As 2009 begins, it's not looking good at the moment for my Palin-Be-Gone wager with one of the LLWL members. As I noted just the other day, with her newly minted grandmother status, it seems like Sarah Palin is working hard to stay in the news -- even if the attention is not necessarily favorable.
I noted that it was puzzling that Palin went out of her way to try to correct the impression that the father of her new grandson, Tripp, was a high school dropout. See Sarah of the Silver Tongue. It nows makes more sense why. Dan Fagen, a conservative pundit (but not fan of Palin), penned an op-ed that ran in the Anchorage Daily News, questioning how Levi Johnston managed to snag a job as an electrical apprentice. In Apprenticeship raises questions about Palin,
How is it possible that the governor's soon-to-be son-in-law, Levi Johnston, is working as an apprentice on the North Slope?
The governor, in trying to dispel rumors the father of her grandchild is a high school dropout, released this statement this past week,
"Levi is continuing his online high school work in addition to working as an electrical apprentice on the North Slope."
But federal regulations require all members of apprentice programs, union or otherwise, to first obtain a high school diploma, something the governor's soon-to-be son-in- law does not have. Some apprentice programs even require the completion of high school level algebra or the post-secondary equivalent.
So how is it that the governor's soon-to-be son-in-law is working in an apprentice program? Is this another case of the governor believing the rules don't apply to her or her family?
Bo Underwood, who heads up ASRC's electrical apprentice program, confirmed Johnston is indeed enrolled as an apprentice. Underwood claimed not to know whether a high school diploma is needed to be an ASRC apprentice and said he would check on it. But federal regulations clearly state a high school diploma is needed before entering an electrical workers apprentice program. How is it the man who runs the program does not know that?
And, besides not being qualified for the program, Fagen also notes:
Could it be? Sarah pullin' strings? See also, Qualifications?.
Underwood also claimed not to know whether there is a waiting list for the ASRC apprentice program he runs.
Rebecca Logan, executive director of Associated Builders and Contractors, an organization that also has an electrical workers apprentice program, says waiting lists always accompany apprenticeship programs. Her organization's electrical apprentice program, one of only three in the state, has a waiting list of at least 100 people.
In one of life's little ironies, as we know, Sarah's been Palin' around with drug dealers, her (maybe) future mother-in-law. The latest on that news front is that there are allegations that:
A Mat-Su drug investigator and the union representing Alaska State Troopers are alleging political meddling in the Sherry Johnston drug case, including a delay in serving the search warrant because of the November election.See Trooper, union say politics delayed Johnston drug case.
I really should have qualified my wager. I fear that Sarah has a long career in scandal control that has only just begun.
UPDATE (1/6/09): Levi has resigned his job after the brouhaha over his lack of qualifications, no doubt under pressure from the electrical apprenticeship program -- once it was exposed that he had been improperly hired without the required high school degree. See Levi Johnston quits oil field job. See also, Levi Johnston is Off the Slope. (You Can’t Fire Him, He Quits!).