Sarah Palin is running against the Republican Party, once again. In mainstream media, she trashed the party as a good old boys network and said the fact that the party had endorsed Nick Begich for Congress was a slap in the face and a betrayal of Alaskans.
Although she appears to have wanted the endorsement of the party, Palin usually runs against the Republican Party, which is meeting in Fairbanks. Some 351 delegates are in the Golden Heart City for three days of Republican State Convention and State Central Committee meetings.
Co-chair of the convention Cheryl Markwood said one of the Palin volunteers yelled at her and called her a “Nazi” because the convention organizers were not allowing campaign material to be placed on the tables in the main banquet room, due to the need to turn over the tables quickly for the next segment of the convention. Due to the size of the convention hall, there is only one room large enough to accommodate the 351 attendees and media, and a decision was made early on to keep the tables free of clutter for the sake of the hotel workers. The campaign material is relegated to campaign tables in the hallway for all candidates.
“Most of the delegates hadn’t even arrived in Fairbanks yet before news arrived that a backroom deal had already been struck for an endorsement from state party politicos,” Palin said in her statement to the mainstream media. She did not send her statement to Must Read Alaska. Palin said it is “a slap in the face of convention delegates” and “a betrayal of all Alaskans who believe in fair play.”
In fact, most of the delegates had arrived because voting members of the State Central Committee had a scheduled meeting on Thursday. The endorsements are made by the SCC, not by the entire convention. Party endorsements are made through a process that is spelled out in party rules, and in addition to Nick Begich being endorsed for Congress, Kenai Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce was endorsed for governor during the SCC meeting, in addition to the endorsement the party had already given Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The other candidates did not go through the process to ask for an endorsement. Their campaigns could still request that endorsement before the next SCC meeting, but Palin did not seem to understand that there is a process to get an endorsement from the elected party leadership, and that the endorsement comes from an elected portion of the Republican Party that represents people from the entire state.
Palin was scheduled to arrive at the convention at 4 pm and does have a table with stickers and buttons, manned by volunteers Jerry and Margaret Ward, longtime supporters of the former governor. But it’s unclear if she will now attend. There was no sign of her this afternoon. She has agreed to be part of the convention’s candidate forum on Saturday morning, a forum that includes John Coghill, Josh Revak, Tara Sweeney, and Nick Begich, also candidates for Congress.
“This predictable action of the Party establishment proves that the old boys’ network is alive and well in Alaska,” Palin said in her statement to the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Media. “I built a reputation for going rogue against the establishment, but it’s only because I have always represented the very best of Alaska — hard working people who believe in God and country and who reject backroom deals that benefit the few.”
One delegate commented, “Does this mean she is saying I am not hard working, that I don’t believe in God or Country? That’s ballsy of her. Does this means she is going to quit the Republican Party?”
One resolution at the convention condemned former Gov. Bill Walker, who was endorsed by Palin in 2014. Walker quit the Republican Party to go rogue as a no-party candidate that year. He has not returned to the Republican fold. It’s unclear if Palin intends to keep her Republican Party membership, with her angry criticism of the party and its volunteer leaders on Friday afternoon.
Palin, shortly after announcing for Congress, received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who is still popular among those attending the convention.