Friday, February 27, 2009

Why Rhonda McBride left Sarah Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's rural affairs adviser, Rhonda McBride, left the administration last October, claiming an Alaskan Native would better represent the state's indigenous communities:

"You begin to realize there's a certain moral authority a Native voice has. I think the Palin administration is very well-intended. I just don't think I can bring the message on these issues as well as an Alaska Native can."

But -- courtesies aside -- last week, The Homer News interviewed Rob Rosenfeld, who's both a consultant to 66 indigenous communities and a candidate for Governor.

Rosenfeld claimed that McBride left her position because of Palin's neglect for Native concerns.

Now the Alaska Dispatch has received an email from McBride, confirming her frustrations with the Governor:

"I think what Rob picked up on was my disappointment, my wish that I could have time to talk with the governor about the overwhelming issues facing rural Alaska. I had hoped she would invite me into her office on a regular basis to discuss rural issues. But that never happened in a formal way.

In talking with people who have held positions similar to mine, they experienced the same problem. One of those who worked for (former Governor) Tony Knowles, told me that when he traveled with Tony, he always hoped to get weathered in somewhere, so he could buttonhole the governor. One-on-one time is precious with a governor.

I did ask Governor Palin for a one-on-one meeting. But it never happened."