As President, you are supposed to pledge allegiance to the flag of the UNITED STATES of America, not the flag of Alaska.
People jumped all over Barack Obama for not wearing a flag pin, and questioned his patriotism.
What about a potential president who might have taken part in a group that wants to vote on removing itself from the United States, with some members openly taking the position that the United States is an illegal occupier?
If she subscribes to the group's motto "Alaska First," what does that mean as far as domestic policy decisions that would come out of a Palin administration?
From Jake Tapper's blog on ABC News:
Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.
And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."
Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, tells ABC News that Palin and her husband Todd were members in 1994, even attending the 1994 statewide convention in Wasilla. Clark was AIP secretary at the time.
"We are a state's rights party," says Clark, a self-employed goldminer. The AIP has "a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law."
... Clark says that Palin left the party and became a Republican in 1996, when she first ran for mayor of Wasilla.
The goal of the AIP is stated on their website:
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.
Here is Sarah Palin welcoming you to the 2008 AIP convention.
This next clip is the first of two parts from the AIP convention itself. About halfway through the speech (at 6:00), the vice chairman of the AIP, Dexter Clark, says this of Palin:
Our current governor who I mentioned at the last conference, the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected . . . .and there was a lot of talk about her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as mayor . . . but to get-along-to-go-along, she eventually joined the Republican Party . . .
He then urges members to infiltrate political parties to further their cause.
The following clip is a continuation of the speech from Dexter Clark, the vice chairman from the AIP. In it, he elaborates about the necessity of infiltrating the major national parties to promote the goals of the AIP.
At about 2:00, Clark states "We don't say we're Americans, we say we're Alaskans." He then boasts of talking to schoolchildren who give the thumb's down sign for America, and the thumb's up sign for Alaska.
If it took the blogosphere two days to dig this up, how come McCain in his vetting process couldn't find this?
Or, will he say that he already knew about it, and it was "alright" with him?
UPDATE: Ben Smith's blog in Politico provides evidence by the McCain campaign that despite the AIP claims, Palin was never a member of the organization. Smith also claims that the group is more mainstream in Alaska than would appear.
Click here to see Palin's voter registration.
Although ABC's Jake Tapper isn't buying it, and is calling it a case of "She said/she said."
Dexter Clark's wife, Lynette is quoted:
Ms. Clark -- a self-employed gold miner who wants Alaska to become an independent nation -- says that the McCain campaign pushback that Pain was never part of the AIP is "hooey."
"This is like a cat covering up crap in its litter box," she says.
UPDATE: The record stands that Sarah Palin was not a member of the party, but her husband Todd was. ABC's Jake Tapper has been following the story:
So the facts are: Gov. Palin was not a member of this third-party ("Alaska First -- Alaska Always") that wants Alaskans to get a vote on whether or not the state can secede from the U.S. But her husband was a long-time member, and at least two AIP officials recall her attending the 1994 convention, though she says she did not attend.