Melania Trump Club

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Eade to be Buckley's mentor at Magpies Sydney


IMAGERY and perception. Those words may not tell the full story, yet they help shape many questions.


What was going through the minds of Mick Malthouse and Nathan Buckley, as they stood slightly apart, watching the Geelong players being feted on stage on Saturday?


For Mick, was it the cold realisation hit that his career had fluttered to the earth like the blue-and-white ticker tape around him?


And for Bucks, was it the immediacy of the loss, or was he already thinking about next year?


A premiership for your thoughts.


Amid the jubilation of the Cats, the visual disappointment - or was it coldness? - of Buckley and Malthouse standing on the Southern Stand wing will be an image for the ages.


And what about them?


It is said they aren't best friends and that the succession plan had driven a wedge so sharp and deep their relationship had deteriorated to strictly professional. And problematic at that.


They didn't appear to exchange words or warmth in the post-script. At the post-match dinner, Malthouse made only passing reference to the new coach.


At the Collingwood family day yesterday, however, Malthouse acknowledged that the club was in good hands and that "Nathan and the player group will make it even better again".


Perception is reality and so are the thoughts of people close to the Malthouse-Buckley relationship; that Malthouse imposed himself over Buckley and that Buckley despised Malthouse's treatment.


Suffice to say, when Malthouse announced he wouldn't be at Collingwood next year, Buckley wasn't about to use a Chinese burn to convince him to stay.


That it is all over, that the cold war between the two ended without ultimate victory, will clearly demand reference in Collingwood's booklet of history.


The journey this season grew increasingly about Malthouse.


A great of the AFL, he has earned the accolades, but there is a query about the fact the countdown to Saturday became as much about Collingwood as it did Malthouse.


Even as late as Sunday week ago, Malthouse announced on Channel 7 the Grand Final would be his last game as coach.


The role for Eade will partly incorporate functions that Malthouse would otherwise have performed had he stayed at Collingwood - overseeing high-performance strategies, innovations and development - but, unlike Malthouse, Eade will have a role on match day in the box. There may also be some element of opposition analysis.
Collingwood has already appointed Ben Hart to the club as defensive coach, while Scott Watters, who was defensive coach this year, will move to become midfield coach should he not succeed in his bid for the St Kilda position.
Malthouse made the surprising announcement in his post-match press conference that he would not be at Collingwood next year. Malthouse reached a decision with president Eddie McGuire and the club executive about six weeks ago that he would leave after the finals.
He yesterday bid farewell to the crowd of about 1000 who turned out at Gosch's Paddock, saying the club was well positioned to win the flag next year.
''Rest assured this football club can only get better because of yesterday,'' Malthouse said.
''I think you look at the age of our players … Chris Tarrant is our oldest player and he is as fit as he was five years ago. [He] had a fantastic year. Next oldest is Leon Davis, All-Australian this year, Ben Johnson, who had a pretty good year. They are our three oldest players.''
Leigh Brown is the only player confirmed to be leaving the club after announcing his retirement. Brown has indicated an interest in coaching and will speak with several clubs in the coming weeks.
The 30-year-old small defender has indicated an interest to return to family in Western Australia, but yesterday said he would ''definitely like to stay'' at Collingwood.

Manly Sea Eagles captain Jamie Lyon rules himself out of Four Nations tour Herald Sun


Hasler was already a Manly icon. Last night he became a legend as he led the club to its eighth premiership and second under his tenure. What next? Hasler has another year remaining on his contract but has been the subject of a massive offer from the Bulldogs.


After last night's game he indicated he would honour his contract and stay for next season. Beyond that, who knows? The Sea Eagles are locked in talks with their coach and insist he is going nowhere. The Bulldogs have a big fat cheque that says otherwise.


"I haven't given it a thought to tell you the truth. The only thing I have been concentrating on is this moment, this grand final," Hasler said. "I am at Manly for next season. Now that this grand final is over we will continue some discussions."


Given what happened at ANZ Stadium, Manly would be well advised to shell out whatever it takes to keep its coach. Hasler is worth every cent. Wayne Bennett may be the game's reigning super-coach but Hasler is closing fast.


"We were in a shambles before he turned up," backrower Anthony Watmough said.


"This club wouldn't be the same without him. I don't really know much about the coaches history at Manly, but he has to be one of the greatest.


"He has done such a great job over the years he has been here. How could you walk away from something you built? Give him $2 million a year."


Hasler won his first premiership in 2008, re-built his team and won a second only three years later. He did it with a new set of halves, two 20-somethings who were among the club's best performers last night.


"Tim Sheens knows I don't want to play so I don't think he'd pick people that don't want to be here. They have Chris Lawrence, Michael Jennings, Willie Tonga, Brent Tate, plenty of other centres who want to be there. I am looking forward to a rest."


After producing his best grand final display with a performance that included seven tackle busts, Lyon revealed he had played most of the year with a series of niggling injuries.


"It is just great to get the win," Lyon said.


"And I am glad it is over. I have had a few bumps and bruises and have been carrying a few injuries. I am definitely glad it is all over."


Lyon said he was feeling "old" but was adamant he had at least another two years of football to play. He is contracted with the Sea Eagles until the end of 2013.


"Yeah, I am feeling it in my body," he said.


"But I have another two years after this year and I am hopeful I will get through."


Lyon was happy with his display, leading the way as the Sea Eagles fought off a spirited charge home from the Warriors. He made 13 runs for 88m, while making 13 tackles in a five star performance.


"I have some bad grand final memories," he said.


"2001 (when he played for the Eels against the Knights) was bad but in 2007 I had a shocker. It took me a couple of months to get over that and even my missus said I was terrible so it scared me a bit."

Labour adverts slam Liberals' migrant boat stance


The radio advertisements will be played on high-rating AM and FM stations down the east coast and feature a man and a woman questioning why the Coalition would oppose offshore processing. The campaign will run into the next parliamentary sitting week, beginning on October 11, when a vote is expected on the government's amendments to the Migration Act, which seek to put the controversial Malaysian solution and offshore processing beyond legal doubt.


But the opposition was sceptical last night about the impact the campaign would have, saying the public had come to distrust the government on the issue of border protection. "Two weeks of spin on radio won't make up for years of policy failure," opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said.


"After all their failure, Labor still don't understand that you can't spin the boats away. You need proven policy."


Labor is emboldened by internal research showing the majority of voters believe the opposition should support the government's amendments.


t could then resurrect its deal to send up to 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in return for 4000 confirmed refugees. Mr Abbott wants an amendment that would restrict offshore processing to countries that have signed UN refugee conventions - which Malaysia has not.


Labor believes there is confusion in the community over Mr Abbott's stance.
The advertising campaign, authorised by ALP national secretary George Wright, capitalises on this and will run on capital city commercial stations over the next few weeks.


The Government is desperate to stem a flow of boats that has begun since the High Court effectively scuttled its Malaysian policy.


On Saturday, the fourth boat in about a week sailed into Australian waters. It was carrying 70 people.


The four boats held about 320 asylum seekers.

Bikini babes bust the record


The world record for the largest bikini parade was broken today in the City of the Gold Coast, Australia
The event was organised by a local newspaper, the Gold Coast Bulletin.
The bikini-clad women started the parade at a Gold Coast shopping mall, after which the women paraded for the required distance of 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) along Surfers Paradise beach.
Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records were there to confirm that with 357 women in the procession, a new record had been set.
The previous record was set by the Cayman Islands in June 2010 with 331 participants.


In all, 357 women wore bikinis to strut their stuff in a parade from Cavill Avenue on to the Surfers Paradise beach.


Four had to be disqualified for being overdressed.


The feat smashed the previous record of 331 set in the Cayman Islands last year.


Surfers Paradise councillor Susie Douglas said it was fitting the Gold Coast held the record.


"We have beautiful beaches ... we've got a great foreshore and got healthy young women and a sense of fun," she said.

Bushfire threatens south of Gladstone


Authorities were stretched to the limit on Sunday as they worked to contain about 50 bush and grass fires across the state.


More than a dozen crews, two water bombing helicopters and a plane were sent to the scene of a large bushfire, south of Gladstone, which was surrounding a chemical plant.


But Assistant Commissioner Neil Gallant says with nightfall, winds have dropped.


"We've scaled back a few of the fires, thankfully as night has fallen, the winds have dropped off and the humidity has risen so the fires are not moving as quickly," he said.


"At this stage we're confident we've got a handle on them.


"Some of the fires are contained but not all of them.


"Hopefully tomorrow we'll just have crews patrolling those containment lines."


Assistant Commissioner Gallant says extra officers from Brisbane and Mackay in north Queensland have been sent to Central Queensland to help their tired colleagues.


"At the moment, we're just trying to release as many crews as we can to try and combat fatigue, a lot of the crews have been going fairly solid since yesterday morning," he said.


He says despite conditions having eased, residents still need to remain alert.


"At this stage they still need to be aware that there are fires in their area, conditions are still volatile and people who live in rural areas or on the fringe of urban areas people need to be aware that a fire could start tomorrow and endanger their property," he said.


The challenge for us yesterday was the intensity of the wind as it was coming through and we're expecting more winds today," he said.
"The humidity's picking up a little bit because the wind's changing, so we're going to have an interesting week given the wind changes.
"We're hoping it will ease a little bit by tomorrow."
Assistant Fire Commissioner in central Queensland Neil Gallant said a team of fire crews from Mackay and specialist staff from Brisbane will go to Rockhampton this afternoon to assist with 12 fires in the region.
"The record wet season that we had at the start of the year has meant that there's been enormous vegetation growth and unfortunately now that's drying out, so any fire that starts has plenty of fuel," he said.
"We're certainly looking ahead because a lot of our crews are fatigued, the volunteers in the rural service have contributed many of their hours to helping out."


It comes as Brisbanites feel the chill with below average springtime temperatures.
While the thermometer doesn't normally drop below 15.8 degrees in October, it's been down to 11 degrees in the past few days with those cold mornings set to stick around for at least the next week.
The cold, dry weather is responsible for some bushfires which are also being fuelled by extra vegetation from the January floods.
There are currently over 30 fires burning around the South Burnett and Burrum Heads area.

Backpacker's death in Italy linked to deep vein thrombosis


Died on Contiki tour ... Madelaine Crawley, the 23-year-old from Pottsville who attended Kingscliff High School, who died suddenly in Rome. Source: The Daily Telegraph
TWEED Coast backpacker Madelaine Crawley may have died from complications from Deep Vein Thrombosis, according to preliminary medical tests in Italy.
The attractive 23-year-old, who had been enjoying the holiday of a lifetime on a Contiki tour through Europe, was found motionless in her bed the morning after a party at Contiki's Seven Hills camping ground in Rome on Thursday.
She had suffered massive cardiac arrest and was rushed to hospital but could not be revived.
Initial media reports from Italian newspapers claimed she may have died after consuming a deadly cocktail of alcohol and drugs, but Madelaine's uncle Bruce Melville this afternoon said doctors believe DVT, a condition involving blood clots in veins after extended periods of air travel, was the most likely cause.
Untreated, DVT, often nicknamed economy class syndrome, claims the life of about three per cent of patients, with the risk of clots travelling to major organs such as lungs or the heart.


23-year-old, who had been enjoying the holiday of a lifetime on a Contiki tour through Europe, was found motionless in her bed the morning after a party at Contiki's camping ground in Rome on Thursday.


The Tweed Coast resort worker suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to hospital but could not be revived.


Initial media reports in Italian newspapers claimed she may have died after consuming a cocktail of alcohol and drugs.


But Madelaine's uncle Bruce Melville yesterday said doctors believed DVT, a condition that caused blood clots in veins after extended periods of air travel, was the most likely trigger for the massive heart attack.

Manly channels anger into victory


Most of the Manly players have been given Premiers t-shirts to wear. Just heard through the referees microphone an official say to Glenn Stewart, "mate, you have got to wear it".
Shaun Johnson says more success lies ahead for the Warriors: "The club is in pretty good stead and to have all three teams in the grand final is something special".
Glenn Stewart is the Clive Churchill Medallist. Stewart just shook hands with David Gallop and the pair spoke briefly.
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Des Hasler just said of Brett Stewart: "I think he has finally got closure". Glenn and Brett Stewart are the first brothers to score in a grand final.
Des Hasler just said: "We were deserved winners tonight. Full credit to the Warriors but I can't fault these guys."
Captain Jamie Lyon scores a deserved try off a Glenn Stewart pass to secure Manly's second premiership in four years. Michael Robertson kicks the goal from wide out in his last game for the club with players and officials running on to celebrate. MANLY 24 WARRIORS 10. Those with betting tickets for Manly to win by 13+ will be happy.
Locke just threw a forward pass in his own in-goal. Dropout. Manly have won.
Locke loses ball running off his own line.
Hot potato play by the Warriors but Manly hang on. They just want this game to end. Warriors are coming home strong but time will probably beat them.
Manly are now trying to wind down the clock. DCE deliberately kicked the ball dead.
Cherry-Evans kick straight down Locke's throat. Warriors up to halfway after four tackles.
Manly are off the hook now but this game isn't over. Watmough down injured now. He wouldn't be wasting time would he?
That passage of play was unbelievable. Johnson's kick and regather was freakish, Vatuvei no-look pass, Lewis Brown grubber and Cherry-Evans trapped in-goal.


Manly winger Will Hopoate came closest to handing his side the early advantage, but his effort was a reflection of the tight contest; his hip touched the white line as he planted the ball. Warriors five-eighth James Maloney showed a more direct route, but his opposite Foran stopped him.
No side really deserved to take the lead but Manly's interchange prop George Rose was probably grateful the Warriors' only reward for his elbow on Aaron Heremaia was two points. He came down heavily on the hooker and the Warriors were awarded the penalty, Rose being put on report.
But the Warriors dropped their guard. Fullback Stewart, running off the inside hip of Cherry-Evans, danced through to score the game's first try, half an hour into the match. Had the half ended that way, with a 6-2 advantage to the Sea Eagles, the Warriors would have felt good about themselves. But six seconds before the break, Cherry-Evans scored.
It came not long after Manly back-rower Anthony Watmough produced a play-the-ball which was many kinds of wrong; the Warriors might have found themselves deep in the Manly quarter but instead found themselves defending for their lives. Having said that, the Sea Eagles began the play deep inside their own half; Glenn Stewart grubbered for winger Michael Robertson.
Suddenly the brilliance of the play was followed by another tinge of controversy. Cherry-Evans prevented Heremaia from getting a clean shot on his opposite number Matt Ballin, who eagerly took the ball from Robertson. Ballin was tackled short, but the Warriors found themselves short - Cherry-Evans took advantage to score.
Manly took that momentum into the second half. The Sea Eagles skipped upfield with relative ease every time they touched the ball.
The Warriors were their own worst enemies. Winger Krisnan Inu did superbly to jink his way out of his quarter but lost possession when he was finally brought down. Inu was fortunate Foran was ruled to have knocked on after fumbling a grubber by the Manly five-eighth with 25 minutes remaining.
By this stage, it was becoming less a matter of if, and more a case of when Manly would clinch the contest. It took another two minutes, and it was some play. Hopoate was being man-handled into touch when he flung the ball in-field to find Glenn Stewart who scored the try. This was an occasion when the man with the assist should get most of the credit.
The Warriors took a while to be woken last night. After 62 minutes, Johnson sent Manu Vatuvei over. And just seven minutes later, Johnson helped set up Elijah Taylor's try.
But Manly, through skipper Jamie Lyon, responded. Manly's known to have a heck of a chip on its shoulder - but when the chips are down, it's also a heck of a team.

Pilot did not see fair ride


THE pilot of a light plane that crashed into a ferris wheel on NSW's mid-north coast says he didn't see the fairground ride before his aircraft slammed into it.


"I just went to take off, do a go-around and I didn't even see the ferris wheel there," pilot Paul Cox said.


The aircraft became stuck on the ride, 10m in the air, for about 90 minutes.


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Recreational Aviation Australia are conducting separate investigations into the accident.


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Recreational Aviation Australia are conducting separate investigations into the accident, which happened on Saturday morning at a fairground in the township of Old Bar, near Taree.
Amazingly, neither Mr Cox, his 32-year-old male passenger, nor any of the children on the ferris wheel were hurt.
Amber Arndell was among those on the ride.
''When I turned around there was just this big plane right behind me,'' the 13-year-old said. ''I was so scared.''
The president of the Old Bar Beach Festival, Cozette Leonard, said the pilot clipped a tree before hitting the ferris wheel.
''He hit a tree, wobbled, pulled out to sea and that's when he crashed into the ferris wheel,'' Ms Leonard said.
''It's just a miracle. It could've been worse.''

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sarah Palin Headed for Divorce



Todd Palin is alleged to be “fed up” over his wife’s scandals that have headlined papers since her rise to fame after running for vice president. According to a report by the National Enquirer, Todd is fed up with the scandals and is ready to file for a divorce.

To add to the trouble for the potential 2012 presidential candidate, the release of the book, “In the Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin,” written by Joe McGinniss, claims are made that Palin had a one night stand with a basketball star.

The “Rogue” book also accuses Palin of snorting cocaine, and having an affair with her husband’s business partner.

Author Joe McGinniss apparently moved next door to the Palins to write the biography on the former Alaska governor.

Todd Palin called the author a “stalker” saying, “This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife.”

Todd is said to be fuming over the allegations in the book.

Sarah Palin has been destroyed by Joe McGinniss' no-holds-barred biography. It exposed all her lies, cover-ups and secrets," a source close to the former governor told the Enquirer. "As a result, she has been told by her advisers that it would be political suicide to announce a White House candidacy. The press and her opponents would have a field day digging into the dirty details of her background."

All of these revelations, the National Enquirer source alleges, has culminated in the derailing of her marriage and career aspirations, particularly her relationship, after her brother Chuck Heath Jr. was quoted saying his sister and Todd's marriage was over.

"Todd felt as if he was stabbed in the back by his own brother-in-law after 23 years of being married to the guy's sister, and having five kids together."

The source told the Enquirer that Todd feels like he has been made a laughing stock; the Rice tryst became a joke on late night TV and was all over the Internet when it was divulged last week. He is also said to be "fuming" over the biography's confirmation that his wife had an affair with his business partner, Brad Hanson.

Both parties denied the affair, but Palin's former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, allegedly confirmed it, saying: "Todd and Sarah were headed for divorce, but Sarah got pregnant soon after, so they decided to stay together."

While Palin hasn't publicly commented on the new allegations, her husband released a statement decrying the book through her Sarah PAC Facebook page.

"This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife," Todd Palin said in the statement. "His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears," Todd Palin stated. "Even The New York Times called this book 'dated, petty,' and that it 'chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip.

Todd Palin


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Todd Mitchell Palin, born September 6, 1964 is the husband of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party. He is an American oil field production operator, commercial fisherman and champion snowmobile racer, winning the Tesoro Iron Dog race four times.


Early life

Palin was born and raised in Dillingham, Alaska to James F. "Jim" and Blanche Palin (née Kallstrom).
His father, a native of Seattle, Washington, is a former general manager of Matanuska Electrical Association. His mother, a former secretary of the Alaska Federation of Natives, is one-quarter Yup'ik, and his maternal grandmother, Helena (Bartman) Andree, is a member of the Curyung tribe. His paternal grandfather, Frederick William Palin, was born in Hartney, Manitoba, Canada in February 1905.
In 1982, Palin graduated from Wasilla High School, which is the same alma mater of his wife and their eldest two children, son Track and daughter Bristol. He has taken some college courses but does not have a degree.



Career

For eighteen years, he worked for BP in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska. In 2007, in order to avoid a conflict of interest that related to his wife's position as governor, he took a leave from his job as production supervisor, when his employer became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with his wife's administration. Seven months later, because the family needed more income, Todd returned to BP. In order to avoid potential conflict of interest, this time, he accepted a non-management position as a production operator.He resigned from his job on September 18, 2009, with the stated reason as a desire to spend more time with his family.
He is also a commercial salmon fisherman at Bristol Bay on the Nushugak River.



Public life

Voter registration

Palin first registered to vote in 1989. From October 1995 through July 2002, except for a few months in 2000, he was registered to vote as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. In late August 2008, The Politico reported that Palin was registered to vote as an independent (undeclared), and had never registered as a Republican. In her memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah Palin confirms this, writing, "My husband... isn't registered with any party, for sound reasons, having been an eyewitness to the idiosyncrasies of party machines." Sarah Palin reaffirmed that Todd is not a registered Republican again in her February 6, 2010, keynote address to the national Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee.


Husband of the Governor of Alaska


Palin in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Palin was First Gentleman (or "First Dude," as he was often nicknamed) for two and a half years. Early on in that role, he encouraged young Alaskans who could not afford college to consider jobs in the oil and gas industry as an effective training ground, and advised the Governor on workforce development issues for the natural gas pipeline she supported.
In February 2010, the state of Alaska released to msnbc.com reporter Bill Dedman about 1,200 e-mails, which totalled 3,000 pages, that Palin exchanged with state officials. Almost 250 additional ones were withheld by the state, under a claim that executive privilege extends to Palin as an unpaid adviser to the government.Gregg Erickson, columnist for the Anchorage Daily News, said, in September 2008, that Palin "obviously plays an important role… I've seen him in the governor's office and I know that she's conducted interviews in the governor's office with him present." The emails showed Palin discussing a wide range of activities: potential board appointees, constituent complaints, use of the state jet, oil and gas production, marine regulation, gas pipeline bids, wildfires, native Alaskan issues, the state effort to save the Matanuska Maid dairy, budget planning, potential budget vetoes, oil shale leasing, "strategy for responding to media allegations," staffing at the mansion, pier diem payments to the governor for travel, "strategy for responding to questions about pregnancy," potential cuts to the governor's staff, "confidentiality issues," Bureau of Land Management land transfers and trespass issues and requests to the U.S. transportation secretary.


Other

As of late 2009, Palin was a community volunteer who worked in youth sports, coached hockey and basketball.[23] Palin was a judge in the 2008 Miss Alaska pageant.


Champion snowmobile racer

Palin is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmobile race. and traces the path of the Iditarod race with an extra journey of several hundred miles to Fairbanks added.
Palin has competed in the Tesoro every year since 1993. His racing teammate is Scott Davis, with whom he won in 2007. He has previously raced with Dusty Van Meter in the race, and they were co-champions in 2000 and 2002. In 1995, Palin partnered with Dwayne Drake for his first win.
In 2008, 400 miles (640 km) from defending his Tesoro Iron Dog championship, he was injured and broke his arm when he was thrown 70 feet from his machine.He was sent to the hospital but managed to finish in fourth place.



Personal life

In 1988, Palin married his high school sweetheart, Sarah Heath. The Palins have five children: Track Charles James (b. 1989), who has enlisted in the United States Army and deployed to Iraq on September 11, 2008; Bristol Sheeran Marie (b. 1990);Willow Bianca Faye (b. 1994); Piper Indy Grace (b. 2001); and Trig Paxson Van (b. 2008), who has Down syndrome; and two grandchildren: Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, born in 2008 in Palmer, Alaska, to Bristol and Levi Johnston and Kyla Grace Palin, who was born to son Track and his wife, Britta, in 2011.
Palin fishes and holds a Private Pilot Certificate. He also owns his own aircraft, a Piper PA-18 Super Cub.
Palin's stepmother, Faye Palin, ran unsuccessfully in 2002 for the position of Mayor for Wasilla, Alaska, to succeed Palin's wife, Sarah, who was term-limited. Faye Palin, who is pro-choice and a registered Democrat, lost to Dianne M. Keller, a candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin.


Public Safety Commissioner controversy

Todd Palin's name has appeared in news reports regarding the firing of Commissioner Walt Monegan and the actions of Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. At one point, Todd Palin brought information prepared by himself and a private investigator to Monegan.
On September 12, 2008, the Alaska Legislature subpoenaed Palin to testify on his role in the controversy. On September 18, the McCain/Palin campaign announced that Todd Palin would refuse to testify because he does not believe the investigation is legitimate. State senator Bill Wielechowski said that the witnesses could not be punished for disobeying the subpoenas until the full legislature comes into session, then scheduled to be in January 2009.
On October 10, 2008, Palin was cited in special investigator Stephen Branchflower's report to the Legislative Council. One of Branchflower's four main findings was that Governor Palin violated Alaska's Ethics Act when she "wrongfully permitted Todd Palin to use the governor's office...to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired."Blanchflower also states: "Todd Palin is not an employee of the (Alaska) executive branch, so his conduct is not a violation of (the Ethics Act)." and " . . . I make no finding as to Mr. Palin's conduct..

Levi Johnston Say: Bristol Palin wanted to get pregnant


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They kicked her around, victimized her, tried to destroy her. But all of a sudden, the lamestream media is coming to Sarah Palin’s defense.

Faced with a barrage of negative portrayals — a much-hyped investigative book, a Levi Johnston memoir and a new movie — Palin is finding support in the unlikeliest of places.

Film reviewers have slammed the British documentary “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!” Newspapers have refused to run comic-strip excerpts of Joe McGinniss’s rumor-mongering tome “The Rogue.” Johnston’s accusations have been consigned to the gossip pages. And none other than The New York Times has angrily taken Palin’s side in a brutal takedown of the McGinniss book.

Reviewer Janet Maslin called “The Rogue” a work of “caustic, unsubstantiated gossip,” accusing its author, who rented a house next door to the Palins for a time, of sloppiness, attention seeking and a lack of neighborliness.

“‘The Rogue’ is too busy being nasty to be lucid,” Maslin concludes, describing its many accusations as “indefensibly reckless.”

In a statement issued through a PR representative, Todd Palin trumpeted the Times review, pointing to it as proof that the book was so reprehensible that “even The New York Times” disdained it.

But it wasn’t the first time in recent weeks the Palins have found the Times — the print voice of East Coast intellectualism — in their corner. The Gray Lady also recently published an op-ed praising Palin as a person of ideas and calling for her to be taken seriously.

Sarah Palin was plucked from obscurity to be the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008.
The 'pitbull in lipstick' sparked a media storm after accepting the nomination, despite questions over her experience.

But she wowed the U.S. after a barn-storming speech in September 2008 in which she attacked critics for calling her 'small town'. A former mayor of Wasilla before she became governor of Alaska, Palin stepped down after the Republican defeat in the presidential election.

The mother-of-five has remained tight-lipped on whether she would stand next year, but said she would likely make an announcement at the end of this month.

The AP reports that Johnston writes that when Sarah Palin found out she was pregnant in March of 2008, Bristol was mad and thought she should be the one who was pregnant, so she told Levi they should become so.

Johnston also says that Bristol's claim in her book "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far" that she lost her virginity on a camping trip with Johnston is not true - he says it happened much earlier in their relationship.

He also claims he was "too dumb" to use protection while dating Bristol, even though he knew getting pregnant was "what she wanted." And finally, he claims when the Palins found out about the pregnancy, Sarah's first reaction was that she and Todd adopt the baby to "avoid a scandal."

This is not the only scandalous book about the Palins hitting shelves Tuesday. Joe McGinniss' book "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," which alleges Palin's cocaine use and extramarital affairs, also comes out Sept. 20.

Levi Johnston



Levi Keith Johnston, born May 3, 1990 is the former fiancé of Bristol Palin. He first received media attention in August 2008 when U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced that her daughter Bristol was five months pregnant with Johnston's baby and that the two were engaged. Johnston and Palin broke off their engagement in March 2009, and Johnston had several public feuds with the Palin family for which he later apologized. The couple announced they were engaged again in July 2010, but ended that engagement three weeks later.
After working in the Alaskan oil fields, Johnston began pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, aspiring to be a model and an actor.


Family life and education

Johnston is the first of two children born to Keith and Sherry Johnston. He has a younger sister, Mercede "Sadie" Johnston. The family is of Mexican and Canadian descent.
Johnston attended Wasilla High School, where he played on the hockey team, but dropped out of school in his junior year. He worked full-time on the Alaska North Slope oil fields as an apprentice electrician, quitting in January 2009.
According to Johnston, he and Bristol began dating during their freshman year of high school. After losing a promise ring on a caribou hunt, Johnston had Bristol's name tattooed on his finger.


Media attention

During the 2008 U.S. presidential election

Johnston attended the 2008 Republican National Convention with the Palin family. While Sarah Palin was delivering her prime-time nomination acceptance speech, the cameras frequently cut away to Johnston and Bristol. Johnston shook hands onstage with Sarah Palin's running mate, Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, and was treated as a member of Palin's family. Fox News commentator Dick Morris commented that McCain's decision to welcome Johnston to the stage was a good move, because it would help McCain show "a nonjudgmental", tolerant attitude, while still sending the message that unwed teens who become pregnant should marry.


2009 interviews

After his 2009 breakup with Bristol, Johnston gave a series of nationally televised interviews. He appeared on The Tyra Banks Show with his mother and sister, saying he wanted to dispel rumors that he had "done steroids and drugs and cheated on Bristol". Remarking on Bristol's public appearances to promote sexual abstinence, Johnston told The Early Show that "abstinence is a great idea, but I also think you need to enforce, you know, condoms and birth control and other things like that to have safe sex. I don't just think telling young kids, 'you can't have sex' - it's not going to work. It's not realistic." In another interview he said that he was "pretty sure" Sarah had known that he and Bristol were having sex in the family's mansion because "moms are pretty smart."
In August 2009, Johnston publicly speculated that Sarah Palin's early resignation from office was due to long-standing marital difficulties, the pressures of the job, and lucrative book and other media offers. In a September 2009 Vanity Fair interview, Johnston alleged that Sarah Palin initially wanted the couple to keep Bristol's pregnancy a secret and offered to adopt the baby and raise him as her own, but that he and Bristol rejected the plan. In response, Sarah told the media the statements were "untrue, malicious, and appalling", emphasizing that she highly appreciated her children and commenting that Johnston's photoshoots were "attention-seeking and desperate".


2010 apology and reversal

In July 2010, a week prior to the announcement that he and Bristol were engaged a second time, Johnston issued a statement expressing regret for his accusations against the Palins, "Last year, after Bristol and I broke up, I was unhappy and a little angry. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I publicly said things about the Palins that were not completely true. I have already privately apologized to Todd and Sarah. 


2011 Wasilla mayoral election

In August 2010, Johnston announced that he will be running in the October 2011 election for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Johnston stated: "Whether I win or not win, I want Tripp to look up to me and see what I've done and be proud of his dad."
The current mayor, Verne E. Rupright, responded to Johnston's announcement: "Well, it is a little early to declare. Usually most wait until the year the seat is up. But since I am nearly old enough to be Levi's grandfather I think it would be wise for him to get a high school diploma and keep his clothes on. The voters like that!"
Bristol Palin responded that she "never knew he had political aspirations. I'm glad that Levi has not given up on completing his education and is looking for steady employment."
Johnston's manager stated he hoped to copy the rise of Sarah Palin from mayor of Wasilla to governor of Alaska, "creating a rural, Alaskan version of the Bush political dynasty."
On 3 September 2010, Public Policy Polling reported that Johnston had become the most unpopular person polled in his home state, replacing former Democratic presidential candidate and senator John Edwards. Edwards was recorded in January 2010 as having a 15 percent approval and 72 percent disapproval rating in his home state of North Carolina. Johnston received a six percent approval and 72 percent disapproval rating in the state of Alaska.



Other activities

Johnston hired Anchorage, Alaska, attorney Rex Butler (who was previously best-known for representing criminal defendants and handling civil litigation) to represent him in his pursuit of a career in the entertainment industry.
According to Tirdad Derakhshani of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Johnston was "shopping around a memoir" concerning his time with Bristol. Politico reported in April 2009 that focus of the memoir had been changed to show the true story of the Palin household. The Associated Press reported in July 2009 that Johnston was also pursuing a movie deal.
Johnston and comedienne Kathy Griffin attended the 2009 Teen Choice Awards together. She later stated that he was "surprisingly sweet and courteous" to her. Johnston and Griffin's acquaintance is documented in the sixth season of Griffin's reality television series, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Additionally, as a gag in her stand-up comedy routine, Griffin often referred to the acquaintance as a relationship, and Johnston as her boyfriend.

In popular culture

On September 28, 2010, Ben Folds and Nick Hornby released an album called Lonely Avenue with a song on it entitled "Levi Johnston's Blues," in which they tell a fictionalized account of Johnston's story.

Sarah Palin's husband Todd attacks biography


.
News broke Wednesday that a new book about Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate, is coming out soon, and it paints a less-than-flattering picture of her life before she was governor, including allegations of cocaine use and extramarital affairs.


Sarah's husband Todd Palin has fired back at author Joe McGinniss in a statement:


"This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife. His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book 'dated, petty,' and that it 'chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip.'"


Excerpts from the book, due out next week, were first published in the National Enquirer.


His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears”


Todd Palin
In a statement, Todd Palin said the book was full of "lies" and "smears", and accused Mr McGinniss of being obsessed with his wife, according to ABC News.


"This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife," he said via a Sarah Palin campaign aide, the network reported.


"His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book 'dated, petty,' and that it 'chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip."


According to US media reports, the book claims Mrs Palin had a six-month affair in the 1990s with Brad Hanson, Todd Palin's business partner at the Polaris snowmobile store in Big Lake.


Mrs Palin has previously denied the allegation.


Mrs Palin also allegedly had a fling with former NBA player Glen Rice in 1987 when he was in Alaska for a basketball tournament, a year before she eloped with Todd, the book says.


At the time, the young Sarah Heath was working as a sports reporter for the Anchorage TV station KTUU.


It also alleges that the former former Republican vice-presidential candidate snorted cocaine off a 55-gallon drum while on a snowmobiling trip with friends, and smoked marijuana with a professor at Mat-Su College in Alaska.


Mr McGinniss is known for his 1968 book on Richard Nixon, The Selling of the President.

Sarah Palin




Sarah Louise Palin,  born February 11, 1964 is an American politician, commentator and author. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and the first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.
She was elected to Wasilla City Council in 1992 and became mayor of Wasilla in 1996. In 2003, after an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor, she was appointed Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, responsible for overseeing the state's oil and gas fields for safety and efficiency.
The youngest person and first woman to be elected Governor of Alaska, Palin held the office from December 2006 until her resignation in July 2009. She has subsequently associated herself with the Tea Party movement, endorsing and campaigning for several candidates in the 2010 midterm elections.
Her book Going Rogue has sold more than one million copies, and is one of four recent political memoirs to sell more than one million copies. Since January 2010, she has also provided political commentary for Fox News, and hosted a television show, Sarah Palin's Alaska. Five million viewers tuned in for the premiere episode, a record for The Learning Channel. A documentary about Palin's career, The Undefeated, was released in July 2011.
Palin is a potential candidate for the 2012 presidential election.




Early life and family


Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho. She is the third of four children (three daughters, one son) born to Charles R. "Chuck" Heath, a science teacher and track and field coach, and Sarah "Sally" (née Sheeran), a school secretary. Palin's siblings are Chuck Jr., Heather, and Molly. Palin is of English, Irish and German ancestry.
When Palin was a few months old, the family moved to Skagway, Alaska, where her father received his teaching job. They relocated to Eagle River in 1969; and finally settled to Wasilla in 1972.
Palin played flute in the junior high band, then attended Wasilla High School where she was the head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a member of the girls' basketball and cross country running teams. During her senior year, she was co-captain and point guard of the basketball team that won the 1982 Alaska state championship, earning the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her competitive streak.




College


After graduating from high school, Palin enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Shortly after arriving in Hawaii, Palin switched to Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu for a semester in the fall of 1982. She transferred to North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d'Alene, for the spring and fall semesters of 1983. (In June 2008, the Alumni Association of NIC gave her its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.)
In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant. She finished third in the Miss Alaska pageant, playing flute in the talent portion of the contest, and receiving both the Miss Congeniality award and a college scholarship.
She attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho in the fall of 1984 and spring of 1985, and attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska in the fall of 1985. Palin returned to the University of Idaho in the spring of 1986, and received her bachelor's degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism in 1987.




Early career and marriage


After graduating, she worked as a sportscaster for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage, and as a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, fulfilling an early ambition.
On August 29, 1988, she eloped with her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin. After the marriage, she became a mother and helped in her husband's commercial fishing business.




Early political career


Main articles: Early political career of Sarah Palin and Electoral history of Sarah Palin
City council
Palin was elected to the Wasilla City Council in 1992 winning 530 votes to 310. Throughout her tenure on the city council and the rest of her political career, Palin has remained a Republican, first registering as such in 1982.




Mayor of Wasilla
Motivated by concerns that revenue from a new Wasilla sales tax would not be spent wisely, Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla in 1996, defeating incumbent mayor John Stein 651 to 440 votes. Her biographer has described her campaign as targeting wasteful spending and high taxes; her opponent Stein has said that Palin introduced abortion, gun rights, and term limits as campaign issues. The election was nonpartisan, but the state Republican Party took the unprecedented step of running advertisements for Palin.




First term
Palin had a standoff with the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, a local newspaper, and became involved in personnel challenges and a failed attempt to pack the City Council during her first year in office. Using income generated by a 2% sales tax that had been approved by Wasilla voters in October 1992, Palin cut property taxes by 75% and eliminated personal property and business inventory taxes. Using municipal bonds, she made improvements to the roads and sewers, and increased funding to the Police Department. She also oversaw new bike paths and procured funding for storm-water treatment to protect freshwater resources. At the same time, she shrank the local museum's budget and deterred talk of a new library and city hall.
Shortly after taking office in October 1996, Palin eliminated the position of museum director and asked for updated resumes and resignation letters from "city department heads who had been loyal to Stein," including the police chief, public works director, finance director, and librarian. The judge dismissed Stambaugh's lawsuit, holding that the police chief served at the discretion of the mayor, and could be terminated for nearly any reason, even a political one, and ordered Stambaugh to pay Palin's legal fees.




Second term


During her second term as mayor, Palin proposed and promoted the construction of a municipal sports center to be financed by a 0.5% sales tax increase and $14.7 million bond issue. Voters approved the measure by a 20 vote margin and the Wasilla Multi-Use Sports Complex (later named the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center) was built on time and under budget. However, the city spent an additional $1.3 million because of an eminent domain lawsuit caused by the failure to obtain clear title to the property before beginning construction. The city's long-term debt grew from about $1 million to $25 million due to $15 million for the sports complex, $5.5 million for street projects, and $3 million for water improvement projects. The Wall Street Journal characterized the project as a "financial mess." A city council member defended the spending increases as being caused by the city's growth during that time.




State-level politics


In 2002, Palin ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, coming in second to Loren Leman in a five-way Republican primary. Following her defeat, she campaigned throughout the state for the nominated Republican governor-lieutenant governor ticket of Frank Murkowski and Leman. Murkowski and Leman won, Murkowski resigned from his long-held U.S. Senate seat in December 2002 to assume the governorship. Palin was said to be on the "short list" of possible appointees to Murkowski's U.S. Senate seat, but Murkowski ultimately appointed his daughter, State Representative Lisa Murkowski, as his successor in the Senate.
Governor Murkowski offered a number of other jobs to Palin, and in February 2003, she accepted an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which oversees Alaska's oil and gas fields for safety and efficiency. Although she had little background in the area, she said she wanted to learn more about the oil industry, and was named chair of the commission and ethics supervisor. By November 2003 she was filing non-public ethics complaints with the state attorney general and the governor against a fellow commission member, Randy Ruedrich, a former petroleum engineer and at the time the chair of the state Republican Party. He was forced to resign in November 2003. Palin resigned in January 2004 and put her protests against Ruedrich's "lack of ethics" into the public arena by filing a public complaint against Ruedrich, who was then fined $12,000. She also joined with Democratic legislator Eric Croft in complaining that Gregg Renkes, then the attorney general of Alaska, had a financial conflict of interest in negotiating a coal exporting trade agreement. Renkes also resigned his post.






Governor of Alaska


In 2006, running on a clean-government platform, Palin defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Her running mate was Sean Parnell, who since leaving the state senate in 2001 had worked as a corporate lobbyist.
In the November election, Palin was outspent but victorious, defeating former Democratic governor Tony Knowles by a margin of 48.3% to 40.9%. She became Alaska's first female governor, and, at the age of 42, the youngest governor in Alaskan history, the state's first governor to have been born after Alaska achieved U.S. statehood, and the first not to be inaugurated in Juneau (she chose to have the ceremony held in Fairbanks instead). She took office on December 4, 2006, and for most of her term was very popular with Alaska voters. Polls taken in 2007 showed her with 93% and 89% popularity among all voters, which led some media outlets to call her "the most popular governor in America." A poll taken in late September 2008 after Palin was named to the national Republican ticket showed her popularity in Alaska at 68%. A poll taken in May 2009 showed Palin's popularity among Alaskans was at 54% positive and 41.6% negative.
Palin declared that top priorities of her administration would be resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development. She had championed ethics reform throughout her election campaign. Her first legislative action after taking office was to push for a bipartisan ethics reform bill. She signed the resulting legislation in July 2007, calling it a "first step," and declaring that she remained determined to clean up Alaska politics.
Palin frequently broke with the state Republican establishment. For example, she endorsed Parnell's bid to unseat the state's longtime at-large U.S. Representative, Don Young, and she publicly challenged then-U.S. Senator Ted Stevens to come clean about the federal investigation into his financial dealings. Shortly before his July 2008 indictment, she held a joint news conference with Stevens, described by The Washington Post as intended to "make clear she had not abandoned him politically."
Palin promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Proposals to drill for oil in ANWR have been the subject of a national debate.






Budget, spending, and federal funds


In June 2007, Palin signed a record $6.6 billion operating budget into law. At the same time, she used her veto power to make the second-largest cuts of the capital budget in state history. The $237 million in cuts represented over 300 local projects, and reduced the capital budget to $1.6 billion.
In 2008, Palin vetoed $286 million, cutting or reducing funding for 350 projects from the FY09 capital budget.
Palin followed through on a campaign promise to sell the Westwind II jet, a purchase made by the Murkowski administration for $2.7 million in 2005 against the wishes of the legislature. In August 2007, the jet was listed on eBay, but the sale fell through, and the plane was later sold for $2.1 million through a private brokerage firm.




Gubernatorial expenditures


Palin lived in Juneau during the legislative session and lived in Wasilla and worked out of offices in Anchorage the rest of the year. Since the office in Anchorage is 565 miles from Juneau, while she worked there, state officials said she was permitted to claim a $58 per diem travel allowance, which she took (a total of $16,951), and to reimbursement for hotels, which she did not, choosing instead to drive about 50 miles to her home in Wasilla. She also chose not to use the former governor's private chef. Republicans and Democrats have criticized Palin for taking the per diem and $43,490 in travel expenses for the times her family accompanied her on state business. In response, Palin's staffers said that these practices were in line with state policy, that her gubernatorial expenses are 80% below those of Murkowski, her predecessor, and that "many of the hundreds of invitations Palin receives include requests for her to bring her family, placing the definition of 'state business' with the party extending the invitation." In February 2009, the State of Alaska, reversing a policy that had treated the payments as legitimate business expenses under the Internal Revenue Code, decided that per diems paid to state employees for stays in their own homes will be treated as taxable income and will be included in employees' gross income on their W-2 forms.




Federal funding


In her State of the State address on January 17, 2008, Palin declared that the people of Alaska "can and must continue to develop our economy, because we cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government [funding]." Alaska's federal congressional representatives cut back on pork-barrel project requests during Palin's time as governor; despite this, in 2008 Alaska was still the largest per-capita recipient of federal earmarks, requesting nearly $750 million in special federal spending over a period of two years.
While there is no state sales tax or income tax in Alaska, royalty revenues from the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field (comprised mostly of state-owned lands) have funded large state budgets since 1980, with the exact amounts largely dependent upon the prevailing price of petroleum. As a result, state revenues doubled to $10 billion in 2008. For the 2009 budget, Palin gave a list of 31 proposed federal earmarks or requests for funding, totaling $197 million, to Alaska's senior U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.




Bridge to Nowhere


In 2005, before Palin was elected governor, Congress passed a $442-million earmark for constructing two Alaska bridges as part of an omnibus spending bill. The Gravina Island Bridge received nationwide attention as a symbol of pork-barrel spending, following news reports that the bridge would cost $233 million in Federal funds. Because Gravina Island, the site of the Ketchikan airport, has a population of 50, the bridge became known nationally as the "Bridge to Nowhere." Following an outcry by the public and some[who?] members of the U.S. Senate, Congress eliminated the bridge earmark from the spending bill but gave the allotted funds to Alaska as part of its general transportation fund.
In 2006, Palin ran for governor with a "build-the-bridge" plank in her platform,saying she would "not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project ... into something that's so negative." Palin criticized the use of the word "nowhere" as insulting to local residents and urged speedy work on building the infrastructure "while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.
As governor, Palin canceled the Gravina Island Bridge in September 2007, saying that Congress had "little interest in spending any more money" due to what she called "inaccurate portrayals of the projects." Alaska chose not to return the $442 million in federal transportation funds.
In 2008, as a vice-presidential candidate, Palin characterized her position as having told Congress "thanks, but no thanks, on that bridge to nowhere." This angered some[who?] Alaskans in Ketchikan, who said that the claim was false and a betrayal of Palin's previous support for their community. Some critics complained that this statement was misleading, since she had expressed support for the spending project and kept the federal money after the project was canceled.




Alaska gas pipeline


In August 2008, Palin signed a bill authorizing the State of Alaska to award TransCanada Pipelines — the sole bidder to meet the state's requirements — a license to build and operate a pipeline to transport natural gas from the Alaska North Slope to the continental United States through Canada. The governor also pledged $500 million in seed money to support the project. It is estimated that the project will cost $26 billion. Newsweek described the project as "the principal achievement of Sarah Palin's term as Alaska's governor." The pipeline faces legal challenges from Canadian First Nations.




Predator control


In 2007, Palin supported a 2003 Alaska Department of Fish and Game policy allowing the hunting of wolves from the air as part of a predator control program intended to increase moose and caribou populations for subsistence-food gatherers and other hunters. In March 2007, Palin's office announced that a bounty of $150 per wolf would be paid to the 180 volunteer pilots and gunners, to offset fuel costs, in five areas of Alaska. 607 wolves had been killed in the prior four years. State biologists wanted 382 to 664 wolves to be killed by the end of the predator-control season in April 2007. Wildlife activists sued the state, and a state judge declared the bounty illegal on the basis that a bounty would have to be offered by the Board of Game and not by the Department of Fish and Game.




Public Safety Commissioner dismissal


Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan on July 11, 2008, citing performance-related issues, such as not being "a team player on budgeting issues" and "egregious rogue behavior." Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said that the "last straw" was Monegan's planned trip to Washington, D.C., to seek funding for a new, multimillion-dollar sexual assault initiative the governor hadn't yet approved,  Monegan said that he had resisted persistent pressure from Palin, her husband, and her staff, including state Attorney General Talis J. Colberg, to fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten; Wooten was involved in a child custody battle with Palin’s sister after a bitter divorce that included an alleged death threat against Palin's father. At one point Sarah and Todd Palin hired a private investigator to gather information, seeking to have Wooten officially disciplined. Monegan stated that he learned an internal investigation had found all but two of the allegations to be unsubstantiated, and Wooten had been disciplined for the others — an illegal moose killing and the tasering of his 11-year-old stepson (the child 'reportedly' asked to be tasered). He told the Palins that there was nothing he could do because the matter was closed. When contacted by the press for comment, Monegan first acknowledged pressure to fire Wooten but said that he could not be certain that his own firing was connected to that issue; he later asserted that the dispute over Wooten was a major reason for his firing. Palin stated on July 17 that Monegan was not pressured to fire Wooten, nor dismissed for not doing so.




Legislative investigation


On August 1, 2008 the Alaska Legislature hired an investigator, Stephen Branchflower, to review the Monegan dismissal. Legislators stated that Palin had the legal authority to fire Monegan, but they wanted to know whether her action had been motivated by anger at Monegan for not firing Wooten. The atmosphere was bipartisan and Palin pledged to cooperate. Wooten remained employed as a state trooper. She placed an aide on paid leave due to a tape-recorded phone conversation that she deemed improper, in which the aide, appearing to act on her behalf, complained to a trooper that Wooten had not been fired.
Several weeks after the start of what the media referred to as "troopergate," Palin was chosen as John McCain's running mate. On September 1, Palin asked the legislature to drop its investigation, saying that the state Personnel Board had jurisdiction over ethics issues. The Personnel Board's three members were first appointed by Palin’s predecessor, and Palin reappointed one member in 2008. On September 19, Todd Palin and several state employees refused to honor subpoenas, the validity of which were disputed by Talis Colberg, Palin's appointee as Alaska's Attorney General. On October 2, a court rejected Colberg's challenge to the subpoenas, and seven of the witnesses, not including Todd Palin, eventually testified.




Branchflower Report
On October 10, 2008, the Alaska Legislative Council unanimously voted to release, without endorsing, the Branchflower Report, in which investigator Stephen Branchflower found that firing Monegan "was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority," but that Palin abused her power as governor and violated the state's Executive Branch Ethics Act when her office pressured Monegan to fire Wooten. The report stated that "Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired." The report also said that Palin "permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor's office  to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired."
On October 11, Palin's attorneys responded, condemning the Branchflower Report as "misleading and wrong on the law." One of Palin's attorneys, Thomas Van Flein, said that it was an attempt to "smear the governor by innuendo." Later that day, Palin did a conference call interview with various Alaskan reporters, where she stated, "Well, I’m very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing... Any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.




Alaska Personnel Board investigation and report
The bipartisan State of Alaska Personnel Board reviewed the matter at Palin's own request. On September 15, the Anchorage law firm of Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein, Tiemessen & Thorsness filed arguments of "no probable cause" with the Personnel Board on behalf of Palin. The Personnel Board retained independent counsel Timothy Petumenos, a Democrat, as an investigator. On October 24, Palin gave three hours of depositions with the Personnel Board in St. Louis, Missouri. On November 3, 2008, the State of Alaska Personnel Board reported that there was no probable cause to believe Palin or any other state official had violated state ethical standards. The report further stated that the Branchflower Report used the wrong statute in reaching its conclusions, misconstrued the available evidence and did not consider or obtain all of the material evidence required to properly reach findings in the matter.




Job approval ratings, with comparisons


As governor of Alaska, Palin's job approval rating ranged from a high of 93% in May 2007 to 54% in May 2009. In November 2006, the month before Palin took office, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski’s job approval rating was 19%.
Date Approval Disapproval Pollster
May 15, 2007 93% Not reported Dittman Research
May 30, 2007 89% Not reported Ivan Moore Research
October 19–21, 2007 83% 11% Ivan Moore Research
April 10, 2008 73% 7% Rasmussen Reports
May 17, 2008 69% 9% Rasmussen Reports
July 24–25, 2008 80% Not reported Hays Research Group
July 30, 2008 64% 14% Rasmussen Reports
September 20–22, 2008 68% Not reported Ivan Moore Research
October 7, 2008 63% 37% Rasmussen Reports
March 24–25, 2009 59.8% 34.9% Hays Research
May 4–5, 2009 54% 41.6% Hays Research
June 14–18, 2009 56% 35% Global Strategy Group
In April 2009, SurveyUSA reported job approval ratings for the following U.S. governors: Bob Riley (AL) 54%, Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) 25%, Chet Culver (IA) 42%, Kathleen Sebelius (KS) 46%, Steve Beshear (KY) 47%, Tim Pawlenty (MN) 46%, Jay Nixon (MO) 56%, Bill Richardson (NM) 46%, David Paterson (NY) 25%, Ted Kulongoski (OR) 40%, Tim Kaine (VA) 50%, Christine Gregoire (WA) 40%, and Jim Doyle (WI) 35%. (Polls taken April 24 – 26, 2009).




 Resignation of Sarah Palin


An estimated 5,000 people[ gathered at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks to watch Palin cede her office to Sean Parnell.
On July 3, 2009, Palin announced that she would not run for re-election in the 2010 Alaska gubernatorial election and would resign before the end of July. In her announcement, Palin stated that both she and the state had been expending an "insane" amount of time and money ($2.5 million) to address "frivolous" ethics complaints filed against her, and that her decision not to seek reelection would make her a lame duck governor. A Palin aide said Palin was "no longer able to do the job she had been elected to do. Essentially, the taxpayers were paying for Sarah to go to work every day and defend herself." Palin and her husband Todd had personally incurred more than $500,000 in legal fees defending against ethics charges brought against her as governor. Palin transferred the office of governor to Sean Parnell in Fairbanks on July 26, 2009.
In December 2010, new rules governing Alaska executive branch ethics, stemming from Sarah Palin's tenure as governor, took effect. "These include allowing for the state to pay legal costs for officials cleared of ethics violations; (and) allowing for a family member of the governor or lieutenant governor to travel at state cost in certain circumstances . . ."




2008 vice-presidential campaign


Palin addresses the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Several conservative commentators met Palin in the summer of 2007. Some of them, such as Bill Kristol, later urged McCain to pick Palin as his vice presidential running mate, arguing that her presence on the ticket would provide a boost in enthusiasm among the Religious Right wing of the Republican party, while her status as an unknown on the national scene would also be a positive factor.
On August 24, 2008 during a general strategy meeting, Steve Schmidt and a few other senior advisers to the McCain Campaign, discussed potential vice presidential picks with the consensus settling around Palin. The following day, the strategists advised McCain of their conclusions and he personally called Palin who was at the Alaska State Fair.
On August 27, she visited McCain's vacation home near Sedona, Arizona, where she was offered the position of vice-presidential candidate. According to Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for McCain, he had previously met Palin at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington in February 2008 and had come away "extraordinarily impressed." Palin was the only prospective running mate who had a face-to-face interview with McCain to discuss joining the ticket that week.
Since Palin was largely unknown outside Alaska before her selection by McCain, her personal life, policy positions, and political record drew intense media scrutiny. On September 1, 2008, Palin announced that her daughter Bristol was pregnant and that she would marry the father, Levi Johnston. During this period, some Republicans felt that Palin was being unfairly attacked by the media. Timothy Noah of Slate magazine predicted that Palin's acceptance speech would be "wildly overpraised" and might end speculation that she was unqualified for the job of vice president because the press had been beating her up for "various trivial shortcomings" and had lowered the expectations for her speech. On September 3, 2008, Palin delivered a 40-minute acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention that was well-received and watched by more than 40 million people. A Rasmussen poll taken immediately after the Convention found that 51% of Americans believed that the media was "trying to hurt" Palin with negative coverage, and 40% believed Palin to be ready for the Presidency.
Palin appeared on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" segment on October 18. Prior to her appearance, she had been parodied several times by Tina Fey, who was noted for her physical resemblance to the candidate. In the weeks leading up to the election, Palin was also the subject of amateur parodies posted on YouTube.
Controversy arose after it was reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC) spent $150,000 of campaign contributions on clothing, hair styling, and makeup for Palin and her family in September 2008. Campaign spokespersons stated the clothing would be going to charity after the election. Palin and some media outlets blamed gender bias for the controversy. At the end of the campaign, Palin returned the clothes to the RNC.
The election took place on November 4, and Obama was projected as the winner at 11:00 PM EST. In his concession speech McCain thanked Palin, calling her "one of the best campaigners I've ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength." While aides were preparing the teleprompter for McCain's speech, they found a concession speech written for Palin by George W. Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully. Two members of McCain's staff, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, told Palin that there was no tradition of Election Night speeches by running mates, and that she would not be speaking. Palin appealed to McCain, who agreed with his staff.




After the 2008 election


Palin was the first guest on commentator Glenn Beck's Fox News television show on January 19, 2009, commenting on Barack Obama that he would be her president and that she would assist in any way to bring progress to the nation without abandoning her conservative views.
On January 27, 2009, Palin formed the political action committee, SarahPAC. The organization, which describes itself as an advocate of energy independence, supports candidates for federal and state office. Following her resignation as Governor, Palin announced her intention to campaign "on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation." It was reported that SarahPAC had raised nearly $1,000,000. A legal defense fund was set up to help Palin challenge ethics complaints, and it had collected approximately $250,000 by mid-July 2009. In June 2010, Palin's defense fund was ruled illegal and will have to pay back $386,856 it collected in donations because it used Palin's position as governor to raise money for her personal gain. Palin subsequently set up a new defense fund.
In March 2010, Palin started a show to be aired on TLC called Sarah Palin's Alaska. The show was produced by Mark Bennett. Five million viewers tuned in for the premiere episode, a record for TLC. Palin also has secured a segment on Fox News. Two guests that she was shown to have interviewed claimed to have never met her. Guests LL Cool J and Toby Keith stated that footage shown on the segment was actually taken from another interview with someone else, but was used in Palin's segment.
On December 8, 2010, it was reported that SarahPAC and Palin's personal credit card information were compromised through cyber attacks. Palin's team believed the attack was executed by Anonymous during Operation Payback. The report was met with skepticism in the blogosphere. Palin's email had been hacked once before in 2008.
In November 2009, Palin released her memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, in which she details her private and political career, including her resignation as Governor of Alaska. Palin said she took the title from the phrase 'gone rogue' used by McCain staffers to describe her behavior when she spoke her mind on the issues during the campaign. The subtitle, "An American Life," mirrors the title of President Ronald Reagan's 1990 autobiography. Less than two weeks after its release, sales of the book exceeded the one million mark, with 300,000 copies sold the first day. Its bestseller rankings were comparable to memoirs by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.




Tea Party movement


On February 6, 2010, Palin appeared as the keynote speaker at the inaugural Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Palin said the Tea Party movement is "the future of politics in America." She criticized Obama for rising deficits, and for "apologizing for America” in speeches in other countries. Palin said Obama was weak on the War on Terror for allowing the so-called Christmas bomber to board a plane headed for the United States. Palin’s speaking fee was reported to be $100,000. Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, the social networking site that sponsored the convention, did not confirm the amount paid to Palin saying he was contractually obligated not to speak about it.
On Labor Day, September 5, 2011, Palin was the featured speaker at a Tea Party Express rally in Manchester, New Hampshire's Victory Park. New Hampshire is traditionally the host of the nation's first Presidential primary. She addressed an enthusiastic crowd that the Los Angeles Times estimated to number 1,000 but which the local New Hampshire Union-Leader newspaper reported as "at least 500". Many in the crowd chanted "Run, Sarah, run!" during her speech.
Palin told the rally attendees that it was time to grow the Tea Party movement and it was important for them to avoid internal bickering with Establishment Republicans.  She told the crowd, “The Tea Party movement is bigger than any one person and is not about any one candidate.”
"Pink Elephant" movement and 2010 endorsements
In the middle of 2010, Palin flagged the launch of a new "Pink Elephant Movement." She set about endorsing a number of female GOP candidates. Her endorsement helped Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel to take the lead in the campaign for the Republican nomination, though ultimately Handel lost the primary. Palin has endorsed several female candidates nationally. Ryan Rudominer, a spokesman for the House Democratic campaign operation has called her involvement in various U.S. House campaigns a "great thing across the board." She spoke at a May 2010 fundraiser for the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life political advocacy group and political action committee that supports pro-life women in politics, in which she coined the term "mama grizzly." Her O'Donnell endorsement further increased tensions between Palin and the Republican establishment: leading conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer described the endorsement as "reckless and irresponsible"; party strategist Karl Rove argued that her endorsement may have cost the GOP the Delaware Senate seat; and commentators including Politico's Ben Smith posited that Palin's support of O'Donnell contributed to dashing Republican hopes of regaining control of the U.S. Senate. Palin's influence over the primaries nonetheless further increased speculation that she would seek to be the party's nominee for President in 2012, with political pundits Paul Mirengoff, David Frum, and Jonathan Chait identifying Palin as the front-runner.




Possible 2012 presidential and Senate campaign


Beginning in November 2008, following Palin's high profile in the presidential campaign, there was an active "Draft Palin" movement. On February 6, 2010, when Fox News asked her if she would be running for president in 2012, she replied, "I would be willing to if I believe that it's right for the country." She added, "I won't close the door that perhaps could be open for me in the future."
In November 2010, Palin confirmed that she was considering running for the Presidency, and was "having that discussion with my family." She stated she realised her level of experience could cause problems with winning the nomination, and criticized the "lamestream media" for focusing attention on her personal life.
During March 2011, Palin and her husband toured India at the invitation of Indian newsmagazine India Today, subsequently visiting Israel. During the tour she was quizzed about her future candidacy, she said "I don't think there needs to be a rush to get out there as a declared candidate. It's a life-changing decision". In response to another question, she said "It’s time that a woman is president of the United States of America."
Palin has since denied that she is running for Senate and said that her recent purchase of a home in Scottsdale was not a full-time residence.




Personal life


Sarah and Todd Palin have five children: sons Track (born 1989) and Trig Paxson Van (born 2008), and daughters Bristol Sheeran Marie (born 1990), Willow (born 1994), and Piper (born 2001). Palin's youngest child, Trig, was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Palin has two grandchildren, a boy named Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, who was born to her eldest daughter, Bristol, and her then-fiancee, Levi Johnston, in 2008, and a girl named Kayla Grace Palin, who was born to son Track and his wife, Britta, in 2011. Her husband Todd worked for the British oil company BP as an oil-field production operator, retiring in 2009, and owns a commercial fishing business.
Palin was born into a Roman Catholic family. Later, her family joined the Wasilla Assembly of God, a Pentecostal church, which she attended until 2002. Palin then switched to the Wasilla Bible Church. When in Juneau, she attends the Juneau Christian Center. Palin described herself in an interview as a "Bible-believing Christian."




Political positions


Health care
Palin opposed the 2010 health care reform package, saying it would lead to rationing of health care by a bureaucracy, which she described using the term "death panels". This legislation is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as modified by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Palin characterizes the act as an "unfunded mandate" and supports defunding it, as well as repealing portions of the act.




Social Issues
Palin opposes same-sex marriage, abortion including in cases of rape and incest, and embryonic stem cell research. She supports capital punishment, and parental consent for female minors seeking an abortion.




Education


Palin supports sex education in public schools that encourage abstinence along with contraception.
She supports discussion of creationism during lessons on evolution in public schools. Palin believes evolution "should be taught as an accepted principle" and said that her belief in God's role in Earth's creation "is not part of the state policy or a local curriculum in a school district. Science should be taught in science class."




Guns


A Life Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Palin interprets the Second Amendment as including the right to handgun possession and opposes bans on semi-automatic assault weapons.She supports gun safety education for youth.




Environment


Palin supports off-shore drilling, and land-based drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. When commenting on the Gulf Coast oil disaster Palin said, "I repeat the slogan 'drill here, drill now.' She said, "I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry." Palin asked supporters to read an article by Thomas Sowell which criticized Obama for having BP pay to an escrow fund.
Palin has expressed skepticism about the causes of global warming, but agrees that "man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue" and that action should be taken. She is opposed to cap-and-trade proposals, such as the defunct American Clean Energy and Security Act. Palin has acknowledged that "Simply waiting for low-carbon-emitting renewable capacity to be large enough will mean that it will be too late to meet the mitigation goals..that will be required [for carbon dioxide] under most credible climate-change models.




Foreign policy


Palin is a strong supporter of Israel. Referring to Iran's threat to Israel, Palin said Obama would be reelected if "he played the war card. Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decided really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do.
On foreign policy, Palin supported the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq, but is concerned that "dependence on foreign energy" may be obstructing efforts to "have an exit plan in place. Palin supports preemptive military action in the face of an imminent threat, and supports U.S. military operations in Pakistan. Palin supports NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, and affirms that if Russia invaded a NATO member, the United States should meet its treaty obligations.




Public image


Prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention, a Gallup poll found that most voters were unfamiliar with Sarah Palin. During her campaign to become vice president, 39% said Palin was ready to serve as president if needed, 33% said Palin was not, and 29% had no opinion. This was "the lowest vote of confidence in a running mate since the elder George Bush chose then-Indiana senator Dan Quayle to join his ticket in 1988." Following the Convention, her image came under close media scrutiny, particularly with regard to her religious perspective on public life, her socially conservative views, and her perceived lack of experience. Palin's experience in foreign and domestic politics came under criticism among conservatives as well as liberals following her nomination. At the same time, Palin became more popular than John McCain among Republicans.
One month after McCain announced Palin as his running mate, she was viewed both more favorably and unfavorably among voters than her opponent, Delaware Senator Joe Biden. A plurality of the television audience rated Biden's performance higher at the 2008 vice-presidential debate. Media outlets repeated Palin's statement that she "stood up to Big Oil" when she resigned after eleven months as the head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, due to abuses she witnessed involving other Republican commissioners and their ties to energy companies and energy lobbyists, and again when she raised taxes on oil companies as governor. In turn, others have said that Palin is a "friend of Big Oil" due to her advocacy of oil exploration and development including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the de-listing of the polar bear as an endangered species. The National Organization for Women did not endorse McCain/Palin, endorsing Barack Obama instead.
Palin was selected as one of America’s "10 Most Fascinating People of 2008" by Barbara Walters for an ABC special on December 4, 2008. In April 2010, she was selected as one of the world's 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine.
In the wake of the January 8, 2011 shooting of Rep. Giffords, Palin faced criticism for her SarahPAC website's inclusion of a graphic that included a crosshair over Giffords's district. Palin responded to the criticism of the graphic, saying that "Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them," controversially equating the accusations of her role in the shooting to a "blood libel". Following her response, an ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 46% of respondents viewed Palin's actions after the shooting unfavorably, while 30% approved and 24% had no opinion.