Monday, September 8, 2008

An Independent voter's concerns about Sarah Palin

Billed by McCain as bearing "a message of reform and public integrity," Sarah Palin is currently under investigation herself. A few weeks ago, a bipartisan panel of Alaska state legislators appointed an independent investigator to look into charges that Palin abused her office. In mid-July she fired the Alaska public safety commissioner, allegedly after he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law, a state trooper who divorced Palin's sister three years ago and was locked in a custody dispute over their child. In 1996, Palin demanded certain books, at her discretion, should be banned from the Wasilla public library. When Palin was unable to convince the chief librarian, she fired her. From 2003 to June 2005, Palin served as one of three directors of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.". On July 29, 2008 Ted Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of money laundering.

As Mayor of the town of Wasilla (population 7,000) Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla "that amounts to $3,000 per resident." The town of Wasilla filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001. She argued that the debt was needed to fund improvements. Palin had already increased taxes by 18% leading critics to label her a "borrow and spend Republican."

As Governor of Alaska, Palin cut Alaska's funding for special needs children by 60%. As a Ted Steven supporter, Palin supported the "Bridge to Nowhere". Palin ran for governor on a "build-the-bridge" platform, attacking "spinmeisters" for insulting local residents by using the term "Bridge to Nowhere." In October 2006, she stated that she favored building the bridges "sooner rather than later."

Critics of Sarah Palin are concerned by her anti-American views. From 1978 through 1996, Palin and her husband Todd were members of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party. While attending the Alaska Independence Party convention, Palin said in a televised speech "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions". Later in the speech, Palin said "The fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government."

Palin's credentials are based essentially around her "family values". Despite advocating "abstinence only" sex education, Palin's 15 year old daughter, Bristol Palin is pregnant, leading to claims of hypocrisy. Palin has stated that she believes in no birth control (not even for married couples), abstinence-only sex education and no abortion under any circumstance, including rape, incest or where the mother's life is in danger. Palin supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion under and has said that she would sign an executive order overturning 'Roe vs. Wade' in her first day in office.

Sarah Palin has been criticized by moderates as a religious extremist who pushed for Creationism to be taught in schools. Palin does not believe in evolution and believes that the Earth is only 5000 years old. During an interview with the Anchorage Daily News two years ago Sarah Palin said:

God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats.

In relation to the environment, Palin has a track record of putting Alaskan big oil interests ahead of the environment. Palin does not believe in global warming. Palin has also outraged animal rights activists by supporting the aerial hunting of bears, wolves and eagles. Palin supports slant oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness and supports mining companies who have depleted the salmon population and increased the toxicity of the rivers and streams.

In terms of foreign policy experience, Palin has none. Palin, who was a sportscaster for a local NBC station in Alaska, does not own a passport and has never left the United States.

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