A newly-released book written by a former aide to Sarah Palin paints an unflattering portrait of the one-time governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee.
Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years focuses on the time that Frank Bailey worked with Palin on her 2006 election campaign for governor in Alaska, as well as in her role as Sen. John McCain's running mate during the last presidential election. The gossip-packed text stems from thousands of emails that Bailey retained from the time he spent by Palin's side.
The AP reported on Monday:
The Alaska attorney general's office has said it's investigating Bailey's use of the emails. Executive ethics laws bar former public officials from using information acquired during their work for personal gain if the information hasn't been publicly disseminated.
The state has yet to release thousands of emails that Palin sent and received during her 2 1/2 years as governor. Bailey's attorney has said Bailey took "great care" to ensure his writings were consistent with legal requirements.
Politico reported on Tuesday on attempts from Palin aides to push back against some of the details disclosed in the new book.
...two sources close to Palin disputed several of the anecdotes in the book, including his claims of illegal coordination with the Republican Governors Association and that he has seen Palin’s deposition in the so-called “Troopergate” case, which is sealed. Palin’s camp also insists that some of the Palin emails printed in the manuscript are framed to distort events — for example, the emails Bailey includes to show the former Alaska governor’s reaction to her oldest daughter’s pregnancy are about rumors that circulated before Bristol actually became pregnant.
The sources who spoke with Politico also pointed to questionable aspects of Bailey's own past and suggested the cover of his book was distorted to feature him alongside the former governor.
The AP notes:
Bailey confesses to "a ton of mistakes" and speaks of a return to God; he said his church has become a sanctuary and that he's reconnected with his family. He said writing the book -- which itself has generated controversy -- was cathartic.
Nevertheless, Bailey told the AP on the eve of the release of his book that he's not bitter.
"Yeah, there were some tough, tough times but hopefully I've learned from some of that," he said. "Time will tell."
Below, a slideshow highlighting some of the revelations in the book:
The AP reports: "Getting Sarah to meetings and events was like nailing Jell-O to a tree," Bailey wrote. On the campaign trail and as governor, Sarah went through at least ten schedulers, with few lasting more than months. Nobody wanted the job because Sarah might fail to honor, at the last minute, the smallest commitments, and making excuses for her became a painful burden." Here are some examples of instances when Palin has been missing in action at previously scheduled appearances: - During the 2008 campaign, the Los Angeles Times reported that Palin bailed on attending an anti-abortion event, a move which left some less than pleased. - In 2008 and 2009, Palin pulled out of plans to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC.
The AP reports: Bailey claims her heart wasn't in governing after she returned to Alaska from her failed run for vice president. At home, she faced a barrage of ethics complaints -- nearly all of which were ultimately dismissed -- and Bailey said she told him as early as February 2009 that if she could find the right message to tell Alaskans, she'd "quit tomorrow." She resigned in July 2009. The suggestion may come as no surprise. The Anchorage Daily News reported in 2008 upon Palin's return to the Last Frontier after the election: In the 68 days since Alaska's governor began her run for vice president, things have changed on the home front. Some of her former allies are fuming, and former enemies are lying in wait. Public perceptions of the governor have also changed. Has the governor changed as well? Questions about Palin's future began to circulate at Alaska's Election Central on Tuesday night almost as soon as the national election results came in.
Steven Levingston at the Washington Post writes: Bailey served Gov. Palin officially as director of boards and commissions and unofficially as gofer and protector. He discovered early in her campaign that his boss did not separate family and politics and that she routinely set out to destroy those who criticized her or her loved ones. It's not the first time that allegations have surfaced painting Palin as vindictive. Levi Johnston, the father of the former governor's grandson, suggested as much during a contentious custody fight with Bristol Palin. The Anchorage Daily News reported in 2009 amid the legal battle: Johnston fought to allow the custody matter to unfold in public, saying in a sworn statement that doing so would help put everyone on best behavior. He noted that Van Flein also represents Sarah Palin. "I know that public scrutiny will simplify this matter and act as a check against anyone's need to be overly vindictive, aggressive or malicious, not that Bristol would ever be that way, nor that I would. But her mother is powerful, politically ambitious and has a reputation for being extremely vindictive," Johnston said in his affidavit. "So, I think a public case might go a long way in reducing Sarah Palin's instinct to attack." ... Bristol Palin responded in a sworn statement that Johnston's assertions and fears about vindictiveness and meddling are off base.
Steven Levingston at the Washington Post writes: Bailey and other staffers spent hours voting repeatedly to manipulate a television opinion poll on Palin's decision to reject part of the federal government's economic stimulus funding.
The AP reports: Among the claims made in the book: that Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign coordinated with the Republican Governors Association, or RGA, in violation of campaign rules. The book describes cameras rolling as Palin strode through the door at an Anchorage hotel "over and over and over," for an RGA ad. At that time, there was a one-year statute of limitations on complaints, and the Alaska Public Offices Commission did not receive any complaints related to Palin and the association during that period. However, the RGA was fined - unrelated to Palin - for late reporting, according to the commission's executive director, Paul Dauphinais. During her tenure as governor of Alaska, Palin was no stranger to facing complaints. The AP reported in 2009 on how the charges may have factored into her decision to resign from office: In her resignation speech, Palin said the array of ethics complaints was taking a personal toll and crippling her ability to govern.
Steven Levingston at the Washington Post writes: Bailey realized she was ill-prepared for political superstardom soon after she was tapped for a spot on the Republican presidential ticket with John McCain. "Incredibly, I mostly still believed in the myth of Sarah and her ultimate mission," he writes. "However, a piece of me could see she was in over her head."
The San Francisco Chronicle relays a nugget of insight into the life of the former governor revealed in the new book: "She believes that there are these powers of evil that are surrounding her. She believes that her offices are bugged." Bugged or not, Bailey's book comes as evidence of an issue of trust Palin and others often face in leading public lives. In a stroke of bad timing for the former governor, the Daily Caller reported on Tuesday on a series of eyebrow-raising and critical direct messages sent on Twitter by top Palin aide Rebecca Mansour. The harsh words, which were forwarded to the website, take aim at the former governor's daughter, Bristol Palin, Mitt Romney and more.