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revised 2008-10-27 Palin forms group to address Alaska Native issues By RACHEL D’ORO – ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) —

Gov. Sarah Palin is forming an administrative group to address issues in largely Native, rural parts of the state.

Many Alaska Natives say Palin has ignored them and failed to protect their ancient traditions during her tenure, even though her husband is part Alaska Native. The Republican vice presidential candidate is away on the campaign trail but made the announcement Thursday in a prerecorded speech played before thousands of people attending a yearly convention of Alaska Natives in Anchorage. Palin says the new rural subcabinet group will work with representatives of rural communities to tackle issues like public safety, education and health care. The group will include existing Cabinet members and two Alaska Native commissioners.

“As I envision it, the subcabinet will work closely with representatives of rural communities, tribes, corporations, nonprofits and other entities to discuss issues of concern and to design acceptable solutions,” said Palin, … “I know that to the current energy situation, some folks feel forced to leave their homes and their heritage and are making the move to more urban centers where the cost of living is less expensive and the odds of finding a decent job is better,” Palin said.

  • Palin tells AFN she’s forming rural subcabinet [see her earlier promise noted below]
  • [revised 2008-10-14 T22:15:27] The news tonight (CBS KTVA) announced Rhonda McBride’s resignation as rural advisor, effective the end of the month. In her statement to Alaska Native groups, McBride said she resigned to allow more Alaska Natives in the Governor’s cabinet. I will try to find the actual statement. Sounds a bit odd to me. Rhonda was certainly qualified to speak about rural Alaska issues, but one person does not a cabinet position make.

    Palin’s rural adviser quits By ANNE SUTTON – 4 hours ago

    …”In all honesty, I have never felt authentic in my role,” McBride wrote in her e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by the AP.

    McBride, who covered rural issues as a reporter before becoming rural adviser last year, said she would return to journalism to help bring attention to Native issues.

    She said her last day would be Oct. 23.

    revised2008-10-15 Writing Raven — Another Palin personnel problem— has the full text of Rhonda’s message, which is far more important than what the news stories have highlighted. The reference to DCRA is key, I feel. [What is the import of rural Alaska to the people of Alaska as executed by elected officials (the “chief executive officer” is the Governor)? As indicated by the “rural advisor” substitute for a sub-cabinet (or cabinet position) and now resignation and the other cabinet shuffles that Writing Raven notes, we still aren’t at the table with the grown-ups. mpb]

    Rhonda McBride will be able to do far more for rural Alaska by her return to journalism than by staying in the Palin administration, which is a discouraging thing to say.

    Gov. Sarah Palin during her state of the state address last January 2007 suggested she would establish a sub-cabinet on rural issues. Today she announced at her address to the Alaska Federation of Natives convention that Rhonda McBride is to be her new rural advisor.
    Rhonda McBride

    McBride is a KTUU-TV journalist and former news director at KYUK-TV in Bethel. She had a regional noon newscast that was very welcome (until the state decided not to fund rural news). A biography is here, http://tinyurl.com/ypvmfb although it has some typos (“Prior to moving to Alaska in 1998 [sic]“)

    I hope the Governor doesn’t change the name of the advisor, as she indicated today. “Advisor” at least implies that views and information from rural Alaska will get to the Governor’s ear. In many other institutions, a “rural public relations officer” would only get the Governor’s chosen word to rural us’ns. I also hope “rural” will include the Unorganized Borough tundra roots science and community-based research department.

    If you tried to E-mail the Governor, after December try E-mailing Rhonda. I hope she gets office assistance. Rural Alaska is about 2/3 of the state, in area, e.g., Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, (and Nebraska?).

    [revised] 2008-09-02Rhonda’s contact info is
    McBride, Rhonda
    Rural Advisor (907)269-7450
    Office of the Governor rhonda.mcbride AT alaska.gov
    EXE-EXECUTIVE OFFICE ANCH Atwood Bldg, 550 W 7th Ave
    Anchorage, AK 99501

    Please note that Rhonda McBride is Governor Palin’s advisor. She is NOT the Republican nominee contact person. All that information is now handled by someone at the McCain-Palin campaign.

    Also note that the Governor’s rural advisor, like so many other state offices, does NOT have a toll-free number to call. It costs 5 (five) times more to call Anchorage or Juneau than it does to call Washington, DC.

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