers of the Republican party, Abraham Lincoln, believed to his core that not sttate had the constitutional right to secede from the union. He even fought a civil war to kind of drive home the point. Can you imagine if Jill Biden (Joe's Mrs.) had until relatively recently been involved in an organization that advocated indepeddence for the state of Delaware? They would at this moment be positively apoplectic! That very fact alone would have disqualified my man Joe from being on the ticket. The fact that Mr. Sarah Palin until a few years ago belonged to a political party which sought Alaskan secession means not a thing to these hypocrites.

Heavens to Betsy, I'm lovin' this campaign!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Crazy White People
A Family affair!

Posted by: Karl.Ben on Oct 15, 2008 2:56 AM   

This is a scary thought but not unusual. I think the problem this time is the thought that a women would allow this more than a man. The same concern was raised about Clinton. BUT, consider the influence of a wife on a candidate..

We know Michelle Obama will have a strong hand in helping shape policy. Obama has said as much! THAT is a scary thought!

I can take Barack, I can't take Michelle so shes a deal breaker for me!

You vote for the candidate you get the entire family!
The Photo Says it All
Posted by: GatoPreto on Oct 15, 2008 3:34 AM   
Great choice of photo, it really drives the point home. Though I doubt Palin's future in Politics is golden, it's important to make sure this political beast is stone cold dead before we turn our backs on it. Keep up the good work


Trend is definitely changing in Obama's favor
Posted by: hankhawk on Oct 15, 2008 4:02 AM   
In the past few weeks I've detected a definite
change of momentum in favor of Obama. In
fact there seems to be a bit of panic in
McCain's appearances and messages.
While I don't take polls as 100% accurate, there is certainly a shift in numbers in
Obama's favor.
Also I definitely see a dropping of Palin's
popularity among the more aware and educated
I also don't believe we'll have to worry about
any ballot manipulations this year because
I think the outcome will not even be close
enough that the vote numbers can give Dem's
a chance to change votes to give McCain
a chance to steal the election.
Today's final debate could be the final nail
in McCain's coffin if Obama continues his
positive image and keeps a cool head.
Silly me - I'm not scared in the least
Posted by: MartianBachelor on Oct 15, 2008 4:13 AM   
"Todd Palin seated behind a White House desk and shaping national policy"... would be a huge victory for diversity, seeing as how no one of "eskimo" (Yup'ik) heritage has ever been so well placed in the corridors of power.

What kind of man could be married to a woman so hormonally exuberant as Sarah Palin, with her dual archetypes straight out of a Camille Paglia reverie: half Alaskan Amazon, half Venus of Willendorf, half alpha-female power bitch? Exactly the kind you’d expect: he works as both a North Slope oilfield roughneck and a salmon fisherman. He’s also won the state’s snowmobile championship, the 2,000-mile Tesoro Iron Dog race, four times. (He only finished fourth this year because he had to ride the last 400 miles with a broken arm after being thrown 70 feet.) Did I mention he’s part Eskimo? And that he's the much-hoped-for New Male who stays home and takes care of the kids -- five of `em (!) -- while mom is off slaying evil Republican political dragons? And that he does all this with the seeming unshakable serenity of a Tibetan monk?

Compared to Obama’s much-lauded but tedious life (sorta like this article), cautiously plotted in countless Chicago backrooms, the Alaskan-sized lustiness of Governor Palin’s and The First Dude's full-throttle biography, and all the only-in-Alaska factoids about them, always leave me laughing.

Colossians 3:18
Posted by: kiel on Oct 15, 2008 4:36 AM   
Well, given the Palins’ Baptist conservatism, it is not surprising that Todd has the run of the place. The Southern Baptist convention made a big deal a few years ago of promoting a male-dominant worldview, based on Colossians 3:18: “”Wives, be subject to your husbands…”

So the wingnuts who want religion to shade their politics and policies are bound by this. Baby Sarah would have to bow to Todd’s every whim in office. And if she became president, Todd would, by this theology, have ultimate control–could even order Sarah to start WW3. And Sara would either have to disobey Todd or disobey God.

Of course, no one is saying religion has any place in politics…except people like the Palins (and Bushes, and all the other wingnuts)…

Posted by: wellaware lec on Oct 15, 2008 4:53 AM   
IN WAYS such as evidenced in this article. How could anyone at all aware of structure of fundamentalist Christian hierarchy/dogma NOT already know that Todd will prevail as head of the household, albeit this is a rather unique fundamentalist household and a Republican move contrary to more obvious patterns. This is a woman who knows how to be a star UNDER a man's thumb, for sure, or she would not be where she is now. And a sociopath toboot (info continues to come forward, on a daily basis). For her to behave as she does could only move her forward as it has WITH a similar patterned and very, very strong husband.
Also, apparently conditions under which $2.5 M house built near sports center now have come into serious question....after all building permit requirements abolished by Mayor Palin.
I think someone should also do followup on people who have come forward with info incriminating to Palin, to see how many are still OK, right before, and also after, the election. Check moves out of Alaska, Alaska obits, etc. Patterns show they will probably pay for years to come.
First Dude

Posted by: jannahanna on Oct 15, 2008 4:59 AM   

Maybe he'll just take over as governor of Alaska.
Posted by: taxidriver on Oct 15, 2008 5:26 AM   
If McCain-Palin win, we'll have a lot bigger problems than potential meddling by the "first dude."

Although it wouldn't surprise me if he became the Interior Secretary--or the head of U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

If that happens, maybe we'll have another "Day of the Animals."
Yeah they're mavericks they do what they want and to hell with everyone else
Posted by: justaperson on Oct 15, 2008 5:34 AM   
Sarah Palin and her husband and her daughter flaunt a feeling of superiority based on vulgarity. They are not a transparent bunch. Secret pregnancies, late night phone calls and troopergate obsessions, backroom deals to play switcheroo with the "bridge to nowhere cash" in order to maintain the falsity that Palin turned it down. And then there is the witchdoctor, but please I don't even want to go there. Sarah is a disastor once you move beyond the most radically conservative base and even they would rue the day they supported her should she ever (God forbid) be in a position to make grave decisions for this nation. Sarah is a drama queen. That's why so few women support her.
Stop buying into the racist rightwing media bullshit that this race is still "close".

Posted by: maxpayne on Oct 15, 2008 5:39 AM   

I may have issues with Obama moving to the rightwing on everything but at this point, it's pretty much safe to say that this election won't even be close. Why is this author still buying into the rightwing media bullshit that it still will be by writing useless posts about Todd Palin who has virtually no chance of becoming Second Dude let alone first? The race is OVER. Get over it ! Now let's all get out there and vote and do to John Mccain what VA voters did to Jerry KILgore in 2005 and George Allen in 2006 and that was to kick their asses at the polls !

P.S.: To the people who still worry that there will be some so-called "Bradley Effect", stop corn-feeding yourselves with rightwing bullshit ! There is no "Bradley Effect" and in fact that conspiracy theory was disproven in the 1980s itself. The only reason the rightwing media is now bringing it up is all along they desperately wanted Mccain to win but are now trying to deny the reality that Mccain is sinking faster than Bush did in 2004. If Mccain were ahead of Obama by 5-10 points, this same media would say that America is not ready to elect a black president. Now, they're trying to play the race and party cards against him. Can you imagine the different treatment the media would have been for Condi ?
Dumb and Dumber in the Wings
Posted by: Midway54 on Oct 15, 2008 5:47 AM   
Our Plutocracy is becoming frantic over the clear possibility that its new Stooges are headed for defeat. Shrieking Sarah, grossly incompetent and apparently too dumb to recognize her limitations (or is she?), will bring with her the First Du(fus), dumber still with no credentials, a frightening duo to contemplate in case McBush at age 72 either dies or suffers a disabling medical condition. Their presence in the White House will be ideal for the owners of the military-industrial-compliant media complex, because both of them, like the current Puppet, will eagerly follow orders benefitting the upper 1% of the economic ladder and keeping dissenters intimidated and scandalized. Expect from now on the worst of the ultra-right slanders, libels, and deceptions against Obama to infuriate and lure the Dupes and vacuities to the polls to fornicate themselves and all the rest of us who can see the Plutocracy for what it really is in its striving to maintain the Gilded Age II Disaster created by the worst president in the Nation's history.
Posted by: rfgtile on Oct 15, 2008 6:01 AM   
Send in the Clowns

Isn't it rich, are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn't it bliss, don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around
One who can't move
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.

Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours.
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines;
No one is there.

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear,
I thought that you'd want what I want,
Sorry my dear
But where are the clowns
There ought to be clowns
Quick send in the clowns

What a surprise!
Who could foresee
I'd come to feel about you
What you felt about me?
Why only now when I see
That you've drifted away?
What a surprise...
What a cliche'...

Isn't it rich, isn't it queer
Losing my timing this late in my career
And where are the clowns
Quick send in the clowns
Don't bother, they're here.
» RE: bkennethmcgee Posted by: VZEQICVA
Posted by: X-POLYGAMIST WIFE on Oct 15, 2008 6:13 AM   
John McCain doesn't care about women and children, he doesn't give a crap about anybody. His only ambition is to please Cindy McCain, his sugar-mama, who wants to be First Lady and live in the White House.

Watch the video:
Posted by: FMABBI on Oct 15, 2008 6:16 AM 
One of the commenters wants to compare Michelle Obama to Todd Palin? First of all, Michelle has a law degree. Todd has no higher education whatsoever. Michelle has proven smarts and Todd stupidly overstepped his role as "First Gentleman" in this Trooper-gate escapade. Todd is genuinely dangerous for the country having belonged for years to the AIP. How does HE see America I wonder? Michelle once stated that she's proud of America for the first time - and if Obama is elected - I will be proud of America for the first time as well!

Our politics are disgusting. Our racism is abhorrent. Our foreign policies have diminished our standing in the world, especially due this tragic, expensive, reckless, illegal war without end in Iraq. Meanwhile our general in Afganistan is begging for more troops - do we even have them?

Let's turn the page and elect Barack Obama and have some real intelligence in the oval office for a change! He's not perfect but he's got the right stuff to turn this country around and get us out of the ditch we're in!
Max Blumenthal on Sarah Palin’s Radical Right-Wing Pals and Her Ties to the Pro-Secessionist Alaskan Independence Party

As the McCain campaign continues to focus on Senator Obama’s alleged ties to former Weather Underground member William Ayers, a new investigation in sheds light on how Governor Palin’s ties to the radical right are far deeper than previously thought. Journalists Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert detail how Palin was elected Mayor of Wasilla over a decade ago with the help of activists from the Alaska Independence Party and the John Birch Society. They allege that she tried to return the favor later by attempting to appoint one of them to an empty city council seat.

Max Blumenthal, investigative reporter. He was in Alaska last month investigating Governor Palin’s ties to the Alaska Independence Party. He is a fellow at the Nation Institute and his latest article, ‘Meet Sarah Palin’s Radical Right-Wing Pals’. His website is


AMY GOODMAN: A new report from the Alaska legislature has concluded Republican vice-presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin abused her power and violated state ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law Mike Wooten fired from the state police. The report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower states, “Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda.”

Palin, on the other hand, is claiming the report completely exonerates her in the so-called “Troopergate” controversy. She told reporters Saturday, “Well, I’m very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity.”

Meanwhile, as the McCain campaign continues to focus on Senator Obama’s alleged ties to former Weather Underground member William Ayers, now a professor at the University of Illinois, a new investigation at sheds light on how Governor Palin’s ties to the radical right are far deeper than previously thought. Journalists Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert detail how Palin was elected Mayor of Wasilla over a decade ago with the help of activists from the Alaska Independence Party and the John Birch Society. They allege she tried to return the favor later by attempting to appoint one of them to an empty city council seat.

Governor Palin is not a member of the Alaska Independence Party, but she has attended party conventions and even addressed this year’s convention.

AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal was in Alaska last month investigating Palin’s ties to the Alaska Independence Party. He’s a fellow at the Nation Institute. His latest article is “Meet Sarah Palin’s Radical Right-Wing Pals.” It’s online at He joins us now from Arizona.

We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Max Blumenthal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, great to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: Max, let’s just start out with the Troopergate report. I was just listening to her conversation with Alaska reporters on Saturday—Governor Palin’s—where she said she has been completely vindicated, legally as well as any other way, in terms of any pressure brought to bear on the firing of the commissioner, the public safety commissioner of Alaska. Can you summarize for us what the report found?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, what the report found, everything Sarah Palin had said in terms of her motives for firing trooper Mike Wooten, who had divorced her sister, was completely false, that she felt threatened by Trooper Wooten, for example, was completely contradicted by the fact that as soon as she came into office, she demanded that her security detail be significantly reduced. And so, just across the board, everything she had said about Trooper Wooten being a threat to her was contradicted by this report, and that Todd Palin, the self-described “first dude” of Alaska, spent 50 percent of his personal time, you know, in the governor’s office seeking ways to fire Trooper Wooten and to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who happens to be sort of a local hero in Alaska.

So, the report itself is pretty devastating, and what Sarah Palin is saying is that she hasn’t—that the report finds that she hasn’t broken any laws. And technically, while that’s true, she also stands to be censured by the legislature and/or fined, which would completely erode her image as a reformer who’s above party politics and personal corruption, something that, you know, the McCain campaign had sought her out for.

Beyond that, there’s more trouble ahead for Sarah Palin. She had followed a terrible McCain campaign strategy—and this is a little bit complicated—by which she would file an ethics report against herself before the State Personnel Board. And the logic behind this was that because the governor controls the State Personnel Board, you know, reports directly to the governor, she could get a favorable report on her handling of the trooper controversy, and this would have a lot of public relations value and would sort of at least exonerate her before the public. But what wound up happening was the State Personnel Board appointed another tough prosecutor, someone named Timothy Petumenos, an Anchorage—an Anchorage lawyer, who also happens to be a Democrat. And they’re going to release their report in a few weeks, and I expect that this report could be equally, if not more, devastating for Governor Palin.

AMY GOODMAN: And is that report expected to be released before the election, before November 4th?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I think it is.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Max Blumenthal, let’s talk about your piece, “Meet Sarah Palin’s Radical Right-Wing Pals.” You’re just recently back from Alaska. What did you find?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, I took a trip to Alaska about two weeks ago and interviewed the former chair of the Alaskan Independence Party. And then a reporter named David Neiwert, who’s been covering the anti-government militia movement since the early ’90s, took his own trip there, and in addition to interviewing, you know, the former AIP chair, Mark Chryson, we talked to people who served on the city council in Wasilla with Sarah Palin; we talked to her predecessor as mayor, John Stein; and we combed through city council records, investigating the extent of her ties to the Alaskan Independence Party, because we didn’t think that this has been sufficiently covered.

And what we found was that she was more closely associated with this party and with fringe right-wing elements than the media had previously discovered or than Palin was willing to acknowledge. And not only did she, you know, associate with them in order to advance her political ambitions, she advanced their agenda on a local and state level. Beginning with Mark Chryson and a character named Steve Stoll, who’s known around Wasilla as “Black Helicopter Steve,” because he’s rumored to have buried several high-powered automatic weapons in his front yard in expectation of the federal government ushering in the new world order, these characters are very paranoid, conspiratorial people who loathe the federal government and believe that the federal government is responsible for all the ills that have befallen their state. That’s why they—you know, that the Alaskan Independence Party was founded. It was founded to find a means, some remedy, so that Alaska could secede from the union. Its founder, Joe Vogler, said, “I’m an Alaskan, I’m not an American. And I hate America and all her damned institutions.” So this is what the party is about.

And these characters were—you know, befriended Sarah Palin in the early ’90s, when she first started her political career. Mark Chryson sort of claimed partial credit for her conversion from sort of middle-of-the-road bipartisanship to hardcore conservative ideology. And he worked hand-in-glove with Sarah Palin when she was in the city council on reducing property taxes and legislation like that. At the same time, they encouraged her to run for mayor against John Stein. And the mayor in Wasilla was at the time considered a nonpartisan position, but she ran an extremely partisan campaign with the help of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. And, by the way, I have an exclusive video report about her church at a website called And while her church put out fliers calling her the Christian candidate, which sort of subtly, in a subtle way, may have suggested that John Stein, whose name is Jewish but was actually a Lutheran, was a Jew, Mark Chryson and Black Helicopter Steve Stoll created a lot of the negative backscatter around the campaign, for example, demanding that John Stein produce a marriage certificate proving that he and his wife were legally married. They claimed that they were not actually married, which is a devastating charge in a culturally conservative environment like Wasilla. This eventually led to Sarah Palin’s election.

So, as soon as Sarah Palin was elected, what did she do? She wanted to reward her supporters, for example, Black Helicopter Steve. So the city council seat she had just vacated, she nominated Steve Stoll for this seat. His nomination was blocked by a city councilmember named Nick Carney, who we interviewed, and Nick Carney told us he blocked the nomination because Steve Stoll was a violent influence on a local level. And John Stein told us this is the kind of character who, if you had a disagreement with him, he’d take you out in the parking lot and try to beat you up. And these are the people Sarah Palin was working with. Beyond that, they claim that they always had an open door into her office as mayor, and that continued as governor.

And they worked with her, and she supported them on efforts to, for example, amend the state constitution’s language to make it impossible for municipalities to enact their own gun control laws. And the reason that the Alaskan Independence Party wanted to do this was to make it easier to form anti-government militias. This is a party that’s been intimately connected to the militia movement on a national level, including figures like Bo Gritz. So, Sarah Palin knew the views of these groups. That’s according to Mark Chryson. She knew his views, but she was willing to work with them to advance her ambition. And she was willing to enact their agenda. So it didn’t matter whether or not she was a member of this group; she was at least a member in spirit.

AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal, we’re going to go to break. When we come back, we’re going to hear a clip of the interview you did with the former chair of the Alaska Independence Party, Mark Chryson, and we’ll also play the piece that you did on her church. This is Democracy Now!,, the War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.

AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal interviewed the former chair of the Alaska Independence Party, Mark Chryson, about how well he knew Governor Palin.

AMY GOODMAN: Mark Chryson, the former chair of the Alaska Independence Party. And again, Max Blumenthal, for people just joining us, explain what the Alaska Independence Party is. And wasn’t Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, a member of it?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: The Alaskan Independence Party is a neo-secessionist political party in Alaska that has links to thirty other neo-secessionist groups, including neo-Confederate groups and white—and parties that have served as havens for white nationalists and theocrats across the country. It’s essentially a fringe right party that’s gained a political foothold in Alaska because of anti-government sentiment in that state. And a lot of people have joined that party, because they were sympathetic to parts of its party platform. Todd Palin was among those people; however, he was not an active member. But that’s besides the point.

In 2007, Alaskan Independence Party Vice Chair Dexter [Clark] unveiled the party’s new strategy at a neo-secessionist convention in Tennessee, which was attended by all the neo-Confederate groups that the Alaskan Independence Party affiliates with. And his new strategy was called the infiltration strategy, that because these fringe parties can’t get anyone elected running under their own party banner, he urged them to infiltrate the other two, the two major political parties, the Republican and Democratic parties. And he pointed to Sarah Palin as the most successful example of this strategy, that she was essentially—this is in his words, and I’m paraphrasing his words—she was essentially an Alaskan Independence Party cadre, boring from within the Republican Party’s infrastructure.

And while the McCain campaign was able to discredit his claim that she was an AIP member, they weren’t able to discredit the fact, and they haven’t even addressed the fact, that she worked hand-in-glove with the Alaskan Independence Party during the early ’90s and throughout her governorship. And when she spoke before the Alaskan Independence Party in 2008, she pointedly refused to or just did not address the Democratic Party. So that raises questions in itself.

AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal, I wanted to play the report you referred to earlier about Governor Palin’s former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. It begins with a clip from a 2005 sermon by the visiting Kenyan Pentecostal preacher Thomas Muthee. He is praying over Sarah Palin.

AMY GOODMAN: Retired Baptist minister, Reverend Howard Bess, talking to journalist Max Blumenthal. Bess’s 1995 book Pastor, I Am Gay was among those Governor Palin tried to remove from the Wasilla Public Library when she was mayor. Max Blumenthal, how do you know this?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Howard Bess, you know, described to me three separate occasions when Sarah Palin went to the Wasilla Public Library to demand the removal of that book, and I went to the library myself, and they told me it wasn’t there for space reasons. But Howard Bess and people in the community know otherwise. Howard Bess estimates that he has lost, you know, $500,000 for his church, which was de-fellowshipped, because he allowed gay people to pray there. And Sarah Palin was, you know, working—was directly involved with the forces that have worked to destroy and demonize him simply for tolerating homosexuals in his church. And this is the context in which, you know, she was groomed and cultivated as a political leader.

The character you heard at the beginning and whose kind of garbled preaching you heard in the middle of that video, for your radio listeners, is a Kenyan pastor named—a Pentecostal pastor named Bishop Thomas Muthee, who claims that he cast a witch out of a town named Kiambu, Kenya, and then, you know, miraculously planted eighteen churches there. When the Wasilla Assembly of God, Sarah Palin’s church for over twenty years, found out about him through a popular video disseminated through Christian right channels, they flew him over there to bless Sarah Palin when she was running for governor. And he blessed her by saying that we need more Christian leaders in all of the seven spheres in society, and he complained that there are too many Israelites—that was his, you know, obvious codeword for Jews—in government and that Sarah Palin would be a remedy to that. She, after he said that, walked up and turned her hands up to the sky and closed her eyes and allowed him to lay hands on her and protect her from the spirit of witchcraft.

Now, this is the language of spiritual warfare that comes out of her church, the idea that behind reality is a secret spiritual world, a clash between Satan and God. And this is what they believe, and this is, you know, the Manichean worldview that informs Sarah Palin’s extreme conservatism. It’s why she treated someone like Howard Bess so harshly.

And I went to this McCain-Palin press conference, which you heard and saw there, about the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to ask how the theology of her church influenced her decisions in dealing with perceived political enemies like Walt Monegan. Of course, they treated it like an illegitimate question, but I think it really is an essential question to understanding how Sarah Palin thinks about the world. In a way, she’s more George W. Bush than George W. Bush was.

AMY GOODMAN: Max Blumenthal, I want to thank you for being with us, Puffin Foundation writing fellow at the Nation Institute. His website, His latest article, “Meet Sarah Palin’s Radical Right-Wing Pals,” online at