While many news outlets are busy reporting on Todd Palin’s alleged sexual proclivities and the odd “non-monetary” $900.00 donation an arrested prostitute with alleged ties to Todd Palin made to the Palin Parnell 2006 gubernatorial campaign, many ignored the story of Andree McLeod.
Right now, in Alaska, there are many frightened citizens. People afraid of Sarah Palin. People who dared to speak out and people who are too scared to speak out. One of those people is Andree McLeod, a Republican and previous supporter and champion of Ms Palin. Once Andree got close to Palin, she like so many others grew concerned. Familiarity bred contempt and a friendship turned hostile.
McLeod filed many of the ethics complaints against Palin and has suffered the “backlash” Sarah Palin called for against those citizens who filed ethics complaints, such as late night phone calls warning her to back off of Sarah Palin, threatening that the caller knew where McLeod lived. Palin has disparagingly referred to McLeod (she is of Armenian descent, born in Lebanon) as the “falafel woman” in her book, “Going Rogue,” as well as someone “with a political vendetta bent on personal destruction.” Palin consistently dishonestly refers to Andree McLeod as part of a “leftist” agenda against her, when in fact, McLeod is not only a Republican who once ran for office under the Republican ticket, but someone once credited with “making Sarah Palin.”
Palin fans responded at that time with blog posts claiming that state “officials” called for the pelting of McLeod with nearby objects. Palin never took a stand against this sort of violent response to her critics, in fact, her chief of staff, Mike Nizich, made a statement on April 22, 2009 after the filing of an ethics complaint against Palin that was released to the press calling for Alaskans to issue a “backlash” against ethics complaint filers: “I hope that the publicity-seekers will face a backlash from Alaskans who have a sense of fair play and proportion.” So we have public officials calling for a backlash against law-abiding citizens.
Find the list of ethics complaints here.
And Palin’s own reaction to another ethics complaint filer was coarse and inappropriate: “How much will this blogger’s asinine political grandstanding cost all of us in time and money?”
But since those days in 2009, things have gotten much more dark and dangerous for Ms McLeod. On December 31, 2010 – just days before January 8, 2011, the day that twenty people were injured, nineteen from gunfire– six of them fatally –in a Tuscon Arizona shopping market parking lot, an assassination threat against Ms McLeod was posted in an Anchorage Craigslist. This threat directly referenced Palin’s crosshairs map:
“I have my scope cross hair on her head! She better watch out, the request may have been her last!”
Apparently what drove this person (allegedly a female according to the AOL email address and IP address) to threaten Andree McLeod in this way was McLeod’s suggestion that the almost 2 year delay of the Palin-Parnell administration’s release of emails requested under FOIA laws was an abuse of power. On December 29, 2010, the Anchorage Daily News quoted McLeod as saying, “Who does Sean Parnell protect and defend by keeping these official e-mail documents secret?” McLeod wrote to Sullivan, objecting to the proposed 14th delay. “Who does he serve? Ex-governor Sarah Palin, or the people of Alaska?”
In other words, we have a law-abiding citizen who has made a lawful request for emails that are supposed to be available to the public at any time under FOIA request, exercising her freedom of speech to criticize her elected officials and the response of a Palin fan is to threaten to assassinate the citizen.
Here’s the full posting as reported by by David Corn of Mother Jones:
“Two days later, an anonymous person posted a death threat targeting McLeod in the “Rants & Raves” section of the Anchorage Craigslist. The posting, which echoed an email sent to the Anchorage Daily News, read in full:
I find it very offensive that Andre Mclead [sic] is asking the state for every e-mail written or received in ANY account maintained by Palin and her husband. Where does this bitch get off thinking the public should shell out for her revenge for the Palin family. I’ve heard enough from this, and I would like to use stronger words to express my feeling for Andre. Well…I think Andre has used up to [sic] much oxygen. So I have my scope cross hair on her head! She better watch out, the request may have been her last!
I know you won’t publish this. ADN relish in bashing the Palin’s (sic) too!
Let’s clean up the political garbage.”
On January 10, just two days after the Arizona massacre, McLeod learned about the Craigslist post and contacted the Anchorage police. This being Alaska, state of the Palin mafia, assistant attorney general Marika Athens (Mother Jones) “responded that there was nothing [Anchorage Police Department] could do at this point unless [the Anchorage woman], or whoever sent the email, took some act of furtherance toward Ms. McLeod.” Athens, according to the report, told the police that “law enforcement contacting this person might even spiral the situation up rather than make things better.” Athens suggested that the police inform McLeod that she had the option of applying for “a restraining order if she was in fear of [the Anchorage woman].”
The police suspended the case…..
In the aftermath of the Tucson shootings, McLeod wonders how concerned she should be about this explicit and specific death threat. “The violent and hate-filled rhetoric doesn’t only impact elected and public officials,” she says. “Here in Alaska, it’s trickled down and reached levels wherein strangers take their cues from supposed ‘leaders’ and target fellow citizens with bone-chilling threats. How broken is our system of justice that allows these kinds of horrid threats to continue unchecked?”
And yet the media is still busy suggesting that we can’t blame Palin for the Arizona shootings due to her crosshairs map. We have people suggesting that the shooter wasn’t political and therefore this has nothing to do with Palin. However, on the other hand, we have consistent threats of violence on behalf of Palin fans (see Senator Yee for recent example) and now we have one of them referencing the crosshairs map in a public call for assassination of a citizen in retaliation for attempting to hold Palin accountable to the law. And we’re still pretending like the crosshairs were OK because goodness knows, we don’t want to hurt Sarah Palin’s feelings.
It’s too bad Sarah Palin isn’t concerned about the lives of others enough to even consider walking back the dangerous rhetoric. Just last night, Palin gave a paid speech for a Lubbock Christian School fundraiser in which, according to an supporter’s twitter stream (no media was allowed) she called for “guns up” within the first few minutes of her speech.