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How Sarah Palin Took Down the Alaska Establishment

Kim Strassel has a must read at the Wall Street Journal that outlines how Sarah took down the corrupt Alaska establishment which had been taking bribes from the oil industry. It's really impressive how she brought former Governor Murkowski, other high profile government officials, and the oil industry to their knees:

Frank Murkowski made clear he'd be working exclusively with three North Slope producers--ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP--to build a $25 billion pipeline to move natural gas to the lower 48. The trio had informed their political vassals that they alone would build this project (they weren't selling their gas to outsiders) and that they expected the state to reward them. Mr. Murkowski disappeared into smoky backrooms to work out the details. He refused to release information on the negotiations. When Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin suggested terms of the contract were illegal, he was fired.

What Mr. Murkowski did do publicly was instruct his statehouse to change the oil and gas tax structure (taxes being a primary way Alaskans realize their oil revenue). Later, citizens would discover this was groundwork for Mr. Murkowski's pipeline contract--which would lock in that oil-requested tax package for up to 40 years, provide a $4 billion state investment, and relinquish most oversight.

I find it pretty funny that Murkowski appointed Palin to chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission. He probably did it because he figured she'd be easy to control or at the very least she'd be like so many other politicians - ready to keep her mouth shut in exchange for a greased hand. He's got to feel like a complete idiot now.

Kim continues:

Mrs. Palin ran against the secret deal, and vowed to put the pipeline back out for competitive, transparent, bidding. She railed against cozy politics. Mr. Murkowski ran on his unpopular pipeline deal. The oil industry warned the state would never get its project without his leadership. Mrs. Palin walloped him in the primary and won office in late 2006. Around this time, news broke of a federal probe that would show oil executives had bribed lawmakers to support the Murkowski tax changes.

Among Mrs. Palin's first acts was to reinstate Mr. Irwin. By February 2007 she'd released her requirements for pipeline bidding. They were stricter, and included only a $500 million state incentive. By May a cowed state house--reeling from scandal--passed her legislation.

The producers warned they would not bid, nor would anyone else. Five groups submitted proposals. A few months before the legislature awarded its license to TransCanada this July, Conoco and BP suddenly announced they'd be building their own pipeline with no state inducements whatsoever. They'd suddenly found the money.

Competition is why this pipeline is going through. For thirty years the government of Alaska talked about putting in a natural gas pipeline to ship natural gas down to the lower 48, but corruption kept it from happening. Sarah Palin comes in, throws the corrupt bums out, infuses some much needed competition, and gets it done in 2 years.

Mrs. Palin has meanwhile passed an ethics law. She's tightened up oil oversight. She forced the legislature to rewrite the oil tax law. That new law raised taxes on the industry, for which Mrs. Palin is now taking some knocks, but the political background here is crucial.

The GOP machine has crumbled. Attorney General Renkes resigned. Mr. Ruedrich was fined $12,000. Jim Clark--Mr. Murkowski's lead pipeline negotiator--pleaded guilty to conspiring with an oil firm. At least three legislators have been convicted. Sen. Ted Stevens is under indictment for oil entanglements, while Rep. Don Young is under investigation.

Governor Palin's approval rating in Alaska is 86%. That's simply unheard of. Only 14% of the Alaska's population doesn't' approve how she's doing her job. That probably accounts for all the corrupt individuals and their family members.


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Comments (39)

Only 14% of the... (Below threshold)
Only 14% of the Alaska's population doesn't' approve how she's doing her job. That probably accounts for all the corrupt individuals and their family members.
Well, if by "corrupt" you also mean avowed Marxist university professors who don't benefit directly from the corruption but do hate Sarah Palin for being simultaneously a woman, a Republican, and an effective reformer, I guess that would be true.

Come to think of it, that would fit under my definition of corrupt too. Well done.

Damn. No WONDER t... (Below threshold)


No WONDER the left hates this woman - she's doing EVERYTHING they've promised for decades, and showing just how empty their promises were!

Obama reminds me of a reverse Clairol commercial - the closer you get, the more you know about him, the worse he looks.

Palin, however - the closer you get and the more you know, the BETTER she looks.

I do believe this is going to be a VERY transformative year, and possibly what the Democratic Party has needed to shake off the lethargy and inefficiency that's been their hallmark for quite a while. When faced with an example of someone actually DOING something instead of TALKING about doing something - it's going to be difficult to keep doing the same old non-thing...

I do believe this is goi... (Below threshold)

I do believe this is going to be a VERY transformative year, and possibly what the Democratic Party has needed to shake off the lethargy and inefficiency that's been their hallmark for quite a while.

Now that IS an interesting point. I do so miss the days of yore when the Democrats really were just the opposition, and not a bunch of liberal raving moonbats. I actually do remember the days when they actually had America's best interests at heart, and just disagreed on the specifics with the Republicans.

Maybe a conservative resurgence will finally force them to take a good hard look at why they keep losing, and FINALLY change.

Why isn't Sarah doing Meet ... (Below threshold)

Why isn't Sarah doing Meet the Press? Face the Nation?, This Week?, Late Edition?

Simple. She can't handle it. She's a person in way over her head who can give a speach well-rehearsed.

An ugly canine famous for mauling children vs. Sarah Palin. The only difference? Cheap lipstick.

An ugly canine fam... (Below threshold)
An ugly canine famous for mauling children vs. Sarah Palin. The only difference? Cheap lipstick.

Rolf, how do you know she won't be doing these shows? The thing you can't handle is Her high approval rating. You can't even spell speech right. What are you even doing talking about the big leagues, little boy?

Why wouldn't the Sarahmessi... (Below threshold)

Why wouldn't the Sarahmessiah, flush with triumph, go on the Sunday shows? Only seems natural, right? Unless...

she cannot as yet handle it. She won't know the answers yet. She hasn't been trained yet. Stuff that has yet to surface may indeed surface.

Sarah Palin is the most cowardly nominee ever. What is this hockey-mom afraid of?

The Obamarrhoids are scared... (Below threshold)

The Obamarrhoids are scared shiftless, and it shows.

Rolf -Why should s... (Below threshold)

Rolf -

Why should she? They've already demonstrated how irrelevant they are as talking heads. I don't watch Meet the Press or shows of that ilk - they're long past being 'king-makers' and I can get the information I need to form opinions elsewhere in a more compact form.

So tell us, is this 'Why isn't she going on the usual political shows that nobody watches' the latest talking point? If it is, I've got to warn you that it's both pretty evidently a blatant ploy AND grossly ineffective.

Oh, la medusa. She... (Below threshold)

Oh, la medusa.

She's the biggest celebrity in the world and doesn't need to do those shows and so far is not scheduled and according to McCain doesn't hafta! That's how I know little gorgon.

Exsubnuke -"May... (Below threshold)

Exsubnuke -

"Maybe a conservative resurgence will finally force them to take a good hard look at why they keep losing, and FINALLY change."

I think the point they went off the rails was when they figured noise was more important than substance. And the folks like Kos and Firedoglake and such make a LOT of noise.

A bullfrog makes a lot of noise, but there's not really much to him.

JLLawson doesn't watch them... (Below threshold)

JLLawson doesn't watch them there shows and thus is evidence that she don't have to answer them dang questions be cause she gave a brilliant speech...or something.

Rolf-You are defin... (Below threshold)


You are definitely a waste of time.

Sarah Palin is the most cowardly nominee ever. What is this hockey-mom afraid of?

You are terrified of Sarah Palin, and reduced to attacks and insults. There is no substance to your "she won't go on the Sunday shows" and you know it, so you've been lured out of the woodwork with your weak antagonism. I love it! :)

Rolf, Sarah Palin only acce... (Below threshold)

Rolf, Sarah Palin only accepted the nomination this week and she hasn't gone on meet the depressed. Whoopeee do. Two weeks ago you had never heard of her and now you are so scared of her you're hiding in momma's basement or under her skirt..
I have spent quite a bit of time in Alaska but never met her. Wish I had and maybe I will next time around. One woman who sent millions of democrats (in one week) crawling and whimpering to the shrink and has the chosen one shaking in his high dollar shoes has to be interesting.

That's how I know ... (Below threshold)
That's how I know little gorgon.

I repeat. Just because she isn't doing them now, doesn't mean she never will. Oprah has said she refuses to interview Palin, so this talk show crap is useless.

"For fifty years the Sun... (Below threshold)

"For fifty years the Sunday shows have been proving-grounds for Presidential nominees."

Yeah. And folks thought Kerry was viable. And Gore. And Dole. And Dukakis. Shall we talk about Carter? And if you're of the leftward persuasion, Bush, Reagan, Bush, Nixon, and so on. Showing up there ain't no guarantee of quality by any standard...

Meet the Press is the highest rated political show on Sundays. Big numbers, right?

Let's see - US population somewhat over 300 million. Viewership in 2007... 3 mil. It's risen somewhat under Brokaw - 3.83 mil.

Gee. Slightly over 1% of the population watches it. How impressive. I shall certainly change my schedule to insure I catch it religiously.


given the high levels of sc... (Below threshold)

given the high levels of scorn, partisanship, and hypocracy shown by the media in this election towards republicans in general, and palin in particular, what makes you think those sunday morning politics shows deserve to be graced by palin?

Uh-oh, rolf's bringing out ... (Below threshold)

Uh-oh, rolf's bringing out the big guns...


Palin will do her share of interviews, I'm sure... at which point the rolfs of the world will say she is "desperate" and finally submitting to their awesome power. And when she fails to utterly cruble before their might, the rolfs will say that they went easy on her.

But just for a moment, LOOK at the desperation here. Rolf won't spend a microsecond talking about Palin's courage in standing up to -- and taking down -- Big Oil AND the corrupt Republican machine. Instead, he's all "SHE'S AFRAID OF GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS!" is what he's left with.

Excuse me, I think I wet myself laughing.


JT, Christ I'm so ... (Below threshold)
JT, Christ I'm so sick of that wet-yourself-laughing phrase, and I rarely visit. It invites unpleasant...well, everything. Nasty

You are the only thing nasty in this thread, and you invited yourself. No content in your comments at all. You are again reduced to nonsensical repetition:

They are afraid. They are terrified. This is a woman who does not know her shit. She is afraid. She and they are cowards.

Find a new shtick.

What's the difference betwe... (Below threshold)

What's the difference between T Boone Pickens and a hockey mawm? Cheap lipstick.

What's the difference between a Mormon community organizer and a hockey mawm? Cheap lipstick and a cup of Sanka.

What's the difference between Lindsay Graham and a hockey Mawm? Cheap, really cheap, ruby cheap, lipstick.

Careful, rolf... behave you... (Below threshold)

Careful, rolf... behave yourself, or I'll sic George Stephanopolous on your ass.

Be afraid... be very, very afraid.

Hmm, here's a theory... could rolf actually work for one of those Sunday talking head shows, and he's here desperately trying to drum up interest in them and astroturfing a "demand" that Palin go on there and help their ratings?

Enquiring minds want to know.


BTW Sarahmessiah's little t... (Below threshold)

BTW Sarahmessiah's little talk at her Wasilla church has gone viral here in S. Florida.

Hmmm...For some reason our Jewish brethern are up in arms. Donating, volunteering, working to defeat McCain Palin. And it is the Palin they working to defeat.

Jay Tea, Since you... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

Since you are a host here, may I thank you for the forum. There is an openess which is much too rare these days. I fear it gives me too many chances to be a jerk, (for which I apoligize),and not enough chances to be human.

Sincerely, thank you for the forum and thank you for the reasoned debate.

How about Obama and those t... (Below threshold)

How about Obama and those town meetings? Wait, he didn't want to do them. He's a coward, you're a pussy, and that's that.

What's the difference betwe... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

What's the difference between Rolf and a bag of poo?

The bag.

call me pussy, call me poo,... (Below threshold)

call me pussy, call me poo, still doesn't change,

If Sarah Palin can't face the press-Sarah Palin is a coward.

Why? Who cares? You can't... (Below threshold)

Why? Who cares? You can't face us, you must be a coward, too. Get out of your parents' basement, come look me in the eye sometime, so I can knock the ever loving shit out of you. Since you're a liberal, I know you won't fight back.

Jack you are an amusing lit... (Below threshold)

Jack you are an amusing little man. When someone brings up a point you can't refute, you threaten to get violent. I'll be happy to take your challenge. I live on the west coast. How about you?

So did anyone notice that P... (Below threshold)

So did anyone notice that Palin's minister says violence happens to jews for rejecting christ? So question, if rev. wright is fair game is Palin's minister?

Also, are people who voted for John Kerrh really going to hell as her pastor has said?

I live in fly over country,... (Below threshold)

I live in fly over country, as your people call it. I'll just let the earthquakes and wildfires get ya.

"I live in fly over country... (Below threshold)

"I live in fly over country, as your people call it. I'll just let the earthquakes and wildfires get ya."

A wise move on your part.

BTW Sarahmessiah's littl... (Below threshold)

BTW Sarahmessiah's little talk at her Wasilla church has gone viral here in S. Florida.

Care to provide a link so the rest of us can be properly educated, rolf? Or do you just have a description of said talk, say, from the Daily Kos, which has so far "educated" the world on the lies that Sarah's youngest son is actually her grandson, she cut funding for pregnant teens, she cut funding for special needs students, and had an affair that nearly wrecked her marriage?

I really, REALLY need to write "The Protocols Of The Daily Kos..."


The talking points keep get... (Below threshold)

The talking points keep getting more and more desperate. Pretty soon it'll be, "What's wrong with contacts? Is she trying to look smart or something?" What a sad existence, going around spewing other people's dreck in blog comments all day. At least my dreck is my own.

rolfIt took Obama tw... (Below threshold)

It took Obama two years to screw up enough courage to show up on O'Reilly, and he did it then only out of desperation.

Guess he just didn't know the answers. Hmmm?

But he did admit that the surge succeeded beyond anyone's "wildest dreams". You're awfully concerned about the Republican VP's TV schedule when it's your man that is worrying like a frightened child.

And that Palin church video, you haven't seen anything yet; wait till it goes viral in the charismatic churches.

This is a humorous posting ... (Below threshold)

This is a humorous posting and the article by WSJ was a joke. She did this only in a grab for power when she heard about the ethics violation.

From someone who knew Sarah in AK:

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".

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 and $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex.

Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.

pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.

fiscal conservative: not by my definition!

hey noneThere's an... (Below threshold)

hey none

There's an electoral component to the Palin choice that you aren't considering in your "Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska" theme.

As Kellyanne Conway told the WSJ:

There are 262 cities in this country with a population of 100,000 or more. But there are close to a hundred thousand small towns with ten thousand people or less. "You do the math," the conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway told me. "We are a nation of Wasillas, not Chicagos."

None,If you are go... (Below threshold)


If you are going to quote someone else's work verbatim, the appropriate thing to do is also provide a link to the source.


I have wondered about the varying numbers I have heard about the size of Wasilla so I finally went looking for some information this morning.


How many towns of 5000 do you know that have:

Accommodations: 13 hotels/motels, 35 bed and breakfasts, 10 lodges/cabins, 70 restaurants/cafes, public and private campgrounds, all services.

JMC - the pastor was a visi... (Below threshold)

JMC - the pastor was a visiting pastor, a guest speaker who was there for one week. Not quite the same as having her normal pastor spweing hateful things every Sunday for 22 years.

Rolf -
Calling someone a coward isn't a debate, it's name calling.

For over fifty years, a gangbuster, stemwinder of a convention speech would be followed by an appearance on the Sunday shows. Sarah Palin breaks this tradition. Why?
Aren't you in the party for "change?" Why are you complaining that someone is breaking tradition?
Even if Sarah is being briefed on world affairs, then all I can say is... great. Obama should be too. Maybe then he'd know that he can't let the UN Security Council decide if Russia should be punished, that the surge succeeded as planned, and that the country he wants to lead doesn't have 58 states.

I suspect from the tone and... (Below threshold)

I suspect from the tone and content of Rolf's comments that he goes by "thor" on Protein Wisdom.

Good points #37S... (Below threshold)

Good points #37

Since Russia was brought up
here's something I've been thinking about for a while....
I hope the candidates discuss a potential treaty
with other countries for the North Pole and its resources.
I can foresee this as an upcoming area that can cause some big headaches for our country and others.






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