Who's running Alaska? | Arkansas Blog

Who's running Alaska?

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Alaskans aren't happy that the McCain campaign seems to have taken over state and even local government.

In stubbornly independent Alaska, the sudden intrusion of a political campaign into so many corners of state government -- not to mention Wasilla, where a dozen or more campaign researchers and lawyers have also begun overseeing the release of any information about Palin's years as mayor -- has touched a raw nerve. McCain staffers have even been assigned to answer calls for Palin's family members, who have been instructed not to talk.

"Why did the McCain campaign take over the governor's office?" the Anchorage Daily News demanded in an editorial Saturday. "Is it too much to ask that Alaska's governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska's governor?"

The partisan spillover of the presidential campaign into the statehouse, political analysts here say, now threatens Palin's most powerful political capital in Alaska: her commitment to transparency, her willingness to forge bipartisan alliances with Democrats to advance her legislative agenda, and her battle to upend the good ol' boy network.

"Is this going to dilute her image as a maverick who will clean out the rascals from their perches of power, when she herself cannot tolerate questions into her behavior, investigations into the firing of a public safety commissioner?" said Gerald McBeath, political science professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

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