Del Mar part-time resident co-authors cautionary tale in new book ‘Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin’
By Joe Tash
A former aide to ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin asserts in a new book that Palin is “ill suited” to head a political party or occupy national office, and her election “would lead to a disaster of … biblical proportions.”
“Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” was written by Frank Bailey, who worked on Palin’s campaign for governor and later served in her administration. He was a key figure in the Troopergate scandal, in which it was alleged that Palin improperly sought the firing of an Alaska state trooper who had been married to Palin’s sister.
Bailey co-wrote the book with novelist and political commentator Ken Morris, who attended high school in La Jolla and still maintains a house in Del Mar, and Alaska political blogger Jeanne Devon.
Bailey’s book is based on a trove of emails between himself, Palin, Palin’s husband, Todd, and other Palin staffers, and was published last month by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
The book created a stir in February when a draft manuscript was released by writer Joe McGinniss, who is working on his own tell-all book about Palin, according to the authors. The publication preceded last Friday’s release by Alaska officials of emails sent and received by Palin when she was governor.
Morris, 58, lives most of the year with his family in Marin County, north of San Francisco, but often returns to Del Mar to visit friends and relatives and enjoy the local beaches. In a telephone interview from his Bay Area home, he said “Blind Allegiance” is both a cautionary tale about America’s political system, and Bailey’s personal story of losing his moral bearings, and then making amends and seeking redemption.
Morris said the book details Palin’s obsession with using all resources at her disposal to punish those she perceives as opposing or slighting her.
“Her world is full of demons,” said Morris. “She is a very disturbed person and I feel sorry for her.”
The Palin camp has dismissed the book as a fabrication.
“Mr. Bailey has an axe to grind and abandoned truth in his book. The cover of the book tells this story, two completely different photos twisted and Photo-shopped to create a fraudulent image. The book belongs on the fiction shelves,” said Tim Crawford, a spokesman for SarahPAC, Palin’s political action committee, in an article published on the website Politico.
But Morris said every key point in the book is backed up by emails from Bailey’s files. He said Palin supporters have not challenged the accuracy of any fact in the book, and that many book covers contain electronically altered images. In the case of “Blind Ambition,” photos of Bailey and Palin are juxtaposed to make it appear that Bailey is standing behind Palin.
“The attack machine is about everything but what’s between the covers,” Morris said.
Among the book’s assertions:
• When Palin returned to Alaska after she and running mate John McCain lost the presidential election in November 2008, she told reporters, “this is the best job in the world, being the governor.” At the time, Bailey recalled, he had recently received an email from Palin saying, “pray that we win so we can all get out of this place.” Bailey said he’d also heard her say or write, “I hate this damn job.” She resigned from the governor’s job in July 2009, with more than a year left on her term.
• Palin’s gubernatorial campaign violated state election law when it coordinated with an outside group, the Republican Governor’s Association, to produce a commercial that portrayed Palin in a positive light while giving a negative connotation to Palin’s opponent.
• Palin was outraged at a perceived slight by former House speaker Newt Gingrich, regarding a speaking engagement at a congressional fund-raising dinner. Palin reportedly wrote in an email, “I went from being the invited keynote speaker back in February, to just the surprise introducer of the speaker this month, to the back-of-the-bus’er (“sit down and shut up”) the day before the event. One of the organizers told Meg last night that Newt pulled the plug, said he didn’t want me to ‘steal the show’.” “Yes, (Newt/GOP) are egotistical, narrow minded machine goons, but all the more reason God protected me from getting up on stage in front of 5000 political and media ‘elites’ to praise him, then it would be shown across the nation. At some point Newt would have shown his true colors anyway and we would have been devastated having known we’d earlier prostituted ourselves up in front of the country introducing him and acting like that good ol’ rich white guy is the savior of the party.”
One of the main points of the book, said Morris, is that the political parties and voters have to do a better job of checking out candidates for high office. Otherwise, he said, an unqualified candidate — he points to Palin as an example — could wind up as either president or vice president.
When Morris and his family are in San Diego, they visit Morris’ brother, who owns the Kansas City Barbecue restaurant downtown. Morris’ wife, Amelia, works for a San Diego-based equity firm. Morris lived in La Jolla for about 20 years, and his father, who died two years ago, was the former chairman of the board of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
A former Wall Street executive, Morris has written two novels, “Man in the Middle” and “The Deadly Trade,” both financial thrillers. He said a new novel, with the working title of “Golden Rules,” is set to be published soon. It tells the story of a female private investigator in New York City on the trail of a murderer.
While he doesn’t expect Palin to run for president in 2012 — in spite of her much publicized recent bus tour of the northeastern United States — Morris said developments such as Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee staying out of the race, and Gingrich’s campaign troubles, could tempt her into the fray.
“If she ever won, I’d have to move,” Morris said.
“Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” is available at major bookstores and on Amazon.com.
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