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"I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." - Joe Vogler, founder of the Alaskan Independence Party

What is Sarah Palin's relationship with the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP)?

As user Liz Arnett informs us, Sarah Palin may have some ties with this organization, and organization whose platform includes "complete independence and nationhood status for Alaska."

Perhaps the question of whether Palin, who's a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency, may want to make America a 49-state nation is something that should have come up during the vetting process? Of course, given that the vetting process is just now getting underway, that the McCain camp knows about the possibility of this bizarre affiliation is doubtful.

The Alaskan Independence Party is, according to their website, "no longer a fringe party." Its views include:

  • A belief that "the vote for statehood was invalid because the people were not presented with the range of options available to them" and that "the federal government has since breached the contract for statehood on numerous occasions in over a dozen serious and substantial instances."
  • A belief that there should be a vote on Alaskan secession.
  • Remaining "steadfastly opposed to environmental regulations and actively promotes the private ownership and widespread development of Alaskan land."
  • A platform which includes:

    [A]mending 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.

    [F]oster a constitutional amendment abolishing and prohibiting all property taxes.

    [S]eek[ing] the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska[.]

Clearly, the AIP, although claiming it's no longer a "fringe group," advocates for some pretty radical ideas. As Liz Arnett's diary sets forth, Sarah Palin recorded a nice message to the AIP Convention this year, saying that the party "plays an important role in our state's politics" and that "we have a great promise to be a self-sufficient state."

In this clip, AIP Vice Chairman of the AIP, Dexter Clark reveals that:

"Our current governor who I mentioned at the last conference, the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected . . . .and there was a lot of talk about her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as mayor . . ."

Palin was mayor of Wasilla from 1996-2002. But does she still agree with any other parts of the troubling AIP platform?

Since McCain never vetted Palin before putting her on the ticket, it's now time for her to vetted in the public eye and answer some questions for the American people. Has Sarah Palin, as the officer of the AIP claims, ever been a member of the AIP? Does she believe that Alaskan citizens are entitled to a vote on secession? Does she agree with any stances in the AIP platform?

That a candidate for Vice-President may be affiliated with such a fringe group would be unfathomable, until we remember that, as Christopher Hayes at The Nation reminds us, Palin is no stranger to fringe politics. Pat Buchanan himself beamed at her VP announcement, stating "I'm pretty sure she's a Buchananite!"

Sarah Palin has some questions to answer. And she has only 64 days to convince the American people that she has the judgment, temperament, and worldview appropriate to be the Vice-President of the United States. And as for John McCain? He has questions to answer as well. Did he know about Palin's possible connections with this fringe group? Did he even investigate the question? If not, what does that demonstrate about McCain's judgment?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 06:36 AM PDT.

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