Did anyone see this re: Sarah Palin - a note from a fellow Alaskan?

What follows is an
open letter written by a resident of Wasilla, Alaska named
Anne Kikenny.

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
isenergetic 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
beenpushed 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 later­to 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
usenergy 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
fiercelyloyal­loyal 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
wastold 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 projects­which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware
of their importance­but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation
as“anti-pork”.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party
leadershate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them.
Other members of the party object to her self-description as a
fiscalconservative.

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
highlyrespected 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
toglobal 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

?“Hockey mom”: true for a few years

?“PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school,
not since

?“NRA supporter”: absolutely true

?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).

?pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to
promote it.

?“Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby
BUTdeclined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life
legislation

?“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
ofabout 5,000.

?political maverick: not at all

?gutsy: absolutely!

?open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at
explaining actions.

?has a developed philosophy of public policy: no

?”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores
and 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. Built streets
to early 20th century standards.

?pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden
on residents

?pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government
inWasilla’s history.

?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
havegone 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
sopeople who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s attempt
atcensorship.

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 Hall­they 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.

 

You can checkto see
if Anne Kilkenny is real, etc. by going to:

http://www.examiner.com/x-775-Political-Issues-Examiner~y2008m9d3-Behind-the-Viral-Email-on-Sarah-Palin

 

 


Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.