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. Irma in North Carolina

    Gosh does this woman have to be in the news everyday now and sometimes more. This is really bad. It will be good when 2012 comes and she is not the canidate the people pick to be president. I wonder if then it will sink in that she is never going to be president. Maybe she will have her sister in law for VP the one who robs and breaks into peoples home. And of course she will have to pick a new daddy for Bristols baby to parade out on the stage.

    April 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Susan

    Why is it that Silly Sarah is always "accusing" others?

    No Way, No How, No Palin!

    April 14, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Where is the bipartisan leadership?

    One thing Presidents Reagan and Clinton did well is achieve policy victories with legislatures of the opposing party. Tax cuts and tax reform under Reagan. Welfare reform and budget discipline under Clinton. Palin would do better to try to improve her working relationship with her legislature instead of insulting them with ad hominem attacks.

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. ruth

    Enough of Palin. Go away please.

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. raustin

    open mouth, insert foot, open mouth, insert foot, open mouth, insert foot, etc.etc.etc.

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Takeshi

    Um.. did u get the memo "It Was her own REPUBLICAN lawmakers that said this outloud!"

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. ericmiami

    North to Alaska, Silly Sarah.

    April 14, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. David

    Come on, Alaska...you can do better.

    April 14, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Lisa Libra

    Hey, how long is this piece of work going to be in office in Alaska? How much time before her try at being re-elected. Also, do you any of you think she will be voted in by the people of this state?

    I'm hoping they have seen through her at this point, and maybe her 'poltitical career' could be over. We may have an out after-all.

    April 14, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012

    Can we pass a law requiring Palin to seek permission before entering the lower 48?

    April 14, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. R in Maine

    You ain't seen nothing yet. She expects to campaign for president, starting now, with Alaska picking up the bills. She has minimal commitment to Alaska, and no hope for nomination in national politics, because she has no base, but she feels that Alaska should pay her bills, no matter how repugnant her positions may be.

    April 14, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Flex

    S. Palin is one of the worst politicians ever. No talent, no leadership skills, and everybody hates her.

    April 14, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Kristin

    The allmighty hunt for the spotlight continues. Tick,tick,tick 15 minutes are almost up.

    April 14, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Robin in Tampa, FL

    She kinda brought this upon herself because she's inconsistent in her statements. Apparently the State Budget was important enough to skip out of high profile GOP events, but not important enough to justify missing a low profile meeting? I can't help but question her decision making process.

    April 14, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    Let Alaska decide in the next governor election whether the voters want a part-time governor or a full-time governor and vote accordingly.

    April 14, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. chelle

    Of course legislators are also rarely in a position like this economic meltdown and rejection of stimulus money as well. I would think Palin would want her input into this session but apparently she thinks otherwise. So be it – but it sure would be nice if she could accept some sort of responsibility for something....anything....

    April 14, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. pandora

    Palin sure gets angry alot! I need to start betting money on how many angry press releases she fires off in any given week...Not only angry all the time, but can't keep her mouth shut about it, pouring fuel on the fire. How does she think this helps AK? Absolutely zero leadership or diplomatic skills.

    April 14, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Bev - NYC

    So if Alaska's very future is at stake, as her Chief of Staff contends shouldn't the governor be there. If she really doesn't want stimulus money shouldn't she be at the session to insure it's not accepted and used for bridges to nowhere? Maybe Todd the shadow governor can sit in, and she can see the session from Indiana.

    April 14, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Amy

    It's wrong to want a governor to do their job?! Boy, she'd sure be the first to call another governor out for doing the same thing – especially if they were a Democrat. I'm sure glad she's not my governor!

    April 14, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. boered1

    If republicans in Alaska were not saying the same things she might have an arguement. As it is she is attackign ONLY the democrats who are asking her to stay and show some leadership. partisian politics at its best and the radical religious right still does not understand why we think they care more for themselves and their monied friends than they do for the Average Americans... but hey maybe the average American is not the real America and the "REAL" America I heard her talk about so much during the campaign IS the wealthiest 1% and the radical religious right... nope I know too many real Americans and they do not fit that mold.

    April 14, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    “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.”

    No, they don't want or need their hands held. They want the governor to take care of home first before parading around the country likes she's actually a national politician. I know President Obama can walk and chew gum at the same time, but Sara Palin??? You gotta be kidding me.

    April 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Joel

    Leave Palin alone and she will go far away... Maybe to "France" since she spoke to Nicolas Sarkozy !

    I like Sarah she make me laugh daily with all these statements blaming everyone else but Sarah!

    April 14, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. jjr

    In this day, and the level of technology, a person can communicate effectively without actually being at the meeting. This is just democrats stirring the pot. For instance, Obama has gone home to Chicago since January during trying economic times and I am sure that he was constantly available if he was needed. I'm wondering if the same people who are criticizing her for the speaking engagement would probably be criticizing her for not letting them do their jobs if she was staying. I actually find it refreshing that she is at odds with the state legislature becausing if she is butting heads, she is probably doing her job!

    April 14, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Tulsa L

    Hey the Headline yesterday was that her own party the Republicans were complaining about her taking this trip.........so here she goes again blame the Democrats.......can't she get anything right.......

    April 14, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Robin

    Stop trying to create an issue where one does not exist. The president does not stay in the White House when congress is in session.

    April 14, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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