Global environmental challenges
Have Defenders of Wildlife lost key fund raiser: Gov. Palin?
Sarah Palin’s looming departure from the governor’s office in Alaska may deprive at least one animal welfare group of a key source of green.
The moose-hunting and ultra-conservative hockey mom shot to national prominence last year as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate on the losing Republican ticket. Palin, who in a surprise move said on Friday that she would step down this month as Alaskan governor, remains a political lighting rod who is loved and loathed in equal measure.
This polarizing profile has made her a major fund raising force for the Republican Party. It has also made her a focal point for groups staunchly opposed to her politics and policies.
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund has been using Palin’s support of the aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska as a peg to bring attention to the issue – and also it seems to drum up some donations amid the recessionary crunch.
The home page on its web site says: “Help Stop Palin’s Wolf Slaughter: DONATE NOW”.
The seven press releases it has issued so far this year on its online newsroom have one main topic: Palin and wolf hunting.
“Palin Administration Calls in the Helicopters for Sweeping Wolf Massacre,” says one. Another talks about “Palin’s extreme Anti-Conservation Agenda.” The group has also distributed a graphic video narrated by Hollywood star Ashley Judd which takes aim at Palin and the aerial hunting of wolves.
Jessica Brand, a spokesperson with Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, said :”It’s not really a personality thing … It’s an issue we will work on after she is governor and it is an issue we worked on before she was governor.”
Still, one has to wonder if they can really gin up this issue without Palin as a polar bear-sized target. Their “Eye on Palin” campaign has been a key part of their wider campaign against wolf hunting. That will be difficult to sustain with her no longer in a position to make or execute policy in Alaska.
Palin has also inadvertently helped to ignite other bases on the other side of the fence. In September last year, Obama’s campaign said that after her fiery speech to the Republican National Convention, $8 million had poured into it from more than 130,000 donors within a matter of hours.
(Photo: A video frame grab shows former U.S. Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announcing that she will resign this month and will not run for re-election as governor in Wasilla, Alaska, July 3, 2009. REUTERS/KTUU-TV (UNITED STATES POLITICS ELECTIONS)