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Yesterday, one of the readers of this blog mentioned an article written by Andrew Halcro. The article was written on April 27, 2009, months before Palin announced her resignation as the Governor of Alaska.  What is amazing is that his article, written a year ago, is that it portended what the rest of the country would not know until July of 2009, that Sarah Palin would inexplicably quit her position as Governor only two and half years into her term.

Mr. Halcro has been a resident of Alaska since 1965. Unlike Palin, Mr. Halcro attended an in-state school at the University of Alaska and later attended Harvard Business School in 2004. As a resident of Alaska, and intimately involved in Alaskan politics, Halcro knew Palin long before most of us had heard her name.  Mr. Halcro, unlike Palin, served Alaska as a member of the Alaskan House of Representatives from 1999-2003 before and running as an Independent for Governor in 2006 against Palin.

According to Wikipedia, while in the Alaskan House of Representatives, Halcro earned a reputation as a maverick.  Mr. Halcro was known for his outspoken criticism of Alaska’s dependency on government funding.  He was known for publically criticizing other Republican legislators for holding closed caucuses.  Halcro ran on the platform of honesty and competency, which included fiscal responsibility, campaign finance reform, eliminating cronyism in government and constructing a natural gas pipeline.  (Does this sound familiar?)

Since losing his gubernatorial bid, Halcro has used his blog to discuss Alaskan political issues including the Governor’s administration, the State Legislature, Anchorage politics, and state and national election issues.  In a blog post titled “Why Walt Monegan got fired: Palin’s abuse of power”, Halcro criticized Palin for firing the state’s Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan.  Halcro was the first person to suggest the connection between the firing and Palin’s ex-brother-in-law. Mr. Halcro’s criticism of Palin was later determined to be both revealing and accurate.  A bipartisan Alaskan legislative committee determined that:

“Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda.”

In the article entitled “Re-Election 2010:  Why Palin bails out” Halcro predicted that Palin would not run for a second term as Governor.  He explained:  “Palin’s focus is not on Alaska but on herself.  If Palin commits to a four year term then runs for president anyway, she’ll be crucified by her opponents as a liar and yet another politician who will say anything to get elected.”

Halcro identified several failings of Palin in the short time she served as Governor but they all related to her failed energy policies.  Halcro explained that if Palin did not seek re-election she would be able to simply shift blame to someone else.  Additionally Alaska had a fast growing senior demographic which would put strains on Alaska’s health care system.  Finally her bad business decisions made as a result of “cronyism” would become evident.  Halcro cites the Agriculture Board, where questionable state loans were made to the Valley Creamery (a local dairy run by Palin’s friends and neighbors).  Finally Halcro explains that if Palin should run for re-election, she might be defeated. When McCain tapped Palin he sold her as the most popular politician in the United States.  Ibid.  Halcro knew in April that Palin’s popularity had suffered significantly.  What he could not have known when he wrote his article, was that 2 ½ months later when Palin resigned as Governor, her approval ratings had fallen even lower.  Palin’s popularity dropped from an 89% approval rating in May of ’07 to 54% in May of ’09.

Until reading this article, I assumed Palin had resigned her position as Governor simply because she was anxious to take advantage of the financial rewards associated with her new celebrity status.  I knew that her popularity had declined at a sharp and steady pace since taking office.  However I didn’t fully appreciate the total failure of her leadership as Governor of Alaska.  As the mayor of Wasilla, Palin was a total failure, leaving the small town of Wasilla in debt to the tune of 22 million dollars.  When Palin took office as mayor, Wasilla had a total debt of around 1 million dollars.   If Palin could facilitate this amount of debt in her short time as mayor of Wasilla, and later as Governor of Alaska, imagine the possibilities if she were ever to become the President of the United States.

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Just Say NO to BS

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