SARAH PALIN IN A NUT SHELL: GOING ROGUE: THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR
On Alaska Day October 18, 2005 she entered the race for Governorship of Alaska against an incumbent from her own political party, Frank Murkowski. Murkowski had not announced whether he was going to run for reelection at the time but she decided not to wait. Murkowski had abysmal approval ratings but he did have the backing of the Republican Party whose chairman was Randy Ruedrich, the Co-Commissioner on the Alaska Oil and Gas and Conservation Commission who she had blown the whistle on for his conflicts of interest. This led to an FBI investigation of the matter and Ruedich ultimately resigned and paid a $12000 fine. Murkowski was implicated in Ruedrich’s conduct by his failure to timely act on the matter.
The Irony of all this is that she would later resign the Governorship because of public interest lawsuits brought against her on alleged ethics violations while she was Governor. She said she didn’t have time to defend herself and also be the Governor. She then launched her present media tour.
After opening a campaign office in
The FBI was investigating the ties lawmakers had to the Veco Corporation, a worldwide oil field services giant. Members of both parties were involved including Republican Senator Ted Stevens and his son Ben Stevens.
Also the public in general was critical of the many State funded junkets Murkowski took using a plane he bought with State money.
She won the primary with fifty one percent of the vote.
In the general election she faced a Democrat , Tony Knowles, a former two term Governor and a former two term State Representative whom she identifies as a liberal and an a wealthy Independent neophyte Andrew Halco. She describes him as effete without saying more except to describe him as generally inexperienced as a political candidate.
Although outspent by Knowles she defeated him by receiving 48.3% to his 40.9% in the votes cast. Her clean government and identity as an outsider coming to clean up corruption even her in own party if need be worked
“DRILL BABY DRILL” WAS HER CAMPAIGN SLOGAN TO PROMOTE MORE ALASKAN OIL PRODUCTION AND JOBS
Her campaign platform was for change. Change in what she saw as corrupt practices in
She alleges in her book that in this way
She raised taxes on oil production by 25% while Governor so every barrel that went to the lower forty eight would cost more to the end user, the working families of
Her campaign chairman was the president of the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, Kris Perry.
Change, elimination of corruption, lowering taxes and promoting more drilling which would mean more state income and more jobs for working Alaskans was her mantra. Also that the good old boys and their insider deals had to go was part of her mantra.
She alleges she ran a grass roots campaign driving to the small cities and towns while her opponents flew to the major cities. She also mentions the family owned a piper cub aircraft. Why she didn’t use it she does not say but it is presumed it was too small for her, the pilot, and staff members.
Anyway, it maybe a sexy way to cultivate an image as grass roots campaigner but there are not enough people in the smaller towns to elect a Governor so she campaigned in the media and in the larger cities. Also she established a presence on television; the most efficient way to campaign on a State wide basis is by commercials although she says did few political commercials.
However she says she was on many debate platforms with the other candidates and spoke at many functions attended by large crowds this would have been covered by all aspects of the media including television and since she has a charismatic television presence it must have been a major factor in the campaign just as it is now for what ever unannounced goal she may have.
And while she may not have had the support of the Republican Party and its close ally and fund raiser the Alaska Chamber of Commerce in the primary she certainly would have had it in the general election.
She announced her win at the Captain Cook hotel in
Thus she allegedly cultivated grass roots support (code word for ordinary people) to change government, make more it honest, transparent and to throw out the good old boys and there insider deals. However the real muscle for her success was the backing of the Republican Party and their close ally and fund raiser the Alaskan Chamber of Commerce in a traditionally red state. In the 2004 Presidential election George Bush won the state by 60% of the votes cast.