ABC News Confirms That McCain's VP Pick Was AIP Member
Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 05:03:50 PM PDT
Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which since the 1970s has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.
And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."
She doesn't know what Palin's position was.
"It never came up in conversation," Clark recalls. "But when she joined the party our platform was right under her nose."
And what does the AIP believe?
- A belief that "the vote for statehood was invalid because the people were not presented with the range of options available to them" and that "the federal government has since breached the contract for statehood on numerous occasions in over a dozen serious and substantial instances."
- A belief that there should be a vote on Alaskan secession.
- Remaining "steadfastly opposed to environmental regulations and actively promotes the private ownership and widespread development of Alaskan land."
- A platform which includes:
[A]mending the Constitution of the State of Alaska so as to re-establish the rights of all Alaskan residents to entry upon all public lands within the state, and to acquire private property interest there in, under fair and reasonable conditions. Such property interest shall include surface and sub-surface patent.
[F]oster a constitutional amendment abolishing and prohibiting all property taxes.
[S]eek[ing] the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska[.]
We also learn that not only was Palin a member, but she and her husband attended the group's 1994 convention.
It's unclear how much Palin's involvement with the AIP has influenced her political philosophy today. Now a member of the Republican party, does she still, as the Vice Chairman of the AIP put it, "pretty well sympathetic to her former membership"?