There is still some dispute as to whether Sarah Palin also attended the AIP's 1994 convention, held in Wasilla. Clark and another AIP official toldABC News' Jake Tapper that both Palins were there. Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla two years later. The McCain campaign says Sarah Palin went to the 2000 AIP convention, also held in Wasilla, "as a courtesy since she was mayor." As governor, Palin sent a video message to the 2008 convention, which is available on YouTube, and the AIP says she attended in 2006 when she was campaigning.
Didn't Endorse Pat Buchanan
Claims that Palin endorsed conservative Republican Pat Buchanan for president in the 2000 campaign are false. She worked for conservative Republican Steve Forbes.
The incorrect reports stem from an Associated Press story on July 17, 1999, that said Palin was "among those sporting Buchanan buttons" at a lunch for Buchanan attended by about 85 people, during a swing he took through Fairbanks and Wasilla. Buchanan didn't help matters when he told a reporter for the liberal publication The Nation on Aug. 29: "I'm pretty sure she's a Buchananite." But in fact, she wasn't.
Soon after The AP story appeared, Palin wrote in a letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News that she had merely worn a Buchanan button as a courtesy to her visitor and was not endorsing him. The letter, published July 26, 1999, said:
Palin, July 26, 1999: As mayor of Wasilla, I am proud to welcome all presidential candidates to our city. This is true regardless of their party, or the latest odds of their winning. When presidential candidates visit our community, I am always happy to meet them. I'll even put on their button when handed one as a polite gesture of respect.
Though no reporter interviewed me for the Associated Press article on the recent visit by a presidential candidate (Metro, July 17), the article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla. As mayor, I will welcome all the candidates in Wasilla.
Palin actually worked for Forbes. Less than a month after being spotted wearing the "courtesy" button for Buchanan, she was named to the state leadership committee of the Forbes effort. The Associated Press reported on Aug. 7, 1999:
The Associated Press, Aug. 7 1999: State Sen. Mike Miller of Fairbanks will head the Alaska campaign chairman for Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, campaign officials said. Joining the Fairbanks Republican on the leadership committee will be Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and former state GOP chairman Pete Hallgren, who will serve as co-chairs.
Still, after nine years, the truth has yet to catch up completely.
No Creationism in Schools
On Aug. 29, the Boston Globe reported that Palin was open to teaching creationism in public schools. That's true. She supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor.
In an Oct. 25, 2006, debate, when asked about teaching alternatives to evolution, Palin replied:
Palin, Oct. 25, 2006: Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject – creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.
A couple of days later, Palin amended that statement in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, saying:
Palin, Oct. 2006: I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum.
After her election, Palin let the matter drop. The Associated Press reported Sept 3: "Palin's children attend public schools and Palin has made no push to have creationism taught in them. ... It reflects a hands-off attitude toward mixing government and religion by most Alaskans." The article was headlined, "Palin has not pushed creation science as governor." It was written by Dan Joling, who reports from Anchorage and has covered Alaska for 30 years.
That E-mail Author
Switching gears: Almost 100 readers have written to ask us if the many claims made about Palin in an e-mail written by someone named Anne Kilkenny are true. We can tell you that Kilkenny is a real person. (She was quoted by the Chicago Tribune, as we said above.) According to the New York Times, she's a Democrat. According to Kilkenny herself, Palin "has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship."
We're still analyzing Kilkenny's claims, and we will be posting something on this soon.
Correction: In our original story, we incorrectly said that a few of the claims we examine here were included in the e-mail by Kilkenny. Only one of the claims – about the librarian's firing – was similar to an item in that e-mail. We regret the error.
Update, Sept. 9: We have revised this section dealing with accusations
that Palin wanted to ban books from Wasilla's library to include more
detail about what transpired at the time.
Sutton, Anne. "Governor signs revamped education package into law." Anchorage Daily News, 28 Mar. 2008.
Holland, Megan. "Intensive needs funding examined." Anchorage Daily News, 12 Jan. 2008.
Cavanagh, Sean. "Alaska Legislators Overhaul Funding." Education Week, 29 Apr. 2008.
Hawkins, John. "This Is The Sarah Palin Bikini Shot You Are Looking For And, No, It's Not Real." Right Wing News, 2 Sept. 2008.
Godel, Addison. "elizabeth - american flag bikini rifle." Posted on flickr Web site, accessed 8 Sept. 2008.
Joling, Dan. "Palin has not pushed creation science as governor." The Associated Press, 3 Sept. 2008.
Hayes, Christopher. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite." The Nation "Capitolism" Web site, 29 Aug. 2008.
Palin, Sarah. "Letters from the People." Anchorage Daily News. 26 July 1999; 5B.
The Associated Press: "Forbes sets Alaska leadership team," 7 Aug 1999.
Kizzia, Tom. "'Creation science' enters the race." Anchorage Daily News, 27 Oct. 2006.
Paulson, Michael. "Sarah Palin on faith, life and creation." The Boston Globe, 29 Aug. 2008.
Tapper, Jake. "Another AIP Official Says Palin Was at 1994 Convention." ABCNews.com, 2 Sept. 2008.
Tapper, Jake. "Members of 'Fringe' Alaskan Independence Party Incorrectly Say Palin Was a Member in 90s." ABCNews.Com, 1Sept. 2008.
Komarnitsky, S.J. "Wasilla Keeps Librarian, But Police Chief Is Out." 1 February 1997. The Anchorage Daily News, 8 Sept. 2008.
Stuart, Paul. "FROM THE ARCHIVE: Palin: Library Censorship Inquiries 'Rhetorical'." 18 December 1996. Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, 8 Sept. 2008.
White, Rindi. "Palin Asked City Librarian Whether She'd Ban Books." 7 September 2008. The Chicago Tribune, 8 Sept. 2008.