The McCain team may not have vetted Sarah Palin with boots on the ground in Alaska, but the Democrats sure did -- two years ago when she ran for governor. The oppo-research, compiled in a 62-page document with countless summaries or direct quotes, largely from local newspapers, covers all of the important issues you would expect to see, from her views on abortion and abstinence to tangled oil pipeline questions. But it also gets into some quirky, if revealing, areas as well, such as Palin founding a company called "Rouge Cru" -- what she called a "classy" way to say redneck -- in case her political career didn't work out a few years ago.
Politico.com obtained a copy and printed merely a handful of the hundreds of findings today. These included serious matters such as her use of the mayor's office in political campaigns. But it also posted a PDF of the entire document which, I'd wager, few have examined. I have completed that task and present here some of the more outrageous, or surprising, revelations. They are posted here under their heading in the document. Note: The Frontiersman is the local paper in Wasilla.
Palin Said "Hang 'Em Up" When Asked About the Death Penalty. Asked about the death penalty, in extreme cases such as the murder of a child, Palin said, "My goodness, hang 'em up, yeah." [Anchorage Daily News , 8/18/06]
Palin wrote a Letter to the Editor saying only, "San Francisco judges forbidding our Pledge of Allegiance? They will take the phrase 'under God' away from me when my cold, dead lips can no longer utter those words. God bless America." [Juneau Empire, 6/30/02]
Palin Presided Over a Wedding at a Walmart. He worked in the pets department. She was a cashier. A romance blossomed. And when it came time to say ''I do,'' they chose -- where else? -- an aisle next to menswear. Sandwiched between racks of cotton pants and surrounded by ''Back-to-School Specials'' signs, Jake McCowan and Rosalyn Ryan exchanged vows last week at the place where they met, work and fell in love: the Wasilla Wal-Mart. A crowd of 200, including passengers from a tour bus and several dozen curious shoppers, watched the two employees tie the knot in an afternoon ceremony officiated by Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin. ''It was so sweet,'' said Palin, who fought back tears during the nuptials. "It was so Wasilla." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 8/28/99]
Palin Delivered "Non-Answers" On Expanding Health Care Coverage and Walmart. "Asked about expanding health care coverage and about Wal-Mart's corporate conduct, she delivered non-answers with a disarming smile." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 1/30/06]
In 1993, Sarah Palin used a drift gillnet to harvest salmon from the Bristol Bay area without an annual permit. Palin plead guilty to the Criminal Negligence charge. Palin also had a case dismissed where she was charged with fishing without a photo ID. The case was filed 6/28/93 and was disposed 8/25/1993. The jurisdiction was the Third Judicial District-Dillingham. [Alaska Criminal History Records, Case # 3DI-93-00249CR0001; Alaska Criminal History Records, Case # 3DI-93-00217CR0001]
Palin Opposed Expanding Hate Crimes Laws. Asked if she would support an effort to expand hatecrime laws, Palin responded, "No, as I believe all heinous crime is based on hate." [Eagle Forum questionnaire]
Palin Said She Supported Ban on Gay Marriage and Denying Benefits to Gay Couples. "Palin said she's not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay, but that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment [to ban gay marriage].....She said she doesn't know if people choose to be gay." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 8/6/06]
USED PUBLIC FUNDS FOR POLITICAL GAIN
In her 2002 Lt. Governor bid, Mayor Palin used city employees, telephones, computers, fax machines for campaign fundraising and literature. On her candidate registration form, she used her City Hall fax number, and her mayoral e-mail address. Records show that Wasilla city property was used to contact supporters, donors, media contacts, and media purchasing. [Anchorage Daily News, 7/21/06]
Stambaugh Sued for Gender Discrimination After Palin Said She Was Intimidated by His Size. After Palin fired Irl Stambaugh, the police chief, he sued the city in part based on gender discrimination. The [Wasilla] Frontiersman wrote, "The gender discrimination issues stem from statements Palin allegedly made to others that she was intimidated by Stambaugh's size. He stands over 6-feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds, which, the lawsuit said, is attributed to his gender." [Frontiersman, 2/26/97]
Palin Went to See Ivana Trump at Costco, Saying Alaska was So Desperate for "Any Semblance of Glamour and Culture". "Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney's cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. 'We want to see Ivana,' said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, 'because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.'" [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 4/3/96]
Palin Explained that She Couldn't Run for Senate Because Then She Couldn't Be the "Team Mom." "A hockey mom and a former standout athlete herself, Palin said she understood her son's concerns. 'How could I be the team mom if I was a U.S. senator?' she said." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 4/24/04]
Palin Exaggerated Work Experience for Mayoral Campaign. In 1997, Frontiersman columnist Paul Stuart wrote that after Palin had criticized her opponent for using City Hall resources for political gain, "when Palin was asked back then (by me) why the lodge where she claimed, in her campaign, to have gained her management experience, had no record of a borough business license or of paying any bed tax, she paused and said it might have been because the place had no clients for a year or so." In an article describing the possibility of recalling Palin, the Frontiersman wrote the "reasons include Palin's alleged falsification of her credentials during the campaign last fall." [Frontiersman, 1/22/97, 2/5/97]
Frontiersman Editorial Said Palin Made Statements That Were "Patently Untrue," Said She Had Shown "Unrepentant Backpedaling and Incessant Whining." A Frontiersman editorial wrote, "Wasilla residents have been subjected to attempts to unlawfully appoint council members, statements that have been shown to be patently untrue, unrepentant backpedaling, and incessant whining that her only enemies are the press and a few disgruntled supporters of former Mayor John Stein." [Frontiersman editorial, 2/7/97]
Frontiersman Editorial: Palin Doesn't Grasp the Truth. A Frontiersman editorial wrote, "Mayor Palin fails to have a firm grasp of something very simple: the truth." [Frontiersman editorial, 2/7/97]
Palin's Brother-In-Law Appeared on Reality Dating Show. Lt. Gov. candidate Sarah Palin thought it might help her campaign when brother-in-law Jack McCann showed up as a desirable catch on the new "reality" TV show, "Looking for Love: Bachelorettes in Alaska." That hope lasted until she actually saw an episode of the series, which turns out to be your basic meat market twitch & grin. "Oh Lord," she said. "My sisters and I watched it in horror." Jack, who is scheduled to appear again even though he crashed a mountain bike in the first episode, is pretty cute and has a sense of humor, Sarah reports. "He described his occupation . . . as an office environment consultant," she said.
"He sells furniture." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 6/9/02]
Palin told The Associated Press that she and her husband, Todd, made a bet on whether Murkowski would run. If the governor says he'll enter the race, Palin has to get the Big Dipper tattooed on her ankle. If Murkowski says no, Todd gets a wedding ring inked on his finger.
[Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 5/26/06]
Greg Mitchell's latest book, on Iraq and the media, is "So Wrong for So Long."