April 14th, 2009
10:20 AM ET
11 years ago

Palin office accuses opponents of 'wanting their hands held'

Palin's office slammed criticism of her travel as politically-motivated.

Palin's office slammed criticism of her travel as politically-motivated.

(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's office blasted state Democrats late Monday for criticizing her decision to travel to the Midwest for speaking appearances in the closing days of the legislative session.

Her staff sent reporters an angry message with the subject line "Political Adversaries Allow Politics to Cloud Judgment in Final Week."

“It is nothing more than a politically charged shot in the dark,” Palin chief of staff Mike Nizich said in the statement. “We view the legislative session as a very serious state issue. This isn’t politics for us; this is Alaska’s future. I have worked for seven governors. Every governor has traveled during the legislative session. Had this group done its homework, they would have realized that Governor Palin has had numerous meetings with lawmakers this session and has been in constant communication with them.

“During the final week of session, legislators rarely want governors around stirring things up. We did not anticipate that the governor’s political opponents would want their hands held in the final hours of the session.”

The governor - who has opted to skip several major conservative gatherings this year, citing legislative demands - will spend half of the final three days of the session in Indiana, where she will headline a pro-life dinner and speak at an event for parents of children with Down Syndrome.

Earlier Monday, state Democratic Party chair Patti Higgins accused Palin of "putting her national political ambitions ahead of the needs of Alaska."

"Where is Sarah Palin? She is going to be halfway across the country, she’s at a right-to-life fundraiser and another event," Higgins said, according to the Anchorage Daily News. "We need a full-time governor who is thinking about our issues all the time, who is working and negotiating with the legislators and getting the job done we need done."

The governor has also come under fire from members of her own party. "There are some concerns [in the Capitol] about the focus of our chief executive because she's taken a speaking engagement in Indiana for a 36-hour period with only 72 hours left in the legislative session," state Rep. Jay Ramras of Fairbanks told the paper.

Over the weekend, Palin herself pushed back against critics of her decision. "I'll be gone for one day. I already have been on record with lawmakers on this," she told the ADN. "I told lawmakers, you know what, 'Please, don't make me feel that I have to ask you permission, lawmakers, to leave the capital city.' "

As the spring close of the Alaska's legislative session approaches, already-tense relations between the state's Republican governor and Democratic legislators have turned frosty. The governor's controversial pick for attorney general — the outspoken Wayne Anthony Ross — has not yet been confirmed.

Last week, Palin was forced to make another selection for a vacant state senate seat after Democrats rejected her first pick. By law, the governor had been required to choose a Democrat to replace Kim Elton, who's joined the Obama administration - but lawmakers rejected Tim Grussendorf, who had joined the party weeks earlier. (He said that he had been an undeclared voter mistakenly registered as a Republican.)

And Palin has repeatedly clashed with state legislators - including some members of the GOP - over her announcement that she planned to effectively reject about a third of the roughly $931 million in federal stimulus money that had been directed to Alaska, by not requesting the funds. Her office quickly said she was not rejecting the money outright, but looking for a public debate on government spending. Palin, who has made stimulus funding requests, has since said the money is still "on the table," and that she wants to come to an agreement with the legislature.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Beka

    What does an Anti-Choice rally in Indiana have to do with Alaska? This woman and her supporters make no sense to me.

    April 14, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Freed_From_W

    This, from the "gotcha" politics lady?

    Go away.

    April 14, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Dave NYC

    My gosh, where does Gov. Palin get these people to respond on her behalf – and does she have anything to do with the harsh tone they take?

    Sarah, apparently you WANT the media to keep talking about you!

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Martin

    Wow.... that's awful compassionate, Governor.

    Really though, is it that much to ask that the state's Chief Executive be present in the last 72 hours of the legislative session?

    The vicious defensiveness she's exhibiting here is really ugly. She "doesn't have to ask permission" to leave the state? It's not her responsibility to "hold their hands" as they do the work of the state?

    Sarah, I know you wanted to be the President- but right now, THIS is your job. Of course, of course, you're not a legislator. But it might behoove you to not act like you're being INCONVENIENCED by being asked to be present, instead of flying off to conferences, etc., in other states. It's a little early to be getting senioritis.

    April 14, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. obama/mama

    Wow....You guys voted her in

    April 14, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Dan, TX

    I thought republican legislators said the same thing?

    April 14, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe, NM


    April 14, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. FL

    Palin isn't my favorite person in the world, but I have to say this does sound a little petty. Sounds like people are just trying to create an issue where there isn't one. That's what haters do.

    April 14, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    You would think Palin would not create more drama after the recent arrest of husband's sister arrest for burglary using her 4 year old son as an accessory, the State of Alaska calling for her impeachment, the moma baby daddy drama, Levi's mother's drug arrest, troopergate, Frontiersman newspaper calling this Valley Trash, being disk by the McCain and so much more to come. Palin would best serve her family and the State of Alaska by quitting, she's a disgrace to Alaska.

    April 14, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well the legislators want her in Alaska to discuss the stimulus money. What can be more important than that? Palin needs to stop playing politics and govern her state. So now all of a sudden she's blaming the dems in Alaska. Her own party officials even disagree with her leaving.

    April 14, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. john

    only problem is that some of the loudest critics coming out of Alaska happen to be REPUBLICANS, who are complaining that she is not around to lend support to their agenda

    you see she talks a big game but doesn't have the capacity to be a leader..only a glory hog

    April 14, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Matt

    Lest we forget that it was also Republican lawmakers in Alaska who criticized Gov. Palin????

    April 14, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. crownsy

    yea, how dare they expect to put her state above the national spotlight, what is she, the Gov of alaska?

    oh wait....

    April 14, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. George- Chicago

    Alaska politics are relevant why again ? Doesn't Austin Texas have the same population ? Should we report on Austin's city council meetings ?

    April 14, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Time for Term Limits

    Palin shows leadership by insulting Alaska state legislators with ad hominem attacks? Palin serves Alaska taxpayers by headlining a pro-life rally in Indiana? Great way to win the hearts and minds of Alaskans.

    April 14, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. cray

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, she's the one that went on whining about having no-one to hold hands with at the convention last year.

    April 14, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. mtanne

    Sarah – Get out of the kitchen if you can't take the heat. Washington D.C. would tear you to pieces.

    April 14, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Laurie in Spokane

    I said it before, but it bears repeating – Palin is making Alaska a laughing-stock to the rest of the country. Someone please put a muzzle on her!

    April 14, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Simmy

    Shut up Palin!!!!!

    April 14, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. julie in wi

    Oh Sarah! Give it up! Stop taking aim and making accusations that everyone is against you. Maybe the majority of people are against your rotten decisions. It is not always about YOU! You really are not that important.

    April 14, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. John Sturgis, SD

    Palin is a disaster, Alaska deserves better.

    April 14, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. A little sad


    According to the newly released book on earmarking, the Pig Book:

    "Alaska led the nation in pork per capita, at $322 a person. "

    Why would you need a stimulus plan when you get all you need from earmarks? Is Palin saying "thanks but no thanks" to this money?

    Or is she still taking every cent she can, both for her personal pocket and for the state, and just saying "thanks but no thanks" to the concept of using the money for the purposes it was granted?

    Somehow, she does seem to end up with the money. It just doesn't always end up to the benefit of her constituents.

    April 14, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. James

    Palin need's to go to her little office in Alaska and stay there where she belongs and just finish her term as governor then go away !!!

    April 14, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Joanna

    OMG this women is outrageously funny. What a cry baby!!!

    April 14, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Sadly, not only does Governor Palin believe that she can be a celebrity absentee governor....she also has the hubris to believe that she can be righteous about it as well.

    Considering she has picked a fight with the legislature over her opposition to accept more than half of the $900 million in bailout funds...AND she has nominated a very controversial Attorney General, Alaskans should ask why she is leaving this vital work undone in the final week of the legislative session. Could it be that she doesn't want to miss being seen at a Right to Life meeting that will bolster her political ambitions?

    Governor Palin can't seem to handle her home life, her job as governor, or her public image very well.

    April 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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