Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palin's Record Examined

Here are some good data points on Palin's record and views as Governor of Alaska:

1. Anchorage Daily News, Dec. 29, 2006, Same Sex Benefits Ban Gets Palin Veto:
In the first veto of an administration that isn't yet a month old, Palin said she rejected the bill despite her disagreement with a state Supreme Court order earlier this month that directed the state to offer benefits to same-sex partners of state employees.

Advice from her new attorney general said the bill passed by the Legislature was unconstitutional, she said.

"Signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office," Palin said in a prepared statement released by her administration Thursday night.

2. Associated Press, Sept. 2, 2008, Palin has not pushed creation science as governor:
As a candidate for governor, Sarah Palin called for teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools. But after Alaska voters elected her, Palin, now Republican John McCain's presidential running mate, kept her campaign pledge to not push the idea in the schools.
Also, from the same article:
Palin's children attend public schools and Palin has made no push to have creationism taught in them.

Neither have Palin's socially conservative personal views on issues like abortion and gay marriage been translated into policies during her 20 months as Alaska's chief executive. It reflects a hands-off attitude toward mixing government and religion by most Alaskans.

"She has basically ignored social issues, period," said Gregg Erickson, an economist and columnist for the Alaska Budget Report.

3. Anchorage Daily News, May 24, 2008, Palin's veto ax lops $268 million from budget:
Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday axed about 10 percent of the spending that state legislators approved for hometown projects.

This is the second year in a row Palin vetoed projects dear to legislators. She said lawmakers stuffed the $2.7 billion state capital budget too full.

"There were things like dealing with killer shrubs and Zamboni blades that are not the state's highest priority at the time," Palin said on Friday.
4. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, May 29, 2008, Palin cuts money for energy research:
A new energy research center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is looking for alternative funding after Gov. Sarah Palin last week vetoed a $1.5 million state and federal appropriation for the center.

The Alaska Center for Energy and Power formed in January and is focused on developing new technologies to lower the cost of energy in rural Alaska and attract energy-intensive industry with cheap renewable resources.

Lawmakers included $500,000 in state funding in the operating budget they approved last month, but Palin cut the funding.
Later, in the same article:
Palin recently signed into law HB 152, a bill setting up a fund for renewable energy projects, and she agreed to distribute $50 million in state funds for renewable energy projects this year.

But that money can only go toward projects using proven technologies.
Here's my take -- clearly, she's a conservative all around, verging on libertarianism at times. Despite her religious beliefs, she effectively allowed same sex partner benefits to go forward by vetoing a legislative ban on it on constitutional grounds. I like that -- the constitutionality of the proposed law outweighed her own religious views on the matter!

The same holds true with her supposedly creationist views. She may believe in creationism, but she's making no moves to push it down the throats of public school students.

The other theme that jumps out is that she's a real fiscal hawk, one not scared to upset legislators by killing their pet projects. I would hope that both she and a President McCain would take that attitude to Washington if their ticket is elected.

The last item is the one that disturbs me the most, with her cutting the funds on alternative energy research. That one bothers me, as someone who believes we need to both drill off shore and aggressively move forward with solar, nuclear, and wind energy. The only ray of light I find in the News-Miner article is this: "In a written explanation of her vetoes, Palin noted that she would consider funding the research center in a future budget."

Read 'em all and see what you think.


Liam said...

In your reseach have you noted any substance to Obama's claim that Palin is a hypocrite because says she claims to be a fiscal hawk but then takes a ton of federal earmark money(excluding obviously the 'Bridge to Nowhere which she did apparently reject but supposedly after a big stink was made about it)

Thunderheart said...

I'm looking, and haven't found anything definitive enough one way or the other to really come to a conclusion about the earmarks. My initial sense is she did accept some earmarks gotten for her by Stevens and Young, among others, but she hardly went hog-wild.

Believe me, as soon as I have a clearer sense, I'll be posting about it.

There's an excellent blog which has a constantly-updated post debunking Palin rumors here.