Here's some background from Salon on the unusual influence Todd Palin has had on his wife's Alaska government.
Not long after Sarah Palin was sworn in as Alaska's governor in December 2006, her husband, Todd, started showing up in the state capitol in Juneau. He'd hang around her office, or he'd sit in on meetings with Cabinet officials or legislators. He'd leave for a few weeks to go work his $100,000-a-year oil job on the North Slope, then come back to Juneau (or Anchorage, depending on where Palin was spending her time). At some point, the "First Dude" became enough of a fixture in the statehouse that people just sort of figured he belonged there.Red caution flags should be going up in voter's minds about Todd Palin, and questions should be asked about what his presence might mean in the running of the U.S. government. Todd and Sarah were once affiliated with a group that - as Communication Guru puts it - would make Timothy McVeigh proud.
Soon, Todd Palin was getting copied on e-mails dealing with official state business. He had already helped write the state budget, gotten involved in personnel matters and called up lawmakers when he -- or Sarah Palin -- had a bone to pick with them. Apparently Palin's inner circle figured they better include him on messages about pending legislation or ongoing controversies, too. The First Dude's involvement in Palin's efforts to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police force have now earned him a subpoena from the Legislature, and he also allegedly intervened to have John Bitney (a former friend) fired from the state payroll for having an affair with the ex-wife of one of Todd Palin's buddies. The Washington Post reported last week that the Palins billed the state $1,371 for Todd's airfare to Washington, when he joined Sarah Palin at a National Governors Association conference, and for the whole family to fly around Alaska watching him compete in the Iron Dog snowmobile race.
In the Palin administration, Todd appears to have had an unusually strong role, the extent of which remains unclear. He is not on the state payroll and was never elected -- but the First Dude has crossed over from the standard-issue supportive political spouse to something far more influential, weighing in on policy and political matters in ways that few observers seem to understand.
[Sarah] Palin may have once been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. The AIP say they want Alaskans to get an opportunity to vote on whether or not they will remain a state, or become a commonwealth, or split off as an independent nation.Damn flag? Why aren't Republicans jumping all over that statement?
According to ABC News, Officials of the AIP said Gov. Palin was once a member, but the McCain campaign -- providing what it says is complete voter registration documentation -- says Palin has been according to official records a lifelong Republican.
Palin's husband Todd was a member of the AIP from October 1995 through July 2002, except for a few months in 2000. He is currently undeclared.
The AIP was founded by Joe Vogler in the 1970s. He has been quoted as saying, “I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."
"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."
This website has a YouTube video that shows the Vice Chairman of the AIP, Dexter Clark, talking about Sarah Palin and the fact she was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor, and he then goes on to say she "is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.“
Mr. Clark has also been quoted as saying, "that AIP members must "infiltrate" -- his words -- the other two parties and push for the cause of Alaskan independence."
By most people's standards, this group is anti-American and they definitely don't put "country first." The Palin's association with AIP could be innocent or subversive, but ignoring that association and failing to ask questions could have deadly consequences for our country. Voters need to take a long, hard look at Palin & Palin before casting their ballot.
(Cross-posted at BFM.)