GOP campaign downplays Palin book-banning inquiry

WASILLA, Alaska (AP) -- John McCain's campaign is defending Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's inquiry more than a decade ago into banning books at her hometown library, saying her questions were only hypothetical.

Shortly after taking office in 1996 as mayor of Wasilla, Palin asked the city's head librarian three different times how she would react to requests to ban books.

Librarian Mary Ellen Emmons reportedly told Palin that she would object to any censorship, adding it was a constitutional question, and the American Civil Liberties Union would get involved, too.

A short time later, Palin notified Emmons that she was being fired because Palin didn't feel she had the librarian's "full support." Emmons was reinstated the next day after a public outcry.

The McCain campaign says "Palin has never asked anyone to ban a book, period."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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