Friday, September 22, 2023
HomePoliticsRepublicans in Ketchikan vote to censure Sarah Palin

Republicans in Ketchikan vote to censure Sarah Palin

The Alaska Republican Party officers in Ketchikan have long memories.

They have not forgotten that Sarah Palin, when she was governor of Alaska, axed funding to the bridge to their airport, calling it a “bridge to nowhere.” The townspeople and visitors still have to take a ferry to and from the airport of the state’s sixth-largest community, while their bridge funds were redirected to Palin’s pet projects.

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They also haven’t forgotten that Palin endorsed the Democrat-backed ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott for governor and lieutenant governor in 2014, rather than endorsing the Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell.

And they haven’t forgotten that the charismatic congressional hopeful quit her job as governor, while blaming “mounting legal bills.” And then went on to have a money-making career as a celebrity.

All that and more is in a resolution censuring Palin, a resolution that passed Ketchikan District 1 Republicans on Monday night.

Ketchikan is a strong Republican town of about 8,230 people, where 54.47% of voters picked President Donald Trump in 2020. Trump has endorsed Palin, but the Alaska Republican Party had endorsed Nick Begich before Palin decided to run. It now appears unlikely that Palin can win favor with the party, which she has said publicly is rift with “good old boys.”

The vote was nearly unanimous, with one person dissenting, while at the same time agreeing with the concerns detailed in the resolution. By censuring Palin, the Alaska District 1 Republican Committee is also pledging to withhold support from her in their district, as Palin makes a run for U.S. Congress this year to fill the shoes left behind by the 49-year Congressman Don Young, who died on March 18.

During the special primary election that ended June 11, Palin won 32% of the vote in Ketchikan, while Nick Begich, her leading opponent, won 18%. Mary Peltola, the Democrat, won 7.5% of votes cast. Statewide, Palin comes into the special general election in the lead with 43,601, or 27% of the vote. Begich was second with 30,861 or 19% and Peltola has 16,265, or 10%. But she evidently didn’t win the votes of Republicans in Ketchikan and now appears to be heading for the center to pick up votes from moderates.

The Ketchikan resolution follows:

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Well, having visited Ketchikan literaly hundreds of times and looked at what was planned, I have to agree with Palin on this one….it was a colossal waste of money.

    • If you flew in and out of Ketchikan that many times and had to ferry to the airport and drag your luggage from the ferry terminal to the airport gate, you’re probably still trying to dry out.

    • Then you have wasted at least 100 hours of your waking life and well over $1,000 of hard cash taking that ferry instead of driving over a bridge.

    • I live in Ketchikan and can understand the debate about a bridge. I think the point is that when the airport was built and there was concern about its placement on Gravina Island, the people of Ketchikan were assured there would be a link. The people of Ketchikan lobbied hard for the money for forty years. If the bridge was not to be, there should have been an endowment set up from the money to help maintain the airport ferries and a fund to help defray cost of people riding the ferry over to the airport. If, in the pouring rain (12-15 ft a year) three people and a truck take the short ride over to the airport the fee is $32 and, another $32 when you return from your trip. If you are not physically able to walk up the ramps at high tide and have to leave your auto at the airport, there is a daily fee and, frequently, not enough space to park there. There is also the time spent waiting for the ferry on both islands. That Palin made political hay with the ‘bridge to nowhere’ comment and then redirected the money to her area of the state says a lot about her moral compass. She did nothing to earn it and was not honest about her intent while in Ketchikan speaking to the people here. She’s like Lisa-loves the attention and the spotlight. Not the kind of hard- working representative I’m looking for. I want someone who spends time reading the bills before she signs them, not posing for the press.

  2. One bright star in Sarah’s resume, is the sewer Republicans don’t like her. She perfect for Washington DC. She has my vote.

    • Andrew Peterson, I take offense to being called ” sewer Republican” because i oppose Sarah Palins candidacy. I do so because we can ill afford a vapid 20 second sound bite talking head to represent us.
      You are correct in one sense though, in the media circus Sarah will fit right in back in D.C. where she and A.O.C. can view for the least informed Representative.

      • I feel you. But I take offense at being called a Republican. I’m

        On today’s Alaska the two are rarely the same thing

      • “………we can ill afford a vapid 20 second sound bite talking head to represent us.
        You are correct in one sense though, in the media circus Sarah will fit right in back in D.C………”
        You literally (and correctly) just admitted that all of Congress are vapid 20 second sound bite talking heads and that she’d fit right in. Moreover, the entire candidate pool to replace Don Young more resembled a parade of clowns than anything even remotely resembling the kind of political warrior we so desperately need throughout the political spectrum.

        • Reggie, there are many good people serving in Congress. Included in that number are people like Jim Jordan. We need consistent and intelligent people representing us, especially now!

          • Robert, you are wrong — there are, at best, a small handful of good and honest people in Congress. The rest, the vast majority, are corrupt and self-serving sociopaths.

    • The great thing about America is you are entitled to be wrong. The unfortunate side effect is you’ll bring us down with you.

      I’d rather be a sewer whatever than a Palinhead

  3. Well, if it’s in Politifact, ABC News, or ADN, you can take it to the bank. Ryeeet, Ketchikan Republican Party?

  4. Wow, Suzanne, you really don’t like Sarah. We get it. But this nonsense is beyond the pale. Sorry, but this is a vendetta.

    • Tamra, Suzanne is reporting it. Ketchikan Republicans are the ones who are doing it. And in case anyone has forgotten where Murkowski is from, it’s Ketchikan.

      • Bob, I first met Lisa when she lived in Juneau in the 1960’s, I believe she also lived in Wrangell, Fairbanks and Anchorage. Rumor had it that she spent time down on the Kenai too. I fail to understand your innuendo above.
        Being represented by either Sarah or Lisa is a bad idea and I think that the two together would be insufferable. In the end both women are in it for themselves, only Sarah screeches more. Sarah at least will eventually quit, something that Lisa unfortunately has never done.
        This is how bad Alaska’s leadership vacuum really is. And they wonder why people here drink excessively!

    • I really really don’t like Sarah either!!! Call it a vendetta or call it whatever you want, I’m going to do everything I can to turn the votes away from her. Palin is a bigger RINO than Murkowski ever thought of being. I’ll bet Murkowski is taking notes about Palin. Like “Damn, she’s good”.

      • Sarah is too busy in Arizona at her new mansion with a swimming pool to be working for Alaskans. She and her new hockey pro boyfriend won’t be living up here, if elected. She’s all about getting attention and making money. Being in Congress is her pathway to rejuvenated fame. I’m taking care of our special needs child. She doesn’t have time.
        Thank you, Ketchikan Republicans.

    • Ya, that was my take away as well. I’m not a big fan of Palin either, but I don’t think they have grounds to censure her when Murkowski has done much more to deserve it. Maybe the bridge was a good idea or maybe it was way too costly, either way, it isn’t worth censuring either side for getting it wrong. And backing one candidate over another is very different than being so blind with hatred or fear for a fellow party member to think having double standards and no objectivity is justifiable in order to impeach a “deplorable” president. And ya, this seemed like Suzanne’s chance to list objections to Palin, especially with the way she wrote it. She went out of her way too on the podcast to mention, without outright saying it, how Palin is not going to get any ranked choice on her ballot and she may even vote for Peltola as a second choice. I personally think that is a big mistake and I really hope she doesn’t persuade others to do that because then we really may have a Democrat congresswoman representing a state where most likely the majority wants a Republican. Any Democrat, accept a few like Tulsi Gubbard, is basically another vote to go with Pelosi and the DC/MSM Democrat establishment elites.

      Really, Suzanne, you’re entitled to have your opinion, but I hope you reconsider what you are promoting in this ranked choice circus, or at least let your opinion be known as your opinion instead of writing something like this with an obvious, yet unstated goal. Maybe you should just let it out and be outspoken about how you feel and just say it. I really wouldn’t mind it and it would be more honest and honest, respectful, and informative debate is what this country needs again. Shoot, seems like the whole world needs it.

  5. Move the capital to the citizens move the capital north to anchorage please let’s get wise and of integrity for what is best. And shame on you Juneau Sara has accomplishments for of and by the people. Look at all the wasted money and very little accomplishments of by an for the people Juneau has. Thank you Sara. Please support Sara she supported us and needs us ALL now.

    • What???? What was the last grade of elementary school you completed? Did you ever take a grammer class?

  6. My hat is off to the First City Republicans!

    The bridge was an investment that was funded and needed. Never forget Sarah’s pick for gov, one Bill Walker also nixed a road that was funded then delayed another Bridge over Eagle River and then stole your PFD . Thanks Sarah!
    Thank you for your reporting Suzanne.

  7. So…it seems that the top place Republican finisher in Ketchikan ran without the blessing of the local party bosses, and now that their preferred candidates (whomever they were) lost, they’ve decided to slap a censure label on her using a rule that was designed to let Republican voters know when the Democrats are running one of their candidates as a “Republican”. In other words, the local Republican Party is now to be forbidden from supporting her because she isn’t a “real Republican”.

    And for things that happened 8-14 years ago.

    Meanwhile, the party rewards Rep. Louise Stutes (head of the CURRENT Democrat Caucus in the state house) with the honor of being a delegate at the Republican State Convention this year and voting to decide who should lead the Republican Party and what our Republican values should be.

    Do I have that about right?

    In the Ketchikan district:
    Nick received 664 votes (17.90%)
    Sarah received 1,191 votes (32.10%)
    Tara received 132 votes (3.56%)

    These are your top-finishing Republican candidates in Ketchikan.

    It wasn’t even close.

    And now those who hold sway in the party have decided, yet again, to turn their back on the first place Republican finisher in Ketchikan and treat them like a non-Republican, and for some things that took place well over a decade ago.

    How many times after each of Lisa’s multitude of betrayals did party officials insist ‘this isn’t the time to talk about that, that was over a year ago….that was before the last election…it’s off limits…Lisa chose to caucus with Republicans this year…she is still a Republican…as Republicans we owe it to her to let the past stay in the past…time for a clean slate, blah, blah, blah…’

    We were hearing this from party leaders before the paint was even dry on her run AGAINST the Republican nominee.

    After so many years of this being the precedent for how we are supposed to be treating our ‘fellow Republicans’ now we find out that the real way to treat our fellow Republicans involves treating them like Democrats on account of things that happened long before Lisa even ran against Joe in 2010.

    Have any of the higher-ups in the Republican Party thought through this? Is there some scenario where this ends well for the Republican brand or the Republican Party?

    Did it work well when party leaders blocked support for the Republican nominee in order to support Lisa?

    Yes, as Republicans we remember…

    • David – Rock On, never quit charging forward. Someday we may rid the Alaskan swamp/bog of the RINO’s but will only do so with Warriors like you. A thank you for your service, from Homer.

    • Absolutely correct. If Alaska had a competent, ethical and dynamic conservative Republican Party we wouldn’t be a dysfunctional, failing state. The corruption is so ingrained it is insulting to joke about Mexico’s corruption.

    • David Eastman,
      I think it is important to remember that we have two dominant political parties in Alaska, the Evil party and the Stupid party. You and I belong to the latter.

      Both Sarah Palin’s success at the polls and the moronic missteps of the Party leadership that you correctly list above are in keeping with the Alaska G.O.P. tradition of stupidity.
      The March of folly continues…

    • Spot on Dave, there are allot of rats in the Republican Party and it is time to clean out the refuse. I don’t agree with all of Trump’s endorsements but Palin is a solid America First candidate. Does she get everything right? No, who does? I believe her heart is in the right place and she is the right candidate to call out the corruption in the swamp. She will join true Republicans in investigating how the Biden Regime has purposely undermined our constitutional rights as well as refuse to enforce U.S. Laws that protect our borders. On top of this Joe and his handler Obama (in the basement, thus the ear piece) have gone out of their way to destroy the nations economy and punish the people for standing up to their tyranny.

      I believe based on what I have seen, Nick Begich is just another establishment Republican as I’m still trying to figure out what he stands for because his website says zero! Get with the program Ketchikan, stop selecting candidates just because they may throw you a bone once in awhile. Think bigger, outside of the box. America is in trouble and we need folks willing to swim against the current and walk a different path. Palin is that candidate!

      Oh, Ketchikan folks. Why don’t you ask the State Legislature to give you the money for that bridge from the wads of cash they provided in the State Budget for abortion. Now there is a waste of money!

  8. I don’t know how many ferry trips between Ketchikan and the Airport occur daily. However, I bet that bridge would have paid for itself sooner than most built in the state. Just like the road to Juneau she cancelled. She understands nothing of economics. Southeast suffers because of low-resolution politicians like Palin.

    • Wayne, I understand that Coogan Construction would have liked a piece of that project, but that bridge was planned to be literally miles long….to get across 300 yards of water… some point it just becomes a little too much of a waste.

      • Okay, I’ll respond to your low-resolution comment. Apparently you don’t realize that Alaska Dept of Transportation projects are built by low bidders. That is, the contractor offering the lowest price. To translate further for your level of comprehension, that means no one else will do the job cheaper. Of all the business types your under-achieving, jealous heart should focus on, public works contractors is the last one.

      • Bob, speaking of waste, what was Bill Egan thinking when he built the Parks Highway? I mean we already had the Railroad covering that route and the Richardson too! Plus that Denali highway! What a waste!
        Darn , when has providing infrastructure EVER been a good idea?
        Obviously infrastructure projects are built to enrich Greedy Contractors like that Wayne Coogan fellow since they never benefit the public. Right?

  9. Well, if a bridge to replace an existing ferry system to transport someone from one island to the airport on another island equates to a “bridge” to nowhere, then Sitka’s John O’Connell Bridge would have never been built (1971) for Sitka to Japonski Island (location of the Airport). Sitka’s city and borough population in 1970 was 6,109 which is lower than Ketchikan’s gateway borough population at 10,041 in 1970. Just the facts.

    • 40k + passenger trips a month (several medivacs per week) plus over the 75 year lifespan of a bridge it would’ve been cheaper than ferries. BUT ONLY 50 PEOPLE LIVE ON THAT ISLAND!

  10. The real story here is how the establishment Republican Party joins the Democrats and their shills to thwart the actual will of the people. Face it folks, our politicians don’t get anything done except fighting for their power to manipulate the voters and loot and pillage the coffers of the people. The whole lot of them needs to be replaced.

  11. At least one community sees Palin for the fraud she is. But the farce is too strong for Palinheads to ignore.

    She’s gonna win and we all lose.

    • I hope she wins just to get your goat. Where one lives is a choice, only arrogant slumps, find a rock build a home then demand someone else pay for a bridge back to civilization. What a joke.

  12. Ironic.. I have a LONG memory as well. I remember when the AK GOP threw Sarah under the bus and supported Frank (even thought they knew he was a losing horse). Then.. The last two weeks of the election, the GOP decided to support Sarah.

    The sources are all leftist sources. If you’re using leftist sources to plant the knife, that would make them leftists as well.

    Still voting for Sarah because I can never trust a begich.

  13. I am voting for Palin because every other candidate is a go along to get along swamp rat and will sell Alaska further down the Federal government takeover of our state’s rights.

  14. Blinding Hate is a interesting thing.
    To a wise man, used effectively, one can gain your desired outcome.
    That is what the most Radicle Uber Left Family in Alaska history is doing with the Republican party.
    Supporting a “in name only” candidate with no record of public service, with a last name of Begich, who is up to his ears in business dealings with his Democrat Family, is the definition of Republican Hate. No Thanks.

  15. Palin is really getting under the establishment RINO’s collective skin if they are censuring her for things that happened years ago! They are willing to give the seat to a Democrat if they can’t control the Republican candidate.

  16. As far as Sarah is concerned there is no bad publicity, she appreciates the MRAK muckraking, being a muckraker herself.

  17. Bert Stedman needs to be censured by the Republican Party in Ketchikan where he creates mayhem in Southeast and no one knows what to do about it. He creates problems for the whole state and should be censored by the Republicans and removed from the finance committee in the legislature. His purpose and what he has been up to in the legislature needs a good investigation into his private life and the work he has done over the years with information going to his friends and clients for investments and public money use. Where is the FBI? Not doing their job for sure…….

  18. If they worked just as hard censoring drag queens, BLM, abortion and other nefarious characters and schemes this state would be such a nice place.

  19. My vote is for Sarah Palin
    I would hope that Susan and must read Alaska would stop pushing nick begich on the rest of us.
    It would be fair to us that must read Alaska let us make up our own mind instead of pushing Nick on us.
    It’s unfair to go after her every single week on must read alaska.

  20. As I remember, “The Bridge to Nowhere” was to benefit the murky clan since they had substantial acreage on “nowhere”…..

  21. If that bridge had been in place in Ketchikan when I flew there in a medical emergency by small plane to birth my son, he probably wouldn’t have been born with CP. As fortune would have it, the OB-Gyn was flying in the same time I was. Great, right? Unfortunately, the ferry broke down and it was many HOURS before the OB-Gyn was able to get to the hospital. My son barely survived.

  22. Sarah pays attention to her clothes in her hair nothing else everybody knows what HR1 is, so why doesn’t she?

    • Granny, You nailed it! Sarah is probably the least politically informed woman in Alaska and yet she is the leading candidate for the US House. Go figure. We can only hope that six months into her first term she will quit.

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