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Thread: Palin as Mayor and How She Won Her Election

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    Palin as Mayor and How She Won Her Election

    September 3, 2008
    Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual
    By WILLIAM YARDLEY
    WASILLA, Alaska — The world arrived here more than a century ago with the gold rush and later the railroad. Yet one aspect of American life did not come to town until 1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics.

    The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people — Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy? — seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.

    Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin’s behalf.

    Two years after Representative Newt Gingrich helped draft the Contract With America to advance Republican positions, Ms. Palin and her passion for Republican ideology and religious faith overtook a town known for a wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod sled dog race.

    [B]“Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”

    “I thought: ‘Holy cow, what’s happening here? Does that mean she thinks I’m Jewish or Islamic?’ ” recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, [/B]and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. “The point was that she was a born-again Christian.”

    For all the admiration in Alaska for Ms. Palin, her rapid ascent from an activist in the P.T.A. to the running mate of Senator John McCain did not come without battle wounds. Her years in Wasilla, her first executive experience, reveal a mix of successes and stumbles, with Ms. Palin gaining support from a majority of residents for her drive, her faith and her accessibility but alienating others with what they said could be a polarizing single-mindedness.

    “She is an aggressive reformer who isn’t afraid to break glass, to bring change to Wasilla and later to the state of Alaska,” said Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, who declined to address specific aspects of Ms. Palin’s tenure as mayor. “Washington needs some of that.”

    In Wasilla, Ms. Palin is widely praised for following through on campaign promises by cutting property taxes while improving roads and sewers and strengthening the Police Department.

    Her supporters say she helped Wasilla evolve from a ridiculed backwater to fast-growing suburb. The population of about 5,000 during her tenure as mayor has grown to nearly 10,000 now, and the city is filling with big box stores, including a Target that is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, one of three opening statewide that day in the chain’s Alaska debut.

    But her critics say too much growth too quickly has made a mess of what not long ago was homesteaded farmland.

    And for some, Ms. Palin’s first months in office here were so jarring — and so alienating — that an effort was made to force a recall. About 100 people attended a meeting to discuss the effort, which was covered in the local press, but the idea was dropped.

    [B]Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.

    Ann Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. “They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,” Ms. Kilkenny said.

    The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to “resist all efforts at censorship,” Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. [/B]Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article.

    In 1996, Ms. Palin suggested to the local paper, The Frontiersman, that the conversations about banning books were “rhetorical.”

    Ms. Emmons was not the only employee to leave. During her campaign, Ms. Palin appealed to voters who felt that city employees under Mr. Stein, who was not from Wasilla and had earned a degree in public administration at the University of Oregon, had been unresponsive and rigid regarding a new comprehensive development plan. In turn, some city employees expressed support for Mr. Stein in a campaign advertisement.

    Once in office, Ms. Palin asked many of Mr. Stein’s backers to resign — something virtually unheard of in Wasilla in past elections. The public works director, city planner, museum director and others were forced out. The police chief, Irl Stambaugh, was later fired outright.

    Mr. Stambaugh lost a wrongful termination lawsuit against Ms. Palin. He did not respond to a request for an interview.

    Ms. Palin also upended the town’s traditional ways with a surprise edict: No employee was to talk to the news media without her permission.

    “It was just things you don’t ever associate with a small town,” Victoria Naegele, then the managing editor of The Frontiersman, recalled of Ms. Palin’s first year in office. “It was like we were warped into real politics instead of just ‘Do you like Joe or Mary for the job?’ It was a strange time.”

    Ms. Palin, her critics note, was not always the fiscal watchdog she has since boasted of being. In her second term as mayor, she pushed for a half-cent raise in the local sales tax to pay for a $15 million sports complex. The complex is popular and a junior league hockey team plays there now, but the city recently had to pay more than $1.3 million to settle an ownership dispute over the site.

    Ms. Palin also began annual trips to Washington to lobby for federal money for specific initiatives, including rail projects and a mental health center. Her running mate, Mr. McCain, has been an outspoken critic of these so-called earmarks and as governor Ms. Palin has sounded more like him, vetoing tens of millions of dollars of local projects sought by state lawmakers.

    She is largely viewed as having had her hometown’s best interests at heart when she pursued big projects or an overhaul of city taxes. By the time she ran for re-election in 1999 — again facing Mr. Stein — things had smoothed out. She was returned to office by a large margin, 826 votes to 255.

    Ms. Palin, who had campaigned promising to cut her own full-time salary, reduced it from about $68,000 to about $64,000, but she also hired a city administrator, John Cramer, adding a salary to the payroll.

    Critics said Republican leaders installed Mr. Cramer, who was closely tied to a powerful local state lawmaker, Lyda Green. Ms. Green, who is retiring this year as Senate president, endorsed Ms. Palin in her campaign for mayor but became one of her biggest critics when Ms. Palin was governor.

    Tensions did ease eventually in Wasilla, and Mr. Cramer is given some of the credit, supporters and opponents of Ms. Palin said.

    “When I first met Sarah, I would say Sarah was a Republican, with the big R, and that’s it,” said Dave Chappel, Ms. Palin’s deputy mayor for more than two years. “As she developed politically, she began to see beyond the R and look at the whole picture. She matured.”

    Just as Ms. Palin terminated employees on her way into office, she also let some go on the way out, including Mr. Cramer. When Ms. Palin completed her second and final term, in 2002, her stepmother-in-law, Faye Palin, was running to succeed her. It seemed like a good idea, except that Faye Palin supported abortion rights and was registered as unaffiliated, not Republican, people who remember the race said. Sarah Palin sided instead with Dianne M. Keller, a religious conservative and an ally on the City Council. Ms. Keller won.

    “That was interesting,” Mr. Chappel said. “Faye lives up the street from me. I can’t really say much about that.”
    [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/us/politics/03wasilla.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print"]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/us/politics/03wasilla.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print[/URL]

    I'm sorry but this article needs it's own thread. There is this small town in Alaska where the mayor was a non-partisan position and here come Sarah Palin, with the support of the Republican Party and she runs a Christian crusade as a campaign to let's have a Christian mayor - the incumbents mayor's name was Stein but he was a Lutheran? This is the kind of maverick she is?

    Then she becomes mayor and tells the librarian that she wants to ban some books, the librarian says you can't do that, and then she wants to fire her?

    This is the woman that is going to bring fresh air into Washington? G-d help us if she ever gets there.

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    Meh. When you are talking about someone who rose as fast as Palin, there will always be bitter people left behind. All this says is that not everyone was happy with what she did with the town.

    Doesn't prove anything to me other than she didn't have 100% support in Alaska.

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    So in this bit of objective reporting, they interviewed the opponant she beat?

    Got it.


    Good stuff.

    Sour grapes are in aisle 2.

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    [QUOTE=Piper;2724901]So in this bit of objective reporting, they interviewed the opponant she beat?

    Got it.


    Good stuff.

    Sour grapes are in aisle 2.[/QUOTE]

    Also her deputy mayor. Seems like they actually got multiple sides.

    The story about her firing the librarian over not censoring books is frightening, btw.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2724916]The story about her firing the librarian over not censoring books is frightening, btw.[/QUOTE]
    Seriously are the righties here so blind that banning books in a library doesn't bother them?

    Is there no limit to what they will defend?

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    Christian [I]crusade[/I]?

    Is this the new angle against Palin? That she's a Christian? :rolleyes:

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    [QUOTE=Queens Jet Fan;2724924]Seriously are the righties here so blind that banning books in a library doesn't bother them?

    Is there no limit to what they will defend?[/QUOTE]

    None of the books were banned. It says so in the article -- in fact, you [B]bolded [/B]that part.

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    [QUOTE]“Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”

    “I thought: ‘Holy cow, what’s happening here? Does that mean she thinks I’m Jewish or Islamic?’ ” recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. “The point was that she was a born-again Christian.”[/QUOTE]

    The mudslinging is starting to get ridiculous. You're wrong, Queens, this did not deserve it's own thread -- unless you are intimidated by a Christian leader.

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    You mean as an executive, she actually ruffled some feathers while trying to run things?
    Shocking!

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;2724935]None of the books were banned. It says so in the article -- in fact, you [B]bolded [/B]that part.[/QUOTE]

    What it says is she publicly suggested banning books, and then fired the librarian who publicly said she would resist such an effort.

    When people called her out on the firing, she changed her mind.

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    I am sure you feel the same way with all of the Obama threads, or did you just PM CBTNY and told him to stop?


    [QUOTE=pauliec;2724945]The mudslinging is starting to get ridiculous. You're wrong, Queens, this did not deserve it's own thread -- unless you are intimidated by a Christian leader.[/QUOTE]

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    [quote=pauliec;2724933]Christian [I]crusade[/I]?

    Is this the new angle against Palin? That she's a Christian? :rolleyes:[/quote]


    It is amazing how they are trying to dig up dirt. Somebody is scared. Mean while the media is very quiet regarding a potential president who has learned and followed Rev. Wright and Farakan:rolleyes: . Just shows hows left and biased the media is.
    </IMG></IMG>

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    [QUOTE=cr726;2724959]I am sure you feel the same way with all of the Obama threads, or did you just PM CBTNY and told him to stop?[/QUOTE]

    What about Obama threads? All I see are threads about how Palin is a bad mother, Palin stole government money, Palin wants to secede Alaska from the union, and that Palin is an evil Christian Crusader.

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    And then where she served:
    [img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/319098225_e3fb99541f.jpg?v=0[/img]

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2724958]What it says is she publicly suggested banning books, and then fired the librarian who publicly said she would resist such an effort.

    When people called her out on the firing, she changed her mind.[/QUOTE]

    Hearsay from a political opponent. What do you think she's going to say?

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;2724933]Christian [I]crusade[/I]?

    Is this the new angle against Palin? That she's a Christian? :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]
    No but that was the problem of the Mayor that she was running against. He wasn't a Christian even though he was.

    [QUOTE]ne of the books were banned. It says so in the article -- in fact, you bolded that part. [/QUOTE]
    No, but she wanted to and there was opposition to that. Isn't that the important matter not whether they were banned or not?

    [QUOTE]“Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”

    “I thought: ‘Holy cow, what’s happening here? Does that mean she thinks I’m Jewish or Islamic?’ ” recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. “The point was that she was a born-again Christian.” [/QUOTE]
    Well she meant born again but but that's not what she was going around saying. She was saying first Christian mayor.

    Now just suppose she said born again Christian and that's what she meant. Isn't there still something wrong with that? Should she be running for office on the basis of what her relgion is?

    What on earth does that have to do with being intimidated by a Christian. That's just plain stupid.

    Do you seriously not see the issues here Paulie?
    Last edited by Queens Jet Fan; 09-03-2008 at 05:11 PM.

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    [QUOTE=Queens Jet Fan;2724971]No but that was the problem of the Mayor that she was running against. He wasn't a Christian even though he was.


    No, but she wanted to and their was opposition to that. Isn't that the important matter not whether they were banned or not?


    Well she meant born again but but that's not what she was going around saying. She was saying first Christian mayor.

    Now just suppose she said born again Christian and that's what she meant. Isn't there still something wrong with that? Should she be running for office on the basis of what her relgion is?

    What on earth does that have to do with being intimidated by a Christian. That's just plain stupid.

    Do you seriously not see the issues here Paulie?[/QUOTE]

    So I guess this isn't fake then......


    [IMG]http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a286/tfwaok/Palin2.jpg[/IMG]

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    [QUOTE=jetswinbaby!;2724950]You mean as an executive, she actually ruffled some feathers while trying to run things?
    Shocking![/QUOTE]

    Ruffled feathers of a librarian for not wanting to ban books she didn't like? That's an admirable quality?

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    [quote=Tanginius;2724966]And then where she served:
    [img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/319098225_e3fb99541f.jpg?v=0[/img][/quote]

    Your point: Here is where Hussain Obama gets his ideology from:

    [SIZE=3][B] Corinthian Baptist Church's Revivalist, April 21st to April 23rd 2003.[/B][/SIZE]
    [IMG]http://www.corinthianbaptistchurch.org/Wright_Rev..jpg[/IMG]

    </IMG>

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;2724969]Hearsay from a political opponent. What do you think she's going to say?[/QUOTE]

    Her own deputy mayor --an ally, presumably-- is quoted in the story. Nobody is saying the anecdote is not true.

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