Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Alaskan Anne Kilkenny revealed

A photo from 2006 showing Palin in support of the Bridge to No where, via Ben Smith. Her image as a reformer is coming under increased scrutiney as are multiple other facets of her 'compelling story.'

::Updated:: Read it all folks and read more on Palin/McCain Obama and the gang here.

The letter that's circulating the net from Alaskan Native Anne Kilkenny is becoming viral. But who is she, she suggets that you can google her name and Alaska and find reference to her. And the truth is.... you can. Here's a mention of her from Anchorage Daily "Mat-Su School Board votes to privatize custodial jobs":

In all, the board heard more than three hours of public testimony against outsourcing. Many urged the School Board to lobby the borough Assembly and the state for more money instead.

"With a $1.2 billion surplus in their budget, (the state) should be able to do more for us," said Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny.

So Ms. Kilkenny isn't just a real person, she's a real person with real concerns. (worth a read!) And beyond the quote in this particular edition of the Anchorage Daily, she's quoted in the NYTimes, and then she's confirmed as existing and holding fast to such opinions,

The e-mail below has been bouncing around the Internet since Sunday. It was written by Anne Kilkenny of Wasilla - stay-at-home mom, letter-to-the-editor writer and longtime watcher of Valley politics. She's a registered Democrat. She was one of the delegates to the Conference of Alaskans in Fairbanks back in 2004. Her bio from the conference is... printed below.

Anne Kilkenny describes herself as a 22-year Mat-Su resident, middle-aged housewife and at-home mom with a child in middle school and a retired, disabled spouse. She comes from a long line of independent-minded, public-spirited people and has been involved in education advocacy and legislative analysis for local PTAs. Prior to parenthood, she worked in the Alaska's seafood industry. She has a Social Science BA from the University of California, Berkeley

She e-mailed this letter over the weekend to family and friends Outside, and (despite her request not to post it) it went viral on the Internet very quickly, showing up on blogs and Web sites all over. Since then, Kilkenny has been inundated with phone calls and e-mails. She said she stayed up until 3 a.m. last night answering e-mails, and found nearly 400 new ones waiting when she logged on this morning.

If you're wondering what letter this is I'm talking about Sully has the gist, but reprinted below is the full text of Ms. Kilkenny's open letter and plea to her fellow Americans:


I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992.Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on afirst-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Herfather was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on afirst name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended moreCity Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of theresidents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most populargirl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice andwon’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her becauseshe is a “babe”.

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. Shekept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parentsfor seven months.

She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby.There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things outthere” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is achampion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highlysought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges hiswork schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month orso in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing theirmajor source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anythinglike that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She’s smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000(at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of runningthis small city was turned over to an administrator. She had beenpushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she hadgotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which hadgiven rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by theCity increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation(1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased aregressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that shepromoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than theybenefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or anew library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of amulti-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a pieceof property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that wasstill in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyersinvolved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to thecommunity but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed itwould be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects thatcould have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her officeredecorated more than once.
These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplusin Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that willmake us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor sheproposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even whileshe proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’ssurplus, borrow for needs.

She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideasor compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on thebasis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respectedCity Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing fromthe library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residentsrallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’sattempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrewher termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust theLibrarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran forMayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palinfired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and asGovernor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people,creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternallygrateful and fiercely loyal–loyal to the point of abusing their powerto further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in thecase of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated”her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s topcop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasureand she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear thatan important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’tfire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigationfor abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozencontacts were made between her staff and family to the person that shelater fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried toreplace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimandedfor sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrewher support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her inhelp. The City Council person who personally escorted her around townintroducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Councilbecame one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. Sheabruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’tlike the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anythingpublicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah gotthe best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: oneof the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had nobackground in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this greatjob which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about thehigh salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, thestructured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of thisCommission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party)engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which someundoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved allher problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated andgarnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as agutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit,exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork fromSenator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrelpolitics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge tonowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budgetguidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoingprojects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislativeaction restored most of these projects–which had been vetoed simplybecause she was not aware of their importance–but with the unobservantshe had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State partyleaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliatedthem. Other members of the party object to her self-description as afiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition andpredatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very uglystories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be madepoint guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’smother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community andexperienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of packageof legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to marchto the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National WildlifeRefuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked toglobal warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a stateinitiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams frompollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in thestate (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’slawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polarbears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be aheartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are moreknowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and areregretting it.


•“Hockey mom”: true for a few years
•“PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementaryschool, not since
•“NRA supporter”: absolutely true
•social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a billthat would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships(said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
•pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor topromote it.
•“Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome babyBUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-lifelegislation
•“Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla hasresidents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-onsupervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a cityadministrator to run town of about 5,000.
•political maverick: not at all
•gutsy: absolutely!
•open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good atexplaining actions.•has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
•”a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box storesand disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
•fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
•pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a citywithout a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Builtstreets to early 20th century standards.
•pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden onresidents
•pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of citygovernment in Wasilla’s history.
•pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works uniondoesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claimthat she is pro-labor/pro-union.


First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informedvoter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student votingprograms in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny +Alaska), you will find references to my participation in localgovernment, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happenwhen good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do becausefew have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me outof. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am nofool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this willcost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’sattempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid tosay anything because they were somehow vulnerable.


I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase inspending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor)from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City ofWasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjustfor inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossiblefor a private person to get any info out of City Hall–they areswamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for thepopulation of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000″, up to 9,000. Theday Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that thecurrent population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.


Just goes to prove the point that McCain is insane in the membrane and did not vet her at all - if anything she is more like President Bush than McCain is! Simply and frightningly amazing. It's good that she's willing to speak up about all this. And this doesn't even get into details about specifics about trooper gate or any of the other scandals

Sphere: Related Content


Dogwood Dell said...

I challenge you with this:

Instead of just posting someone's letter with the author's facts. Add links to prove the facts in this letter.

It may make a stronger argument. Without it, it's one's word against someone else's.

Mattheus Mei said...


Thanks for the link Dogwood, and I've inserted it into the post. Most of the information comes from local newspapers and the Dem Opposition reports which were widely known from the gov. race. It's an interesting humanising though of that opposition research.

LibrariansAgainstPalin said...

I’m forming a blog for library workers and lovers to unite against Sarah Palin. News about her repeated efforts to censor libraries and squash opposition are being collected.


Anonymous said...

Talk about grudge match. This is a personal attack at best. "Sarah has hated me since 1996." She should now you idiot. Yes, I think I will totally believe a disgruntled democratic voter that has taken facts gathered from a failing democratic campaign in Alaska. Wake up people and don't be so stupid no matter what party your decide to join.

Anonymous said...

I agree...this is bunk.

Sounds like a woman, who's had issues with Mrs. Palin for years, and is a tad jealous, and of a different party. She's seeking revenge, and trying to tank Mrs. Palins accomplishments. As for the link...bah. I tend to not trust to much the media offers anymore. They are so biased, it's not even worth looking at anymore.

Patricia in El Paso said...

Thank you for this. I will include it with the Kilkenny letter, which I am preparing to send to many people.

Here is a frightening thought: perhaps McCain's people did vet Palin very thoroughly---and liked what they found!!!

Mattheus Mei said...

to the Anon's... really? To me it sounds like somebody who's been there or done that.

You say you don't listen to the media because it's biased, or because it's right to ask questions, I refer you of course to the article by Roger Simon on Politico today, or better yet since you think the media is so biased, it's probably because you're "right"

mil brat said...

Go to the city of Wasilla website and all the financials are available for viewing. They look pretty sound. Complex was passed by citizen vote. Also no record of request to remove books by Mrs. Palin. There are however 4 requests listed over time. Just do the research and decide on your own, don't let an obviously disgruntled woman decide for you!

Sean said...

She says that "During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%."

That was so carefully crafted, it made me wonder, if Palin raised taxes 38% why didn't the writer just say that.

You find the answer down below when she argues that the "City" was so much smaller when Palin became mayor than it is now. The reason is, that the City was "growing rapldly in the mid-90s".

If the population is growing rapidly, tax revenues and expenditures will go up.

Let's see the per capita numbers, please.

Mattheus Mei said...

Sean, I think she answers that in part when she follows it up.

She reduced property taxes, which tended to favour the larger corporate owners and replaced it with an aggressive sales tax increase. What service did that sales tax hike go to? A Sports facility that has consistently lost money since the program was started, she may have reduced her own salary by a small amount but turned around and hired a political hack as the town Administrator paying him as much if not more than her mayoral salary. But Ms. Kilkenny speaks for herself and backs it up with her own facts that are verifiable - I've just not taken the time to put links throughout the post, but I will piece by piece as I have time.

Mattheus Mei said...

I've embedded more links into the story for corroboration

Anonymous said...

Anne Kilkenny, Hat's off to your gutsy courage against Republican spin machines. May God continue to give you courage and protection (especially from extreme Republicans). It's about time to stand up against Republican liers. I truly hope your initiative gives courage to others to clean up the dirty Republican politics. It's not that Dems are always clean. But, the Republican dirt has caused irrepairable harm to our country.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Sarah... I hate Anne Kilkenny too!! How narcissistic is she... to think we care about "her opinion" of Sarah Palin.
Anne, get a life and a job while you are at it !!!

Anonymous said...

Democrat talking points (lies) funneled through a long-standing Democrat operative, originally from Berkeley California.


Mattheus Mei said...

It's great that you believe that Anon and are excited about the Palin appointment. I have to differ though as everything Mrs. Kilkenny has said is being proven.... TRUE. I've got to add the links, but a whole bunch of news articles from the Wall Street Journal to the Seattle Times are independently proving each aspect of Mrs. Killkenny's letter.

So now the burden of proof is upon YOU to prove them false, just because they make up the majority of opposition research doesn't automatically make it false - op research, doesn't equate smears.

Deborah Ng said...

Anne Kilkenny will be on BlogTalkRadio tonight at 9:00 to discuss her letter regarding Sarah Palin. Anyone missing the live broadcast can catch the stream or download on demand immediately following the live broadcat.


Valeriemb said...

She states Palin "HATES" her...sounds like she "HATES" Palin. No ONE has a squeeky clean record ...everyone makes poor decisions and learns from them...and the first part of your letter states exactly that...but the second half of your letter sounds very bitter. You speak poorly of her for raising taxes and then speak poorly when she refunds excess money back to the people...so which way do you want it? Sounds like nothing will make you happy about Palin. Obama has NOTHING back him ... he is part of a large group of lawmakers...so he never has to make a decision all on his own...at least she has for good and the questionable...she tried. And finally to say she went up against the republican party just to free herself from the JOB SHE HATED is your MOST insane reasoning yet...just admit you hate her and let us all move on....

Mattheus Mei said...

Valerie, just for clarification when you shift from pronoun SHE to pronoun YOU - are you still referring to Anne Kilkenny?

Dawn said...

All good points. I received this letter on myspace earlier today, and I must say, it seems convincing. But every politician out there has skeletons, right? And not a single American is perfect. So how exactly can we demand perfection from Palin? So she's flawed. So she made some bad choices. Who hasn't? And really, who is Anne K? A democrat. Time has shown that democrats and republicans wont get along every step of the way. Big deal. I'd rather not read the rants of a woman who obviously feels scorned. Plus, this country was founded as a republic, NOT a democracy, so wouldnt being a republic be more supportive of our government?

Anyway, the point is that Anne K has absolutely NO rights to judge Palin. End of story.

Mattheus Mei said...

dawn, that's pithy, but I have to disagree, we're a democratic republic, not a pure democracy and not a republic in the historical sense that our founding fathers understood which means thinking of Plato - we're a hybrid, that's why we can call ourself either a democracy or a republic. But enough about semantics and history. I also have to disagree with you when you say that Anne K has absolutely NO right to judge - it's your patriotic duty to judge folks that run for office in this land... you don't want just "anybody" running our country. Her examples whether coming from a place of scorn or objectivity. And Mrs. K isn't alone in her complaints just like there are other Alaskans out there with a more positive message about Mrs. Palin's record. Again it goes back to your your RIGHT, and DUTY to inform yourself about where these candidates stand, which generally means listening to both sides and then make an informed decision.

It is after all, your country and your future to decide when you enter the voting booth.

Anonymous said...

"has absolutely NO rights to judge Palin"? Are you kidding me? When a person runs for public office, every voter has the right to judge that person and decide whether or not that person holds the voters' best interests. The reason congressional voting records, for example, are available is to judge weather or not your congressmen is representing you and your interests.

Why should we expect any less in a VP candidate?

Anonymous said...

Anne is a liberal democrat who is trying to sway votes for Obama. She is not a credible source. She sounds like a very bitter woman. She needs to see a psychiatrist. She is to be pitied for trying to get attention by emailing falsehoods about Gov. Palin, soon to be Vice president elect. Get a life Anne.

Mattheus Mei said...

It's amazing how people are willing to immediately go into character assassinations when referring to this woman and her open letter to the American Public, she raises legitimate questions and instead of responding with facts for refutation people just attack her character, how far have we sunk folks? Think things through and offer a refutation, not an assassination.

If you don't think she's a credible source you've got to back it up with facts, not just vitriol. And how about this, if you can't offer facts to refute the claims and you want to continue to impugn her character, put your name/city instead of hiding behind - anonymous

Anonymous said...

Did Palin steal Kilkenny's boyfriend in high school?

BaritoneJP said...

Check your facts ...


POE said...

In to the 1970's and 80's Wasilla Alaska has had an interesting environment, where good old boys had guns on their hips and did not need or want a government handout.
This was real Alaska.

Then came a interesting mix of bright young idealist, some Red Hecks that did not fit into the lower-48 and the Liberals that found a place to save.

But the State of Alaska is policically conservative (80% to 20%) and the very far Liberal crowd fight hard to have their voice heard

The City of Wasilla apparently had to many special intrest practices of funneling City money and perks to friends of the old city adminstration. Sarah Palin could not accept the status quo and her base 'Honesty' forced her to seak change. She appropriately bonded new public infrastructure that was needed and could be build at far less total cost to the Tax Payer with current constuction costs including bond interest. This practice is being used and justified across the US.

Sarah was not afraid to voice the opinion of the significant majority of all Alaskans that said that the Libraries should not be a place where there should be access to printed and internet material that is morally questionable. This pits constitutional and liberal freedom of speech advocates, against conservative family oriented citizenry who believe that libraries must be a place to where they can take their children, to where their kids are not exposed to material and people who do not share their beliefs in what they believe is appropriate.

Anne Kilkenny appears to be the type of person migrated to Alaska to save the world. All that needs to be said is that Anne Kilkenny admits that she hates Sarah Palin and what she stands for. Anne Kilkenny is very smart but she is not a average housewife, she is a democratic party activist, oh an she was on Good Morning America, she was identified as on the Wasilla City Council.

Anonymous said...

What's curious in all this, as they try to attack Gov. Palin with half truths and down right lies, is that they know more about her than all of us do about Barrack Obama. He has been able to skirt through all of this with out answering any questions about his associations with certain people, his lack of a voting record in both the State senate and Congress, his land deal among others, the grant given to where his wife worked after she was promoted with a huge raise. Once the debates start and he stumbles and fumbles, the media will, I'm sure, regret how they treated Hillary.

Mattheus Mei said...

Check out this NY Times article on Sarah Palin. It puts much of what Mrs. Kilkenny says into perspective. That being said, it proves what Mrs. Kilkenny says.