I ran into anti-Real ID activist Bill Scannell, "the man who helped kill CAPPS II," and asked him what intelligence he can give us about Sarah Palin, governor of the state he's lived in for the past several years. Scannell is a Democrat, a long-time acquaintance of mine, and as such should be taken with a few grains of salt.
He called Palin "a poster child for the Evangelical Right," but said that "frankly most Alaskans don't even care" about that stuff, and at any rate, a McCain/Palin White House wouldn't deliver whatever it is the Religious Right wants. More excerpts from our conversation:
Q: So libertarian-minded people should be fine with that, right?
A: Let me tell you all the nice things about Sarah Palin: Sarah Palin has been a pretty freaking awesome governor. She came in saying that the entire system was corrupt, and that Republicans were evil, and she was going to just mix everything up and get us a gas pipeline and end of story. And she got to power, she was elected overwhelmingly by independents, beat Tony Knowles, who had been governor before.
The Republicans hate her. If you go and talk to the Alaska delegation here, they despise her.
A: Hate her. Oh my god! This whole thing about her retarded son really being her daughter's was started by Lyda Green, who is president of the senate, a Republican. […]
She gave a two-finger salute to Conoco Phllips and Exxon Mobile, raised their taxes on their oil, put in place a transparent way to bid for the seed money and the licenses to finally, finally, put in a natural gas pipeline in Alaska. And it was won by a Canadian company. And she went to the mat and made it happen. She has been systematically pulling the drilling licenses of Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobile for areas that they haven't touched. I mean, they've been hoarding reserves, and she says, you know, use it or lose it, and she has been sending the attorney general time after time to revoke these things. It's absolutely fascinating.
Q: Do you have any sense, I mean, Alaska governors [are] not going deal with privacy issues to any degree at all, but…
A: Oh, she did! So, Real ID, I was involved with Senator Bill Wielechowski getting an anti-Real ID measure passed in Alaska this session, so this just happened in April. And she did not sign the bill, but she allowed it to become law. She said the only reason why she didn't sign the bill was that she thought that there were some things that may possibly be Real ID-compliant that would be just best practices, would be affected if she signed the no-money-for-Real ID. So she wanted to leave some legal room.
Basically, she kind of pussed out on the whole issue. But, she believes that Real ID is the Mark of the Beast. She has said this to someone I personally know. […]
Q: I was just talking to someone who claimed to have knowledge of Alaska to some degree, and they say where Sarah Palin comes from it's the equivalent of Humboldt or Chico in California, like, of course, you know, she'd have a Girls Gone Wild phase, and smoking pot. Is this just wishcasting, or what can you tell us about her geographical background?
A: So the Mat-Su Valley, you know, Matanuska-Susitna Valley, otherwise known as Upper Wingnuttia, is full of right-wing libertarian militia fundamendalist Christian gun-toting, pot-growing dope-heads.
A: Yeah. If Jerry Falwell rolled his own, you would have the Mat-Su Valley. I live in South Anchorage, and my raspberry plants, courtesy of 22 hours of daylight in the summer, grow eight and a half foot high. That's a raspberry bush. Can you imagine what a single pot plant would turn into? […]
Q: Do you think the scandals are going to continue to unfold, or have we reached the end of it?
A: Oh yeah. I mean, my personal prediction is that I give her two weeks. McCain did zero vetting. They're now plowing through the microfiche of the Mat-Su Frontiersman, the newspaper down at the local library. The Daily News got their pee-pee slapped by Editor & Publisher for doing zero actual reporting, because everyone loves Sarah. And look—I love her so much that I'm really looking forward to having her back in 63 days. […]
She is what McCain would like to be: She really is a maverick. In two years she stuck it to the two largest oil corporations in the United States of America. That's pretty fucking impressive, you know, that she has antagonized her party to the point that they despise her. And her ratings are still in the 80s.