From The New York Times:
ST. PAUL — A series of disclosures about Gov. Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain’s choice as running mate, called into question on Monday how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background before putting her on the Republican presidential ticket.
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On Monday morning, Ms. Palin and her husband, Todd, issued a statement saying that their 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, was five months pregnant and that she intended to marry the father.
Among other less attention-grabbing news of the day: it was learned that Ms. Palin now has a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner; that she was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party, which has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede; and that Mr. Palin was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken-driving charge.
Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background. A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice.
With time running out — and as Mr. McCain discarded two safer choices, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, as too predictable — he turned to Ms. Palin. He had his first face-to-face interview with her on Thursday and offered her the job moments later. Advisers to Mr. Pawlenty and another of the finalists on Mr. McCain’s list described an intensive vetting process for those candidates that lasted one to two months.
“They didn’t seriously consider her until four or five days from the time she was picked, before she was asked, maybe the Thursday or Friday before,” said a Republican close to the campaign. “This was really kind of rushed at the end, because John didn’t get what he wanted. He wanted to do Joe [Lieberman] or [Tom] Ridge.”
Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) […] The campaign also denied a story in the New York Times today that Palin was for two years a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which states its goal is to have a vote on whether Alaska should be a state within the U.S., an independent nation, a commonwealth or a territory.
A statement posted on the campaign’s Web site says the report is “not true.”
Alaska election records show that Palin has been a registered Republican since she first registered to vote in 1982, according to Gail Enumiai, the director of the Alaska State Division of Elections.
Her husband, Todd Palin, was a registered member of the Alaskan Independence Party from 1995 until 2002, except for two months in 2000 when he switched to undeclared, the records show. In 2002 he changed his registration back to undeclared, which is his current status, according to Enumiai.