The shady side of the Palin family

Riding the waves created by her 2008 political splashdown as John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin has carved out a career in the public eye and dragged her family along on her platform of right-wing, conservative values. Unfortunately, behind the shining public image that they work very hard to maintain, the Palin family casts some very long shadows…

The Price Of Justice

According to the Huffington Post, while serving as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin fired the well-respected and long-standing chief of police and hired a man named Charlie Fannon to replace him. When budget time came around, Fannon decided to eliminate rape kits from the budget with the aim of saving between $5,000 and $14,000—a move that Palin made no effort to prevent. After the kits were cut from the budget, the department started charging rape victims up to $1,200 each time the kits were used. When a democratic legislator passed a law making the practice illegal, the chief of police protested on the basis that the community would have to foot the bill instead. Rape kits are used by police to gather evidence of sexual assault and also include emergency contraception. In an ironic twist, it was later reported that Palin spent $50,000 to refurbish her office—enough to pay for four years' worth of rape kits.

Better The Devil You Know

When the time came for the newly minted Alaskan governor to appoint a new head of the State Division of Agriculture she didn't have to look far. In fact she only looked as far as her high school yearbook before she gave the $95,000 a year job to a classmate from high school, according to the New York Times. She gave other jobs to high school classmates with questionable qualifications, including one worth over $82,000 per year to a friend who opened the Alaska franchise of Mailboxes Etc. Her efforts to surround herself with allies is matched only by her efforts to rid herself of critics and fight personal feuds. State legislators investigated accusations that Sarah Palin tried to use her position as governor to get a state trooper fired. The state trooper was her sister's ex-husband and had been involved in a messy divorce and custody battle. The scandal became known as Troopergate. She is also accused of engineering the firing of a longtime city attorney in 1997 who blocked a construction project of one of her campaign contributors.

A Family That Fights Together Stays Together

For a family that likes to claim the moral high ground, it doesn't take them long to get down and dirty. In 2014, it was reported by MSNBC that the entire Palin household was alleged to have been involved in a drunken brawl. Sarah Palin—with her husband Todd and children Bristol, Willow, Track, and Bristol's son Tripp—arrived at a party in a stretch Hummer. They had been celebrating Todd's 50th birthday and this was not their first stop. Unfortunately things went south when Track got in a fight with his sister Willow's ex. The ex's dad stepped in to break it up and at that point witnesses report that Todd jumped in and began to choke the dad. The fight was eventually broken up, but then Bristol, with Willow in tow, is reported to have approached the owner of the house and cold-cocked him—which kicked off round two. This time Sarah wanted a piece of the action and was described as nearly crawling over people to get in on the fight, all while screaming profanities. After the Palins were asked to leave, Sarah was reportedly heard to yell "Do you know who I am?" Meanwhile, Track allegedly stood in front of the house bare chested and gave the remaining guests the finger. Charming.

One Man And One Woman—By The Hour

The Palins like to see themselves as champions of the traditional family and good old fashioned morals, but according to a book called Boys Will Be Boys published in 2012, Todd Palin likes to promote an even older tradition. In the book, Shailey Tripp details how she not only became sexually involved with Todd Palin, but eventually started working for him as a prostitute—for which she was arrested in 2010. It also includes intimate details of his anatomy, and implicates secret service agents and police in a cover-up of Todd's involvement. Supporters of the allegations have made much of Todd's failure to deny the allegations, a chore he left to Sarah Palin and the Anchorage Police.

Crime Has No Age Limit

The Palin family's shadows stretch further than their own white picket fence. In 2009, the New York Daily News reported that Sarah Palin's sister-in-law Diana Palin was arrested for breaking into a house. She was caught by the homeowner and held at gunpoint until the police arrived. So far so good, but it wouldn't be a Palin story without a twist. During the investigation, it came out that this was not the first time she had broken into this house; she had already found her way in a few days previously and must've liked it so much she went back for seconds. But wait, there's more. Guess who she left waiting in the car outside?… Her four-year-old daughter. Parents should always push their children to learn new skills, but "getaway driver" seems like a bad place to start.

"Take One For The Team"

Sarah Palin is ruthless when it comes to getting her way, and this attitude even extends to her furry constituents. On several occasions during her tenure as Wasilla mayor and governor of Alaska she has displayed a callous disregard for animal welfare. Hunting wolves from aircraft was already legal in Alaska when Palin came to power. However, she oversaw a significant expansion of the program according to the Huffington Post. She even instituted a bounty of $150 per wolf to further encourage the practice, but that was struck down by the State Superior Court. In 2007, she fought a push to have polar bears listed as an endangered species, on the basis that it could inhibit oil and gas exploration in the region. She even went so far as to sue the US Government after the motion passed. During campaigning for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015, Palin was heard to say that if caribous' lives were threatened by the construction of the pipeline, then they should "take one for the team." Despite a Freedom of Information Request, no evidence has yet been presented that proves any caribou actually joined "the team."

Being Irony's Posterchild Is A Well-Paid Gig

In 2009, Bristol Palin became a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Advisor for the Candie's Foundation. According to Forbes, Bristol Palin was paid over $262,000 that year for her part in promoting abstinence, a staggering figure if you consider that in the same year the foundation only gave out $35,000 in grants to charities. But that's not the biggest problem. The most glaring issue with this situation is the fact that she was employed by Candie's Foundation despite becoming pregnant while unmarried at the age of 18. And if that was all, it would be no issue—because who better to advise on teen pregnancy than a formerly pregnant teen? But despite her efforts and expertise in preventing pregnancy, she announced in June 2015 that she was pregnant again—this time by her ex-fiance who she split with in May. Definitely a case of do as I say, not what I do.