Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin wanted to ban books; threatened to fire librarian.

from TIME: Mayor Palin: A Rough Record

"She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.
From the same report in the Anchorage Daily News that was the source of the TIME piece (read here), and from a follow-up by ABC News, comes the following report of how Mayor Palin fired the Police Chief for wanting the bars to close at 2 A.M. instead of 5 A.M. Palin had taken campaign contributions from the bar owners, and they were not pleased with the Police Chiefs intended change. It seems that the Police Chief upset the National Rifle Association as well. He wanted to combat gun crime by cracking down on concealed weapons.

from ABC News: Another Controversy for Sarah Palin; Former Police Chief Says He Was Fired for Challenging Palin's Campaign Contributors (by Dennis Ross and Joseph Rhee):

Gov. Sarah Palin is already facing ethical questions over her firing of the Alaska public safety commissioner, and now she faces questions over the firing of a longtime local police chief.

After taking over as Mayor of the small town of Wasilla, Palin fired the longtime local police chief. The former police chief, Irl Stambaugh says he was fired because he stepped on the toes of Palin's campaign contributors, including bar owners and the National Rifle Association.

Stambaugh's lawyer, William Jermain, says the chief tried to move up the closing hours of local bars from 5 a.m. to two a.m. after a spurt of drunk driving accidents and arrests.

"His crackdown on that practice by the bars was not appreciated by her and that was one reason she terminated Irl," said Jermain.

In his 1997 lawsuit, Stambaugh also alleged that his stand on restricting concealed weapons upset the NRA.

"Mayor Palin has stated on several occasions that the National Rifle Association encouraged her to fire Chief Stambaugh because of his stance against the concealed weapons legislation," the lawsuit claimed.

Palin says she was up against entrenched insiders when she was elected mayor of Wasilla in 1996.

"We had a lot of people that were kind of dead wood," said Colleen Sullivan Leonard, a staff member in Palin's office. "We needed people with new energy and a new vision."

A federal judge later ruled the mayor, under city law, had the right to fire the police chief for any reason she wanted.

Palin is now facing similar allegations in the state capitol, that politics played a role in her firing of the Alaska public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan.

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