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Sarah Palin Hates Me? January 13, 2009

Posted by roothogreport in Executive.
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Apologies for the long hiatus between the last news item and this one; I was on a sandy beach escaping Fairbanks’ two-week cold snap.

Sarah Palin has been busy with the media lately, giving interviews to whoever wants them.  In these interviews, she mostly criticizes the same people who are keeping her fifteen minutes of national fame alive- the media.

She’s come out really strong lately against bloggers, probably (and I’m only guessing here) because the majority of the high-quality blogs out there weren’t particularly supportive of her political ambitions.  In an interview with Esquire, Palin let this little gem fly, “Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me….I’ll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask — double-, triple-, quadruple-check — who is Trig’s real mom. And I said, Come on, are you kidding me? We’re gonna answer this? Do you not believe me or my doctor? And they said, No, it’s been quite cryptic the way that my son’s birth has been discussed. And I thought, Okay, more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism.”

Upon the publication of Palin’s attack on their reporting, the ADN released a lengthy, point-by-point response- published, fittingly, on the editor’s blog.  In their response, the ADN claimed that the only reason their reporter was asking about Trig at all was that the paper was working on a story debunking conspiracy theories about Palin and her campaign.  Furthermore, the paper claimed that they had to abandon the story due to lack of cooperation from Palin’s family and office.  The ADN characterized Palin’s attack as at best factually incorrect, and at worst intentionally misleading.

Sarah Palin, though, tends to move in only one direction once she’s going, so she hasn’t backed down on the anti-blog rhetoric.  In an interview with Alaska Report published today, Palin opined that bloggers aren’t held appropriately to account when they lie.

The subject of people not being held to account when they lie, especially in the world of politics, is an area which has become rich with examples over the past five or ten years.  Given this, it’s extremely tempting to caustically turn Palin’s words right back at her.  I think that in this particular instance I’ll take the high road, though, and leave you to pick your own favorite person who hasn’t been held to account for lying to the Alaskan and/or American people.  I feel like bloggers don’t rate very high on the list, but maybe I’m too close to the topic.

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BREAKING: TED STEVENS GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS October 27, 2008

Posted by roothogreport in Legislature.
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CNN is reporting that Ted Stevens has just been found guilty on all 7 counts of making false statements.  There’s not much news other than that, but really, that’s all the news there’s really going to be.

This is absolutely not what I was expecting.  Now we see whether he’ll be re-elected anyway.

I’ll update with more news as it comes.

UPDATE 12:50 PM: Apparently the convictions wouldn’t bar him from serving if he’s re-elected, but it’s a virtual certainty that the Senate Ethics Committee would begin action to expel him.  Only eleven senators have ever been convicted of crimes in office, and the last time one was kicked out was during the Civil War.

Word on the street is that Stevens might resign this week.

UPDATE 1:31 PM: The Alaska Democratic Party has put out a statement calling for Stevens’ resignation. Can’t exactly call that a surprise.

UPDATE 4:30 PM: Stevens has now put out his own statement saying that he is innocent of all charges and will continue to run for his seat.  So much for that talk about resigning… Uncle Ted isn’t going down without a fight.

State News Recap: Exciting Crimes Edition October 22, 2008

Posted by roothogreport in Executive, Legislature.
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Thought I’d recap some Alaska politics stories that are getting a lot of buzz right now for those of you who don’t hang out in the same corners of the internet(s) as myself.

  • The Republican National Committee has reportedly spent $150,000 on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and her family in the last seven weeks.  That’s almost twice what she makes in a year as governor (just over $81,000).  If I had known that being John McCain’s VP candidate would net me that kind of scratch to spend on clothes, I would have put my name in the hat.  I can explain the duties of the vice president better than Sarah can…
  • Ted Stevens’ fate is now in the hands of the jurors.  Here’s my prediction, which isn’t too bold but does disagree with a few political minds I’ve picked on this topic: If he beats the rap, he wins re-election.  If he is convicted of any charge, he loses.  Going out onto a limb a little further, my bet is that even if he is re-elected he won’t run again in six years.  The era of Ted Stevens as the Republican version of the “Lion of the Senate” is coming to a close.
  • Back to Sarah for a minute- she is scheduled to give her deposition in the Troopergate probe on Friday.  You may well be thinking, “Didn’t that whole thing wrap up a week or two ago?”  The answer is yes and no.  The Legislature’s probe is already over, and it found that she abused her power and acted in an ethically irresponsible way, but stopped short of accusing her of breaking specific laws.  The Alaska Personnel Board, at Palin’s request, is operating a second probe which is still ongoing.  Sarah will give her deposition to the APB probe; she declined to participate in the Legislature’s investigation.
  • In case you’re of a mind to believe that Republicans are responsible for all of the scandals in Alaska politics, think again.  John Brown, a Democrat running against incumbent Republican Jay Ramras for State House in District 10, ran into some trouble over the last week.  First, an old conviction for using cocaine surfaced.  This conviction is nearly thirty years old, so while it wasn’t great news for Brown and likely lost him a few votes, it wouldn’t have been a game-changer by itself.  Unfortunately for Brown, a few days later it came out that his campaign manager was making false accusations about Jay Ramras on the website of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, using an anonymous username to disguise his identity.  The cocaine conviction story was thereby resurrected and amplified, with the addition of a story which suggests that Brown’s campaign is in disarray.  At this point, Brown is dead in the water.
That’s all for now.  Enjoy your Wednesday.

Weekend Recap October 6, 2008

Posted by roothogreport in Executive, Fairbanks Government, Legislature.
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It was a busy weekend in Alaska politics.  Here’s a summary of what went on:

  • State Attorney General Talis Colberg says that seven state employees will now cooperate with their subpoenas in the Troopergate investigation.  This is good news, of course, but I wish he and the McCain/Palin campaign hadn’t stonewalled the investigation in the first place.
  • The federal government is bungling the hell out of the Ted Stevens trial.  The defense is now attempting a second time to have the case dismissed.  My sister is already spinning conspiracy theories about how the case’s mismanagement is purposeful; I’m not quite there yet.
  • The VP Debate: The consensus of reaction appears to be that Palin handed in a better-than-expected performance, but Biden won the debate.  My two gripes with Palin’s debating style were her folksy Fargo-esque accent, which sounded overwrought, and also her willingness to completely ignore the questions in favor of whatever she wanted to talk about.  That said, anyone expecting her to leave the stage humbled and in tears was certainly disappointed.
  • Todd and Piper Palin were surprise guests at a Palin rally in Anchorage on Saturday.    There were also Obama rallies in Anchorage and Fairbanks.  At the Fairbanks Obama rally, City Council candidate Tonya Brown spoke.  Brown is facing off tomorrow against Jerry Cleworth and Kurt Gutzman for City Council Seat F.
  • Looking forward: the municipal election (for Borough Assembly, City Council, School Board, and local initiatives) is tomorrow.  I’ll post shortly with information on candidates and propositions.