So, the GOP and it bobble heads wants to tout Sarah Palin's exectuive experience. They want to talk up her experience not only as Governor of the 47th largest state (by population anyways...they're quick to point out it's the largets...by land mass), but as the Mayor of a small town of less than 10,000 people. As an aside...have you noticed how everytime Wasilla's population keeps getting brought up, it grows by a thousand or so. Next thing you know they'll be calling it the New York of the Arctic.
So let's take a closer look at the Pride of Wasilla and what her "accomplishments" are. But really....what would a "Masshole" know about Alaska small town politics? You would say nothing, and you'd be right. My main concerns these days are whether the Red Sox pitching staff is deep enough to keep them in the Wild Card (and thus the Yankees out of the play offs), or whether Lewis Hamilton can hold off Felipe Massa and win the F1 championship. So why don't we find out from somebody in the know. My fellow Kossacks...I point you to Anne Kilkenny, a resident of Wasilla, AK, and somebody who's follow Sarah Palin's career very closely. Her comment posted in article at the Washington Independent regarding Palin's image as a reformer. He posting is very telling of a Mayor, who really had no business being mayor. The money quotes.
First, her image as a fiscal conservative:
Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative". During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%.
Not quite what the GOP wants to hear...you know spending limits and tax cuts and the like.
But she's a reformer right?! She doesn't play those old time political games:
When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the "old boys’ club" when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).
Ok ok ok....but she hates pork barrel...just like her idol John McCain!
As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens.
Ummmm...well she'd never use her political position to carry out personal vendettas...right?
While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day. Sarah complained about the "old boy’s club" when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop
Oh now come on.....give me something to work with will ya.
Ok...so what do we have here. Well, basically where we have been for the last 96 hours. Again, it just comes down to the basic fact that in the overall scheme of things...this isn't about Sarah Palin, but about McCain's judgement in choosing someone who was not properly vetted, and then lying about it. We have to move beyond the Baby Drama and focus on the real issues here.
PS: Forgot to hat tip Andrew Sullivan for finding Ms. Kilkenny's comment.