February 4th, 2009
09:17 PM ET
9 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. eual

    Tell ms judd to stay out of the hunting issues be cause the folks that are hunting pay enough money in state taxes to feed no telling how many famlies. tell her to send some of her money to the state to pay the taxes that they collect from these hunters maybe they will stop then besides the wolfes hide make dang fine rugs

    February 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. BJ

    Lisa M,

    The wolves ARE killing livestock – the Moose and Caribou (that Alaskans hunt for food) have been decimated by wolves. That's why they're thinning out the wolf population.

    February 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. we love Sarah

    "The minute she was nominated, our phones started ringing off the hook," said William Lutz, director of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, the group's political arm.
    Palin and the group are at odds on several issues, including her opposition to Endangered Species Act protection for polar bears. But the group's first campaign ad against her focuses on a policy that allows private citizens to chase and kill wolves from airplanes". Don't take food off of Sarahs table-she hunts and eats moose.

    February 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. D-MI

    Um, since the overwhelming majority (and I mean OVERWHELMING) of people in American do not shoot wolves with high-powered rifles from helicopters, I believe that makes Palin and those of her sub-species more likely the to be the "fringe group"...

    I have no problem with hunting or carnivores (yum, steak...). This, to me, is basically the same as poisoning wolves with baited meat. It almost wiped them out 100 years ago, and it was senseless and indefensible then, when there were many thousands of them ranging from Mexico to Alaska and throughout Canada.

    I mean, if wolves can't run free and unmolested in ALASKA, where can they...? So argue with me: explain how that viewpoint is perverted?

    February 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Va 4 Obama

    You go Ashley!! Sarah Palin should be stopped ~ from hunting & talking!!!

    February 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Joan

    Sarah Palin's arrogance knows no boundaries. Since when is hunting from a helicopter or plane considered sport? I saw a video last fall of a beautiful white wolf running across a snowy field, a small plane in pursuit of the animal. Some low life in the aircraft shot the wolf and the remaining video showed the animal howling in pain, writhing in the snow with blood flying everywhere. All the while the Neanderthals in the plane having a grand old time watching one of God's beautiful creatures dying a slow, painful death. It is one thing to hunt and kill an animal for sustenance – quite another to chase one down and execute it for sport.
    Kudos to Ashley Judd!

    February 4, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Jason

    Fringe Group....hmmm....ok, all those who will be going an an aerial wolf hunt raise your hands...14,15,16...ok, now those who will NOtT same sign....100 mil, 200, mil, 300, mil...fringe group eh? I don't mind hunting, but if you are going to do it, do as inteneded, on foot, on the ground, and give the wolf a chance to either 1) get away or 2) eat Sarah Palin.

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

    It;s too bad Hollywood liberals don't live in the real world. They can't even get over a popular vote defeat like Prop 8.

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

    If you kill a Wolf/Bug/Bacteria is there a difference?

    That of course is the question. Because if there isn't, this is right. If there is, then maybe its wrong? Of course I would rather have violent people hunt legally then illegally.

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

    Ashley's got too much class for a no class wana be Alaskan
    Ice Princes.
    Give it up Sarah.

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

    I'm in favor of Gov. Palin. While it's not easy to destroy any natural habitat of the forest, to preserve and protect our Caribou and Moose population, a decision had to be made and I firmly believe it's the correct decision.

    Wolves and other hunters will do much more damage to the future wildlife and pose a greater threat to the safety and security of people and their property, including animals.

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

    Like all actors – shut up unless your reading a script. We all have opinions but it seems if your on TV or a large screen you think your voice has more weight. Alaska has unique issues that rest of the country wouldn't understand. Seems to me Governor Palin is trying to keep the balance of Wildlife and is trying to save Caribou and Elk populations. Don't we all have bigger problems to tackle?

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

    Ashley is a pin-head. She has no qualification even to be Sarah Palin's nanny. She should keep foxes as the pets in her home and worship them. She does not know Alaskan situation and just try to criticize our Governor of Alaska. get a life.

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

    here"s a thought, instead of killing wolves to save the caribou and moose population how about cutting back on the human hunting of caribou and moose. problem solved! i mean come on http://www.alaskacariboucamps.com/ does this type of hunting serve any more than a superficial purpose???

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. BJ Moritz

    "...when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations..." Predators like you, Ms. Palin? We all know how much you love that moose stew.

    Aerial hunting of any animal should be banned. It's sick and inhumane.

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Chris Wakemore

    Give me a break, how much does it cost to take a helicopter out to hunt wolves? How much fuel do you burn through just to take out one of these dangerous predators.

    Seems like an elitist sport to me and environmentally unforgivable...

    Come on boys and girls! Lets fire up the old chopper and get us some of them there nasty wolves!

    Now if we were a permitted to hunt politicians in the same fashion you might make a believer out of me. I'm pretty sure that Politicians do more to harm the environment and nature in general than wolves do.

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Dam Da Man!

    Why does she want to protect the moose so she can SHOOT them after she saves em? typical hypocrycy...Ii guess she is washington ready.

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Thomas K.

    Hmmm. I recognize a pattern here. If you disagree with Sara, you're a member of a "fringe" or "elite" group.

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

    Sarah represents the perverted fringe group!

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

    Keep it up Ashley Judd.
    Sarah ought to read Farley Mowat's autobiography or watch the movie
    Never Cry Wolf
    Caribou know how to defend themselves

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

    If I were Ashley Judd, I wouldn't be concerned about Sarah Palin's dismissal of her group as "a extreme fringe group". Except it kinda puts them in the same category as Sarah's Political Action Committee 🙂

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

    Who could possibly care what Ashley Judd thinks about anything? The process used in Alaska is used in other parts of the world and is welcomed by many conservationists as a reasonable way to control predators. Ashley and her PETA idiots can stuff their lettuce where the sun don't shine!

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

    Killing just to kill is wrong, no matter the excuse

    This is not hunting, just killing – smart people find much better ways to entertain them selfs

    Why are there so many who get a thrill from slaughtering animals, is it just to prove their men?

    It only shows how shallow they really are

    Guess that's just the nature of man

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

    Aren't wolves important parts of the ecosystem? They are a natural predator, yes. But, they are needed. To allow hunters to decimate them, under the law, from the air (which is a cowardly way to hunt in my opinion) will just invite the endangerment of an entire species. If Ms. Palin thinks the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund are a fringe group, just wait until other conservationist and animal protection groups get on the band wagon to save the wolf population. Does she even think before she speaks?

    February 4, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Joshua College Station Texas

    Wolves do not feed on the healthy animals, but on the sick and the young. It is a natural process that keeps ungulate herds healthy and strong. Killing wolves has one purpose–to eliminate them as competition to human hunters. Killing wolves may slightly increase the numbers of caribou and moose, but only so that Alaska Fish and Game/Wildlife and hunting/sportsmen businesses can make more money and so sportsmen can go out and hunt instead of the wolves. It is another misguided attempt by ignorant humans to manage nature in an unhealthy way, and it will lead to future ecological problems that will negatively effect humans.

    Palin is a fruit loop.

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