As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Governing Iz Hard

And now I'll wade into the continuing Sarah Palin adventures. No, not her war of words with an 18 year-old, but her serious failure to govern in Alaska.

As the legislative session draws to an end this weekend, Ms. Palin is pushing no major bills, and neither are state lawmakers. Many pivotal alliances between the governor and minority Democrats are obsolete, undone by mutual bitterness from the election. The rush of oil revenues that helped Ms. Palin press for big-ticket projects in the past has been replaced by a budget deficit that will require taking at least $1 billion out of state savings [...]

Twice the governor has rejected Democrats’ choice to fill a vacant State Senate seat in heavily Democratic Juneau; they have responded by rejecting the three Democrats she has nominated. This week, the state Democratic Party held a news conference to criticize Ms. Palin’s trip to Indiana, prompting a sharp retort from the governor’s office insisting that she has spent far more time in Juneau than previous governors had.

The biggest policy fight has been over how much federal stimulus money the state should accept (the governor initially held a news conference to say she would accept only 55 percent of the $930 million available; she soon signaled her willingness to accept more, though not enough for lawmakers). The State Senate, often her foil, took matters to a new level this year by stripping some of the governor’s priority projects from its proposed budget, including some in support of the natural gas pipeline. The Senate has yet to go along with a bill backed by Ms. Palin that would require parental notification and consent before young women under 17 can have abortions.

The governor recently nominated Wayne Anthony Ross, a board member of the National Rifle Association, to be Alaska’s attorney general. Mr. Ross, who is expected to be confirmed, has told lawmakers that he opposes many federal efforts in Alaska like increasing protections for polar bears and beluga whales and limiting resource development. Years ago, he described gay men and lesbians as “degenerates.”

The State Senate seat is really amusing. She keeps sending nominees who recently changed their party affiliation to Democratic to apply for the position, and most recently she sent the names of all three rejected nominees to fill the one seat. The latest nominee's claim to fame appears to be that his wife sold her shoes. Earlier, she tried to change the rules so that a Republican would be eligible for the seat previously held by a Democrat, which, um, didn't work.

Then there's the Attorney General nominee.

Sarah Palin's choice for attorney general once wrote a column defending the statue of a KKK figure as an expression of free speech and mocked the psychology of a college student who protested the display.

Wayne Anthony Ross has come under intense scrutiny since the Alaska Governor and former vice presidential candidate announced his nomination. His resume includes derogatory remarks about homosexuals, accusations of sexism, and bizarre comments downplaying the fallout of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. But his most controversial incident may have come in December 1991, when he penned an op-ed for the Anchorage Times, a copy of which was obtained by the Huffington Post, entitled "KKK 'art' project gets 'A' for courage." ... [T]he column was filled with racial and political insensitivities that, even in the relatively homogenous Alaska, were bound (perhaps designed) to stir the pot.

Considering that this is all happening in Palin's official role as the chief executive of Alaska, it's no wonder that Washington Republicans are souring on Palin's prospects to lead the Party in 2012.

...And the Alaska Senate just did some nailin' Palin, rejecting her Attorney General candidate, Wayne Anthony Ross. FAIL.

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