Monday, September 8, 2008

Granpa's Political Corner: Who IS Sarah Palin?

Sarah Louise Heath was born February 11, 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho, the third of four children born to Sarah (Sheeran) Heath, a school secretary, and Charles R. Heath, a science teacher and track coach. The family moved to Alaska while Sarah was an infant.

Sarah attended Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska, where she was head of the Fellowship of Christian Atheletes at school. She played basketball and was captain of the basketball team. She earned the nickname " Sarah Barracuda" because of her intense play.

In 1982 she attended Hawaii Pacific for a semester, majoring in Business Administration. In 1983 she transferred to North Idahom College. In 1987 she received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho, minoring in political science.

On August 29,1988, when 24 years old, she eloped with Todd Palin.Todd works for BP as an oil-field production operator and owns a commercial fishing business. They have five children: sons Track (born 1989), Trig (born 2008, and daughters Bristol (born1990), Willow (born 1995), and Piper (born 2001) Track enlisted in the U.S. Army September 11, 2007, and is to be deployed to Iraq in September 2008. The family live in Wasilla, Alaska.

Sarah began her polotical career in 1992 when she ran for a three-year term on the city council of Wasilla, a city of 6,715 people. She won and was re-elected to a second three year term in 1995.

In 1996 she challenged and defeated incumbent John Stein for the office of mayor. In the campaign she critiicized Stein for what she termed wasteful spending and high taxes, she also highlighted issues such as abortion and gun control. As mayor she was in charge of the city Police Department (25 officers), and Public Works. She was praised for cutting property taxes by 40% while improving roads and sewere and strengthening the Police Depasrtment. She also reduced the mayoral salary, reduced spending on the town museum and opposed a bigger library.

Sarah ran for re-election against Stein in 1999 and won. During her second term as mayor, she hired the Anchorage-based lobbying firm of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh to lobby for earmarks for Wasilla. The effort was led by Steven Silver, a former chief of staff for Senator Ted Stevens, and it secured nearly $27 million in earmarked funds. Some of the earmarks were criticized by Senator McCain.

In 2002, term limits prevented her from running for a third term as mayor. In 2002, Sarah Palin was unsuccessful in a race for lieutenant governor in the republican primary. U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski resigned the Senate seat to become governor of Alaska and chose Alaska state representative Lisa Murkowski to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

Governor Murkowski appointed Palin to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission which she chaired from 2003 to 2004, also serving as Ethics Supervisor. In January 2004 she resigned in protest over what she termed "lack of ethics" of fellow Republican members. After resigning, she filed formal complaaints against the state Republican Party's chairman, Randy Ruedrich and former Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes. Both men resigned and Ruedrich was fined $12,000.

From 2003 to June 2005, Palin served as one of three directors of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc., a 527 group that was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in Alaska.

In 2006, she defeated governor Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary. She declared that education, public safety, and transportation would be the tree cornerstones of her administration. She won the election in November to become Alaska's first female governor and at age 42, the youngest Alaskan governor.

Palin has strongly promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska, including the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. She also helped pass a tax increase on oil company profits.

Shortly after becoming governor she rescinded 35 appointments made by prior governor Murkowski in the last hours of his administration.

In March 2007, Palin presented the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) as the new legal vehicle for building a natural gaspipeline from the state's North Slope. On January 5, 2008, Palin announced that a Canadian company, TransCanada Corporation, was the sole compliant applicant. In August 2008, Palin signed a bill into law giving the state of Alaska authority to award TransCanada Pipelines $500 million in seed money and a license to build and operate the $26 billion pipeline to transport natural gas to the Lower 48 through Canada.

In may 2008, Palin objected to te decision of Republican United States Secretary of the Interior to list polar bears federally as an endangered species, saying the move was premature and was not the appropriate management tool for their welfare; the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit to stop the listing amid fears that it would hurt oil and gas development in the bears habitat off Alaska's northern and northwestern coasts.

After becoming governor she followed through on a campaign promise to sell the Westwind II jet purchased, against the wishes of the Legislature, by the Murkowski administration in 2005 for $2.7 million. In August 2007, the jet was listed on eBay and latyer sold for $2.1 million.

In 2007, the Alaska Creamery Board recommended closing Matanuska Maid Dairy, an unprofitable state-owned business. Palin objected, citing concern for dairy farmers and a recent infusion of $600,000 in state money. Palin subsequently replaced the entire membership of the Board of Agriculture and Conservation. The new board reversed the decision to close the dairy and later in 2007 the unprofitable business was put up for sale. No offers met the minimum bid of $3.35 million and the dairy was closed.

In the 2006 gubernatorial campaign the Ketchikan's Gravina Island Bridge (better known as the "Bridge to Nowhere") became an issue. Palin initially supported the bridge and in her campaign ran on a "build-the-bridge" platform, arguing it was essential for local prosperity. The U. S. Congress replaced (Alaska's Senator Steven's earmark) the earmark for the bridge with an infrastructure grant to Alaska to use at its discretion. Palin's subsequent policy was to stop construction on the bridge and continue construcrtion on the road originally intended to link to the bridge. In 2008, when introduced as McCain's running mate, Palin said "I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere".

The above material is derived from Wikipedia. (
I hope you decide to read this and other references regarding Sarah Palin. There are interesting bits of information scattered within the material that will help you become more familiar with the Republican nominee for Vice President. I tried not to inject any personal opinion as I feel you have enough information to reach your own conclusion.

Granpa Graham


jenn said...

ROCK ON SARAH PALIN!!! I think that she is most likely a bitch and I LOVE her!!!!

grizaham said...

She is an attractive, gun toting, conservative mother of 5. I'd go to war with her anyday.

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