Palin's AG Pick Called Gays "Degenerates"

Update: I posted this on Pam's House Blend and the intro was picked up by the Huffington Post! They want to know what Alaskans think of Ross, so please join the conversations at HuffPo and the Blend - and be sure to tell your legislators what you think of WAR as our AG.
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Gov. Sarah Palin named Anchorage lawyer Wayne Anthony Ross as her new attorney general on Thursday. We did not expect her to pick a gay-friendly AG, however his blatant prejudice expressed in a public letter to the state Bar shows that he is a poor choice for our top attorney:
"During a fight several years ago over gay rights, [Allison] Mendel helped organize Anchorage lawyers in support of an anti-discrimination ordinance. Ross wrote a nasty letter to the Bar Association newsletter, using words like "immoral", "perversion" and "degenerates." The language went way beyond reasonable disagreement, Mendel and others said."  [Wayne Anthony Ross never a quiet force, ADN]
Other interesting facts about Wayne Anthony Ross:
  • He was a founder of Alaska Right to Life and represented, without fee, anti-abortion protesters charged with trespassing. "I feel I have a good relationship with the good Lord (but) if I could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I figure I got my ticket," he told a reporter.
  • He was the defense lawyer for former Rep. Vic Kohring, who is now serving time in prison.
  • He opposes Native subsistence rights and was the lead lawyer in the case that got Alaska's subsistence law declared unconstitutional. When running for governor in 2002, he said he would hire a band of "junkyard dog" assistant AG's to challenge the federal law that requires a subsistence preference, or seek changes through Congress.
  • He wrote for the old Anchorage Times, then for the Voice of the Times in the ADN, with titles like "KKK ' Art' Project Gets' A' For Courage" listed on the publications page of the Ross & Miner law offices.
  • He represented Palin in her ethics case against state GOP chair Randy Ruedrich when both were on the Oil and Gas Commission, and became the co-chair of Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. He was hoping for an appointment to the Department of Health and Social Services so he could "stop the department from interfering with families when they should not be interfering and get them interfering with families when they should be interfering" but he was passed over.
  • He defended a Soldotna man who twice poured buckets of water from a passing pickup onto peaceful demonstrators in the rain and snow. His client was convicted of harassment and violating constitutional rights.
  • He was the co-chair of Alaskans for Phil Gramm. (Gramm is one of the people responsible for the current economic crisis, and as co-chair of John McCain's presidential campaign he called us "a nation of whiners.")
  • He is a former vice president of the National Rifle Association and was in line to become president, but was voted out of office.
  • He ran for governor in 1998 and 2002. (Think he'll use the AG position as a stepping stone to the governor's mansion?)
The state House and Senate Judiciary committees will hold confirmation hearings on his appointment.

14 comments:

CelticDiva said...

Hey E.

I posted this over on Blue Oasis, if that's OK with you. I linked back, of course!

Anonymous said...

I saw a couple of comments at ADN by people who'd been subjected to a performance by WAR at a domestic violence talk, his position being that the women's movement had emasculated men and that was the cause of domestic abuse (so, if women would just stay in the kitchen &/or bedroom men would not have to beat them). I was not living in Alaska at that time -- can you reach out to anyone who might have attended such a function and can corroborate this?

It could garner more support for citizens pushing back against this appointment thru their representatives & senators.

Thanks.

E. Ross said...

Thanks, CelticDiva! It's also on the front page at Pam's House Blend.

Philip Munger said...

E. Ross,

Is there a way to get the entire letter that Ross sent to the Alaska Bar Assn? It might be far worse than is indicated in Sheila Toomey's 1996 ADN article.

I'm working on an article about Ross for PA, and am really curious about that entire letter.

E. Ross said...

Hi Philip,

It was published in the Alaska Bar Rag, so it must be archived somewhere. I, too, would like to read the full letter, not just her report. Working on it . . .

E. Ross said...

Anon - I saw a similar comment. He also wrote a creepy article on the harm done to the fathers who are accused of incest. I hope the domestic violence groups are working on this and can spread the word.

Philip Munger said...

E,

Please let me know what you find.

E. Ross said...

Wow - I posted a modified version of this piece on my diary at Pam's House Blend early this morning (http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=10144)
Pam promoted it to front page and HuffPo picked it up!
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/30/palins-ag-pick-called-gay_n_180599.html)

. . . one small blogger very impressed by the power of the Internet . . .

Philip Munger said...

E,

cograts! Saw it at HuffPo.

Our Alaskan progressive bloggers are creating an alternative universe full of truth, rather than bluster and bs. No wonder dinosaurs like Doogan despise us...

Mel said...

I was listening to the live feed from Gavel to Gavel Alaska to his testimony so far, & posting my reactions as comments to my own Facebook comment... live-blogging of sorts (in between doing what I'm doing at work). FWIW, here it is:

1:29pm. First hearing on Wayne Anthony Ross (Palin's WAR on Alaska) in Alaska Senate Judiciary Committee starts in a few minutes (1:30 PM ADT). It'll be streamed live here from Gavel to Gavel Alaska (scroll down to 1:30 PM). See other details about WAR hearings in ADN's politics blog, http://community.adn.com/node/140319

1:59pm. [Listening.] WAR sure is a mumbler. Didn't anyone ever teach WAR to enunciate? He sounds like his mouth is full of mashed potatoes.

2:12pm. Now he just called a theoretical good parent "Joe Average Schmuck" (during discussion of the Office of Children's Services work to protect children from abuse).

2:20pm. His answer to — I believe it's Sen. Lesil McGuire's — question about violence against women & child sexual abuse has NOTHING to do with what she asked. But, after 8 days on the job, he does know where the men's room is.

2:21pm. [Do I have a future in live-blogging legislative meetings & hearings?]

2:28pm. He's opposed to the death penalty, though. But if one passed — which is what current House Bill 9 would like to do — he would apply it in line with the attorney general's job to apply the law.

2:57pm. Now stating "why Alaskans came here" — "to get away from big government" (a pet conservative phrase). Speak for yourself, WAR. I came to Alaska for my own reasons, having little to do with government big or small. I want _good_ government. Not to mention that has diddly to do with the question asked, about Alaska Native sovereignty.

3:04pm. Did I just hear him say "Washington, DC is not a friend to Alaska"?!!! Hey, isn't it DC that's handed us all that money hand over first for the last few decades? Much to the disgruntlement of people in other states, who get far less bang for their tax buck?

3:06pm. Geez. Republican "big government is eeeeevil" ranting is so much hypocrisy coming from Alaskans who still worship Ted Stevens for all the pork he brought home. AK repubs only hate big govt. when it's not handing them cartloads of money for nothing.

3:19pm. A legislator (not sure which one) just mentioned his calling a "group of people 'immoral' & 'degenerates'" in a letter to the Alaska Bar Association. The people referred to were Alaska's lesbians & gays — as reported first by E. Ross of the Bent Alaska blog at Pam's House Blend. Here's her Bent Alaska post about it: http://www.bentalaska.com/... Read Morehttp://www.bentalaska.com/2009/03/palins-ag-pick-called-gays-degenerates.html

WAR's response to the legislator's concern about his divisiveness was a whole lotta "we can do it together" nothing.

3:23pm. Feed's gone silent. I know they're supposed to take public testimony starting 5:30 PM, not sure if there will be anything else before then. I won't be able to listen (at least not live) then; hope other's will, & will testify.

Mel said...

If anyone has an approximate date for when the letter was published in the Alaska Bar Rag -- the bar association's website has some of it's bar rag stuff at their website. But very difficult to search (unlike the rest of their website, which rocks) -- they say they never indexed the bar rag very well.

(Might be easier to search microfiche if it's archived that way at the Consortium or Loussac.)

E. Ross said...

Thanks for the sorta-live blogging Mel - great job! I posted a new piece today with lots more info on WAR and talking points for people calling in.

http://www.bentalaska.com/2009/04/public-input-needed-today-on-war-as.html

Mel said...

oops! that's where I meant to post this live blog. Let me put it there, hey? (& delete from here)

E. Ross said...

The letter was published in the early 1990's and isn't on the web site.

No need to delete the comments from here, since they are completely relevant.

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