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Palin`s Record as a Faux Reformer and Environmental Neanderthal

Questions persist about the credibility of the self-advertised reformer Sarah Palin. Recent history reveals she has spent most of her youthful political career as a bottom feeder to the Washington lobbyist trough. It is all reminiscent of her mentor-in-chief, John McCain, who surrounds himself with cronies, who are and were lobbyists, an occupation he ridicules on the stump.

The distaff governor of Alaska led a 527 group on behalf of Senator Ted Stevens that John McCain says was flatly illegal, and typically she remains mum on endorsing Ted Stevens for re-election, in November.

That is not so surprising. When she was mayor of tiny Wasilla, (population 6,700), she hired the former chief of staff for Ted Stevens, Steven Silver, an accomplice of Jack Abramoff, to be the town`s lobbyist in D.C.

Wow, that is really shaking things up the 'ole boys' network' in Washington. Knowledgeble, Mark Kleiman, one of my favorite bloggers, makes some of these points in a bloggingheads audio interview.

On the other hand, there has been no such equivocating about Palin`s environmental record. She takes an uncompromising, I would say straight-on, neanderthal club to the environment. Palin is solidly behind the hunters, commercial fishermen and the oil industry, with no accounting for or protection of the wildlife or eco-system of America's 'last frontier".

As today's 'Independent" phrases it: "The woman who could soon be a 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the United States presidency has an environmental policy so toxic it would make the incumbent, George Bush, blush,"

and that takes some doing. Is this the change of direction that more than 80% of Americans yearn for? Again the religious right may have someone of their ilk in the Oval Office, like Palin, who sounds and perhaps is an ordinary person who takes the Bible literally, where nothing so complicated as global warming or the environment or the food chain or evolution is discussed or mentioned.

But maybe, Palin is correct in advocating that creationism be taught as an alternate science in public schools, since Alaska is 'ground zero" for global warming, and God`s creation in Alaska won`t exist much longer with the present rate of climate change and "do-nothings" in power.

University Of Alaska, Professor Rick Steiner outlines the rest of Palin`s abysmal environmental record:

On climate change, Palin has done virtually nothing to address the problem except hold meetings and appoint a "climate sub-cabinet" that likewise has done little. Lots of talk, no action. Although in the past two years the Arctic summer sea ice shrunk to the lowest levels ever recorded, Palin apparently does not believe it is human-induced or cause for alarm. She was asked to establish an Alaska Office on Climate Change, an Alaska Climate Response Fund (based on a tax on Alaska oil production) and emissions reduction targets for Alaska, but has taken no action on those requests.

On Endangered species. Earlier this year, Palin approved a $2 million state appropriation for a conference on the "economic impacts" of the Endangered Species Act, designed to persuade the public that ESA listings were too costly and unwarranted. Recently she agreed to use the money instead to fund the state's lawsuit against the Bush administration over the polar bear listing.

And so it goes. She is even against what little the dreadful Bush/Cheney administration has done for the environment. Unbelievable, "a hockey mom", a so-called `sportswoman,` without concern for ice; so much for McCain`s green credentials.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (14)

Codekeyguy[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Wizbang Blue: Used to be a counterpoint to Wizbang, but now the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos are more fair minded than you guys. This is for Lee, Paul, and this new guy crickymore

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Wow, thanks for the compliment, Ckg!

Steve Crickmore is returning from a two-month hiatus - here's his Wizbang Blue archive.

Here's one of my favorite Crickmore posts - Why Republicans Can't Govern.


Hi Steve:

You said:

"The distaff governor of Alaska led a 527 group on behalf of Senator Ted Stevens that John McCain says was flatly illegal, and typically she remains mum on endorsing Ted Stevens for re-election, in November."

That isn't totally accurate.

The 527 about which you speak was formed in 2004. While she was supposed to be one of three directors, the 527 ran into a bit of trouble. If you will look here:


You will see that no monies were received or spent. The purpose of the 527 was:

"To increase the number of Republican women in elected offices and in appointed governmental and political positions, including advisory and regulatory commissions through training and education."

In other words, it was not a Ted Stevens puff apparatus. Furthermore, there are several other 527 floating around with identical goals. The particular one you cite was a "Feel good" 527 that went nowhere and had nothing to do with promoting the best interest of Ted Stevens. Even if it had, Steven's problems were in the future from 2004 and he was then considered the grand old man of Alaska even by some Democrats.

John McCain is flat out against 527's. But they are legal, which makes his opinion hot air. Obama doesn't like 527's either, which is why moveon and dailykos have shut down theirs.

One interesting point about 527's, is that in the 2006 election cycle, $121,665,587 was spent by Democrat/liberal groups and $49,379,578 was spent by Republican/conservative groups. I got that from your link.

Finally, while the link on the current state of the relationship between Stevens and Palin is accurate as far as it goes, it didn't mention a couple of points; Palin held a joint conference with Stevens just before his indictment to give her support to him and two, Steven's original support for her in the Governor's race was lukewarm (by his standards in other races) and last minute, just two weeks before election day. Her conference with him didn't help much as he was 17 points behind until the past few days as the link says.

The rest of your article was a rehash of various position points of environmentalists and I have no quarrel with most of the opinions expressed except that Palin DID take on the Oil companies in several ways which I would be glad to enumerate if you want starting with an increase in royaltys. I think that is something that Obama wants to do as well, sorta.

Well, maybe I better say something about one of your opinions; Take a look here:


and follow the link here:


Before Al Gore made his millions promoting global warming, there was actually a bunch of scientists predicting an ice age. This may yet come to pass.



Most alaskans prefer the eviromentalists from the lower 48 to keep their opinions to themselves. The hunters and fisherman are very in tune with their surroundings.
And yes I read your link. It seems they think that like Obama she can wave her hand and the ice will grow back and the temps return. It is not going to happen. The earth will take care of itself. The polar bears will be fine.
If you do not manage the wolves,the packs grow to big and too many. They then wipe out all the moose for many square miles and start getting too close to peoples homes. Same with the bears. There are areas we can't go in to hunt for moose because the bear population has been allowed to grow too much and they have cleaned out the moose. Then they start getting close to peoples homes.
Every time the Fish and Game allows the environmentalists to influence their regulations it hurts the management of wildlife in the area.
Palin as a hunter and having married a lifelong commercial fisherman and oilman knows this and has a lifetime of experience with the subject. The main body of environmentalists are a bunch of over emotional nature lovers that jump into outrage mode without fully knowing what they are talking about.
I don't remember how many times we had to shake our heads at all these animal lovers from New York city telling us how to manage the Alaskan wildlife. It was like those Pace Pecante commercials where the texans were dumbstruck that someone from NY could try to make their sauce better.


Rich, you stated:
The main body of environmentalists are a bunch of over emotional nature lovers that jump into outrage mode without fully knowing what they are talking about.

You are 100% CORRECT. The tree huggers in the Pacific NW has screwed up the lumber industry, caused roads to be closed in the forests, and when a fire breaks out, no roads for the firefighters to used, etc.

And guess what, when the trees burn down, the spotted owl finds a different tree to live in. Most of the environmentalists don't have a clue as to what is happening.

Just like a lot of our elected employees, they don't have a clue, they just keep filling their pockets with our tax money.


Funny Steve, I also am aware of a bottom feeder who is running for president on the Democrat ticket. Let's also get off this thing about Palin being in the pocket of the oil industry unless you clowns here are ready to be more specific. As has been pointed out she pulled leases on companies who were unwilling to explore on those leases. She raised taxes on oil companies in Alaska even in the face of a budget surplus in that state. Lee a couple of weeks ago railed in support of this very thing. Now that Palin was nominated all youn guys choose to do is ignore that simply because she is Republican. I think that is why you guys write in anger the way you do. Policy discussion is really a secondary concern. I am still not sure this nomination will win the election for McCain but as I see it losing the election at this point is no longer so much of a loss for the Republicans as the precedent for youthful leadership has been set. If Obama wins and does a lousy job (and I am willing to bet there is a reasonable chance of that), it significantly diminishes - if not outright kills - any Democrat's chances at the presidency in 2012, including Hillary. Why, people are talking in positive terms about a Republican again. It is ironic to me at least that as much as staunch conservatives could not warm up to McCain, his choice for VP has basically saved the party. I am almost believing in fate now.

Steve Crickmore:

Lee, thanks for bringing up that old post...Obama should highlight A)the inconsistency that McCain is now going to distance himself from Bush, whom he so warmly embraced the last seven and half years. B) McCain`s chief foreign policy advisors are old unrepentant neocons chomping at the bit for `a second go round` C) that his recent ex-chief economic policy advisor, Phil Gramm who wrote McCain`s economic plan, spearheaded in the Senate the deregulations that accelerated or brought upon the mortgage subprime crisis.

McCain and his cronies are more dedicatedly neoconservative than even the Bush/Cheney/Roves'..It is as if Beria is writing Khrushev`s 1957 speech, under the ruse that Stalinist Kremlin can change their spots or be rehabilitated.

Wouldn`t be a lot easier just to throw all the rascals out that brought us the last years of the inept sometimes criminal government of Bush and the the GOP? Obama is right. Surely Americans are not "so stupid" to realize that changing Bush for McCain is not change.

As for the commenters on Palin, thanks for bringing all your local knowledge.. I have many problems with Palin`s naivete.

Palin hasn`t travelled widely, even in the United States let alone the rest of the world, and I can`t see her being much of a positive (or negative) force in any McCain cabinet. Of course, if she survives the expected gaffes and the debate with Biden, she may help to contine to win the vicarious voters who dream of being a President some day but I doubt she will change McCain's mind on anything even on his failure to highlight womens issues. And does anyone think Palin is going to shift McCain`s mind on any aspect of foreign policy. She is a complete, almost unschooled (apparently they are trying to rectify that as I write this) blank slate. John Q Public doesn`t know if she has any firm foreign policy opinions, other than Iraq must be God`s war, but that doesn `t seem to deter them in their enthusiasm for her.

All and all, the chief McCain/Palin rhetorical platform- earmarks reform (despite her record in Alaska) - is pretty small beer, considering the overall budget deficits will only get greater in a McCain administration when the corporation taxes are lowered and a more muscular and aggresive Pentagon becomes a `new` priority..like energy independence..You remember Nixon promised we would be energy independent in 10 years and he even set up a task force to try to accomplish it-needless to say...plus ca change, plus la meme chose, especially with the Republicans.


Sorry Steve,

"Obama should highlight A)the inconsistency that McCain is now going to distance himself from Bush, whom he so warmly embraced the last seven and half years."

That isn't wholly accurate. McCain has moaned and groaned and uttered profanity in the direction of Bush; "It's all f... spin." There is no love lost between the two.

I don't love McCain and I am not a true believer in Obama either. I was a strong republican until I saw Tom DeLay, the pit bull idiot from Sugarland do his stuff. Now I just don't know.

"Surely Americans are not "so stupid" to realize that changing Bush for McCain is not change."

A majority, maybe thin majority, of the public is still center right in spite of the best efforts of Bush and the Republican Congress to drive them away. The reason is because of Reid and Pelosi and others who are way too far left. Both parties are hostage to the extremes of their respective party, in my opinion and that is why it is 50-50 right now instead of a run away for the Dems, who may yet blow their cance to really govern from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.



Nice shot:

"I have many problems with Palin`s naivete."

And accurate ala troopergate. Yet she has done a ton to stick it to the oil companies and she is a true expert on environmental issues in MY OPINION.

Her job on the oil companies looks more like the Obama campaign then McCain's, which is VERY interesting and subject to you guys on the left putting that up with lights, camera and action instead of going after her family, which makes her a sympathetic figure where it counts; less than political voters.

Steve Crickmore:

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) --

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who has joined the Republican national ticket as a tax-cutter, was a driving force in raising a tax on oil companies last year that will help swell the state's budget surplus

Alaska has no state income, property or sales tax.

``It's like Dubai. It gets enormous royalties and taxes and fees of various types from oil," said Chris Edwards, an economist and state budget expert at the Cato Institute...

Must be nice, and it gets the most earmarks from the Washington DC per-capita...No wonder Palin is so popular in Alaska with so much federal money, private investment and oil money rolling in...It would be interesting to see how she would fare if she had to balance a tight state budget like most state governors in the lower 48.

The big oil companies are not too happy abut their increase in state taxes to Alaska. Hey, but they can afford it and in compensation they must be very pleased to hear that Palin advocates drilling in the last untouched piece of America- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil.

Vince P - Chicago:

I'm a conservative in Chicago... and I'm so fed up and embarassed by the vast array of contemptable ideologues on the Left. I have never been as shocked by the bizarre behavior of people in this country as i have been in the past few weeks.

You guys are out of control and consumed by hate. You better get your minds together. You're ripping this country apart.

Alaska people: Got any room up there for me.. i need get away from these nutcases.


Steve, its me again *grin*

"Alaska has no state income, property or sales tax. "

You are correct as far as you go. Local municipalities and boroughs in Alaska DO have property and sales taxes.

The State of Alaska's revenues are:

3.9 Billion from Investments
2.0 Billion from Federal Money
5.9 Billion from Oil Royalties
1.2 Billion from a hodge podge of stuff.

Alaska is third behind Montana and New Mexico in federal taxes paid versus dollars received, a better measure than per capita distribution, imho.

Keep in mind that Alaska mineral rights are held in common by all citizens of the State, not private land owners. Oil royalties (taxes) are used in lieu of other taxes and benefit all citizens of the State, not just the ones lucky enough to own some land where oil or other minerals is discovered.

Also keep in mind that HUGE portions of Alaska are owned by the Federal Government.

"Hey, but they can afford it" Sure they can, they pass it on to consumers, just like they pass on royalty payments to private land owners. And in my view, all of us should be pleased with Palin's resolve to drill ANWR. The only unbiased realist I know who doesn't, is Ed Wallace (InsideAutomotive) who thinks we should keep it for a rainy day, and in his words, "We WILL have a rainy day."

Palin is popular in Alaska because of her personality, political charm and sticking it to the good old boys and the oil companies with an interesting progressive royalty payment plan AND the natural gas pipeline. If she were a Democrat instead of a Republican, I suspect Obama and Congressional Democrats would sign off on at least part of her plan, which was drill it or lose it.

The hidden message, which has nothing to do with Palin, is that Alaska took revenues and invested privately for the future. This shows what could be done with Social Security if part of SS payments had been invested in something besides government bonds and thus the National debt, which Congress spends as quick as it comes in the door.

Janis Wright:

As a state that depends on tourism for many of its jobs, Alaska does need to consider the population of the lower 48. The perception of anyone concerned with the environment as being a wacky tree hugger is infantile.

Oregon trashed its economy by ignoring environmentalists who predicted that not replanting properly, clear cutting, over harvesting, and not investing in a diversified economy would bring doom. I know. I was there when it was said in grade school, and high school, and college. It was not said by city wierdos who cry when they step on a snail, but by scientists, economists and educators. The area I grew up in is now an ugly patchwork land populated by clusters of unemployed desperate people sprinkled with drug dealers. Oh, include bankrupt. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93389830

I am sick of people claiming that locals have the only claim to federal land. I grew up around short sighted jerks who thought they could rape federal land and national forests in the name of the local economy. Their kids are now trying to find jobs and save dying communities. And blaming their stupidity on owls.

Sarah Palin looks like another from the same mold.

John Hancock:

Lol, "very in tune with their surroundings"... snowmobiling across the countryside, hunting moose with the same type of Barrett .50 that the Eskimos used?

Holy f***ing Daniel Boone!


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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