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Palin protest at state Capitol

200 attend Juneau rally day after legislative abuse of power report

Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2008

Juneau residents staged a protest in front of the state Capitol on Saturday, urging the rest of the country to say "thanks but no thanks" to Gov. Sarah Palin's campaign to be vice president.

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David Sheakley / Juneau Empire
David Sheakley / Juneau Empire

"We are the constituents who know what her actions have been, what her behavior has been ... and we cannot tolerate that for the vice president of the United States," said the event's organizer Jeannette Lacey.

About 200 people attended the hour-long event that featured a number of speakers who denounced Palin's record on abortion, Alaska Native issues, gay rights, the environment and other issues.

"She's kinda cute, but she's no friend of wildlife," said former Board of Game member Joel Bennett.

Near the end of the protest, the crowd sang a song called "Oh Lord won't you make me the vice president," model on Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" tune.

"Forgive me my blind ambition and lies that I've tossed, I must get to DC no matter the cost," the crowd sang.

The protest came a day after a legislative investigation found Palin and her husband had abused her office's power by trying to get her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired. The investigation cleared Palin of illegally firing her former public safety commissioner, which Palin's spokesman said vindicated the governor.

On Saturday, some protesters held signs calling for Palin's impeachment.

"I think Alaskans and myself are most outraged with her stonewalling of the investigation, the sheer hypocrisy she's showing," said protester Bill Glude, while holding a sign that said: "The politics of Bush, the ethics of Nixon."

Several people in the crowd also brought homemade signs mocking Palin, including ones that read: "Liar liar lips on fire," "Free Levi," "Troopergate abuse = bad dog Palin" and "Sarah, Dick Cheney in drag - only worse, you betcha."

While national pundits have said Palin's pick as VP has fired up the right-wing base of the Republican Party, at home Palin's ascent to the national stage has mobilized an increasingly vocal anti-Palin crowd. Nevertheless, she has a contingent of vocal supporters among Juneau Republicans, many of whom got together to cheer on her performance at the vice presidential debate.

One state pollster has found that her approval rating in Alaska, though still high, dropped significantly after she was picked to be McCain's running mate.

"They've been ... touting her as the most popular governor," said University of Alaska Southeast professor Britteny Cioni, who had a sign that said "beware the trickster."

"Well, maybe, but not with everyone, and there are people in Alaska that oppose her and oppose her policies," she said.

• Contact reporter Alan Suderman at 523-2268 or alan.suderman@juneauempire.com



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