Abortion. NRA. Religion - Palin Began With WEDGE ISSUES

There have been countless diaries in the past few days on our VP opponent.  I apologize if I've missed coverage of this aspect of her past here.  

The Times' William Yardley has a fascinating look at Palin's rocky start in local politics http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/us/pol itics/03wasilla.html?hp The piece details some of the well-diaried issues such as her questionable economic policies and her consideration of book banning.  But the focus of this piece is how she dived into the local election with a campaign of hard-core Christian dogma.  It also shows that even in 1996, just two years after Newt's Contract With America, she was a tough campaigner who had already mastered the art of exploiting wedge issues - particularly religion.

For 2008, McCain has chosen a ticketmate with the very skills he deplored in 2000.  

WASILLA, Alaska -- The world arrived here more than a century ago with the gold rush and later the railroad. Yet one aspect of American life did not come to town until 1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics.

The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people -- Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy? -- seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.

Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin's behalf.

-snip -

Ms. Palin and her passion for Republican ideology and religious faith overtook a town known for a wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod dog sled race.

"Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, `Whoa,' " said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. "But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: `We will have our first Christian mayor.' "

"I thought: `Holy cow, what's happening here? Does that mean she thinks I'm Jewish or Islamic?'" recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. "The point was that she was a born-again Christian." 

More ugliness after the bump

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Palin's Daughter: Why Obama is Right

First, feel free to recommend this diary. Because what I am going to write is going to be an important defense of what Obama is trying to say today about Palin's daughter.

Second, lets be honest. We're number crunchers here at myDD. We love to read the tea leaves.  So be objective about what I'm going to write. I want you to tell me what you think about it.

Here's the situation. We know the VP pick of McCain, now has a pregnant 17 year old daugher. We also know that the mother and prospective vice president of the United States, is going to encourage that daughter to marry and have the child.

The issue is not whether or not a child, should have a child. A 17 year old is hardly a mature person. To marry, and give her life to motherhood at this early age is noble, and perhaps misinformed.

The issue is whether or not we will descend into the political gutter.

Obama made a clear call today to all of us, to simply say. Hey. Family is off limits.  And that holds alot of promise for us.
All of us.

A person who is trying to decide whether or not to go into corporate America, with deep six figure salaries, or to turn to public service - has a lot to decide. One of those factors should not be whether or not his family will be used as political cannon fodder.

Another important reason why Obama is right, has to do largely with the fact that Obama stands for making abortion scarce. Lets face it, this child - having this child - has made a choice
that will resonate throughout her entire life.  And whether or not you think the issue is roe v. wade, the fact is, that in this case, the Palins have taken a huge moral issue and dealt with it in a way that respects the life of the unborn child, and I am sure, the life of their child.  This young lady will have +support+ and +help+ to raise her child. Thats important. What mother would choose not to have her baby, if she knew she would be helped, and cared for? Nordic countries in europe with heavily socialized medicine, sport the lowest abortion rates in the entire world, for this specific reason.

If we can support Obama, and go hands-off on this little girl who is having her baby - then we'll all end up coming out ahead.  Sure, Palin's not qualified to be president, thats not the issue. The issue Obama is raising, at least to this author - is whether or not families are fair game. Obama doesn't want his family to be targets. He wants to face McCain square on, and not have a dog and pony show running.

And lets face it, who else loves a dog and pony show more than the evangelics?

So in the end, I am really interested in what you think. I know this is a kind of a first, in American politics, to have a GOP Female candidate and then almost immediately following a set of scandals that threaten to disrupt her candidacy.. I just want to know, if you feel that following Obama's lead, and just taking the fuze off this thing, is good for America.

Or should we hit them where they live? What do you think?

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About Sarah Palin by Wasilla Resident

Full name and email address of writer withheld at writers request. However original can be seen in the comments section of this article:
http://www.washingtonindependent.com/367 1/the-reform-candidate

Dear friends,

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the
last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in
common: their gender and their good looks. :)

You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts
with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on
any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .

Thanks,
Anne

ABOUT SARAH PALIN

I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992.
Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a
first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her
father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a
first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more
City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the
residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular
girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and
won't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because
she is a "babe".

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She
kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents
for seven months.

She is "pro-life". She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby.
There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out
there" and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a
champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly
sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his
work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or
so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their
major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything
like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

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Breaking: GOP's INTERNAL Talking Points for Delegates Re: Palin Family (Ambinder)

From Marc Ambinder, who seems to have the best spies.  (And apparently never sleeps - look at his dateline!)

GOP's Internal Talking Points For Delegates About Palin Family

02 Sep 2008 03:45 am
Not surprisingly, the Republicans have created a few talking points for high-profile delegates and surrogates who are asked about Gov. Palin's family.

Note, too, that the Alaska delegation underwent four hours of media training on Sunday night.

These delegates are more savvy and more on-message than we might think.

Here are the talking points:

   > INTERNAL DOCUMENT - NOT TO BE EMAILED BEYOND CURRENT
    > DISTRIBUTION LIST
    >
    > Please see the following points on Gov. Palin's family.
    >
    > *    Governor Palin and her husband Todd have a loving family
    > and their children mean everything to them.  When their
    > oldest daughter Bristol came to them with news that she was
    > expecting a child they embraced her and gave her nothing but
    > unconditional love and support.
    >
    > *    This is a very personal matter for the family. We should
    > all respect the love they have for the child and the desire
    > all parents would have for their children's privacy.
    >
    > *    The media should respect Bristol's privacy.
    > That's always been the tradition and practice when it
    > comes to the children of candidates.
    >
    > *    (If pressed) The children of candidates do not choose to
    > run for office and be thrust into the spotlight.

The talking points all sound perfectly reasonable to me.  It's the media training for the Alaska delegation that got my attention.

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Palin's Lawyer Tries To Quash Troopergate Investigation

Yesterday the news broke that Sarah Palin had hired a lawyer recently to help her handle the abuse of power investigation into what is now called Troopergate.

Palin hired a lawyer three weeks ago to act on her behalf as state legislators investigate whether she may have abused her power in firing the state public safety commisioner for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper, CNN confirmed.

Well, the Anchorage Daily News just released a detailed story on what her new lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, has been up to.

It turns out that Van Flein was actually hired by the State, and specifically because Attorney General Talis Colberg has a conflict of interest from being involved in the case himself. Van Flein has been working on the case for about a week - since August 21, according to the paper.

First, Van Flein tried to get the case moved out of the Legislature to the Personnel Board.

Van Flein said the investigation should be handled by the state Personnel Board, not the Legislature, because it's "statutorily mandated" to handle ethics cases. The three-member Personnel Board is appointed by the governor.

In other words, take the investigation out of the jurisdiction of people who might not follow Palin's agenda, and make it a whitewash under the guidance of three people that she appointed.

Then, even more incredibly:

In a letter to Branchflower, Van Flein also asked for all witness statements, documents and other materials collected in the course of the investigation.

To which Hollis French, project director for the legislative investigation, responded:

"I think you will agree that it would be highly unusual for an investigator to share information with one of the targets of the investigation," French wrote. "I am unaware of any precedent for such an arrangement."

   The back-and-forth quickly escalated.

   "Our concern is that Hollis French turns into Ken Starr and uses public money to pursue a political vendetta rather than truly pursue an honest inquiry into an alleged ethics issue," Van Flein said in an interview.

   "How does he explain the unanimous vote (to pursue the investigation) by the Republican-dominated Legislative Council?" French shot back.

   Later in the day, French added, "It's too bad the governor has stooped to hiring a name-calling lawyer. That doesn't seem very open and transparent does it?"

In addition, Palin hasn't agreed to meet with the panel yet and is dragging her feet:

Branchflower hasn't been able to set up an interview with Palin. French said the state will fly Branchflower to wherever Palin is on the campaign trail if needed.

   "Clearly the governor's new political role will make it more challenging for her to make time for this investigation," French wrote. But Palin needs to be interviewed sometime in September, he said.

   Van Flein said the investigation is "bad timing" in the middle of a presidential campaign. He said he couldn't guarantee her availability this month.

   If witnesses aren't available, French wrote, he'll ask the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, to issue subpoenas.

It really looks like, far from being unconcerned about the investigation, Palin is taking every possible step to nip this thing in the bud. Not exactly the actions of an ethical "reform" politician with nothing to hide.

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