Sarah Palin’s Impressive List of Accomplishments as Governor of Alaska
Posted by Dr. Fay on July 1, 2012
Thrusting back against the left’s continuing efforts to cast Governor Palin as unprepared to be a Vice Presidential candidate, Stacy Drake and Whitney Pitcher have compiled an impressive list of Governor Palin’s accomplishments while Governor of Alaska. Here are some excerpts from their article. “Governor Sarah Palin’s Executive Accomplishments” is also available for download or printing at the link they provide at the bottom of their article.
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
- Sarah Palin was the first female and youngest governor ever elected in Alaskan history.
- Alaska is tied for the second most powerful governorship in the United States.
- 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
- 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.
- Rejected much of President Obama’s “stimulus money” in 2009.
- 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:
- 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:
- Vetoed 361 line-items in 2008.
- Utilized line item reductions to reduce proposed spending by $80.3 million in 2009.
- Instituted a temporary hiring freeze to reduce expenditures during a period of unanticipated low oil prices in 2009.
- Cut spending more than 33% in FY2010 from FY 2009’s budget.
- Signed energy legislation suspending the state motor fuel tax.
- Provide Alaskan residents with a “resource rebate” to help offset high energy costs:
- 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:
- Spent less on travel expense than her two predecessors despite having a larger family. In fact, she spent over $913,000 less on personal expenses in her first two years than former Governor Frank Murkowski did his last two years.
- Rejected a gubernatorial pay raise.
“Gov. Sarah Palin didn’t ask for a pay raise and won’t accept one during her current term.”
- Took a voluntary pay cut as mayor to set the tone for her administration.
- 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.
- 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 largestuntapped and proven reserves of oil and gas on the continent.
- Petroleum Systems Integrity Office (PSIO): Governor Palin created the “Petroleum Systems Integrity Office” (PSIO) in April 2007:
- Took on “Big Oil”: Governor Palin stood up for her constituents when dealing with the powerful oil companies:
- 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
- Alaska was 2nd in job growth compared to all other states during her tenure as governor.
- Alaska was 3rd in the nation in terms of change in the unemployment rate relative to the national average.
- Alaska saw a record number of oil jobs in both 2008 and 2009; natural resource and logging jobs increased 13.7% during Governor Palin’s tenure.
- In her first year in office, Alaska was 6th in the country in unemployment improvement.
- 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 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.
- Governor Palin did not allow lobbyists in her office.
- 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.”
- Supported increased vocational training and early education funding.
- Offered to personally talk to students considering dropping out of school.
- Opened up opportunity to Alaskan students to participate in regional medical school
- Increased overall funding for special needs education 175%.
- 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.
- Introduced health care transparency legislation:
- Proposed repeal of Certificate of Need—a layer of bureaucracy that prevents medical facility development.
- Established the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council in the Office of the Governor.
- Reduced Medicaid assessments for seniors, those who are disabled, and those who are ill by 83% of her predecessor.
- Expanded Alaska’s Senior benefits program, even signing emergency authorization between the legislature’s general and special sessions.
Support for Constitutional Rights
- 2nd Amendment
- Joined multi-state amicus brief authored by the state of Texas in support of the Second Amendment rightof individual Americans to bear arms.
- Life member of the National Rifle Association
- Awarded with the NRA’s Gold Medal Award of Merit and the NRA Benefactor Life Membership for defending the 2nd amendment.
- 10th Amendment
- 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.
- Governor Palin was also Commander- in-chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF):
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
- She supported both parental notification and parental consent laws for abortion.
- Governor Palin supported state constitutional amendments or legislation that would have stated abortion is not a right & made coerced abortion a crime.
- She also signed the ‘Safe Haven’ Bill into law.
Civil and Safety Issues
- Signed the Sonya Ivanoff Act. SB 45, mandating the maximum sentence for first-degree murder when committed by an on-duty peace officer.
- Extended the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
- Made it mandatory that the governor and the Board of Parole to work together to ensure any decision on clemency is based on a thorough review of the case and made in deference to victims and their families.
- Expanded Alaska Homeless Council
- Directed multi-departmental Effort to improve aviation safety.
- Signed aviation, consumer protection legislation.
- 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