Meet Sandy Parnell, the First Lady you wish you had met sooner.

Did you know that Sandy Parnell had a job until her husband was appointed governor? Did you know that she has two daughters, one of whom is expecting her first child in 3 weeks? Did you know that she shops at Banana Republic, loves living in Juneau—though it can be a little lonely—that she’s kind, humble, authentically religious, and that she wells up when she talks about her experiences visiting domestic violence shelters?


I, for one, knew none of this, and don’t think I’m alone. That might be because like the rest of the media, I hadn’t thought to ask. After the Palins left office in 2009, the whole state, including the press corps, was burned out on politics intermingled with the personal. We didn’t want a governor’s office distorted by big personalities. We wanted people who put their heads down and got to work. And the new governor complied. You can agree or disagree with the policies that Gov. Sean Parnell has enacted, but you can’t argue that he’s been ineffective in implementing them. He oversaw a mammoth oil tax overhaul. He quietly got us out of the AGIA contract, and a natural gas pipeline is closer than it’s ever been.

And for the first time since I’ve lived in Alaska, there’s the beginnings of a frank and open dialogue about the scourge of sexual abuse in this state. (If Parnell does lose, it will be the height of cruel irony that he did so as a result of a sexual abuse scandal.)

It may be that the governor’s accomplishments will be deemed insufficient. Or it may be that we miss those days of high drama and headlines. At any rate, whatever the verdict, it can’t be said that the governor, a serious man, didn’t give it his best. And the same is true of his wife.

Sandy Parnell, who has spent six years as the state’s first lady, has been heavily involved in numerous  initiatives and causes, among them Choose Respect. She regularly visits domestic violence shelters. She sits on boards. Has tons of meetings. But she does it quietly, with no PR amplification. Much like her husband, she’s been content to let her activities speak for themselves. This may suit her personality and that of her husband. But it’s lousy politics.

In a small state that likes to think that those who govern us are part of the family, the Parnells often seem like distant cousins, ones that when you do meet, you kick yourself for not knowing sooner. Part of that is the fault of an incompetent communications staff. But much of it rests on the shoulders of the Parnells themselves. They are intensely private people, who were either never taught, or refused to learn, that one vital part of politicking is to politic. It can be hell on families, but that’s part of the job. (So, too is taking the reins of your administration, acting quickly and decisively, and be willing to let people go. But that, as they say, is another story.)

Bill Walker understands politicking. His wife and his brood of children are everywhere: on the airwaves, on the internet, deeply imbedded in his campaign. He puts them in front of the camera every chance he gets. And that’s not a bad thing. It can go south really quickly, particularly if Walker wins and brings his tribe with him. But for now, it’s nice to see that big, smart family on TV, at campaign rallies, huddled around their parents.

In contrast, there’s only one small picture of Parnell’s kids that I could find on a webpage. Sandy said it was a conscious decision to keep them out of the spotlight after watching what happened with the Palins. “That was one thing that we were very concerned about,” she said. “We didn’t want anything of that sort going on, and the media was willing to do a start-over” she said, and give them their privacy.

They got all that privacy. And more. But now Parnell is in trouble—and it’s high time to get public and to pull out all the stops. Sandy’s the best stop that they have. And she’s surprisingly good at it. In recent days, Sandy’s spoken firmly and decisively on radio talk shows, she’s appearing strong and determined in ads, she’s speaking to groups, and to me. Most of her energy has been spent defending her husband against the way he handled the National Guard scandal, which at this point has gotten so distorted, so politicized, it’ll likely take years to figure out what happened when and what should have happened when.

But the interview I had with her, which lasted an hour and a half, did not focus so much on all of that. Nor on oil tax policy. Healthcare. The federal government. The pipeline. I suspected that on these issues, I wouldn’t get much more from her than I would from her husband.

I was more interested in the personal. Who is our governor’s wife. Who is Sandy Parnell herself? What makes her tick?

Here are some of the things I learned about her l during my interview.

  • She was born in Albuquerque in 1962.  Her father worked for Hewlett Packard, and was transferred frequently throughout the West when she growing up. She went to 7 or 8 different schools, which wasn’t easy on her. “Looking back, I think the moves were good for me. They developed in me flexibility and the ability to move with change. But in junior high, they were horrible,” she said. It was in the aftermath of one of those moves that she found God while visiting a cousin. It was not a good time in her family’s life. The house they moved into was a mess. Her parents were having problems. She was awkward, wore glasses, braces and head gear and was terribly lonely. Her family had always gone to church, but she didn’t realize what being touched by grace felt like until then, until she needed it.
  • She met Sean in college at Pacific Lutheran University, where they both were studying business and had classes together She said that Sean was like a caring big brother to many of the girls she knew, and she never suspected that he had interest in her, until he showed up on her front porch and asked her to the “Cave,” a late-night hangout for college kids. Shortly thereafter, they were engaged.
  • Until Sean was elected governor, even while he was lieutenant governor, she always had a job. When Sean was in law school in Washington, she says, “I put on my overalls” and sold boilers and furnaces for a natural gas company. When they moved to Alaska, she worked as an insurance underwriter, and then as a law assistant. She loved her jobs.
  • One of the moments that had a dramatic impact on her life was when she visited Rome with her husband who was on a trade mission. She visited a home for women, run by nuns, who had been saved from sex trafficking. She watched as one woman, from Nigeria, who had just arrived, hugged one of the nuns, and asked her, “Why me? Why did you save me?” When Sandy got back to Alaska, she began asking questions about whether or not there was sex trafficking in Alaska. She discovered there was. It looks different here, but it is happening and it’s “huge,” she said. A task force was convened. She testified in front of Senate Finance for money for training law officers. It was a compromise, but she got some of what she wanted. She now thinks of that trip to Rome as a gift from God, or in her words, “providential.”

And of course, whatever happens next will also be providential. But no matter what gets decided and by what force, Choose Respect will be a legacy that this administration will have left, in no small part thanks to her. If Walker wins, he might undo much of what has been done on the pipeline. The tax policy will, at some point, change. But Choose Respect will stay.

But if Parnell wins, it would be wise for both he and his wife to remember that Alaskans tend not to like entrusting our lives and fortunes to distant cousins, no matter how well-meaning.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


40 thoughts on “Meet Sandy Parnell, the First Lady you wish you had met sooner.

  1. Anonymous

    * He would NEVER have aligned with Mallot from the beginning. He didn’t because he is a republican (supposedly) and Mallot is a democrat.

    A house divided will not stand.

  2. Anonymous


    You are so mistaken on so many issues. Walker has no plans, no policies and he can’t give a specific answer to any question. He won’t say what he would cut in the budget but gives the purposefully deceptive statement, “everything is on the table.” He won’t say who he supports for our U.S. Senate seat, likely because he can’t stomach supporting Begich but Begich helped him get on this democrat-engineered ticket.

    He showed he had no integrity when he sold his running mate, the voters, the election process and his convictions that he claims to have held so deeply — all for a real chance at beating Parnell because he had no chance before then. He made shady, back room deals with the AK Democratic party AFTER the primary, when voters made their choice for Sen. French on the dem’s side for Lt. Gov. He and the ADP were willing to step on the voters and French and Mallot just to win.

    Integrity? Where do you see integrity in that? And the gas pipeline, while important, is not the most important issue. And, the fact that Palin endorses him shows that this is a vindictive fight against Parnell over her ACES plan. Walker betrayed the voters and Fleener and his Christian convictions — if he truly had them in the first place. Palin betrayed Parnell. All I see in this Walker Mallot ticket is betrayal and dishonesty. If Walker had integrity, he would have made this deal with the ADP. He would have aligned with Mallot from the beginning. He didn’t because he and Mallot is a democrat. Either Walker is a fake republican or he is playing both sides. Either way, he is not honest — not honest to himself, his convictions and certainly not to voters.

    I’d rather someone who is either hot or cold but not lukewarm.

  3. Julie Papasavas

    Ulina –
    No, I would not be “happy” if a daughter of mine was raped, what a horrible comparison to make to someone!
    Many of us were not at the meeting that the Governor had with the National Guard, we were not present when leaders of the Guard assured the Governor that “all is well” in the Guard.
    We have heard from prior Guardsmen and women who have said that this type of behavior was going on in the guard for years, prior to Parnell. Which is why I stand by comment that Parnell did finally take charge.

  4. Terry

    He does not “owe” anybody or political party a thing. He’s non partisan and ALL ALASKAN. He’s the ONLY candidate that can be trusted to put Alaskan’s interests first. Walker has been pushing for a large volume gas line for years and Parnell ignored him. Instead Parnell was wasting hundreds of millions of Alaska’s savings studying a bullet line and a line through Canada. This is the biggest issue in our state right now and I know Walker is the better candidate to get the pipeline project complete. He has challenged Parnell repeatedly (in debates and through press releases) to have an hour long debate on the gas pipeline and Parnell has not accepted. Parnell doesn’t understand the gas pipeline and is afraid to be embarrassed by Walker. People should understand that we are at a critical juncture in our state and who would you rather have at the negotiating table with the oil companies? A scared, former employee of the oil companies or someone with an unmatchable passion for both a gas pipeline and the state of Alaska. We need to see Walker for what he is. A genuine Alaskan statesman with more honor and integrity than anybody we’ve seen in Juneau in a long time.

  5. Anonymous

    What track record are you standing on? What has he or Mallot ever done for Alaskans? Walker has no plan, no policies and no stated preference for our U.S. Senate seat. He is the dems puppet now. He owes them for this game of political musical chairs that gave him any chance at winning. Walker’s loyalties are to himself and the AK Democratic Party. He talks out of both sides of his mouth and he cannot be trusted. He will say and do anything to get elected. But, trickery and deception never prevails. Alaskans are smarter than he gives us credit for and karma will come back and get him. It always does.

  6. Terry

    Sandy Parnell sounds like a wonderful woman, but she’s not governor and appears to be Sean’s BETTER half. Gov. Parnell can not be trusted with the reigns to our state. He’s fiscally irresponsible and has us running a $7 million/day deficit. He can’t stop spending money on gas line studies, projects that shouldn’t be considered in our current financial situation and lavish off season offices for legislators (just to name a few). He doesn’t have the leadership qualities to make the tough vetos and budget cuts that are required of the governor. We need change because we’ve seen where we get with Parnell. We literally CAN NOT AFFORD to keep him in Juneau. I’m voting for Bill Walker because he’s the governor that will get the gas line complete and is someone I can trust to always do what’s in Alaska’s best interest.

  7. Jack Morgan

    All the reason to vote for Governor Parnell. With every great man, alongside stands a great woman.

  8. uliana

    Julie, you said it yourself. Parnell is ….”Finally taking charge….” it’s leadership caused by necessity. Would you be happy if your daughter got raped, reported it, but it took 5 yrs for someone to start looking into it?!?! It should have been handled in 2010 not in 2014 -the election year! I cannot believe someone can actually defend such poor record.

  9. Michele White

    Well done, Amanda! This is an excellent story about Sandy Parnell. Thank you for telling it.

    Gov. and Mrs. Parnell told me the same story about Sister Bennetti when I sat down with them for a story I wrote last year on sex trafficking of Alaska’s youth. (Sadly, it never aired.) But, I just wrote about it in an editorial piece about Gov. Parnell’s work to tighten the laws against sex traffickers and child pornography and I included that very story about their experience in Italy. I hope they will publish it. 😉

    Sandy Parnell, as you know, is very active behind the scenes on this issue. But, Gov. Parnell is equally as passionate about it. HB 359 and SB 22 are his legacy — and long overdue legislation for Alaska. I was undone (and am still haunted) by the stories of the people I interviewed who are fighting to save children and women from their traffickers. I could not do their jobs. It was a joint effort between law enforcement, Gov. Parnell, the legislature and Covenant House to tighten our state laws. But, without a strong, passionate governor to push this legislation, these laws might never have been passed. No other governor has done what he has done to protect women and children — including boys — from sexual predators, traffickers and makers of child pornography.

    The Parnells are genuine, compassionate, humble people and both were visibly moved when they told me about Sister Bennetti. I believe some Alaskans, maybe more than a few, prefer their governor and first lady to be the down-to-earth, private type of people that the Parnells are over the ostentatious professional politicians. We relate to their kindness, authenticity and humanity. To use your analogy, they feel more like family. (Who likes those boisterous distant cousins who show up to reunions, anyway? 🙂 Most of all, we can trust the Parnells because they aren’t politicians. They’re genuine people. They’re protective parents. I, for one, completely understand their decision to shield their daughters from the media and not use them to advance their father’s career. I would never allow my children to be in the spotlight.

    Gov. Parnell is blessed to have such an honorable wife. We are blessed to have them as our governor and first lady. Thank you, again, for writing such an honest story about Mrs. Parnell. I hope — and pray — that we have another four years of them in our family.

  10. Shattered

    Sandy Parnell sounds like a really nice woman who cares about the welfare of others.

    Too bad she couldn’t coerce her husband to DO HIS GODDAMNED JOB when he was made aware of the sexual assaults in the Alaska National Guard FOUR YEARS AGO!

    Way to strike when the iron is hot Sean-O.

  11. Rosemary in SE

    Character determines success.
    As an independent, non-partisan voter, Governor Parnell gets my vote. My sense is that he Mrs. Parnell will stay balanced, diligent, humble and empathetic toward others – win or lose.
    They seem grounded and sincere and lack the election hype I’m sensing from other candidates.
    Amanda, I’m a new reader and impressed by your open-mindedness and calm. Please keep presenting ALL sides concerning Alaska on your website. Thank you.

  12. Lynn Willis

    Randy (?),
    When I post something that is factually not true, please point that out. I will readily admit when I am factually incorrect. That said, I am allowed to arrive at conclusions different than others given the same information. For example I refuse to conclude that the best option for Alaska is to participate as an equity partner in the AKLNG gas project, an opinion that puts me in direct conflict with Bill Walker as I understand his idea. I refuse to conclude neither that the National Guard scandal is anywhere near being on a path to a just resolution for all nor that it was handled in a competent manner starting in 2010.
    I don’t live in your “love or hate” world. I don’t “hate” Parnell. After 5 years I have concluded that he is incompetent mostly because of his fiscal brinksmanship that could now implode the Alaskan economy as happened before when oil prices fell. I was here and watched good people be badly hurt, were you? We didn’t need to be put in that position again.

  13. Roy

    The Hope and Change ticket of Walker and Mallott will devastate this state.
    We can only HOPE that voters will wake up and CHANGE their minds. People! please listen to what Walker and Mallott are saying on the issues. Here is what we can look forward to if they are elected.

    15% budget cut-last time this happen Gov Sheffield cut the budget by 5% and put Alaska into a deep recession. But will increase education funding? Huh?
    Devastation of oil and gas development
    Unions controlling our state
    Hollis French as a Supreme Court Justice
    Craig Fleener as ADF&G Commissioner
    Federal overreach issues put on the back burner
    Sarah Palin and Shannyn Moore- Unity Team Advisors

  14. Karen

    Letting people know who these candidates are married to is such interesting news. As any fair and unbiased journalist would do, I look forward to your blog about Donna Walker. As I know her she is incredibly strong, a grounded and faithful Christian, steadfast role model, loving mother and grandmother and someone the people of Alaska would be proud to call their First Lady.

  15. Anonymous

    Well if your campaign had any decency you would quit bringing that issue up. Plus your name is on it. You may want to do something about that…

  16. Randy

    Lynn Willis – your comments are so irrelevant they drive me nuts. I admire you civic interest and admmit that you’re more lknowledgeabe than the average voter, however, that’s not saying much. All of your comment(s) seem to be based in your hatred of the governor. Your substantitation is usually wrong and forgets to include information that would negate your argument. Instead of pretending you know a lot, which you don’t, why not just write that you hate Parnell every article. It would be so much more becoming.

  17. Leslie

    Sandy is a wonderful person with lots of integrity. I feel for her that the liberals are politicizing the Guard scandal. The woman featured in Guard uniform in the ad that labor and Barney Gottstein is paying for wasn’t evena in the Guard when Parnell was governor. Further, she never reported the rape to police and reported that she was at a bar drinking and was later raped. She doesn’t know if it was a civilian, Guard member or what. The horrible Culture at the Guard has been going on for 20 years or so it seems. Parnell is the first governor to really try to fix things. He has integrity and cares.

  18. Frank McQueary

    Finally, some balanced coverage on the Parnells…now why don’t you do a profile on one of the most powerful personalities in Alaska: Vince Beltrami, who purchased a pawn for labor in Bill Walker and bullied and bartered the Democrats into going along with it. I understand that Joe Paskvan is already bragging in Fairbanks that he will be a Commissioner in the “new” administration. Who are the other three “new” proposed Democratic Commissioners? And ask who all those folks from Ohio are toiling away in that warehouse down in the Ship Creek industrial area… oh… also ask him about those mailers he is sending out with firefighters telling me my house will burn down if I don’t do what Vinnie says? It’s easy to detect the schizophrenia in the Walker-Mallott pairing but what eludes me is why a labor leader would be so determined to bring in a team that will slow economic expansion and kill jobs? Maybe he is schizophrenic too.

  19. Mike Heatwole

    Good piece Amanda. I’ve known the Parnells for 20 years. They are good, grounded people. You have captured one of their challenges well – they are humble and not very interested in self promotion. They prefer to roll up their sleeves and go to work. Keep up the solid cross section of news and perspective about politics.

  20. Mae

    Great person. Wonderful wife and mom.

    Now about protecting Alaskans from becoming victims by our Guard? South Central Alaska schools have HAD to take measures into their own hands and actually BAN our Guard from entering their premises. To avoid making sexual assault victims of the pupils. How crazy is that?

    Considering all the folks running around claiming they feel the horror of how bad sexual assault is or how terrible sex trafficking is and that it actually happens in Alaska…( hey Bill Allen used to be friends with a lot of Alaskan republicans…) . Spare me your heart wrenching drama and heaven for bid, do not drop that banner, literally.

    When that whole Choose Respect campaign was unveiled, the focus was clearly aimed at rural Alaska and the horrific rates of abuse. And since that time lots of politicians have stood behind those Choose Respect banners. What a wonderful opportunity for them to hold up a banner!

    Meanwhile we should all be thankful, our kids attending the Anchorage or Mat Su school districts, will not be victims of sexual assault by our Alaska National Guard.

    The only horror I feel or see, is it took a election year for all this to transpire into something that resembles SAFETY from sexual predators (kudos to our Southcentral school districts!)

    Oh and yeah, nice to “meet” ya Sandy. Have a nice day living in Juneau and I’m sure you’ll make a good grandma.

  21. Garand Fellow

    Great article. The Parnells are fine Alaskans (not the first time I have written that). We sure need to re-elect Governor Parnell.

    There is never a good time to hire an arcane ticket like this Walker-Mallot contrivance, but right now would be a terrible time to give Bill Walker what he has sought for decades (power).

  22. Garand Fellow

    Shame on me for never getting around to filing a copyright on the name Pat Forgery. I truly believe I first thought of it.

  23. Garand Fellow

    Inappropriate language aside, Jon K is entirely correct. The voters and now even Byron Mallot recognize the need for and the financial value to Alaska of SB21.

  24. Julie Papasavas

    Thank you for writing a true down to earth article about the Parnell’s. Sandy Parnell spoke at a luncheon a few months back about sex trafficking in Alaska, I had no idea this was happening in our State! I commend her on working on this horrible problem. She truly cares about this issue.
    The same goes for the Governor, he truly cares about the problems in the National Guard, which have been going on for years! Where was Murkowski on this issue, where was Palin on this issue!!!!
    He is finally taking charge, and people are saying “to little to late??” It really is disgusting to me that Walker is using this as an attack against Parnell in his campaign. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED MR WAKER!!!
    I for one am proud that Alaska has a hard working, loyal, honest, Christian, Governor who will always ask “Is this decision the right for Alaska”

  25. Lynn Willis

    This is your second response I have read where you have resorted to profanity. I am not impressed.

  26. Jon K

    Lynn, as usual I disagree. Alaskans should get a better glimpse of candidates, their priorities, what makes them tick. Walker has done a fabulous job of promoting himself. Parnell hasn’t. If people could better understand the man and what motivates him, maybe we could have more thoughtful policy discussions. A perfect example was oil tax reform – the opponents and the media created a narrative that Parnell pursued SB 21 to benefit his buddies at Conoco. This is complete bullshit. He did it because ACES wasn’t sustainable and wasn’t working to attract capital and companies to the North Slope. The SB 21 debate should have been about this issue. It wasn’t. It was dominated by scurrilous attacks on Parnell’s character and completely misleading bumper stickers about giveaways.

  27. Lynn Willis

    There is nothing time sensitive in this article. This biography could have been published a week after the election and been just as informative, however, would it have been as effective?

  28. Sam P.

    Amanda, what I like best about your political reporting is A. Accuracy, B. Point of view that still maintains fairness and C. Original thought, rather than herd mentality.

    This piece is a good example of that. I appreciate how you acknowledge your bias, while still treating people decently — good journalistic practice, sadly lost in the elsewhere wildings of Alaska news and agenda blogs.

  29. Glen Biegel

    There are two things that occur to me after reading this. 1. Sandy is a great lady, and Sean is very blessed to have Sandy by his side. 2. This article is written perfectly as was the idea to discuss family and history. Well done, Sandy and Amanda.

  30. Les Moore

    Well, of course her coverage hasn’t always been kind. What Sean Parnell’s Commissioner of the DMVA did was also not very kind.

    Sheesh. For four years reports were coming into the Governor’s office about malfeasance in the NG, and what did he do about it ?

    He didn’t talk to his Attorney General, that much is clear.

    He didn’t talk to the State Troopers, that much is clear.

    He didn’t call for an independent investigation, and that much too, is very very clear.

    Sean Parnell is not capable of being a leader, he simply does not have what it takes.

  31. Forecast

    Well, this sure is a suck up piece. Parnell is down by double digits because he is a horrible governor. Now he is trying to hide behind his wife.

    And now you’re sucking up to him like you want a job. There is nothing objective here. In fact, this piece offers blatant falsehoods.

    You’ve diminished yourself, AC.

  32. Davis

    Amanda Coyne is the best political reporter in the state. Always fair. Always responsible. She calls it straight up. She has been quite critical of this administration; yet, she gives credit where credit is due. Sandy Parnell is the kind of woman I want in the Governor’s mansion. I’d like to express my appreciation and thanks to the First Lady for all she does to make the 49th state a better place.

  33. Jon K

    Very well said Amanda. Thanks.

    The Parnells are very decent, kind, and honest people. While at the Department of Law and then DNR, I worked closely with the Governor on several issues and was always impressed by the way he conducted himself. I also thought his wife was a class act. It is unfortunate that there is such a huge disconnect between the way the press has portrayed Parnell and reality. Demot Cole, Pat Forgery, Rich Mauer, Shannyn Moore, and other assume the worst about the man and have unfortunately succeeded in creating a false narrative that the he is a corrupt pawn of the oil industry. This is just ridiculous. And please note, I am not saying that Parnell doesn’t have shortcomings or that I agree with all of his decisions. I don’t – in part because I’m not a republican. But he is a good man that cares deeply about Alaska. But more imporantly, Parnell and his Administration have developed policies, and, as you note, implemented them, to address five of the biggest issues facing the state:

    1) Domestic violence and sexual assault

    2) TAPS throughput decline

    3) Cook Inlet gas shortfall — funny how nobody seems to remember that in Jan. 2013 ENSTAR was telling everyone we were running out of gas and we should expect shortfalls in 2014 or 2015. For god sake, Mayor Sullivan was running brown-out drills! Nor does the press seem to notice that we now have an abudance of gas with at least three companies looking to build new liquefaction in Cook Inlet to get the gas to additional markets. This means we won’t be importing LNG – at 3 times the cost of Cook Inlet gas – to meet the railbelt’s energy needs. How did this happen? After all, the conventional wisdom in 2010-2012 was that Cook Inlet was a dead basin. The answer: legislation created by Parnell and legislors – including Democrats – worked. The Parnell Administration successfully attracted companies and the capital back to the Cook Inlet by lowering taxes and offering incentives. Go walk around Kenai and listen to how revitalized the region is. But Parnell gets zero credit.

    4) North Slope gas commercialization – when the history books are written folks will begin to understand how methodical, smart, and relentless Parnell was in manuevering us out of AGIA without litigation, bringing Conoco, BP, and Exxon together (they weren’t talking about gas commercialization until he brought them together), how he brought extremely divergent forces within the legislature together, and then got everyone, from the producers, TransCanada, to Mike Hawker and Les Gara on the same page to pursue AK LNG , and

    5) the Fairbanks energy crises.

    I’m not saying his answers to these issues are perfect, but he has developed and implemented policies to address these problems. But instead of having a press corps that is willing to explain these things to the public, they continue to trumpet myths about Captain Zero.

    Granted, the man is far from perfect. Perhaps Parnell’s biggest shortcoming is failing to communicate what he is doing and why he is doing it. As a consquencee, folks like Shannyn Moore are able to mislead Alaskans by saying Choose Respect is only about marches. People like Dermot Cole are able to completely misled Alaskans on why ACES was changed, what SB 21 is designed to do, and that it isn’t working. That said, while Parnell, or his communication team, certainly need to work on getting the message out, you should also recognize that the press appears to be very eager to malign and distort his record. Sorry for the long post.

  34. Gloria

    This is a lovely story about what sounds like a lovely woman. Your coverage of the Parnell administration has not always been kind. I appreciate the personal nature of this story. You’re right, in a small state like ours, we want and have come to expect to know our elected officials and spouses on a personal basis. Articles like this provide us that dimension. A friend of mine has known Mrs. Parnell for a number of years and has described her similarly as you have. After the high drama and sad comedy of the Palins, Mrs. Parnell offers class, humility, kindness and compassion. She’s a seemingly perfect first lady.

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