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. Poor Levi

    This squabble can only be solved in one way. Judd and Palin need to have a Naked Tickle Fight. or perhaps a mud wrestling contest. I'd buy that for a dollar.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Simpliticus

    Palin and Cheney should get together and commit themselves to self-serving interests when it comes to hunting. Why not start a party devoted to self-serving interests when one can either shoot their competitor in the face or shoot their prey outside of an airplane or helicopter. The Acrimonious Hunter's Party because these people are less than humane!

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. TC Robinson

    Lisa, you're missing the point. The wolves kill the caribou and moose. Many Alaskans live off of caribou and moose. When there's no caribou and moose, there's no food.

    Even I, someone who is opposed to hunting, can understand this policy. This is the only way to erradicate the wolves, or at least lower their numbers, so that the people of Alaska won't lose their food supply.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Melody Chapin

    Good for you Ashley Judd! Gov. Palin is in no position to refer to animal/conservation organizations and concerned individuals as fringe groups when she and her state allow such savage killings of wildlife.

    I applaud all who support and protect animals.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Doug from NY

    Kevin in Ohio said:
    "This is nothing more than a manifestation of the left-wing hatred of anything and anyone who doesn't agree with their perverted viewpoints."

    Seriously, look up irony.

    More importantly, as a hunter of 10 years i just don't see the appeal of shooting something from a helicopter. Where is the sense of skill or accomplishment? It would be easier and less time consuming to just throw some fish in a barrel.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. For Ward

    Judd is a person of substance, Palin is a joke.
    Pay attention – lefties love. We leave the hate (arrogance and ignorrance too) to the Repugs.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Hardy Takhar

    Someone needs to declare open season on this bimbo

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. wdl

    Hmm, let's see. No oil drilling in Alaska because it might kill some caribou, but leave the wolves alone that definitely kill caribou. Interesting.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Vickie

    Actually, you may consider Ashley a "hollyweird rocket scientist" but the fact of the matter is, she is from Kentucky and probably has a pretty good handle about wildlife conservation. We don't have to shoot wildlife from a helicopter (we're better sportsmen), and we typically eat what we kill. Ashley Judd, above all, can make a better judgement than most about balancing the wildlife population, since she grew up in this environment where we have pretty strict limits on what can and can't be killed, how many, and when it is allowable.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. dj

    Good for Ms Judd. Defenders is not a fringe group, and there is plenty of opposition to "hunting" this way. It's kinda like shining deer, which is illegal. How in the Hell is a predator going to escape a helicopter?!? - especially out there on the snow? I suppose they allow dynamite "fishing" in Alaska too. The sad thing is that this again allows Palin more than her alloted 15 minutes of fame.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Chuck

    I'm really behind the times. I didn't realize slaughtering wolves was ACTUALLY being done in the name of saving moose and caribou. Really? I thought it was established several decades ago by the enlightened that a good healthy animal population needs the predators to cull the herds of the dumb, sick, and unworhty. Hunting from helicopters? Tell me it ain't so Joe....I mean Sarah.

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    Sometimes when there's too many wolves, we need to hunt them. We should balance nature and our existence. I'm not against her hunting wolves. I'm against abusive killings. This is America. Relax. Let us have our God, Guts and Guns...

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. KC

    If not for food, then, is it for sport ? But just what is sporting in a hunter flying above an animal who is trying to escape through deep snow... looks like cruelty to me. Just plain old blood lust.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. kcb764

    Now Sarah has an equal opponent.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Michael

    Let's put Ashley in a wolfe suite and set her loose in Alaska.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. patti

    There you go again Sarah Palin! You call Ashley Judd and those who support this position a fringe group? You say Shame on you? If you haven't noticed this is 2009-not 1909. I think we the people have evolved enough to know that we just don't go around destroying things–like animals–like the environment! We need to find a way to co-exist. If you really believe that you should put a pricetag on this you certainly are a fool! !!!!!! There was an election–you lost!!!!! You still are ridiculous and Embarrassing!

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Trudy

    I believe it was Buffalo Bill who took tourists on trains to shoot buffalo, leaving them on the praire to rot and die. They almost wiped out the buffalo forever. Perhaps that is Palin's goal.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Death of America by Obama

    I agree with Ashley Judd and I voted for Palin.....but I won't do it again.
    There is absolutely no reason on earth to shot these animals from a plane. There is no reason to shot them at all. Palin is a liar.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. AnnMM

    Oh Thank God, I thought we might have to go a whole day without CNN posting another moronic story about Caribou Barbie.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Martha

    Gov. Palin is a bloodthirsty, barbaric, dullwitted, self righteous, hillbilly, who is incapable of compassion. She has created an image of Alaska as snow dripping with blood from innocent animals that have been brutally slaughtered by mindless barbarians. She is vile and should be impeached and thrown out of office.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. kevin

    Another reason why I would NEVER vote for Sarah Palin. I left the republican party this past year and if people like her continue to control the republican party, I won't be coming back ANY time soon.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. dinah

    Go Ashley. Behind you 100%. Sick of hearing about Palin but in this context...it's more than ok. Her heartless hunting habits always bothered me; the turkey farm fiasco didn't help either. Thank you for doing this.

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. al

    I'm not against Palin hunting wolves...drop her off in the Alaskan wilderness with a knife and let her have at it. Shooting from a helicopter? That should offend any legit hunter out there. Palin is such an idiot.

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

    Ashley apparently does not know that people have been hunting and eating animals since the beginning of the human race. So, she is an idiot, like all of her misguided ilk. Go Sarah 2012! And come on down to the lower 48, we need you now more than ever...

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

    Palin isn't happy unless she is out shooting defenseless animals for sport! She's worried about moose and caribou because it will mean less animals to put in her gun sight and not on her dinner table! She is the most arrogant, cruel, and definitely not too bright woman in this country! All I can say is, thank God she is not our Vice President!!! How brave do you have to be to shoot innocent wolves from an airplane! I will definitely support this wildlife group!!!

    February 4, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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