OTR Interviews

Interviews With Greta and Others Sparks Ethics Complaint Against Gov. Palin

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," November 19, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: An Alaskan man is not very happy with his governor, Governor Palin. He is so unhappy that he's filed an ethics complaint against her. And guess what? He dragged us into it. It's our interview with his governor a week after the election in Anchorage that has this man unhappy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, must be fun to be back in your office here in Anchorage.

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's great. It's great. A lot of work to do, so it's good to be back.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's on the agenda today?

PALIN: A cabinet meeting this morning and then working with our gas line team, ramping up production of what we have to do to start supplying the U.S. with more domestic sources of energy. That's always top of our agenda here in the state of Alaska. But working on that today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: So what is this man's complaint? Joining us live is Nathan Thornburgh, senior editor for Time magazine. Nathan, what is this man's complaint about the governor?

NATHAN THORNBURGH, TIME MAGAZINE: Basically, that he (SIC) had an interview with you, and as he saw it, it was on the state's time and she was doing political business, even though, as you point out, it was quite a bit after the election was already over.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that -- I mean, obviously, in that clip we just showed you, which is the beginning of it, she talked about her cabinet. That's not -- certainly has nothing to do with running for vice president. She talked about production of oil in her state. That's not -- that's not about running for vice president. And the race was over. Does his complaint make any mention of the fact that she wasn't running for any office when she sat down and talked to use in her office?

Watch Greta's interview

THORNBURGH: Not really. I've read the complaint, and especially considering all the shots that Governor Palin's taken over the campaign season, I do not see this as being the one that's going to bring her down.

What it is, however, is sort of illustrative of some of the concerns that people, particularly in the conservative community up in Alaska, do have with her. It's hard for people in the lower 48 to realize this, but her biggest problem, I guess her most troubled constituency, are conservative Alaskans. There's a real hard-core group that felt that she wasn't with them when she was governor. And Zane Henning, the Wasilla man who filed this charge, is part of that.

He's a member of the Last Frontier Foundation, which is a property rights and tax reform group out in Wasilla. And really, it's going to be those people particularly who are demoralized after Senator Stevens's loss who are going to try to do things like this to -- to -- as a friend of mine just told me on the phone from Wasilla, to sort of put -- put some mud on Sarah Palin's face.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's sort of interesting because down here in the lower 48, there are a lot of people on the left who are terrified of her, saying that she was so conservative. Now she's gone back home and she's got at least Zane Henning, you know, putting mud on her. Who is he, by the way? What's his background?

THORNBURGH: You know, all I can say about him is that he's a Wasilla man. He's a North Slope worker. He, I guess, works with environmental issues for some energy companies up there. But I haven't met Zane. I've met a lot of people like him from the town of Wasilla who are very conservative by nature, who remember some old fights that Sarah Palin had with the Republican Party. You know, she came in as a reform governor, and said she shook things up, and actually, you know, that was really true in Alaska. And she made some enemies on the right-wing side.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, I would think that you could -- you know, if you had a good criticism of the governor, you could come up with one a little bit better than this, that she used her office a week after losing an election to try to win the election she lost a week earlier. Is he -- you know, is he a guy who's sort of known in the community as complaining, or is he a guy who's known in the community as being, you know, rather successful? And I only can give you 30 seconds on this one.

THORNBURGH: Well, I mean, I think, really, a lot of Alaskans, and not just Zane, but a lot of them are going to be looking to her and seeing whether she's going to get back to the business of Alaska. If she does, Zane Henning and all of these types of problems are going to go away. They'll be very happy again.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, she said when she met with me that her day was going to start meeting with her cabinet, so maybe he should have listened closer at the interview. But who knows. Nathan, thank you.

THORNBURGH: Thanks for having me.

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