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Coming from the Washington Post:

An outside public relations expert hired under a $31,000 contract with the state Department of Natural Resources pitched the "upstart governor" as a crusader against Big Oil, a story line that Palin now has adopted in her vice presidential campaign as John McCain's running mate.

Department of Natural Resources? Contracting out PR for the governor?
Usually a governor can rely on state employees for any PR work.
The article points out that after the contract began, Palin became so wrapped up with her own PR efforts she stopped working with the Legislature.
More on the flip
Story should be online soon at

Story is now online here:

More from WaPo:
Thanks to the taxpayer funded PR for Palin ...

... this spring, Palin's official calendar chronicles an extraordinary rise to national prominence. A fresh face in Republican politics, she was discovered by the national news media at least in part because of a concerted effort by a state agency to position Palin as an oil and gas expert who could tout Alaska's determined effort to construct a natural gas pipeline.

And Palin's actual work as governor?
Well that took a backseat to the PR campaign.

At the state capitol, Palin agreed to be "shadowed" for days by some national reporters, and her dealings with the legislature dropped off so dramatically that some House and Senate members donned red and white "Where's Sarah?" buttons to show their disapproval. But her high visibility campaign paid off, helping Palin win notice from political pundits who began including her in lists of long shot choices for the vice presidential ticket.

Alaska House member Jay Ramras says the publicly funded PR obviously paid off for Palin:

"But who would have guessed the self-promoting element would have led to such an improvable move, to place her on the ticket, but it worked."

So we have the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources -- and Alaska taxpayers to "thank" for the Palin phenomenon?
Gee thanks a million. Or at least $31,000.

The article points out Palin's peculiar rise in prominence in the national media after meeting with oil executives -- and President Bush -- in January 2007

Originally posted to EZ writer on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 08:12 PM PDT.

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