Barbara Bachmeier walked into the Republican Party offices Friday looking for someone else but she found McHugh Pierre. He's on leave from the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and hand-picked by Sarah Palin to act as the Alaska Republican Party spokesperson in place of Republican Chair, Randy Reudrich.
Bachmeier walked in just as Pierre hung up the phone. She described his look as "the cat that just swallowed the canary."
Pierre: "I just got off the phone with the McCain people. They are coming in tomorrow to do their investigations."
Bachmeier (incredulously): Now???!!! This is going to be like an episode of the "Beverly Hillbillies!"
Pierre: (nods and smiles)
Bachmeier: "Do you really think she's going to win?"
Pierre: "No, but she's really going to do a lot for Alaska."
Bachmeier goes to the Republican Party office as often as she visits the Alaska Democrats. She also attended the conventions of both parties. She is a registered "non-partisan" and maintains her neutrality in all-things-political because of her roll as an advocate for woman veterans who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and the debilitating Post Tramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is the result in most cases. As an MST survivor herself, her avocation is helping others like her by starting the 501-C3 "Women Serving Women Veterans" and the "Alaska Military Veterans PAC"--the only Federally recognized veterans Political Action Ccommittee in Alaska.
As a matter of fact, Barbara inadvertantly shared her conversation with Pierre while we were discussing the progress of both organizations and the work we would do together when I got home (I was still in Denver). My personal mission is to work with veterans...especially disabled vets. I am already dedicated to one non-profit, Veteran's Aviation Outreach, and I am also going to do some work with Barbara.
It was clear when she recounted the story of her day at Republican headquarters that she didn't expect my reaction.
"Oh my GOD...YOU ARE KIDDING ME!!!!"
In my writing, I had been very careful to leave Barbara's name out of it because a) she didn't have any political agenda when she told me this information, we were just talking about veterans' issues and b) I didn't want there to be any kind of retaliation against her.
However, McHugh Pierre's insistance upon lying in the comments of the blog posts got her back up. His second comment especially irritated her:
I figured I would share the truth with you. Obviously you don't care about the truth so soldier on rumor monger!She found it interesting that he used the term "soldier on."
"If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing. I am a soldier and I stand for the truth," Bachmeier stated as we talked in my cramped little office. "I can't stand it when anyone is being disingenuous and I know about it."
However, she wants it known that she's not anybody's "mouthpiece."
"I have no loyalty to either party. My loyalties are with the active-duty soldiers and the veterans. Many of Alaska's veterans are in dire straits and I need everybody's help to bring about change. I just call them as I see them"