Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jesus, did they vet this chick at ALL?

Hey, guys, just thought I pop in and tell you to check out a comment left under this article by a resident of Wasillia, the town where McCain veep pick Palin was mayor. Here's the excerpt of the comment that Andrew Sullivan posted:

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents. During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign. Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%.

This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents. The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing. While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state. In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs. She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day. Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated” her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness. Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to. As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”. She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her. As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar bears as threatened species. McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President. There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she. However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

Readers, if what McCain wanted was a partner and a viable female Republican candidate, he could've had one. Hello! Olympia Snow, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Elizabeth Dole! All extremely competent females with great backgrounds, integrity, and moderate to conservative records!

But he wasn't interested in a competent choice, he was interested in a poster child for the religious right. Well, be careful what you wish for, you sad old man.


Anonymous said...

Wow, she just seems to be one big old sack of nasty, doesn't she? Now I see why her mother-in-law declined to say who she would be voting for, it's just payback. It's been a while since I've read my Shakespeare, but forget Lady MacBeth, she's Iago in drag.

Michael said...

Re the spin on Palin's daughter's pregnancy. It just goes to show you how stupid rank-and-file GOP voters really are. They will believe anything you want them to believe, so long we all remember we got to keep the liberals out.

That old foodbag Pete Wilson referred to the Obama's campaign as something like socialism in a thin disguise. I'd forgotten what an asshole he is.

Dad E said...

I guess McCain did a thorough job of screening his candidate, huh? Being a woman governor sealed the deal.

And, what would Republicans say about a unmarried 17 year old from the south side of Chicago, who got pregnant?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

YOu mean his pick of an unqualfied female did not sway you? HIllary was a female, you're a female, and so is Sarah, so you're supposed to vote for her. Right?

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Hey Dad E-
Good one. See my comment from Friday's post.

Dave said...

It just seems that somewhere there should be audio of her bitching out her staff.

Michael said...

I didn't think about the implication that McCain couldn't find a better qualified female running mate until some interviewee said so on an NPR story. Given that, and Joe Lieberman's address at the convention, I have to think today's RNC is getting a case of crazy. Joe Lieberman?

I know the GOP may not think so, but holy cow do they seem pathetic this go-round.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Nice. So after McCain kicks the bucket, we'd be left with a President known as Sarah Barracuda?!

Grant Miller said...

Sarah Barracuda was my high school nickname, too.

jcat said...

As far as her career goes, I'm sure she would prefer the "will of God" to "sun-kissed" which is even more alarming. If she is what the religious right hopes she is her decisions should all be viewed in the context of destiny. If that doesn't scare you nothing will.Jcat

Cheer34 said...

she's scary.....

Zoe said...

I am waiting for the cartoon of the shotgun wedding inside the White House. I'm seriously disgusted with her putting her daughter up as political fodder for her advancement. But - did you see how god damn big her boobs are? She's HUGE. Sorry... I'm just thinking of what people would have said about Chelsea Clinton had she gotten preggers. But, Chelsea exudes a bit more class and style than that.

And has everyone seen Devil's Advocate - you know when all those women turn into demons in the wife's mind? Anyway - Sarah Palin got that sneer "I'm going to rip out your hearts America" face on this evening and it felt like sheer evil.

And how about that sea of whiteness... Yeehaw! I counted 3 African Americans, 5 Asians and 2 hispanics in the entire audience. Excluding that cowboy up on stage with the country singers saying the Pledge of Allegiance. WTF was that? JEEBUS!

Madam Z said...

Thank you for posting this excerpt of Sullivan's article. If it's true, I am shocked at how misleading her speech was. She sounds tough and smart when she speaks. But my oh my, no mayor who borrows $15 million to build a sports complex for a town of 5,000 will get any respect from me. That's $3,000 per resident! And how is a town of 5,000 residents ever going to pay back a $22 million dollar debt? But if, heaven forbid, she and McCan't do win the election, her "borrow and spend" philosophy will fit right in with the example set by Bush and Co.