As a rule, the city's department heads attended every city council meeting. One evening, as the session wound down, Palin mentioned to Mary Ellen Emmons, the library director, that something had been bothering her--a book she thought was overly indulgent of homosexuality. "She said there was no room in our library for that kind of stuff," recalls Chase. Emmons curtly disagreed, but Palin was adamant. She suggested the librarian could at least keep such books in the reference section, where visitors would have to request them. "We don't believe in censoring books," Emmons finally told her, at which point Palin trailed off muttering.
And her run for mayor borrowed heavily from extreme-right campaign tactics:
Within a few months, Palin was officially challenging Stein and exploiting the cultural shift masterfully. She welcomed a national anti-abortion group in to carpet bomb Wasilla with pink postcards affirming her pro-life bona fides. She orchestrated an NRA endorsement and a mailing from the group falsely proclaiming Stein, a lifelong hunter, "anti-gun." (Stein complained to the local newspaper that Palin was telling voters he wanted to "melt down" all the firearms in the state.) And, in a move practically out of Karl Rove's playbook, she dwelled on how Stein's wife used her maiden name, going so far as to demand a marriage certificate as proof of their nuptials. Palin's campaign literature proclaimed her "deeply devoted to conservative family values"--all in the context of an ostensibly nonpartisan election. (Stein himself was a moderate Republican.)
Upon winning, Palin moved quickly to punish her snooty tormentors. Days after she was elected, the city council became deadlocked over how to fill two seats--Palin's and another that had opened up when its occupant won higher office. Palin insisted on making her own appointments, a move of dubious legality sure to irritate Carney. When he objected, she simply cut off discussion. She later accused him of sabotaging her proposed candidates. As she explained to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, the local paper: "'It was brilliant maneuvering I had to do to deal with the impasse.'" "And," the same article continued, "the look on Carney's face when she appointed Steve Stoll and Dianne Keller told her the strategy worked, she said."
And she didn't forget that librarian who stood up to her about banning the gay books at the library:
Within a year, Palin had blown through her personal enemies list. She had demanded the resignation of Emmons, the librarian opposed to censorship (who successfully fought for her job), and Irl Stambaugh, the city's police chief. Among Stambaugh's crimes? Insufficient enthusiasm when Palin asked him to file a weekly report listing "at least two positive examples of work that was started, how we helped the public, how we saved the City money, how we helped the state, how we helped Uncle Sam," according to The Seattle Times.