Debunking the myths/lies about Gov. Sarah Palin

It seems that even the most debunked myths and lies about Governor Sarah Palin still haven’t been entirely destroyed by facts so here is another shot at it to give you Palin supporters some ammo!

The first, most pervasive lie I’ve seen floating around, and recently seen repeated, has to do with the charge that, as mayor, Sarah Palin created a policy stating that rape victims had to pay for their forensic testing. The second myth has to do with Sarah Palin and Todd Palin’s association with the Alaska Independence Party, which some wrongly claim is a treasonous party which supports secession, it does not.

Myth #1: Todd and Sarah Palin were members of the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) which is treasonous and advocates secession. The myth also says that Sarah Palin was, and still is secretly a member of the AIP and believes in Alaska’s secession from the union.

Truth: The AIP does NOT support or advocate Alaska’s secession and is just another third-party run on the state level. Todd Palin was a member for 7 years though Sarah Palin was never a member and has been a registered Republican since 1982. She did address their convention a few times as mayor of Wasilla and while running for governor.

Plus, as the kicker, the AIP has endorsed Chuck Baldwin for President, the Constitution Party candidate, not John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Here’s the explanation and why the lie originated:

First, where did this claim that the AIP is a secessionist party originate from? Here’s the answer. The AIP founder, Joe Vogler, was disgusted by the United States government acquiring Alaska and making it a state of the union in 1958. Vogler held strong disgust toward the United States government and was most distraught because the citizens of Alaska were not given a true opportunity to choose whether they wanted to become part of the United States of America, or remain a territory, or not join at all. Vogler made many statements condemning the United States, many of which I find deplorable, however, the AIP does not hold Vogler’s personal views as part of it’s platform, which is explained below.

FactCheck.org made mention of the AIP and described it in this manner:

She (Sarah Palin) was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

Note that FactCheck.org did not describe the AIP as “treasonous” or a “secessionist” party, they simply described it as a party which wants Alaskans to have a a true vote on whether they were to become part of the United States, the same right Puerto Rico has today. FactCheck.org simply states that the AIP supports the right to a vote, not that the AIP advocates secession or supports secession as a result of the vote. The AIP has abandoned pushing for the vote as part of their platform since they now focus on putting the state of Alaska first, along with individual and property rights.

The AIP’s website even addresses the criticism and explains where the secessionist claim arose from:

“Although it is widely thought to be a secessionist movement, the Party makes great effort to emphasize that its primary goal is merely a vote on secession, something that Party advocates say Alaskans were denied during the founding of the state. A plebiscite was, in fact, held in Alaska at the state’s inception in 1958, but AIP members argue that voting was corrupt and that residents were not given the proper choice between statehood, commonwealth status, or complete separation — something they say has been granted to other U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico.”

The AIP does not support secession, they simply wanted the state to have an option before becoming part of the United States.

I don’t blame Joe Vogler, the AIP founder, for his disgust on feeling like the federal government took control of Alaska without giving Alaskans a choice. I disagree with his statements condemning America and would never defend him personally or what he’s said, however, the AIP does not hold a secessionist platform, as is wrongly claimed by the myths and lies circulating the internet.

Much to the contrary of Joe Vogler’s beliefs, the AIP founder, the party now honors the United States constitution and adheres to it’s laws, they just support the rights of Alaska as a state being put first for individual Alaskans.

The AIP website lists their current platform which does not even discuss the right to vote on secession as a part of what they advocate for. The AIP has become a conservative-leaning state-level party with the interests of Alaska’s rights as a state before the federal government’s.

Here’s the Alaskan Independence Party platform, all 20 parts of it with my personal explanation, from their website:

Platform
We pledge to exert our best efforts to accomplish the following:

1. To effect full compliance with the constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Alaska.

First and foremost, they comply with the constitution of the United States of America, which means they do not support secession, they believe in the United States of America and honor it’s laws, despite their founders’ past sentiments.

2. To support and defend States’ Rights, Individual Rights, Property Rights, and the Equal Footing Doctrine as guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States of America and the state of Alaska.

They believe in states’ rights, individual rights, and property rights, these are fundamental rights to all people and all states. They support our rights as individuals as guaranteed under the US constitution.

3. To advocate the convening of a State Constitutional Convention at the constitutionally designated 10 year interval.

They want the state of Alaska to have a state constitutional convention every 10 years, something every state should do. Maybe voters would learn more about how they’re governed.

4. To reinforce the unalienable rights endowed by our Creator to Alaska law, by eliminating the use of the word “privilege” in the Alaska statutes.

They believe in God as a creator and would like it acknowledged in their state constitution.

5. To amend the Constitution of the State of Alaska so as to re-establish the rights of all Alaskan residents to entry upon all public lands within the state, and to acquire private property interest there in, under fair and reasonable conditions. Such property interest shall include surface and sub-surface patent.

They want the public to be able to use state-owned public land. They believe in individual rights to access the land with “fair and reasonable” restrictions. Again, more states should take that attitude.

6. To foster a constitutional amendment abolishing and prohibiting all property taxes.

They want to do away with property taxes entirely, a perfectly legitimate political position. Most Americans would agree property taxes should at least lowered, if not eliminated.

7. To seek the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska in conformance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, of the federal constitution.

The want the US government to give federal land back to the state of Alaska because they believe in states’ rights and that Alaska should be in charge of public land, not Washington.

8. To prohibit all bureaucratic regulations and judicial rulings purporting to have the effect of law, except that which shall be approved by the elected legislature.

They want to stop judges from legislating from the bench as they believe the judiciary should interpret law, not author it.

9. To preserve and protect the Alaska Permanent Fund, Permanent fund earnings, earnings reserve fund and individual Permanent Fund Dividends.

They want to keep public money in Alaska, though I’m not familiar with the “Alaska Permanent Fund,” but I’m sure it’s a states’ right and individual rights issue.

10. To provide for the direct popular election of the attorney general, all judges, and magistrates.

They want the attorney general and judges elected by, and accountable to, the people. I completely agree! I hate unelected, unaccountable politicians.

11. To provide for the development of unrestricted, statewide, surface transportation and utility corridors as needed by the public or any individual.

They want development of transportation and utility corridors for public use.

12. To affirm and assert every possible right-of-way established under R.S. 2477 of July 26, 1866, before its repeal by the Federal Land Management Policy Act of October 21, 1976.

They want the state of Alaska to control state and public land, not the federal government, I don’t blame them. States should control their own land, not foolish politicians in Washington.

13. To support the right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

They believe in the 2nd amendment of the US constitution on keeping and bearing arms, God bless them, couldn’t agree more!

14. To support the complete abolition of the concept of sovereign or governmental immunity, so as to restore accountability for public servants.

They want public servants accountable and not immune to scrutiny or lawsuits, we need more accountability in public service, everyone would agree. The AIP is on the right track, no more immunity for public officeholders!

15. To support the rights of parents to privately or home school their children.

They want parents to have the right to home school children, as parents should have the right in every state.

16. To support the privatization of government services.

They want to privatize poorly run government agencies and services. The AIP is a free market, capitalist party, not a big government party, no surprise here.

17. To oppose the borrowing of money by government for any purposes other than for capital improvements.

They believe government should be mostly debt free! Every politician should believe government should be debt FREE! More political need to adopt this stance! Ever heard people complain about the deficit? I wish McCain and Obama believed in debt-free government.

18. To strengthen the traditional family and support individual accountability without government interference or regulation.

They want to strengthen families and moral values, again, God bless them! We need stronger traditional families and strong individual accountability.

19. To support the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts, according to their conscience.

Jurors should judge the law and the facts, according to conscience, not a big deal here either.

20. To support “Jobs for Alaskans…First!”

They support expanding jobs for Alaskans, good for them!!

Missing from this list is secession, since they do not wish to accomplish it. The AIP does NOT advocate Alaska’s succession from the United States, that claim is simply false. The Alaskan Independence Party is nothing more than a conservative Alaskan state party which advocates the interests of Alaska as a state, not for secession.

The AIP does, however, acknowledge that their party was founded with the goal of getting Alaskan’s a right to vote on their statehood, much the same way Puerto Rico has a vote on its statehood. The AIP explains their goal under the goals section of their website, seen here, which is separate from their platform or political positions:

The Alaskan Independence Party’s goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:

1) Remain a Territory.
2) Become a separate and Independent Nation.
3) Accept Commonwealth status.
4) Become a State.

The call for this vote is in furtherance of the dream of the Alaskan Independence Party’s founding father, Joe Vogler, which was for Alaskans to achieve independence under a minimal government, fully responsive to the people, promoting a peaceful and lawful means of resolving differences.

Note the word “was” since the AIP no longer supports what Joe Vogler stood for with regard to secession. While it seems shocking to anyone in the lower 48 that the AIP would even discuss the topic of secession, Alaska only became a state of the union in 1958, which is 50 short years ago. The state-level politics in Alaska were, and still are very different from what we see here in the lower 48. The goal discusses the desire for a vote as a right of the people, not the desire for secession or the desire to advocate for secession.

The bottom line is that Joe Vogler, the AIP founder, supported Alaska’s secession and despised the United States federal government, however, the current AIP does not advocate secession nor do they include secession as part of their party’s platform. The AIP is not pushing for the vote nor are they pushing for secession, it’s just simply not true.

Furthermore, the AIP recognizes the constitution of the United States as the law of the land, just above the Alaska state constitution. The AIP supports Alaska’s rights as a state, the same rights every state has as part of the United States.

Finally, throughout Alaska, the AIP is simply known as an average third-party organization which advocates for the rights of Alaskans. Todd Palin’s membership was well known when Sarah Palin was mayor and while she was governor and, of course, Alaskans do not see an issue since the AIP is a legitimate state-level third-party in Alaska.

Go read more and research yourself at the Alaskan Independence Party website.

There is no secret, no cover up, and nothing to hide with regard to Todd and Sarah Palin’s association with the Alaskan Independence Party. For the record, Todd Palin is no longer a member of the AIP and Sarah Palin never was.


Myth #2: As mayor, Sarah Palin created or supported a policy which forced rape victims to pay for their own forensic testing.

Truth: Palin did not create this policy, nor did she endorse it as Mayor of Wasilla.

Here is the explanation and discussion of this myth. The background of this claim is that the city of Wasilla, and numerous other municipalities in Alaska, had charged a victim’s insurance company for the cost of forensic analysis related to a rape kit. This practice, which was used rarely as rape rarely occurred in Wasilla, was not instituted by Sarah Palin as Mayor nor did she ever endorse the policy.

LifeNews.com reports on this myth:

At least since September 8 the extreme left has been pushing a lie that Governor, then Mayor, Sarah Palin “charged rape victims for rape kits” performed upon them in the Alaskan town of Wasilla.

The charge stems from a May 22, 2000 article in the local Wasilla paper The Frontiersman and has been spun from a comment made by the Wasilla Police Chief. This comment was somehow made into a Sarah Palin policy.

Evidence of the incident, though, shows no involvement by Palin at all. Still, many Old Media outlets continue to keep illegitimately linking this rape kit billing claim to Sarah Palin, even though the truth is easily discovered.

As mentioned, first up was The Frontiersman story from 2000.

In that story Police Chief Fannon was quoted as standing against legislation that would force local municipalities to pick up the costs of rape kits being performed. In the interview Fannon said that, upon conviction, he favored the criminals being charged for the costs.

The story mentions that Fannon claimed that at the time Wasilla did have a policy that rape victims’ insurance would be charged for the kits being performed but there was no mention that victims themselves were charged and no claim that any ever were.

It should be pointed out that The Frontiersman is the local Wasilla paper, so, consequently, the story did not mention what the policy was in any other Alaskan city outside the area the paper covers other than to say that “most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams.” This last phrase has been focused on by Palin’s detractors and spun from “some municipalities” into “all” (except Wasilla) and presented as some sort of proof that she hates rape victims.

On top of all of that, there are no stories prior to Sarah Palin being offered the billet as VP by John McCain that makes the claim that Palin was informed of or involved in this policy of charging rape victims for rape kits. And, since there was only one rape reported in the city between 1996 and 2000 when the story first came to the papers, it’s no wonder she wasn’t aware of the policy. When would it ever have come up? Does anyone think that any given mayor of any American town is fully cognizant of every single policy or law in their city, especially if it is a law not in use because of a lack of situations to bring it to light?

For her part, Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella has said that the governor “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test.”

In the end, it seems that this story is a wild exaggeration about Palin’s role in this policy. There is no proof that she ever knew about the policy until long after the situation hit the news, it is untrue that her town was “unique” in blocking the measure, no evidence that she, herself, was notorious for the policy, and no proof that any victims were ever charged for rape kits. In fact, according to the Uniform Crime Report there were only 5 rapes reported in the 6 years she was mayor of Wasilla and four of those happened after the state law in question was passed.

Once again, this rumor was started by rampant speculation and misreporting of the facts, if you can call them that. Sarah Palin never created or condoned the practice of charging rape victims for a forensic exam, it just isn’t true. Furthermore, there was only 1 rape actually reported in Wasilla during the years of 1996 to 2000, while Palin was mayor. Therefore, the issue of rape victims being charged for a forensic kit clearly wasn’t as big of an issue as the media and Palin-haters are now making it out to be.

For the record, I vehemently oppose forcing rape victims to pay for a forensic exam and Sarah Palin opposes it as well.

While we’re on the subject, I’ll use this opportunity to let FactCheck.org debunk even more Palin lies and myths:

* Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she increased funding and signed a bill that will triple per-pupil funding over three years for special needs students with high-cost requirements.

* She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a “What if?” question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term.

* Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a “courtesy” when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

* Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools. She has said that students should be allowed to “debate both sides” of the evolution question, but she also said creationism “doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

Lies, lies, and more lies, debunked! The Palin-haters have tried to destroy her by attaching false rumors to her record. The book-bannig lie has been repeated as well, however, it’s also completely untrue and was a smear started by a liberal blog, not even remotely rooted in fact.

Unfortunately voters today don’t take the opportunity to research things for themselves, rather they rely on the media, which is failing us this election season.


Conservative Gal is a regular commentator for YouDecide2008.com