A lot has been said about what Sarah Palin has or has not done, some of it conflicting. Personally I wanted a clear picture and thought others might as well. I used Wikipedia as a jumping off point for my research, read through several pages of sources and sifted through Internet search results. My goal was to find facts about what she has done, not conjecture about what she might do or rhetoric about what she meant to do. Below is my editorialized summary followed by the fact that helped to me to arrive there. As always, I encourage comments, feedback and any omissions or corrections.
Palin’s political timing has been fortunate in that going into the office of Mayor and Governor she inherited offices with budget surpluses derived from increased taxes and oil revenue respectively. On fiscal policy she has a mixed record. Raising some taxes and lowering others, driving up public debt for pet projects but slashed budgets of projects she didn’t support.
Palin has been fairly consistent on two issues, earmarks and standing up the corruption of party bosses. Palin has consistently and aggressively pursued earmarks (including for the ‘bridge to nowhere’) and supported building an access road to the canceled ‘bridge to nowhere’ so the state wouldn’t have to return the earmark to the Federal Government. She has also successfully stood up the Alaskan Republican party elders in Alaska at least a couple times.
Evidence also points to her willingness to infuse politics into hiring/ firing decisions of public officials. The result feels like a junior varsity version of what happened with the Justice Department hiring and firings. Generally it seems Palin also tests the limits of power in each of her positions, leading me to believe she would seek to continue the expansion of the powers of the Executive Branch.
Like most politicians she has been more than willing to take full advantage of monetary perks the office provides her. For instance over $153,000 in per diem and travel expenses for her and her family during her 18 months as governor. She also has willingness to and to tell half truths, lies by omission or outright falsehoods, best illustrated by her representation of her position on the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’.
Last, both Republicans and Democrats in the Alaskan legislature have complained about Palin’s poor and misleading communication to them about what she is looking for in the budget. The feeling is that she might have been setting them up to include projects in the budget she later intended to veto for political grandstanding purposes.
Facts about what she has done
Family/ Professional Career/ Misc
Former Council Member, Wasilla City (1)
Former Mayor/ Manager, Wasilla City (1)
Governor AK, 2006 – Present (1)