Thursday, June 30, 2011

Illinois Organize4Palin--Standing for Right in the Bastion of the Left

Illinois is often seen as one of the bastions of liberalism—the California or New York of the Midwest. Rather than cutting spending and reining in government growth during a time of economic downturn and period of massive deficits, our governor grew our state budget and increased state income taxes by 67% and corporate taxes by more than 40%. Especially with the conviction of former Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week (the 4th Illinois governor to be convicted of corruption since 1972), we could quite possibly even change our state motto to “Illinois: where the governors make the license plates”. In 2004, we elected Barack Obama to the Senate, which propelled him to the presidency just four years later. We’ve all become far too familiar with his failed leadership and poor policies and the effects those have on our nation. Such a recent political history may have the rest of the country asking, “what’s wrong with Illinois voters?” Take heart. Not all of us support the incompetence, lack of leadership, and poor policies of those whom our state has elected. Actually, an increasing number of us have chosen to support someone who has effectively taken on massive spending and corruption—Sarah Palin.

Organize4Palin is a grassroots organization supporting Governor Palin and her commonsense conservative message all across the country. Illinois Organize4Palin is one of the many state groups who are meeting and organizing all across the country. In the past month, we have held three meetings at locations throughout the state—from a local restaurant in suburban Chicago to a church classroom in the central part of the state to a bowling alley lounge in Chicago. A local restaurant, a church, and a bowling alley—just where you would expect down-to-earth, hard working Palin supporters to meet. The bowling alley where we met just last week is co-owned by one of our great volunteers. Check out the marquee at the bowling alley, in the heart of Chicago no less:

We have met to discuss various ways to support Governor Palin both on an individual level and on a group level. We’ve discussed specific events where we will be present in support of Governor Palin during this summer. Volunteers from Illinois have assisted with efforts in neighboring states over the past few months—from Governor Palin’s Tea Party speech in Madison, Wisconsin in April to the premiere of “The Undefeated” earlier this week in Iowa. We’ve supported Governor Palin through new media as well. One of our volunteers, Ellen, is instrumental in running the site Students4Palin—another group of Organize4Palin volunteers representing a constituency that President Obama once owned. Along the way, we’ve met more and more people who support Governor Palin. Another one of our wonderful volunteers shares this story from her cab ride following our Chicago meeting:
After I left the meeting, I caught a cab to the train station. The cabbie was friendly and talkative. In his heavily Greek accented voice, he asked why I was going from a bowling alley to the train station. I explained that I was at a meeting. He followed up, "A meeting at a bowling alley? What kind of meeting is held at a bowling alley?" I replied, "Political."

He queried, "Democrat?" I shook my head, nope, more like... independent. He gave me a puzzled look as he could tell I was reluctant to give him more information.

After he stared me down I somewhat sheepishly replied, "It was a meeting to help organize for Sarah Palin."

He asked, again, "At a bowling alley?" I replied, "The owner is a supporter, too." He nodded as if it all finally made sense to him.

He smiled and said, "I really like her." He said, "I'm a Republican but the field is full of no-goods like Romney and Gingrich." (And, he pretended to spit.) "Good for you, do you think she'll run?" I responded that we're hoping she does and will be ready to help if she does.

Despite what the main stream media wants to tell us, there is no such thing as an “unlikely Palin supporter”. We cannot be labeled, nor placed in a box. We’re unique individuals supportive of a woman who binds the three legged stool of conservatism with the seat of integrity and character. Illinois Organize4Palin is comprised of former Hillary Clinton supporters, Republicans, independents, and formerly apathetic non-voters. We’re a polychromatic group of varying religious, educational, and backgrounds. Our diversity is not only seen in our backgrounds, but in our reasons for supporting Governor Palin. Don’t take my word for it though. Let me introduce you to some of Illinois Organize4Palin’s volunteers and let them tell you themselves:

Organize4Palin volunteers in Urbana, Illinois (hometown of noted Palin Derangement Sufferers, George Will and Roger Ebert)

Organize4Palin volunteers in Chicago, Illinois

If you have not signed up with Organize4Palin yet, please do so here. You can also follow Organize4Palin on twitter here and Illinois Organize4Palin here.

Game on!

Thank you to Stacy for her assistance with video editing.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Undefeated--Re-Introducing America to the "Unknown Known"

This week, I had the honor of viewing Stephen K. Bannon’s new documentary on Governor Palin, the Undefeated. Personally, as a lifelong resident of Illinois, the film re-affirmed in particular one of the main reasons I support her—she is the anti-Illinois politician. Governor Palin took on the pervasive corruption and cronyism present in both in her own party and in the Big Oil companies. She governed with openness and transparency. She has not been self-serving, but has governed with a servant’s heart. She budgeted prudently. These are all manifestations of the character of Governor Palin that the film highlights. Unfortunately, her character has been wrongfully shrouded by the caricature created by the mainstream media and her opponents all across the political spectrum. This dichotomy between her character and her caricature are exactly why some refer to her as the “unknown known”. In essence, nearly everyone knows who Governor Palin is, but don't really know her. This “unknown known” status provides the perfect springboard for the film to introduce or re-introduce viewers to the real Sarah Palin.

The film opens with about a three minute sampling of the vitriol that has been thrown at Governor Palin the past nearly three years. The audio clips and images used in this segment of the film leave one almost feeling as if they should clean out their ears with soap and bleach their eyes after viewing, but it solely depicts the true level of unsubstantiated hatred levied at Governor Palin.

The next segment of the film highlights the uniqueness of both Alaska and Alaskans—drawing from the knowledge and life experiences of several individuals who served in Governor Palin’s administration or in worked with her on some level in local or state government. Throughout the film, still images and shots panning the beautiful and epic landscape of Alaska are used. These images of Alaska seem to be representative of two of the themes woven throughout the documentary—the harshness of the Alaskan weather analogous to the harshness of her critics and the colossal Alaskan mountains analogous to the seemingly insurmountable electoral and legislative victories she achieved.

The film highlights her time as Wasilla mayor where she focused on fiscal restraint and improving infrastructure. The infrastructure development she championed brought businesses, jobs, and economic prosperity to the town of Wasilla. The famous line from the film Field of Dreams comes to mind—if you build it, they will come (as a side note, one of the proposed locations for the premiere of the film in Iowa was the Field of Dreams farm). She did this by twice defeating an opponent who made sexism a major part of his campaign tactics.

Throughout the Undefeated, Governor Palin’s fight for ethics in government is center stage, whether it was calling out Alaska GOP head, Randy Ruedrich, for unethical behavior when she was oil and gas commissioner, championing major ethics reform, or re-vamping the state’s oil tax structure so that it was done with Alaskans’, not oil companies’, best interests in mind. This focus on ethics was seen not only seen in her legislation; it was also seen in the individuals with whom she surrounded herself. The film included extensive interview footage with some members of the “Magnificent Seven”—members of the Murkowski’s administration who were either fired due to their unwillingness to agree to his unethical plans or who resigned in protest to this wrongful firing. These individuals became part of the Palin administration, showing Governor Palin’s wisdom in whom she chooses to surround herself.

The film touches briefly on her Vice Presidential run in 2008, highlighting her ability to connect with everyday Americans and how she electrified GOP voters. Upon returning from the campaign, Alinsky tactics targeting Governor Palin’s strength—ethics—were used against her. Frivolous charge after frivolous charge was leveled at her and subsequently dismissed. These dismissed charges did not come cheap in terms of both financial and human resources as well as state progress, and Governor Palin resigned in order for the state to move forward. The film effectively addresses the circumstances, reasoning, and the impetus that led her to step aside from office.

The Undefeated closes with a lot great footage from various Tea Parties including Governor Palin’s barnburning speech in Madison, Wisconsin and great commentary from the likes of Tammy Bruce, Andrew Breitbart, Mark Levin, and others. These strong conservative voices speak of Governor Palin’s threat to the GOP establishment and the Left. The final clip shows Governor Palin challenging President Obama with her electrifying cry of “Game On”. The name of the film—the Undefeated-- is also the spirit of the film and the attitude with which Governor Palin conducts herself. The film shows Governor Palin to be one who puts principles and pragmatism ahead of party and who fights for those whom she is serving with tenacity and grace.

I would encourage you to see the film and bring others with you as well, those of all political stripes, as the film provides an excellent opportunity to re-introduce or introduce for the first time to the “unknown-known” –Governor Sarah Palin. The film shows that Governor Palin has the ability to reach people all across the political spectrum. After all, she did have an approval rating above 80%. Character is not a party platform nor an ideology; it is a necessary part of solid leadership. This documentary shows a woman of character. You can find out more about the film here. You can order tickets here and can request that the movie be shown near you here. You can also receive an early release copy of the film by making a $100 contribution to SarahPAC.

Update: There is a great review of the film at the Southtown Star by Fran Eaton, an editor for the Illinois conservative blog the Illinois Review. As you can see by her review, disenchanted Illinois conservatives have found Governor Palin to be a breath of fresh air compared to the corrupt politicians in both parties that we have been subject to at both the stat and national levels. (H/T Ellebb)

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Governor Palin ahead of the Curve on Rare Earth Metals

Ed Morrissey has a post up at HotAir today discussing China’s hoarding of rare earth metals. Rare earth metals are needed for green energies such as the batteries in electric cars and in CFL light bulbs that will be mandated in the coming years, as well as in the cell phones and other technologies. Morrissey writes:
Elements required for critical components such as lithium batteries for electric cars cannot be found in massive quantities within the US, and a number of the rare-earth elements needed for these components are mainly found in China — which can be fairly described as an economic competitor of the US at the very least. Today’s report from the Financial Times should drive that point home and send up red flags on “green” mandates, both literally and figuratively:
EPrices of some rare earth metals have doubled in just three weeks amid heavy stockpiling in China that has raised fears over global supplies.

China produces more than 90 per cent of the world’s rare earths, 17 elements used in hybrid cars, fluorescent lights and many high-tech applications. …

Japan and the US, the world’s biggest importers of rare earths, have repeatedly voiced concerns to China, while complaints from industrial users of rare earths have been growing. Last year, China cut their exports by 40 per cent and temporarily banned exports to Japan during a political dispute.

This news is something that Governor Palin warned about in October 2010 Facebook post where she wrote (emphasis mine):
Some of the countries we’re now reliant upon and will soon be beholden to can easily use energy and mineral supplies as a weapon against us.

The solution? Simply, please don’t elect politicians who cast votes that lock up our plentiful supplies. Please consider the case of China bending us over a barrel as it develops rare earth minerals while we ban mining. Please consider Venezuela and Russia and Saudi Arabia and Brazil (as we subsidize their off-shore drilling) and all other energy-producing countries as the Left locks up ANWR, NPR-A, and other American lands that are teeming with our own needed energy supplies.

“Drill, baby, drill and mine, baby, mine.” Yep, the mantra may be mocked by the Democrats, but serious consequences ensue when we let the Left make us rely on foreign countries to feed us energy. The joke is on us if they win.

America is already beholden to China due to our massive debt. Now, we are beholden to them because of our self-imposed green initiatives that have handcuffed us on multiple levels. President Obama’s plans to make us energy independent using green technologies cannot even be achieved when China is our main source of rare earth metals. We have the opportunity to drill for traditional and proven sources of energy that are just below our feet, yet the federal government is handcuffing oil and gas rich states and coastal areas. Just last week, the Obama administration expressed opposition to a bill that would increase oil and gas development in Alaska. This only makes us more dependent on foreign countries to provide needed resources for both green and traditional energies, not to mention material needed for communication technology such as cell phones. Governor Palin is both right and prescient once again.

Update: The Alaska Dispatch reports that Alaska has large quantities of rare earth elements, and the US House is proposing legislation aimed at developing these resources:
The cost of dysprosium oxide, used in magnets, lasers and nuclear reactors, for example, has risen to about $1,470 a kilogram from $700 to $740 at the start of the month.

Enter Alaska. A mine at Bokan Mountain near Ketchikan, to name just one, is thought to be one of the three largest sources of REEs [rare earth elements] in the U.S., probably the largest for dysprosium.

All told, Bokan Mountain is thought to hold about 3.8 million tons of REEs. As U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski put it, "more than enough to break China's stranglehold on the market and protect America's access to the rare earths that are vital to the production of cutting-edge technologies in this country."

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan recently delivered to a U.S. House subcommittee last week in testimony on a couple of pieces of legislation aimed at finding and developing REEs. Read Alaska Dispatch coverage of his testimony here. And more coverage on REEs here, and here.
Crossposted here, here, and here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

President Obama Opposes Alaska Oil and Gas Development Bill

Just over a month ago, President Obama spoke of a plan to open up development in Alaska's national petroleum reserve and in some areas offshore in the Lower 48. However, this opening of development was centered, in part, around speeding up environmental assessments, which could possibly mean that the EPA could just say "no" a little more quickly.

Now, the Obama administration is singing a different tune in objecting to a proposal from the Natural Resource Commitee--the Alaska Oil and Gas Development bill. President Obama's proposal in June and calls to extend offshore leases now don' t address the true problem like the proposed bill in Congress, which focuses more on permits than leases. Leases cannot be acted upon if permits are not also approved to provide the necessary infrastructure for drilling, especially in these areas of Alaska. Congressman Hastings of Washington notes:
But House Republicans said the administration wasn't going far enough. "Producing oil and natural gas in the NPR-A is pointless if there's no way to get it out of there," said Rep. Doc Hastings, Republican of Washington. "The real problem is the federal government's blocking and delaying of permits for necessary roads, bridges and pipelines needed to transport the energy out of the [reserve]."

The Obama administration's rejection of this bill points to a viewpoint where the branches of government are twisted. We've all heard the phrase "legislating from the bench" in reference to judicial activism. Similarly, President Obama has made legislating from the executive branch a key part of his governing style. The objection to this bill comes primarily from the Bureau of Land Management,which fears the bill would undermine their lease sales. This bureau, the EPA, the Interior Department, and other bureaucracies are all headed by unelected, appointed individuals. The are not accountable to any constituency. Continued moves like this only serve to perpetuate a power grab, not only in the depth of power, but also in the breadth.

This serves to again show the night and day difference between President Obama and Governor Palin. In Going Rogue, Governor Palin discusses government's role as protecting us, not perfecting us. In President Obama' s environmental concerns, he strives to perfect us. After all, there cannot be any spills or environmental hazards if no drilling is allowed, right? Perfection. Governor Palin, on the other hand,focuses on government oversight, rather than government overregulation. This protects Americans from environmental and physical harm and holds oil companies accountable without stymieing development.

H/T Weasel Zippers

Related: Here is Governor Palin talking last year about the need to unlock the national petroleum reserve :

Crossposted here, here and here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Governor Palin and Destroying False Narratives

The recent release of Governor Palin's emails during her first year and a half in office have destroyed the media-created narratives of her supposed lack of intelligence, unseriousness, and vindictiveness. However, another narrative continues to circulate-- Governor Palin should not run for President. There's not room for two women in the race, as if women in presidential politics are like a grocery store coupon--limit one per election--the narrative says. The narrative ties into her electability and supposed extremism, as the media ignores polls that show Governor Palin leads or is with in the margin of error nationally for the GOP nomination and is shown to represent the views of Republicans better than any other candidate or potential candidate. The narrative states that potential candidates with very little name recognition and little grassroots support are more than able to jump into the race this summer, but it's too late for Governor Palin, even though she has higher favorability numbers than most of candidates have name recognition numbers. "She cannot win", says the Establishment and the media, yet if that were true, they would be all too willing to let her run and lose. Despite all of these reasons to the contrary, the narrative continues to propagate across the media and Establishment.

In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith, a moderate Republican Senator from Maine, became the first woman to run for the presidential nomination of one of the two major parties. As it is with Governor Palin, Smith also had to overcome false narratives regarding her potential candidacy, namely the narrative that a woman could not withstand the rigors of running for President. The following video is from the New Agenda--a group that strives to support and defend all women across the professional and political spectrum. This video does an excellent job of highlighting the history of women who have achieved the highest position of political leadership in their respective countries, as well as highlighting the history of women in American presidential politics. I encourage you to watch the entire clip, but I do want to draw attention in particular to a brief section in this video which contains the audio of Smith's presidential announcement (starting at about the 5:40 mark):

Here is the text of that section of the clip:
It is contended that as a woman, I would not have the physical stamina and strength to run. So because of these very impelling reasons against my running, I have decided that I shall.
Especially for anti-Establishment candidates, there will always be false narratives to destroy. Governor Palin's decision to run for the presidency will ultimately be made by prayerful consideration by her and her family. Should she choose to run, she will have destroyed yet another false narrative, which is nothing new for a woman who has made a political career of beating the odds and destroying false narratives.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Washington Post: Palin a "Definite Renegade" on Big Oil

As the MSM and their readers continue to search through Governor Palin's emails searching for non-existent bombshells, let me be one of the first to welcome the Washington Post to 2008. As Ian mentioned earlier, the Washington Post recognized that Governor Palin's emails showed that she budgeted frugally and was opposed to pork barrel spending. Now, the Washington Post recognizes that Governor Palin did not have a buddy-buddy relationship with Big Oil. Both of these supposedly new revelations are not new at all to Palin supporters who have followed her political rise after Senator McCain chose her as his VP nominee or even prior to that.

The Washington Post reports:
But on one issue in particular — the party’s long-standing ties to large oil and gas companies that have helped underwrite its attempts to seize and hold power in Washington — the Palin that emerges from e-mails during her Alaska governorship is a definite renegade.


While a book she published last year still displays her animus for “Big Oil” and proudly recounts her decision not to “pal around” with its lobbyists, these criticisms feature less frequently in her rhetoric now. And on the national political stage, she’s been supportive of the industry’s aspirations to expand deep-ocean drilling, famously telling a crowd of Florida supporters before the 2008 election, “Drill, baby, drill.”
The article later goes on to highlight several emails between Governor Palin and her staff noting her dislike for Big Oil. One email recounts how Governor Palin took joy in choosing to read to a kindergarten class rather than meet with oil company executives, and additionally shares the role of corruption in Big Oil relationship with Alaskan politicians:
The oil industry’s influence in the state was at the heart of a corruption scandal involving top legislators that emerged during her governorship, an issue on which Palin was privately briefed by the FBI. But it is clear from the e-mails that Palin’s resentments, and those of her top aides, ran deep and were not opportunistic.
It should be noted that the indictments for the corruption scandal came during her tenure, but the corruption scandal itself took place during Governor Murkowski's term. Murkowski's oil tax plan was a behind closed door deal that aimed to give preferential treatment to certain companies. Some Alaskan legislators took pride in their cozy relationships with oil companies, some of them forming a club known as the "Corrupt B*****s Club". Fighting this corruption and ensuring transparency in any oil company -government interactions was paramont in her administration. Transparency was two of her key pieces of legislation-ACES (the oil tax mechanism) and AGIA (the transcontinental natural gas pipeline), as Governor Palin noted in a March Facebook post. In fact, regarding AGIA, one of the released emails revealed how serious Governor Palin was about transparency (emphasis mine):
So that everyone is clear and we’re consistent , despite what some of the press is saying and already criticizing us for , I WILL release the number and name of applicants tonight, and will always err on the side of MORE transparency, not less, when dealing with applicants and proposals and the public ‘ s expectations that they’ll be privy to all AGIA info (unlike murkowski ‘ s tactic).
One thing that the Washington Post fails to reconcile is Governor Palin's pro-development, yet anti-Big Oil stance. Governor Palin has always advocated for increased development. As Governor, she did so in part because she is a strong constitutionalist, and the state constitution called for Alaska's natural resources be developed for the "maximum benefit of the people", who are the resource owners. Both as a state and national voice, Governor Palin has advocated for increased development to help ensure energy independence for Americans, which would help make America more physically, economically, and monetarily secure. She does not stand for crony capitalism, however, and her support for drilling remains for the interest of all Americans, not for government selected oil companies.

These emails only further confirm Governor Palin's consistent stance on the issues. Whether it's budgeting, earmarks, or crony capitalism. It's nice to see that the Washington Post is beginning to catch up to 2008.

Please remember to join in C4P's project to search the emails for things that re-affirm Governor Palin's strong gubernatorial record and governing skills.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Media Hypocrisy in the Review of Governor Palin's Emails

As the media sifts through the thousands and thousands of emails from Governor Palin and her staff and family, it has only proven to affirm what SarahPAC aide, Tim Crawford's statement yesterday when he said that he hopes everyone reads the emails because it shows what an "engaged CEO of Alaska" Governor Palin was. Even in their broadcast yesterday, CNN conceded that Governor Palin was very hardworking and was responsive and polite with both her constituents and her staff. Yet, at the same time, CNN opens their segment by reminding their viewers that these emails were requested by them and other news outlets and individuals upon the announcement of Governor Palin as Senator McCain's running mate in 2008, proving that from day one of Governor Palin's appearance on the national scene, the rules changed and the hypocrisy of the media ramped up. Such emails were never requested of other politicians, not even of either of the presidential nominees. At the time of his announcement of his presidential run, then Senator Obama was not particularly well known, much like Governor Palin, yet the media barely even looked into his associations, his record, and his worldview, much less request emails from either his time as a state senator in Illinois or as a US Senator. However, as Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief, notes at the National Review:

The deafening roar of nothingness emerging from the Sarah Palin email trove points up the media’s hypocritical lack of interest in Barack Obama’s pre-presidential record.

Just as Palin’s emails were released, Slate’s David Weigel pointed out that Barack Obama’s State Senate records are not available. Weigel quotes Obama’s statement to the effect that he didn’t have the staff or financial resources to preserve office paperwork. As a result, Obama claims, his State Senate records may have been thrown out.

In fact, Obama could easily have preserved his State Senate records had he wanted to. The papers of many Illinois legislators are preserved at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. I know, because I went through many a box there. The records are in various states of completeness and (dis)organization. Often, chaotic boxes of papers have been handed over to the archivists with little effort at cataloguing. Nonetheless, many records from state legislative offices are preserved.


I’m not the only one who’s noticed Obama’s desire to hide his record, as well as the reluctance of mainstream outlets to investigate such sources as do exist. Obama fan and sympathetic Obama biographer Sasha Abramsky writes:

Much of the media, including his biographers, have concluded that the community organizing period of Obama’s life should be accorded relatively little space, assuming those years simply reflected the radical foibles of a young man trying to find himself.

Abramsky goes on to argue, in opposition to the media’s implicit judgement, that Obama’s community organizing years were actually the key to who he became. I agree. Yet the media continues to ignore important documentary revelations from a sitting president’s political past, while devoting enormous attention to the emails of an unsuccessful candidate for the vice-presidency.

Isn’t it obvious that the media’s lack of interest in Obama’s radical past–noticed even by a supporter like Abramsky–is a simple case of political protection, not to mention journalistic abdication?

The double standards are glaring. Think of the media outrage if the response to the request for Governor Palin's emails had yielded as empty a response as the inquiry into President Obama's early political career-- by both critics and sympathizers alike. The double standard does not lie in the emails request themselves, but also in the media's handling of the receipt of the emails. The New York Times, Washington Post, and LA Times all asked that their readers to do the work of the media and wade through the emails and send them any "interesting" things they find that have the potential to be made a story. The Real Feminist notes an extra layer of hypocrisy with the LA Times:

Curiously though, this same L.A. Times has – for 3 years running – repeatedly, despite numerous requests, refused to release a video it possesses of Barack Obama reportedly praising Palestinian radical Rashid Khalidi at 2003 Chicago dinner. The same Khalidi who has called Israel a “racist” state and who called suicide attacks a justified response to “Israeli aggression”. The same Khalidi who organized a 2000 fundraiser for Barack Obama’s unsuccessful congressional bid, and whose Arab American Action Network received a $75,000 grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago, while Mr. Obama served on its board.

Yes, THAT Rashid Khalidi, the lavish praise for whom by then-candidate and now-President Barack Obama the L.A. Times apparently finds less relevant than Sarah Palin’s emails sending Merry Christmas wishes, or updating staff on the latest techniques in waste management.

As Governor Palin once said in an interview, " if it wasn't for double standards, some liberals wouldn't have standards". The entire process of the email inquiry only further affirms the hypocrisy of an increasingly irrelevant Old Media. Despite the best efforts of these newspapers and their shrinking readership, the revelations of these emails have likely left a deflated media feeling much like Geraldo Rivera after his special on Al Capone's vault or Andree McLeod after yet another frivolous ethics complaint was dismissed.

Additionally, this only further confirms that Governor Palin is indeed the anti-Illinois politician. She strove to truly make her administration as transparent as possible by ridding the state of the crony capitalism and corruption of the past. She budgeted frugally and prudently. How many other governors even had the opportunity to receive emails from his or her constituents with suggestions and thoughts on what to do with a state surplus? When in Washington for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally last week, Governor Palin said she likes the smell of the emissions. I think she might like the sound of backfiring as well.

H/T Doug and Nicole

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The 2012 GOP Nomination: Only One Woman Need Apply

During an interview this weekend, Governor Romney was asked," Jon Huntsman is considering a race for the White House. Like you, he is a moderate, Mormon, former Governor who believes in anthropogenic global warming. Is there room in the race for both you?" Of course, that question was never asked. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson aren't asked if there is room for two libertarian Republicans in the race. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are not asked if there is room in the race for two Catholic men who spent time in the House during the 1990s. None of the male candidates are asked if there is room in the race for other candidates who are perceived to be similar.

However, today on FoxNews Sunday, Governor Palin was asked such a question:
Chris Wallace: You would seem to be closest politically of all the candidates to Michele Bachmann, Congresswoman Bachmann. You're both Tea Party activists. You're both social conservatives. Is there the room in the race for the two of you, or would you split the same base of voters?

Governor Palin: No, we have differences too. I have many years of executive experience too, and she has her strengths that she will add to the race. There's certainly room.The more, the merrier. The more competition, the better.

To be sure, Chris Wallace asked several substantive questions on subjects ranging from the debt ceiling to Libya to Medicare reform. However, those strong policy focused issues become diluted when interviewers and journalists bring up such topics. Congresswoman Bachmann herself was questioned similarly, and said that she and Governor Palin were not "interchangeable".

Journalists, pundits, and political opponents like to cast Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann as political clones and that there is not room for them both. Just as Chris Wallace did to Governor Palin, ABC reporter, Jon Karl, recently framed a question to Congresswoman Bachmann in such a way the two women "occupy the same space". Michael Reagan suggested yesterday that Congresswoman Bachmann should step in the race and Governor Palin out of the race, and Charles Krauthammer claimed it was Bachmann's turn, as if there was some kind of gender quota. As Nicole wrote recently, Romney aides desire for both women to get into the race so that Romney can juxtapose himself against the "crazy women". An aide to one of the male candidates recently stated about Congresswoman Bachmann, " [s]he basically is Sarah Palin. In terms of her appeal to a specific part of the electorate, the two are about as similar as any two candidates get."

Governor Palin has consistently stated that she welcomes competition in the race. It is best for the voters to see the character, experience, and policy stances of all who throw their hats into the ring. While Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann indeed are both women who have Tea Party appeal, their political experience differ. Congresswoman Bachmann has experience in the state and national legislatures. Governor Palin has an executive record at the local and state levels. Those with executive experience have to make sole decisions, approve or veto spending, manage staff, appoint officials, etc. In Governor Palin's case, as governor of Alaska, she held the second most powerful executive state office in the country based upon budgetary and appointment authority, veto power, and other factors. She had the power of line item veto that could only be overridden by a vote of 75% of the legislature, and she could appoint people to offices like the attorney general, which is an elected office in many other states. Additionally, it has been a hundred and thirty years since a Republican was elected President whose highest elected office was in Congress . Whether it be executive political office or executive military experience, the electorate tends to prefer Republicans with executive experience.

There are no doubt some similarities between Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann, as there are similarities amongst all of the candidates. However, to imply that only one of these women should run for President is not only absurd and sexist, it disrespects the electorate's ability to make a choice for themselves and distinguish among the candidates. Additionally, the Democrats laughably claims the GOP is "anti-women", yet this election season represents the first time two women from a major party would compete for their party's presidential nomination. What say you, libs? As Governor Palin has said, "the more, the merrier". Let these women decide their intentions, and let the voters determine their fates.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Governor Palin vs. The Boys on Government Mandates and Health Care Reform

As Ian highlighted earlier, Governor Palin levied some criticism at Governor Mitt Romney's health care mandate today at stop in Massachusetts on her "One Nation" bus tour. Governor Palin commented on Romney's plan and how that plan will be received by Tea Party voters:

"That perhaps will be a big challenge for him because tea party activists are pretty strident, in a good way, in making sure that the candidate that many of the tea party patriots will support -- the candidate has a record of living out the principles that tea party patriots do embrace," she said.

Palin added that Romney may have a "good argument" that what he implemented in Massachusetts applied only on a statewide level and would not be appropriate nationally. But then she quickly went back on the attack.

"However, even on a state level and a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it's tough for a lot of us to accept because we have great faith in the private sector and in our own families and in our businessmen and -women in making decisions for ourselves," Palin said. "Not any level of government telling us what to do."

Governor Romney's health care plan is considered by many to be his potential albatross in the 2012 race. He passed the health care plan by first promoting the personal mandate using language often supported by conservatives--personal responsibility. Now, he is trying to defend his legislation by attempting to claim that such a plan was supported by another ideal conservatives tend to support--federalism. Governor Romney's rhetoric, however, is not supported by his policies.

Romney is not the only candidate in the race who has supported a health care mandate. Although Governor Tim Pawlenty did not support a mandate nearly as vehemently as Romney, nor did he pass any mandate legislation, he is on record saying he thought a health care mandate was "potentially helpful" and that he was "open to" a universal health care law. Speaker Newt Gingrich flip flopped on his support of government mandates one day saying that all have a "responsibility to pay" , only to walk back his comments the next day.

Governor Palin, on the other hand, has been the most vocal critic of government involvement in health care over the past two years ranging from criticizing potential of government bureaucrats to ration health care to emphasizing the need for tort reform. Her rejection of government overinvolvement in health care and her support of patient centered and market based solutions are not simply lip service; they are the types of policies that she supported as Governor of Alaska as well.

One of the first things Governor Palin did upon taking office was to appoint a health care council (the Health Care Strategies Planning Council--HCSPC) to assess how to address the health care challenges faced by Alaskans. This health care council generated a report chock full of market centered ideas and focused on the choice of the individual, as the American Spectator reported shortly she was selected as Senator McCain's running mate:

The recommendations of the HCSPC were decidedly pro-market and emphasized the power of the health care consumer: "With respect to lowering costs, insurance that is portable and consumer-owned plays a central role... consumerism is an essential component of bringing rationality to the health insurance structure in Alaska." Such a consumer-driven approach assumes, of course, that the patient possesses useful data about hospitals and physicians. Thus, the HCSPC also advocated providing patients with "cost and quality information about health care providers and services."

Additionally, this council recommended health care solutions that were based on true personal responsibility--a responsibility for one's personal health, not a responsibility to a government mandate:

First, Alaskans must be encouraged to play a much greater role in their own wellness by having both a personal and financial “stake” in their own health. Having a “stake” in their own health is the product of a personal investment in wellness, and realizing the financial benefits of saved dollars by maintaining healthy lifestyles. In the opinion of the Council, the most effective mechanism for increasing the personal health investment of Alaskans is incentivizing and supporting positive change.

Additionally, the Council recommended that decreasing the number of uninsured Alaskans be addressed by not by implementing a mandate, but by increasing choices:

Consumerism is an essential component of bringing rationality to the health insurance structure in Alaska, and extending coverage to as many Alaskans as possible. The key to success is insurance that at least covers catastrophic care, so no Alaskan suffers from the extreme financial burden of catastrophic or unanticipated health events. In addition, insurance must be consumer-owned, market-responsive and portable; this recommendation has received attention elsewhere in this report. Coverage options debated in the Council’s discussions, which are by no means exhaustive, include Health Savings Accounts, Health Opportunity Accounts, and high-deductible plans with a strong prevention component. This list provides a solid foundation from which to continue the ongoing discussion about expanding health care coverage for all Alaskans.

From these recommendations, Governor Palin proposed the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act, which the aforementioned American Spectator article does a good job of summarizing:

Having received HCSPC's report in December of 2007, Governor Palin subsequently introduced the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act to the state legislature. The bill not only called for the kind of price transparency recommended by her planning council, it also included a provision advocated by many free market health care reformers -- repeal of the state's Certificate of Need (CON) statute. This provision was designed to introduce much needed competition into Alaska's health care market, and it created trepidation in the state's health care establishment. As the Juneau Empire phrased it, "Gov. Sarah Palin frightened Alaska hospitals when she proposed repealing Certificate of Need regulations that many say help them stay in business."

STATE CON LAWS originated, like so many bad health care ideas, with a mandate from the federal government. In 1974, states were effectively told by Washington that no new medical facilities could be built unless a "public need" had been demonstrated. The idea was to reduce costs, but the only measurable effect of this federal decree was a morass of bureaucratic red tape that stifled competition in the health care market. In 1987, the federal statute was finally repealed, but many states inexplicably kept their CON processes in place. Alaska was one of them and, as Governor Palin put it in an editorial for the Anchorage Daily News, "Under our present Certificate of Need process, costs and needs don't drive health-care choices -- bureaucracy does. Our system is broken and expensive."

Governor Palin highlighted this market centered approach based upon true personal responsibility, not government mandate, in both her 2008 and 2009 State of the State addresses. In 2008, Governor Palin said (emphasis mine):

Alaskans want health care in the hands of doctors, not lobbyists and lawyers. We are considering what other fiscally conservative states have done to incentivize employers to provide medical insurance for employees, based on the free market. But comprehensive reform must include not only government reform, but Alaskans choosing to take more personal responsibility. All Alaskans must do better to be better, and healthier.

In 2009, Governor Palin re-iterated this approach to health care and government's proper role in helping those who need it and in encouraging better personal choices (emphasis mine):

In this chamber, we share a commitment to serious health-care reform. We’ve learned from experience that all the answers do not come from Washington. When Congress turns to health-care reform this year, we look to our delegation to make the case for greater competition, more private sector choices, and less litigation in the health-care market. But we’re not going to wait. Here, reform can move forward without delay.

I look forward to working with you on adjustments to kid’s health insurance. We’ll fund more early screening – for example, for autism – because early detection makes all the difference. We’ll focus on preventing disease and promoting healthy living. I’ll ask that physical education be incorporated into daily school schedules, too. We have alarming levels of heart disease, diabetes, childhood obesity – and all of these maladies are on the rise. Now, I won’t stand here and lecture – for very long – but health care reform on an individual basis is often just this simple: we could save a lot of money, and a lot of grief, by making smarter choices.

It starts by ending destructive habits, and beginning healthy habits in eating and exercise. In my case, it’s hard to slack when you have the ever-present example of an Iron Dogger nearby. But many of us could use a little more time in our great outdoors – and when you live in the Great Land, there’s no excuse.

Protecting good health is largely a matter of personal responsibility, but government policy can help. Our new Alaska Health Care Commission will recommend changes that affect the well-being of Alaskans far into the future.

Governor Palin's health care transparency bill ultimately did not pass through the legislature, but her consistency through her tenure as Governor up until now as a potential presidential candidate show that she is committed to true personal responsibility, a proper and limited role for government in health care, and market drive, patient based solutions. Juxtapose these firm and consistent conservative policy stances to the liberal policies or flip flopping on the part of the Boys, and it is clear that Governor Palin is right yet again on the issues.

Crossposted here, here, and here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Governor Palin Connects with Even Her Detractors

As Governor Palin has embarked on her "One Nation" bus tour, it has not only allowed her to highlight the history and foundational principles of our nation, it has also allowed her to connect with everyday Americans--both supporters and detractors alike. Journalists have noted that even Governor Palin's detractors have been impressed by Governor Palin's openness to hearing their thoughts. The Washington Post notes this interaction following Governor Palin and Donald Trump emergence after their dinner last night:
The first person who approached Palin outside the restaurant was Diane Barone, a union activist from Youngstown, Ohio in town for IUE-CWA contract negotiations. She shook Palin’s hand and would not let go, telling the former governor she disagreed with her positions on unions. Palin responded calmly that her father had been a union member and that making things better for working people “is something on which we can agree.” She said afterwards that she doubted she could change Palin’s mind, but you never know: “I thought she would ignore me and she did not, she shook my hand.”

Governor Palin has, of course, expressed support for unions and working class people, most recently in prefacing her April speech in Madison, Wisconsin by stating her support for Governor Walker's plan was because it provided solvency for union pension programs and saved their jobs. Many working class people have reciprocated support for Governor Palin in return. Beyond this, however, this interaction shows Governor Palin's willingness and ease in connecting with everyday Americans--whether they agree with her or not--and it re-iterates the assertion that she made yesterday in her interviews with CNN and Real Clear Politics about her role as an atypical politician and some of the interactions those reports picked up from Governor Palin's stop in Pennsylvania yesterday:
Her political skills were on display Tuesday during a bus tour stop in the central Pennsylvania hamlet of Dillsburg, where Palin breezed into a coffee shop and happily sat down with two locals.With a common touch that sometimes seems to elude several of her potential rivals for the Republican nomination, Palin got the two men to open up about their personal lives before veering into a conversation about the sluggish economy.

“I would never lose that ability or that desire to get to be with that one on one relationship with people,” Palin said in the interview. “I think it’s the most valuable thing a person, a professional politician, anybody can have, is that desire to have that one on one relationship with people.

“That’s how you learn and grow and figure out what the needs and concerns are so that you can know what to concentrate on to help meet those needs,” she continued. “So yeah, if someone was to lose that, you become a typical politician. And that’s pretty tragic, in my eyes.”

Real Clear Politics reporter, Scott Conroy, captured that discussion with Pennsylvanians and Governor Palin's "common touch" yesterday:

The Daily Beast also noted Governor Palin's willingness to engage those who oppose her politics following her dinner with Donald Trump:
On the sidewalk, dozens of people surrounded the former governor, many taking cellphone photos. Two yelled, “Obama!” Another urged her to run for president.

One woman, Janet Bernard, who described herself as a “union worker” and “diehard Democrat,” told Palin she thought Republicans only wanted to help people “with money” and not “working people.”Palin handled the challenge with aplomb: “We have to make it about working people.” Bernard, who seemed satisfied, wished Palin “all the best.”

Governor Palin is a skilled retail politician, but for her it's genuine. It's not about campaigning in the traditional sense of pandering and saying what people want to hear, but it's about listening and being open to dissenting opinions. For Governor Palin, this is not only how she operates a potential pre-campaign bus tour. It's about how she governs as a politician as well. Over two years ago, to the the disappointment and frustration of some Alaskans, Governor Palin rejected federal stimulus dollars for some educational and arts programs. Rather than huddling down in her office and ignore those who protested the her decision, she went out in the cold sans a coat and talked with her protesting constituents. The woman who organized the protest even conceded that Governor Palin was very open to a dialogue, expressed honestly her reasoning for rejecting the funds, and encouraged the protesters to remain engaged with their legislators on the matter of those funds:

As Governor Palin mentioned, she feels that the most valuable thing a politician can have is a one-on-one connection with a voter or constituent. Governor Palin often states, as well, that politicians must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. By all accounts, these interactions, both yesterday and two years ago, show that she indeed walks the walk.

H/T Sheya

Crossposted here,here, and here.