Tapati (tapati) wrote,

Wiki War over Palin

Apparently a Wiki war is going on and Palin's Wiki page is being changed. This is from the cached Wiki page:

City council and mayorship

Palin began her political career in 1992, running for Wasilla City Council as a supporter of the controversial new sales tax and with an advertisement advocating "a safer, more progressive Wasilla".[9] She won and served two terms on the council from 1992 to 1996. In 1996, she challenged and defeated incumbent mayor John Stein, criticizing wasteful spending and high taxes.[3] In January 1997, Palin fired the Wasilla police chief and library director. In response, a group of 60 residents calling themselves Concerned Citizens for Wasilla discussed attempting a recall campaign against Palin, but then decided against it.[10] The fired police chief later sued Palin on the grounds that he was fired because he supported the campaign of Palin's opponent, but his suit was eventually dismissed when the judge ruled that Palin had the right under state law to fire city employees, even for political reasons.[11] Palin followed through on her campaign promises to reduce her own salary, and to reduce property taxes by 40%.[3] She also increased the city sales tax to pay for construction of an indoor ice rink and sports complex.[12] At this time, state Republican leaders began grooming her for higher office.[13] She ran for re-election against Stein in 1999, winning by an even larger margin.[3][14] Palin was also elected president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.[15]

While Mayor of Wasilla, Palin wore a "Buchanan for President" button during conservative Pat Buchanan's 1996 visit to Wasilla; Palin has stated that she "welcome[s] all the candidates in Wasilla" and disagreed with the perception that she was endorsing Buchanan.[16] Buchanan described Palin as a "supporter" in an interview after she was selected as the Vice Presidential nominee by McCain.[16][17]

[edit] 2002 election
Sarah Palin under the flag of Alaska during her visit to U.S. troops in Kuwait in 2007
Sarah Palin under the flag of Alaska during her visit to U.S. troops in Kuwait in 2007

In 2002, Palin made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor, coming in second to Loren Leman in a five-way race in the Republican primary. After Frank Murkowski resigned from his long-held U.S. Senate seat in mid-term to become governor, he considered appointing Palin to his Senate seat but instead chose his daughter, Alaska state representative Lisa Murkowski.[18]

[edit] Concerns about the 2008 Presidential Campaign

John McCain's pick for Vice President has weakened his most relevant argument against opponent Barack Obama. According to political commentator Richard Lewison, "Those who compare Palin's slim experience with Obama's should remember that Obama wasn't chosen by a dispeptic old man to run for office. He was chosen by voters after a long and hard campaign." Additionally, Lewison commments, "What this choice does is put the lie to McCain's "Country First" mantra...He clearly would put the country at peril if he thinks it will win him enough votes to become president."[19]

McCain's age and health concerns are making Democrats question his choice for Vice President. When comparing Obama's Vice Presidential choice with Sarah Palin, a writer for the popular political blog Know the Causes said, "One’s political resume reads US Senator 1972-2008 and one’s reads Mayor of Wasilla, AK (pop. 8,500) 1996-2006. One knows national prominence on the basis of 35 years in the US Senate and extended chairmanships of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (1987-1995) and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (current). The other one knows national prominence on the basis of veep speculation during her two years (2006-2008) as Governor of Alaska...Could we trust Joe Biden and his 35 years of national experience? Absolutely. Could we trust Sarah Palin and her two year governorship of Alaska plus ten year stint as mayor of a town of 8,500? I don’t think so...Surely anyone should recognize the deficiencies of a Palin vice-presidency or, heaven forbid, a Palin presidency."[20]

[edit] Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Governor Murkowski appointed Palin Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission,[21] where she served from 2003 to 2004 until resigning in protest over what she called the "lack of ethics" of fellow Alaskan Republican leaders, who ignored her whistleblowing complaints of legal violations and conflicts of interest.[22][3] After she resigned, she exposed the state Republican Party's chairman, Randy Ruedrich, one of her fellow Oil & Gas commissioners, who was accused of doing work for the party on public time, and supplying a lobbyist with a sensitive e-mail.[23] Palin filed formal complaints against both Ruedrich and former Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes, who both resigned; Ruedrich paid a record $12,000 fine.[3]

[edit] Governorship

Running on a clean-government campaign in 2006, Palin upset then-Governor Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary.[3] In August, she declared that education, public safety, and transportation would be three cornerstones of her administration.[24] Despite being outspent by her Democratic opponent, she won the gubernatorial election in November, defeating former Governor Tony Knowles 48.3% to 40.9%.[3]
Governor Palin with sole U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska who championed and secured funding for the Gravina Island Bridge project.
Governor Palin with sole U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska who championed and secured funding for the Gravina Island Bridge project.

Palin became Alaska's first woman governor and, at 42, the youngest in Alaskan history. Palin was also the first Alaskan governor born after Alaska achieved U.S. statehood and the first not to be inaugurated in Juneau, instead choosing to hold her inauguration ceremony in Fairbanks. She took office on December 4, 2006.

She has challenged the state's Republican leaders, helping to launch a campaign by Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell to unseat U.S. Congressman Don Young[25] and publicly challenging Senator Ted Stevens to come clean about the federal investigation into his financial dealings.[26]

Palin frequently had an approval rating above 90% in 2007.[27] A poll published by Hays Research on July 28, 2008 showed Palin's approval rating at 80%,[28] while another Ivan Moore poll showed it at 76%, a drop which the pollsters attributed to the controversial firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.[29]

According to Gregg Erickson of the Alaska Daily News, Palin's approval rating currently hovers around 65%.[30]

Energy and environment
Palin at Alaska Airmen's Trade Show in Anchorage, Alaska on May 10, 2008
Palin at Alaska Airmen's Trade Show in Anchorage, Alaska on May 10, 2008

Palin has strongly promoted oil resource development in Alaska,[31] and also helped pass a tax increase on oil company profits.[26][27] Palin has announced plans to create a new sub-cabinet group of advisors to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within Alaska.[32]

Shortly after taking office, Palin rescinded 35 appointments made by Murkowski in the last hours of his administration, including that of his former chief of staff James "Jim" Clark to the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.[33][34] Clark later pleaded guilty to conspiring with a defunct oil-field-services company to channel money into Frank Murkowski's re-election campaign.[35]

In March 2007, Palin presented the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) as the new legal vehicle for building a natural gas pipeline from the state's North Slope.[36] This negated a deal by the previous governor to grant the contract to a coalition including BP (her husband's former employer). Only one legislator, Representative Ralph Samuels, voted against the measure,[37] and in June, Palin signed it into law.[38][39] On January 5, 2008, Palin announced that a Canadian company, TransCanada Corp., was the sole AGIA-compliant applicant.[40][41] In August 2008, Palin signed a bill into law giving the state of Alaska authority to award TransCanada Pipelines a license to build and operate the $26-billion pipeline to transport natural gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48 through Canada.[42]

In response to high oil and gas prices, and the resulting state government budget surplus, Palin proposed giving Alaskans $100-a-month energy debit cards. She also proposed providing grants to electrical utilities so that they would reduce customers' rates.[43] She subsequently dropped the debit card proposal, and in its place she proposed to send Alaskans $1,200 directly, paid for from the windfall surplus the state is getting because of the high oil prices.[44]

In 2007, Palin approved a $150 cash incentive to aerial gunner-pilot teams for each Alaskan wolf they kill.[45] The incentive was called a "bounty" for killing wolves by Alaska Wildlife Alliance Director John Toppenberg.[45] She agreed with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to allow Alaska state biologists to hunt wolves from helicopters as part of a "predator control" program which was allowed under a provision in a 35-year-old federal ban on the practice granting 700 permits to the state of Alaska.[46] The program was heavily criticized by Defenders of Wildlife and predator control opponents,[46] and prompted California State Representative George Miller to introduce a federal bill making the practice illegal.[46] In March 2008, a federal judge upheld the practice of hunting wolves from the air, but limited its extent.[47]

In May 2008, Palin objected to the decision of Dirk Kempthorne, the Republican United States Secretary of the Interior, to list polar bears as an endangered species. She threatened a lawsuit to stop the listing amid fears that it would hurt oil and gas development in the bears' habitat off Alaska's northern and northwestern coasts. She said the move to list the bears was premature and was not the appropriate management tool for their welfare.[48]

She has called the global warming theory supported by Kempthrone and most scientists "unreliable", and asserted that human activity has not caused Arctic ice to melt, stating that "I'm not one though who would attribute it [global warming] to being man-made"[49] after she was announced as Senator McCain's presumptive running mate.

Sarah Palin visiting a U.S. military base in Kuwait in 2007
Sarah Palin visiting a U.S. military base in Kuwait in 2007

Shortly after becoming governor, Palin canceled a contract for the construction of an 11-mile (18-kilometer) gravel road outside Juneau to a mine. This reversed a decision made in the closing days of the Murkowski Administration.[50]

In June 2007, Palin signed into law a $6.6 billion operating budget—the largest in Alaska's history.[51] At the same time, she used her veto power to make the second-largest cuts of the construction budget in state history. The $237 million in cuts represented over 300 local projects, and reduced the construction budget to nearly $1.6 billion.[52]

Palin initially expressed support for the Gravina Island Bridge project,[53] commonly known outside the state as the "Bridge to Nowhere." However, once it had become a nationwide symbol of wasteful earmark spending and some federal funding was lost, Palin cancelled the bridge because Alaska's congressional delegation was unable to prevent the state of Alaska from having to pay for part of the bridge's construction.[26][54] Alaska still kept the federal money,[55] but she stated that Alaska should rely less on federal funding.[27]

When on June 6, 2007, the Alaska Creamery Board recommended closing Matanuska Maid Dairy, an unprofitable state-owned business, Palin objected, citing concern for the impact on dairy farmers and the fact that the dairy had just received $600,000 in state money. When Palin found out that the Board of Agriculture and Conservation appoints Creamery Board members, she replaced the entire membership of the Board of Agriculture and Conservation.[27][56] The new board reversed the decision to close the dairy, but later in 2007, with Palin's support, the unprofitable business was put up for sale. There were no offers in December 2007, when the minimum bid was set at $3.35 million,[57][58] and the dairy was closed that month. In August 2008, the Anchorage plant was purchased for $1.5 million, the new minimum bid; the purchaser plans to convert it into heated storage units.[59]

[edit] Abuse of power investigation

Main article: Alaska Public Safety Commissioner dismissal

On July 11, 2008, Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan for not adequately filling state trooper vacancies, and because he "did not turn out to be a team player on budgeting issues."[60] She instead offered him a position as executive director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which he turned down.[61][62]

Her power to fire him is not in dispute, but Monegan alleged that his dismissal may have been an abuse of power tied to his reluctance to fire Palin's former brother-in-law, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, who had been involved in a divorce and child custody battle with Palin's sister, Molly McCann.[63] Palin is currently being investigated by an independent investigator hired by the Alaska Legislature[64] to determine whether she abused her power when she fired Monegan. Palin has admitted that her staff had made at least 25 contacts with public safety officials about firing her sister’s ex-husband, including one where an employee claimed to speak for her although she has stated that he acted without her permission or knowledge.[65][66]

See also: Republican Party (United States) vice presidential candidates, 2008

On August 29, 2008, Palin was announced as presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain's vice-presidential candidate, or running mate.[67][68][69][70] Palin's selection surprised many Republican officials, several of whom had speculated about other candidates[71][72] such as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, United States Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.[73]

A month previously, Palin had said:[74]

But as for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.

Palin is considered to have similar policy positions to John McCain in some respects. One exception is drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which Palin strongly supports and McCain has opposed.[75] Another exception is her belief that global warming is not manmade.[76] On August 4, 2008, Palin put out a press release praising portions of Obama's energy plan including the call for completion of the Alaskan natural gas pipeline and proposed $1,000 rebates for families struggling with energy costs, although she took exception with its call for a windfall profits tax on oil companies. The press release in question appears to have been removed from the governor's website, but can still be accessed through Google's cache.[77][26][27][78]

A possible consideration in Palin's selection was her appeal to former Hillary Clinton supporters in the contentious Democratic primary.[79] Palin, when asked about Senator Clinton's complaints regarding her coverage by the press, said: [80]

When I hear a statement like that, coming from a woman candidate, with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism or maybe a sharper microscope put on her - I think that doesn't do us any good, women in politics, or women in general wanting to progress this country. I don't think it bodes well for her, a statement like that. Because again, fair or unfair, it is there. I think that's reality, and I think it's a given, I think people can just accept that she is going to be under that sharper microscope. So be it. I mean, work harder, prove yourself to an even greater degree that you're capable, that you're going to be the best candidate and that is of course what she wants us to believe at this point. So, it bothers me a little bit, hearing her bring that attention to herself, on that level.


Alaska Republicans had mixed reactions to the news of Palin's selection. State Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican who has often feuded with Palin, remarked, "She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" On the other hand, Alaskan Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee, remarked that, "It's wonderful. It was an emotional thing to see the governor walk out with her family and I say, wow, I work for her."[81]

Republicans from other states expressed strong support for Palin's selection, including support from fellow woman Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut, who said of Palin "She is strong. She is capable. She is articulate" and suggested opponents should not underestimate her.[82] There was speculation back in October 2007 that Palin was seen as a possible choice of the vice-presidency of John McCain's rival of the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.[83]

Palin is the second U.S. woman to run on a major party ticket, after Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee of former vice-president Walter Mondale in 1984.[70]

[edit] Political positions

Main article: Political positions of Sarah Palin

[edit] Social issues

Palin is pro life and a prominent member of Feminists for Life, the largest and most visible pro-life feminist organization.[84][85][86]

While running for Governor of Alaska she was asked about the teaching of creationism in public school science classes. Palin answered that she thought it was important to teach creationism in the schools; although she clarified the next day that she meant that open debate between the two ideas should not be prohibited if it came up in discussion, but that creationism did not need to be part of the curriculum. She also added that she would not appoint State Board of Education members based on their opinions on evolution or creationism.[87] Since her election she has appointed three of the seven Board members, who serve five-year terms: Patrick Shier, Phillip Schneider, and Geraldine Benshoof. None of these appointments attracted criticism on this issue.

Palin has said she has good friends who are gay,[24] opposes same-sex marriage,[24] but complied with an Alaskan state Supreme Court order and signed an implementation of same-sex benefits into law, stating that legal options to avoid doing so had run out.[88] She supported a non-binding referendum for a constitutional amendment to deny benefits to homosexual couples.[89]

Palin admits that she used marijuana at a time when the state had legalized possession of small amounts. She says that she did not like it and she does not support legalizing marijuana, concerned about the message it would send to her children.[24]

[edit] Gun rights

Palin is a life-time member of the National Rifle Association, and is popular among gun rights activists. Sandra Froman, a member of the NRA Board of Directors, described McCain's selection of Palin as "outstanding".[90] An avid hunter herself, she is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, and supports gun-safety education for youth.[91]

[edit] Foreign policy

According to Time magazine, Palin's foreign policy positions were not clear at the time she was picked, but she has been critical of the lack of a long-term strategy on the war in Iraq.[92]

[edit] Family and personal life
Sarah Palin, while rendering a salute during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem
Sarah Palin, while rendering a salute during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem

Palin's husband, Todd Palin,[93] works for the energy corporation BP in a non-managerial position[94] and works as a fisherman in his hometown in the summers. Todd is a world champion snowmobiler, winning the 2,000-mile (3,200 km) "Iron Dog" race four times.[3] Todd is one-eighth Yup'ik.[95] The two eloped shortly after Palin graduated from college; when they learned they needed witnesses for the civil ceremony, they recruited two residents from the old-age home down the street.[3] The Palin family lives in Wasilla, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Anchorage.

On September 11, 2007, Palin's then-eighteen-year-old son Track, the eldest of her five children, joined the U.S. Army.[96] He now serves in an infantry brigade. She also has three daughters: Bristol (born 1991), Willow (born 1995) and Piper (born 2001).[15]

On April 18, 2008, while in office as governor, Palin gave birth to her second son and fifth child, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who, as prenatal genetic testing had shown, has Down syndrome.[97] She returned to the office three days after giving birth.[26] Her decision to have the baby was applauded by the pro-life community.[98][99]

Palin hunts, ice fishes, eats mooseburger, rides snowmobiles, has run a marathon, and owns a float plane.[27][100]
Tags: politics

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