Editor's note: Sarah Palin's association with the Alaskan Independence Party has raised some eyebrows in the Lower 48. Here is the text of the welcoming speech she offered by video to the group for its convention earlier this year. It is on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvPNXYrIyI.
I am Governor Sarah Palin and I am delighted to welcome you to the 2008 Alaskan Independence Party convention in the Golden Heart City, Fairbanks.
Your party plays an important role in our state's politics. I've always said that competition is so good -- and that applies to political parties as well. I share your party's vision of upholding the constitution of our great state. My administration remains focused on reining in government growth so individual liberty and opportunity can expand. I know you agree with that.
We have a great promise to be a self-sufficient state made up of the hardest-working, most grateful Americans in the nation.
So as your convention gets under way, I hope that you all are inspired by remembering that all those years ago, it was in this same city that Alaska's constitution was born. And it was founded on hope and trust and liberty and opportunity. I carry that message of opportunity forward in my administration, as we continue to move our state ahead and create positive change. I say good luck on a successful and inspiring convention. Keep up the good work, and God bless you.
ALASKAN INDEPENDENCE PARTY'S DREAM IS . . . INDEPENDENCE
What does the Alaskan Independence Party stand for? Its Web site, www.akip.org, includes this statement on its home page:
"The Alaskan Independence Party's goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:
1) Remain a Territory. 2) Become a separate and Independent Nation. 3) Accept Commonwealth status. 4) Become a State.
The call for this vote is in furtherance of the dream of the Alaskan Independence Party's founding father, Joe Vogler, which was for Alaskans to achieve independence under a minimal government."
INDEPENDENCE PARTY CLAIM: "OCCUPATION TROOPS" TAINTED ALASKA'S STATEHOOD VOTE
Here are excerpts from a speech given October last year in Chattanooga, Tenn., by Alaskan Independence Party vice-chairman Dexter Clark. He was addressing a gathering that Clark refers to elsewhere in his speech as a "secessionist conference." A link to his speech is on the Alaskan Independence Party Web site.
The basic argument of the Alaskan Independence Party has always been, the number one plank in our platform, is the question of our vote to become a state. The most glaring disparity in that vote was the definition of an eligible voter.
Among those qualified to cast a ballot were 41,000 American soldiers and their 36,000 dependents. Now to the Native population of Alaska, to me, these were occupation troops. . . .
Can you imagine the international uproar if the American troops had all went and got their purple fingers (by voting) in Iraq? There would have been (people saying) ... that's not an election, that's imposing your rule.
When the ballot appeared before Alaskans it had statehood yes or no. And under the voters rights act at that time, you had to be able to read and write English to vote, which pretty much took care of any of the (Alaska) Native population having any vote in the election whatsoever. ...
Our current governor, we mentioned at the last conference, the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected. There's a joke, she's a pretty good looking gal, there's a joke goes around we're the coldest state with the hottest governor.
And there was a lot of talk about her moving up (in political office). She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town -- that was a non-partisan job. (Editor's note: AIP Party chair Lynette Clark recently retracted the claim that Sarah Palin was a party member.) But you get along to go along -- she (Palin) eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and -- well, I won't go into that.
She also had about an 80 percent approval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership. ...
The people of Alaska from what I've heard in this room and several other areas are fed up. And if ever there was a time that is ripe for change, this is it.
On our own situation, we've discussed several options. Do we try to get our case into the International Court of Justice? Or to the World Court? ...
There are pitfalls of an organized political party. You don't have any control over who joins that party. They put the X next to it on the registration form, and if they go to the primary and win that primary, they're your candidate, like it or not.
I think Ron Paul has kinda proven that. He's a dyed-in-the wool libertarian . . . and put the Republican label on it to get elected. That's all there is to it. And any one of your organizations should be using that same tactic.
You should infiltrate (another party) -- I know the Christian Exodus is in favor of it, the Free State movement is in favor of it -- I don't think they even care which party it is. Whichever party seems in that area you can get something done, get into that political party, even though it does have its problems.
Right now that is one of the only avenues. And you get a few people on a city council or a county board you can have some effect . . . You have to be at the table in the existing political realm -- you have to be a Demopublican or a Republicrat is what we call it. . . .
The bottom line is the situation is completely out of hand, the decay of the federal government is totally complete. ... The federal government is just plain a monster.
The government can do no wrong. They're not wrong in Iraq. There's nothing that they ever admit that they're wrong to. ...
And the longer this situation continues, the harder it's going to become for a peaceful solution. So that's why it's so important that everyone in this room brings what they have and we try to work something out.