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.