I was just speaking to a couple of GOP activists from North Dakota about Sarah Palin. These were very much the fabled “base” people who are “excited” by the Palin pick. Much like left-wing ideologues, it turns out, conservative activists have a real disliking of “bad” Republicans. So these guys didn’t know very much about Palin’s record in office, but they knew she was a solid conservative who’d managed to take down an incumbent Republican and still hold the statehouse for the GOP. And this, basically, is Palin’s qualification for office — she’s less corrupt than your average Alaska Republican. As best one can tell this is true. But the extent of Palin’s distance from the Alaska Republican establishment can be easily overstated. Consider this reporting by Matthew Mosk:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state’s political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
Palin’s name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.,” a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.
Palin, an anti-corruption crusader in Alaska, had called on Stevens to be open about the issues behind the investigation. But she also held a joint news conference with him in July, before he was indicted, to make clear she had not abandoned him politically.
Meanwhile, John McCain officially thinks 527s should be abolished.