Sarah Palin just suffered a massive defeat. For the first time in Alaska history, an appointed attorney general has been rejected. With a bipartisan vote of 35 NOs to 23 YEAs, the Alaska joint House and Senate voted down W.A.R. (Wayne Anthony Ross).
Palin is not a graceful loser. Think lumberjacks performing Swan Lake.
When an legislative aide made copies of an Anchorage Daily News article last week that reported the governor would be going to Indiana to give a speech at an anti-choice event during the last week of the session, the governor personally confronted and scolded him. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted her for leaving Juneau at such a critical time. Stimulus money, the budget, critical bills, legislation the governor herself was pushing, as well as the confirmation vote on her appointment of W.A.R. for attorney general were on the table this week.
The response from Palin's chief of staff, Mike Nizich, was patronizing at best. "During the final week of session, legislators rarely want governors around stirring things up. We did not anticipate that the governor's political opponents would want their hands held in the final hours of the session."
A little "hand holding", also known as lobbying, may have resulted in the confirmation of her Attorney General pick. Instead, the governor chose to travel 6,000 miles to give a 5-10 minute guest appearance at a Right to Life (Denial of Choice) fundraiser in Indiana. She put her own political agenda and ambition in front of the needs of Alaskans.
The AG vacancy occurred due to the Troopergate scandal. Because of many questionable acts by then Attorney General Talis Colberg, including questionable legal advice, the Senate voted 16 to 1 on Senate Resolution 10. It found Todd Palin and the governor's aides in contempt of the Senate for ignoring the Branchflower subpoenas. Colberg resigned the next working day.
When Palin appointed Wayne Anthony Ross, I was stunned -- I knew his reputation. I've been cut off in traffic by his big red Hummer with the W.A.R. license plate. I knew he ran for governor 10 years ago as the Alaska Independence Party candidate. I knew of his pro bono work for a criminal defendant who had physically attacked peaceful war protesters-shockingly described today by Senator Fred Dyson as Ross's pro bono defense of free speech. I knew of his NRA and gun fetish. However, I didn't know half of the reasons that led to his rejection today.
I started writing about it, and the emails came pouring in. One was from a woman named Leah Burton. I encouraged her to write down the abusive drivel she had witnessed W.A.R. publicly deliver at a DADs (Dads Against Discrimination) meeting. She was brave and testified at W.A.R.'s confirmation hearing. She told the truth. She was not alone.
The Alaska Native Federation weighed in with a resounding NO. The LGBT community said NO. Women's advocacy groups said NO. Child protective agencies said NO. Alaskans who DON'T want to secede from the Union said NO. Citizens for First Amendment Rights said NO.
35 out of 58 present members of the Alaska Legislature-Republicans and Democrats-said NO.
Palin's long distance response to the vote punctuated her out of touch status. "I believed I knew what Alaskans wanted when I selected an individual who is a strong backer of 2nd Amendment rights, a staunch supporter of the state Constitution and a defender of life," Governor Palin said.
It should be noted to the governor there are more amendments to be protected than just the 2nd. It is inferred at least one amendment comes before. It's no accident The Right to Free Speech is the 1st amendment. It is perhaps the cornerstone of all others. As far as "defender of life" goes, consider yourself fortunate that W.A.R. will now never be in a position of legal authority to provide council to the governor in the event Alaska adopts the death penalty. They both support retroactive abortion.
The past month has been one drama after another; a series of erratic, high school mean-girl antics. Palin's blatant appointments of unqualified candidates to replace the Juneau Senate seat vacated by Democrat Kim Elton have resulted in an empty seat-no representation for the deserved citizens of Juneau.
As I predicted last fall, the political shrapnel was widespread because of the "Truthiness Seminars" held almost daily by the McCain-Palin campaign. Every former political ally of the governors was thrown under the Hate Talk Express. After the election, Sarah came home to the Alaska she had divided and damaged with her unholy quest for the White House.
The most popular governor in the country last August was Sarah Palin. After the rejection of W.A.R., the Palin Express Bus has no more wheels. None of us will be safe until that bus is in Wasilla, parked in front of Palin's home, resting on concrete cinder blocks, covered in a Blue tarp.
I've said that the governor's political ambition combined with her intellect is like a jet engine on a golf cart.
Today, the legislature managed to find the brakes.