Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin's track record marked by bitter clashes

Palin's track record marked by bitter clashes
Tim Harper, Washington Bureau The Star
Sept 13, 2008

WASILLA, ALASKA –Twelve years before she became America's right-wing sweetheart, Sarah Palin rode another wave of "change" to power.

Immediately after her election as mayor, the self-described pit bull ran into trouble in this tiny community tucked into Alaska's Matanuska-Susitna Valley, sparking a colourful internecine political battle. It was remarkable even by the intense, incestuous standards of America's Last Frontier.

John McCain's Republican presidential running mate arrived as mayor already facing allegations she had introduced conservative social issues – including her anti-abortion position – into the mayoral campaign. She even questioned why the incumbent mayor's wife still used her maiden name.

As mayor, she fired administrators, gagged others and tried to move a museum out of the downtown.

She mused about banning books, was accused of being in the pocket of the National Rifle Association, dissolved a commission seeking ways to improve the city's problem with drinking and driving, and faced charges she had tried to break laws to put her supporters on council. On Day 120 of her administration, the first day such a move was allowed by law, she faced an incipient recall movement.

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Palin's track record marked by bitter clashes

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