Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin promotes herself as a small-government conservative. But when Alaska government officials wanted to shut down a money-losing creamery, the governor overturned the decision after dairy farmers near her hometown complained the loss of subsidies would cripple them.
On June 8, 2007, a board overseeing the 71-year-old state-run Matanuska Maid creamery announced the business would close after amassing $1.5 million in red ink since 2005, the result of a run-up in milk prices and other essentials. “I feel we are safeguarding the public interest in the decision that has been made,” Mac Carter, chairman of the Alaska Creamery Board, said in a letter to the Palin administration.
On June 16, 2007, Gov. Palin attended a rally by dairy farmers near her hometown of Wasilla who pleaded that the creamery stay open to help them and other members of the local dairy industry. “Things are kind of a mess right now with what’s happening with Mat-Maid, and we’re going to clean it up,” the governor said at the event.
She then sacked the creamery board and replaced it. The new board, headed by one of her childhood friends, ordered the creamery kept open. Six months later — after the business racked up more than $800,000 in additional losses, according to state officials — the new board ordered it closed again.
The candidate’s handling of the matter has been fodder for some critics challenging her credentials as a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative. She has also been criticized for securing federal earmarks as mayor of Wasilla and, as governor, for raising taxes on oil-industry profits.
For further information there are four links below to an extensive investigation by “RobertoW” on the DailyKos website in which he has carefully researched the background and history of Sarah Palin’s connections to the Matanuska Maid Creamery.