Thursday, September 4, 2008

A letter from someone who has known Sarah Palin since 1992

This is an email circulating that exposes 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 afirst-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Herfather was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on afirst name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended moreCity Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of theresidents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most populargirl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice andwon’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her becauseshe is a “babe”.

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. Shekept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parentsfor 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 outthere” 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 achampion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highlysought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges hiswork schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month orso in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing theirmajor source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anythinglike 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 about670,000 residents.
During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of runningthis small city was turned over to an administrator. She had beenpushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she hadgotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which hadgiven rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by theCity increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation(1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased aregressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that shepromoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than theybenefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administrationweren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowedmoney was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left itwith indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encouragethe voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she saidshe supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or anew library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of amulti-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a pieceof property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that wasstill in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyersinvolved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to thecommunity but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed itwould be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects thatcould have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her officeredecorated 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 surplusin Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that willmake us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor sheproposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.
In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, sherecommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even whileshe proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’ssurplus, borrow for needs.

She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideasor compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated byher or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on thebasis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respectedCity Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing fromthe library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residentsrallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’sattempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrewher termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust theLibrarian are on her enemies list to this day.
Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran forMayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palinfired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and asGovernor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people,creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternallygrateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their powerto further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in thecase 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 topcop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasureand she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear thatan important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’tfire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigationfor abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozencontacts were made between her staff and family to the person that shelater fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried toreplace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimandedfor sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrewher support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her inhelp. The City Council person who personally escorted her around townintroducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Councilbecame one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. Sheabruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’tlike the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anythingpublicly about her.
When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah gotthe best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: oneof the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had nobackground in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this greatjob which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about thehigh salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, thestructured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of thisCommission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party)engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which someundoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved allher problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated andgarnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as agutsy 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 fromSenator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrelpolitics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge tonowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.
As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budgetguidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoingprojects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislativeaction restored most of these projects–which had been vetoed simplybecause she was not aware of their importance–but with the unobservantshe had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State partyleaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliatedthem. Other members of the party object to her self-description as afiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition andpredatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very uglystories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be madepoint guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’smother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community andexperienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of packageof legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to marchto the beat of her drum.
Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National WildlifeRefuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked toglobal warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a stateinitiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams frompollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in thestate (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’slawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polarbears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be aheartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are moreknowledgeable and experienced than she. However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and areregretting it.
•“Hockey mom”: true for a few years•“PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementaryschool, not since
•“NRA supporter”: absolutely true•social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a billthat would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships(said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
•pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor topromote it.
•“Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome babyBUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-lifelegislation
•“Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla hasresidents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-onsupervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a cityadministrator to run town of about 5,000.
•political maverick: not at all•gutsy: absolutely!•open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good atexplaining actions.•has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
•”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box storesand disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
•fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
•pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a citywithout a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Builtstreets to early 20th century standards.
•pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden onresidents
•pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of citygovernment in Wasilla’s history.
•pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works uniondoesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claimthat she is pro-labor/pro-union.


First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informedvoter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student votingprograms in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny +Alaska), you will find references to my participation in localgovernment, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happenwhen good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do becausefew have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me outof. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am nofool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this willcost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’sattempt at censorship.
Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid tosay anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase inspending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor)from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City ofWasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjustfor inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossiblefor a private person to get any info out of City Hall–they areswamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for thepopulation of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000″, up to 9,000. Theday Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that thecurrent population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.

Anne Kilkenny

August 31, 2008

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