Cassie Lawver: Ranked choice voting and my conversation with Sarah Palin



My philosophy is: If you have a question for someone, go ask them. When I read an article stating that Sarah Palin called the Republican Party a good ol’ boys network, I had to ask if that statement was true. 

I was a voting official of the Alaska State Republican Party this weekend and was in attendance at the Republican State Convention held in Fairbanks on Friday and Saturday. When I read the article in the ADN and Must Read Alaska, I knew I was in the right place to see her as she did have a table set up at the Republican Convention and her name was on the agenda for the Saturday breakfast forum. When I read she thought of the Republican party as the good ol’ boys network I was shocked. 

I supported Palin for governor and during her vice presidential run. I admire her tenacity. And honestly, I could see that on a presidential level, a person could take issue with the Republican Party. But Alaska is home and the Alaskan Republican Party is filled with her friends and people who supported her when she ran for governor and vice president. I just couldn’t believe she would say such a comment about friends and supporters. I had to ask her directly.  

Friday night, Ms. Palin arrived at the state convention. I thought great, I could just ask her. Boy, I was not ready for what I heard. 

I approached Ms. Palin and began by telling her how much I appreciated her service as governor and her run as vice president. Then I told her I read this article and wanted to know if she called the Republican Party a good ol’ boys network.  She got defensive and said it is a good ol’ boys club with its backroom deals. 

I asked, “What backroom deal?” She just kept saying it is a good ol’ boys club. I told her I was a voting member of the party and have never been involved in or witness any backroom deals, and I asked her to please explain. Ms. Palin stated that no endorsement should be given until after the filing date, (which is April 1 for the special election and June 1 for the regular election.)

I explained to her with ranked choice voting, we in the party were endorsing all Republicans who went through the process. All she said was the Republican Party is a good ol’ boys club and she did not want an endorsement from the party, as her handler took back into the banquet.  I never got an explanation on the backroom deal.  

Now with rank choice voting in place this year, I do not want to discourage anyone not to rank a Republican. Even though her own actions toward me made her seem like a diva who thinks little about the process, if she is on the general ballot, I will rank her. Ranking all Republicans is important. Remember to vote your one favorite red candidate in the primary and them rank all the red candidates in the general. 

Vote red, and rank red, or we could have Al Gross as our U.S. congressman. And then we all lose. 

Cassie Lawver is a Republican grassroots activist who lives in Homer.


  1. Typical answer from her that is short on info/facts, but long on hyperbole.
    Ever since she first ran (and won) for governor, everything she says can fit on bumper stickers.
    She spouts platitudes, but runs when asked for actual details…….on any subject.
    Whatever one thinks of NB3, he at least pays attention to details, takes the time to learn processes, and does the necessary work to achieve a goal, marking him as a much more serious person than Palin, who is not interested in the actual work needing to be put in, or learning things, but instead is busy sprinting towards any teevee camera she sees…..

  2. What if a Republican on the ballot is really a democrat? What is the point of blindly “ranking red” if it’s someone like Louise Stutes or Lisa

  3. Cassie I take it as the capital should of been moved north long long ago but a good ole boys and girls network of corrupt oath breakers keeps the massive waste of money going an going and off to Juneau they vacation on and on ma’am. Then say rank choice voting only a good ole boys and girls network of corrupt oath breakers could get that done I’m sure. So I can see a group of oath breakers banding together and getting a lot of evil done, good ole boys and girls network of oath breakers just look at the Biden administration and what is happening now. Thicker skin may all be needed here is all Cassie. You have one chance at a question and that is the one you pick. Ask her to list her accomplishments you can smile in them Sara has lots for the citizens. Suzanne your site is such fun and truthful we all love it great idea here ma’am.

    • What, exactly, has she done for Alaska? Especially in the last 10 years.

      Of yeah. She endorsed Bill Walker.

  4. Thanks Cassie, “diva” was my impression of her entrance – paparazzi in tow – to the Convention hall. I was disgusted by her actions and arrogance. What happened to the Sarah I met when she was Governor? Then to slam us because we wouldn’t lick her ballroom shoes… NOT interested. Everything we did in Convention was open for everyone to see. NB3 has my vote and support.

  5. Freaking go home, Sarah. There’s less drama from most drag queens than with her.

    She’s an attention lady of the evening who wants the circus, not the responsibility.

  6. Thank you Cassie…well written and explanatory!! Vote RED!! Make 4 RED choices…first place to fourth place…ALL RED!

  7. “………I never got an explanation on the backroom deal………”
    You might want to refresh your understanding of the Alaska Political Corruption Scandal, aka Corrupt Bastards Club.

  8. Alaska Republican Party, why is there a “Majority Caucus” in the Legislature. Why is there even a Republican Party for that matter?

    • Poor strategy. If you cast all 4 votes for the same person and that person doesn’t make the next round, you are completely out of the game. Pick the best 4, rank ’em, and get on with it.

      Note that the ranked choice sort is not an addition problem. Rather, it is a subtraction problem, as the lowest vote getting candidate gets dropped. Second choice votes are added to the totals from the first round, and the entire mess is divided by the smaller number (original total minus the 4th vote getting candidate). In Maine (and other places) this math led to some odd and unpredictable results, which is what Kendall and Lisa want. Cheers –

      • Totally unconstitutional. This law makes you vote for someone(s) that you don’t want to vote for. No ranking allowed if you only believe in voting for one. Repeal this insane method of voting. Get the petition started.

    • If you rank any candidate as the same number choice more than once your ballot is considered spoiled, your vote will not count, and your ballot will be discarded.

  9. Republican Party of Alaska is BS. Good Ol Boys club is right. Especially when Randy Ruedrich is involved . They didn’t back Joe Miller when he won the primary and they covertly back Lisa M in a write-in which I don’t believe was legitimate to this day. They obviously don’t vet their candidates because they run over and join the Democrats after we vote them in. Just imagine where we would be today with Joe M. Instead of a Democrats like GOP-endorsed Lisa M.

    • Disagree, Bob. Joe Miller lost because he was an idiot, choosing to do crazy things after winning the primary. Remember the awful rally in Eagle River the weekend after winning the primary? How about “arresting” the Alaska Dispatch guy at Central Middle School? You’re not gonna win a statewide race by being marginally insane in public. He was also intentionally undermined by his security staff which was apparently working for someone other than Miller.

      My perfect world would have been Miller elected in 2010. He would have demonstrated he was the real deal or insane. My money is on insanity. After a 6-year term, he would have been defeated and replaced by likely Dan Sullivan. A properly chastened and humbled Lisa would have run against Mark Begich in 2014.

      But it didn’t happen that way. Too bad. None of this had ANYTHING to do with either Randy or the party. It had everything to do with Joe Miller being crazy in public. He did it to himself. And you blame others for it. Sad. Cheers –

  10. Look at the photo. She will not clap for someone else. Defiant like a little girl who wasn’t chosen for Prom Queen. Nope! I’ll pass on Sarah.

  11. Her not clapping has a vague similarity to Pelosi tearing up Trump’s “State of the Union address”.
    She shouldn’t get an “R” on the ballot, or even a “D”. Maybe an “S”. (Self-centered)

  12. Cassie, just because you have never been invited into the Republican “good old boys club” doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You were just never invited in, as it is designed to keep the peons out. The Democrats have the same set up!

  13. Honestly, are AK GOPers IN legislation actually for the people? I don’t think Dunleavy is bad like Walker was and definitely not terrible like Parnell was. But her admin did a lot for AK and the Ds she sometimes sided with were not anti Alaskan. One thing we must remember is republicans in Juneau treated her badly AND they didn’t exactly show that they care about their state. I think there is still murkiness in AK. Not as bad as under Lisa’s daddy, but I think she IS referring to something dark in Juneau, and obviously she still doesn’t like RINO Lisa.

    I think she’s also scared whatever she says will be twisted and turned into something she didn’t mean. Maybe not in your or local level, but big media will grab it and run in a slanted fashion.

    I’m not sure she can garner enough to win in the end. She JUST entered the race and Begich has a lot of support.

  14. Cassie, I had a similar exchange with Sarah. I invited her to a debate if she is in the top 4 for the Special General Election. She got defensive as well. Said she would not debate “losers”. Her campaign manager Jerry Ward got snarky with me as well and basically refused to be at the debate.
    My view is, when I have the debate, date and time and location being worked on, and if Sarah is a no show, I will have an empty chair and her name on the table.

  15. Has anyone asked her to publicly explain her endorsement of China Bill for governor instead of Sean Parnell? She brought us the Walker-Mallott nightmare. No thanks, Sarah. Not this time.

  16. Stop trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. They are all crooked, the honest ones do not make it to the finish line. Our biggest concern now is to keep them from hijacking the constitutional convention. Didn’t some of them go to prison several years ago?

  17. Good Old Boys club would be accurate, imo. A good example would be those who were enraged by Trump winning the primary in 2015. The McCains. The Cheneys, et al. On the other hand, Cassie, thank you for explaining about Ranked Choice. Sarah is obviousley still having a hard time understanding it. Unfortunately, so are most Alaskans. I still don’t believe it was legitimately passed.
    The measure made it through by about 1 percent, after Kathryn Murdoch, from New York City, through her “non-partisan” super-PAC Unite America, dumped a half million dollars into it (a ballot measure in ALASKA!). Talk about a Good Old Boys Club!!

  18. As soon as she endorsed Walker she lost my vote. My fear is so many candidates running that Constant will end up winning because of the many Republicans running. I hope someone comes out and explains to voters how to rank these guys or a lot will just not vote.

  19. Let’s face it, Rank Choice Voting eliminates the two party system. No primary for the Republicans and Independents to validate their choice to represent the party platform or values. Anyone can call themselves an R or a D – there is no provision to prevent everyone lying about who they are. I thought at one point a Republican was going to force the issue by suing, if necessary, because the R is a Republican trade mark and candidates who are not approved by the party couldn’t use it. Haven’t heard more on that in months. Bill Walker, Al Gross, Dan Ortiz–all have called themselves undeclared because they don’t think they can win as a Democrat. Must not be proud of what the D represents. Lisa wanted this system because it will confuse most voters and she thinks it will give her the advantage. One example above–you can’t vote for the same candidate more than once- I believe that will nullify your vote. We all must overwhelm our state representatives with letters showing our disgust with this whole concept. I hear the people in Maine dislike it. We need to do more than just dislike it–we need it gone. And Palin–she and her family are a train wreck. Her time has past.

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