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. Iris

    An old Indian saying "MAN AWAY FROM NATURE BECOMES HARD AND COLD" this is certainly true of the above. Somehow they do not have a clue!

    February 4, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Clair

    Why my comments never make to CNN?

    February 4, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. kellyb

    Does Sarah have to attack ALL of her critics on EVERY issue with labels like 'extreme fringe group', a fighting words metaphor for radicals or terrorists? The group disagrees with the practice of aerial hunting. Some people will agree with them and some will disagree. End of story. Not everyone who disagrees with one thing or some things that Palin champions is an extremist, but her vitriolic responses make her appear to be the extremist.

    February 4, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Smarter than That

    How brave to hunt anything by air. Cowards. Crime against nature. Palin will never be anything but an out of step bimbo. She needs to stay in Alaska and volcano watch.

    February 4, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Congrats, Kevin. You just showed your ignorance and your hypocrisy in one sentence. Way to go.

    February 4, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. RIP GOP 2008

    The best gift that the Republicans can give to America is to choose Sarah Palin as their 2012 Presidential candidate. Since their political party is dieing, it is befitting that they go out with a joke.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Terry - Ontario,Canada

    Wolves have to be controlled AND the lower 48 states have done such
    a good job of it, that we had to send Canadian Wolves to repopulate some states. No Wolves, the vermin population exploded !!

    I do beleive in fair play though; hunters are to lazy to walk to hunt,
    use an aircraft, then we should give the Wolves guns or ground-to-air missles !!

    I have two cousins in Northern Quebec, who are professional guides.
    They guarantee a shot at what you are hunting, but someone has to eat what you shoot AND no freiken aircraft !!! Cowards use aircraft.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Mabel

    Defenders of Wildlife is NOT a fringe or extremist group. One of the reasons Palin and her crew of animal killers want to "control" the wolf population is so there are more moose and caribou for them to kill. Nice. I love the fact that Ashley Judd stands up for what she believes in -she is a true inspiration.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Jim, Burlington NC

    "Kevin in Ohio February 4th, 2009 1:00 pm ET

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

    OK, I'll assume this was a joke. Nobody could actually agree with shooting wolves from helicopters unless they themselves are perverted and hateful.

    Thinking that shooting wolves from the air is protecting moose and caribou is showing that keen intellect the majority of Americans voted against back in November. Sarah Palin is a sickness that needs to be quarantined to Alaska.

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

    So all politics aside the question is if the Moose and Caribou are truly being "decimated" (is there evidence of that?) can the wolf population not be controlled with less extreme hunting measures? If so then hunting from planes is cruel, wasteful and unnatural. Frankly on a scale on 10 with all that's going on this rates a -1 except for Alaska sportsmen.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Chad

    To the author – don't refer to this as "aerial wolf-hunting" as nobody can purchase a license to hunt in this manner.

    This is a tactic used by DNR sharpshooters to control the wolf population. Like it or not, wolves are predators and man has a role in managing their population versus other animals that share the habitat.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Big Harv

    I am looking forward to a trip to Alaska to embrace the time honored cultural practice of shooting wildlife from a helicoptor. Before Sarah set the record straight I never would have imagined that Alaskan heritage was so steeped in the tradition of shooting animals from the air. I would have envistioned a more sporting adventure, like hiking and scouting for the prey, and camoflaging my activities. Instead of days enjoying the great outdoors, I can probably be in and out of the wilderness in a couple of hours with my prey. Sarah may be able to pen the animals in so I can be done in a few minutes.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Jim

    More idiocy form the looney left. They don't care that these wolves are taking food out of people's mouths by killing the game that the people of Alaska depend on.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Isabel T.

    It is so hypocritical of Ashley Judd to criticize Gov. Palin for allowing the killing of wolves in order to protect the moose and caribou but yet Ashley Judd condones abortion and refers to an abortion as a "woman's privacy rights issue." It is OK to kill the unborn in a mother's womb but Ashley Judd is worried about the wolf population up in Alaska?

    Ashley, get your priorities straight. The right to privacy does not exist in the U.S. Constitution. The right to privacy is not absolute. How about defending the rights of unborn children that will never see the light of day?

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Collin Szewczyk

    I'd say a secessionist group, or the Pentecostal church are more accurately defined as "Extremist Fringe Groups", much more that those of us that are opposed to the Aerial hunting of wolves, Why won't Palin just go away?, the media is still in love with this lunatic. She is a joke of a person, whose appeal only shows the shallowness of American politics, if she wasn't a former beauty queen, we'd have never heard of her. In all my years, I've never come across a more inept "politician", and that says alot.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Jon Davis

    Hopefully Palin will freeze to death after her snow machine breaks down on the Road to Nowhere.

    Go Ashley! You rock.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Buddy Covert

    GOP just lost the Kentucky vote: Ashley Judd an icon in Kentucky. Palin needs to learn when just to keep quiet.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. km

    poor,ditzy sarah...she is just so full of bile from her trouncing on the big stage...she will never recover.

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

    amazing how the republican constantly contradicts themselves. a party that wants less control from the govt, but then again they want the govt telling them that abortions should be illegal. talk about gagging the country with YOUR religous views.

    February 4, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Andi

    typical. The best way to show who's boss (in the minds of the Right) is to kill them.

    February 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. That one 08

    I agree the killing should be related to eating only. Sarah stay where you are!

    February 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Lynn M

    Lisa M, caribou and moose ARE "livestock" in Alaska where they are harvested for food.

    February 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Wolf

    Typical misguided liberals, twist half the facts.

    Ashley should fund and provide a permanet and LASTING remedy to the problems the conservation/hunting program is going to resolve. Alaska is creating jobs and revenue from the private sector to solve a governmentall problem at no costs to the public. Alaskins that depend on moose and caribou for food will then have less competition for their food sources.

    February 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Humored In Texas

    Personal to Kevin:

    Shooting animals from a helicopter isn't perverted?!?!?!

    It would be interesting to see Palin debate another woman who can actually string a complete sentence and not speak in "aw shucks-style," dontcha think?! You betcha!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. Mary

    I don't agree with gunning down anything-especially a species that is on the brink of becoming endangered.
    The wolf has been hunted to near extinction by ranchers and land owners. This fear is sometimes due to myths about the nature of the wolf to attack man. Due to the wolf's competition with hunters for wild game animals, they have been known to kill farm stock when no other alternatives were available for food sources. Wolves will usually take the old and injured animals from a herd and thus improve the overall health of those animals that are left. Healthy wolves in the wild are shy creatures that avoid areas that man inhabits.
    And let's not forget about the 8 year old who shot and killed 2 grown adults-he had been taught to hunt from a very young age. Studies have shown a correlation between violence against animals and violence against humans.

    February 4, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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