In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The Alaska Republican Partry released this statement on Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) resignation:

Alaska Republicans Grateful For Palin's Leadership, Excited For Soon To Be Governor Parnell.

Republicans across Alaska and the nation were surprised to learn today our Governor, Sarah Palin will be stepping down and not seeking re-election.

The party shares mixed feelings as we lose a valued public servant who raised Alaskan issues and concerns in the national consciousness in a way no Alaska leader had previously been able. While sadden to see Gov. Palin leave we are excited to see a conservative of Lt. Gov. Parnell's character enter the Governor's office.

Gov. Palin's decision not to run for re-election means there will be a vigorous race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010. Alaska has an impressive cadre of conservative candidates we are confident will vie for the office of governor and the party stands ready to fully support which ever conservative candidate our members choose to represent them in the general election.

The Alaska Republican Party has not been informed whether Gov. Palin plans another run for national office and as such cannot comment on that possibility. The party does feel, however, there needs to be a strong challenge to President Obama's attack on Alaskan values waged by his administration since taking office six months ago. If that challenge comes from Gov. Palin the party ready to support her as all Alaskans should.

Sen. Mike Johann's communications director Ann Marie Hauser has released an official statement about today's mini-kerfuffle outside of a Nebraska health care roundtable. "Sen. Johanns has been a public servant for 25 years and he has no problem with people protesting. He came to UNMC today to hold several productive discussions with concerned Nebraskans and members of the health care community, including the SEIU and Jane Kleeb. UNMC's security personnel took it upon themselves to enforce university policy of no protesting on their property. It's a shame Jane's politcial agenda takes priority over participating in a constructive discussion on an issue of such importance to Nebraskans."

Kleeb notes that her work in politics and health care advocacy long predates her introduction to her husband, Scott Kleeb, who ran against Johanns in the Nebraska Senate race in 2008, and that her work in Nebraska--including the event today--is not about political retribution in any way.

Notwithstanding the political disagreement, though, there's still the unanswered question of who, if anybody, called security on the activists.

TPMDC's update on the biggest legislative initiatives on the Hill:

  • Health Care: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will in all likelihood advance their health care reform bill--public option and all--after Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) drops her opposition.


  • Nominations: In a holiday-Friday news dump, the Senate Judiciary Committee has released hundreds-more pages of documents dating back to Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor's tenure on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Republican Governors Association released this statement on Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) resignation:

Republican Governors Association Executive Director Nick Ayers issued the following statement in regards to Sarah Palin's announcement today that she will not seek reelection in 2010 and will step down from the governorship on July 25th.

"While we regret the news announced by Governor Palin today, Alaska will continue to have a Republican governor through 2010 and we are confident the state will elect a Republican in next year's election.

The RGA's focus remains firmly on the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia this year, and the 37 gubernatorial elections that will take place in 2010. We know that winning these races is the most important task facing our Party over the next two years."

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse has put out this statement about Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) resignation -- taking what might just be the final opportunity to rip into her:

"Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can't handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down. Either way - her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today."

Here's Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) rather...interesting resignation speech:





Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), the unsuccessful 2008 nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President, has announced that will resign her office, effective at the end of the month.

Initial reports had been that she simply wasn't going to run for a second term in 2010, seemingly setting up a 2012 campaign for the White House. But this sure is something...

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), the unsuccessful 2008 nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President, has resigned her office, effective at the end of the month.

Initial reports had been that she simply wasn't going to run for a second term in 2010, seemingly setting up a 2012 campaign for the White House. But this sure is something...

Late Update: Reporter Andrew Wellner from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman just appeared on CNN after attending Palin's press conference. She said, Wellner reported, that she could be more effective outside of government.

And she wholly blamed the national press, saying they were creating national distractions that cost the state money. Palin said: "You are naive if you don't see a full-court press on the national level, picking apart a good point guard."

Late Late Update: Here's the video. Part 1:



And Part 2:

CNN reports that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) is set to announce soon that she will not run for a second term as Governor in 2010.

There are any number of reasons she might not be running again -- but it's worth pointing out that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) also recently announced his retirement, which most people see as a step towards a potential run for President in 2012.

And given the huge distances involved, it's hard to travel all around the Lower 48 while also being an actual Governor of Alaska. Palin had to essentially leave the state during the two months that she ran for Vice President back in 2008.

Could we be seeing a Palin/Bachmann ticket in 2012?

Democratic House candidate Francine Busby (CA-50), whose fundraising house party last Friday night ended disastrously with a now-infamous raid by the San Diego Sheriff's Department, met yesterday with the county's new Sheriff William D. Gore, who was just sworn in yesterday, and she told me today that it was a constructive meeting.

The incident began after an unnamed person, believed to have been a heckler who reportedly shouted obscenities and anti-gay slurs at the event, phoned in a noise complaint.

"I congratulated him on being sworn in. We had a conversation about this incident. I told him that I'm going to be completely cooperative with him, because I think it's going to be so important that we find out how this happened, and why this happened, and make sure it doesn't happen again," said Busby. "And I told him that it's very important to me to find out that if there was political motivation behind the phone call, for two reasons. One, is these types of political meetings occur all the time for all candidates. It's important that people feel safe when they attend one of these, and it should be a protected right in our democratic process. And two, law enforcement should never be put in a position to be used in a political way."

Read More →

Did Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) sick the cops on a group of health care reform organizers? That's what the Service Employees International Union is claiming. The group had received permission to gather at the Nebraska Medical Center to meet Johanns who was scheduled to appear at a roundtable discussion on health care--but Johanns apparently wasn't interested.

"SEIU along with teachers and members of the military set up a table with apple pie and signs welcoming the Senator and urging him to support an American solution to healthcare reform," noted Jane Kleeb, SEIU State Director. "Instead of coming by and saying hello, the Senator walked right by us as we were surrounded by police and said 'good luck with that.'"

Johann's staff, however, portrays things rather differently. They contend that the organizers were confronted by hospital security and asked to move their protest off hospital grounds. They also deny complaining--either to the police, or to hospital security--about the protesters' presence, and say the roundtable proceeded, with Kleeb's participation, after the controversy was resolved.

Those are two very different versions of events, obviously. We'll try to tease out exactly what went down.

Late update: It's certainly worth pointing out that Jane Kleeb is the wife of Scott Kleeb, who was Johanns' opponent in the 2008 election for Chuck Hagel's old Senate seat.

Late, late update: I just got off the phone with Jane Kleeb who stuck to her version of events and provided more details. According to Kleeb, she and about 10 other advocates set up out front with two home made signs--one which read 'Sen. Johanns, we can't wait' and one which read 'Health care '09, we can't wait'. She says that soon thereafter four cars rolled up--both medical center security and Omaha police. According to Kleeb, the police waited in their cars while she spoke with hospital security officers, who told her that Johanns' staff had indeed called to complain about the protest.

According to an email Kleeb provided from the hospital, "[e]xternal groups can distribute literature on public sidewalks, so long as they are not obstructing pedestrian or vehicle traffic, and do not interfere with those entering and exiting the buildings." Kleeb says she and the group gathered on a walkway several feet from the medical center's doors, but that security moved them to the other side of a barrier about several feet further from the entrance.

LiveWire