Another AIP Official Says Palin Was at 1994 Convention*

An intense "she said"/"she said" has emerged over whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was ever a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, the third-largest political party in the 49th state. The AIP wants Alaskans to get an opportunity to vote on whether or not they will remain a state, or become a commonwealth, or split off as an independent nation.

Officials of the AIP say Palin was once a member, but the McCain campaign -- providing what it says is complete voter registration documentation -- says Palin has been according to official records a lifelong Republican.

(Which to be honest seems more in keeping with the ambitious pol. Republicans have a much better track record than the AIP.)

Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, tells ABC News that regardless of the impression given to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, "Gov. Sarah Palin first registered to vote in the state in May 1982 as a Republican, and she has not changed her party affiliate with the Division of Elections since that time."

But Fenumiai adds that Palin's husband Todd was a member of the AIP from October 1995 through July 2002, except for a few months in 2000. He is currently undeclared.

As part of their pushback against the charges of Lynette and Dexter Clark of the AIP, the McCain campaign says that Palin did not even attend the AIP convention in Wasilla in 1994.

But another former AIP official -- Mark Chryson, chairman of the AIP from 1995 to 2002 -- tells ABC News that "Palin was at the convention in 1994. She was there."

Was she a member?

Chryson can’t say. "She may have been, I do not know," he says. Their records don't go back that far.

"Ask Sarah," he suggests.

I'd love to. But she hasn't exactly been making herself available to the press.

For her part, Ms. Clark -- a self-employed gold miner who wants Alaska to become an independent nation -- says that the McCain campaign pushback that Pain was never part of the AIP is "hooey."

"This is like a cat covering up crap in its litter box," she says.

-- jpt

* This post has been updated with the comments of Fenumiai.

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