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Monday, September 08, 2008

Questions Remain About Palin Vetting

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — John McCain's presidential campaign did not speak with the Alaska House speaker and other leading Republicans before McCain tapped Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

The low-profile vetting allowed McCain to spring Palin onto the national scene uncolored by media scrutiny. But it has left the campaign open to criticism that McCain did not fully explore her qualifications.

"I haven't heard of anybody being contacted, not that that's bad," said John Harris, speaker of the state House of Representatives. "I just haven't heard of anybody."

The subject is now closed, said McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.

"Gov. Palin was fully vetted as previously described and we are no longer commenting on the vetting process," Bounds said Friday. "She was selected, is qualified and is ready to serve."

Attorney Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. led the review and told The Associated Press earlier this week that Palin underwent a "full and complete" examination.

But Harris, state Senate president Lyda Green and GOP chairman Randy Ruedrich said no one called them in advance to talk about the governor.

"I've not heard of one person who was talked to," said Green, who lives in Palin's hometown of Wasilla and has feuded with the governor.

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