Village 'ticked off' with Gov. Palin over mine
When she was campaigning for governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin said she opposed plans for a huge mine near Ekwok, a Yup'ik village.

“I am a commercial fisherman; my daughter’s name is Bristol,” she said, referring to Bristol Bay, where the village is located. “I could not support a project that risks one resource that we know is a given, and that is the world’s richest spawning grounds, over another resource.”

Luki Akelkok, a village resident, though Palin was right and launched a ballot petition that would have killed the Pebble Mine. But then Palin spoke out against the clean water initiative he organized and the mining companies that are backing the project used her words in campaign commercials.

"Why did she have to say anything?" Akelkok asked The New York Times. "Everyone is ticked off at Sarah."

The mine is highly controversial and Palin has since said she won't take a stand on it. But her husband, Todd, who is part Yup'ik, was paid by the mining companies to tour mines in the area and his corporation has a service contract for Pebble.

State Rep. Jay Ramras, a Republican, accuses the companies of trying to "buy" the villages and says some Native leaders have accepted bribes. The backers are paying homeowners -- some of whom are distantly related to Todd Palin -- $25,000 per month to house workers for the project, buying food for entire communities and paying big sums for services.

'It leaves a good taste in your mouth," Ethel Adcox, one of Todd Palin's relatives, told the Times of the free lobster and steak dinners served by the backers.

Get the Story:
Palin’s Hand Seen in Battle Over Mine in Alaska (The New York Times 10/22)

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