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Author Topic: Letter from Wasilla Resident  (Read 1149 times)

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Offline What_The?

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Letter from Wasilla Resident
« on: September 06, 2008, 03:32:47 PM »

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http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/kilkenny.asp


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.
 
 She's smart.
 
 Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.
 
 During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.
 
 Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative." During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.
 
 The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a
 multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later — to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.
 
 While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.
 
 These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.
 
 As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.
 
 In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs.
 
 She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the
 basis of who proposed them.
 
 While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the
 Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.
 
 Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal — loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State's top cop (see below).
 
 As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he "intimidated" her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure
 and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded
 for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.
 
 She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council
 became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.
 
 Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.
 
 When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the
 structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some
 undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a
 gutsy fighter against the "old boys' club" when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).
 
 As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the "bridge to nowhere" after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.
 
 As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects — which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance — but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork."
 
 She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a
 fiscal conservative.
 
 Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly
 stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.
 
 As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as "AGIA" that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.
 
 Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior's decision to list polar bears as threatened species.
 
 McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.
 
 There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.
 
 However, there's a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.
 
 CLAIM VS FACT
 o "Hockey mom": true for a few years
 o "PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
 p "NRA supporter": absolutely true
 o social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
 o pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
 o "Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation.
 o "Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.
 No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
 o political maverick: not at all
 o gutsy: absolutely!
 o open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions. <BR>
 o has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
 o "a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
 o fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
 o pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
 o pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents.
 o pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
 o pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.
 
 WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
 
 First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.
 
 Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "Bad things happen when good people stay silent". Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.
 
 Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.
 
 Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.
 
 Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.
 
 CAVEATS
 
 I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall — they are swamped. So I can't verify my numbers.
 
 You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000", up to 9,000. The day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the
 current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.
 
 Anne Kilkenny
 August 31, 2008
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side." - Kurt Vonnegut

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Letter from Wasilla Resident
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 04:38:03 PM »
The written word is fact.  Right?  And a woman with some complaints, some of which may even be legit.  Sounds like SHE proposed some things that Sarah didn't like and is now crying about it well after the fact.  And finaly, they are her opinions.  At least she tried to be balanced on the subject though.

Offline fish

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Re: Letter from Wasilla Resident
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 01:33:14 AM »
Palin Rumors
Exporations ^| Sept 6 2008 | Charlie
 
Cripes, this has gotten ridiculous. Folks, look, let’s just run through a list here. (Updated.) 
  • Yes, she is Governor of Alaska. No, she’s not the Lieutenant Governor. No, she’s not currently Mayor of Wasilla. Yes, she was Mayor of Wasilla, some years ago.  Yes, there are people in Alaska who think she’s too liberal.  Yes, she did push for and approve the Wasilla Sports Center. Yes, it did cost a lot of money. (People keep saying $20 million, that article says $14.5 million, but then they also added a $1.2 million dollar food service/kitchen piece. This year, since Palin was out of office as Mayor.) Yes, the city went into debt to do it (how did you buy your house, bunkie?) and raised the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay for it. Yes, the city is paying it off early.   Yes, she did want authority to have wolves culled from the air, because they were taking too many moose and caribou. Which people hunt for food in the back country in Alaska. No, she isn’t shooting them herself. I mean, not that she couldn’t, but I’m sure she doesn’t have time. (Thanks to bluemerlin in the comments.)  No, the Downs baby (Trig) isn’t Bristol’s kid, and no, the kid wasn’t born with Downs because (a) Palin flew on an airplane (b) went home to have the baby after an amniotic leak (c) because he was the result of incest between Todd Palin and Bristol.  No, Track (the kid who is leaving for Iraq) didn’t join the NG because he was a drug addict. He may have joined the NG because he was tired of people saying his Mom was getting him into the good hockey leagues. (Yes, that one was original reporting. I’ve got sources in Wasilla.)  No, she’s never been in any porn as far as anyone can find (and God knows I get enough google hits on those very topics.)  No, no one seems to be able to even find swimsuit pictures of her from her beauty queen days; God knows I looked. The bikini pictures that are around are photoshopped, just like the Vogue cover I have up.  No she wasn’t a member of the (wild-eyed libertarian) Alaska independence Party, although her husband once was   No, neither the (Canadian) National Post, nor Marc Armbinder at the Atlantic have troubled themselves to issue a correction. Yes, the New York Times did finally correct their story of September 1 — on September 5. This was after Elizabeth Bumiller was quoted by Howard Kurtz as saying she was “completely confident about the story.” Yes, that was after the New York Times’s source retracted the story. Yes, this should embarrass the Times, Bumiller, and Howard Kurtz. No, there have been no signs of embarrassment.   No, she was never a Pat Buchanan supporter; even when Buchanan claims she was, she was on the board of Steve Forbes’a campaign in Alaska.  No, she’s not anti-semitic. In fact, she has an Israeli flag in her office. (Contrary to popular belief, the usual Evangelical thinks Israel has a right to exist, granted by God.)  No, she’s doesn’t believe that the Iraq War was directed by God. Yes, she did pray that proceeding with the war was God’s will. (Ever hear the phrase “Not my will, but Thine, be done”?)  No, Buchanan doesn’t support her now; in fact he’s supporting Obama. (Buchanan did think her speech was amazing, but then so do 80 percent of the people who saw it.) Or maybe not. Buchanan sure doesn’t like McCAin though.  yes, she was pregnant when she got married  No, so far there’s no confirmation she had an affair while she was married, and they’ve denied it pretty strongly. No, she wouldn’t be the first Christian woman who got a little on the side, if it were true.  No, she wasn’t named as a co-respondent in a divorce; there’s no evidence she had an affair with her husbands’ business partner. The partner tried to have his divorce records sealed because he was being harrassed by journalists who used them to get his phone number.   Yes, barring immaculate conception virgin birth (whatever), Bristol appears to have had sex with her fiancee. No, Bristol didn’t receive only “abstinence-only” sex ed.  Yes, I have it on reliable report that Sarah Levi’s mom has been heard screaming “Way to go Levi!” at her future son-in-law son. No, it doesn’t appear to have been when Bristol broke the news to her family.  Note: I originally understood this story to be about Sarah, not Levi’s mom, in the context of hockey games. As such, it’s shouldn’t be in a Sarah Palin Rumors story, but I like the story too much to delete it.   yes, her 17 year old daughter is pregnant; no, the baby’s father is not an eighth grader; no, having sex at 16 is not statutory rape in Alaska  yes, she did fire the public safety guy — but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law  and yes, the state trooper (her sister’s ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to “bring her down”; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce.  yes, the state trooper was suspended when he was put under a court protective order  no, the trooper wasn’t fired  yes, she did fire the Wasilla Chief of Police as Mayor; yes, it was because he was lying to the City Council.  Yes, she did try to cut her own salary as Mayor by $4000 a year; yes, she had voted against the $4000 a year raise while on the City Council.   No, she didn’t cut funding for unwed mothers; yes, she did increase it by “only” 354 percent instead of 454 percent, as part of a multi-year capital expenditures program. No, the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have corrected their story. Even after this was pointed out in the comments on the story.  No, she didn’t cut special needs student funding; yes, she did raise it by “only” 175 percent.  yes, she did try, clearly unsuccessfully, to get Bristol married off to her fiancee before the story came out  yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasn’t over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasn’t fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also the girlfriend of the Chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political dispute  No the list of books she wanted to ban that’s being passed around isn’t real; among other things, it includes a number of books published after her time in office there.   No, that hasn’t actually deterred people from claiming it really is true even if the list isn’t correct. For example:  “This list might not in fact reflect the books Sarah Palin wanted banned. As more than one person in Comments has pointed out, some of them were not published when Palin was in office. It is my hope that the mainstream media will not let this story drop and that at some point an actual list will surface. The very thought of having someone who once advocated book-banning possibly occupying one of the highest offices of our land fills me with profound dread. It should fill you with dread too.” No, I don’t understand why a fake list is supposed to fill me with dread, either.  no, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding; Bristol and Levi been engaged for a good while according to his mother. It was either an accident or just an unconventional order.  yes, she’s an was an Assembly of God Holy Roller. No, she doesn’t attend an AoG church now. Yes, she did leave the AoG because they were getting too weird for her.   No, she’s not anti-Mormon. No, not all AoG churches are anti-Mormon. (AoG is even more hard-core about allowing each pastor and congregation to make their own decisions than the Baptists are.) (Thanks to AnonAmom in the comments.)  No, she’s not from another planet. No, I haven’t actually heard that one yet, but you wait.  yes, she apparently believes in some variant of Intelligent Design  no, she didn’t try to force the schools to teach it; she said if someone brought it up, it was an appropriate subject for debate.  No, she doesn’t believe in “abstinence only” education. Yes, she thinks abstinence is an effective way of preventing pregnancy. Duh. Yes, she believes kids should learn about condom use in schools.  yes, she kills animals and eats them, and wears their skins  yes, she was a beauty contest contestant   yes, she was once a sportscaster  yes, she has a college degree in Journalism, but I won’t hold that against her, as she seems to have found honest work as well  yes, she sometimes wears her hair up; no that’s not a “beehive”  yes, her husband is Not A White Person (he’s a Yup’ik; an Eskimo but not an Inuit as my Inuit cousins have taken some pains to explain)  yes, she has on occasion tried to get money from the federal government.  yes, she did finally turn down the money for the bridge. Yes, that meant changing her mind about it.  yes, she was vetted extensively, not just in three days — I’ve got links to press reports about people coming to Wassila on 29 May, and we had her on our Veepstakes at PJM from the first day we ran it.  yes, she want to a bunch of colleges before getting a degree. No, that’s not illegal. Yes, she seems to have made something of herself anyway.   no, they didn’t talk to a lot of the R’s power structure during the vetting; that probably has to do with the fact that she beat them in elections and sent a bunch of them to jail.  Yes, Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech was written by a speechwriter. Duh. No, none of Obama’s, McCain’s, nor Biden’s speeches were impromptu off the cuff things either.  Yes, she did put the Governors plane on eBay. No, that’s not how it was finally sold. Yes, McCain did say it wrong. Bad McCain.  No, Sarah Palin doesn’t have such control of Alaskans that people are afraid to say bad things about her. (What, are you nuts? Look at this list.) No, I don’t think it’s likely that she called Obama “Sambo”. (Good God, man, I’m ten years older than her and I barely remember “Little Black Sambo.”) Yes, I’m sure there are people who don’t like her — I’ve talked with some myself.  No, she’s not a “global warming denier”, and when the crush dies down remind me to explain why the very phrasing “global warming denier” is anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, and a clear sign of a desire to impose your beliefs by coercion. But in the mean time, while I do believe that she has expressed some skepticism that warming is wholly human-caused, the existence of the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and the Alaska Climate Change Strategy work demonstrate that she’s considering the problem and has brought together people more expert than she to advise her.