Native Alaskans oppose Palin's pick for state attorney general

The Anchorage Daily NewsApril 1, 2009 

Alaska Native leaders are angry at Gov. Sarah Palin's appointment of Wayne Anthony Ross to be the state's next attorney general, but it's unlikely that will stop the Legislature from confirming him to the job in two weeks.

"It almost looked like she was rubbing our face in Anthony Ross's appointment.," said Tim Towarak, co-chairman of the Alaska Federation of Natives. "Like rubbing our face on the ground, saying 'Here, take this.' "

Native organizations opposed to the confirmation of Ross have started contacting state legislative offices. Angoon Democratic Sen. Albert Kookesh said there will be consequences for Palin, even if he cannot stop the Ross confirmation.

"Rural Alaskans will remember her appointment of Wayne Anthony Ross. Natives will remember her appointment of Wayne Anthony Ross," said Kookesh, who is also a co-chairman of the Alaska Federation of Natives. "That's where this is going."

Palin dismissed the criticism as unwarranted.

"Obviously I am not anti-Native and would never appoint anyone who is. It's unfortunate that a few vocal critics view anyone who may have a different opinion as they do as being unfit for public service for all Alaskans," Palin said in an e-mail sent out Tuesday by her spokeswoman.

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