FROM THE ARCHIVE: Palin: Library censorship inquiries 'Rhetorical'

Published on Friday, September 5, 2008 5:18 PM AKDT

Editor's note: This story first ran in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Dec. 18, 1996. It has been typeset and posted here to accommodate numerous requests for the story from media worldwide and curious individuals. Please note that not at any time were any books ever banned from the Wasilla city library.

WASILLA -- In the wake of strong reactions from the city's library director to inquiries about censorship, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin on Monday was taking pains to explain her questions about censoring library material were “rhetorical.”

Library Director Mary Ellen Emmons last week said Palin broached the subject with her on two occasions in October - once Palin was elected mayor Oct. 1 but before she took office on Oct. 14, and again in more detail on Monday, Oct. 28. Besides heading the Wasilla City Library, Emmons is also president of the Alaska Library Association.

The issue became public last Wednesday, when Palin brought it up during an interview about the now-defunct Liquor task Force. Palin used the library topic as an example of discussions with her department heads about understanding and following administration agendas. Palin said she asked Emmons how she would respond to censorship.

Emmons drew a clear distinction Saturday between the nature of Palin's inquiries and an established book-challenge policy in place in Wasilla, and in most public libraries.

“I'm not trying to suppress anyone's views,” Emmons said. “But I told her (Palin) clearly, I will fight anyone who tries to dictate what books can go on the library shelves.”

Palin said Monday she had no particular books or other material in mind when she posed the questions to Emmons.

Emmons said in the first conversation, before being sworn in as mayor, Palin briefly touched on the subject of censorship.

But on Monday, Oct. 28, Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. This was during a weak when Palin was requesting resignations from all�  the city's department heads as a way of expressing loyalty.

“This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy,” Emmons stressed Saturday. “She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library.”

Monday Palin said in a written statement she was only trying to get aquatinted with her staff at the time. “Many issues were discussed, both rhetorical and realistic in nature,” Palin added.

Emmons recalled that the Oct. 28 conversation she pulled no punches with her response to the mayor.

“She asked me if I would object to censorship, and I replied 'Yup',” Emmons recounted Saturday. “And I told her it would not be just me. This was a constitutional question, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would get involved, too.”

Emmons said Palin asked her on Oct. 28 if she would object to censorship, even if people were circling the library in protest about a book. “I told her it would definitely be a problem the ACLU would take on then,” Emmons said

Asked who she thought might picket the library, Palin said Monday, “Had no one in mind ... again, the issue was discussed in the context of a professional question being asked in regards to library policy.

“All questions posed to Wasilla's library director were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city. Obviously the issue of censorship is a library question... you ask a library director that type of question,” Palin said

“Palin also said Monday censorship issues would not involve any departments other than the library.

Emmons said she has been offered help if it is ever needed on censorship issues from the state library association's Intellectual Freedom Committee and the National Freedom to Read Foundation.

Palin called Emmons into her office Monday to discuss the censorship questions again.

Palin also attended Friday's staff meeting at the library, but without mentioning censorship , Emmons said.

“I'm hoping it was just a trial balloon,” Emmons said, “because the free exchange of information is my main job, and I'll fight anyone who tries to interfere with that.”

The timing of the issue comes at a time when Emmons is trying to get the book-challenge policies of the Wasilla Library and of the Palmer City Library in line with the Mat-Su Borough policy, revised in December of last year.

Emmons described the new borough policy as “a very good one.”

It is a step-by-step blueprint of procedures for anyone wanting to challenge the selection and availability of library material, Emmons explained. “it is a good process, and almost all public libraries have one.”

The borough's policy was revised mainly to replace the borough manager as the final decision maker with a formal Reconsideration Committee Mat-Su Borough Manager Don Moore said Saturday that changes were made, with the blessings, after a dispute that was resolved about two years ago involving a challenged book at the Big Lake Library.

Emmons said the current Wasilla policy, which she described as written in more general terms than the borough's, also worked procedurally in a book-challenge case last year. Emmons said then-council-woman Palin was distressed about the issue when it came up, indicating she was aware of the city's book-challenge policy.

Emmons said in the conversations with now-Mayor Palin in October, she reminded her again that the city has a policy in place. “But it seamed clear to me that wasn't really what she was talking about anyhow,” Emmons added. “I just hope it doesn't come up again.”

Meanwhile, Emmons said she is working with borough libraries boss Bruce Urban and Palmer Library Director Janice Sanford, in the hope of getting the cities to adopt a book-challenge policy identical to the borough's.


178 comment(s)

    Thinking wrote on Sep 18, 2008 10:39 PM:

    " Anyone who would blatantly lie (at least twice) to make them selves look good in their first nationally televised speech is a person with such strong personal ambitions that they (Sarah) have no concern about family, country, or truth. Does anyone in their right mind want that person a heartbeat away from the Presidency? "

    Cynthia wrote on Sep 18, 2008 8:10 AM:

    " Censorship is a fundamental threat to a librarian, just as Creationism is a fundamental threat to a Biology teacher or a pedophile to a mom of a young child. So how would the mom react to someone asking her - repeatedly, on several occasions - 'What's your policy on pedophiles?' What would the reaction of a Biology teacher be to the question 'What's your policy on Creationism?' They would feel threatened. Emmons felt sufficiently threatened to bring up the ACLU to Palin. Is there a non-threatening way to ask those questions of those people? "

    Debbie wrote on Sep 18, 2008 7:48 AM:

    " So, cronyism, abuse of power, inadequate knowledge of domestic policy issues, inadequate knowledge of foreign policy issues, lack of transparent government. . . how exactly do these amount to any sort of change???

    And when a mayor is "cleaning house," a question like "how would you feel about censorship" is hardly rhetorical. "

    Cynthia wrote on Sep 18, 2008 5:17 AM:

    " What I find interesting is why no one is asking the question: why would Palin ask that question of Emmons? What is the OTHER purpose that the Republican commenters feel exonerates her? "

    Susan in Fairbanks wrote on Sep 18, 2008 2:09 AM:

    " Hypothetical question, my a*$! Who in their right mind would ask such questions of a librarian if censorship wasn't something they would like to see happen at the library?!
    I don't trust Sarah Palin. I have no respect for her and her "policies". Hasn't she ever heard of separation of church and state? "In what respect Charlie?"

    OBAMA 08

    Coronella Keiper wrote on Sep 17, 2008 1:41 PM:

    " Concerning the above comment about the book "Snakes In Suits":
    The complete title is "Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work", and the book was written in hopes that businesses and business people would swiftly learn to protect themselves.
    "Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths (such as Sarah Palin) Go To Work." "

    Cindy wrote on Sep 17, 2008 1:24 PM:

    " I think the librarian should run for VP. She has a better understanding of the constitution than Sarah Barracuda! "

    Cindy wrote on Sep 17, 2008 1:16 PM:

    " Didn't the librarian get fired by Palin, then rehired due to public outcry? "

    Boudreaux in Louisiana wrote on Sep 17, 2008 7:37 AM:

    " I question why all the nasty comments are against the VP candidate for the Republicans and not their Pres. candidate? Two different offices. Its because the democrats need to discredit the Republican VP candidate because she put new life in the election and is going to cause the democrats to lose unless they can discredit her in the eyes of the nation, even falsely with the left wing media's help. Besides, there is no way you can compare the experience of Obama to McCain's and Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air compared to Joe Biden. "

    Boudreaux in Louisiana wrote on Sep 17, 2008 7:21 AM:

    " Maxkatt wrote:"The race is tight for this reason, and for racial reasons."

    Its tight only because a certain group is voting for Obama ONLY because of his race and that he is a democrat. I think all you have to do is look at the democrats in New Orleans. You know, "Chocolate City" as the democrat mayor, Nagin, called it. These leeches were created by the democrats and now it is their perpetual right to sit on their butts and let the "Guvmint" take care of them, complain and of course vote democrat. "

    Me wrote on Sep 16, 2008 8:39 AM:

    " If ABC did such a good job at uncovering the truth, why not show all of the report? The clip provided here is missing the ending, where reporter Brian Ross states that the librarian told him "she could not recall Palin ever asking for specific titles to be removed from the shelves...." (see and go to 3:21) "

    nlcatte wrote on Sep 16, 2008 7:15 AM:

    " taking 6 years is no proof of ability

    she partied hardy. "

    Gilbert wrote on Sep 16, 2008 6:36 AM:

    " Frontiersman, thanks for posting this. Is it possible to give us some background and analysis on it? The article was originally written for a readership that knows the people involved, the history behind the incidents, and what lies between the lines. Very possibly it was written and edited carefully so as not to upset the parties involved, I work for a small town newspaper so I know how it goes. So, while it is a great service to provide the original news story, it does not clear up the matter at all. "

    MaxKatt from NY wrote on Sep 16, 2008 6:02 AM:

    " Marsha- Nobody with an analytic mind could vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. For Pro-Life religious voters, it's the only way to go. The don't even consider the economy, foriegn policy, experience, educational background, etc. If they did, the choice is so obvious it's ridiculous. The race is tight for this reason, and for racial reasons. There's no other explanation in light of the current environment Bush and the Republicans have created and the lack of substance in the McCain/Palin ticket. "

    Marsha wrote on Sep 16, 2008 12:16 AM:

    " It took Sarah Palin six years at five universities to get the same degree that I got in four years at one university.

    McCain's not the brightest light bulb in the ceiling fan. He finished fifth from the bottom of his Naval Academy class of hundreds.

    I can't imagine anybody with any analytical skills voting for McCain and Palin. It's plain to see that those two individuals are out of touch with reality and out of alignment with mainstream Americans. "

    GodSaveUS wrote on Sep 15, 2008 4:57 PM:

    " Er, when she said "rhetorical," I think she meant "hypothetical." In any case, it seems pretty clear that she was testing the waters. This seems to be Palin's M.O., probe to see how much resistance she might encounter. A lot, as it turns out in this case. God bless Mary Ellen Emmons! It's fortunate that Palin didn't have very much power at the time. I don't want to find out what she's capable of if given the power that Cheney has managed to suck away from the Oval Office and Congress. "

    HaveYouReadIt wrote on Sep 15, 2008 2:44 PM:

    " This pretty much dismisses the left's argument... NEXT! "

    Morton F. wrote on Sep 15, 2008 11:16 AM:

    " I am certainly not a good Christian, but I do try to follow His teachings and am a regular church-goer. Others do not have to protect my beliefs for me. The simplest and most effective form of censorship is self-censorship.

    If the argument then becomes, "We have to protect out children," my reply would still be that I am responsible--for my children. If they bring home books I feel are inappropriate, I, and not Gov. Palin, will be the one to make that call.

    Censorship threatens the free flow of ideas, and that threatens us all. "

    McCain wrote on Sep 15, 2008 10:19 AM:

    " Palin's move to ban books was while on the City Council, thus her carefully crafted denial that she didn't try to ban books "as Mayor." In addition to "Daddy's Roommate" she wanted to ban the traditionals - Romeo and Juliet and Catcher in the Rye as well as books that don't show a "balance" between Darwinism and Intelligent Design. This can be found in the City COuncil records of Wasila. But look fast, they are being deleted as we speak. "

    robin wrote on Sep 15, 2008 9:00 AM:

    " A rhetorical question usually means you have the issue "on your mind" and you are fielding potential trouble. Do you actually believe Sarah Palin was concerned about "others" taking books off the library shelves? She asked these "rhetorical questions" several times of the librarian. Sarah Palin is not completely stupid--she would presumably possess some knowledge about our constitutional freedoms. Also her church (which she was a decision-making member) wanted several books banned from BOTH the library and book stores. We should be very suspicious of someone who attempts to destroy/tamper with our
    basic rights. "

    Nathan wrote on Sep 15, 2008 8:44 AM:

    " From the comments i'm reading so far i'm seeing a pattern. All Republicans are very insulting, all Democrats are writing common sense posts. If you need to resort to name calling & insults, you are pretty stupid. To Gramdma: Obama is NOT a Muslim, so let that internet rumor go's old and proves that you are too, and that you have prejudice against faiths other than your own. And yes,he got into Harvard because of his stellar grades. Sarah's pretty uneducated, that's clear. "

    sdd wrote on Sep 15, 2008 8:36 AM:

    " Why aren't the so-called "liberal press", right wings talkies, and the Frontiersman talking about real issues instead of Lipstick, Banning Books, Red/Blue States?
    Try: Military suicides reaching record levels; U.S. global leadership is dwindling; Market diving, another massive bank may collapse; Fear of violence, terrorism slows Iraq withdrawal; Iraqi parliament gridlocked; Economy weakening; On 9/11 anniversary, aviation still vulnerable; Unemployment rising; Federal deficit ballooning; OPEC trying to prevent oil prices from falling "

    Sick of it ALL wrote on Sep 15, 2008 6:52 AM:

    " We are sick of all the crap that people spew from their mouths and put to words.
    Our country's true colors are more evident today than ever. We hate each other even when we come together in a crisis!
    One can only see this in the vicious attacks on a person, regardless of political beliefs.
    We all should be ashamed of ourselves and let our conscious be our guide not our poison words. "

    Patrick wrote on Sep 15, 2008 6:09 AM:

    " As a libertarian republican I say dump Palin - Mary Ellen Emmons for VP!! "

    You go girl wrote on Sep 15, 2008 12:04 AM:

    " Oops! Hope I didn't offend Sarah with that comment. Nah! Only a racist would see it as offensive. Come on Grandma(a heartbeat away from the end)"Thou shalt Not Kill"? Does that include unborn babies?
    Maybe the library could loan out books like the "DIY Abortion", "I Married My Dog", or "Daddy's Pedophile Roomate Wants to Be a Teacher and Scout Leader". Some stuff just doesn't need to be out there.
    Need books like "Democrats Learning Guide on How not to Hate". With Obama you'll give up a lot more rights than some comic book issue that was years ago. "

    California chick wrote on Sep 14, 2008 8:40 PM:

    " Grandma, Carol PA, Mad Jayhawk, Marianne D., Prescott and Otto have the only sane, reasonable and responsible comments on this subject. "

    Carol wrote on Sep 14, 2008 5:01 PM:

    " TO: Karen Matthews who wrote on Sep 8, 2008 8:32 AM: RE: Obama

    How dare you say "boy" when referring to a United States Senator that is running for President? How disgusting is that. You are a bigot and if censorship was allowed, G.d help us all, you need to be the first to have it done to. You are a pitiful excuse for a Republican and a typical "McShame" supporter.

    Carol "

    Carol wrote on Sep 14, 2008 4:52 PM:

    " What about the book "Daddy's Roommate? She tried to have that book censored and everyone knows that. I wish everyone would consider how important this election is to this country. We cannot afford a shallow-minded person in one of the highest offices in the land, or possibly "THE highest". She is not truthful and is very sarcastic and crass. So Alaska, please keep her; we don't want any part of her. "

    Marianne D wrote on Sep 14, 2008 3:41 PM:

    " There is nothing to indicate that Sara Palin tried to actually ban any books. Nor is there any indication as to what she was thinking at the time. Personally I don't believe in book banning but I do believe in limited access by children given some of the really raw materials that are out there but nothing more than that.Why don't liberals freak out when Obama wants MORE government? I really get tired of the "facists" comments. Liberals want the goveernment to have MORE CONTROL "

    Mike Beech- Pittsburgh PA wrote on Sep 14, 2008 9:56 AM:

    " "When fascism comes to America , it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."
    - Sinclair Lewis, 1935 "

    gary k wrote on Sep 14, 2008 7:34 AM:

    " Ruth, tell me, with proof about your charges. If you can't, sit down and shut your trap "

    stephen wrote on Sep 13, 2008 11:37 PM:

    " Well you want to talk censorship this web page censors everything you put on this web site. What a crock. "

    stephen wrote on Sep 13, 2008 11:34 PM:

    " I don't really see anyone on this page that is trying to find the truth. All I have found is a vice pres. canadite that has people on both sides so compassionite about there and her believes that they forgot she is only the second in command on this ticket. I beleive that she has the ability to bring out a new voter that is usally silent. That would be the female that are in the republican party already, and not take the hillary susporters but, to get the people that have not made up there mind. "

    WFB wrote on Sep 13, 2008 8:03 PM:

    " Wanna see a liberal librarian ban a book?

    Donate a book on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or, a book on Intelligent Design and see what happens.

    Liberal librarians are the last great censors. "

    Ruth wrote on Sep 13, 2008 4:19 PM:

    " Palin got elected to Mayor because people fell for her lies that she was "the" reform candidate and would give government "back to the people".But once in office she simply put in place her own form of corruption, overspending and cronyism.Then she benefitted from the animosity towards the prior Gov and looked good in comparison."Anybody but him" got her in state office and yes others fell for her nonsense once again.She comes across as charming but watch out.She is a snake.Don't fall for it again.Three strikes you are out folks!The country is at stake. "

    Sam Osborne wrote on Sep 13, 2008 3:51 PM:

    " Sarah Palin ran into one tough librarian. "

    Eleanor Miller wrote on Sep 13, 2008 12:43 PM:

    " I remember when Hitler started book burning in Germany Im sure he started out by asking questions about censorship too, and then look what happened.
    The more power given to the President and taken from the people the closer we
    come to a dictorship, be careful of people who want to control others. "

    Sam Osborne wrote on Sep 13, 2008 6:54 AM:

    " Obama was an honored graduate from Columbia University before he entered Harvard where he earned a jurist doctorate. Does someone think that Harvard does not value the degree offered by one of its fellow Ivy League universities?

    Sara Palin bounced from on college to another (five of them) until she got herself a degree. So please enlighten us about the about the academic achievements of both Obama and Palin. "

    L Fletcher wrote on Sep 13, 2008 6:44 AM:

    " All of you that like Sarah and her God willed policies should be blessed to keep her and leave all the rest of us in the lower sane states to suffer our sinful lives "

    sourdonut wrote on Sep 13, 2008 6:33 AM:

    " McCains demented half brain Palins egoed out gray matter=a third of Obamas smarts "

    Totally Confused wrote on Sep 13, 2008 5:47 AM:

    " If all this crap is true about Sarah and it was widely known before she was elected governor, why did she get elected?
    Seems that nobody gave this stuff any credence then. Why now? Just because she represents a threat to Obama's success.
    The media is at its highest tempo to get e radical liberal into the White House!
    And at all costs too! "

    To Grandma wrote on Sep 12, 2008 7:34 PM:

    " You talk about Palin not telling the truth. How about you ask Obama to start telling the truth. And I don’t mean he is lying but he sure isn’t telling his full story. There are so many things about Obama's past that are scary and yet no one asks about them. If they do they are marked racist. We can’t dare question his religion yet Palin is scolded for her one comment. How about you ask him how in fact he got into Harvard. It sure wasn’t his grades. "

    Richard Warner wrote on Sep 12, 2008 6:45 PM:

    " Karen Matthews wrote on Sep 8, 2008 8:32 AM:

    " I am reading the Alaskan Newspaper trying to figure out what Sarah Palin is really like and what I read I don't much care for. Does anyone think that she would be a good Vice President and possibly President. I somehow don't think she has the experience to be President......

    To answer your question: Yes, I think she does. How can you say you don't think she has the experience. How much real exoerience does your boy have? You Democrats are so funny. You are a loser!! "

    Alice wrote on Sep 12, 2008 5:27 PM:

    " Sarah says that this book banning incident is just "an old wives tale" as though nothing ever happened.She has no shame, really.Anyone can read the article which although it is from a small paper was "news" nonetheless, written when everything happened.The rendition of what was said by whom and when has the ring of truth even if someone might think the librarian was not a fan of Sarah or Sarah was right in the end.There is now an assistant librarian who was just interviewed and she backs up the gist of the story.But Sarah says no.Of course. "

    Michelle wrote on Sep 12, 2008 3:14 PM:

    " Tracey S. wrote on Sep 11, 2008 11:31 PM:
    " Whomever wrote/typed this article needs to spell check it. There are numerous spelling errors. "

    And you just used "whomever" incorrectly. It should be "whoever." Have your own grammatical act together before you go correcting others. "

    Michelle wrote on Sep 12, 2008 3:11 PM:

    " Do we really want a politician in the White House who advocates censorship? The "rhetorical" response was just a lie to cover up what she was really doing. Didn't she have better things to do with her time than worry which books were on the shelf?

    By the way, this article would be a lot more credible if not for the numerous grammatical and spelling errors. And it's being picked up by national media outlets? Embarrassing. Maybe Palin should have made literacy a priority during her tenure as Mayor of Wasilla. "

    Concerned Hoosier wrote on Sep 12, 2008 2:20 PM:

    " Thank God for the internet. Since the reporters are not allowed(as of this date)to get close enough to ask "All" the questions that need to be ask of Sarah Palin, I guess itt is up to each of us to do the research and make up our own minds. I'm not done doing that research but at this time I don't believe I will be making that (X) in the McCain box on election day "

    grandma wrote on Sep 12, 2008 12:25 PM:

    " I guess what bothers me the most is the fact that it appears that Palin again is not telling the truth. The very concept of the word TRUTH is not a word I would use in describing Sarah Palin. The Bridge to Nowhere, the Alaskan Independence Party, Troopergate, etc. How can evangelicals embrace her and therefore her lies. I thought Thou Shalt Not Lie was as important and unqualified as Thou Shalt Not Kill. "

    bil wrote on Sep 12, 2008 11:24 AM:

    " "during a weak [sic]"? sp? I din't see a less obtrusive way to say it delete me sure. "

    Lower Mitten Kitten wrote on Sep 12, 2008 9:00 AM:

    " Thankfully, we still have a free press.

    Mrs. Palin...thanks, but no thanks. "

    Independent Voter wrote on Sep 12, 2008 5:40 AM:

    " Why isnt the original article from that date in the archives anymore so we can judge for ourselves? "

    Sean wrote on Sep 12, 2008 5:19 AM:

    " Oh, the Frontiersman. It's nice to see their copy editing hasn't improved since 1996 - three blatant spelling errors noticed in a quick read-through. "

    Ken Kellogg-Smith wrote on Sep 12, 2008 3:52 AM:

    " From the Air Force blog cited on McCain's training squadron command:

    "... Navy records also cast some doubt on the importance of a claim McCain makes in his autobiography -- that he took bold steps to improve the readiness of the squadron. Some of McCain's contemporaries don't recall key parts of a management initiative that he describes in that book. And although the squadron was well-run under McCain, it appeared to be no better managed than before he arrived or after he left, according to interviews and records.But there's no doubt it was a big job." "

    Tracey S. wrote on Sep 11, 2008 11:31 PM:

    " Whomever wrote/typed this article needs to spell check it. There are numerous spelling errors. "

    Mary F. Clauss wrote on Sep 11, 2008 10:59 PM:

    " Great site! May I recommend to Emmons and all of you a great news article I found that tells a similar tale from Idaho. This story is hard for me to believe and I'm glad it worked out so well for Nampa and Nampa Mayor Tom Dale who had to play some creative politics and I might add I hope he asked the librarian for HER letter of resignation.

    March 12, 2008
    "Big win for Idaho families: p*** books pulled off Nampa library shelves" "

    Mary F. Clauss wrote on Sep 11, 2008 10:44 PM:

    To add more context details:

    Read the section that begins:

    "Howard Bess, author of Pastor, I am Gay and former pastor of Church of the Covenant in Palmer, recalls that his book challenging Christians to re-examine their ideas... The controversy ...was part of the context of that time period,"

    I'd like Emmons' viewpoint on that book. Was she the one who caused those books to "disappear"? "

    Mary F. Clauss wrote on Sep 11, 2008 10:30 PM:

    " Drew wrote on Sep 7, 2008 8:33 AM: " loyalty oaths? ... she fits right in with Bush's dictatorship."

    When the new President enters the Executive Office, it will be empty. The last person left will be the former President who welcomes the new. Why is it empty? Because you do not expect the old officials to respect or be loyalty to the new. It's a given. I'm really amazed that we are supposed to equate this with dictatorship. Palin's process was CORRECT. "

    Anne wrote on Sep 11, 2008 5:16 PM:

    " This article does not make feel 'at ease' with Sarah Palin but more concerned about her. "Emmons said in the conversations with now-Mayor Palin, she reminded her again that the city has a policy in place. “But it seamed clear to me that wasn't really what she was talking about anyhow,” Emmons added. “I just hope it doesn't come up again."

    As a retired public servant, I've experienced 'veiled threats' by my superiors and your librarian remark that 'I just hope that it doesn't come up again' is responding to a veiled threat. "

    jane wrote on Sep 11, 2008 3:58 PM:

    " What I have seen of her sso far, and now reading this, she has very deep-rooted problems..To ask people to resign for a test? Sounds like the "If you love me...," lines boys give girl. She is so devious, and tonight she was so evasive in answering Charlie on the news interview...She was surely coached for the answers she gave; but; it is the answers she did not give and the B.s. given to avoid the answers...She is big trouble to us as Americans..She will finish what Bush started doing in erradicating our rights under the u.S.Constitution.. "

    LEN wrote on Sep 11, 2008 3:44 PM:

    " McCain & Palin should stick with the important issues facing our country today. When the issues affect middle income americans like in no time since the Great Depression....can we elect more of the same? Wake up America "

    Curious wrote on Sep 11, 2008 2:21 PM:

    " According The Chicago Tribune, ( Anchorage Daily News),,0,3537053.story
    "Emmons survived the loyalty test and a second one a few months later. She resigned in August 1999, two months before Palin was voted in for a second mayoral term."

    Question: When Mayor John Stein first took office (1987? 1990?), did he ask all departments for their resignations as a "loyalty test?" Are there any articles or letters to the editor from 1996 and 1997 that would illuminate the situation? Any news clips from 8/99 about the librarian's resignation? "

    yrnabr wrote on Sep 11, 2008 3:29 AM:

    " Our country needs repairing WE have to have open minded leaders not egotistic my way or no way types .To tell you the truth this subject shouldnt be even a issue concidering who its about not good-insane. "

    Duhleenkwint wrote on Sep 10, 2008 9:37 PM:

    " As a flaming liberal, I ALMOST feel sorry for the "real" conservatives out there, and how they must feel betrayed at how their supposed champions will sell out their own ideals just for political gain: the massively larger gov't we have now, unchecked debt, interventionist foreign policy, the Patriot Act's assault on the constitution, and now this craven move to put an earmark-hungry fundamentalist on the ticket just for demographics. By the way, "rhetorical" doesn't only mean "not expecting an answer", it means "for the purpose of persuasion or making a point." She was making a point, alright. "

    Cheesehead wrote on Sep 10, 2008 6:56 PM:

    " Seems to me Palin knows how to insinuate that things should be done a certain way without coming right out and saying so. She is an ideal replacement for Dick Cheney, the kind of person who would fire US Attorneys and anybody else for not being sufficiently "loyal". That is not change, not reform, not ethical, and not Godly. 'nuf said. "

    Rob wrote on Sep 10, 2008 5:57 PM:

    " McCain graduated near the bottom of his class at the Academy. The squadron he commanded was in Florida, not in a combat area. He was highly regarded in that command although some believe his father's position got McCain the job. He is and has been considered tempermental, quick to fly off the handle, and a non-conformist(not maverick). I'm not sure we want someone who is impulsive at the 'controls'. "

    Alan Maki wrote on Sep 10, 2008 2:54 PM:

    " Palin and her views represent the advanced decay of American society and a total rejection of science, intelligence and rationality--- not to mention a rejection of democracy and human rights.

    Palin should be nominated to be the recipient of the “corporate golden pig award.” "

    PAVoter wrote on Sep 10, 2008 2:02 PM:

    " "The timing of the issue comes at a time when Emmons is trying to get the book-challenge policies of the Wasilla Library and of the Palmer City Library in line with....." So the new person on the job can't question the person doing the job about a current issue? Why didn't the librarian lodge a complaint? As far as the firing. It was her choice. I would have fired her from the get go especially since she publicly supported my rival. If you don't like it. Quit. She did. "

    Kevin wrote on Sep 10, 2008 1:29 PM:

    " This article is written in reasonable tones and presents both the librarian's perspective and the mayor's. Those with an agenda will believe what they want to believe. Those looking for a smoking gun won't find it here. But they cetainly take their presuppostions seriously and make anything into evidence, even if it sacarifices truth.

    STOP the hyperbole---everyone.

    The stakes are high, so don't lose objectivity!! "

    Frederic Miller wrote on Sep 10, 2008 10:41 AM:

    " I'm curious whether Palin actually said in the written statement that she wanted to get "aquatinted" with the staff, as quoted in the article. This is an intaglio printmaking technique using acid to produce a tone, and it makes sense, metaphorically, since Palin's methods were acidic and corrosive, and probably did produce a tone in her tenure as Mayor.

    She may have meant "acquainted" in the sense of, Hello there, you're all fired. Not you. Can we ban books? Darn. Let's all get to know each other!--but that makes no sense at all. "

    Hillman in Oregon wrote on Sep 10, 2008 8:42 AM:

    " Nostalgia:
    Go back and read the article again. The librarian obviously serves at the pleasure of the Mayor. Palin asked the various department heads to submit their resignations as a test of loyalty. They were rehired because they "passed" Palin's test. Let me put it this way, if I were the new Mayor, I would fire all department heads without asking and without giving a reason. I would hire competent people I knew were going to carry out my vision. By the way, the Librarian's answer was unsatisfactory. "

    Nostalgia wrote on Sep 10, 2008 8:21 AM:

    " What a coincindence: Mayor Palin asks a librarian if she would sensor books. Librarian says no, librarian looses job. What a coincidence don't you think? ps...referencing McCain graduating from the Naval Academy and being a squadron commander: these ARE NOT qualifications of executive experience. Military Cadets follow orders from those appointed over them, stay out of trouble and get commissioned. Squadron commanders follow orders from those appointed above them, stay out of trouble and get promoted. "

    Frank Shelton wrote on Sep 10, 2008 6:55 AM:

    " I am realy tired of those who say McCain has no executive experiance. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy and they recieve extensive leadership and managment training. He also commanded the largest fighter squadron in the navy. See: "

    Becky wrote on Sep 10, 2008 6:53 AM:

    " Can we say micromanagement?! "

    Bill wrote on Sep 10, 2008 5:41 AM:

    " The list is not accurate - GoTo: for further information. "

    catherine grossman wrote on Sep 10, 2008 3:03 AM:

    " I was sent a list of books that was on a list to be banned in Wasilla. Can anyone verify that? "

    Eleanor wrote on Sep 9, 2008 10:49 PM:

    " "His associates with radical socialists such as Saul Alinsky."

    Are you kidding? Senator Obama was 11 years old when Saul Alinsky died- and by the way, Alinsky was a community organizer who forced Chicago department stores to hire blacks. He also got Eastman Kodak to do the same thing. Alinsky died in Carmel, California- the home of radical socialism- Not.

    Give up the Sean Hannity smear stuff. Joe McCarthy is dead. "

    Carol PA wrote on Sep 9, 2008 8:09 PM:

    " So Gov Palin never asked for a book to be censored nor is there a list. She was merely asking questions about censorship. What exactly is wrong about asking questions? Oh and it is very common to get rid of people when a different person is elected into a position. How many people will stay in their positions when the new president is elected? Oh I guess they all should just stay and nothing should change. It seems to me the librian held a grudge over her guy not being elected into the Mayor position. "

    dar wrote on Sep 9, 2008 4:54 PM:

    " As Mayor she was elected to run the city, she should have left the other employees to do their job and not threaten them unless they were doing something wrong. What a nightmare she put those people though. "

    John M wrote on Sep 9, 2008 3:56 PM:

    " Thank you very much for reprinting this article. "

    angela wrote on Sep 9, 2008 3:24 PM:

    " Yes, I too would love to see other stories from about this time period. I gather from other things I've seen on the Internet that Pallin backed off. Why? Because, it seems, local people were opposed to censorship in their library. As far as "the boat moving in the same direction," does it matter if that direction is counter to freedom of speech and the other values that our country supposedly stands for? I certainly think it does! Why is it so hard for us to get a clear story on this? "

    Rob from Phoenix wrote on Sep 9, 2008 2:49 PM:

    " After Ms. Emmons was let go who replaced her? Was her replacement subjected to similar questioning? Were there any books deemed unsuitable, by the mayor, subsequent to the changing of librarians

    Reshuffling city government is a common practice when there is a change od administration. Especially when one party replaces another. "

    CliffLandin wrote on Sep 9, 2008 2:18 PM:

    " Will L G - this isn't the list. This is an article that was written at the time in question. It would help if you read the article. "

    Ruth wrote on Sep 9, 2008 12:48 PM:

    " Sarah Palin is a FRAUD!!!!! What she says and what constitutes reality are two different things. If you want to duck your head in the sand and ignore the scores (as Mayor, as Gov, and now as VP candidate) of instances of her doing the very wrongs she says others engage in, then you put this country at risk. She is clever and has long gotten away with this scam but wake up people. She is all about herself. Period. "

    David Baldwin wrote on Sep 9, 2008 12:00 PM:

    " So sorry, my post should have been attributed to:
    Verna Stoesz wrote on Sep 9, 2008 6:03 AM: "

    David Baldwin wrote on Sep 9, 2008 11:54 AM:

    " "Let us Pray for God's protection for our leaders and country. "
    Will L G wrote on Sep 9, 2008 4:53 AM:

    That would certainly be a pleasant change from "Let us Pray for God's protection FROM our leaders for our country. "

    Maye wrote on Sep 9, 2008 11:30 AM:

    " I have a question about why it is ok for Palin to get down an dirty when talking about a demoncratic canidate, but the Republican party think it is horrible and dis-respectful if some dishes it out to her they way she dishes it out to others. They have a problem since they think she should be able to say anything she likes and no one is to say anything about her. I think you should not throw stones if you live in a glass house. "

    Maye wrote on Sep 9, 2008 11:27 AM:

    " My first impression of Sara Palin is we need to be afraid. If she should be required to serve as Prsident (we hope not), we are all in trouble. The ability of Palin to twist truth and slant truth to her advantage tells me she is dishonest and a liar. Her morals are most certainly questionable. The front about religion is a vote getter. Remember she has been seeking political office for a number of years now. Mayor, Governor, and now VP. "

    stella wrote on Sep 9, 2008 10:22 AM:

    " I have a question for the people who know Mrs. Palin, has she always been so timid about interviews when she was running for mayer and the govenor? If not, what do you think has caused her to be so shy? "

    cinnamonape wrote on Sep 9, 2008 7:50 AM:

    " I think there is a bit of "editorializing" in the introductory comments made by the Editor who wants to downplay the efforts by Palin in this situation.

    How is it rhetorical when a Mayor, who as City Councilmember had supported an effort to remove a particular book from the library, approaches the librarian after she is elected and says "What is your policy on removing books and what would you do if groups surrounded the library." When the librarian responds that she would oppose censorhip THAT librarian is the threatened with dismissal? "

    Jane wrote on Sep 9, 2008 7:15 AM:

    " My High School had a population very similar to Wasilla's while Palin was Mayor. It was also 19 miles from the Mexican border. Does that mean my principal had foreign policy experience too? As for executive experience, Biden and Obama have none but neither does McCain. Maybe Palin should be moved to the top of the ticket. "

    PROUD REPUBLICAN wrote on Sep 9, 2008 6:45 AM:

    " I am a proud physical conservative, but I am not at all proud of Sara Palin. The person that wrote, " This woman is SCARY. Be afraid, be VERY afraid. " echoes my thoughts! "

    Verna Stoesz wrote on Sep 9, 2008 6:03 AM:

    " God Said "If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." II Coronicles 7:14
    Let us Pray for God's protection for our leaders and country. "

    Will L G wrote on Sep 9, 2008 4:53 AM:

    " You knwo this is a hoax don't ya? check out ... the library later retired and some of the books on the list weren't even written in 1996! Common peoples... "

    Jenn wrote on Sep 9, 2008 1:48 AM:

    " Jamie, get a grip! I'm not Christian. I'm pagan. In other words, I have no dog in this fight. But I can tell you that at this time in the world, there can be no seperation of church and state. Radical Muslims who have distorted their faith want to kill us, simply because we are Americans. Even if we pull out of this fight, they'll still want to kill us. I'll side with the Christians any day. And one other's Iraq...not Irag. "

    Jamie wrote on Sep 9, 2008 1:04 AM:

    " I thank the Frontiersman for printing this article.

    Palin has said that we are in Irag to
    do "God's task". She is not speaking for my god. She is ready to ignore the separation of church & state. She would have women/girls forced to have an abortion even in the case of rape or incest. This is frightening. When will Palin answer questions about her record?
    Why are they shielding her from the press? "

    rick wrote on Sep 9, 2008 12:16 AM:

    " thank you for putting this on the web. "

    Johnny de los Angeles wrote on Sep 8, 2008 11:42 PM:

    " I hope that Palin get elected and we can all be free to make the choice to be happily uniformed evangelical robots. At least it won't be that long because if she does end up in Washington then the world really will end in 2012 and i can be free to go heck where I won't have to deal with no-nothing beauty queens who make sure that no dissenting voices are present to confront her. If McCain/Palin win then California should take a page from her and secede. Bring on the Civil War II. "

    Kyle wrote on Sep 8, 2008 11:41 PM:

    " I would also like to know how on Earth folks can criticize her on "lacking experience" when she has more experience than the Democratic candidate for President.

    Also, what about his history? His associates with radical socialists such as Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis, terrorist William Ayers, Reverand Wright, also his getting earmarks for Tony Resko the convicted slum-lord, etc...this Palin "Book Banning" thing just sounds like a whole lot of nothing but small town politics because she fired the librarians's boyfriend, to me.

    And yes, the McCain campaign fully vetted her, three times in fact. "

    Kyle wrote on Sep 8, 2008 11:38 PM:

    " Palin does not believe women who will die if they do not have an abortion should still not have the abortion. That is a lie. She is pro-life, but not to the point of endangering the mother. She also does not believe creationism should replace evolutionary teaching, she just would like them taught side-by-side. However, she never pressured the state BoE to start teaching creationism.

    As for her firing the police chief, that's because he refused to fire the state trooper who tasered her sister's son. This librarian was the chief's girlfriend. "

    e wrote on Sep 8, 2008 10:31 PM:

    " I believe that first comment from "Roberta Gallagher" is false. I also just did some research on "her", and nowhere was there ever a Roberta Gallagher who was on the board of trustees of any library. I may be wrong, but I can find absolutely nothing. I welcome Roberta to contest my research. "

    California Reader wrote on Sep 8, 2008 9:23 PM:

    " I am a librarian and familiar with the book challenge policy/procedures common to the profession. If it were as Palin claims -- that it was only a clarification of policy-- viewing the library's book challenge policy would have sufficed. Palin clearly had more in mind. And later, was there not a letter requesting the librarian's resignation, who was the president of the Alaska Library Association at that time? This raises a red flag. Palin has a journalism degree and knows better. She is very intelligent, and clever in her machinations. See "Snakes in Suits." "

    Paul Papendick wrote on Sep 8, 2008 7:54 PM:

    " The American Library association is controlled by militants with the same liberal agenda as the National Education Association. Librarians demand the freedom to choose any books without justifying their age-appropriateness or controversial content while, similarly, they are allowed to freely "discard" books on their own whim.
    Community-staffed committees should be involved in approving both acquisitions and discards to prevent librarians from "imposing" their personal agendas on communities.
    Librarians are paid by the taxpayers. They operate with public funds. They should not be allowed to march to the off-beat drummers of the ACLU. "

    Linda wrote on Sep 8, 2008 7:46 PM:

    " Could the Frontiersman typeset and upload more archived articles and letters to the editor that occurred at this time and also around February 11, 1997? According to the Anchorage Daily News archives, there was a group of 60 residents "Concerned Citizens of Wasilla" backed off from their original plan to recall Mayor Palin. The article said that they formed 25 questions and planned to meet with her. What happened to these questions and this group? Did they meet by February 21? What were her responses? Could some of these people be contacted now to follow up? "

    millie wrote on Sep 8, 2008 7:30 PM:

    " a person who is against a woman having an abortion even in the case of rape or a life threatening situation is a person with a lack of compassion and common sense reason. a person who is wanting to teach creationism in school is probably not a great one to have making decisions in the education realm. these are bad signs. so when i hear that she was asking about censorship i can't imagine she wasn't thinking about maybe getting rid of a little harry potter or our bodies ourselves.... "

    fl dem wrote on Sep 8, 2008 7:19 PM:

    " so let me get this straight, you are bashing her because she asked a question, how many other questions did she ask Emmons? It seems like a valid strategy to find out whether your top people are in line with your thoughts. it is easier for a ship to move with everybody rowing in the same direction "

    Kate wrote on Sep 8, 2008 7:16 PM:

    " The article, which was written at the time this happened and not months or years later, is clear that Palin was not asking about the current book banning policy or the possible future policy. She was asking about how it would be handled if "she" asked about a book or unnamed others protested about one. It was not an idle inquiry by her as her subsequent conduct shows. And by the way, does the mayor really need a loyalty test from the local librarian? Seems way over the top to me. "

    jkarsok wrote on Sep 8, 2008 7:02 PM:

    " Nobody is called on by the boss to answer "rhetorical" questions. It means your job is on the line, and you better be up to answering "politically correctly". When she realized that the librarian would go the Civil Liberties route, with negative publicity, she backed off. "

    New York wrote on Sep 8, 2008 5:53 PM:

    " As a former board of trustees president of a public library I would like readers to know that it is quite common for public officials to question library policy on book censorship. Public officials are many times the first place that individuals call when they want something reviewed or changed. From what I can tell after reading this article, the library was considering a change in policy and Palin was trying to understand the policy that was in place. This is really a non-issue and something that librarians have to deal with frequently. "

    Roberta Gallagher wrote on Sep 8, 2008 5:40 PM:

    " If Gov. Sarah Pallin is asking many questions about censorship, and about banning books. Even if she asked Emmon on several occassion, clearly there where books she was considering to ban.
    This isn't an over reaction, but a serious problem. The problem Pallin faces is the Constitution of the United States.
    The people in Alaska better stop acting like she "of the people and for the people." I've never seen so many paddling on the river of De-Nial! "

    LibraryPatron wrote on Sep 8, 2008 3:25 PM:

    " I find Ms. Emmons language in this letter to be inflammatory: that then-council member Palin's reaction "indicated" she knew the policy already, that it "seemed" like Palin meant something, that her main job was to "fight anyone" who "interferes" with free information exchange.

    The fact that she chose to freely communicate her issues with Sarah Palin instead of clearing up her concern directly with Palin helps me to understand why SP might not have wanted this enemy in her camp later. "

    Miguel wrote on Sep 8, 2008 2:14 PM:

    " I see plenty of leftist-led lemmings of sky is falling fear-mongering in their reflexive fear of Palin. These people support a guy who is presently threatening any station that airs Osama's connections with the criminal Bill Ayers who needs to be gaoled and pilloried for his vicious murdering past activities for which he will not apologize. Osama's lemmings are terrified of her power as a free American who has no connections with the big city corrupt political machines who have wrecked our national governance. Osama is big city corrupt. Sarah isn't. "

    John wrote on Sep 8, 2008 1:34 PM:

    " This is clearly being blown out of proportion. She asked about censorship and how the librarian would react. So? When I've volunteered at libraries I've asked similar questions out of curiosity.

    I'd bet anything that if we had a full transcript of the conversation, it would include other questions such as "What do you do if a staff member acts inappropriately?" or "What services do you have to help disabled residents?" Memory is a tricky thing, so this is probably just recall bias on the part of the librarian and nothing more! "

    Steven wrote on Sep 8, 2008 1:08 PM:

    " Absolutely Ken - I'm right by your side opposing library censorship of any sort. "

    Jason wrote on Sep 8, 2008 1:04 PM:

    " After reading this article it seems to me that this is a tempest in a teacup as has been almost everything that the left wing media has done to savage this woman's reputation. I'm against censorship but the point is the FINAL RESULT. No books were banned! Hey she had to make a decision! And you have to gather the facts first. That's what executive leaders have to do, they can't just vote present! "

    Meredith wrote on Sep 8, 2008 12:55 PM:

    " I am reading that Palin supports the politics of fear and then is deceptive. Bless the Wasillians who stood up for their librarian against the bully, Palin! Now if someone would stand up against the aerial hunting of wolves!I can't believe that Alaskans are cowards but I am sensing that Alaskans are fearful rather supportive of their governor. Her MO is to fire those who look at her wrong rather than working to find solutions for everyone. "

    Tim wrote on Sep 8, 2008 12:04 PM:

    " There is nothing more un-American than banning books from the library. She ought to be on the McCarthy ticket. As a Mainer I can be proud that our Sen. Margaret Chase Smith stood up to Sen. McCarthy during his inquisition on so-called un-American activities in the 1950s. It is time for all Americans to stand up to this latest attack on America from the Republican Party. "

    Matt wrote on Sep 8, 2008 9:37 AM:

    " Obama wants to dictate to Radio Stations the content they run in the name of "Fairness" and Balance". His campaigned has asked the US Dept of Justice to shut down an organization running campaign ads that criticize his ties to William Ayers, and his supporters threaten radio stations which run these ads. And you guys are worried about discussions of censorship from 12 years ago? Give me a break! "

    MomsHugs wrote on Sep 8, 2008 9:11 AM:

    " I'm trying to keep an open mind as a voter in the Lower 48. Don't know the gov, but during 1st speech McCain's body language & lack of boasting of her accomplishments is telling. As he stood quietly, she blew her own horn - loudly. At the convention, McCain hugged her family then her & she turned her face up & away - like he was irrelevant. These 2 instances told me Palin is likely Cheney's pick for 3 reasons: ANWR oil, keep religious conservative base happy, & attract young voters wanting CHANGE. Cheney will mentor Palin. "

    Ken wrote on Sep 8, 2008 9:01 AM:

    " I'm glad you all are so concerned about censorship.

    I will appreciate your joining me in opposition to libraries that censor Internet access to, say, the NRA or GOA.

    What, gun owners don't have a right not to be censored? "

    Don Francis - Portland OR wrote on Sep 8, 2008 8:48 AM:

    " I simply do not understand how anyone who endorses or considers censorship can call themself a patriot of the United States of America. "

    Mom wrote on Sep 8, 2008 8:48 AM:

    " Has anyone considered that Palin was asking about censorship to determine if the librarian was going to treat all books equally, even if people were picketing for removal of a right-wing political book? "

    Karen Matthews wrote on Sep 8, 2008 8:32 AM:

    " I am reading the Alaskan Newspaper trying to figure out what Sarah Palin is really like and what I read I don't much care for. Does anyone think that she would be a good Vice President and possibly President. I somehow don't think she has the experience to be President and I didn't care for her sarcastic remarks in her speech at the convention. I still trying to figure out why she was chosen except for a desperate candidate to try to win. "

    Mary wrote on Sep 8, 2008 4:32 AM:

    " Hmmm, "weak", (week), "seamed" (seemed) and the best one "aquatinted" (acquainted). Perhaps the writer of this article should crack a spelling book or two. "

    Mark Stoneman wrote on Sep 8, 2008 3:20 AM:

    " Were there also letters to the editor published at the time that you could reprint here? "

    wyoming wrote on Sep 8, 2008 2:38 AM:

    " Those of you who think this isn't frightening are missing something important: why would Palin ask such "rhetorical" questions? Is her moral compass so inoperative that she doesn't already KNOW the answer?

    Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, the real conservatives, have to be rolling over in their graves. If you want to know how a real conservative feels about censorship, read Reagan's 1951 testimony (in the Congressional Record) in front of McCarthy's committee investigating Hollywodd. Palin would have been more likely to be sitting on McCarthy's side of the table than Reagan's. "

    kelly wrote on Sep 8, 2008 1:53 AM:

    " Thanks for reprinting the article, and thanks to the librarians ( retired or not ) who helped clear the air here. It always helps to get / or have information from the insiders who have been there, done it, or experienced it being done. It is so nice to get or gain information from the horses mouth instead of his a** (es) sp !!!! "

    burger wrote on Sep 8, 2008 12:55 AM:

    " Freedom wise, Palin is the most dangerous mayor we've had to date. "

    Susan wrote on Sep 7, 2008 11:56 PM:

    " This matter about the censorship and the way Palin was handling the issue it tells me a LOT about her.

    One message to Mrs.Palin. WE, the Americans we have also the power to IMPEACH someone who is against democracy . Anyways.. you are not having my vote. "

    Linda wrote on Sep 7, 2008 9:11 PM:

    " Do check out these 2 The Anchorage Daily News articles of February 1997, which add more detail. The second article from 2/11/97 says that a group - about 100 that was considering a Mayoral recall decided to back down and work it out. More than just the one librarian had some issues with Mayor Palin about not only the library, but firing the police chief without cause.

    2/1/1997 article from ADN archives "Wasilla Keeps Librarian But Police Chief Is Out:

    2/11/97 "Foes Back Off Push to Recall Mayor" ADN "

    Lucy wrote on Sep 7, 2008 8:28 PM:

    " Thank you for reprinting this. I've been trying to track down the original story. A tale grows with the telling, but it still makes me nervous.

    To those who point out that "asking is not banning": How many times does a person have to ask you a "rhetorical question" before you start to suspect there might be intent behind it? "

    Cynth wrote on Sep 7, 2008 7:42 PM:

    " Who freaking cares whether the list is the standard list of books banned by the hopelessly frightened right-wingers who can't stand "dangerous" thoughts? If Sarah Palin banned one book, she's the dangerous one. "

    change is comin wrote on Sep 7, 2008 7:27 PM:

    " Thanks for the article, it only confirms the opinion I am forming of Sarah Palin. I am very upset with John McCain-it's obvious he did not properly vet her. He's rash and a hothead-as seen in this pick. She's a control freak and too ambitious to put her family first. She humiliated her 17 year old by accepting this nomination instead protecting her. And now she wants to force her way into my free choices. I will not vote for Palin-McCain ticket "

    susan wrote on Sep 7, 2008 7:19 PM:

    " I get testing the loyalty of your immediate staff. I am quite surprised by the concern of a mayor extending to library policy on censorship. A public library should be just that. Mayor Palin prevented the proposed expansion of the library and museum in favor of a sports arena that turned a balanced budget to a debt? It sounds like mismanagement and worse. "

    JohnV wrote on Sep 7, 2008 6:25 PM:

    " At least Obama waited 20 years before censoring Rev Wright. Bad Sarah, Bad Sarah!!!!! "

    JohnV wrote on Sep 7, 2008 6:15 PM:

    " Mike why are you trying to ban free speech. I will oppose you and get the ACLU involved. "

    its hard to believe wrote on Sep 7, 2008 4:03 PM:

    " the amount of people willing to give up our rights. And on "what ifs" to beat all. America is doomed because of the idiots that think our constitutional rights are pick and choose. Jefferson had it rights concerning an uneducated public. Wake up people, what rights are you willing to give up next? "

    Brent wrote on Sep 7, 2008 2:59 PM:

    " Heaven forbid that the librarian would be questioned...I guess it is above her. That library by the way is the people's library and the governor works for the people. We put the library in place and we can ask whatever questions we want. Only a person so insecure about their work would have a problem with that line of questioning. Reminds, me of the teachers I used to work with. "

    Pablo wrote on Sep 7, 2008 2:56 PM:

    " Sic semper tyrannis "

    Native America wrote on Sep 7, 2008 2:15 PM:

    " Sure seems to be a lot of out of state FAUX conservatives offering their unbaised, non-agenda driven opinions, of late... "

    Give us Ron Paul wrote on Sep 7, 2008 1:36 PM:

    " How could a conservative leave a city with that much of a tax base with such enormous debt? Since when do conservatives feel entitled to scoff at our laws? "

    CBob wrote on Sep 7, 2008 12:49 PM:

    " It seems to me ALL IMPORTANT what particular books were cited for censorship. As Photobones mentions: there are some books that perhaps should never have gone to shelves "

    a book reader wrote on Sep 7, 2008 11:54 AM:

    " Groups, persons, etc who would like a book or item removed from a library don't have to have the title banned. The item can simply be checked out and not returned. Ask librarians and clerks about which materials frequently come up on that list. "

    CT Patriot wrote on Sep 7, 2008 11:07 AM:

    " If Palin was rhetorical, why repeat herself? Why show up at a library staff meeting? I'm concerned about her Christian Conservative agenda strangling my freedom- If you don't believe in abortions, don't have one. If you believe Jesus will give you a one way ticket to heaven, fine with me. But the first Amendment prohibits Congress from establishing or controlling religion; the Fourth should void out most of the Patriot Act. Our Founding Fathers were NOT Born Agains; many barely believed in God - look up Deists like Jefferson. Read the Constitution - & vote the Dem ticket. "

    lizziecar wrote on Sep 7, 2008 10:22 AM:

    " I heard on the news that Palin vetoed funding for the Wasilla Library (and for expansion of a school here) during the budget cutting of which she is so proud. In a state as rich as this one, I find this troubling. She said in an interview on CNN that Wasilla is the economic envy of other cities in Alaska. If we're so wealthy, why is this type of budget cutting necessary, and is it even true? (Not a rhetorical question.) If you have any articles about it, perhaps you could print them, too? "

    Campbell wrote on Sep 7, 2008 10:04 AM:

    " I am glad this internet hoax on book banning has been put to rest. There is no smoking Potter. It seems that Emmons was the one who promoted and exasperated the questions into a hysterical unsubstantiated assumption.

    Instead of presenting library policy to Palin, Emmons instead interpreted her question as censorship an unfortunate but misguided political interpretation. "

    Photobones wrote on Sep 7, 2008 8:36 AM:

    " Has Anyone Considered The Fact that some books just need banning? The following are fictional titles, but lets say they weren't. If you were a mayor, would you ask your librarian to take some or all of these off the shelves?

    1. Marketing Children for Sex and Profit
    2. How To Build an A-Bomb in Six Easy Steps
    3. Killing Your Neighbor Made Simple
    4. Technical Specifications for Improvised Explosive Devices
    5. How To Rape Without Leaving a DNA Trail
    6. Boobytraps for Dummies
    7. etc. "

    Alexis T wrote on Sep 7, 2008 8:33 AM:

    " She wanted the librarian to resign as a test of loyalty, then asked "censorship questions," and then attended the library staff meeting? Heavy handed, but maybe she was doing her god's will. Now she says, aw shucks, it was all just "rhetorical"? Sounds like her god is her own power. Barracuda: beautiful slippery creature with scary sharp teeth. "

    Drew wrote on Sep 7, 2008 8:33 AM:

    " loyalty oaths? rhetorical censorship? taking choice away from women? she fits right in with Bush's dictatorship. Please America, read up on our leaders, from several soures, including books (and not just those that favor "your guy"), before you make any decision this November. "

    murph wrote on Sep 7, 2008 5:39 AM:

    " Thank you for reprinting this article. The Republicans have once again selected candidates who feel entitled to make all personal decision for the populace, regardless of our rights as outlined in the Constitution of the United States. At least they support the right to bear arms. They are a sly, untrustworthy bunch "

    Bettina Longo wrote on Sep 7, 2008 5:08 AM:

    " This is most certainly not much ado about nothing. I did not read into this article anything remotely like Eamon going after Palin. Americans are considering a virtual unknown politician for the Vice Presidency of Our Great Nation. Perhaps Palin was misunderstood. These comments seem to be rationalizing her documented behavior. I am proud of Eamon for not backing down. Republicans like to quote and defend our constitution when it suits their agenda, i.e the right to bear arms. The right to free speech is as important to us Democrats. As is the right question. "

    Virginia Zurflieh wrote on Sep 7, 2008 5:01 AM:

    " As a (retired) branch manager in a large public library system, I know from experience that questions about book-banning are never "rhetorical." "

    marjorie wrote on Sep 7, 2008 4:25 AM:

    " As a librarian, a "materials challenge review" is serious. Probably many don't think so, however as a librarian myself, it is my duty to protect our right to "freedom of information." Currently, I work as an elementary school librarian (public school). I take my job seriously. I cautiously read reviews, and I am always on the defense, just in case of cranky parents! I make sure every item is reviewed in at least three places! A school library supports the schools curriculum-A Public library supports the entire community! Your friendly librarian from New York "

    Dr. Edward Hand wrote on Sep 7, 2008 3:43 AM:

    " A political hack librarian (Emmons) is asked a rhetorical question by a mayor (Palin)concerning a book challenging policy (censorship). The librarian balked and cried wolf (ACLU).
    Books are censored, rated and removed everyday in this country.
    Much ado about nothing and everything to do with the petty politics of the left. No, Chicken Little, the libraries won't be closed if Sarah is elected VP, but if the Obama/Biden ticket wins, expect the fascist "Fainess Doctrine" to be rammed down every freedom loving American's throat. "

    Cecil Turner wrote on Sep 7, 2008 12:58 AM:

    " Thanks, this was useful. A couple of things leap out: 1) the article is written from Emmons's perspective; and 2) this apparently stems from a dispute over book challenge procedures in Big Lake in 1994. I think it'd be more helpful to get a copy of the written statement from then-mayor Palin, and a synopsis of the book challenge dispute in Big Lake. The real issue appears to be over book challenge procedures (and whether the librarian was willing to work with the new Mayor, or whether she would continue support for her deposed fellow Democrat). "

    Bert wrote on Sep 7, 2008 12:02 AM:

    " From these comments, it is obvious who has read the article, and who is merely against Palin. Emmons didn't support Palin, and made it clear in her responses. Palin did not say she would censor or ban books, but that is the way Emmons interpreted the questions. Had Emmons been unbiased, she would have first responded that there is already a policy in place to select (a form of censorship) books; a policy Emmons later admitted that she had no problem with. Instead, she went on the defensive, indeed on the attack, against Palin. "

    wow wrote on Sep 6, 2008 11:27 PM:

    " Thanks Frontiersman for the re-print. "

    Mad Jayhawk wrote on Sep 6, 2008 9:55 PM:

    " Were any books banned? Which books? Which books did Palin want banned? Asking questions is not the same as banning or forcing a librarian to ban books. Too many people here are, because of their political associations, assuming the worst and are jumping to unwarranted conclusions. They are also trusting the word of a woman who obviously has an axe to grind in this matter. There is an element of she said-she said in this matter. If there isn't, please present some facts. "

    cupidguy wrote on Sep 6, 2008 8:46 PM:

    " It seems to be allot to do with nothing. Readers are not aware of the climate in the city. There are many sepculations as to how past mayor and council ran things, and whether everyone in government was in each others pocket: we don't know. This basically comes down to he said she said, and the article shouldn't have even been printed.
    Anyone from a small town knows the pettiness that can take place.
    Maybe someone honest, able to tell the truth and not worry about retribution, could take the time and describe this little town. "

    KY Ferret wrote on Sep 6, 2008 8:23 PM:

    " Again, thank you, Frontiersman, for printing this.

    To answer Brigid and Ron, Here are two articles from the Anchorage Daily News archives about the Library issue.

    The second shows the citizens' reactions. I do hope the Frontiersman will fill in more gaps with more archives. What about the police chief? These shed light on character and governing/management style. The electorate needs to know.

    2/1/1997 "Wasilla Keeps Librarian But Police Chief Is Out" ADN archives:

    2/11/97 "Foes Back Off Push to Recall Mayor" ADN "

    Chris wrote on Sep 6, 2008 8:03 PM:

    " Rhetorical? Had it ACTUALLY been rhetorical the librarian would not have even remembered it. Nor would Palin have gone back again and again and again. And if other stories are shown to be as accurate as this one, Palin eventually tried to fire this Librarian for standing up for the Constitution.

    As a REAL conservative I am disgusted by this. I will not be voting for McCain or Palin now. "

    Otto wrote on Sep 6, 2008 7:33 PM:

    " Emmons (the librarian) was a staunch and vocal supporter of the incumbent mayor (who'd hired her) in the mayoral election against Palin. Palin won, and asked for this woman's resignation. That's when the conversation supposedly went from "What's the library's policy regarding censorship and book 'challenges'?" to "Would you be okay with me censoring books?". The ONLY source for this turn in direction is Ms. Emmons. I smell BS here. "

    Jo wrote on Sep 6, 2008 5:48 PM:

    " This woman is SCARY. Be afraid, be VERY afraid. "

    Mark wrote on Sep 6, 2008 4:50 PM:

    " I think it just a raw grab for power. I did not know her before this nomination, but hearing what she says, watching her expressions and mannerisms when she is getting applause or compliments, it so very obvious that she is ALL about Sarah and blind ambition. She even breaths heavy but not out nervousness, more out of being thrilled that she is adored and in control at the same time. "

    Joan wrote on Sep 6, 2008 4:15 PM:

    " Thank you so much for doing this. It is hard to take this in because, in my opinion, what she asked about--repeatedly--is terribly frightening and yet she gets away with her good girl image. It seems that the only reason she did not go further is because the librarian and others, not just those in the town, made it clear they would stand up to her. So she realized it would be too costly to her reputation and I am thinking more and more that her first and main concern is HER. "

    Brigid wrote on Sep 6, 2008 3:45 PM:

    " I would be interested in seeing any letters to the editor printed in response to the original article back in 1996. I'd like to get a feel for what the local reaction was to this story back then. "

    Ron wrote on Sep 6, 2008 3:31 PM:

    " Thank you for providing some factual information about one of the issues that Gov. Palin will be facing now that she has accepted the vice-presidential nomination. I hope that you will be able to post more concerning her history as a city council member and mayor. There will be untold "stories" abound. It would be helpful to the nation's voters to have a source to deny or confirm them. Your webpage is going to become quite popular. "

    Jeff wrote on Sep 6, 2008 3:30 PM:

    " Thank you Frontiersman for posting this article. This is scary. Censorship and book banning happens in China, Russia, and countries where we try to promote democracy. Men and women have fought and died for our freedoms, now McCain picked a VP that wanted (maybe still wants) to censor and ban books. Those aren't the values we want in our national leaders. "

    Alabama Resident wrote on Sep 6, 2008 3:05 PM:

    " This is good to know.I believe there was no proper vetting.It will all come out in the wash. "

    Prescott wrote on Sep 6, 2008 2:53 PM:

    " My point: there is not enough information here to draw a conclusion. I don't see anything wrong here especially if a constituant asked her to do so or look into certain material. She was asking nicely to prehaps exclude certain material that probably shouldn't be read by kids more than likely. Certain books ( eg, I'd rather my kids not read the Satanic bible) should be, at the very least, kept behind the counter. Maybe some people were threatning to protest and this was a way to keep order. "

    Jane wrote on Sep 6, 2008 11:46 AM:

    " We should be very afraid of Mayor Palin being given any more power than she has already! "

    Sandra from Atlanta GA wrote on Sep 6, 2008 10:28 AM:

    " Thank you for providing primary source and factual information that I can use for decision making.

    THANK GOD for the internet! "

    Paul wrote on Sep 6, 2008 9:34 AM:

    " First they want to tell you what you can read, then they want to tell you what to think. Not that it matters much in a pretend Democracy. "

    Valley Resident wrote on Sep 6, 2008 9:20 AM:

    " Is this about censorship or just a raw grab for power? Either way, Palin scares me. "

    Arthur Keith wrote on Sep 6, 2008 6:36 AM:

    " What do you prefer? Someone who asks questions about how you think and will act or someone who will cut off the money? I live in the deep south, the Bible belt, and here the city just stops supporting the library. And then what? No matter if they want to buy a book, there is no money available. So the only new books we see are the ones donated. And now the library hours are being cut back. Give me the questions anytime. "

    Mike wrote on Sep 6, 2008 5:51 AM:

    " I liked the comment:“Palin also said Monday censorship issues would not involve any departments other than the library." I'm glad Palin would permit, say, the dog catcher to leave on his shelf "Catcher in the Rye."
    Now that Palin is a national figure, maybe she'll just discuss "rhetorically" whether free speech should be cut from the constitution. "

    Diana wrote on Sep 6, 2008 4:13 AM:

    " Sarra Palin is a very smart women - in that she tests the waters with veiled innuendo to intimidate others. But make no mistake the threat is real and intimidation does work more often than not. In the end Mrs. Palin still can deny any threat was made - a tyrant is still a tyrant even in lipstick. "

    mike wrote on Sep 5, 2008 9:18 PM:

    " Wow. So many questions about censorship from a newly elected, small town mayor, don't you think? "

    Susan wrote on Sep 5, 2008 5:47 PM:

    " Thanks for reprinting the article. Couldn't tell from reading the recent articles on the internet what was real and what was reactionary. "


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