Tag Archives: reform

When Reform Takes Precedence over Reputation

by Whitney Pitcher

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” – Susan B. Anthony

Governor Palin’s decision not to renew her contract at Fox News has received a lot of discussion from the punditry  as expected. Some have pretentiously referred to her as a fad. Others wrote her political obituary (just as they did when she stepped aside from the governorship), casting everything in past tense as if she just plans ride off into the aurora bourealis on a snow machine. Of course, Governor Palin isn’t the political equivalent of pogs or Shirley MaClaine, who has had more lives than most cats. Rumors of her political death are greatly exaggerated, which is just how she wants it. As Governor Palin said to Breitbart News on Saturday, ” we delight in those who underestimate us”.

Throughout her career, Governor Palin, just like Susan B. Anthony, has cared far more about reform than reputation. When she was on the city council, she took a stand by voting against a regulation for garbage pickup because it would have unethically steered business to the garbage company owned by other council member. Who was that council member? Nick Carney–the very person who encouraged Palin to run for city council. Reform was more important to her than social standing.

As an oil and gas regulator in the Murkowski administration, she stood up to Randy Ruedrich, a fellow member of the Alaska  Oil and Gas Commission and the head of the Alaska Republican Party, when he did party business on state time and was engaged in other unethical behavior. Palin did all she could do with in her power to expose the corruption, but Governor Murkowski did not act. The only thing Palin felt she could do in good conscience was resign. She gave up a six figure job and risked her political future.Again, reform was more important to her than social standing.

Later, as Governor and following her time as the GOP vice presidential candidate, she was hit with a barrage of frivolous ethics complaints. Defending these complaints cost her family hundreds of thousands of dollars, her state upwards of two million dollars, and her staff eighty percent of their time. Governor Palin thought that remaining governor stood in the way of reform for Alaska, as the money and time suck of ethics complaints stymied progress for her state. Rather than bitterly clinging to power, Governor Palin resigned with the full understanding that it may negatively affect her political future.

Following her resignation, she used multiple media platforms to spread her conservative message. She became a commentator at FoxNews, endorsed and campaigned for reform minded candidates,spoke at Tea Party rallies and used social media outlets to voice her ideas and thoughts on issues ranging from energy independence to foreign policy to government ethics. She used somewhat unconventional outlets, like TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska and appearances Conan O’Brien, to reach new groups and affect the culture beyond the traditional media used  in politics. For much of this, she was mocked. Governor Palin takes to the her Facebook page far more often than the pages of the Wall Street Journal, although she does that on occasion too. However, using such a platform was poo pooed as unserious. In reality, it was a revolutionary way for politics to enter the social media, as people were exposed to energy policy right along side new pictures of their grand children and news of their favorite music artist’s tours. Her travelogue show exposed new people to Alaska’s vast resources and the application of a strong work ethic. Again, reforming the method of marketing conservatism in culture and new media was more important to her than her social standing within a party holding steadfast to a world where white papers, focus groups, and power point presentations are seen as the means to influencing the populace.

Governor Palin spoke unabashedly as a commentator at FoxNews. However, as an outlet primarily seen as the “Republican” channel, commenting at Fox became “preaching to the choir”. As she noted on Saturday, Governor Palin’s message of reform is taking on the “big government enablers” on our side and using opportunities to broaden “the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation.” Interestingly and possibly purposefully, news of Governor Palin’s departure from Fox and her next steps came as the same time as the National Review held a summit, complete with participation from Joe Scarborough, to discuss the future of conservatism–i.e. the very preaching to the choir that she indicated that conservatives need to move away from. For all this, the mainstream media, many of whom try to cast FoxNews as inconsequential, are now trying to portray Governor Palin as irrelevant without Fox. Yet, if one is truly irrelevant, they usually do not require hundreds of news stories deeming them so. She is so “irrelevant” that a publicly funded university did a study to determine how much money she was paid per word at Fox. There still hasn’t been a study to determine how much money the federal government spends/borrows per word that President Obama reads off of a teleprompter.

Governor Palin’s next step of reform is to expand her previous steps of taking on the party establishment and continuing to broaden the message of conservatism. Reform is in her nature–whether is policy reform inside elected office or conservative messaging reform and supporting reform minded candidates outside of office. As she said in channeling Revolutionary war hero John Paul Jones, she has not yet begun to fight.

 

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If the GOPe Were Smart They Would Beg Gov. Palin to Come Back Into the Room

By Stacy Drake

* Follow Stacy on Twitter

But this is the “stupid party” we’re talking about, so I won’t hold my breath.

In the wake of the disastrous 2012 election results, there has been a lot of discussion on the right regarding the GOP’s apparent “message” problem. Much of the conversations has focused on immigration issues as a way to bring in new voters. Recently, Charles Krauthammer wrote:

’ve always been of the “enforcement first” school, with the subsequent promise of legalization. I still think it’s the better policy. But many Hispanics fear that there will be nothing beyond enforcement. So, promise amnesty right up front. Secure the border with guaranteed legalization to follow on the day the four border-state governors affirm that illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle.

Imagine Marco Rubio advancing such a policy on the road to 2016. It would transform the landscape. He’d win the Hispanic vote. Yes, win it. A problem fixable with a single policy initiative is not structural. It is solvable.

It’s going to take much more than that to solve the current issues the GOP has with voters. You can’t pander to one racial demographic and think that will solve all of your problems. The predicament that they find themselves in goes much deeper than a single issue, and it’s based primarily on trust. According to an election night survey released by Breitbart News, Judicial Watch, and Public Opinion Strategies:

Voters’ responses suggest that the American public agrees with conservative policies–but does not trust the Republican Party to implement them.

For example, voters dislike big government, with 71% agreeing (and 49% strongly agreeing) that: “The larger the size of government the more opportunities it creates for possible corruption.” In addition, 85% of voters said they were concerned about corruption in Washington, and 53% described themselves as “very concerned.”

Yet voters do not trust Republicans more than Democrats to deal with corruption. Only 34% said Republicans would do a better job of cleaning up corruption; 37% said Democrats would. That is an indictment of the permanent political class, regardless of party. And despite the President’s talk of cleaning up Washington, his party is not viewed as better able to do so.

So, the Democrats share much of the same issue with voters regarding corruption, but they’re able to squeak enough votes each cycle because they have more credibility on other matters. Here’s a thought. How about for starters, the GOP stop selling out their principles and try to gain some trust back with that 71% who dislike big government? And how does either party address the 85% of voters who are concerned about corruption in Washington, when both of them are compromised in that area? Considering all of the money wasted in Washington on cronies and corruption, these concerns by the vast majority are extremely legitimate.

As I watched the debate go back and forth on the GOP’s message problem after the election, an article written by Anand Giridharadas back in 2011 titled “Some of Sarah Palin’s Ideas Cross the Political Divide” came to mind. In it, he wrote:

[S]omething curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa…

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

In supporting her first point, about the permanent political class, she attacked both parties’ tendency to talk of spending cuts while spending more and more; to stoke public anxiety about a credit downgrade, but take a vacation anyway; to arrive in Washington of modest means and then somehow ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. She observed that 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States happen to be suburbs of the nation’s capital.

Her second point, about money in politics, helped to explain the first. The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money.

Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?” she said, referring to politicians. “It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.”

Because her party has agitated for the wholesale deregulation of money in politics and the unshackling of lobbyists, these will be heard in some quarters as sacrilegious words.

Ms. Palin’s third point was more striking still: in contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs…

This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.

Keep in mind that Sarah Palin was told to “leave the room” by none other than Charles Krauthammer, back in 2009. Yet now he tells the Republican Party that in order for it to save it’s hide, they must reward lawbreakers and anoint a man as leader who has engaged in illegally soliciting foreign donations, just as President Obama has also done.

That is not the answer. The answer for the GOP is to clean up its own act and address the real concerns of the majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation. They can start by not shunning the members of their own party who have the credibility to speak on such matters. Reform in Washington is a winning message and has the potential to bring in voters from nearly every racial, gender, and economic demographic in the country.

It isn’t too late for the Republican Party to jump on board, but time is ticking. American voters need a true opposition party to the big-government, tax and spend, corruption plagued Democrats. The GOP establishment would do themselves and the country a favor by allowing people into the room who can credibly push for reform, and by ceasing their own practices of big-government corruption.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Publisher’s Note” in case you missed it, here is the Indianola, Iowa speech Stacy references. This is what real leadership looks like. The Geniuses of the GOP™ should take note:

And of course, the she stuck around to meet the people:

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Sarah Steelman the Reformer

By Stacy Drake

According to the LA Times, at Friday’s “Steelman Surge” rally, Governor Palin told the crowd (emphasis):

These days, many in a lot of GOP primaries, they’re running on that platform [of strong conservatism] … they want you to believe that they perhaps have a record of conservative values, conservative effort. But we have a candidate that actually has that solid, impeccable record.

The LA Times article also notes:

Palin praised Steelman’s work on ethics as a state treasurer, comparing Steelman’s record to hers in Alaska.

When Steve first covered this race back in October of 2011, he noted:

As a grassroots option to frustrated voters in 2008, Steelman took on the establishment insider who had the power of the heavy-hitters on his side for Governor of Missouri. Steelman lost that bid and her opponent went on to lose the general election to the Democrat (much like what happened in the Presidential election in 2008).

Steelman is a true-to-the-core constitutional conservative. She promises to vote for a full repeal of Obama Care, she’s unapologetically prolife, she has been vocally against bailouts and the failed stimulus as well as further “job-creation” spending coming out of Washington. On immigration, she supports stronger border patrol as well as allowing states like Arizona to put forth their own efforts to combat the problem.

[…]

Along with her conservatism, Steelman certainly has a few Palin-like characteristics of thinking outside of the box. During her time as State Treasurer, then-Governor Matt Blunt’s administration agreed to a $70,000 settlement to a woman who accused the head of the Department of Agriculture of sexual harassment. Steelman criticized this as a quick and feckless use of taxpayer money and stopped payment on the check.

Further, she tried to stop Missouri politicians from having access to grants from state ethanol programs. You can hear her discuss these and much more in an older interview with Glenn Beck during her 2008 run for Governor here:

Steelman shares more in common with Governor Palin more than taking on her own party, standing for Constitutional principles and Conservative values. As Whitney Pitcher wrote:

One aspect of her record was particularly compelling. As state treasurer, Sarah Steelman started the first terror-free investment fund in the country. Her campaign website notes (emphasis added):

She served as State Treasurer of Missouri from 2004 until 2008. As Missouri Treasurer Steelman was responsible for the management of more than $19 billion in Missouri’s annual revenue and managed the investment of over $3 billion in long- and short-term investments in the state’s portfolio. She started the first terror-free investment fund in the nation, which ensured that no taxpayer dollars were invested in terrorist sponsoring countries. Many other states have followed her lead in enacting similar policies.

Fiscal prudence is not only about how much money is spent or how it is specifically budgeted, but about where it is invested. Sarah Palin and Sarah Steelman share that important understanding when it comes to where state monies are invested. There is a fiscal responsibility to invest other people’s money wisely, but there is also a moral responsibility to make sure it is invested ethically. As Governor Palin noted during the 2008 Vice Presidential debate regarding Alaskan dollars that were invested in Sudan:

When I and others in the legislature found out we had some millions of dollars in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars to make sure we weren’t doing anything that would be seen as condoning the activities there in Darfur. That legislation hasn’t passed yet but it needs to because all of us, as individuals, and as humanitarians and as elected officials should do all we can to end those atrocities in that region of the world

The thousands of Governor Palin’s emails the media requested only further confirmed this desire to divest money from a country engaged in genocide. Whether it’s in the Senate or the state house, people are looking for leaders who not only are conservative, but who are reformers who aren’t going to turn a blind eye to the immoral mismanagement of money.

Governor Palin did her homework before endorsing Steelman. To suggest that she had other motivations outside of her knowledge of the candidates is not only insulting, but also ignorant of their respective backgrounds. A read through Sarah Steelman’s record proves many things, but the most important thing is that it reveals her character. This is a person who has strong moral fiber and has shown the courage of her convictions. Something far too rare in our nation’s capitol, which is a major contributing factor in the troubles we face today.

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The Parallels of Sarah Palin and Sarah Steelman

by Whitney Pitcher

Governor Palin appeared at a campaign rally for Missouri Senatorial candidate Sarah Steelman tonight. A state representative from Missouri introduced Steelman noting her intentions to change Washington if elected., but he also noted Steelman’s record. One aspect of her record was particularly compelling. As state treasurer, Sarah Steelman started the first terror-free investment fund in the country. Her campaign website notes (emphasis added):

She served as State Treasurer of Missouri from 2004 until 2008. As Missouri Treasurer Steelman was responsible for the management of more than $19 billion in Missouri’s annual revenue and managed the investment of over $3 billion in long- and short-term investments in the state’s portfolio. She started the first terror-free investment fund in the nation, which ensured that no taxpayer dollars were invested in terrorist sponsoring countries. Many other states have followed her lead in enacting similar policies.

Fiscal prudence is not only about how much money is spent or how it  is specifically budgeted, but about where it is invested. Sarah Palin and Sarah Steelman share that important understanding when it comes to where state monies are invested. There is a fiscal responsibility to invest other people’s money wisely, but there is also a moral responsibility to make sure it is invested ethically. As Governor Palin noted during the 2008 Vice Presidential debate regarding Alaskan dollars that were invested in Sudan:

When I and others in the legislature found out we had some millions of dollars in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars to make sure we weren’t doing anything that would be seen as condoning the activities there in Darfur. That legislation hasn’t passed yet but it needs to because all of us, as individuals, and as humanitarians and as elected officials should do all we can to end those atrocities in that region of the world.

The thousands of Governor Palin’s emails the media requested only further confirmed this desire to divest money from a country engaged in genocide. Whether it’s in the Senate or the state house, people are looking for leaders who not only are conservative, but who are reformers who aren’t going to turn a blind eye to the immoral mismanagement of money. Steelman and Palin don’t solely share a first name; they share a commitment to a making sure, as Steelman says, “the status quo has got to go” by reforming the way that government operates.

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Governor Sarah Palin’s Incredible Executive Accomplishments

Stacy Drake and Whitney Pitcher have put together a lengthy résumé listing the Executive Accomplishments of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

It has been said that Sarah Palin accomplished more in her time as Governor than most politicians, including two term Presidents, do in an entire career. As you look over Stacy’s article, I think you’ll find it hard to argue with that.

There are numerous links to even more extensive information. This is something worth bookmarking, as you’ll want to refer back to it often.

~ Gary

By Stacy Drake

Awhile back, Whitney Pitcher and I put together a list of Governor Palin’s executive accomplishments. That list later became an article featured on Breitbart’s Big Government, as an answer to those who proclaim that Governor Palin was somehow “unqualified” to be on the 2008 Republican ticket.

Using facts and historical record, Whitney and I compiled a list that proves every single-one of these people wrong. Keep in mind, most of the people making this assertion (including former McCain staff members), voted for a junior senator from Illinois (with a less than stellar record) in that election.

I wanted to make this information available in list form, as a resource for our readers to help educate America about the good work that Governor Palin has done throughout her career. This information also confirms that Governor Palin was more than qualified to serve as this nation’s Vice President.

    Governor Sarah Palin’s Executive Accomplishments

Executive Authority and Success

* Sarah Palin was the youngest governor ever elected in Alaskan history.

* Alaska is tied for the second most powerful governorship in the United States.

[I]t turns out that the Governor’s office in Alaska is one of the country’s most powerful. For more than two decades Thad Beyle, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina, has maintained an index of “institutional powers” in state offices. He rates governorships on potential length of service, budgetary and appointment authority, veto power and other factors. Mr. Beyle’s findings for 2008 rate Alaska at 4.1 on a scale of 5. The national average is 3.5.

* Historically High Approval Ratings

* Governor Palin had a 89% and 93% approval rating in May 2007:

Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, has earned 89% and 93% approval ratings in two recent polls. She has won nearly universal support because of her strong stand for honest government in the face of a corruption probe into other members of her party. Her support of a proposed natural gas pipeline to the continental USA has helped, too. Her strength is her independence,” says Alaska pollster David Dittman of Dittman Research in Anchorage. “She distanced herself from the old boy Republican regime and has been completely non-partisan.” Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Jake Westbrook credits Palin with “working across party lines on issues where there is agreement.

The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating in the 90s, and probably the most popular public official in any state.” – Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard 07/16/07

* Governor Palin’s approval rating average from the time of her inauguration until John McCain selected her to serve as the vice presidential candidate in 2008, was 77.38%.

Budgeting and Spending

* Cut state spending between 2007 and 2010 by 9.5%.

* Reduced federal earmark requests by more than 80%

In FY2007, Gov. Frank Murkowski requested $350 million in federal appropriations, which Gov. Palin reduced to $256 million in FY2008, $198 million in FY2009, and $69 million in FY2010.

* Invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program to provide support for low-income older Alaskans.

* Stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere” and wanted to redirect the federal funds to Minnesota after the bridge collapse in 2007. In an email to her staff, she wrote:

[W]e MUST come out with a strong position against AK ‘ s perceived ” Bridge to Nowhere” so we quit looking clueless and selfish across the nation and can clear up the perception that the Gravina project is the state‘ s priority . The $350m bridge is not our priority.

The nation needs to be spending $ on fixing what we have – Minnesota needs ” bridge money” today more than we need a few Alaskans to perpetuate the nonsensical notion that our Gravina earmark is more important than fixing aged infrastructure. We would gain so much if we get that message out there – that the nation can pull, and work , together and make wise decisions on federal priorities … we should see that earmark redirected to Minnesota ‘ s tragedy be the Gravina bridge isn’t going to happen on our watch anyway.

More emails on the “Bridge to Nowherehere.

* Rejected much of President Obama’s “stimulus money” in 2009. During a press conference on the matter, she said:

We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government. We are not requesting more money for normal day-to-day operations of government as part of this economic stimulus package. In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government.

Also stating in a press release:

As I wrote to our congressional delegation on January 7, our administration recognizes that President-elect Obama and the congressional leadership of both parties favor the use of formulas to ensure fairness among the states and to avoid the earmark abuses of the past.

We also have to be mindful about the effect of the stimulus package on the national debt and the future economic health of the country. We won’t achieve long-term stability if we continue borrowing massive sums from foreign countries and remain dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas.

* Proposed a $2.6 billion investment in the Education Fund to help fund public education for the future.

* Used her line-item veto to cut more than a quarter billion in superfluous spending in 2007:

The Governor vetoed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of projects contained within Senate Bill 53. Establishing a budget process, the Governor focused her decisions on the Constitutionally-mandated services of education, public safety and health, and infrastructure.

* 2007 vetoes included projects such as berry economic development, the AT&T Sports Center, a Salmon Study, a tennis court at the Lions Club, batting cages, gun club facility improvements, motocross course construction, a virus free seed potato project, and numerous other items placed in the budget that were not the State of Alaska’s responsibility.

* In 2008, Governor Palin vetoed more than a quarter billion in superfluous spending:

In all, $268 million was vetoed from the budget bills. “The budgets will provide needed services, will leverage other funds and will make a significant investment in Alaska’s future,” Governor Palin said.

* Vetoed 361 line-items in 2008.

* Utilized line item reductions to reduce proposed spending by $80.3 million in 2009.

* Instituted a temporary hiring freeze to reduce expenditures during a period of unanticipated low oil prices in 2009.

* Cut spending more than 33% in FY2010 from FY 2009’s budget.

* Signed energy legislation suspending the state motor fuel tax.

* Provide Alaskan residents with a “resource rebate” to help offset high energy costs:

After funding the state’s priorities, putting billions away in savings and still seeing a budget surplus, the Legislature agreed to a special one-time payment, sharing part of our resource wealth with Alaskans, who under our Constitution are the owners in common of these resources, and who I believe can decide better than government how to use that share.

* Signed legislation opposing a federal aviation fuel tax.

Lowered unemployment insurance tax rates:

For the second year in a row, unemployment insurance tax rates have dropped.

The 2009 unemployment insurance tax rates will be the lowest Alaska employers have experienced in 29 years,” Governor Sarah Palin announced today. An employer in the average rate class will pay approximately $93 less for each employee than in 2008. The rates are applicable to the first $32,700 of the individual employee earnings.

* Cut property taxes as Mayor of Wasilla. She eliminated small business inventory taxes; cut property tax mil levy every year she was in office (6 years straight)

Fiscal Management

*Reformed the state’s pension program by ensuring a successful transition from a defined benefits to a defined contributions system and addressing the $8 billion unfunded liability in Alaska state’s retirements, making it more solvent and leading to a decrease of 34.6% in state liabilities during her tenure.

* Left Alaska with an improved credit rating during and following her tenure as Governor:

Standard & Poor’s raised Alaska’s credit rating from AA to AA+ in April, 2008:

Our fiscal prudence is being recognized by the financial markets. It affirms our efforts to control government spending and live within our means,” Governor Palin said. “We have been working hard advocating for Alaska, both within the state and outside, and I am pleased to see it paying off.

* Moody’s upgraded Alaska’s credit rating to AAA in November 2010 and Standard & Poor’s upgraded Alaska to AAA too in January in large part due to Governor Palin’s policies as indicated below. Each italicized bullet point is a point provided by Standard and Poor’s as an indicator for credit upgrade:

The state’s strong financial management and generally conservative forecasting”: during her tenure, Governor Palin cut spending 9.5% and reduced earmarks 80%.

The state’s financial flexibility, enhanced by the maintenance of large reserves derived from windfall oil revenues since fiscal year 2008”: Governor Palin’s oil tax reform plan implemented in FY2008 was a severance or production tax on oil companies—a tax they paid as a recompense for developing the Alaskan owned natural resources has helped create fiscal reserves for the state.

The state’s moderate debt burden”: During her tenure, Alaska’s overall debt decreased nearly more than 157 million dollars between FY2007 (her predecessor’s final budget year) and FY2010 (her final budget year), while debt outstanding increased at 4.2% annual rate (between FY 2007 and FY 2010) compared to the 6.8% annual rate of her predecessor (between FY2003 and FY2007).

An accumulation of multiple budget reserves equal to more than 200 percent of the general fund budget”: Due to legislation like ACES and the frugal budgeting of Governors Palin and Parnell, Alaska now has a 12 billion dollars in savings. During the VP campaign, Governor Palin was able to tout a more than $5 billion surplus.

* Spent less on travel expense than her two predecessors despite having a larger family.

In fact, she spent over $913,000 less on personal expenses in her first two years than former Governor Frank Murkowski did his last two years.

* Rejected a gubernatorial pay raise.

Gov. Sarah Palin didn’t ask for a pay raise and won’t accept one during her current term.

* Took a voluntary pay cut as mayor to set the tone for her administration.

Energy

* ACES: In 2007, Governor Palin signed ACES—Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share—a net tax on oil profits that was passed in a bipartisan and transparent manner.Constituents had opportunity to read a draft of the bill 17 days before legislators discussed it.

ACES replaced the corruption tainted oil tax plan of the previous administration which was passed in secret and ultimately lead to the indictment of several Alaskan state officials and oil company personnel. ACES provided oil companies with incentives to develop. The progressivity of the tax meant producers were protected when oil prices were low while the interest of the resource owners—the people of Alaska— were appropriately protected as well.

Job Success of ACES:

* There were a record number of oil industry jobs in each year from 2007, when ACES was implemented, to 2009.

* The number of oil companies filling taxes with the state of Alaska doubled between 2006 and 2009. This includes a number of independent and foreign oil companies.

* Natural resources and logging jobs increased 13.7% during Governor Palin’s tenure according to Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development data.

Economic Success of ACES:

* Contributed to Alaska’s credit upgrade by Standard and Poor’s.

* Helped the state to put $12 billion into savings.

AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act) — After many decades of unsuccessful attempts to bring a gas pipeline project into existence, Governor Palin and her team introduced to Alaskans the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) in March 2007.

AGIA passed the Legislature by a vote of 57-1 in May 2007. The framework for America’s largest private sector infrastructure project—a natural gas pipeline—was signed into law by Governor Palin on June 6, 2007. In August 2008, the Alaska Legislature authorized the Palin Administration to award the AGIA license to TransCanada Alaska. In June 2009, Exxon Mobil signed an agreement with TransCanada to partner on the project.

Governor Palin’s AGIA legislation was conducted out in the open, made use of a competitive bidding process and placed not only Alaska, but the nation on a path toward energy independence.

* The stated purpose of AGIA is to expedite the development of a natural gas pipeline that:

* Facilitates commercialization of North Slope gas resources in the state.

* Promotes exploration and development of Alaska’s oil and gas resources.

* Maximizes benefits to the people of the state from the development of oil and gas resources.

* Encourages oil and gas lessees and other persons to commit to ship natural gas from the North Slope to a gas pipeline system for transportation to markets in Alaska or elsewhere.

AGIA establishes mutual commitments and responsibilities between the State of Alaska and the AGIA licensee, specifically, commitments to include regular expansions of the pipeline, local hire, instate delivery service at reasonable costs and a firm timeline for development.

In exchange for meeting the state’s requirements, the successful AGIA project applicant is entitled to certain inducements that will facilitate project development, notably, up to “$500 million in matching funds, which will help reduce the financial risks that such a huge project faces in its early stages.

* Pt. Thomson: Under Governor Palin’s leadership, drilling Commenced at Pt. Thomson after Exxon Mobil had sat on their leases for more than 25 years The Point Thomson field contains one of the largest untapped and proven reserves of oil and gas on the continent.

* Petroleum Systems Integrity Office (PSIO): Governor Palin created the “Petroleum Systems Integrity Office” (PSIO) in April 2007:

PSIO addresses lax maintenance practices on the North Slope that came to light last year after corroded pipelines spilled 200,000 gallons of oil, leading to production shut-downs at Prudhoe Bay and interruption in the flow of oil revenue to the state, she said.

PSIO requires industry to establish and maintain quality assurance programs, and requires the state to inspect facilities to ensure operators comply with those programs. PSIO will also search for any gaps in laws, regulations or industry practices that threaten the integrity of the state’s oil and gas infrastructure. If necessary, the office will step in and exert the state’s authority as issuer of development leases to ensure the system and the state’s interests are protected.

* Took on “Big Oil”: Governor Palin stood up for her constituents when dealing with the powerful oil companies:

What bothers me is that Alaska tried it Exxon’s way. The result was a contract that is not viable. It did not have the support of the public or the legislature. That’s why we need a competitive, open, and transparent process,” said Governor Palin. “It’s painfully obvious that Exxon Mobil does not want that process. We know exactly where we’re going and have a plan to move forward. Exxon doesn’t like that plan because it puts the interests of Alaska and the nation, first – and not Exxon.

There’s an entire book about Sarah Palin’s battles with “Big Oil“: Sarah takes on Big Oil: The compelling story of Governor Sarah Palin’s battle with Alaska’s ‘Big 3′ oil companies, as told by the state’s top oil and gas editors, Kay Cashman and Kristen Nelson Long title and a must read if you want to understand Governor Sarah Palin and how she fought corruption. You can order it from Amazon.com.

~ Gary

* Served on national energy committees: Governor Palin served as Chair of the National Governors Association and as the Natural Resource Committee and Chairman of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission.

* Chair, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2003-2004

Jobs and Business Growth

Jobs:

* Alaska was 2nd in job growth compared to all other states during her tenure as governor.

* Alaska was 3rd in the nation in terms of change in the unemployment rate relative to the national average.

* Alaska saw a record number of oil jobs in both 2008 and 2009; natural resource and logging jobs increased 13.7% during Governor Palin’s tenure.

In her first year in office, Alaska was 6th in the country in unemployment improvement.

Business growth and opportunity:

* Governor Palin cut business license fees in half, during her tenure.

* Alaska moved up from the 4th most business tax friendly state to the 3rd most business tax friendly state during her tenure.

* She signed legislation allowing Alaska-based businesses the same opportunities as out-of-state businesses, within Alaska.

* The number of oil companies doing business in Alaska doubled following the passage of ACES.

* Alaska’s exports grew to a record-high $4 billion in 2006, a 12.6 percent increase.

* Alaska’s exports for 2007 reached $3.9 billion, the second best year for exports.

Ethics Reform and Transparency

* Governor Palin fought for and signed sweeping bipartisan ethics legislation which restricted lobbyists, improved disclosure laws, and improved executive and legislative branch ethics laws.

* In the face of corruption, she took on her own party when it was necessary:

She has pushed through ethics legislation amid a burgeoning corruption investigation of Alaska lawmakers. She has bucked her party’s old guard. And she has ordered her administration to seek fewer congressional earmarks.

What separates her from the others is that at a time when Republicans have suffered from the corruption, she represents clean politics” John J. Pitney Jr. December 27, 2007

* She released her ACES—oil tax bill—to her constituents 17 days prior to the special legislative session where it was to be discussed.

* She opened up natural gas pipeline deals to all potential parties.

* She put the state’s checkbook online

* Governor Palin did not allow lobbyists in her office.

Education

* Forward funded education to allow districts greater flexibility. She stated in an email to her staff at the time:

My goal is to get more money into the classroom; the teaching profession will be honored and teacher profiles elevated on my watch; educ is priority; nothing’s more impt than our kids;

I want AK to feel the same vigor for educ as we have for the gasline; we’ll succeed in forward funding ( eventually ); on our watch our students will have opportunity to be successful via our innovative educ reforms.

* Supported increased vocational training and early education funding with a 3-year plan: $1B for early learning, vo-tech, accountability.

* Opened up opportunity to Alaskan students to participate in regional medical school.

* Increased overall funding for special needs education 175%.

* Increased funding for the Alaska Youth Challenge Academy 18.8% in her first year in office (FY2008) compared to her predecessor’s final year (FY2007).

* Governor Palin’s FY2008 capital budget included $2.5 million for special needs housing (a 42% increase in capital funding over her predecessor) and $250,000 for Special Olympics facility upgrades.

Health Care

* Introduced health care transparency legislation:

The bill would establish an Alaska health care information office to give consumers factual information on quality, cost and other important matters to help them make better-informed decisions about health care in the state. Recognizing that health care must be market-and business-driven, rather than restricted by government.

* Proposed repeal of Certificate of Need—a layer of bureaucracy that prevents medical facility development.

* Established the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council in the Office of the Governor.

* Reduced Medicaid assessments for seniors, those who are disabled, and those who are ill by 83% of her predecessor.

* Expanded Alaska’s Senior benefits program, even signing emergency authorization between the legislature’s general and special sessions.

Support for Constitutional Rights

2nd Amendment

* Joined multi-state amicus brief authored by the state of Texas in support of the Second Amendment right of individual Americans to bear arms.

* Life member of the National Rifle Association

* Awarded with the NRA’s Gold Medal Award of Merit and the NRA Benefactor Life Membership for defending the 2nd amendment.

10th Amendment

* Sued the federal government when the Department of the Interior began listing the polar bear as a threatened species because it such a listing would hamper Alaska’s economy:

Inappropriate implementation of this listing decision could result in widespread social and economic impacts, including increased power costs and further increases in fuel prices, without providing any more protection for the species,” Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin said.

While the state is challenging the listing, we remain committed to assuring Alaska’s polar bears are conserved,” Governor Palin said. “The state will continue to monitor Alaska’s polar bear populations and their behaviors in relation to changing sea ice conditions.”

* Sued the federal government when the Cook Inlet beluga whale was listed as endangered because the federal government did not take into account the conservation and protection efforts already put in place by the state of Alaska:

The State of Alaska has worked cooperatively with the federal government to protect and conserve beluga whales in Cook Inlet,” said Governor Palin. “This listing decision didn’t take those efforts into account as required by law.

[…]

While challenging the listing, we will continue to protect beluga whales,” said Governor Palin. “We will also be assisting Alaskan communities and stakeholders with navigating the complex bureaucratic process this listing decision imposes on their projects and working cooperatively with federal agencies on the required consultations, designations of critical habitat and development of a recovery plan and objectives.”

* Chose to monitor rather than participate in national standards for education, noting that state and local standards and accountability are better. Instead, she chose to implement a pilot program to improve readiness for school, to employ an initiative to ensure struggling school districts have the needed capacity to serve their students, and maintain a state director of rural education:

The State of Alaska fully believes that schools must have high expectations of students,” Governor Palin said. “But high expectations are not always created by new, mandated federal standards written on paper. They are created in the home, the community and the classroom.

* Transitioned responsibility for the quality of Alaska water resources from federal to state control.

State Constitution:

* Vetoed HB4001 which prohibited the commissioner of the department of administration from adopting same-sex regulations:

HB4001, is unconstitutional given the recent Court order of December 19th, mandating same-sex benefits. With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office.”


Military

* Governor Palin shared strategic command over the 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard:

Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism.

* Governor Palin was also Commander- in-chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF):

She’s also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security’s counterterrorism plans.

Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country’s defense. Given Alaska’s proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don’t even know about.

* She made official troop visits in Kuwait, Germany and Kosovo.

You Tube pulled video of Governor Palin’s trip to Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, but you can view it at The U.S. Army’s website here and here.

Some photos from Kosovo:

Palin C-I-C Kosovo 1

Governor Palin poses with some teenagers in Kosovo:

Palin C-I-C Kosovo with Children

Governor Palin being presented with an Alaskan flag that flew over Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo:

sarah-palin-was-presented-an-alaskan-flag-at-camp-bondsteel

As Commander-in-Chief of the only National Guard that is permanently deployed, Governor Palin decorates her troops at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

Palin Kosovo Decorating Troops

* Military personnel stationed in Alaska and serving in any National Guard or Reserve unit received free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.

Sanctity of Life

* She supported both parental notification and parental consent laws for abortion.

* Governor Palin supported state constitutional amendments or legislation that would have stated abortion is not a right & made coerced abortion a crime.

* She also signed the ‘Safe Haven’ Bill into law.

Civil and Safety Issues

* Signed the Sonya Ivanoff Act. SB 45, mandating the maximum sentence for first-degree murder when committed by an on-duty peace officer.

* Extended the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

* Made it mandatory that the governor and the Board of Parole to work together to ensure any decision on clemency is based on a thorough review of the case and made in deference to victims and their families.

* Expanded Alaska Homeless Council.

* Directed multi-departmental Effort to improve aviation safety. Alaska has 6 times the number of pilots, per capita, than anywhere else in the nation.

* Signed aviation, consumer protection legislation.

Organizations

* Former President, Alaska Conference of Mayors

* Former Member, Alaska Municipal League Board

* Member, Alaska Miners Association

* Member, Alaska Outdoor Council

* Member, Alaska Resource Development Council

* Member, Chambers of Commerce (Various)

* Member, Iditarod Parent-Teacher Association

* Life Member, National Rifle Association

* Founder, SarahPAC (Political Action Committee)

* Member, Valley Hospital Association Board

* Coach/Hockey Team Manager, Valley Youth Sports

* Member, Youth Court Steering Committee

* Former Member, American Management Association

* Former Member, Salvation Army Board

* Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society at Alaska Pacific University

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Why Sarah Palin Endorsed Deb Fischer: Reform and Energy

By Gary P Jackson

I’ve found there are some who aren’t quite sure why Sarah Palin endorsed Deb Fischer over the more popular candidates in the Nebraska race for the Senate.

Some claim others were “more conservative” than Fischer. These, of course, are people who haven’t looked at Fischer’s record as a state senator. Or her positions.

While I’m not a mind reader, a few minutes on You Tube will tell anyone even slightly interested why Sarah chose Fischer as her standard bearer out of Nebraska.

Fischer is promising true reform of Congress, something few politicians are talking about, and Conservatives care deeply about. The other is energy. Fischer understands how vital energy independence is to America, and will work towards making that a reality.

We all know how Sarah feels about this.

Check out these videos and you’ll understand really fast why Sarah chose this seasoned veteran over the other two candidates.

Senator Deb Fischer Announces Policy Proposal to Reform Congress, Washington D.C.

Lincoln, NE — Today, Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, released a policy proposal to reform how Congress functions.

As I travel around the state listening to Nebraskans, they are telling me they think Washington D.C. is broken and I couldn’t agree more,” Senator Fischer said. “Too many members of Congress from both parties put their personal interests first and don’t function in the citizens’ best interest.

We need to reform our federal government, reform Congress and reform how Washington functions. To achieve those goals, I’m putting a plan before Nebraskans as a blueprint for my actions and goals as their next U.S. Senator,” said Fischer.

Senator Fischer’s plan includes supporting term limits, strengthening lobbyist rules, increasing transparency, requiring real spending reform and tighter ethics rules. Listed below are more specific details on her legislative priorities to reform Washington, D.C.

Support Term Limits Support a constitutional amendment setting term limits for members of Congress. Senator’s Fischer’s preference would be two six-year terms for United States Senators and three two-year terms for Members of the House. Deb Fischer will pledge to limit herself to two terms in office.

Change Lobbyist Rules Put a lifetime ban on Members of Congress from becoming federally registered lobbyists after they leave office. Prevent immediate family of Members of Congress from becoming federally registered lobbyists while that particular member holds federal office.

Increase the cooling-off period for congressional staff from lobbying Members of Congress for whom they were previously employed to three years and eliminate the salary requirement. Prohibit former committee staff to lobby committee chairs or any member of the committee who was active during their time on staff for three years. Restrict federally registered lobbyists from joining congressional staff or committee staff for three years.

Increase Transparency Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Nebraska and other states are subject to FOIA and Washington should be held to the same standard. The current financial disclosure reports by federal candidates and Members of Congress need to provide additional details. Currently, the disclosure reports allow for too wide of a range for asset and liability values to accurately determine a member’s net worth.

Change the rules of the U.S. Senate to require debate on the Senate floor on all major pieces of legislation with two thirds of Senators present for at least 5 hours prior to a vote. This debate should be subject to public viewing. All bills need to be posted for at least 72 hours for public review before being voted on by Members of Congress. As a U.S. Senator, Deb Fischer will thoroughly review each bill before voting on it.

Require Real Spending Reform Oppose all earmarks until the budget is balanced and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. Eliminate earmarks that go to private companies. Make it a top priority to pass the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act” in order to balance the budget and reduce spending. Vote to eliminate automatic pay increases for members of Congress.

Tighter Ethics Laws Prohibit Members of Congress and federal employees from trading stocks based on information obtained on the job that is not publicly available.

Prohibit Members of Congress, their staffs and federal employees from disclosing nonpublic information for investment purposes. Prohibit Members of Congress, their staffs and federal employees from purchasing land based on inside information that is not public available. Require Members of Congress to be subject to the same laws and privileges as every citizen of the United States.

Sarah Palin’s calling card is sudden, relentless reform. Since her earliest days on the Wasilla City Council, Sarah has been a corruption buster. Fischer has a solid plan, and is exactly the sort we need in the Senate.

Here’s a report from last year about the Keystone Pipeline. The one the Obama regime rejected and Fischer supported.

For folks that want to know more, check out Deb’s website as well as her You Tube channel.

It’s not hard to understand why Sarah endorsed Fischer. She’s the exact sort we need in Washington.

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Governor Susana Martinez–the Quiet Reformer

by Whitney Pitcher

Among the several Republican governors who took office following the 2010 election, three have arguably stood out due to their battles against unions: Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina. There is one governor, though, who has quietly begun to  make noticeable reforms and implement conservative policy in her state–Susana Martinez of New Mexico.

Governor Martinez came into office on the heels of corruptocrat governor, former presidential candidate, and former Obama administration commerce secretary nominee, Bill Richardson. Richardson had been charged with pay-to-play schemes involving state bond deals, but those charges just so happened to be dropped by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice in August of 2009. Needless to say, New Mexico was in need of reform. As a four term district attorney, Martinez spent a good deal of her time prosecuting corruption cases, so she certainly has experience taking on corruption.

In a state that President Obama won by 15 points in 2008, Governor Martinez has managed to rack up a 50% approval rating through her first year in office–highest among newly elected Republican governors–and is doing well among independents and Democrats as well. Her gubernatorial priorities have been education, balancing the budget, ensuring transparency and ethics in government, and keeping New Mexicans safe. Sounds kind of familiar, huh?

During her first year in office, Governor Martinez has turned a $400 million budget deficit into an estimated $246 million surplus. Under her direction, her cabinets have made changes to their budgets to make roughly $70 million in cuts. She has also saved money for the state by doing simple things like reducing state office space and state employee cell phone use. and At the same time, New Mexico has become the 4th best state for job growth, and their unemployment rate had gone down two percentage points between October of 2010 and October 2011. She also fought against a $128 million tax increase for small business when she vetoed a portion of a bill proposed by her democratically controlled legislature. Unfortunately, the state’s supreme court overturned her veto when the legislature sued.

Governor Martinez has also made strides to make government more transparent and ethical.  On her first day in office, she signed an executive order that prohibited any part of the New Mexico state government from hiring or retaining lobbyists. She is also asking the legislature to pass a bill that would disallow anyone serving in public office working as a lobbyist for at least two years after their time in government. She has put the state checkbook online and displays the salaries of all state government employees. Governor Martinez has also sold the state’s executive jet, interestingly to a couple from Alaska, and has fired Governor Richardson’s cooks as well.

Her educational initiatives are aimed at “reform, not just money” and include ensuring teachers are properly evaluated and students are reading at their appropriate grade level. She is also urging the legislature to pass legislation overturning New Mexico’s policy that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licences. They are one of two states that allow such practices.  She argues that this policy allows illegal immigrants to get a licence and use that licence to get documentation in other states.She has also expressed pointed criticism against amnesty.

You know her conservative message has to be making an impact and getting under the skin of the Left, as scurrilous statements have been made about her family’s immigration status in order to try to undermine her plans to overturn New Mexico’s drivers’ license policy. Additionally, fellow minority, but liberal politicians  are using racial slurs against her . To be sure, Governor Martinez only has one year under her belt now and time will tell if she will continue to implement further reforms and have continued success in frugal budgeting, but she’s definitely off to quite a start. Besides, how can you not love someone who re-qualifies for her “conceal and carry” license like this?

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