Sarah Palin

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Sarah Palin was the Republican Party Governor of Alaska until her resignation in 2009. She has announced an interest in running for president of the United States in 2012. On January 11, 2010, she took a job with the Fox News Channel.[1]

Property tax issue

The Los Angeles Times found on February 5, 2010, that records show that Sarah Palin did not paid any property taxes on cabins built on two backcountry lots about 100 north of Anchorage, of which she was a partial owner. Aerial surveys done February 4, 2010 showed two, two-story, house-sized cabins, a workshop and a sauna on the properties, for which property taxes totaling $156.13 were paid in 2009, but the local assessor did not know about the new structures.[2]

Speaker fee

Palin will get a speaking fee of $100,000 for speaking at the Tea Party Nation Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, February 4, 2010. [3]

Palin As a Fox News Celebrity Pundit

Mark Greenbaum of the Christian Science Monitor examined Palin's new job: "Palin is a true, Hollywood-type celebrity with a bestselling book and millions of adoring fans. She may have designs on the presidency, but she evidently wants to soak up the perks and adulation of her celebrity first, and she has done that with gusto. ... But Palin’s strident, conservative manner, her deep Republican stripes, and her penchant for publicity make her a superb fit for television and a natural fit for Fox News. This is not a novel idea, but in light of Palin’s lasting hold on the national stage, it appears a match perfectly suited to both parties commercially and ideologically. A regular slot on Fox News would be an immediate sensation and it would expand Palin’s imprint on the national stage, giving her a place to build and shape her public persona. ... She could easily be paid millions there to do what she does best: delighting Republicans and infuriating Democrats. She could also use the new job to strengthen her public conversational and oratorical skills. And therein lies why Fox News Channel is bringing on Palin. Her star power would be an immediate ratings bonanza." [4].

McCain's 2008 Running Mate

In late August 2008 she was named by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) as his vice-presidential running mate.[5]

In announcing Palin as his running mate, McCain publicly stated that she[5]:

  • "has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington";
  • "has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources."
  • "challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill";
  • "has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending";
  • "put a stop to the "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars"; and
  • that as "the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops."

Palin's rise to political prominence

Sarah Palin's jump to the national political scene after only 21 months in office came about with the help of a media relations and marketing consulting firm hired to draw national attention to the state's proposed natural gas pipeline project. Alaska's Department of Natural Resources paid public relations expert Marcia Brier of Needham, Massachusetts $31,000 to pitch stories to the national media that promoted Palin as the driving force behind the pipeline and getting the state legislature to go along with it. Brier sent press releases to national media outlets portraying Palin as an "upstart governor" and crusader against Big Oil, the same story line Palin now uses in her campaign with John McCain. Some state legislators take exception to the portayal of Palin as the sole force behind the pipeline, when many other people worked on the project. Once the PR campaign began, Palin was away from the Legislature so much that lawmakers started sporting red and white "Where's Sarah?" buttons. Among Brier's past clients is a 23 year-old Saudi prince, Bader al-Saud, whom she helped to get a plea deal in a vehicular homicide case.[6]

Alaskan Legislature's report on abuse of power

On October 11, 2008, the Anchorage Daily News reported that an investigation by the Alaskan legislature concluded that Governor Sarah Palin had violated ethics laws and abused the power of her office by pushing for the firing of a state trooper who has once married to her sister and by allowing her husband, Todd Palin, to use the governor's office to crusade against the officer. Steve Branchflower, in releasing the report, stated, "Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired." Branchflower wrote that Sarah Palin let her husband, Todd, use the governor's office and its resources, "including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired." He added, "She had the authority and power to require Mr. Palin to cease contacting subordinates, but she failed to act." The report was released by a 12-0 vote of the Legislative Council after a vote by eight Republicans and four Democrats.[7]

Palin on Global Warming

In an interview with, a conservative online newssite, Palin was asked for her "take" on global warming and "how is it affecting our country?". Palin responded that "a changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made."[8]

New $150,000 wardrobe

The Republican National Committee spent over $150,000 to clothe and accessorize Sarah Palin after she was chosen as the vice presidential nominee by John McCain. The RNC's financial disclosure records indicate that the accessorizing began in early September, 2008. The RNC paid bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined total of $49,425.74. Records also document major shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September. The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on Ms. Palin's hair and makeup through September, 2008. Payments were also made in September to Barney’s New York ($789.72) and Bloomingdale’s New York ($5,102.71). Macy’s in Minneapolis received three separate payments totaling $9,447.71.

The expenses are listed in the RNC’s September 2008 monthly financial disclosure report under the heading “itemized coordinated expenditures,” a report that usually is used to record expenses for direct mail, telephone calls and advertising. Those more typical expenses expenses do show up, but the report also lists a new category of spending called “campaign accessories.”[9][10]

When asked about the size of the expense for Ms. Palin's wardrobe, the RNC answered that the clothes actually belong to the party committee, and the McCain campaign said the clothing will go to a "charitable purpose" after the campaign. An additional expense included a $92 romper and matching hat with ears for Palin's baby, Trig, purchased a a baby store in Minneapolis called Pacifier. Trig wore the romper the night Palin addressed the RNC convention.[11]

Racism allegations

In an article appearing in the The LA Progressive blog on September 5, 2008, Sarah Palin is alleged to have used a historically racially derogatory term for Obama after his win over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. The statement (which can be read in full at the source) came from a waitress who said she overheard the remark while serving her. The blogger who reported the story interviewed the waitress over the phone and says he is honoring her request not to use her last name. There has been no other confirmation of the story.[12][13]

Support for the Alaska Independence Party

Palin has expressed support for the Alaska Independence Party, a secessionist political party, telling AIP members, "Keep up the good work" [. . .] "And God bless you." The late Joe Vogler, founder of the AIP has advocated armed struggle against the US government, saying, "My government is my worst enemy. I'm going to fight them with any means at hand." Palin's husband, Todd Palin, belonged to the AIP for seven years. AIP chair, Lynette Clark told is quoted to have said of Palin, "She's Alaskan to the bone ... she sounds just like Joe Vogler."[14]

Winner of the Lie of the Year award

Sarah Palin’s allegation on Facebook allegation that the Democrats’ health-care reform bill would include “death panels” that would decide whether seniors and disabled people were worthy of care was named “Lie of the Year” by fact-checkers at wrote,

Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest ... Palin’s “assertion-- that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care -- spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings.

Palin's “death panels” allegation accounted for 61% of about 5,000 votes cast at to determine 2009’s Lie of the Year. It was first year has held such a contest.[15]


Contact Details

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Howard Kurtz Sarah Palin to appear regularly on Fox News Washington Post, January 12, 2009
  2. Becky Bohrer Sarah Palin's husband was closely involved in governing decisions, e-mails show Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2010
  3. Marc Ambinder Tea Party Convention Woes The Atlantic/Politics, January 22, 2010
  4. Mark Greenbaum, Opinion Sarah Palin and Fox News: a match made in heaven, Christian Science Monitor, January 11, 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 "John McCain Selects Alaska Governor Sarah Palin As Vice Presidential Running Mate", Media Release, August 29, 2008.
  6. Nelson Sigelman, The Martha's Vineyard Times Saudi royal family member chooses the Dukes jail after motor vehicle homicide November 23, 2005
  7. Don Hunter, Sean Cockerham, Wesley Loy, Kyle Hopkins and Bill White Investigator: Palin abused power Anchorage Daily News, October 11, 2008
  8. Mike Coppock, "Palin Speaks to Newsmax About McCain, Abortion",, August 29, 2008.
  9. Jeanne Cummings, Politico RNC shells out $150K for Palin fashion October 22, 2008
  10. Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Sarah Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe Malfunction? October 22, 2008
  11. Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press GOP spent $150,000 in donations on Palin's look Octoer 22, 2008
  12. Charley James, "Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean”", The LA Progressive, September 5, 2008.
  13. analysis of the rumor, Sept. 2008.
  14. David Talbot, Where's the uproar on Palin links to anti-U.S. group?, Toronto Star (Canada), October 9, 2008.
  15. Susan Davis Palin’s “Death Panels” Charge Named “Lie of the Year”, Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal blog, December 22, 2009
  16. Feminists for Life, "FFL Member Nominated for Vice President of the United States", Media Release, August 29, 2008.
  17. National Rifle Association, "Sarah Palin and Joe Biden: Worlds Apart", Media Release, National Rifle Association, August 29, 2008.

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