If former Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller is one step to the right of Atilla the Hun, Schaeffer Cox is somewhere out in the ozone.
By Geoffrey Dunn
According to sworn testimony Thursday during federal court proceedings in Alaska, two close associates of former Governor Sarah Palin — Joe Miller, a staunch political ally of Palin’s whom she supported in his failed bid for the U.S. Senate; and Palin’s former director of boards and commissions Frank Bailey, more commonly known in Alaska as Palin’s “hatchet man” — were responsible for introducing FBI Informant William “Drop Zone” Fulton to Schaeffer Cox, the leader of the so-called Alaska Peacekeeper Militia.
Cox and two other Fairbanks-based militiamen have been charged with conspiring to kidnap and murder Alaska judges and law enforcement authorities. They have also been charged with violating various federal weapons laws for owning or attempting to purchase machine guns, silencers, hand grenades and other combat-type weapons.
It’s an only-in-Alaska story.
The surreptitious meeting between Fulton, Cox and Palin’s associates took place a scant six months before Palin was selected by John McCain to serve as his running mate on the GOP ticket. Cox, a supporter of Palin’s, was then a Republican candidate for the Alaska House of Representatives, District 7. He finished with 36 percent of the votes.
Cox’s trial, now in its third week, has revealed the bizarre cultural and political milieu in which Palin came to power in Alaska and which eventually catapulted her to a national stage.
The introduction of Fulton to Cox took place in a suite at the Captain Cook hotel in Anchorage during the 2008 Alaska Republican Convention, at which Palin and her minions were trying to execute a political coup d’état against Palin’s longtime Republican Party nemesis, Randy Ruedrich.
The convention — and Palin’s sub rosa role in it — was to become a catalyst for both swelling anti-Palin sentiment in Alaska (well prior to her vice-presidential selection) and for Anchorage-based activist Andree McLeod to launch her own good-government crusade against Palin.
Palin’s feud with GOP kingpin Ruedrich was longstanding and well-known throughout Alaska prior to the convention. What wasn’t known until now is that Palin’s forces at the convention were working in concert with some of Alaska’s fringe elements, including Fulton, who testified last week that he, Miller and Bailey had met with Cox to discuss political “strategy” in Anchorage.
McLeod, a former close ally of Palin’s who had helped her to launch her statewide political career, was an eye-witness to many of the machinations of Miller, Bailey, Fulton and Palin’s longtime gopher, Ivy Frye, at the convention. She said it all had the feel of a “paramilitary operation,” replete with Walkie-Talkies and a “strange paranoia.”
“I felt like I traveled to the Twilight Zone,” McLeod declared. “Having previously attended GOP conventions and meetings, it was surreal to initially observe Fulton’s menacing conduct, and then to watch the scenes unfold as if they came straight out of a movie script.” Indeed, McLeod was so curious about Fulton’s behavior in particular that she queried him about his activities. “He told me that he was providing ‘security,'” McLeod recalls. At one point she witnessed Fulton and three other of his associates surround Miller while exiting an elevator “and they marched off in military formation.”
McLeod, who also was in direct conversation with Frye at various points throughout the afternoon, contends that Bailey and Frye were in constant contact with Palin via cell phone throughout the convention. “That’s when I knew that Sarah wasn’t looking out for what was best for Alaska,” McLeod asserted. “She was only looking out for what was best for her.” McLeod also witnessed Miller and Frye leave the convention together and depart — again, under Fulton’s paramilitary protection — in a white SUV. “It was all really strange,” she said. “It was like Black-Ops.”
The troubling nature of the Fulton-Miller-Bailey activities convinced McLeod that Palin had conspired with members of her administration to oust Ruedrich, all while working on government time. She filed her first Freedom of Information Act request against Palin and her administration as a result of her suspicions.