Governor Sarah Palin’s Executive Accomplishments

By Stacy Drake from C4P

Here at GayConservative, many of us are fighting for one thing and one thing only — ABO (Anyone But Obama).  As time passes, and despite what happens in November with Governor Romney and Obama, I want to re-iterate the experience of Governor Palin.  Nobody comes close to her experience or her fight at the forefront of the GOP machine and politics as usual in Washington.  So far this year alone, she’s endorsed three winning candidates and with specific regard to Deb Fischer for US Senate in Nebraska, Palin’s endorsement of the Nebraska unicameral legislator perceived as an underdog up until that point catapulted Fischer to the front and she went on to win the primary.  All that being said, I’d like to share with you Governor Palin’s no-nonsense record of executive experience and accomplishments.  Enjoy!

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Awhile back, Whitney Pitcher and I put together a list of Governor Palin’s executive accomplishments. That list later became an article featured on Breitbart’s Big Government, as an answer to those who proclaim that Governor Palin was somehow “unqualified” to be on the 2008 Republican ticket. Using facts and historical record, Whitney and I compiled a list that proves every single-one of these people wrong. Keep in mind, most of the people making this assertion (including former McCain staff members), voted for a junior senator from Illinois (with a less than stellar record) in that election.

I wanted to make this information available in list form, as a resource for our readers to help educate America about the good work that Governor Palin has done throughout her career. This information also confirms that Governor Palin was more than qualified to serve as this nation’s Vice President.

Governor Sarah Palin’s Executive Accomplishments

Executive Authority and Success

“[I]t turns out that the Governor’s office in Alaska is one of the country’s most powerful. For more than two decades Thad Beyle, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina, has maintained an index of “institutional powers” in state offices. He rates governorships on potential length of service, budgetary and appointment authority, veto power and other factors. Mr. Beyle’s findings for 2008 rate Alaska at 4.1 on a scale of 5. The national average is 3.5.”

  • Historically High Approval Ratings

·     Palin had a 89% and 93% approval rating in May 2007:

“Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, has earned 89% and 93% approval ratings in two recent polls. She has won nearly universal support because of her strong stand for honest government in the face of a corruption probe into other members of her party. Her support of a proposed natural gas pipeline to the continental USA has helped, too. “Her strength is her independence,” says Alaska pollster David Dittman of Dittman Research in Anchorage. “She distanced herself from the old boy Republican regime and has been completely non-partisan.” Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Jake Westbrook credits Palin with working across party lines on issues where there is agreement.”

·     “The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating in the 90s, and probably the most popular public official in any state.” – Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard 07/16/07

  • Governor Palin’s approval rating average from the time of her inauguration until John McCain selected her to serve as the vice presidential candidate in 2008, was 77.38%

Budgeting and Spending

  • Cut state spending between 2007 and 2010 by 9.5%.
  • Reduced federal earmark requests by more than 80%

In FY2007, Gov. Frank Murkowski requested $350 million in federal appropriations, which Gov. Palin reduced to $256 million in FY2008, $198 million in FY2009, and $69 million in FY2010.

  • Invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program to provide support for low-income older Alaskans.
  • Stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere” and wanted to redirect the federal funds to Minnesota after the bridge collapse in 2007. In an email to her staff, she wrote:

[W]e MUST come out with a strong position against AK ‘ s perceived ” Bridge to Nowhere” so we quit looking clueless and selfish across the nation and can clear up the perception that the Gravina project is the state ‘ s priority . The $350m bridge is not our priority.

The nation needs to be spending $ on fixing what we have – Minnesota needs ” bridge money” today more than we need a few Alaskans to perpetuate the nonsensical notion that our Gravina earmark is more important than fixing aged infrastructure. We would gain so much if we get that message out there – that the nation can pull, and work , together and make wise decisions on federal priorities … we should see that earmark redirected to Minnesota ‘ s tragedy be the Gravina bridge isn’t going to happen on our watch anyway.

  • Rejected much of President Obama’s “stimulus money” in 2009. During a press conference on the matter, she said:

“We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government. We are not requesting more money for normal day-to-day operations of government as part of this economic stimulus package. In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government.”
Also stating in a press release:

“As I wrote to our congressional delegation on January 7, our administration recognizes that President-elect Obama and the congressional leadership of both parties favor the use of formulas to ensure fairness among the states and to avoid the earmark abuses of the past.

We also have to be mindful about the effect of the stimulus package on the national debt and the future economic health of the country. We won’t achieve long-term stability if we continue borrowing massive sums from foreign countries and remain dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas.”

  • Proposed a $2.6 billion investment in the Education Fund to help fund public education for the future.
  • Used her line-item veto to cut more than a quarter billion in superfluous spending in 2007:

The Governor vetoed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of projects contained within Senate Bill 53. Establishing a budget process, the Governor focused her decisions on the Constitutionally-mandated services of education, public safety and health, and infrastructure.

  • 2007 vetoes included projects such as berry economic development, the AT&T Sports Center, a Salmon Study, a tennis court at the Lions Club, batting cages, gun club facility improvements, motocross course construction, a virus free seed potato project, and numerous other items placed in the budget that were not the State of Alaska’s responsibility.
  • In 2008, Governor Palin vetoed more than a quarter billion in superfluous spending:

In all, $268 million was vetoed from the budget bills. “The budgets will provide needed services, will leverage other funds and will make a significant investment in Alaska’s future,” Governor Palin said.

After funding the state’s priorities, putting billions away in savings and still seeing a budget surplus, the Legislature agreed to a special one-time payment, sharing part of our resource wealth with Alaskans, who under our Constitution are the owners in common of these resources, and who I believe can decide better than government how to use that share.”

For the second year in a row, unemployment insurance tax rates have dropped.

“The 2009 unemployment insurance tax rates will be the lowest Alaska employers have experienced in 29 years,”Governor Sarah Palin announced today. An employer in the average rate class will pay approximately $93 less for each employee than in 2008. The rates are applicable to the first $32,700 of the individual employee earnings.

  • Cut property taxes as Mayor of Wasilla. She eliminated small business inventory taxes; cut property tax mil levy every year she was in office (6 years straight).

Fiscal Management

  • Reformed the state’s pension program  by ensuring a successful transition from a defined benefits to a defined contributions system and addressing the $8 billion unfunded liability in Alaska state’s retirements, making it more solvent and leading to a decrease of 34.6% in state liabilities during her tenure.
  • Left Alaska with an improved credit rating during and following her tenure as Governor:

·         Standard & Poor’s raised Alaska’s credit rating from AA to AA+ in April, 2008:

“Our fiscal prudence is being recognized by the financial markets. It affirms our efforts to control government spending and live within our means,” Governor Palin said. “We have been working hard advocating for Alaska, both within the state and outside, and I am pleased to see it paying off.”

·         Moody’s upgraded Alaska’s credit rating to AAA in November 2010 and Standard & Poor’s upgraded Alaska to AAA too in January in large part due to Governor Palin’s policies as indicated below. Each  italicized bullet point is a point provided by Standard and Poor’s as an indicator for credit upgrade:

o    “The state’s strong financial management and generally conservative forecasting”: during her tenure, Governor Palin cut spending 9.5% and reduced earmarks 80%.

o    “The state’s financial flexibility, enhanced by the maintenance of large reserves derived from windfall oil revenues since fiscal year 2008”: Governor Palin’s oil tax reform plan implemented in FY2008 was a severance or production tax on oil companies—a tax they paid as a recompense for developing the Alaskan owned natural resources has helped create fiscal reserves for the state.

o    “The state’s moderate debt burden”: During her tenure, Alaska’s overall debt decreased nearly more than 157 million dollars between FY2007 (her predecessor’s final budget year) and FY2010 (her final budget year), while debt outstanding increased at 4.2% annual rate (between FY 2007 and FY 2010) compared to the 6.8% annual rate of her predecessor (between FY2003 and FY2007).

o    “An accumulation of multiple budget reserves equal to more than 200 percent of the general fund budget”: Due to legislation like ACES and the frugal budgeting of Governors Palin and Parnell, Alaska now has a 12 billion dollars in savings. During the VP campaign, Governor Palin was able to tout a more than $5 billion surplus.

“Gov. Sarah Palin didn’t ask for a pay raise and won’t accept one during her current term.”

Energy

  • ACES: In 2007, Governor Palin signed ACES—Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share—a net tax on oil profits that was passed in a bipartisan and transparent manner.Constituents had opportunity to read a draft of the bill 17 days before legislators discussed it. ACES replaced the corruption tainted oil tax plan of the previous administration which was passed in secret and ultimately lead to the indictment of several Alaskan state officials and oil company personnel. ACES provided oil companies with incentives to develop. The progressivity of the tax meant producers were protected when oil prices were low while the interest of the resource owners—the people of Alaska— were appropriately protected as well.
  • AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act) — After many decades of unsuccessful attempts to bring a gas pipeline project into existence, Governor Palin and her team introduced to Alaskans the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) in March 2007. AGIA passed the Legislature by a vote of 57-1 in May 2007. The framework for America’s largest private sector infrastructure project—a natural gas pipeline—was signed into law by Governor Palin on June 6, 2007. In August 2008, the Alaska Legislature authorized the Palin Administration to award the AGIA license to TransCanada Alaska. In June 2009, Exxon Mobil signed an agreement with TransCanada to partner on the project.

Governor Palin’s AGIA legislation was conducted out in the open, made use of a competitive bidding process and placed not only Alaska, but the nation on a path toward energy independence.

  • The stated purpose of AGIAis to expedite the development of a natural gas pipeline that:
    • Facilitates commercialization of North Slope gas resources in the state.
    • Promotes exploration and development of Alaska’s oil and gas resources.
    • Maximizes benefits to the people of the state from the development of oil and gas resources.
    • Encourages oil and gas lessees and other persons to commit to ship natural gas from the North Slope to a gas pipeline system for transportation to markets in Alaska or elsewhere.
    • AGIA establishes mutual commitments and responsibilities between the State of Alaska and the AGIA licensee, specifically, commitments to include regular expansions of the pipeline, local hire, instate delivery service at reasonable costs and a firm timeline for development. In exchange for meeting the state’s requirements, the successful AGIA project applicant is entitled to certain inducements that will facilitate project development, notably, up to “$500 million in matching funds, which will help reduce the financial risks that such a huge project faces in its early stages.”
  • Pt. Thomson: Under Governor Palin’s leadership, drilling Commenced at Pt. Thomson after Exxon Mobil had sat on their leases for more than 25 years The Point Thomson field contains one of the largest untapped and proven reserves of oil and gas on the continent.

PSIO addresses lax maintenance practices on the North Slope that came to light last year after corroded pipelines spilled 200,000 gallons of oil, leading to production shut-downs at Prudhoe Bay and interruption in the flow of oil revenue to the state, she said.

PSIO requires industry to establish and maintain quality assurance programs, and requires the state to inspect facilities to ensure operators comply with those programs. PSIO will also search for any gaps in laws, regulations or industry practices that threaten the integrity of the state’s oil and gas infrastructure. If necessary, the office will step in and exert the state’s authority as issuer of development leases to ensure the system and the state’s interests are protected.

  • Took on “Big Oil”: Governor Palin stood up for her constituents when dealing with the powerful oil companies:

“What bothers me is that Alaska tried it Exxon’s way. The result was a contract that is not viable. It did not have the support of the public or the legislature. That’s why we need a competitive, open, and transparent process,” said Governor Palin. “It’s painfully obvious that Exxon Mobil does not want that process. We know exactly where we’re going and have a plan to move forward. Exxon doesn’t like that plan because it puts the interests of Alaska and the nation, first – and not Exxon.”

  • Served on national energy committees: Governor Palin served as Vice Chair of the National Governors Association and as the Natural Resource Committee and Chairman of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission.
  • Chair, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2003-200

Jobs and Business Growth

Jobs:

        Business growth and opportunity:

    • Governor Palin cut business license fees in half, during her tenure.
    • Alaska moved up from the 4th most business tax friendly state to the 3rd most business tax friendly state during her tenure.
    • She signed legislation allowing Alaska-based businesses the same opportunities as out-of-state businesses, within Alaska.
    • The number of oil companies doing business in Alaska doubled following the passage of ACES.
    • Alaska’s exports grew to a record-high $4 billion in 2006, a 12.6 percent increase.
    • Alaska’s exports for 2007 reached $3.9 billion, the second best year for exports.

Ethics Reform and Transparency

  • Governor Palin fought for and signed sweeping bipartisan ethics legislation which restricted lobbyists, improved disclosure laws, and improved executive and legislative branch ethics laws.
  • In the face of corruption, she took on her own party when it was necessary:

She has pushed through ethics legislation amid a burgeoning corruption investigation of Alaska lawmakers. She has bucked her party’s old guard. And she has ordered her administration to seek fewer congressional earmarks.

“What separates her from the others is that at a time when Republicans have suffered from the corruption, she represents clean politics” John J. Pitney Jr. December 27, 2007

  • She released her ACES—oil tax bill—to her constituents 17 days prior to the special legislative session where it was to be discussed.
  • She opened up natural gas pipeline deals to all potential parties.
  • She state checkbook online.

Education

  • Forward funded education to allow districts greater flexibility. She stated in an email to her staff at the time:

“My goal is to get more money into the classroom; the teaching profession will be honored and teacher profiles elevated on my watch; educ is priority; nothing’s more impt than our kids; I want Ak to feel the same vigor for educ as we have for the gasline; we’ll succeed in forward funding ( eventually ); on our watch our students will have opportunity to be successful via our innovative educ reforms.”

    • Increased funding for the Alaska Youth Challenge Academy 18.8% in her first year in office (FY2008) compared to her predecessor’s final year (FY2007).
    • Governor Palin’s FY2008 capital budget included $2.5 million for special needs housing (a 42% increase in capital funding over her predecessor) and $250,000 for Special Olympics facility upgrades.

Health Care

The bill would establish an Alaska health care information office to give consumers factual information on quality, cost and other important matters to help them make better-informed decisions about health care in the state. Recognizing that health care must be market-and business-driven, rather than restricted by government.

Support for Constitutional Rights

2nd Amendment

        10th Amendment

  • Sued the federal government when the Department of the Interior began listing the polar bear as a threatened species because it such a listing would hamper Alaska’s economy:

“Inappropriate implementation of this listing decision could result in widespread social and economic impacts, including increased power costs and further increases in fuel prices, without providing any more protection for the species,” Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin said.

“While the state is challenging the listing, we remain committed to assuring Alaska’s polar bears are conserved,” Governor Palin said. “The state will continue to monitor Alaska’s polar bear populations and their behaviors in relation to changing sea ice conditions.”

“The State of Alaska has worked cooperatively with the federal government to protect and conserve beluga whales in Cook Inlet,” said Governor Palin. “This listing decision didn’t take those efforts into account as required by law.”

[…]

“While challenging the listing, we will continue to protect beluga whales,” said Governor Palin. “We will also be assisting Alaskan communities and stakeholders with navigating the complex bureaucratic process this listing decision imposes on their projects and working cooperatively with federal agencies on the required consultations, designations of critical habitat and development of a recovery plan and objectives.”

  • Chose to monitor rather than participate in national standards for education, noting that state and local standards and accountability are better. Instead, she chose to implement a pilot program to improve readiness for school, to employ an initiative to ensure struggling school districts have the needed capacity to serve their students, and maintain a state director of rural education:

“The State of Alaska fully believes that schools must have high expectations of students,” Governor Palin said. “But high expectations are not always created by new, mandated federal standards written on paper. They are created in the home, the community and the classroom.”

  • Transitioned responsibility for the quality of Alaska water resources from federal to state control.

      State Constitution:

Vetoed HB4001 which prohibited the commissioner of the department of administration from adopting same-sex regulations:
“HB4001, is unconstitutional given the recent Court order of December 19th, mandating same-sex benefits. With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office.”

Military

  • Governor Palin shared strategic command over the 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard:

Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism.

She’s also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security’s counterterrorism plans.

Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country’s defense. Given Alaska’s proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don’t even know about.

  • She made official visits troops in Kuwait, Germany and Kosovo.
  • Military personnel stationed in Alaska and serving in any National Guard or Reserve unit received free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.

Sanctity of Life

Civil and Safety Issues

Organizations

  • Former Member, Alaska Municipal League Board
  • Member, Alaska Miners Association
  • Member, Alaska Outdoor Council
  • Member, Alaska Resource Development Council
  • Member, Chambers of Commerce (Various)
  • Member, Iditarod Parent-Teacher Association
  • Life Member, National Rifle Association
  • Founder, SarahPAC (Political Action Committee)
  • Member, Valley Hospital Association Board
  • Coach/Hockey Team Manager, Valley Youth Sports
  • Member, Youth Court Steering Committee
  • Former Member, American Management Association
  • Former Member, Salvation Army Board
  • Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society at Alaska Pacific University

McCaskill to Skip DNC Convention (C4P)

(Cross-posted at C4P)

News broke very recently that Senator Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri will skip the DNC convention this year.

Obviously, this says a lot about the perception of Barack Obama in her state of Missouri — a swing state — to which she is up for re-election this year.

Since we all know Claire was one of the first major politicians to offer Obama an endorsement way back in January of 2008, isn’t it a little strange that in her own re-election year, she won’t be there to cheer him on and talk up the idea of all that hopey-changey stuff for another four years?

Is she avoiding him for some reason?

Recent polling indicates it may be a good idea.

Candidate, Sarah Steelman (R) responds to McCaskill’s decision to skip it:

I don’t care if Senator McCaskill joins her fellow Democrats at the convention in Charlotte or not. We know she stands with President Obama every time she votes for his policy priorities like the Utility MACT vote last week, the debt ceiling vote a few months ago and ObamaCare last year. She voted for his judicial nominees, she voted for TARP, she voted for the bailouts. Skipping a few cocktail parties and rallies in Charlotte doesn’t distance her from the President, and it won’t convince voters that she’s a born-again moderate. The election has her concerned about perception, but her performance is the issue. Voters care about the bad policies that impact their families, churches and businesses more than they care about the parties attended by the Democratic elite. If Senator McCaskill wasn’t so out-of-touch, she’d understand.

GRRRRRRR!

Lessons Never Learned: The Bastards in the Media

I am just as sickened by the blatant and feckless reporting of the alleged sexual harassment charge leveled against Herman Cain as everyone else is.  As a Palin supporter, I am used to vile rumors spread by ANONYMOUS sources.

Ann Coulter, when speaking with Geraldo the other night on Fox was right when saying that the left is terrified of strong conservative black men. 

Might I remind people though that the left is just as terrified of strong conservative women?

This happened to Sarah Palin, remember?  So, Republicans can bask perhaps in the fact that a Palin presidential campaign was never meant to be. 

But if you are (or were) one of those people who “really like” Sarah Palin but feel she is too badly damaged by the media’s lies, then I hope you never sincerely plan on supporting another good grassroots conservative ever again — INCLUDING Herman Cain.

In unison with Mr. Cain, Palin had business experience before entering public office.  She tells it like it is and delights us when she says something that irritates establishment candidates and politicians.

In contradiction to Herman Cain, Palin also gave us a strong record of elected public office.  She did a fine job at running the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.  She also comes with the experience of dealing with the bastards in the media for the past three years who not only accused her of sexual misconduct but also questioned the birth of her son Trig as well as her fidelity to her husband.

So why this grand movement of support for Herman Cain all of a sudden as if it were a bullet out of the blue that the media attacked non-establishment conservatives?

Newsflash: The media is never going to hold back on unfair attacks of a candidate.  If you (or pundits on Fox) are going to fight back at the media nonsense now with regard to Cain, you have to continue doing it in the future as Palin’s supporters did for three years while virtually everyone else wrote her off.

Gov. Palin said with regard to the election that it wasn’t enough to just change-up the uniforms, we have to change our game plan.

If you want Herman Cain to stand a chance, you might want to take her advice.

Otherwise, you can sit back and accept Mitt Romney as our nominee who coincidentally sits behind Obama in most of the state-by-state polls.

Thinking About Newt

Last night on Greta’s program following the debate, Sarah Palin joined the Fox News host to discuss the candidates.  I agree with Palin’s assessment of not getting a whole heck of a lot out of it other than some usual banter between the candidates.  However; I did take note later in the segment when she began to say that Newt Gingrich would “clobber” Barack Obama in a debate.

One of the reasons my heart was so broken after Palin announced she wasn’t running is because I truly supported her positions and her “plan” which she laid out in Indianola, Iowa at the speech she delivered on September 3rd.

1.) Eliminate corporate income tax.  This gives corporations less incentives for lobbyists as they won’t be seeking tax breaks and favors.  It cuts the crony capitalism which I believe is going on with a couple other of our candidates.  It makes America the most attractive place in the world to do business in.

2.) True stimulus = robust and aggressive development of our own resources here at home.  This will create about a million GOOD-PAYING jobs.

3.) Entitlement reform.  As Palin said, we MUST deal with it.  If not, the European markets will force us to deal with it down the road.

4.) Repeal Obama Care. 

5.) Return power back to the states.

Immediately after her speech in Iowa, Newt immediately pounced on it and had it analyzed by his campaign.  He then said to Greta:

Governor Palin’s speech in Iowa last weekend on crony capitalism and on the problems of both parties is a very, very important speech. I’m going to be tweeting a link to it. I’m also going to be doing some other things with it. I think it was maybe one of the most important speeches she’s ever given, and I think it raised a series of very profound questions that all of us — Democrat and Republican — have to wrestle with as citizens. And she did it very well. It’s a very, very impressive speech.”

You can see the video over at Texans for Sarah Palin.

The night of Palin’s announcement, she said that many current candidates had already began contacting her to meet with her.  The article posted to Politico the day after reported that Newt was one who reached out to her — even seeking her endorsement.

Further, Newt went on to defend her “Death Panels” comment in the last debate.

Since I cannot have Sarah Palin, the emphasis myself and many contributing writers over at C4P are doing are focusing on the remaining candidates as well as the House and Senate, using Governor Palin’s platform as our guide.  You can catch my last analysis on the Missouri Senate Race here.

While Newt has a few skeletons of infidelity in his closet, the remaining candidates for President bring their own baggage as well.  But without a doubt, I agree that among all of them, the biggest asset of intellectual firepower we have is Speaker Gingrich. 

Maybe I’m almost there.  😉

Any thoughts?

Newt’s campaign website.

Palin’s Non-Candidacy and “Anyone but Obama”

Oliver North on Thursday’s Hannity said he is supporting “ABO” (Anyone but Obama) for the 2012 GOP nomination.  This seems to be the dominating narrative among many conservatives these days.

Of course, many in the grassroots have been making this point since 2009.  Conservatives articulated it by pointing out many of Obama’s failures.  With truth on our side, we transcended the message to independents.  This helped us win a sweeping victory in the House of Representatives for 2010’s midterm elections.

Today, we still understand it’s important to replace Obama.  Yet, many of us who have been commenting and writing for the last couple of years have graduated from “anyone but Obama” to “a real conservative who inspires us.”  Conservatives had the luxury of doing it after Carter.  We have earned the right to do it now.

We’ve endured a failed stimulus and watched our government print money out of thin air.  We saw the massive hike of unemployment and energy prices.  In addition, we had ObamaCare rammed down our throats.  As such, our message continues to resonate with independents.  This is why someone needs to tell Fox News we can do better than “ABO.”  Don’t get me wrong, “anyone but Obama” is a great one-liner for a chuckle.  Our country is hurting and part of pulling ourselves up by the boot straps involves the philosophical need for a sense of humor.

But amidst the chuckling last week from what seems to be an overly-confident GOP-establishment, Sarah Palin announced on Wednesday that she would not seek the GOP nomination for President in 2012.

As Mark Levin spoke to the former-Governor right after her announcement, Matt Drudge e-mailed him in response to her decision saying it was “a sad day for America.”  He wasn’t kidding.

As I have stated before, I support the fact that it was her decision and understand the efforts it would take to step up and begin the onerous task of putting our country back on the right track.  But for many of us, not only did Palin seem like the only one who truly understood the steps needed, she also had the track record of taking those steps previously in her career and executing them with success.

Not that a track record matters with the media.  In fact, Palin could take the easy road to the White House by taking Kyl’s Senate seat.  As a Junior Senator, she could vote present 100 times and rest easy.  Aside from erasing her executive experience and love of country, it’s apparently all that is needed these days to get the media’s blessing to be president.  Of course, a few heavy-hitting Wall Street backers wouldn’t hurt either.

These unpleasant realities to our electoral process have been challenged by Palin during her tenures as mayor of Wasilla, head of the AOGCC, and Governor of Alaska.  Further, she became a powerful advocate without the title she claims she never needed and made a difference via speeches, Facebook postings, and commentaries on Fox News since the 2008 campaign.

After months of suggesting she’d get in the race if she felt nobody else was prepared to step up and take on the Obama machine (along with the GOP establishment), she inspired many of us to sign on which we did willingly as we understood her “fire in the belly” spirit.

In truth, it was easy for Palin to proclaim she never needed a title when for three years it was highly probable that she would be a potential 2012 frontrunner.  With that momentum, the media continued to obsess and her critics continued to rant.

So what happens to that power now?  Now that she is no longer perceived as a political threat to the establishment since she was thought to be as a potential 2012 contender, can we expect the media to suddenly rally behind her?  Where is her influence going to come from?

While many of us will continue to support Governor Palin’s ideology and efforts, it’s hard to not question the consequences of her decision.

Additionally, we are all aware of the worst case scenario if she chose a run.  She could have lost the primary.  Even so, her voice would have been vital alongside the remaining candidates by holding each and every one of them accountable to the tough issues that are difficult to talk about such as crony capitalism and track records – in lieu of cordially agreeing that “anyone but Obama” is the answer.

Also, Ronald Reagan lost the Republican primary to Gerald Ford in 1976.  At the time, the establishment believed that Reagan was just a little too conservative to win over independents.  They were wrong and our nation got four years of Jimmy Carter.  Of course, his second try in 1980 carried weight and experience from his first go-around and he emerged victorious in two consecutive landslide wins.

Even candidates like Mitt Romney prove that it’s possible to lose a primary and come back four years later with more political weight.

Similarly, Palin would have kept her core constituency of supporters who are now left feeling frustrated at their remaining choices.

Yes, all candidates in the GOP field are better than Obama.  But it shouldn’t have taken the remaining candidates throughout the course of debates and the politicos over at Fox News to waste our time attempting to inform us of something we already knew.  It shouldn’t be the platform.  The platform should exist to reward us for our contributions as conservatives and voters who come together to make a real difference.

Palin is not required to step up to fill that void in 2012.  But the fact remains, it would have helped considerably.  Especially since many of us patiently waited until October of 2011 for her to make filling the void a non-reality.

And while we’ll all have to wait and see what she does in the future, it remains our responsibility as grassroots conservatives to ensure that the “anyone but Obama” narrative-cliché doesn’t become official campaign policy for the duration of the 2012 primary process.

Moving Forward

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD9KNzgAwzI&feature=player_embedded#!]

After about 10 years of finding an appreciation of Wonder Woman as a child and later years preferring Madonna and disco over Nirvana and Heavy Metal, people had to be headless to not know I was gay.  When people officially found out, they were not surprised.

That being said, it’s no secret that since 2008, it’s been fruitless to try and find the kind of interest I had in Sarah Palin in other potential candidates.  I promise I wasn’t a groupie.  I was a supporter.  Never in my life throughout being as interested in politics as I had been for at least the ten years of my life proceeding had I experienced that kind of rousing.  Our party was snoring in 2008.  Sarah Palin woke us up!

That unique level of support made me what Tammy Bruce herself coined (or at least I believe it was her who did) a “Palinista.”  Bruce herself was one as well.  I had the pleasure of meeting Tammy Bruce at the Indianola Palin rally September 3rd.  She was very down to earth and was busy getting hellos and handshakes from other supporters of Palin and fans of hers, a.k.a. “TAMs”  (Tammy Army Member).

Let me say that it was the first time I was ever involved in politics to that degree and it was so much fun.  I read about people who worked for Reagan’s campaigns and about all the friends they met in the process they’ve kept through this day.  To me, Sarah Palin was the same way — she brought good folks together.  I got to meet Peter Singleton (the King Palinista).  Peter went to Iowa last year leaving behind his business and lived off of his savings to start O4P (Organize for Palin).  Similarly, Michelle McCormick left Texas to meet up with him as well.  I met my friends Cheri, Whitney, and others.  These people will stay friends with me as we continue to look ahead and continue to trade thoughts over at C4P (Conservatives For Palin).

With our dedication, along with thousands like us across the nation, we made a difference.  We did so well that other tea party candidates like Bachmann, Paul, and Cain noticed.  Their supporters often contacted us to get first dibs on our support in case Sarah announced she wouldn’t run as she did.

Tammy Bruce warned us weeks ago on her radio show that we were going to learn a lot about ourselves throughout this entire process.  Of course I believed (as well as Tammy) that she was going to run.  Who would think that someone would deliberate until October to say no?

But I don’t regret anything and am continuing other efforts with fellow supporters of the Governor.

The dust has settled from Wednesday’s shock.  I remain hopeful for Palin’s influence over the campaign.  As a matter of fact, I know she has meetings set up with various candidates and Santorum today became the latest to solicit her endorsement.

My only concern is whether or not we can make certain that the grassroots (once led by Palin officially) continues holding the remaining candidates accountable to their records and being able to filter out the nonsense reported by the media and an overly-confident GOP who continue to perpetuate the “anybody but Obama” cliche.

It is more than “anyone but Obama.”  It’s our primary.  We deserve a good candidate.  So I cannot say that my support has moved from Palin just yet, even though I know it’s probably going to have to.  But I sincerely have no idea yet who I can possibly support.

I look forward to discussions here and my other favorite daily forums as we reach that conclusion collectively.

Sarah Palin: The People’s Leader

Written for Conservatives4Palin

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqfEE-iZBnY]

With her announcement Wednesday that she would not run for President, Sarah Palin had broken many of our hearts.  Personally, I’ve been waiting patiently since 2008 for Palin to prove the naysayers wrong.  To me, there truly was no other potential candidate more deserving of the title of “President” of our exceptional nation.

Like many of you, I became a diehard supporter the moment she graced the stage of the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota.  Our country was dark.  Our nominee in 2008 came with questionable baggage. I never expected John McCain to go as far out-of-the-box as he did by choosing this magnificent conservative from Alaska to join him on his ticket.

Sarah Palin brought energy back to our love of country.   After many years of challenging wars, the beginning of an economic collapse, and the loss of Congress we suffered in 2006, she was my first sign of hope that patriotism was back with an endless well of energy and determination.

Like many of you and the wonderful contributors of C4P and volunteers at O4P, I made a choice to get involved.  After the election loss of 2008, my attention immediately moved to the midterm elections of 2010.  Having Sarah Palin’s “boots on the ground” made that mission a lot easier.

But she couldn’t do it alone.  It took us; the people she inspired in masses, to make a difference.  She took shots and so did we.  We struggled in our personal lives trying to make ends meet in an Obama-economy, but through those challenges, Sarah Palin gave us the grassroots network by her use of the new social media.  This network became a big step in shaping our electoral process by keeping us involved day-to-day.   Couple that with the support of our hard earned dollars we managed to scrimp and send in to SarahPAC along with tireless hours of volunteering, we along with the tea party became a force to be reckoned with.

Because of her vision and intuition as well as the help from our energy and resources, conservatism presided over the biggest victory either party had accomplished since WW2.

Unlike politicians like Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin is not one who feels entitled to anything – including the presidency.  It’s why we love her.  To us, it’s why she truly deserves the honor.  In fact, Sarah Palin embodies the pride all of us carry which thanks all of the exceptional men and women in uniform who have died to preserve our rights.

As conservatives, we accept those rights proudly under the guise of personal responsibility.  The progressives on the other hand spend their lives accepting theirs under the guise of entitlement.

Like Hillary had for three years preceding 2008, Sarah Palin spent the years preceding 2012 with massive media speculation of a possible White House run.  But unlike Hillary who announced her candidacy 18 months before November of 2008, Sarah Palin remained humble and chose to take the proper time to deliberate with her family, to pray for spiritual guidance, and took all things into consideration so she could make the best decision she could.

Of course, we know in our hearts that no possible candidate can replace her.  But the fact is we are collectively faced with the patriotic duty of properly listening to the remaining candidates and making an informed decision when we cast our ballots in the primary.

Sure, it wasn’t what we wanted.  But what we have in this terrific lady is immeasurable.  She showed us for three years that we can work together to attain results.  She even showed us that we can do it without the blessings of politicos and the mainstream media.  The biggest thing she proved is that there is no better tool in the mission for change than an energized people.  Our duty is to continue carrying that torch she helped light and to not allow those happy with the permanent political establishment to discourage us from making a lot of noise.

In many ways, Sarah Palin has had a much larger effect on the positivity of our nation in recent years than any president has in the last couple of decades.  Her proclamation of not needing a title has been illustrated on precisely what she did by disempowering those who sought to destroy her political office in Alaska simultaneously becoming the People’s Leader who was not constrained by a political office.

While I am disappointed, I am also relieved that we won’t be losing that quality in this all-too-important election cycle.  Her “boots on the ground” are even more important than they were in the 2010 mid-terms.  We have a White House to win and Senate to take back.  She’s out there serving as the General to our army and I couldn’t ask for anything more of her.

Sarah Palin’s possibilities are endless.  It took Ronald Reagan 16 years from the time he inspired Americans with his Goldwater speech in 1964 to make it to the White House.  Sarah Palin is young enough to make herself the most powerful advocate in the country, a possible Senator someday, or yes, even a possible candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

Throughout all that remains to be seen in the best days that are yet to come, I know in our collective hearts that we must continue our journey.  I will continue donating to SarahPAC.  I will continue to follow Sarah Palin’s commentary and campaigning efforts to restore our nation.  I look forward to doing it with all of you.  We owe her to honor what she spent so hard working for.

So while we won’t be calling her “President Palin” in 2012, we can be confident that with our unconditional and continuing support, she will always remain the People’s Leader.

Steve’s Latest AT Article (and what I’ve been up to)

As election-2012 begins to unravel and as my work schedule begins to finally let me out of my shackles, I look forward to jumping back in.

I want to thank Mel for her brilliance and her continuing to share her thoughts with us.  If it weren’t for her, I’d be cleaning out cob webs.

Aside from participating in my usual political banter, I have actually gotten involved with O4P (Organize 4 Palin).  I’ve been working with the good folks on various projects such as making calls to various voters, speaking with voters at a summer county fair, and attending the Palin rally in Indianola, Iowa last month to help sign up more O4P volunteers.  As my commitment with this wonderful grassroots organization begins to deepen (considering we’re still waiting for an announcement), I look forward to continuing to balance my blogging life with work and volunteering.

To kick things off, here is my latest article published over at American Thinker:

Sarah Palin Goes after Fox News

Also picked up at Conservatives4Palin.

Is Sarah Palin preparing to declare her candidacy for president?  In what is sure to cause a lot of speculation, she has taken the opportunity in her last two interviews on Fox News to go after some of that network’s tactics and contributors.

Palin expressed major displeasure at what she called a “quasi-reality-show” media game of building up candidates in order to tear them down.

Among her examples, Sarah Palin cited the popularity Michele Bachmann experienced with the media immediately after winning the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.  Bachmann is now down significantly in all the polls, especially since Rick Perry has jumped into the race.

After enjoying a few weeks at the top, Rick Perry’s frontrunner status is now threatened by the media, who is now paying more attention to Herman Cain after he won the straw poll in Florida.

Palin’s logical position seems to align with the GOP grassroots, who are left scratching their heads wondering why it should take one singular event to get the media to pay more attention to a candidate.  We should be relying on the media to focus on all candidates equally so we can assess the records and positions of each one fairly.

Speaking with Greta Van Susteren earlier this week, Palin remarked on Herman Cain.  She spoke about how his words and his experience as a working American resonated with the grassroots.  She then went on to suggest that it took the straw poll in Florida to make him “flavor of the week” for the media, when in reality it was his qualities as an American which made him appealing to voters.

As usual, the media chose to pick up on one line of Palin’s commentary — i.e., the suggestion that Herman Cain was “flavor of the week.”  As a result, various newspaper articles and major media outlets began reporting her context inaccurately.

Later in her interview with Greta Van Susteren, Palin showed dismay at Fox for cherry-picking a few polls which placed her toward the bottom of the GOP’s list.  On CNN a couple of days before, a McClatchy Poll was reported which actually showed Palin beating Obama 47-43 among independents.

Fox News contributor Juan Williams remarked that Sarah Palin made a “nasty” comment.  Williams made the statement on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch Thursday, right before Palin was scheduled to appear.

In Palin’s subsequent discussion with Napolitano, she said, “I think it’s nasty when a colleague [Williams] takes a shot when they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Palin’s complaints on Fox News come after a few other Palin-naysayer moments on the network.  Recently, Bill O’Reilly continued to cite one poll which stated that the majority of Tea Partiers do not want Palin to run for president.  Meanwhile, Sarah Palin continues to draw the largest crowds at Tea Party events, as she did in Indianola, Iowa just a few short weeks ago.

In addition to O’Reilly, frequent Fox News commentators and guests like Dick Morris and Ann Coulter have continued not only to downplay Sarah Palin’s chances as a potential candidate, but also to insult her supporters, since they are awaiting Palin’s decision before they choose to support anyone else.

Of course, Ann Coulter’s undying obsession with Chris Christie is questionable, considering that Christie has stated more than a dozen times that he is absolutely not interested in running for president.   We could also remind Dick Morris that his predictions hardly ever turn out to be accurate.  How did that Hillary vs. Condi thing work out for him in 2008?

Considering the track record of many of these commentators, it certainly is easy to understand Palin’s point about the “quasi-reality show” they are attempting to create and steer through 2012.  It can also explain why so many of us are waiting for her to shake that up, just as she shook up those “corrupt bastards” in Alaska.

Now, if Palin chooses to suspend (or even terminate) her contract with Fox News, it could well signal her intention to run for president.  And that’s exactly what a lot of people are waiting for.