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. RanDe

    You go girl. Tell the spineless little weenies where to go. And ask them if they ever heard of an Internet conference call, ask them do they know what multitasking is. Ask them if all the time and energy they spend complaining about her could have used more constructively like maybe, "legislating".

    April 14, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. pandora

    Palin also failed to show at a scheduled legislative meeting a couple of weeks ago to discuss the stimulus money. And, mind you, she was only supposed to participate in the meeting "telephonically" because she wasn't in the capitol. When legislators complained about being stood up, she lied and said they were the ones who'd canceled the meeting.

    April 14, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Billy

    Or maybe they want their standing governor to, you know, actually be at work the last week of the legislative cycle.

    Of course Palin ALREADY has the job of governor so who cares about that? She wants the job of PRESIDENT and you don't get that by being banished in Alaska.

    April 14, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. dave

    Apparently Palin is a great leader as long as everyone plays nice. When mean people try to play politics in the world of politics she gets her feelings hurt and her staff has to tell everyone how sad that makes her.

    April 14, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. pandora

    Legislators have also complained that they can't get Palin to give them any information about her position on proposed stimulus money expenditures. They need to know her position on specific expenditures before they vote, because she has veto power. Palin probably can't tell them her position because she doesn't know what it is.

    April 14, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. obama/mama

    I wonder if Palin left Alaska before she was tapped by McCain.

    April 14, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    Since the press is more interested in smearing Palin than reporting facts and comparing situations in Alaska to other states, Palin's office has to do it for them. The coverage of Palin has been so slanted that it's bordering on being a carricuture of itself.

    She ran, she lost, move on.

    April 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. jjr

    Also, I would like to add that, for everyone that wants her to stay out of the news, well maybe the democrats should stop bringing her up!!! It is not very fashionable for a democrat to criticize her then they get the headline! She is simply responding to criticism.

    April 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. today

    palin needs to be impeached, she is a big liability to the republican party.

    April 14, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. ricky

    okay, ya all are being ridiculous – don't we have a president know whose own vice president said he wasn't fit for the job and said it nationally and publicaly in a debate? THIS IS POLITICS! There are no middle of the road reports anymore and dumb people eat it up when other dumb people say exactly what you want to hear!
    Palin held true to her values: She did not accept the blood money that she shouldn't have; she made decisions to speak to the people instead of just talk ABOUT the people; . . . turn her loose, let her do her job – politics is not a popularity contest! Graduate high school already!

    April 14, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Thomas

    Just give Palin her own TV show .
    She just wants stardom , big ego , low self esteem.

    April 14, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. jumpinugly

    If you disagree Sarah your either a liar, Un-American, or part of some sort of media driven left-wing conspiracy.
    Those my friends are the fears of a Fascist. There is no getting around that!

    April 14, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Diana - Saint Louis

    Now I believe every thing that has been said about her wanting to give a concession speech, wanting to turn the campaign around by going negative on the Prez. (Going against John McCain), troopergate/tasergate scandal, going rogue and much, much more.

    This lady will not shut up – and she is Dangerous and Vindictive. Sarah Shut UP Please!

    April 14, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Mike

    I am in Alaska. Many of us here are watching our Governor slip and slide down her list of responsibilities. She has gone from an asset to becoming a political liability. Her personal life is in the news as often as her political duties. This year, Alaska has fallen behind the curve as far as cooperation between the adminstation and the legislature. Mis-appropriation of 1 1/2 Billion dollars of Alaska's budget savings into the stockmarket at a most crucial time have weighed heavily in our news. Each day brings more bad news. Now she's heading out of state, leaving the Capitol before the closing of all the budgets. It seems all she wants to do is be President.

    April 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. jake

    wait a minute, wasn't it a Republican criticism that set this story off?

    April 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. OFL

    The press seems to be targeting governor Palin a lot. No matter what she does, good or bad, it is reported as bad. It seems to me she cannot win this battle. If she goes back to Alaska and quiets down she is not doing enough to further her political aspirations. When she does it, she is not taking care of the issues of Alaska.

    April 14, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. P. D.

    How did this woman ever get elected? She seems to have no idea what she is doing. She is alienating her own Party, Add that with her misstatements and a couple of scandals, she seems to be adrift.

    April 14, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Tulsa L

    Palin and Coleman would make a good pair.........both are whinners and complainers........and both must be DEAF........can't they hear the people of this country saying "We Don't want YOU"........ you lost so go home and stay home......

    April 14, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Andrea

    Right you can do conference calls via internet – but she want – they tried that one already. She lied and said they cancelled the meetings. Sarah did this crap during the Governor debates as well. She's a liar period.

    Sarah, Sarah, you messed up – you should have stayed away from the national scene! Girl you had it too good when big brother wasn't watching!

    April 14, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. RB

    Go Sarah! I love how refreshing Governor Palin is. She calls a spade a spade. I would love for her to be POTUS in beginning in 2013. She would certainly be doing a better job than the current WH tenant.

    April 14, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. GOP = 21st century dodo

    I bet if Sarah Palin started choking on a Cheeto she and her supporters would somehow find a way to blame it on the media.

    April 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Kitty

    ENOUGH SARAH PALIN BASHING!!!!! Good grief you people – you will not be satisified until Sarah runs to the corner and cries!!! BUT GUESS WHAT THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!! So go blow your snotty noses!!! You all are acting like KIDS. And if Sarah wants to leave Alaska for what IS part of her job – BIG F___ deal!!! Does she also need your permission to go to the bathroom????

    This just shows how afraid you people are of Gov. Palin and you want her out of the picture so OBAMA can keep screwing this country!!!

    April 14, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Mel

    Who is she to talk? She can't even take care of her own family, and behaves like a rotten spoiled child. Just look at the way she's now treating her daughters ex. Why should we trust anything she says? She apparently doesn't know right from wrong.

    April 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Brian Crooks

    Isn't this the EXACT same "Chicago style politics" the GOP is constantly accusing President Obama of using? Every time anyone in the Democratic party came out and criticized someone who "disagreed" with the President, people said they were trying to crush political foes like they do it in Chicago, blah blah blah. This is a TEXTBOOK example of what they claim President Obama does. These people (Both D and R) came forward with a legitimate beef with Palin and rather than address it, she has her people issue a statement saying that they don't do their homework and that they need their hands held. This is a joke. She'll never make it out of Iowa.

    April 14, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Jackie in Dallas

    Yes, Sarah, and the original criticism came from members of your own party!

    Your JOB is to be there, to facilitate the legislature and to "hold the hands" of the people allocating money in your state. It is not to run off to a fund raiser where you hope to further your own political agenda! Alaska is not paying you (and your husband, your kids and whoever else you drag along) to go running around, they pay you (sometimes twice) to be where you belong.

    I only hope that the people of Alaska do the right thing at the next election of a Governor and get rid of this public relations nightmare for their state!

    April 14, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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