Sarah Palin’s membership in the Alaskan Independence Party

Party chairman says she was a registered AIP voter, changed in 1996.


1. Palin was never an AIP member and probably never attended an AIP convention; AIP officials are backing off their claims.

2. Palin’s husband was a member for several years.

3. Palin did make a welcoming video for the year’s AIP state convention.

4. AIP is a somewhat anti-American secessionist movement; it is affiliated with the “Christian Dominionist” Constitution Party. Full update here.


[Original post]:

So far, I’ve seen no indication about whether Gov. Palin intends to deny reports of her membership in the Alaska Independence Party, which regards the United States as a hostile occupying power, and which still has its founder’s words about “America and her damned institutions” on its website.

I emailed R.J Myers, the Vice Chair of the Alaska Independence Party listed as the press contact on the party’s website, with a request for documentation He forwarded to me a statement sent by the party chair, Lynette Clark, to a Canadian journalist. (Full text, with the journalist’s name redacted, at the jump; Clark refers to Alaska as “our republic” and talks about a “relationship” with Canada.)

Here’s the key paragraph:

Yes, Governor Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. She joined the Party and attended the AIP Statewide Convention held in Wasilla in 1994, along with her husband, Todd. In 1996 she changed her registration to Republican and Todd re-registered as undeclared, a registration he holds today.

Myers writes to me:

There are no separate AIP membership records. The Alaska Division of Elections maintains the voter registration lists. That would be the only formal record of party affiliation.

I think that’s about as far as I can take the story.


The McCain campaign has put out a mass email denying that Sarah Palin was ever a member of AKIP. The email included a .pdf of her voter record, too big for Moveable Type to let me upload. At first blush, the .pdf seems to support the claim that she has always been registered as a Republican.

Here’s the email:

From: Brian Rogers, McCain ’08

At: 9/02 12:21:15

All: I know that the Obama campaign is pushing around many false attacks on Governor Palin, and wanted to make sure you had the facts.

The allegations that Gov. Palin was a member of Alaska Independence Party are false. She’s never been a member of the Alaska Independence Party.

Gov. Palin has been a registered Republican ever since 1982, as the records attached show.

It would be nice if the media outlets covering this garbage actually did their due diligence in reporting, and didn’t just push Obama campaign/Daily Kos smears.

Attached are all of Gov. Palin’s voter registration records — she’s been a registered Republican since she registered in 1982.

Thank you

Jake Tapper gets official confirmation that Palin has always been a registered Republican:

Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, tells ABC News that regardless of the impression given to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, “Gov. Sarah Palin first registered to vote in the state in May 1982 as a Republican, and she has not changed her party affiliate with the Division of Elections since that time.”

On at least one point Rogers is deliberately misleading; the statement that Palin was a member of AKIP came not from Obama or from DKos diarists, but from the Chairman of the AKIP. And of course her “keep up the good work” video sent this year to the convention of what could fairly be described as an anti-American organization is not denied.

I have emailed J.R. Myers of AKIP requesting comment.

Second update Todd Palin was a member of AIP until 2002. This is even worse than it sounds; in addition to the anti-American Alaskan nationalism, the AIP is affiliated with the Constitution Party, which has a strong Christian-Dominionist tinge to it.

The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.

Right. All us Yids are just visitin’.

Read the whole platform. These people are seriously nuts.

And ask yourself what the press reaction would be if Jill Biden had belonged to the Peace and Freedom party.

Text of Lynette Clark’s letter


Hello XXX,

Thank you for writing and for the web link about the Governor being an AIP member.

Yes, Governor Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. She joined the Party and attended the AIP Statewide Convention held in Wasilla in 1994, along with her husband, Todd. In 1996 she changed her registration to Republican and Todd re-registered as undeclared, a registration he holds today.

I, as AIP Chairman, am not so excited about having her as a V.P. candidate. I feel somewhat betrayed as an Alaskan that she would attach herself to a candidate that has long held an opposing view to the development of our republic and its’ resource wealth. I cannot say where Governor Palin now “stands” regarding the AIP Platform, however, she did send a wonderful DVD from her office for the 2008 AIP Statewide Convention sharing her opinion of the importance of this Party.

As to the labeling of the AIP as a “fringe”, I would remind you that the Republicans held that same label when they stated with Abe Lincoln. The AIP is now 28 years old, we have seated a Governor and Lt Governor, along with various members of our State Congress. We currently have two candidates campaigning for the US Senate, Bob Bird, and US House, Don Wright. I firmly believe the term “fringe” no longer applies.

This Party took an almost fatal blow when in 1993 the Founder, and then Chairman, Joe Vogler was kidnapped and murdered, but has weathered that storm and has still endured. The AIP Platform is one of State’s Rights that the Founding Fathers of the original colonies would be proud of, but we also address the legality of the Statehood vote that occurred in 1958. Our reasons are fully addressed by Mr Vogler on the web site under “the Primer”. Just one short week after receiving a letter of sponsorship to the United Nations to come plead Alaska’s “case”, he disappeared.

Joe had made several inroads regarding a relationship with Canada, should Alaska finally receive the “vote” to which we were entitled per United Nations standards regarding “Non-self-governing Territory’s”. He was in serious contact with the leaders of the Yukon and Northwest

Territories. I, as Chairman, would like to re-engage in that relationship.

Well, XXX, this has grown much longer than what you requested, so, I’ll close for now. If you have any other questions, please, feel free to contact me.


Lynette Clark, Chairman

Alaskan Independence Party

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: