Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah Palin: cream of the Mat-Su crop?

If major-party Presidential candidates were obligated to choose their veeps from a pool of mayors from Alaska's Mat-Su area, it appears at first glance that Sarah Palin might be the odds-on favorite. Judges, to your posts:
Anchorage Daily News, August 17, 2001: Three Mat-Su-area mayors have signed an initiative petition that, if approved by voters, would require the Legislature to hold sessions in the Valley instead of Juneau. But while their names are on the measure, that doesn't necessarily mean they all support it.

The three mayors signed the petition at a kickoff ceremony Wednesday as a television news crew recorded the event at the Best Western Lake Lucille Inn near Wasilla.

But Thursday, Palmer Mayor Henry Guinotte said he is ''neither opposed nor for'' the measure.

''I did sign it, I did,'' he said in a phone interview. ''But I want to wait and see what the voters decide.''

Mat-Su Borough Mayor Tim Anderson signed the initiative at the same ceremony but said he hadn't read it. Supporters of the measure told him it was a ceremonial signing, he said, and he felt he should sign because he was there on behalf of the Mat-Su Borough government, which has endorsed the move.

''It was a ceremony. I thought it was the thing to do,'' he said Thursday. ''You get caught up in it.''

Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin had no qualms about signing the measure. ''Our arms are wide open for the Legislature to meet here,'' she said.
Guinotte and Anderson said they went to the kickoff expecting to sign a resolution in support of giving residents a chance to vote on the move question, not the petition itself. They said they were surprised when they were handed the initiative instead.

But officials with Alaskans for Efficient Government, which is sponsoring the petition drive and held the kickoff, said the mayors were told they would be signing the initiative.

''The whole idea was that this was the official ceremony to kick off the initiative drive,'' said Uwe Kalenka, the group's president.
But perhaps decisive Sarah decided a bit too fast. Six months later she was having second thoughts:
ADN 2/27/02: Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, who signed the initiative and had been an early supporter, now says she has concerns about it, mostly dealing with the cost of such a move.

She also said the initiative doesn't seem to be a high priority among residents.

''We don't hear anybody talking about it,'' she said. ''Maybe it's because they voted on it before and it hasn't happened.''

Palin, who was among three Mat-Su mayors who signed the petition, said she was concerned because the measure repeals a portion of the FRANK initiative.

The FRANK initiative mandates that the state provide estimates of the cost of moving the capital or the Legislature and requires voter approval of those costs before anything can happen. The new measure would repeal the part that applies to moving the Legislature.

I don't know, maybe McCain should have picked Guinotte or Anderson as a running mate. One didn't know what he was signing, neither knew why they were signing it. But they're not flip-floppers.

P.S. the measure, which failed in the 2002 elections, was co-sponsored by Mark Chryson, then head of the notorious secessionist Alaskan Independent Party, of which Sarah's husband Todd Palin, the future alleged shadow governor, was a member when this initiative was pending. Chryson suggested (in the 8/17/01 article above) that "
legislators could hold court in the Cottonwood Creek Mall, a partially vacant strip mall off the Parks Highway near Wasilla that is home to a pizza joint, an arcade and occasional rabbit and guinea pig shows. ''Why not?'' he said.

Why not indeed?
But there's no evidence In the Anchorage Daily News archives, at least) that Sarah Palin aligned herself with Chryson on this or any other measure.

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