By Oliver Farrimond
THE WIFE of Scots speed-demon Dario Franchitti has incited a war of words with Republican Party darling Sarah Palin.
Hollywood starlet Ashley Judd slammed the self-styled ‘Hockey Mom’ for her support of aerial wolf-hunting – where hunters shoot wolves from helicopters.
She described the practice as “senseless savagery” and called for Palin to be stopped.
Speaking in a campaign video, 40-year-old Judd said: “Now back in Alaska, Palin is again casting aside science and championing the slaughter of wildlife.
“Palin even proposed a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf – and now she is encouraging even more aerial killing.
“It is time to stop Sarah Palin and stop this senseless savagery.”
Judd – who married Bathgate-born Indy 500 champion Franchitti at a lavish ceremony in Dornoch in 2001 – is widely known for her support of activist causes.
Her remarks form part of an ‘Eye On Palin’ campaign, launched by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, to derail the former vice-presidential candidate’s support of aerial wolf-hunting.
The issue caused a storm during the presidential election, where Palin referred to the practice as “pretty darn controversial”.
But the straight-talking Alaskan Governor wasted no time in defending herself from the latest gibes about the hunting method – accusing Judd of belonging to an “extreme fringe group” who are “twisting the truth”.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Gov. Palin said: “Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations.
“Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times.”
No stranger to controversial issues, Judd has spoken out against the Governor before – in September she claimed that a woman voting for Sarah Palin was like “a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders”.
And following her 35-year-old husband’s historic Indy Racing League championship win in 2007, she accused one of his competitors – former model Milka Duno – of being too slow, and a danger to other drivers.