Wednesday, July 8, 2020 10:43

What HAS Sarah Palin done?

Posted by admin on Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 22:44
This news item was posted in Politics category and has 25 Comments so far.

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.

Editorial Summary
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


  • Hawaii Pacific College (1982 – 1983) (7)
  • North Idaho College (1983) (7)
  • University of Idaho (1984 – 1985) (7)
  • Matanuska-Susitina College(1985) (7)
  • BA, Communication/ Journalism.  University of Idaho (1986-1987) (7)

Family/ Professional Career/ Misc

  • Eloped at 24 to marry husband (21)
  • 5 Children (1)
  • Finished 3rd in the Miss Alaska pageant (2)
  • Sports reporter (2)
  • Worked for husband’s family fishing business (2)
  • Appointed Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commissions in 2003 (2)
  • Resigned from Commission in 2004 for ‘lack of ethics’ of fellow Republicans(11)
  • Filed formal complaints against former Republican Attorney General and head of the Alaskan Republican Party (2)
  • Served as a director of the 527 “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc” which provided political training for Alaskan women (2)
  • Won’t take the political courage test (22)

Political Career

Former Council Member, Wasilla City (1)

  • Wanted to remove the book “Daddy’s Roommate” from library w/o reading it(8)
  • Successfully opposed measure that wanted to have bars close at 4 rather than 2 (9)

Former Mayor/ Manager, Wasilla City (1)

  • Reduced her salary as mayor by 2k (3)
  • Government expenditures increased by more than 33% (2)
  • Government revenues increased by 38% (2)
  • City debt went from nothing to $22 million (2)
  • Prevented building of new library and city hall
  • Cut property taxes by 75% (6)
  • Improved roads and sewers (3)
  • Explored the idea of banning books from public library, didn’t follow through (4)
  • Fired public employees who supported the person she ran against (3)
  • No town employee can talk to the press without permission from Palin (3)
  • Increased sales tax by .5% (2)
  • Built a Multi-Use Sports complex (10)
  • Hired lobbyist who secured nearly $27 million in earmarks for her city, some specifically ridiculed by McCain (5)

Governor AK, 2006 – Present (1)

  • Signed ethics reform bill into law (12)
  • Signed bill TransCanada pipeline $500 million in seed money to build a gas pipeline(13)
  • Cut $237 million from the 08 construction budget (15)
  • Cut $286 million from the 09 construction budget including money for fire stations, emergency services and roads when Alaska has a budget surplus (14)
  • Vetoed a wind farm in 07 and 08 (14)(15)
  • Vetoed money for a clean coal plant in 07 (15)
  • Placed Mayoral jet on e-bay, later sold to a private brokerage firm (2)
  • Charge the state $153,441 for travel and per diem allowance mostly for travel between her hometown of Wasilla and Juneau (16)
  • Suing the federal government to have polar bears removed from the endangered species list (14)
  • Campaigned for Governor on a “Build the Bridge” platform, referring to the bridge to ‘no where’ (17)
  • When Federal earmarks for the bridge were discontinued, Palin changed course and directed existing funds for the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ to other building projects (17) .
  • Supported spending the money to build the access road to the “Bridge to Nowhere” after the project was canceled to prevent the money from being returned to the Federal government (17)
  • Currently being investigate by the state ethics board over the firing Public Safety Commissioner for allegedly not firing her ex brother-in-law during a custody battle (2)
  • Requested over $197 million in earmarks in her 2009 budget to then Senator Ted Stevens (18)
  • Led state with the largest earmarks per capita at $295 per person (19)
  • Supported aerial hunting of bear and wolf populations in an attempt to reduce predators to the Moose population (2)
  • Enacted a bounty of $150 per wolf killed, the bounty was later declared illegal by a judge (20)


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25 Responses to “What HAS Sarah Palin done?”

  1. TicaAngel00
    18 September, 2008, 3:15

    One fact stood out the most to me, which I think we should all praise her for: “Successfully opposed measure that wanted to have bars close at 4 rather than 2.”

    Remember Eric, and pardon my paraphrasing, but Global Warming is just G-d hugging us tighter. :)

  2. teppish
    18 September, 2008, 3:55

    Wait - she opposed them being open later? Well that was the tipping point…

    Props on doing all the research Eric. All this information tells me that she is what she is - a mayor/governor of an anomaly of a state who’s had no political or any other kind of training/experience, and who couldn’t be a governor in any other state except maybe Florida because you know, if Jeb can do it…

  3. Ms. Jeley
    18 September, 2008, 4:10

    Wow — this one stood out for me:
    City debt went from nothing to $22 million (2)
    It scares me to think of what she and McCain would/could do to our debt (which is terrible already).

    Wanted to remove the book “Daddy’s Roommate” from library w/o reading it(8)
    Nice to know that she makes such informed decisions. Makes me feel so secure that she would be next in line for the Presidency.


  4. 18 September, 2008, 4:31

    - Government expenditures increased by more than 33% (2)
    - Government revenues increased by 38% (2)
    - City debt went from nothing to $22 million (2)

    I read into this that she increased the cities profit margin by 6% and made some long term investments in the cities infrastructure…and she did it without raising taxes. The people pay for improvements implemented by the government…if the city doesn’t have a budget surplus you either get to wait for the improvement or pay down debt later.

  5. admin
    18 September, 2008, 5:27

    Actually, she increased sales tax a second time to help fund the cities improvements.

  6. TicaAngel00
    18 September, 2008, 10:20

    My bad, Vlaad. I was thinking sarcastically whil typing, but realize I didn’t convey it well. Hah.

    I find it unbelievable that she would fire public employees who supported her opponent. Granted, I’m sure it made her life in office easier. But it speaks volumes as to what she would be capable of in a position of Vice Presidency. I shudder to think.

  7. burt hambright
    21 September, 2008, 5:20

    What about highering a full time city administrator something no previous mayor had.

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