From Erika Bolstad in Washington D.C. --
Team Sarah, a social networking site of nearly 70,000 of Gov. Sarah Palin's supporters, is hoping its members have a shot at derailing the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the president's Health and Human Services secretary.
The site, which came into being to support the Alaska governor during her 2008 vice-presidential bid, bills itself as being "dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process." Team Sarah is affiliated with the Susan B. Anthony List, which seeks to elect women who oppose abortion.
Today, the website sent out an action alert to its members, asking them to call the office of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and urge him to vote against Sebelius' confirmation. Sebelius is expected to be confirmed tomorrow by the Senate. (Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, may also vote against Sebelius. A spokesman said today that Murkowski is disappointed with the Kansas governor's "apparent lack of interest in the Indian Health Service and on Native issues in general.")
Team Sarah last week called on its members to phone the Senate Finance Committee to voice their objections to Sebelius. An estimated 40 people called in opposing Sebelius' nomination. But twice as many people called in supporting her after word of the Team Sarah effort was posted on the left-leaning Huffington Post.
Sebelius, who supports abortion rights, has drawn opposition from Team Sarah, the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, as well as the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele. Both Steele and Palin spoke earlier this month at an anti-abortion banquet in Indiana. Last week, Steele called on President Barack Obama to withdraw Sebelius' nomination until she clarified her stance on abortion. Sebelius last week vetoed a bill that would have rewritten Kansas’ restrictions on late-term abortions.
It's not clear whether Palin is aware of Team Sarah's efforts; the organization has no formal connection to the governor.