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A portrait of a governor

October 28, 2008

Re "Gov. Palin put donors and friends in key posts," Oct. 24

Your recent story on appointments made in Alaska by Gov. Sarah Palin gave the erroneous impression that only friends and supporters get important state jobs.

As a glaring example of the holes in your presentation, the article failed to discuss the governor's record in making the most important appointment in state government: Her chief of staff.

Two men have served in that capacity, neither of them associated with Palin beforehand.

Mike Tibbles, who served until May of this year, had worked for the previous governor and ran the gubernatorial campaign of one of Palin's opponents in the 2006 Republican primary. When he became Palin's chief of staff, he had only known her for a few months.

The current chief of staff, Mike Nizich, is a career civil servant who has worked for every Alaska governor in the last three decades, both Democrats and Republicans. As such, he was not a Palin insider prior to her administration.

Unfortunately, your reporter chose to write about comparatively minor positions, such as those on the agriculture board. And even there, he did not mention ample information we provided about the qualifications of the appointees.

This was a premeditated hit piece, nothing more.

Bill McAllister

Anchorage

The writer is the director of communications for Gov. Sarah Palin.

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Kudos to The Times for this well-researched piece on Palin's cronyism.

The American people have known what the Republican National Committee has permitted us to know about Palin for seven short weeks. Your article is more informative -- by way of facts, not hyperbole -- about who Palin is than any type of official vetting could have been.

Joan Wagner

Los Alamitos

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