PALIN’S PERSISTENT PROBLEMS…. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) probably expected her responsibilities to get at least a little easier after the difficulties of a national campaign. That’s clearly not the case.

Putting aside her family-related controversies, which are irrelevant, Palin is drawing some fire from Alaskan officials in both parties for her decision to “spend half of the final three days of the legislative session to headline a pro-life dinner in Indiana.”

Even more serious is the governor’s choice to be the state’s attorney general. Sam Stein had this report:

Sarah Palin’s choice for attorney general once wrote a column defending the statue of a KKK figure as an expression of free speech and mocked the psychology of a college student who protested the display.

Wayne Anthony Ross has come under intense scrutiny since the Alaska Governor and former vice presidential candidate announced his nomination. His resume includes derogatory remarks about homosexuals, accusations of sexism, and bizarre comments downplaying the fallout of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. But his most controversial incident may have come in December 1991, when he penned an op-ed for the Anchorage Times, a copy of which was obtained by the Huffington Post, entitled “KKK ‘art’ project gets ‘A’ for courage.” … [T]he column was filled with racial and political insensitivities that, even in the relatively homogenous Alaska, were bound (perhaps designed) to stir the pot. […]

That Ross would defend the right to create a KKK statue as well as the school’s right to display it is a stance that, while clearly defensible under first amendment grounds, could prove tricky for the Palin administration to defend. Conservatives have railed at offensive art depictions in the past, with Rudy Giuliani famously cutting off funds for the Brooklyn Museum of Art after it displayed a painting of the Virgin Mary covered in Elephant dung. The display of confederate flags at South Carolina’s Capitol, meanwhile, has long engendered fierce political and constitutional debates in federal and state elections.

But it is Ross’s mockery of the offended student — at one point urging her to take down the racially-tinged art display so she would be arrested — that is likely to cause the most headaches for the governor’s office.

It’s not just the KKK project; Ross has a history of generating controversies.

I guess the governor’s vetting team is about as good as John McCain’s?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.