The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been locked away for years. Living in Alaska and being a steward of ANWR is like having a beautiful young daughter. She’s a virgin now, and you want her to stay pristine as long as possible. However, when the day comes, you want it to be with someone who knows about romance, safety, commitment and respect; not some frat guy at a party. The majority of Alaskans would go along with the opening of ANWR if it weren’t drilled by a proven environmental rapist like EXXON. Last spring, there was a buzz running through local talk radio shows. The renewed desire to drill ANWR had overtaken Alaska like an adolescent 13 year old boy with a new Victoria Secret Catalog. Arctic Power, a private lobbying company, hired by the State of Alaska to lobby congress to open ANWR for oil drilling, was ready to hire a spokesman.
I wondered how their initial meeting had gone. “Hey, Alaska, let’s have a party! Hannibal Lecter will be the chef, Jim Jones will pour drinks, and G. Gordon Liddy will promote the opening of ANWR!” Where do I RSVP? Arctic Power, who was awarded $120,000 in state funds, thought the ambassador to reach across the aisle was Watergate conspirator and talk radio host, G. Gordon Liddy. The hook would be a live G-Man broadcast from Alaska. With boots on the ground, he could testify how barren and ripe for drilling ANWR was.
Alaska is rich with political scandal: The infamous Bridges to Nowhere, Congressman Don Young’s Coconut Road, Senator Ted Stevens’ chalet upgrades, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s friends and family land deal and former legislators sitting in federal penitentiaries for selling their votes, give us a not-so-savory reputation. We have enough political convicts, no need to import a notorious felon to be spokesman for opening ANWR. According to Governor Sarah Palin’s former staff member Larry Persily, the Governor thought it was a good idea and planned to make an appearance on G.Gordon Liddy’s program. When suggested that a Watergate operative may not be a smart choice, Arctic Power co-chair, Mike Navarre, suggested most people didn’t know of Liddy’s background and his role in President Nixon’s administration and demise.
Letters to newspapers came pouring in, as did phone calls to the Governor’s office. “I think it’s terrible. If Alaska wants to put the best face on things it’s probably best to not hire felons,” Senator Kim Elton said.
“Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country,” Palin told a rally of about 10,000 gathered at a tennis stadium in Carson, California. “Our opponent…is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” she said on the same day in Englewood, Colorado. Palin is referring to William Ayers. There are obvious controversies around the activist career of Bill Ayers, but the connections to Obama are peripheral. Bill Ayers has never been arrested, he turned himself into authorities and he never went to jail. He is professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has fought hard for education reform in his community. According to Palin’s qualifications of “pallin’ around”, John McCain and G. Gordon Liddy are practically blood brothers. McCain and Liddy have been longtime friends and McCain has publicly stated “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of your family.” He went on to say, “It’s always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.” After the last eight years, I don’t hold the same regard for presidential operatives covering up crimes of the administration they work for. Liddy has contributed money to McCain’s campaign and held several fund raisers in his home.
Mike Navarre was right in his assumption Alaskans wouldn’t remember who G. Gordon Liddy was. Maybe Sarah Palin was one of those. She funded the lobbyist group who dreamed it up, and was willing to be on the G-Man’s radio show. Did Palin know Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, wiretapping, contempt of court and contempt of Congress? Did Palin know Liddy was willing to kill a janitor and a journalist as part of the Watergate cover-up? Did Palin know Liddy admitted plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution? What about the plan to kidnap protesters at the 1972 Republican National Convention? Did Palin not know Liddy served a more than four years in prison? Or did Sarah Palin, like John McCain, celebrate and consider Liddy’s terrorist activities to be “principles and philosophies that keep our nation great?” It is an interesting and relevant footnote; In the late 1960s when Bill Ayers was involved with the Weatherman protesting a bloody, never-ending war that killed 58,000 Americans, he was in his early 20s; In the early 1970s when G. Gordon Liddy was involved in his criminal activities, he was in his early 40s. Maybe Sarah Palin’s excuse is she was only eight years old when the G-Man was plotting his terrorist acts.
Does any of this sound familiar?