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McCain camp: Questioning Palin is 'smear'
At issue are claims by members of the Alaskan Independence Party that Palin was once associated with it. The party, some of whose members have advocated secession from the United States, wants to place all federal lands in Alaska under state control.
The McCain campaign released voter registration documents Tuesday dating to 1990 in which Palin lists herself as a Republican. Campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982, and has never been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
Palin addressed the Independence Party's state convention by video earlier this year, welcoming the party to Fairbanks. She gave no indication of a current or past connection to the party.
"Your party plays an important role in our state's politics," she said in the video, which is posted on the party's Web site. "I've always said that competition is so good, and that applies to political parties as well."
Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, told ABC News that Palin and her husband, Todd, belonged to the party in 1994. Mark Chryson, chairman of the Independence Party from 1995 to 2002, told the network that Palin attended the party's convention in 1994. He said he was not certain if she was a party member, and party records do not date back that far.
Obama advisers and surrogates have also linked Palin to conservative former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. An Associated Press story from Alaska, dated July 17, 1999, states that Palin, then the mayor of the small town of Wasilla, was wearing a Buchanan button during a Buchanan visit to Alaska.
The Miami Herald this week quoted an e-mail from Obama Florida spokesman Mark Bubriski that stated: "Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer."
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