Tag Archives: Gary Stevens

As Alaska Stimulus Showdown Nears, Gov. Palin to Leave Town

The Alaska State Legislature

The Alaska State Legislature

JUNEAU — With just one week left before the Alaska Legislature adjourns for the year, the conflict between Gov. Sarah Palin and lawmakers over taking federal economic stimulus money is the dominant issue left.

In fact, legislative leaders don’t seem intent on doing a whole lot else this year.

Just nine of the 419 bills introduced have passed through the full Legislature so far, and while many more will pass in the frenzied final week, there is little desire to make major state policy changes in what Senate President Gary Stevens conceded is basically a session of preserving the status quo.

There’s still a chance that bills will pass increasing the state minimum wage, requiring parental notification when a teenager gets an abortion, expanding Alaska children’s health insurance for lower-income families and stopping the state, including the Permanent Fund, from investing in companies doing business in Sudan, the African country whose government has been blamed for genocidal killing in the Darfur region.

Legislators will also vote Thursday on approving the governor’s appointees, including attorney general Wayne Anthony Ross, who has proven controversial but is still likely to be confirmed.

Palin herself will be leaving Alaska this week to attend the Vanderburgh County Right to Life dinner in Evansville, Ind. on Thursday, as well as an event for special-needs children. Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jay Ramras questioned her leaving town right at the end of the session, when critical decisions are being made.

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Palin In-State Gas Line Looks DOA in Juneau

TOO LATE: Legislators say utility merger, gas plan not likely to pass.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System

JUNEAU — Gov. Sarah Palin’s biggest initiatives for this legislative session appear dead on arrival, at least for this year.

Top lawmakers said Tuesday they aren’t likely to pass the governor’s bills dealing with an in-state natural gas pipeline and consolidating the six Railbelt utilities to pursue mega-projects like the Susitna River dam.

“They are very big issues. I personally do not believe we will complete those before the end of the session,” said Senate President Gary Stevens, a Republican from Kodiak.

Lawmakers from both parties say Palin introduced the bills too late — about halfway through the 90-day session of the Legislature.

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Gov. Palin Press Conference Focuses on Colberg Resignation, Federal Stimulus Money

JUNEAU, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin gave her first major news conference of 2009 on Wednesday, a day after Attorney General Talis Colberg’s resigned.

Palin said Colberg resigned amid a “harsh political environment.”

Palin repeated her earlier statement that Colberg chose to resign himself, and that he was not asked to write a letter to Sen. Hollis French, much like Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell did.

Palin said Colberg didn’t give a specific reason for his resignation, only saying that Colberg said it was in the best interest of the state.

“It was his choice to resign and if you want to talk to him more in detail about why he chose to resign, to leave state service, you’re free to do that,” Palin said. “I won’t speak for him.”

Palin received a letter Tuesday from Senate President Gary Stevens about what the governor called “a harsh political environment created during Troopergate.”

“I, like many Alaskans, was disappointed last fall with the way this matter became unnecessarily politicized during the national political campaign,” Stevens said in the letter. “We did not intend to smear or assault any of the witnesses; we want to put this behind us and move forward on issues of importance to all Alaskans.”

Palin said she did not want to talk about the issue further, and called it a personal issue.

She also talked about the federal stimulus package and said that the state will accept its share of funds — if those funds make sense for the state.

She specifically mentioned construction projects that need to happen.

Palin has voiced opposition to money for other programs in the past. She said the state might have to pick up the tab for some programs once it’s gone through the federal money.

Jason Lamb
KTUU – Alaska’s News Source

Alaska Senate Finds Todd Palin, Staffers in Contempt

The Alaska Senate confronted Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday over her resistance to Legislative subpoenas in the Troopergate investigation with a mild rebuke for her husband and some of her staff. The resolution was drafted behind the scenes, catching many lawmakers and Palin supporters off guard.

A resolution, which passed in a 16-1 vote, found 10 witnesses in contempt after they balked at testifying before a legislative investigator, but no penalties were issued.

Sen. Hollis French and Gov. Sarah Palin

Sen. Hollis French and Gov. Sarah Palin

Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, brought a resolution containing the contempt finding Friday morning in a surprise move. Those found in contempt were given no opportunity to defend themselves, but they were not penalized either.

French is chairman of the Senate Judiciary, which the Legislature designated to supervise the investigation into the scandal, dubbed Troopergate.

The public and Palin’s Senate supporters were not made aware of the contempt resolution before the Senate took it up Friday morning.

The Legislature’s investigation found Palin had the power to fire Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, but that Palin had done so partly for personal reasons and she abused her power when doing so.

Palin had originally pledged to cooperate with the Legislative investigation, but after she began running for vice-president she reversed course and Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg tried to block the investigation in court.

“The subpoenas were lawful, and the subpoenas were disobeyed,” French said.

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Half-Baked in Alaska: Palin’s 11th Hour “Troopergate” Exoneration Was a Lie

Award-winning journalist Geoffrey Dunn, writing for the Huffington Post, examines the unanswered questions left by the differening investigative findings into the Troopergate scandal of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. 

It was surely an odd bit of timing on Monday, November 3–just hours before one of the biggest presidential elections in American history–that the Alaska State Personnel Board issued a finding by its chief investigator, Timothy J. Petumenos, that Republican vice-presidential candidate and Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, did not breach state ethics laws when she fired Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan in July of this year.

This last minute finding appeared to exonerate Palin of any legal culpability in the so-called “Troopergate” scandal that dogged her throughout her ill-fated, two-month run on the Republican ticket. Palin boldly claimed it a “vindication,” while headlines throughout the world declared that she had been “cleared” of any wrongdoing.

That was hardly the case. Composed entirely of political appointees–and all Republican–the Personnel Board was hell-bent on clearing Palin from the get-go. Its findings were neither final nor impartial. And they leave many questions about her behavior, along with that of her husband’s and her staff’s, unanswered.

Perhaps the most significant questions that remain are whether or not Governor Palin and her husband, Todd, committed perjury in their sworn affidavits to the personnel board.

There is significant circumstantial evidence that they did.

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