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Enviro Group Expands Palin Wolf-Hunting Policy Ad Buy

Updated 5:57 p.m.
By Juliet Eilperin
Capitalizing on the success of its hard-hitting ad questioning Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's support for predator control, a national environmental group is expanding its television buy in time for Thursday night's vice presidential debate.

The ad by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which focuses on Palin's backing for aerial killing and tracking of wolves, as well as grizzly and black bears in Alaska, has generated $1 million in contributions for Defenders and spread across the Internet on liberal blogs.

The independent HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, which has been testing several campaign ads this season, recently concluded it ranks as one of the campaign's most effective ads. The commercial moved viewers -- regardless of their party identification -- slightly toward backing Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, according to a poll of 312 people.

The ad is already airing in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and northern Virgina, will hit the airwaves in Colorado tomorrow and Wisconsin on Friday. It will also air in Missouri, just on Thursday night, during the vice presidential debate.

"Aerial killing of wolves may not be your standard national election issue, but it is one that helps illuminate an important part of Sarah Palin's character," said President of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Rodger Schlickeisen. "We believe voters deserve to know about her support for this brutal practice, and we are confident the issue can move votes as we head into the home stretch of this campaign."

As governor Palin worked to expand Alaska's aerial wolf killing program, which lets private citizens with licenses fly in private planes and shoot wolves from the air or chase them to exhaustion before landing and shooting them point blank. In March 2007, she launched a new program to pay 180 volunteer pilots and gunners $150 for each severed left foreleg of a wolf they turned in to the state Fish and Game Department.

In a dark tone, the ad's female narrator details the program's most gruesome aspects as it shows footage of a wolf being chased and killed in the snow.

"As Alaska governor, Sarah Palin actively promotes the brutal and unethical aerial killing of wolves and other wildlife," the narrator says. "Using a low-flying plane, they kill in winter when there is no way to escape. Riddled with gunshots, biting at their backs in agony, the die a brutal death. And Palin even encouraged the cruelty by proposing a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf."

"Do we really want a vice president who champions such savagery?" the narrator concludes.

Palin has been an unabashed proponent of killing wolves and other predators in Alaska on the grounds that they cut back on humans' ability to hunt moose and caribou for themselves. During a 2006 gubernatorial debate Palin was asked to name one policy of then-Gov. Frank Murkowski she embraced, and she identified his predator control stand as one she appreciated.

"Interior Alaskans were really begging for some assistance there, and Governor Murkowski did do that one right," she said.

Amber Wilkerson, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund was ignoring the role game hunting plays in rural Alaska. "Aerial predator control is essential to sustaining the threatened moose and caribou population that many native Alaskans rely upon to feed their families," she said. "This program, which requires a permit and is closely monitored, is essential to the subsistence of lifestyle in rural Alaska."

However Jessica Brand, an official the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, said that Palin has opposed a "rural preference" policy that would give subsistence hunters priority access over sport hunters to the areas where aerial hunting is conducted.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 1, 2008; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain , Sarah Palin  
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This aerial gunning of wolves is happening almost daily in Montana thanks to the livestock industry and their stranglehold over wildlife management in this state.
Here we have the so-called "wolf specialists" who decide which wolves will be killed and then they call in the Wildlife Services helicopters with their low-life gunners to do the shooting.

Posted by: loggerman | October 2, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

People don't eat wolves. So-called "sportsmen" that shoot wolves from airplanes shoot them because they enjoy killing. What kind of person enjoys killing animals? Sadists.

Tell me again, why is Michael Vick in prison and Sarah Palin running for VP?

Posted by: Renu1 | October 1, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

kentaylor1, why is it that TV stations won't allow HUMAN abortions to be broadcast?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 1, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 1, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 1, 2008 2:46 PM

What you missed is the fact that killing wolves by helicopter is revolting. Whether the program was necessary based on moose and wolf populations in Alaska over time is not discussed. But apparently another administration thought so also.

The site you referred us to said that the previous administration refused to have state staffers or aerial killing. You made the point against yourself. Palin is apparently unique in her support of savagery.

Thank you. I am not used to the opposition helping out but you and markaustin are exceptional that way and I would like to acknowledge my appreciation.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 1, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

One other thing, where the hell is P.E.T.A

usually they would be all over something like this, are they in the Republican closet hiding????

Posted by: kentaylor1 | October 1, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

You know Mother Nature does an admirable job of balancing the wildlife! she doesn't need any help from Sarah Palin. leave the wolves alone and they will find their own level.

I hope to god no kids see that ad, it's enough to make anyone puke.

Posted by: kentaylor1 | October 1, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"did" or "didn't" pick up the point?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 1, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure what the effect of this add will be. The idea of it being aerial killing is revolting. The bounty is important too. But there is no mention that she was rebuffed in court and that I think is important. The picture of Palin was priceless.

This is not hunting, this is savagery. What I question is will people pick up that point. MarkAustin did so maybe those unable to pick up on subtlety will.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 1, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Some 150 years after exterminating wolves in Western Europe wolves (protected by strict laws) have begun to repopulate eastern Germany - to the delight of all.

Palin, to me, is from beyond the pale, shallowly ignorant, indifferent to Earth's creatures - she takes her young children with her hunting. A picture of Palin beside the bloody head of a downed (by automatic rifle) caribou with one of her young children beside her is ... disgusting.

A society that breeds people like Palin, that is proud of people like Palin is stuck in the horror of the European Inquisition, where depravity & torture were christian spectator events.

Posted by: hchiba | October 1, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I wish that the Defenders of Wildlife could show this ad in all 50 states. It is way beyond just a political issue worth mentioning right before the Presidential election but everyone needs to be aware of this practice all the time. The only thing I have against current efforts of notifying the public of this and other unethical practices towards any wild life is that there simply is not enough of it.

Posted by: patcp | October 1, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

We talk of wolves and other predators as being savage beasts. But we forgot to mention that the human race is the most savage of all. To hunt for sport and for profit, contributing to ecological imbalance and no regard for the pain and suffering of these beautiful animals is pure savagery. What we don't know that these 'savage' animals do, is that they are killing only to survive and to protect themselves, we kill for profit, pleasure or simply a distaste for a species. We need to continue to fight against brutal and inhumane practices. Haven't we taken away enough from these beautiful creatures? Palin, I've been watching you and your predecessors for years and have been actively campaigning against these activities through the US Humane Society. There is no excuse for this arrogant and unethical behavior.

Posted by: patcp | October 1, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Juliet Eilperin is trying to help the BHO campaign spread yet another smear.

For the truth of the matter, see this:

"The bounty program began before statehood in 1959, [Bud Burris, a state biologist for 25 years before retiring in 1986] said. Anyone anywhere in the state could earn the bounty and the program worked, improving moose and caribou numbers, he said."

There's much more at that link.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 1, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the Enviro groups have the wrong target (haha) on this. Much more revealing was her publicly coming out against the Clean Water Initiative, that would have banning acid mine drainage from entering Bristol (her daughter is named after) Bay.

Not only did she come out against the voter initiative (which had not previously been done by AK governors), but the potential damage to this world class fishery and Alaska's reputation as having pristine waters (and fish!) could suffer a big hit.

Posted by: WOW9 | October 1, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse


What about the Posse Comitatus Act? Why is a U.S. Army unit skilled in Iraqi urban combat deploying in the U.S. on Oct. 1st, the first ever domestic deployment of an active army unit stateside?

Why has the mainstream media failed to explore this deployment, and the status of the Posse Comitatus Act?

Army Times says this unit will be assigned to assist in quelling domestic disturbances, using "non-lethal weapons." Are these radiation-emitting, silent "directed energy weapons"? Is this the vanguard of a coming police state?

See: -- "Zap! Have You Been Targeted by a Directed Energy Weapon?"

Will this issue of using the Army as a domestic police force come up in the VP debate, or in next week's second presidential debate?

And how about THIS question re: the bailout?



Once again, Congress is being asked to rush through emergency legislation -- to cede effective control of the economy to the government.

Officials continue to blame lax lending policies on the part of the mortgage industry for spawning this crisis.

But were lenders ORDERED to offer "easy credit" to people "targeted" by government agencies?

Is government "targeting" of American citizens a root cause of the mortgage meltdown that spawned the broader financial crisis?

Consider this: OR

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 1, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

They have been shooting whitetail deer
with high power rifles on the
runways too.
I dont think the safety of a plane filled
with humans is somehow MORE important
then these majestic innocent beautiful
loving animals.
I have written my congressman,
and he thinks the danger justifies
the means!
and we are paying law enforcement officers
over time, to shoot these defenseless
they need to move these runways
or simply stop all air traffic
until such time as these deer overpopulate
and die from disease and starvation.
it is the only humane thing to do!

Posted by: USA3 | October 1, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What greyparrot said. There's a huge middle ground between shooting an animal from a plane and banning all hunting.

Posted by: csdiego | October 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Lets just let nature take care of it,
depletion of food, starvation.
what we really need is legalized
abortion clinics for Moose.
damn animals just keep breeding
and having children they cant
afford. punishing themselves.
you liberals need serious help.
Teach a man to fish,
feed him for life.

Posted by: USA3 | October 1, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What greyparrot said. There's a huge middle ground between shooting an animal from a plan and banning all hunting.

Posted by: csdiego | October 1, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I await the day,
a pack of wolves carries
off a liberal tree huggers
young child.
there was a good reason for
a bounty on wolves,
as I trout fisherman
I do like being aproached
by a pack of blood thirsty
wolves, when I have nothing
but a fishing pole.
I need to remind you dimwits,
that 99% of public funding for
wildlife restoration and habitat
comes from hunters.
Pittman-Robertson Act.
educate yourselves!

Posted by: USA3 | October 1, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Cheney kills quails too. BOO HOO!

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 1, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Mindless savagery - cruelty toward those weaker than ourselves - these are NOT the "values" most Americans embrace, and are NOT the ones we should seek in our elected officials. As wildlife continues to disappear from our planet, and global warming threatens to devastate it further, we MUST elect a President determined to protect our precious natural resources and defenseless wildlife - Barack Obama.

Posted by: bclark3 | October 1, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Do we really want a vice president who champions such savagery?"


Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 1, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Before I dash over to the Defenders of Wildlife website to contribute, I'll just say that if you choose to live in the wilderness but can't feed your family without resorting to airborne thrill kills of competing predators, maybe you should take your wimpy butts to Juneau and get a lower 48 kind of job. This is sick, inhumane behavior. Maybe if we set up an airborne paintball chase of the Palin family they can understand this a little better.

Posted by: greyparrot | October 1, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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