Forget about BS's narcissism, her snippy catty swipes at other professional women, her "Soccor Mom at Sak's 5th Avenue" hypocrisy, and her casual lies regarding her family. This type of incident illustrates why Sarah Palin is not fit to hold public office.
Palin Unpopular At Home Series #4
Few people outside the area had ever heard of Emmonak - including Governor Palin apparently. This winter three factors have brought the 800 residents of the rural Alaskan Yup'ik village to the brink of desperation. First the salmon fishing failed last year, then an early freeze caused the village to miss its winter fuel barge, driving what heating oil that was available to the price of $11 a gallon. Other nearby villages are hurting in the same way. Some families do not have enough to eat, and many cannot heat their homes during the long Alaskan winter.
A grassroots movement emerged to help these people, which has now reported that Palin was less than responsive to the city's plight. Will this be Palin's Katrina? According to the Anchorage Daily news, "A rural subcabinet appointed by Gov. Sarah Palin will review the Division's findings at a special meeting planned for Friday."
This may be a situation of too little, too late. This teleconference was scheduled only after repeated attempts to directly contact the Governor's office to ask for aid were rebuffed. The Governor has no plans to visit the area and no state action has yet been taken to relieve the immediate humanitarian needs of the isolated villagers.
To add insult to injury, the AVCP had asked the state to declare a "fisheries disaster" in the area last October. Tara Jollie, director of the state Division of Community and Regional Affairs was vague when asked about this, saying "I think we did do a review of it. I didn't do it myself, so I don't know that the numbers supported the claim." But, Jollie goes on to say that Palin is "very concerned" and "there's not anybody who doesn't care."
Another reason for the Governor's missing response may be that her Rural Advisor resigned in October, and has never been replaced. You have to wonder about the details behind that personnel problem.
According to the bloggers who demanded action for the rural Alaskans, the Anchorage Daily News declined to print the real story about how the Governor's office was unresponsive:
"And all day long we called the office of governor Palin, and were told repeatedly that they knew nothing about this village or of any crisis. In the meantime one of our bloggers, Dennis Zaki (who also freelances as a reporter for CNN), decided to go to Emmonak and get the crisis on film so that the whole world could see what is happening right under our Governor's eyes. In no time at all we had donate buttons on our sites, and the many wonderful visitors to our blogs had raised enough money to send Dennis out to the village with enough left over to make an additional contribution to help the people of Emmonak meet their food and energy needs. So that is the REAL story of how local activists, anonymous bloggers, and generous internet users helped to save a small village in a remote section of Alaska."
UPDATE: (1/24/09) Not to be outdone by the bloggers, BS sent 5 officials to visit the town of Emmonak on the same day that Zaki arrived with money, supplies and video gear for documenting the state of affairs. According to The Immoral Minority, this envoy brisky notified the city they'd be there just 60 minutes before they landed, but then ended up being disrespectfully late to their own rushed meeting by 40 minutes. Again, too little too late? The Department of Homeland Security hopped on the copter, but no one from Fish and Game - the long term solution to the "depleted fisheries" crises will fall to them, if they take an interest. The village waters are now commerciall overfished leaving little for subsistance fishermen. The village says it needs a fuel storage facility and a fishing pier. Let's hope the gal that lied about the Bridge to Nowhere can now find the funds for a much needed wooden dock.
This abruptly organized visit was little more than a photo op for the state of Alaska.