Abdication by Palin…Alaskans Blame McCain Campaign For Taking Over Governor’s Office

                 Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

When did the McCain campaign take over the governor’s office?

Alaska Daily News Online

 September 20, 2008
 

 

Gov. Sarah Palin has surrendered important gubernatorial duties to the Republican presidential campaign. McCain staff are handling public and press questions about actions she has taken as governor. The governor who said, “Hold me accountable,” is hiding behind the hired guns of the McCain campaign to avoid accountability.

 Is it too much to ask that Alaska’s governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska’s governor? A press conference Thursday showed how skewed Alaska’s relationship with its own governor has become.

McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Ed O’Callaghan announced that Todd Palin will not comply with a subpoena to testify about his role in Troopergate, the Legislature’s investigation into whether Palin abused her power in forcing out former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.
O’Callaghan also announced that Alaska’s governor is “unlikely” to cooperate with the investigation by the Alaska Legislature about questionable conduct by Alaska’s chief executive.
Monday, he and campaign sidekick Meg Stapleton stood before Alaskans and defended the official personnel decision by Alaska’s governor to fire Alaska’s public safety commissioner. ABC News reported that Gov. Palin’s official press secretary, Bill McAllister, paid by the state of Alaska, didn’t even know the McCain staffers were meeting the press to defend his boss.
Is the McCain campaign telling Alaskans that Alaska’s governor can’t handle her own defense in front of her own Alaska constituents?
Way back when, before John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate, Palin promised to cooperate with the investigation.
Now she won’t utter a peep about it to Alaskans. Nor will her husband, Todd, who definitely needs to explain his role in Troopergate.
Instead, Alaskans have to sit back and listen to John McCain’s campaign operatives handling inquiries about what Alaska’s governor did while governing Alaska. Residents of any state would be offended to see their governor cede such a fundamental, day-to-day governmental responsibility to a partisan politician from another state. It’s especially offensive to Alaskans.

O’Callaghan said Todd Palin objects to the subpoena because the Legislature’s investigation “has been subjected to complete partisanship.” That’s the kind of dizzying spin that Washington has perfected. It is the McCain-Palin campaign that has worked overtime to politicize the entire matter in a transparent attempt to justify the stonewalling.

Futile as the request may be, we encourage Gov. Palin to stand up to McCain’s handlers and be personally accountable for her administration’s response to Troopergate. She is the governor of Alaska, not John McCain or Ed O’Callaghan.

 

BOTTOM LINE: Official state business — like Troopergate — should be handled by the governor of the state, not by McCain presidential campaign operatives. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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National Debt Chart Shows Republicans Are The Big Spenders

The Republicans Are The Real Big Spenders!

The Republicans Are The Real Big Spenders!

Click to enlarge.

How many times have you heard Republicans attack Democrats for being big spenders? Well, the data shows something entirely different. Just think about it. When Bill Clinton left office, not only was the nation not in debt, but he left a surplus in the nation’s coffers. Fast forward eight years later and what do you find? A treasury that is so depleted that we turn to China for loans.

Isn’t it funny that our practice of sending companies off-shore to find sources of cheap labor is now making a 180 degree turnabout? Recently, a Chinese company opened in South Carolina and is hiring local workers who, a generation earlier, would have been displaced when the company went to China.

If Barack Obama is elected, we will be able to keep more businesses in this country because they will no longer be rewarded with tax cuts for sending jobs abroad.

How Did Sarah Palin Govern? Hired Friends and Punished Enemies

Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Sarah Palin

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-palinstyle8-2008sep08,0,6185940.story

From the Los Angeles Times

CAMPAIGN ’08

Sarah Palin’s leadership style has admirers and critics

Some who have worked with the Alaska governor say her bold approach is lacking in follow-through, and that she punishes those who dare say ‘no.’

By Tom Hamburger and Kim Murphy
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

September 8, 2008

ANCHORAGE — Three years ago, when a Democratic state legislator tried to get bipartisan support for investigating charges of unethical conduct by a senior Republican official, only one member of the GOP answered the call: Sarah Palin.

Palin pursued the allegations — as well as ethics charges against another top GOP official — so vigorously that both had to leave office.

The public acclaim that followed helped propel her into the governor’s office a year later with promises of reform and a more open, accountable government that would stand up to entrenched interests, including the big oil companies.

Yet a strange thing happened on the ethics issue once Palin became governor: She appeared to lose interest in completing the task of legislating comprehensive reform, some who supported the cleanup say.

The ethics bill she offered was so incomplete that its supporters had to undertake a significant rewrite. Moreover, when it came to building support for the bill, politicians in both parties say the new governor was often unaccountably absent from the fray.

And the seeming paradox of the ethics reform fight — the combination of bold, even courageous readiness to take on a tough issue, coupled with a tendency to drift away from the nitty-gritty follow-through — appears to be a recurrent theme of her record. Some lawmakers were so perplexed by her absence from a recent debate over sending oil rebate checks to Alaskans, for example, that they sported buttons at the state Capitol reading “Where’s Sarah?”

A spokesman for the governor’s office rejects such criticism. Bill McAllister, Palin’s press secretary, said: “She has always been sufficiently informed and engaged. . . . In just two years in office, she accomplished more than most governors in their entire careers.”

Even her critics credit Palin with a major role in pushing a state known for its relaxed approach to political ethics into a long-overdue housecleaning. And Palin has pushed hard to make oil companies pay more for access to the state’s oil and gas reserves.

At the same time, she has fallen short of her proclaimed goals in other areas, especially concerning how she governs.

Her administration has not been marked by the transparency she promised: She invoked executive privilege in refusing to disclose information about one ethics case, and last week she moved to hobble a legislative inquiry into her role in the firing of a state public safety official.

Several legislators also say the governor’s office is not a place for open debate: Palin does not tolerate much dissent, they say, sometimes cutting off relations with those deemed unhelpful or critical.

And she shows only marginal interest in crafting policy proposals and getting them passed, these critics say.

“Her ethics proposal had to be beefed up substantially with very basic additions,” said state Rep. Les Gara, an Anchorage Democrat who tried to get the governor’s attention on ethics and other issues.

It lacked such long-needed provisions as language making legislators subject to prosecution for bribery if they exchanged votes for campaign contributions. To Gara and to some others, including Republicans who have often supported the governor, their experience on the ethics bill has proven disconcertingly similar to their experience with Palin on other issues.

“When it comes to the real work of crafting policy, she’s often not there,” Gara said. He acknowledged her broad accomplishments, but added: “I don’t know if she’s disinterested in details or not comfortable with them, but the bottom line is: She is not truly a hands-on governor.”

During the recent debate over how much of the state’s annual oil royalties to rebate to the state’s citizens in the form of individual checks — a highly sensitive issue in Alaska — Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature said Palin took little part in the final stages of the discussion.

In interviews, more than a dozen Alaska politicians described Palin as a master at burnishing her image and building a popular base. She won statewide applause for selling the state jet, rejecting a big security entourage while driving herself, and firing the chef at the executive mansion.

No one questions her readiness to fight for cleaner government either. After she agreed in 2005 to help Democratic legislator Eric Croft get an independent investigation of state Atty. Gen. Gregg Renkes, she immediately incurred the wrath of the party establishment. The same thing had happened a year earlier, when she raised conflict-of-interest allegations against the state GOP chairman, Randy Ruedrich, who had sat with her on the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Palin was vindicated in both cases: Ruedrich resigned from the commission and paid a $12,000 ethics fine. The attorney general also resigned and received a reprimand.

A spokesman for Ruedrich and the state party said that the past was not a factor and that Ruedrich was backing the McCain-Palin ticket. Renkes could not be reached for comment.

Croft, who is running for mayor of Anchorage and backing the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket, said he was impressed with Palin’s willingness to join him in the case involving the attorney general.

“She got it right away” and never backed down, Croft said. “Her sense was that this was wrong and that she had to speak out.”

Many officials are less positive, however, about her record of working with the Legislature and running the state government.

Republican state Sen. Fred Dyson, a friend and fellow reformer who praises Palin for taking up the issue, acknowledged that she was not fully engaged in the details of the ethics bill and that some legislators had been rankled by her lack of engagement in other issues as well.

Still, he points out, her popularity in Alaska remains undiminished.

Other legislators say that the governor has been so focused on her own priorities that she has been unwilling to consider other significant matters — including the state’s poor ranking in providing health insurance to children. Alaska ranks near the bottom of the states in making children from lower-middle-income families eligible for a government insurance program.

She used the line-item veto this year to cut funding for $268 million in capital projects from spending bills, including money for a senior citizens center and batting cages for the Ketchikan Little League. At the same time, the Anchorage Daily News reported, she preserved $2 million for an academic conference highlighting arguments that global warming isn’t threatening the survival of polar bears.

A former associate director of the governor’s Washington office, Larry Persily, said that some of the governor’s problems resulted from the fact that she “underestimated exponentially how much more complex state government is than the city of Wasilla.”

Palin is smart but was “never deeply engaged,” he said.

Though she had good instincts with the public, her approach to legislators and fellow elected officials was often counterproductive, he said. For example, he said, when she made a four-day visit to Washington in February, she did not meet with any members of the congressional delegation.

Similarly, when she reversed her campaign decision and finally killed the “bridge to nowhere,” the much-ridiculed project to connect Ketchikan with the island airport that serves it, neither the mayor of the town nor the congressional delegation was notified in advance.

“When she makes a decision, she wants it executed immediately,” Persily said. “In politics, sometimes ‘immediately’ is not the most productive way to do it.”

But McAllister, the governor’s press secretary, praised her attention to detail. He noted that during her second year in office, she met with legislators in groups of three to go over budget concerns for each district. “That shows her willingness to engage even at the level of minutiae,” he said.

Republican Lyda Green, president of the Alaska Senate, who has clashed frequently with the governor, said: “It has been very difficult for her to accept ‘no,’ and after a ‘no’ was spoken, going forward after that amicably was very difficult. After that, you didn’t get in. No conversations. She would very much slam you in her next press conference.”

Green, who represents the Wasilla area, is retiring from the Legislature at the end of this year, citing the conflict she has had with Palin as one reason she’s stepping down.

McAllister dismisses Green’s criticism as “bitter personal resentment.”

Palin has also stirred controversy over her abrupt firing of prominent officials. State legislators were upset earlier this year, for instance, when she dismissed the state’s well-liked public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan.

The governor agreed to a legislative inquiry by an independent investigator who was going to probe whether Palin had abused her authority in seeking Monegan’s precipitous dismissal. The Palins were angry because Monegan failed to fire a state trooper in the midst of a fierce custody battle the trooper was having with the governor’s sister. For years, the governor and her family had complained that the trooper was abusive and dangerous.

Since being chosen as John McCain’s running mate, however, Palin has started a legal maneuver to prevent that inquiry from going forward.

State Rep. Andrea Doll of Juneau, a Democrat, says she thinks the governor is learning from her mistakes. “One thing she learned is that you are not a lone ranger — you can’t go marching off, ignoring the people at the legislative front lines,” she said. “To get something done, you need more than just the public applauding wildly.”

tom.hamburger@latimes.com

kim.murphy@latimes.com

Times staff writers Chuck Neubauer and Marjorie Miller and researcher Janet Lundblad contributed to this report.

AlaskaTroopers dub Mat-Su area the meth capital of Alaska

 
WASILLA – The Matanuska-Susitna area is the methamphetamine capital of Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.In 2003, authorities uncovered nine meth labs in the area. Last year, the number increased to 42, said Kyle Young, an investigator with the troopers who works with the Mat-Su narcotics team.

Officials with the Office of Children’s Services in Wasilla said the problem affects children. The office receives about 40 calls a month from people reporting abuse or neglect involving some aspect of the highly addictive drug.

In late February, the Mat-Su narcotics unit arrested a couple at their Willow home. Michelle Motta said for years she tried to warn authorities that her three young nieces lived in the midst of a methamphetamine operation run by their parents, Phillip Dean and Laura Jackson.

Alaska State Troopers reported finding a “large active meth lab” in a detached garage shop. The house was a frigid mess, with piles of dirty dishes, clothes everywhere and frozen pipes, investigators said.

Through a hatch in the shop floor, the team found an underground room with a meth lab in one corner, as well as old marijuana root balls and lights from a past pot-growing operation.

An investigator said the team didn’t find the children at home but saw signs of them there. Motta said the girls – ages 14, 8 and 6 – at times slept in the garage with the lab.

A year ago, the oldest girl detailed the household’s rampant drug problems and squalid living conditions in a handwritten letter to a judge.

“My parents grow marijuana and crystal the(y) did the drugs that they bought in front of (my sisters),” the letter begins. “They spent most money on them instead of food or doing laundry. I got left home with nobody there I got left home with drug(g)ies…”

Motta now has custody of her three nieces. The Jacksons are jailed at Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility in Palmer.

Children sharing homes with meth labs face the risk of contamination, fire, explosion, neglect and hazardous living conditions. Caseworkers report little children complaining of breathing problems from toxic fumes rising off chemicals such as acetone, ammonia and hydrochloric acid.

When authorities surrounded a converted bus housing a meth operation in Big Lake in January, a 13-year-old boy who answered the door bragged that his mom cooked the best meth in the valley, according to the troopers.

During a 2003 bust at a house outside Wasilla, officers discovered five children living inside, all younger than 8 years old.

The calls about meth to children’s services in Wasilla accounts for as many as 40 percent of the agency’s total monthly child protection calls.

The troopers are aggressively going after meth labs, said Capt. Ed Harrington, the supervisor of the state’s drug and alcohol enforcement unit.

“It’s just not a simple process,” Harrington said. “Just because somebody calls in and says ‘So and so’s cooking meth’ doesn’t mean we’re going to kick the door in the next night.”
Click here to return to story:
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/030805/sta_20050308002.shtml

Sarah’s First Interview

Friday, September 12, 2008
It’s Friday Ya Bastids!

SARAH’S FIRST INTERVIEW

So here’s the thing…..any comment we, or anyone in the media, make and a good chunk of America is going to make will be met with “You’re being unfair! You’re ganging up on her! Leave the poor hockey mom alone! You’re over the line. YOU are not a Christian. You’re attacking Christianity itself!”

Think that wasn’t part of the plan when they picked her?

GROUND RULES

The campaign picks the time and place and the interviewer. Two weeks prep time, Interview airs on a FRIDAY (last day in the news cycle), conducted in Alaska (for home court advantage) and Charlie Gibson.

They completely controlled the playing field.

THE PREP

“Numerous McCain aides are involved in the preparation, and staffers stressed that all under the McCain-Palin umbrella were operating as one unit. Traveling with her and working with the press are Tracey Schmitt and Tucker Eskew. Schmitt worked on both Bush campaigns and ran the Republican National Committee communications shop before leaving a year ago to work for a biopharma company. Eskew is a longtime GOP strategist who was a top aide in the first Bush campaign and later worked in the White House before co-founding his own public affairs firm.

They’ll be joined at times by Nicolle Wallace, the former White House communications director who has served as a senior adviser to the McCain campaign since spring. Mark Wallace, Nicolle Wallace’s husband and another veteran of Bushworld, will lend a hand to Palin by prepping her for the lone debate against Biden, Oct. 2 in St. Louis.

Offering policy counsel will be Steve Biegun, a seasoned foreign policy specialist who did stints as a senior member of Bush’s National Security Council and as national security adviser to former Sen. Bill Frist, when he was Senate majority leader. He’s taken a leave from his position as a government affairs executive at Ford Motor Co.”http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/13323;_ylt=A
o3BEMby1c.LkUVBQY5ooN1h24cA

And she still came across as an ill-informed lightweight aping shallow policy one sheets read to her by an actual adult. She came off like a lot of AM radio morning show know-it-alls that I’ve met. People who can pronounce Saakashvilli if you write it phonetically, but can’t pronounce NUCLEAR no matter what you do. A bad radio Hack Host who thrills with their opinion of the world based on NO FACTS. A person, who doesn’t read, doesn’t understand the “interconnected” nature of the world and doesn’t CARE to know. She will hang up on you!

Everything she knows she learned on TV, Church and in CRAM SESSIONS with BUSH STAFFERS.

She was angry, narcissistic, and defensive and way out of her league and this was only CHARLIE GIBSON!

She was the neighborhood Alpha-Female at the kid’s birthday party. Women know that woman. She’s the ‘expert’ on everything from politics to lawn care. The mom who commands the gathering of adults while her children are off bullying the other kids. She’s the woman who tells you when it’s time to paint your house, pull up your tulips, bring in your garbage cans, keeps her dogs in cages, takes over the condo meetings, thinks egging houses on Halloween is a “right of passage”, knows her kids drink and party and is friends with the teenage boys. Hers is the house where you have to tell your teens “NO” to sleepovers.

She was the mayor of a troubled small town stuck 8 miles from nowhere, and a Governor with an Agenda that benefits her and her State alone. Sarah is a one trick pony and the trick isn’t even a new one. Palins’ game is to Fool some of the people ALL of the time and it shows.

But this is NOT The Miss Alaska Pageant. She wants to be the VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and she only did slightly better than Miss South Carolina explaining why 1/5 of Americans can’t locate the US on a map!

The real chore is going to be pointing that out without being trashed as the terrible 800 pound gorilla jumping all over the MOM with a charming Main Street aa-k-cent and her Field & Stream folksiness who thinks killing wolves from airplanes is for cool people.

So let me say I’m sorry in advance. I know more about foreign policy, domestic policy, The Bush Doctrine and the Constitution than she does. I am more qualified to be Vice President, but I love my country too much to say Yes without HESITATION knowing I WAS A PIG IN A POKE choice by the Republican Party Apparatchiks.

She wants to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency in an extremely tense and challenging world and a dangerous economic downturn here at home, but serious scrutiny will be met with a Sonny Corleone-style garbage can beating. To the GOP she’s Connie Corleone.

Ask yourself if Sarah Palin has the goods to gain respect from world leaders, deal with financial markets, emerging technology, spy programs, and be the DECISION MAKER in a 9/11 scenario when the President has to be in a secure location.

Does she understand that Iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11? Does she know why we were attacked on 9/11? Does she understand global markets, trade deals, tax policy, health care, veterans’ affairs, education or the environment?
Does she care about anything other than Alaskan Oil and Natural Gas? Is Alaskan Oil and Natural Gas the solution for everything?
Does she understand the US CONSTITUTION? “Congress shall declare war” NOT THE PRESIDENT.

Yeah, that’s actually Charlie Gibson explaining…maybe for the first time….to our possible Vice President what the Bush Doctrine is.