You have all read the diary about the note written by Anne K in Alaska, or seen other articles about it. Anne lives in Wassilla, has known Sarah Palin for many years and has an experienced opinion of Gov. Palin’s history that she wanted to share. She had asked that her thoughts be forwarded with her name attached – she did not want to hide from the responsibility of speaking her mind – though she asked that they not be posted on websites: “there are too many kooks out there…” (you know who you are… ;~).
Somewhere along the way someone posted the email in its entirety as a comment on the Washington Independent. Since that moment, articles and diaries have popped up all over the web (and here’s another: curious critters, ain’t we?).
There has been discussion about this comment, some of it along the lines of: “Gee, I dunno, I think this may not be real…” So instead of just bantering about the veracity of Anne’s words amongst those of us who were reading them second and fifth-hand, I decided to give Anne a call.
Anne wrote what just you saw, and by all appearances is a decent person simply interested in offering her thoughts honestly and openly. Other than confirming that what she wrote was her own words, I thanked her for speaking her mind so we can all share these insights and we talked about her email and the reaction she has received to it.
As Anne said in her email, she had been asked by so many people what she thought of Gov. Palin that she finally decided to write it down. She sent her thoughts to one person, who forwarded them to another, who forwarded them to 800.
Anne took about fifteen minutes to talk to me after a long day of answering emails and phone calls from all over the country. She was remarkably pleasant and philisophical about the whole experience, and comes away from it with a very positive view of her fellow Americans. She is very grateful to the American people and the way they have responded to her, in her summation of the day only about 1% of the responses have been hostile while 99% have been simply folks interested in discovering the truth. Some were disappointed that the person they were placing their hopes on may not be as pure as they had wished, while others were looking to see if the shadows they were beginning to see behind the picture that was recently painted for them were real. None were gleeful, very few were hurtful.
She said: “What I’ve gotten out of this is that people are tired of the politics of personal distraction, the American public want to be informed. We’re idelaists who want to believe, and yet we are realists who are accepting if you have clay feet.” That what was most important to people was that they were getting a balanced picture.
Anne has served in her own life for the past dozen years as a watchdog on the education system, and as an active citizen involving herself in her community. She has issues with the way that Gov Palin has led her political career and what that has cost her town and her state and does not believe she is suited to the task of Vice President.
But she also gives Gov. Palin credit as a smart and “gutsy” individual and gives clarifying commentary on some of the more extreme positions being either touted or vilified in the public narrative about Gov. Palin (creationism, abortion).
You can see Anne’s email at the diary linked at the top of this one. I include her summary of “Claims Vs. Fact” below.
CLAIM VS FACT
*”Hockey mom”: true for a few years
*”PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
*”NRA supporter”: absolutely true
*social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
*pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
*”Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life
*”Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.
No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city
administrator to run town of about 5,000.
*political maverick: not at all
*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
*has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
*”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
*fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
*pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built
streets to early 20th century standards.
*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
*pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
*pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim
that she is pro-labor/pro-union.
Anne simply spoke her mind as someone who has experience and views that others can benefit from, and for this I thank her. As we ended her call her husband was coming home from the gym and she laughed at what he would think of her antics.
I told her I thought she was alright.