Senator Ellis actually got the message that governor Palin was rejecting a third of the stimulus money, including $160 for education, while at a meeting in the White House in Washington D.C. Ellis reports being stunned and having legislators from other states ask him, “Doesn’t Governor Palin have a special needs child?”
The meeting today was the first meeting after her rejection of the funds, and the first after backtracking saying she hadn’t really rejected them which is really ”political face-saving” and “damage control.” The meeting, was scheduled on the calendar as an “in person” meeting.
It was originally scheduled at the governor’s house, where legislators had recently been invited to breakfast. But the Legislators wanting to “get down to business” requested that it be scheduled in the conference room in the capitol building.
But this morning, the morning of the meeting, Senate President Gary Stevens was informed by Palin aide Gerry Gallagher that she was not in Juneau, and had other things to do like announce Wayne Anthony Ross as Attorney General. He wanted to know would we be willing to meet with staff? We said, politely, no, that we need to meet with governor because we need soemone with authority to make decisions. Palin has made it very clear that none of the staff can speak for her or make decisions. We had gotten as far as we could go with staff. We want to know going in if the governor is going to veto things, and what to expect. We need face time. So, because the gov was not here we declined to meet with staff.
Then things started to get interesting. The Governor’s office released an official press release which began:
March 26, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin was scheduled to participate telephonically in a meeting with legislative leadership today when legislative leaders cancelled the meeting to host their own press conference.
h/t: gentleman 'Edward Teller' of Progressive Alaska.