In the debate last week, Sarah Palin referred to herself twice as a “business owner” — a part of her resume that came right after “mayor” and “governor.”
In fact, she and her husband Todd once owned 40 percent of a car wash that never washed a car, and she incorporated a marketing company that went out of business without ever doing any business. Strangely enough, the media fact-checkers were so focused on policy errors they missed a very personal one.
The best source on this is Palin, who called herself “just an unemployed housewife from Wasilla” in an op-ed she wrote for the Anchorage Daily News in December 2004, eleven months after she stepped down from the state oil & gas commission. She was unemployed from January 2004 to December 2006, when she took over as governor, and it was during that period when she made her only attempts at creating a small business. Before that she’d been in Wasilla city government for a decade — as a city councilmember and mayor.
On July 1, 2004, the Palins and Carolin and Ray Wells purchased commercial property in Anchorage, incorporating themselves as Anchorage Car Wash LLC. “When we started, we thought we were going to go ahead” with the car wash,” Carolin Wells told Modern Car Care. “We just decided to disband it. It was actually just an investment for both of us over a piece of property as it turned out.” They sold it for a small profit in January 2006, just as Sarah Palin was launching her gubernatorial campagn.
In 2005, Palin incorporated Rouge Cou (roughly translated, “Red Neck”), a marketing firm that got a license but, according to disclosure forms she filed with the state the next year, never did any business.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 7, 2008