Known as one of Gov. Sarah Palin’s harshest critics in rural Alaska, Myron Naneng wondered if some honest-to-goodness ribbing would come his way in the aftermath of Palin’s stunning resignation announcement earlier this month.
“Many people have jokingly asked if I (should) take credit for the resignation,” said Naneng, president of the Association of Village Council Presidents. “From people on the street to other locations (around Western Alaska), I haven’t heard any desire for (Palin) to stay on.”
Palin announced July 3 she would step down as governor and hand the reigns to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on July 26. Palin said she did it because ethics complaints and politically-ambitious state lawmakers would keep her administration from getting any work done.
The news sent political and pop culture tremors around the globe. A few days after the announcement, Naneng talked from his Bethel office about his reaction and that of rural Alaska.
“Should I say hallelujah?” Naneng said. “What’s there to be broken up about?”
Poverty, high energy costs, and concerns about access to fish and game are the issues constantly swirling around residents in remote portions of the country’s largest state.
Naneng and AVCP recently organized a media tour of Western Alaska villages to showcase the lack of subsistence and commercial fishing in the area, days after Marshall fishermen defied authorities and illegally caught 100 king salmon.
“We didn’t call it a protest,” Naneng said. “It was fishing for food.”