Palin criticized over AG nomination

By Chris Rizo | Mar 30, 2009

Sarah Palin (R)

Wayne Anthony Ross

JUNEAU, Alaska (Legal Newsline)-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's nominee for state attorney general has drawn criticism from leaders of the state's native population.

The Republican governor last week nominated National Rife Association director Wayne Anthony Ross to serve as the state's chief legal officer.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has drawn criticism from the Association of Village Council Presidents, which provides social services to Alaska Natives, over the nomination.

Alaska Newspapers, which publishes the Arctic Sounder, reported Monday that the association has introduced a resolution to formally oppose Ross's nomination.

The group's president, Myron Naneng, was quoted by the newspaper company as saying that Palin has "declared WAR on the Native Community," making a play on Ross's initials.

"WAR has shown his colors in the past regarding the subsistence issue," Naneng said.

Ross is a former two-time gubernatorial candidate. He ran for governor in 1998 and again in 2002 in the Republican primary against then-U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski. He served as Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign chairman.

Alaska Newspapers noted that during his 2002 gubernatorial run, Ross said he would "hire a band of 'junkyard dog' assistant attorney generals to challenge the federal law that requires a subsistence preference" for native groups.

The federal law gives rural residents priority for fish and game over urban residents.

Before taking the job, Ross must first be confirmed by the state Legislature. If confirmed, Ross would succeed former Attorney General Talis Colberg, who resigned Feb. 10.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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