Governor Palin says she met face-to-face with Board of Game Chairman Ron Somerville and called for him to step down. Palin said she told Somerville on the phone and in person that “it was my desire for him to hand the gavel over to someone else.”
In a phone interview with reporter Hopkins Thursday night (February 15th), Palin said Somerville declined. “He chose not to step aside,” she said. Palin then further explained, “Ron Somerville has assured me that his chairmanship is up, I believe it’s March 1, it’s in a matter of days, and we’ll see what his board chooses to do. It’s in his board’s hands.” [Ed. Note: Somerville's term actually expires on March 1st, 2008. However, Governor Palin is absolutely right. Give the board a chance to act first.]
Somerville has been criticized for implying three Alaska Natives weren’t at an October board meeting because they were drinking instead. To summarize, after the third Native's name was called and there was no response, Somerville said, "There must be a run on free beer or something". When the next person, a Native lady named Donna, stepped up to testify, Somerville quipped "Don't like beer, Donna?" Click HERE for a complete account of this incident. These remarks, of course, refer to the disproportionately greater propensity of indigenous peoples to abuse alcohol. In Canada, Canadian Natives so frequently abuse alcohol that some Canadians refer to them as "chugs" (in reference to "chugging" beer).
After a brief firestorm of criticism, during which several Native leaders and the Anchorage Daily News called for his resignation, Somerville apologized and said he was embarrassed if anyone was offended. Even back then, Governor Palin, just newly-elected, expressed her displeasure at Somerville's remarks and hinted at his resignation.
Governor Palin said the meeting took place in her Juneau office, “quite some time ago.”
Commentary: Let's skip the long-winded analysis. Compare the Somerville situation with the predicament of UA Regent Jim Hayes head-to-head:
Alaska Game Board Chairman Ron Somerville: Two insensitive, smart-aleck remarks at an official public forum.
UA Regent Jim Hayes: A 115-count indictment on money-laundering and diversion of Federal grant money.
If you would fire Somerville, you're most likely a typical self-hating, guilt-tripping white liberal who's been steeped in political correctness. Visit the Vanguard News Network and get deprogrammed.
If you would fire Hayes, then there's hope for you. Visit the Vanguard News Network and interact with others who think like you.