February 4th, 2009
09:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin takes on Ashley Judd’s ‘extreme fringe group’

Ashley Judd appears in an environmental ad campaign for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.
Ashley Judd appears in an environmental ad campaign for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

(CNN) – Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s support for aerial wolf-hunting has sparked a heated cross-country war of words between the governor and an environmental ad campaign fronted by the actress Ashley Judd, with Palin calling the organization funding the ads an “extreme fringe group.”

The squabble began Tuesday when the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund unveiled a campaign called “Eye on Palin,” targeting the governor for what they call her “extreme anti-conservation policies.”

The group is highlighting “Palin’s championing of the brutal and unnecessary aerial killing of wolves and other carnivores” - a controversial practice allowed by permit in Alaska since 2003, with the goal of protecting populations of moose and caribou.

Judd, who has in the past lent her voice to AIDS prevention and reproductive health campaigns, signed on with the group and is featured in a YouTube video. “It is time to stop Sarah Palin, and stop this senseless savagery,” she says in the clip.

Palin struck back in a statement Tuesday night, calling the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund a fringe group that “distorts” the goal of Alaska’s predator control programs.

“Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations,” Palin said in the statement.

She added: “Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times.”

Palin addressed predator hunting on the campaign trail last September in off-the-cuff remarks at an Ohio fundraiser, calling the practice “kind of a big darn controversial deal up there in Alaska.”

"A lot of the far east coast politicians think it's just so politically incorrect," she said.


Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Hey Kevin, perverted is shooting animals in their native habitat and leaving the carcasses to rot. Wolves effectively cull weak and diseased and old individuals from herd animals, helping keep populations healthy and in check. Hard to imagine, I guess, from your own concrete and steel habitat there in Ohio.

    And the only one using the word "hate" here is you.

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Effra

    The campaign for which Judd is working is NOT about defending wolves. It's about trying to keep Sarah Palin out of national politics . . . which means that, for Ashley Judd and others, the real issue is keeping access to ABORTION

    In other words, the "Defenders of Wildlife" is a front group for people who are the "Nondefenders of Human Life." Shame on them for not representing their REAL issue.

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Thomas, Illinois

    (Kevin in Ohio) --Either your with us or your against us, remember that famous quote? So I know in your comment, you mean't to say Right-wing...But, that's OK we'll forgive ya....

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. Jon

    Let me hunt Palin from a helicopter and see if she changes her tune.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Erin

    Hunting the "ole" fashion way is one thing, flying over them and shooting from a plane of helicopter is different. Let her/them hunt the way our ancestors did. On foot and out in the open. Fair game!

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Patrick Ward

    Ashly Judd is an ignorant and misinformed actress. The real reason she targets Sarah Palin is because she, like all other neo-feminists cannot stomach and attractive, conservative mother who believes in marriage, life and children. As a childless self-absorbed woman, I'm not surprised she has chosen to distort who Sarah Palin is in a very dishonest and uniformed way.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Joe

    Lisa M –

    Did you read the article, do you know the issue at all?

    Alaskans hunt and eat (Think survive) on the Moose and Caribou. The wolves are killing off the moose and caribou herds.

    Permits are given to keep the wolf population in check.

    So do you support keeping the wolf population in check, or starving people? Or do you put political caveats in there, we'd allow this if it feeds Democrats, but not Republicans.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Just an Observer

    Just think, if Ashley would have put as much dedication into her movie roles, as she does targeting political groups, maybe she would have been successful. Then again, she never had a chance!

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. CM

    Hunting wildlife should depend on need to reduce the particular animal's numbers, after good studies are done. It should not be done for fun or profit only. It is possible to romanticize animals until they start attacking us or decimating populations of other animals that we need to stay alive.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Brian

    Another self-important Hollywood moron that thinks people actually care about what they have to say.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Kelley

    Good call Lisa M....I feel the same way.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. erin

    hey lisa, they allow it to protect the moose and caribou population, not for sport.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Debbie

    Hunting in a sporting way, that challenges the hunter while giving the quarry a fair chance – OK, if you must. But shooting a running animal from an aircraft is nothing more than sadistic bullying. It's not like the wolves are stealing and eating babies. If there's one thing Alaska has, it's plenty of room for anyone.

    And can we please stop seeing "Palin" on the CNN.com home page? Please?

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. George B. from Ohio

    It cracks me up how some of the neocon Republicans talk about being the party of family values and protecting life, but they think nothing of sending young people off to war or slaughtering animals like they're fish in a barrel. Kudos to Judd for speaking out against the barbaric behavior supported by Palin.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Holly

    The only "predator" decimating wildlife is Sarah Palin and her self-rightous, redneck, narrow-minded view of what an eco-system is.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. itbeme

    I live in Idaho, and know first hand, that the wolf population has grown way to big. I don't agree with hunting from aircraft, but do agree that they need to be controlled. They ARE killing livestock....family pets...etc.... The tree huggers were so intent on 'reintroducing' them, but had to plan for when they started over populating. Many people out here depend on elk and deer to put food on the table. The wolf population has made that even harder than it was. We have had to change our hunting area twice because the wolves have moved in and driven the elk out. We have now just given up.

    Next time the tree huggers what to 'reintroduce' a predator, let them do it in the middle of New York. I hear the grizzle bear is next on their list.

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Joe

    You Sarah bashers MAKE ME SICK

    February 4, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. tom

    There is nothing wrong with hunting as long as its for food and not for sport, what Palin is doing, is right and wrong aerial hunting is necessary and brutal, especially in the alaska tundra. most Alaskan native villages depend on the moose and caribou, along with fish and other food to get them through winter. the wolfpacks get to too large they will diminish the fresh game supply.

    February 4, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. JB in NJ

    Why is Sarah so concerned about moose and caribou populations now when she wants to threaten the same animals in ANWAR with oil drilling and disruption?

    February 4, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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