A leaked manuscript by one of Sarah Palin's closest aides from her time as governor charges that Palin broke state election law in her 2006 gubernatorial campaign and was consumed by petty grievances up until she resigned.
The unpublished book by Frank Bailey was leaked to the media and widely circulated on Friday.
The manuscript opens with an account of Palin sending Bailey a message saying "I hate this damn job" shortly before she resigned as Alaska's governor in July 2009, less than three years into her four-year term. The manuscript goes on for nearly 500 pages, a mixture of analysis, gossip and allegation.
Copies of the manuscript were forwarded around Alaska political circles on Friday. The Daily News received copies from multiple sources, the first from author Joe McGinniss, who is working on his own Palin book. McGinniss didn't respond to a message asking where he obtained the manuscript and the reason he circulated it.
Bailey, a political insider who joined Palin's 2006 campaign for governor and became part of her inner circle, has never before told his version of the Palin story. Bailey has consistently refused requests for interviews and did so again Friday. The book was co-written with California author Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon of Anchorage, who publishes the popular anti-Palin website Mudflats.
Devon wrote on her website that the "draft manuscript" was leaked without the knowledge or permission of the authors. She said they are shocked and horrified.
Bailey wrote in the book that he and his co-authors put together the manuscript with the help of more than 60,000 e-mails he sent or received while working for Palin.
Pam Pryor, a spokeswoman for Palin's political action committee, said she didn't expect Palin to react. "Doubt she will respond to this kind of untruth," Pryor said in an e-mail.
The manuscript was leaked along with an e-mail from an agent touting the book, possibly to a prospective publisher. The agent, Carol Mann of the Mann Agency in New York, said none of it was supposed to be released. "It is not a finished draft and there isn't a pub date yet!" Mann said in an e-mail to the Daily News.
The manuscript is titled, "In Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years." Bailey is a former Alaska Airlines supervisor who joined Palin's campaign team at the beginning of her successful run for governor in 2006. He writes in the manuscript how he was charmed and inspired by Palin.
Bailey recounts how he was impressed when she blew the whistle on Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich for doing political work at his state job. Bailey calls himself a Fox News conservative and said he became convinced she had the principles and courage to take on the Alaska Republican political machine.
"Sarah Palin had God's blessing and people's love and faith," he wrote.
But, in Bailey's telling, the reality was nasty. Minor slights became obsessions, according to Bailey, demanding revenge and if possible, destruction of the opponent's reputation.
"We set our sights and went after opponents in coordinated attacks, utilizing what we called "Fox News surrogates," friendly blogs, ghost-written op-eds, media opinion polls (that we often rigged), letters to editors, and carefully edited speeches," Bailey wrote.
CLAIM OF ILLEGALITY
One chapter asserts Palin broke election law by coordinating with the Republican Governors Association during her 2006 campaign for governor. State candidates can't team up with soft-money groups such as the Republican Governors Association, which paid for TV commercials and mailers in Alaska during the election in a purported "independent" effort.
At the time, the Alaska Democratic Party had accused the RGA and Palin of working together on an ad that included Palin striding from the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.
In his book, Bailey says the allegation was true. Palin and her aides marched along the block in front of the hotel again and again in order to allow a camera operator to capture footage for the ad, he said. "(Palin aide) Kris Perry, when orchestrating that nutty- parade at the hotel, was following the directions of the RGA cameraman and/or whomever he was working for," Bailey wrote.
"Far worse, Sarah conducted multiple takes and knew exactly what was happening. She had, I suddenly believed, broken the law," Bailey wrote.
Bailey remained a member of Palin's inner circle after she was elected governor. At one point Bailey was the subject of an ethics investigation into whether improper influence was used to win a state job for a Palin campaign supporter. Bailey had an "improper motivation" to get the supporter a job, concluded investigator Tim Petumenos, who recommended Bailey get ethics training.
Bailey was Palin's director of boards and commissions and, according to the manuscript, was a particularly close confidant of the governor's husband, Todd.
Bailey was best known publicly as a central figure in the "Troopergate" affair. Troopergate was the Legislature's investigation into why Palin dismissed Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner, and if she abused her power and pushed for Monegan to fire trooper Mike Wooten. Palin's sister and Wooten had divorced in 2006 and fought over child custody and visitation issues.
The Palin family had complained that Wooten once used a Taser on his stepson, among other things.
Bailey wrote in his book that Todd Palin recruited him to go after Wooten, saying 'it's time to get s--t, done, and it's us, Frank. You and me." Todd Palin kept feeding him information on Wooten, Bailey writes, which he passed on to troopers.
Bailey at one point called a trooper lieutenant, outlining various complaints against Wooten and saying the governor and her husband were wondering why the trooper still had a job. Bailey wrote in the book that he subsequently told Todd Palin about the call, and the reaction was that it was "great stuff."
Bailey wrote that Todd Palin showed his gratitude by asking him if he'd consider becoming Palin's chief of staff.
In August of 2008, after the Legislature had started its investigation, Sarah Palin released a recording of the phone call Bailey made to the lieutenant and said Bailey had acted out of bounds. The governor said the call was wrong and that she never asked it to be made.
SUPREME COURT PICK
Bailey suggests in the book that one of Palin's picks for the Supreme Court was colored by her animosity against Wooten. He wrote that Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen ruled in favor of Palin's sister in her custody dispute with Wooten, and that Todd Palin raved about how Christen raked Wooten over the coals.
Christen later applied for the state Supreme Court and was picked by the Alaska Judicial Council as one of the two candidates for Palin to consider appointing. Bailey wrote that he warned Palin it would be a conflict of interest, but she wasn't interested.
But a spokeswoman for the Alaska Court System said Bailey got his facts wrong. Christen was never the assigned judge in the Wooten custody case, didn't make any rulings in favor of either party, and played a "very limited role," according to Christine Johnson, administrative director for the court system.
Johnson said prior to applying for the Supreme Court Christen conducted a conference in the case, where both sides agreed to a settlement. Wooten and Palin's sister later had a dispute over what they'd agreed upon in the settlement and asked Christen to resolve it, Johnson said. But Christen sent it to another judge because she'd applied to the Supreme Court and had a conflict.
Bailey was sympathetic to the Alaska Family Council, an anti-abortion group fighting Christen's appointment. Bailey wrote that Palin turned on Alaska Family Council head Jim Minnery, and later backed out of an event with him to promote a ballot measure aimed at making it illegal for teens to get an abortion. Bailey speculated that Palin didn't come because she was working on her book.
"When Sarah turned on Jim Minnery and his/their cause, for the sole purposes of making money and causing him embarrassment, I saw how blind I'd become. Finally, Sarah Louise Palin's petty ways and butchered priorities would set me free," Bailey wrote.
By SEAN COCKERHAM and KYLE HOPKINS
Anchorage Daily News