This was to be a somewhat different post, since I had intended to show from her past track record that ethics activist Andree McLeod (pictured at left) preaches a double standard on ethics. She holds Governor Sarah Palin accountable to a higher standard than what she's personally prepared to abide.
However, Anchorage Daily News reporter Sheila Toomey derailed that idea - at least in part. In a post on her weekly Alaska Ear gossip column, one of ADN's most popular features, Toomey passes on some interesting information about Andree McLeod. It seems our self-elected Ethics Queen now considers herself a Fashion Queen as well. Here's the pertinent excerpt from Alaska Ear:
NOT UPLIFTING ... Andree McLeod, the Anchorage activist who's usually busy second-guessing the governor's ethics, is unhappy with the way some state workers dress. In an e-mail to administration commish Annette Kreitzer, Andree allowed as how she's "astounded at the amount and magnitude of cleavage being exhibited by female employees in State of Alaska offices these days. Upon entering an office, I'm initially embarrassed when subjected to such low cut tops. ...The negative impact this all has on the business I have to conduct is not to my benefit. I leave the office feeling offended."
And, in a follow-up to Mike Nizich, the governor's chief of staff, she noted, "That's a lot of pressure to put on guys, whether they are members of the public or colleagues, to just ignore the fact that these women are wearing tops with breasts popping out. ... and not cross the lines."
A restrained Kreitzer sent Andree the state dress code, which includes: "Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, chest, upper thighs, stomach, or underwear is not appropriate."
This poses a real dilemma. On the one hand, I absolutely despise what Andree McLeod has done to Sarah Palin. Four ethics complaints PLUS a lawsuit? If that isn't legal stalking, I don't know what is. On the other hand, I find it disgusting the way so many American women dress like whores in public, particularly in an office environment. The impetus for this comes from the mass media and the entertainment industry, which promotes the lowest common cultural denominator. To the entertainment industry, women are nothing more than toys or commodities to be ruthlessly exploited.
Andree McLeod's less typical background reveals another possible reason why this has become an issue. According to previous Alaska Voter's Guides published in 2002 and 2004, when she ran unsuccessfully for the House District 24 seat, McLeod was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Undoubtedly, she came in contact with Muslims while she was there, possibly even the fundamentalist type who currently run Hezbollah. Fundamentalist Muslims strongly encourage women to cover themselves up in chadors or burkhas, because they believe a woman has a responsibility not to tempt a man beyond his ability to bear it. This implies that a woman has a responsibility to conduct herself in a manner that discourages sexual exploitation when she does not intend to be receptive to such overtures. Women who dress "sexy" are considered to be advertising their availability and receptivity. This philosophy could have easily influenced McLeod's thinking.
Of course, this begs the question, "What does this have to do with her ethics complaints against the Governor?" What this implies is that Andree McLeod may actually be sincere about these complaints - and may have an extreme view about ethics. Thus Sarah Palin is not merely being "held accountable" by a responsible citizen, but is being legally stalked by a fanatic who wants to hold the Governor hostage to impossible standards. And, as she reveals in an encounter with KBYR conservative talk-show host Eddie Burke, standards she will not abide herself. In the YouTube video embedded below, Burke asks McLeod several times if she had applied for a job with the Palin Administration and was turned down:
Not once did Andree McLeod answer the question. Not once. What is she trying to hide? Why doesn't she answer the question? If she's going to accuse Sarah Palin of ethics violations, she has a moral obligation to answer such a question.
And this is why there is a backlash building against all these ethics complaints. The others are just nuisances - Andree McLeod is the real villain.