augusta free press news

White House ’08: Locals busy hitting forward on campaign-related e-mails

Story by Chris Graham

My in-box was hopping Friday evening with forwards of the e-mail from Anne Kilkenny of Wasilla, Alaska, which you might recognize as the town made famous by former mayor-turned-vice-presidential-nominee Sarah Palin.

Seems that e-mail trees can and do make their way to Greater Augusta.

“You should check this out – very interesting — and I’ve Snoped it for accuracy,” one of the forwarders, Kathy Johnson, e-mailed me. “Snopes did confirm that yes, there is a Wasilla resident named Anne Kilkenny, and yes, she is the original author of the e-mail. She originally sent it to around 40 people in her address book. It has spread exponentially from there. Gives you some idea how quickly things spread on the Internet,” Johnson said.

Indeed, it does. Kilkenny told The Boston Herald that she had only wanted a few friends to see her 2,400-word e-mail about Palin, whom she had come to know as a Wasilla resident dating back to 1992. The e-mail, of which Kilkenny said, “It’s not to make her look bad. It’s not to make her look good. It’s just to make her what she is,” defends Palin against the insidious Internet-based rumors that her son Trig is actually the son of her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, and gives her credit for being “energetic” and “hardworking,” among other things. But Kilkenny is also critical of how Palin oversaw growth in Wasilla’s government spending in the amount of 33 percent during her time as mayor and even raised sales taxes in the town during a time of rather substantial local economic growth. And Kilkenny also points out that Palin left the town with $22 million in debt after inheriting a budget that had zero local debt on the books; and she gives us insight into the controversial firing of a long-time city administrator that might come across to Waynesboro residents as being reminiscent of the recent sacking of former city manager Doug Walker by his political foes.

Another forward made its way into my in-box this morning. It came from Augusta County resident Anne Seaton, and it included a link to a video from an ABC interview with Barack Obama that featured a gaffe made by Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama in a conversation with George Stephanopoulos in which Obama slipped and referred to his “Muslim faith” in responding to a question about the role of religion in this year’s presidential election.

Conservative bloggers have had a field day with the slip as being some sort of subconscious admission from Obama regarding oft-repeated charges from those on the Far Right that Obama is a practicing Muslim. Seaton did the same in her e-mail forward. “THIS is why we should get on the streets and get people to the polls for McCain on Nov. 2!!! I literally feel sick. Voting for Obama is like asking the fox to watch the hen house,” Seaton wrote.

I wrote her back to ask her why she “literally feel(s) sick,” and she responded that “it’s just that all true Muslims, by creed, have openly declared Jihad on the rest of the non-Muslim world, which means that they want us to convert or they want us dead. Any human being that underestimates this threat to our national sovereignty does not belong in our U.S. government, let alone the Oval Office.”