Tag Archives: Juneau

Palin Resignation Costs Alaska At Least $40,000

Sean Parnell was sworn in as Alaska's 10th governor at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks on Sunday, July 26, 2009, after Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation from office before finishing her first term.

Sean Parnell was sworn in as Alaska's 10th governor at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks on Sunday, July 26, 2009, after Governor Sarah Palin's resignation from office before finishing her first term.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Early estimates put the cost of Sarah Palin’s midterm resignation as Alaska governor at a minimum of $40,000, not including a special legislative session partly linked to her departure.

The preliminary figures obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show it cost the state almost $14,100 for the July 26 swearing-in ceremony of new Gov. Sean Parnell.

The price tag for moving Palin — the former GOP vice presidential candidate — and her family from the governor’s mansion in Juneau amounted to more than $3,328.

Not included in the tally is the estimated cost of more than $100,000 for a one-day special session held last month in which state lawmakers approved Palin’s surprise pick to replace Parnell as lieutenant governor.

Rachel D’Oro
Anchorage Daily News/The Associated Press

Sarah Palin’s Real Estate Impropriety (Video)

By popular demand, I am reposting this story about Mayor Sarah Palin eliminating building permits before her personal home AND the Wasilla Sports Complex were constructed in Wasilla, Alaska.  The post originally appeared on the Sarah Palin Truth Squad back in October 14, 2008.

The original title was The Book of Sarah (Palin): Contractors Awarded Wasilla Sports Complex Contract Built New Palin Family Home.”

Although this is old news, it’s good to remember the personal ethics of Sarah Palin as she moves forward into her latest career.

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Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Wayne Barrett, investigative journalist and senior editor for the Village Voice, published a brilliantly illuminating exposé on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the building of her new Wasilla family home by the same contractors awarded the contract to build the new, multi-million dollar Wasilla sports complex. Also, throughout Sarah Palin’s political career, she has worked closely with lobbyists, promoting the interests of big business and oil corporations. Barrett was interviewed by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown as to the possible conflicts of interest these connections might have posed for Gov. Palin.

Along with the winks and folksy “doggone” moments early in her debate with Joe Biden last week, Sarah Palin repeated her familiar claim to the title of “maverick,” declaring that “as a governor and as a mayor,” she’s had a “track record of reform” and has now “joined a team of mavericks.”

Despite the free fall that her polling numbers went into after her disastrous interviews with Katie Couric, that branding as a “reformer” has been resilient. Introduced skillfully before tens of millions during an intense surge of interest six weeks ago, it’s been hammered home with repeated soundbites.

But the label doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny. From the controversy that catapulted her to the governorship, to her ties to the indicted patriarch of Alaska’s GOP, to the multilayered nexus of lobbyists and Big Oil interests around her, and, finally, to the Wasilla sports complex that capped her mayoral career, the myth of Sarah Palin, reformer, withers under inspection.

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

PALIN’S CLAIM to fame as an Alaska reformer-that she risked her career to expose the chairman of the state GOP-is revisionist. In fact, Palin supported the methane-drilling project that helped sink GOP boss Randy Ruedrich before she later decided she was against it-a mirror of her flip-flop on the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. And her reversal had more to do with seizing a political opportunity than following her conscience.

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Ever The Shrewd Narcissist, Sarah Palin Again Pawns Own Child For Cheap Publicity

Sarah Palin holding Trig Palin out on the campaign trail during the 2008 Presidential race.

Sarah Palin with Trig out on the campaign trail during the 2008 Presidential race.

No Sarah, it was never about Trig or even about your “concern” for the elderly in our society. In typical and consistent fashion, you again showed America and indeed the whole world that not only is integrity far from you, but deceit, deception and disinformation are the hallmarks of your very being.

It would be funny were it not cold-hearted and incendiarily unbecoming for you to use a medium through which you would not have to answer any questions to forment hate and falsehood. Rather akin to your hypocritical display of “patriotism” (in accusing then candidate Obama of “palling around with terrorists” while you may actually be married to one) during the last presidential elections.

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Alaska Legislature To Take Up Sarah Palin Stimulus Veto: Override Will Be Difficult

Even with her resignation, ex-governor Sarah Palin still has the last laugh at the expense of Alaska's citizens.

Even with her resignation in July, ex-governor Sarah Palin still has the last laugh at the expense of Alaska's citizens with her veto of $28 million in federal stimulus funds.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A final battle remaining from the Sarah Palin era as Alaska governor closes Monday when the Legislature votes on whether to override her veto of federal stimulus money for energy cost relief.

The vote will happen in a one-day special session scheduled for the Egan Center in Anchorage, just the second time a special session has been held outside of the capital city of Juneau. It won’t be easy to override Palin’s veto — 75 percent of the Legislature has to vote for an override in joint session to make it happen.

“My sense over time is that the numbers to override the veto will be there at the end of the day. But I don’t know for sure,” said Rep. Mike Hawker, an Anchorage Republican who has led the efforts in the House on the stimulus package.

At least one lawmaker, Nome Rep. Richard Foster, isn’t expected to attend. So even if all 59 other members of the Legislature show up, only 14 need to vote against the override in order for Palin’s veto to stand.

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Palin’s Wild Ride Part.1: From ‘Open and Transparent’ to Something Less

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — For Alaska politics, 2006 was a rough time. A widespread corruption investigation dominated the scene and a natural gas pipeline contract was negotiated behind closed doors — and then rejected.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin on a 'wild ride' through Alaska.

Against this backdrop, in walked Sarah Palin, who swept into the Governor’s Office on the pledge that government should, and would, be open and transparent.

She appeared to allow unprecedented access by the media, giving interviews almost anywhere and anytime, and the media loved every minute of it.

“I can remember our Juneau correspondent going down to Juneau for the first session where Governor Palin was in office and saying like a gigantic weight had been lifted off the building,” Channel 2 News Director Steve MacDonald said.

“When Sarah Palin campaigned on a program of openness in government, that was very appealing to me,” Gregg Erickson, founder of the Alaska Budget Report, said.

And Palin officials say they put openness and transparency to work in government.

“If you look to her greatest accomplishment, which was AGIA (the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act), you see no greater transparent or open process than that, which was removing oil and gas from behind closed doors and what ultimately we learned later was a somewhat corrupt process among many,” Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton said.

But some reporters covering the governor saw the transparency clouding over.

“The thing about Palin is she came on — think back, transparency and openness was the slogan of her campaign — and from the start she was anything but transparent and open,” Bob Tkacz, a fisheries reporter and publisher of Laws of the Seas, said.

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Gov. Palin Challenges Rejection of Senate Nominee Grussendorf

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

JUNEAU – Gov. Sarah Palin said late Thursday she is refusing to accept the Alaska Senate Democrats’ rejection of Tim Grussendorf as her appointee to the state Senate.Palin said the rejection isn’t legally valid because it happened behind closed doors, and only among Democrats.

“We don’t believe that a closed door meeting of just a partisan group says yea or nay to the governor’s choice,” Palin said in an interview on Thursday night. “We believe based on a 1987 opinion of department of law, it needs to take place out in the open with a larger body than just the partisan participants.”

“I believe my selection of Tim Grussendorf is legitimate and it stands until they take that vote in an open, public forum with more than just the partisan participants,” Palin said.

Palin cited a 1987 legal opinion that challenges the constitutionality of the state law that sets out how lawmakers should confirm an appointee to an open legislative seat.  Anchorage Democratic Sen. Hollis French, reached Thursday night, was surprised to find out that Palin was disputing the legality.

“What is she trying to do, sue us?” asked French, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Palin Pipe Dreams

Note: On July 26, Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska governor, citing concerns that ongoing ethical investigations and her decision not to seek a second term would limit her effectiveness in office. What she did (or didn’t do) to promote the development of a $40 billion gas pipeline will be a crucial part of her short history in office. This story, which was first published on March 17, delved into the long and complicated history of a pipeline that doesn’t exist.

Sarah Palin at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2008.

Sarah Palin at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2008.

For more than 30 years, a natural-gas pipeline had been the great white whale of Alaskan resource development. Tens of millions of dollars had been spent in the quest for it. The names of collapsed consortiums and failed legislative initiatives littered the tundra like the bleached horns of long-dead caribou. Then, last summer, Sarah Palin said she had harpooned the whale.

“I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history,” Palin said at the Republican convention. “And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.”

During the vice-presidential debate, she said it again: “We’re building a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever.”

And to Katie Couric, she said, “We should have started 10 years ago, but better late than never.”

To many outside of Alaska, it may therefore come as a surprise to learn that not only does such a pipeline not exist, but—even as Alaska’s deep winter darkness gives way to the first light of spring—the prospect that it will be built within Sarah Palin’s lifetime grows dimmer by the day. ( View a slideshow hitting the highlights of Governor Palin’s travels.)

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