Before Sarah Palin appointed Wayne Anthony Ross yesterday for Attorney General, I have to admit I’d never heard of Wayne Anthony Ross. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention. Apparently he ran for Governor in 1998 and has been a man-on-the-scene for a long time here in Alaska. In order to get to know this “big man with eyes that glint in a face that shifts seamlessly from humor to exasperation, to astonishment or outrage, and usually back to humor”, I looked online. ADN.com has posted several articles about Ross, from 1998, 1995 and 1989. Here are a few quotes from these articles that really say a lot about the man.
”He wants Alaskans to get to be Alaskans again instead of under the thumbs of the feds,” retired state trooper Fred Angleton said before heading out for another round of door-to-door campaigning in Soldotna. ”He stands up for what it means to be an American. Patriotism and love of the flag.”
“Ross, despite a reputation for colorful remarks and occasional flamboyance, brings to the race a conventional conservatism. It reflects his career as a family law attorney, his years in the party, his religious faith and his love of guns and hunting. Stronger parental rights. No more taxes. No constitutional amendment on subsistence hunting and fishing. Back-to-basics education. More mining and logging. Fewer regulations. And less government — except for more police and prisons.”
“He’s a churchgoing Roman Catholic and considers it the state’s duty to protect life. He said he does not favor more laws attempting to restrict abortion but that the government should try to persuade women to bear their babies. If they can’t or won’t raise them, many other people would love to, he said.”
”’I feel I have a good relationship with the good Lord (but) if I could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I figure I got my ticket,’ he said.”
“He wants the state to build and fix roads, not bike and pedestrian paths like those that parallel the new section of the Parks Highway near Willow. His campaign flier says, ”We ought to be spending pothole-repair money on potholes, not new nature trails.’ When it was pointed out that the state does not spend maintenance funds to build trails — that most trails are part of the federal highway funding package — he acknowledged he was uniformed about the details.”
“Ross worked briefly for the attorney general’s office in Anchorage then for four years as Family Court master, sort of a junior judge handling domestic cases. He claims he once had a deadbeat dad arrested at his father’s funeral and another as he came down the aisle after getting married.”
”Mom would get upset, ” said his oldest son, Greg. ”But if school opened on the first of September, guess what? The Ross kids would not be there. We’d be hunting with dad.”
“He enjoys confounding people and loves being the center of attention.”
“Like David Copperfield, Ross is determined to be the hero of his own life, painting his public portrait in extremes and reveling in the reaction. His personalized ”WAR” license plate is instantly recognizable; directions to his home include reference to a drawbridge and ”the moat, ” neither of which is strictly true.”
”He’s arrogant and opinionated, ” Mendel said. ”He shows up (in court) with his cowboy boots and cowboy hat and doesn’t stand up when the judge comes in. . . . He has a very definite view of the world.”
“He thrives on confrontation.”
”He can dig in and be very belligerent, say there’s my way and no way, ” said Close.
“During a fight several years ago over gay rights, Mendel helped organize Anchorage lawyers in support of an anti- discrimination ordinance. Ross wrote a nasty letter to the Bar Association newsletter, using words like ”immoral, ” ”perversion” and ”degenerates.” The language went way beyond reasonable disagreement, Mendel and others said.”
After learning about Ross, I think I now know why Palin picked him. She’s trying to make up for the Supreme Court pick she was forced into this month. It was a gift to her base, wrapped in a big, red, camouflage-covered Hummer. They must be piddling themselves with excitement.