Sarah Palin

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Posted by motoman 02/27/2009 @ 15:39

Tags : sarah palin, alaska, states, us, governor of alaska

News headlines
Levi Johnston shirtless (and unemployed) - Kansas City Star
But reporters started scrutinizing everything connected with Sarah Palin, looking for ethics violations, and someone noticed that to get Levi's apprenticeship, you were supposed to have finished high school. … Levi's dad told him he ought to go ahead...
Gov. Sarah Palin invited to Long Island - Newsday
Sarah Palin of Alaska, last year's controversial Republican vice presidential candidate, has been invited to visit Long Island next month by a group honoring Palin for her work on behalf of people with developmental disabilities. Palin is scheduled to...
Another mcleod Ethics Complaint Fails - SitNews
Governor Sarah Palin received the news Wednesday that yet another ethics complaint against her has been officially found to lack merit and has been dismissed. Michael Geraghty, investigator for the State Personnel Board, concluded that there is no need...
John Ziegler, Todd Palin, and myself - Anchorage Press
By Brendan Joel Kelley I tried to go to the premier of John Ziegler's (mega-Sarah-Palin-fan) film Media Malpractice, but apparently I wasn't welcome. He was "very busy," as you can see. Ziegler later left me a message on my work phone that he wasn't...
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Is Accepting Independent Group Home ... - PR Newswire (press release)
MANORVILLE, NY , May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alaska Governor Sarah Palin , named "Honoree of the Year '09" by the Independent Group Home Living Foundation (IGHL; www.ighl.org), will be coming to the dinner and accepting the award at the IGHL 30th...
Sarah Palin Blows Stephen Colbert's "Secret" Trip - Daily Kos
by eyesonobama By John Wilkes from Eyesonobama.com: Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin took to her Twitter account to announce an appearance on a special taping of the Colbert Report in Iraq...revealing...
Record 25 apply for Supreme Court - Anchorage Daily News
Sarah Palin's next pick for the Alaska Supreme Court, including an attorney who tried to stop the "Troopergate" investigation of Palin last year. Twenty-five people, more than half of them judges and the rest lawyers in both public and private practice...
Palin calls for firm stand on North Korea - KTUU
Sarah Palin is calling for President Obama to take a firm stance against North Korea and defend the states and territories of the United States and allies on the Korean peninsula. North Korea fired a short-range missile on Friday - the sixth this week....
Palin rejects federal energy stimulus money, cuts projects - Alaskajournal.com
Sarah Palin vetoed $80.3 million from state appropriation bills, including $28.6 million from the federal stimulus funds for energy efficiency. Outside of the energy stimulus money, the bulk of the vetoes were for programs where the authorizing bill...
Palin signs bill that will create veterans cemetery in Interior - Anchorage Daily News
Gov. Sarah Palin signed the bill creating the cemetery this week during a ceremony in Fairbanks. Palin expects the cemetery to be built by 2014. Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla....

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin holds up a t-shirt reading "Nowhere Alaska 99901" while visiting Ketchikan during her Gubernatorial campaign in 2006; the zip code for the area is 99901.

Palin in Dover, New Hampshire, October 2008.

Sarah Louise Palin (née Heath; pronounced /ˈpeɪlɨn/; born February 11, 1964) is the Governor of the U.S. state of Alaska. Palin was a member of the Wasilla, Alaska, city council from 1992 to 1996 and the city's mayor from 1996 to 2002. After an unsuccessful campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska in 2002, she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004. She was elected Governor of Alaska in November 2006. Palin is the first female governor of Alaska and the youngest person elected governor of that state.

Palin was the Republican Party's vice-presidential nominee for the 2008 United States presidential election, on the ticket with Senator John McCain. Palin was the second female candidate and the first Alaskan candidate of either major party on a national ticket, as well as the first female vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party.

Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, the third of four children of Sarah Heath (née Sheeran), a school secretary, and Charles R. Heath, a science teacher and track coach. The family moved to Alaska when she was an infant. The family regularly ran 5 km and 10 km races.

Palin attended Wasilla High School in Wasilla, located 44 miles (71 km) north of Anchorage. She was the head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at the school, a member of the girls' cross country team, and the captain and point guard of the school's girls' basketball team that won the Alaska state championship in 1982.

In August 1984, she transferred to the University of Idaho in Moscow, where her older brother, Charles W. Heath, was majoring in education. After two semesters at UI, Palin returned to Alaska and attended Matanuska-Susitna College, a community college in Palmer, for one term in the fall of 1985. She returned to the University of Idaho in January 1986, where she spent three semesters completing her bachelor's degree in communications-journalism, graduating in May 1987.

In 1988, she worked as a sports reporter for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage, and for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman as a sports reporter. She also helped in her husband’s commercial fishing family business.

Palin was elected twice to the city council of Wasilla, in 1992 and 1995. Wasilla city councilors serve three-year terms. Palin says she entered politics because she was concerned that revenue from a new Wasilla sales tax would not be spent wisely.

Palin's first foray into politics was in 1992, when the then 28-year-old ran for Wasilla city council against John Hartrick, a local telephone company worker. She won 530 votes against John Hartrick’s 310. On the council, she successfully opposed a measure to curtail the hours at Wasilla's bars by two hours. This surprised Hartrick because she was then a member of a church that advocated abstinence from alcohol. After serving on the city council for three years, she ran for reelection against R’nita Rogers in 1995, winning 413 votes to Rogers' 185.

Palin did not complete her second term on the city council because she ran for mayor in 1996. Throughout her tenure on the city council and the rest of her career, Palin has been a registered Republican.

Palin served two three-year terms (1996–2002) as the mayor of Wasilla. At the conclusion of Palin's tenure as mayor in 2002, the city had about 6,300 residents. In 1996, Palin defeated three-term incumbent mayor John Stein, on a platform targeting wasteful spending and high taxes. Stein says that she introduced abortion, gun rights, and term limits as campaign issues. Although the election was a nonpartisan blanket primary, the state Republican Party ran advertisements on her behalf.

Shortly after taking office in October 1996, Palin consolidated the position of museum director and asked for updated resumes and resignation letters from some top officials, including the police chief, public works director, finance director, and librarian. Palin stated this request was to find out their intentions and whether they supported her. She temporarily required department heads to get her approval before talking to reporters, saying that they first needed to become acquainted with her administration's policies. She created the position of city administrator, and reduced her own $68,000 salary by 10%, although by mid-1998 this was reversed by the city council.

According to Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Emmons, Palin inquired two or three times in October 1996 as to how Emmons would handle any request to remove books from the library. John Stein, the former mayor of Wasilla and Palin's 1996 political opponent, said in September 2008 that Palin's "religious beliefs," and the concerns of some voters about language in the books, motivated her inquiries. In December 1996, Palin said she had no books or other material in mind for removal. No books were removed from the library, and Palin stated in 2006 that she would not allow her personal religious beliefs to dictate her political positions.

Palin fired Emmons and Police Chief Irl Stambaugh in January 1997, stating that she did not feel they fully supported her efforts to govern the city. The next day, following expressions of public support for Emmons and a personal meeting, Palin rescinded the firing of Emmons, stating that her concerns had been alleviated, and adding that Emmons agreed to support Palin's plan to merge the town's library and museum operations. Stambaugh, who along with Emmons had supported Palin's opponent in the election, filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, violation of his contract, and gender discrimination. In the trial, the defense alleged political reasons; Stambaugh said that he had opposed a gun control bill, Alaska HB 270, that Palin supported. The federal judge said in the decision that the police chief serves at the discretion of the mayor, and can be terminated for nearly any reason, even a political one, and dismissed Stambaugh's lawsuit ordering Stambaugh to pay Palin's legal fees.

Palin appointed Charles Fannon to replace Stambaugh as police chief.

During her first year in office, Palin kept a jar with the names of Wasilla residents on her desk, and once a week she pulled a name from it and picked up the phone; she would ask: "How's the city doing?" Using income generated by a 2% sales tax that was enacted before she was elected to the city council, Palin cut property taxes by 75% and eliminated personal property and business inventory taxes. Using municipal bonds, she made improvements to the roads and sewers, and increased funding to the Police Department. She also oversaw new bike paths and procured funding for storm-water treatment to protect freshwater resources. At the same time, the city reduced spending on the town museum and stopped construction of a new library and city hall.

Palin ran for re-election against Stein in 1999 and won, with 74% of the vote. She was also elected president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.

During her second term as mayor, Palin introduced a ballot measure proposing the construction of a municipal sports center to be financed by a 0.5% sales tax increase. The $14.7 million Wasilla Multi-Use Sports Complex was built on time and under budget, but the city spent an additional $1.3 million because of an eminent domain lawsuit caused by the failure to obtain clear title to the property before beginning construction. The city's long-term debt grew from about $1 million to $25 million through voter-approved indebtedness of $15 million for the sports complex, $5.5 million for street projects, and $3 million for water improvement projects. A city council member defended the spending increases as being caused by the city's growth during that time.

Palin also joined with nearby communities in jointly hiring the Anchorage-based lobbying firm of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh to lobby for federal funds. The firm secured nearly $8 million in earmarked funds for the Wasilla city government. Earmarks included $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9 million for a transportation hub, and $900,000 for sewer repairs. Term limits in the Wasilla Municipal Code proscribe candidates from running for more than two consecutive terms.

In 2002, Palin ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, coming in second to Loren Leman in a five-way Republican primary. The Republican ticket of U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski and Leman won the November 2002 election. When Murkowski resigned from his long-held U.S. Senate seat in December 2002 to become governor, he considered appointing Palin to replace him in the Senate, but chose his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, who was then an Alaskan state representative.

Governor Murkowski appointed Palin to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She chaired the Commission beginning in 2003, serving as Ethics Supervisor. Palin resigned in January 2004, protesting what she called the "lack of ethics" of fellow Republican members.

After resigning, Palin filed a formal complaint against Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner Randy Ruedrich, also the chair of the state Republican Party, accusing him of doing work for the party on public time and of working closely with a company he was supposed to be regulating. She also joined with Democratic legislator Eric Croft to file a complaint against Gregg Renkes, a former Alaskan Attorney General, accusing him of having a financial conflict of interest in negotiating a coal exporting trade agreement, while Renkes was the subject of investigation and after records suggesting a possible conflict of interest had been released to the public. Ruedrich and Renkes both resigned and Ruedrich paid a record $12,000 fine.

In 2006, running on a clean-government platform, Palin defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Her running mate was State Senator Sean Parnell.

Despite being outspent by her Democratic opponent, she won the gubernatorial election in November, defeating former governor Tony Knowles by a margin of 48.3% to 40.9%. Palin became Alaska's first female governor, and at the age of 42, the youngest governor in Alaskan history. She is the state's first governor to have been born after Alaska achieved U.S. statehood, and the first not to be inaugurated in Juneau; she chose to have the ceremony held in Fairbanks instead. She took office on December 4, 2006, and has been very popular with Alaska voters. Polls taken in 2007 early in her term showed her with a 93% and 89% popularity among all voters, which led some media outlets to call her "the most popular governor in America." A poll taken in late September 2008 after Palin was named to the national Republican ticket showed her popularity in Alaska at 68%.

Palin declared that top priorities of her administration would be resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development. She had championed ethics reform throughout her election campaign. Her first legislative action after taking office was to push for a bipartisan ethics reform bill. She signed the resulting legislation in July 2007, calling it a "first step", and declaring that she remained determined to clean up Alaska politics.

Palin promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Proposals to drill for oil in ANWR have been the subject of a national debate.

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases. On her return trip to the U.S., she visited injured soldiers in Germany.

In June 2007, Palin signed a record $6.6 billion operating budget into law. At the same time, she used her veto power to make the second-largest cuts of the construction budget in state history. The $237 million in cuts represented over 300 local projects, and reduced the construction budget to $1.6 billion. In 2008, Palin vetoed $286 million, cutting or reducing funding for 350 projects from the FY09 capital budget.

Palin followed through on a campaign promise to sell the Westwind II jet, a purchase made by the Murkowski administration for $2.7 million in 2005 against the wishes of the legislature. In August 2007, the jet was listed on eBay, but the sale fell through, and the plane was later sold for $2.1 million through a private brokerage firm.

Palin lives in Juneau during the legislative session and lives in Wasilla and works out of offices in Anchorage the rest of the year. Since the office in Anchorage is far from Juneau, while she works there, state officials say she is legally entitled to a $58 per diem travel allowance, which she has taken (a total of $16,951), and to reimbursement for hotels, which she has not, choosing instead to drive about 50 miles to her home in Wasilla. She also chose not to use the former governor's private chef. Democrats criticized Palin for taking the per diem and $43,490 in travel expenses for the times her family accompanied her on state business. In response, the governor's staffers said that these practices were in line with state policy, that Palin's gubernatorial expenses are 80% below those of her predecessor, Frank Murkowski, and that "many of the hundreds of invitations Palin receives include requests for her to bring her family, placing the definition of 'state business' with the party extending the invitation." In February 2009, the State of Alaska, reversing a policy that had treated the payments as legitimate business expenses under the Internal Revenue Code, decided that per diems paid to state employees for stays in their own homes will be treated as taxable income and will be included in employees' gross income on their W-2 forms. Palin herself had ordered the review of the tax policy.

In December 2008, an Alaska state commission recommended increasing the Governor's annual salary from $125,000 to $150,000. Palin stated that she would not accept the pay raise. In response, the commission dropped the recommendation.

In her State of the State Address on January 17, 2008, Palin declared that the people of Alaska "can and must continue to develop our economy, because we cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government ." Alaska's federal congressional representatives cut back on pork-barrel project requests during Palin's time as governor; despite this, in 2008 Alaska was still the largest per-capita recipient of federal earmarks, requesting nearly $750 million in special federal spending over a period of two years.

While there is no sales tax or income tax in Alaska, state revenues doubled to $10 billion in 2008. For the 2009 budget, Palin gave a list of 31 proposed federal earmarks or requests for funding, totaling $197 million, to Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Palin’s decreasing support for federal funding has been a leading source of friction between herself and the state's congressional delegation; Palin has requested less in federal funding each year than her predecessor Frank Murkowski requested in his last year.

In 2005, before Palin was elected governor, Congress passed a $442-million earmark for constructing two Alaska bridges as part of an omnibus spending bill. The Gravina Island Bridge received nationwide attention as a symbol of pork-barrel spending, following news reports that the bridge would cost $233 million in Federal funds, but connected to an island which had only 50 inhabitants listed in the 2000 US Census where the Ketchikan airport is – although some complained that this criticism was misleading. Following an outcry by the public and some members of the US Senate, Congress eliminated the bridge earmark from the spending bill but gave the allotted funds to Alaska as part of a general transportation bill.

As governor, Palin canceled the Gravina Island Bridge in September 2007, saying that Congress had "little interest in spending any more money" due to what she called "inaccurate portrayals of the projects." Alaska chose not to return the $442 million in federal transportation funds.

In 2008, as a vice-presidential candidate, Palin characterized her position as having told Congress "thanks, but no thanks, on that bridge to nowhere." This angered some Alaskans in Ketchikan, who said that the claim was false and a betrayal of Palin's previous support for their community. Some critics complained that this statement was misleading, since she had expressed support for the spending project and kept the Federal money after the project was canceled. Palin received some criticism for allowing construction of a 3-mile access road, built with $25 million in Federal transportation funds set aside as part of the original bridge project, to continue. A spokesman for Alaska's Department of Transportation made a statement that it was within Palin's power to cancel the road project, but also noted that the state still had plans to complete the bridge project, and that in any case the road would open up the surrounding lands for development.

In August 2008, Palin signed a bill authorizing the State of Alaska to award TransCanada Pipelines — the sole bidder to meet the state's requirements — a license to build and operate a pipeline to transport natural gas from the North Slope to the Continental United States through Canada. The governor also pledged $500 million in seed money to support the project. It is estimated that the project will cost $26 billion. Newsweek described the project as "the principal achievement of Sarah Palin's term as Alaska's governor." The pipeline faces legal challenges from Canadian First Nations.

In 2007, Palin supported a 2003 Alaska Department of Fish and Game policy allowing the hunting of wolves from the air as part of a predator control program intended to increase moose and caribou populations for subsistence-food gatherers and other hunters. In March 2007, Palin's office announced that a bounty of $150 per wolf would be paid to the 180 volunteer pilots and gunners, to offset fuel costs, in five areas of Alaska. Six-hundred-and-seven wolves had been killed in the prior four years. State biologists wanted 382 to 664 wolves killed by the end of the predator-control season in April 2007. Wildlife activists sued the state, and a state judge declared the bounty illegal on the basis that a bounty would have to be offered by the Board of Game and not by the Department of Fish and Game.

Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan on July 11, 2008, citing performance-related issues, such as not being "a team player on budgeting issues." Monegan said that he had resisted persistent pressure from the Governor, her husband, and her staff, including State Attorney General Talis Colberg, to fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten; Wooten was involved in a child custody battle with Palin’s sister that included an alleged death threat against Palin's father. Monegan stated he learned an internal investigation had found all but two of the allegations to be unsubstantiated, and Wooten had been disciplined for the others—an illegal moose killing and the tasering of an 11-year-old. He told the Palins that there was nothing he could do because the matter was closed. When contacted by the press for comment, Monegan first acknowledged pressure to fire Wooten but said that he could not be certain that his own firing was connected to that issue; he later asserted that the dispute over Wooten was a major reason for his firing. Palin stated on July 17 that Monegan was not pressured to fire Wooten, nor dismissed for not doing so.

On August 1, 2008 the Alaska Legislature hired an investigator, Stephen Branchflower, to review the Monegan dismissal. Legislators stated that Palin had the legal authority to fire Monegan, but they wanted to know whether her action had been motivated by anger at Monegan for not firing Wooten. The atmosphere was bipartisan and Palin pledged to cooperate. After she ordered her own internal investigation, Palin stated on August 13 that "pressure could have been perceived to exist, although I have only now become aware of it." Palin announced that officials had contacted Monegan or his staff about two dozen times regarding Wooten, that she had only known about some of those contacts, that many of those contacts were appropriate, and that she had not fired Monegan because of Wooten, who remained employed as a state trooper. She placed an aide on paid leave due to one tape-recorded phone conversation that she deemed improper, in which the aide appeared to be acting on her behalf and complained to a trooper that Wooten had not been fired.

Several weeks after the start of what the media referred to as "troopergate", Palin was chosen as John McCain's running mate. On September 1, Palin asked the legislature to drop its investigation, saying that the state Personnel Board had jurisdiction over ethics issues. The Personnel Board's three members were first appointed by Palin’s predecessor, and Palin reappointed one member in 2008. On September 19, the Governor's husband and several state employees refused to honor subpoenas, the validity of which were disputed by Talis Colberg, Palin's appointee as Alaska's Attorney General. On October 2, a court rejected Colberg's challenge to the subpoenas, and seven of the witnesses, not including Sarah and Todd Palin, eventually testified.

The State Personnel Board (SPB) reviewed the matter at Palin's request. On September 15, the Anchorage law firm of Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein, Tiemessen & Thorsness filed arguments of "no probable cause" with the SPB on behalf of Palin. The SPB hired independent counsel Timothy Petumenos as an investigator. On October 24, Palin gave three hours of depositions with the Board in St. Louis, Missouri. On November 3, Petumenos found that there was no probable cause to believe Palin or any other state official had violated state ethical standards.

On August 29, 2008, in Dayton, Ohio, Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced that he had chosen Palin as his running mate. According to Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for John McCain, he first met Palin at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington in February 2008 and came away "extraordinarily impressed." He called Palin on August 24 to discuss the possibility of having her join him on the ticket. On August 27, she visited McCain's vacation home near Sedona, Arizona, where she was offered the position of vice-presidential candidate. Palin was the only prospective running mate who had a face-to-face interview with McCain to discuss joining the ticket that week. Nonetheless, Palin's selection was a surprise to many as speculation had centered on other candidates, such as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, United States Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

Palin is the first Alaskan and the second woman to run on a major U.S. party ticket. The first woman was Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1984, who ran with former vice-president Walter Mondale. On September 3, 2008, Palin delivered a 40-minute acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention that was well-received and watched by more than 40 million viewers.

Several conservative commentators met Palin in the summer of 2007. Some of them, such as Bill Kristol, urged McCain to pick Palin, arguing that her presence on the ticket would provide a boost in enthusiasm among the religious right wing of the Republican party, while her status as an unknown on the national scene would also be a positive factor for McCain's campaign.

Since Palin was largely unknown outside Alaska before her selection by McCain, her personal life, positions, and political record drew intense media attention and scrutiny. Some Republicans felt that Palin was being subjected to unreasonable media coverage, a sentiment Palin noted in her acceptance speech. A poll taken immediately after the Republican convention found that slightly more than half of Americans believed that the media was "trying to hurt" Palin with negative coverage.

During the campaign, controversy erupted over alleged differences between Palin's positions as a gubernatorial candidate and her position as a vice-presidential candidate. After McCain announced Palin as his running mate, Newsweek and Time put Palin on their magazine covers, as some of the media alleged that McCain's campaign was restricting press access to Palin by allowing only three one-on-one interviews and no press conferences with her. Among the news organizations that criticized the restrictions were Palin's first major interview, with Charles Gibson of ABC News, met with mixed reviews. Her interview five days later with Fox News's Sean Hannity focused on many of the same questions from Gibson's interview. However, Palin's performance in her third interview, with Katie Couric of CBS News, was widely criticized; her poll numbers declined, Republicans expressed concern that she was becoming a political liability, and some conservative commentators called for Palin to resign from the Presidential ticket. Other conservatives remained ardent in their support for Palin, accusing the columnists of elitism. Following this interview, some Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Bill Kristol, questioned the McCain campaign's strategy of sheltering Palin from unscripted encounters with the press.

Palin was reported to have prepared intensively for the October 2 vice-presidential debate with Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden at Washington University in St. Louis. Some Republicans suggested that Palin's performance in the interviews would improve public perceptions of her debate performance by lowering expectations. Polling from CNN, Fox and CBS found that while Palin exceeded most voters' expectations, they felt that Biden had won the debate.

Palin appeared on the television show Saturday Night Live on October 18. Prior to her appearance on the show, she had been parodied several times by Tina Fey, who was noted for her physical resemblance to the candidate. In the weeks leading up to the election, Palin had also been the subject of numerous other parodies.

In 1988, she eloped with her childhood sweetheart Todd Palin. According to her mother, she believed that her parents "couldn't afford a big white wedding." Todd Palin works for the London-based oil company BP as an oil-field production operator and owns a commercial fishing business.

Palin describes herself as a hockey mom. The Palins have five children: sons Track (b. 1989) and Trig (b. 2008), and daughters Bristol (b. 1990), Willow (b. 1995), and Piper (b. 2001). Track enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 11, 2007, and was subsequently assigned to an infantry brigade. He and his unit deployed to Iraq in September 2008 for 12 months. Palin's youngest child, Trig, was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. Palin has one grandchild, a boy named Tripp Johnston, who was born to her eldest daughter Bristol in 2008.

Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982, and has described the Republican Party platform as "the right agenda for America". According to Mary Glazier, an ordained minister who helped bring together the prayer networks in Alaska, Palin was an active member of Glazier's prayer group in Wasilla when God "began to speak" to her about going into politics. In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, responding to a question asking the candidates whether they would support teaching creationism in public schools, Palin stated that she supported teaching both creationism and evolution. Shortly after that debate, however, Palin said in an interview that she had only meant to say she supports allowing the discussion of creationism in public schools, but says it does not have to be part of the curriculum. She supports sex education in public schools that encourages abstinence but also discusses birth control.

Palin opposes same-sex marriage and supported a non-binding referendum for an Alaskan constitutional amendment to deny state health benefits to same-sex couples; however, early in her gubernatorial term she vetoed such a bill, citing its current unconstitutionality. Palin has called herself "as pro-life as any candidate can be" and has called abortion an "atrocity." Palin has stated that abortion should be banned in nearly all cases, including rape and incest, except if the life of the mother is endangered. Palin has stated that she does not support embryonic stem cell research. A lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), she believes the right to bear arms includes handgun possession, and is against a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. She has supported gun safety education for youth. She supports capital punishment.

Regarding foreign policy, Palin supports the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq, but is concerned that "dependence on foreign energy" may be obstructing efforts to "have an exit plan in place". Palin supports preemptive military action in the face of an imminent threat, and supports U.S. military operations in Pakistan. She declined to give a yes or no answer regarding whether U.S. military forces should make cross-border attacks into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government. She supports NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, and affirms that if Russia invaded a NATO member, the United States should meet its treaty obligations.

Prior to the Republican National Convention, a Gallup poll found that most voters were unfamiliar with Sarah Palin. 39% said she is ready to serve as president if needed, 33% said she is not, and 29% had no opinion. This was "the lowest vote of confidence in a running mate since the elder George Bush chose then-Indiana senator Dan Quayle to join his ticket in 1988." Following the Convention, her image came under close media scrutiny, particularly with regard to her religious perspective on public life, her socially conservative views, and her perceived lack of experience. Palin's experience in foreign and domestic politics came under criticism among conservatives as well as liberals following her nomination. At the same time, Palin became more popular among Republicans than John McCain.

During the campaign, Palin evoked a more strongly divided response than Joe Biden among voters and was viewed both more favorably and unfavorably when compared to her opponent. A plurality of the television audience rated Biden's performance higher at the 2008 vice-presidential debate. Media outlets repeated Palin's statement that she "stood up to Big Oil" when she resigned after 11 months as the head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, due to abuses she witnessed involving other Republican commissioners and their ties to energy companies and energy lobbyists, and again when she raised taxes on oil companies as governor. In turn, others have said that she is a "friend of Big Oil" due to her advocacy of oil exploration and development, including her push to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and an effort to de-list the polar bear as an endangered species, since this could hinder oil searching. The National Organization for Women, which endorsed Obama, made clear that it would not support Palin, and made its support for her opponent publicly known. The National Rifle Association said nothing specific about Palin's position on gun legislation, but concluded that she would be "one of the most pro-gun vice-presidents in American history." Following the presidential election, 69% of Republicans felt Palin had helped John McCain's bid, while 20% felt Palin hurt. In the same poll, 71% of Republicans stated Palin had been the right choice.

The conservative publication Human Events named Palin as their 2008 Conservative of the Year.

Palin was selected as one of America’s, "'Top 10' Most Fascinating People," of 2008, for a Barbara Walters ABC special, on December 4, 2008. Palin was the first guest on commentator Glenn Beck's Fox News television show on January 19, 2009. She commented on President Barack Obama, saying that he was her president and that she would assist in any way to bring progress to the nation without abandoning her conservative views.

In December of 2008, Palin campaigned for Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia in his bid to be re-elected to the Senate in the run-off election. Chambliss went on to win by a larger than expected margin, and he credited Palin with drumming up support from the conservative base of the Republican Party. This fueled mounting speculation that Palin may run for president herself in the United States presidential election, 2012. Palin has stated she has left the door open for a future presidential run; whether it be in 2012, or in the United States presidential election, 2016.

On January 27, 2009, Palin formed the political action committee SarahPAC. The organization, which describes itself as an advocate of “energy independence,” supports candidates for federal and state office.

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Political positions of Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin in Dover cropped 2, NH.jpg

Sarah Palin has expressed or demonstrated her position on a wide range of political issues during her political career, including as the Governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential candidate for the 2008 United States presidential election.

According to Laura Chase, Palin's first mayoral campaign manager, while serving on the city council in 1995 Palin complained about the inclusion of the book Daddy's Roommate in the Wasilla library; Chase explained that the book aimed at helping children understand homosexuality and told the New York Times that she found it "disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn't even read it." According to the City of Wasilla Library records, there was never a request for the library to remove the book.

Palin has come under fire for inquiring about censoring books from the library in Wasilla shortly after she was elected mayor.

Palin has said this about teaching creationism as part of the public school curriculum: "It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum I am a proponent of teaching both." She has also stated, "I won't have religion as a litmus test, or anybody's personal opinion on evolution or creationism." According to the Supreme Court case of Edwards v. Aguillard, teaching creationism in schools violates the establishment clause of the first amendment to the constitution because the law was specifically intended to advance a particular religion.

Palin's former pastor believes that her sincerely-held religious beliefs will naturally influence her political positions, while Palin has stated that she would not allow her personal beliefs to dictate public policy. Nancy Hardesty, a professor of religion at Clemson University in South Carolina, asserts that Palin has been exposed to a religious world view that could shape her environmental and foreign policies. Der Spiegel describes the relevance of her Pentacostal views to what she says in public, and asserts that the McCain campaign wants to play it down. According to CNN, the campaign has stated that the governor does not consider herself a Pentecostal.

Palin is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, which she believes precludes the possibility of any regulation of handgun possession. She applauded the Supreme Court's recent decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller that struck down the District's ban on handguns. Palin has stated that she is against a ban on semi-automatic rifles. She supports gun-safety education for children, and is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

Palin is opposed to abortion in almost all cases, including rape and incest, but not if the life of the mother is endangered. In 2006, while running for governor, Palin was asked what she would do if her own daughter were raped and became pregnant; she responded that she would "choose life." She and her husband have stated that they have "faith that every baby is created for a good purpose." When asked what she would do as governor if Roe v. Wade were overturned, she responded "it would not be up to unilaterally ban anything. It would be up to the people of Alaska to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values." Palin personally supported bills to outlaw late-term abortions and to require parental consent for underage abortions in Alaska, but rebuffed religious conservatives who wanted to legislate restrictions on abortion even though she agreed with the bills.

Governor Palin stated in 2006 that because she believes embryonic stem cell research causes the destruction of life, this research is inconsistent with her pro-life position and she does not support it.

All of the various adult stem cell research approaches are supported by Palin. In an interview with Charlie Gibson, Palin differentiated between the two types of stem cell research "And thankfully, again, not only are there other options, but we're getting closer and closer to finding a tremendous amount of other options, like, as I mentioned, the adult stem cell research".

Palin is opposed to "explicit sex-ed programs", including "school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools", though is in favor of teaching children about contraception, having said "kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues". She has expressed strong support for abstinence-only sex education as an alternative.

According to the McCain campaign, Palin favors the concept of equal pay for women. However, she opposes the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would allow more time for victims of employment discrimination to bring suit under the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill would overturn the United States Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. There the Court held that the time period of 180 days within which to bring suit was to be calculated from the first affected paycheck, even if the plaintiff had not yet discovered the discrimination. The bill would begin this statute of limitations period from the receipt of the most recent affected paycheck.

While campaigning for election as Governor of Alaska in 2006, Palin declared that she supported the 1998 Alaska constitutional amendment that proposed adding "...a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman" to the Alaskan constitution.

Palin opposed state covered health and retiree benefits to same-sex partners of state employees, but complied with an Alaska Supreme Court directive to do so, subsequently vetoing a bill that would have denied the benefits. In an interview with Newsweek in 2007, she affirmed her support for an amendment to the state constitution denying benefits to same-sex couples. She later signed a bill ordering a non-binding referendum for a constitutional amendment to deny the benefits. Although the referendum passed in April 2007 with 53% of voters supporting a constitutional amendment, a bill to place such an amendment on the ballot in November 2008 stalled in the state legislature.

Palin has stated that she supports a Federal Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage. This position differed with that of her running mate, John McCain.

While interviewing candidates to fill judge vacancies in Alaska state courts, Palin has asked prospective appointees questions about work history, background and basic judicial philosophy. She has not asked such individuals about their positions on abortion or any other specific cases.

On August 31, 2007, Palin signed a Jury Rights Day Proclamation, commemorating September 5, 2007 as the 337th anniversary of the acquittal, in defiance of the legal direction of the bench, of William Penn and William Mead for preaching a Quaker sermon.

Palin is opposed to efforts to decriminalize marijuana, which she says sends the wrong message to children. Palin has said she is more concerned about methamphetamine than marijuana, which she sees as a greater social threat.

On October 31, 2008, Palin told reporter Greta Van Susteren that closing the borders should be the first priority in dealing with illegal immigration. She rejects amnesty for illegal immigrants who have violated federal law. Palin does, however, support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Shortly after becoming governor, Palin canceled a contract for the construction of an 11-mile (18 km) gravel road outside Juneau to a mine and sold the state's Westwind II jet, which had been purchased by the Murkowski administration against the wishes of the Legislature. While governor, she slashed the state budget by $231 million for FY2008. The vetoes – which covered 36 spreadsheet pages – drew praise from those who believed the budget originally reflected too much spending, but anger from those who thought Palin went too far. The $231 million in cuts represented over 300 local projects including an expansion of the Port of Anchorage and the Fire Island wind energy project.

Alaska's Federal congressional representatives cut back on pork-barrel project requests during Palin's time as governor. Alaska is still the largest per-capita recipient of federal earmarks, requesting nearly $750 million in special federal spending and obtaining $295 per citizen from the federal government.

While Mayor of Wasilla, the town paid a lobbying firm $24,000 to $36,000 per year to help secure federal earmarks for the town. She also personally went to Washington to ask for more earmarks from the state's congressional delegation. According to a review by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan group, Wasilla (a town of 6,700 residents) benefited from $26.9 million in earmarks in Palin's final four years in office.

In 2008 budget year, Palin sought $256 million in earmarks. Alaska State revenues doubled to $10 Billion in 2008, there is no sales tax or income tax, and for the 2009 budget Palin gave a list of 31 proposed earmarks, totaling $197 million, to Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens. By comparison, Alaska governor Frank Murkowski had requested $550 million in earmarks for the 2005 budget year, so Palin's request for 2008 was a substantial reduction.

In Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, she supported the building of the Gravina Island Bridge, which critics had dubbed the "Bridge to Nowhere" because it would connect Ketchikan to Gravina Island, which had only 50 people.

In 2005, the $442-million earmark to build the Gravina Island Bridge and the Knik Arm Bridge was included in an early version of an omnibus spending bill for 2006, but the earmark generated strong criticism and was stripped from the bill before final passage in November 2005; Congress instead gave the transportation money to Alaska with no strings attached. In 2006, Palin ran for governor on a "build-the-bridge" plank in her platform.

Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer. Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island. Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened.

On September 6, 2008 Palin stated that the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers. The McCain-Palin administration will make them smaller and smarter and more effective for homeowners who need help." Critics pointed to it as an example of Palin's lack of knowledge in the area, noting that the mortgage entities operated until September 7, 2008 as quasi-private companies. Supporters scoffed at the claim that her statement was a gaffe, arguing that neither of the companies are completely private, and that the companies are being bailed out with hundreds of billions of tax dollars.

Palin supports free-market competition in health care, and laws allowing patients better access to medical pricing information. In 2008, Palin said she was considering incentives for employers to provide health insurance. She added that changes must also include citizens "choosing to take more personal responsibility" to be healthier.

As mayor, using income generated by a 2% sales tax that was enacted prior to her election, Palin cut property taxes by 75% and eliminated personal property and business inventory taxes. Palin also supported a voter-approved city sales tax increase of 0.5% to pay for a new sports complex. As governor, Palin helped pass a tax increase on oil company profits, although she opposes the Windfall Profits Tax proposed by Senator Barack Obama.

As Governor, Palin has strongly promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska, and advocates exposing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, controverting McCain's position.

In June 2008, Palin stated that she would work to create jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets. In her acceptance speech at the GOP in Sept, 2008 Palin stated: "I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history," "And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence." TransCanada projects the pipeline to be operational by late 2018, barring unforeseen obstacles. Other estimates put the price of the project at about $30 billion.

On September 14, 2007, Sarah Palin signed an administrative order creating a Climate Change Sub-Cabinet charged with preparing a climate change strategy for Alaska. University of Alaska Professor Rick Steiner says that this sub-cabinet "has done little", and that she has ignored requests to establish an Alaska Office on Climate Change, an Alaska Climate Response Fund, and emissions reduction targets.

While governor, Palin opposed The Alaska Clean Water Act stating that "very stringent regulations and policies already in place." The Clean Water Initiative was voted on as Ballot Measure 4 on August 26, 2008 and lost by a vote of about 57 percent against and 43 percent for the measure. The measure was designed to impose higher water quality standards on a large scale mining operation, known as the Pebble Mine, near the Bristol Bay, which were designed to prevent pollution from entering some of the world's most productive Sockeye salmon runs. The Pebble Mine is primarily a large open pit mine which will extract copper and gold ore, resulting in runoff from the mine finding its way into salmon streams and drinking water, copper dust in particular being poisonous, even in low quantities, to fish.

The Pebble Mine is a finite resource which will employ 5,500 people and bring $200 million in tax revenue a year to the state. Salmon fishing, a naturally renewable resource each year, employs 12,000 people in the Bristol Bay region alone and contributes $250 million each year to the economy. Many fisherman, environmentalists, naturalists, native Alaskans, residents and nature lovers, among many others, both in Alaska and worldwide, fear that pollution from the mine will destroy the salmon runs as well as the sometimes rare and very diverse wildlife that thrives there.

In 2007, Palin supported the Alaska Department of Fish and Game policy allowing Alaska the hunting of wolves from helicopters as part of a predator control program intended to increase moose and caribou populations, a practice which has been banned since 1972. The Program has come under criticism and legal actions from wildlife activists stating the purpose of the program is to increase the numbers of prey species to unsustainable levels for sport hunters, residents and non residents of Alaska.

In August 2007, both lawmakers and Governor Palin approved appropriating $400,000 from the state treasury to explain the aerial hunting program to Alaskans. Since Alaskans were voting on an initiative against the practice the following year, many felt the funds were an attempt to influence the vote against the initiative. Alaskans had voted already against the aerial hunting of predators in 1996 and 2000; both times the state legislature overturned the results. The measure had been allowed to expire after two years each time; hence the controversial vote. The program also allowed the fly-and-shoot, liberalized hunting of black bears with no bag limits in the same areas, in addition to the area from Anchorage across Cook Inlet, where for the first time allowing the hunting of sows with cubs, not just males, with a goal of up to kill rate of 60 percent of the black bear population around Anchorage.

In March 2007, Palin's office announced that to offset fuel costs, a bounty of $150 per wolf would be paid to the 180 volunteer pilots and gunners, drawing protest among wildlife activitists. In March 2007, they took the state to court, where the bounty was ruled illegal. The program prompted California State Representative George Miller to introduce a federal bill (H.R. 3663) that would protect wolves, bears, and other wildlife from airborne hunting.

In May 2007 Palin introduced Bill 256 to streamline the Predator Program and make it more difficult for conservation groups to sue the State. Critics of the Bill claimed it removed scientific standards and claimed the programs are expensive and not effective.

In March 2008 a federal judge limited the aerial gunning program against wolves by banning the practice in four areas comprising up to 15,000 of about 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2) covered by the program. The Judge said the board had extended into these areas for predator control without making any new findings on the wolves, caribou and bears in those areas. On August 26, 2008, Alaskans voted against ending the state's predator control program.

In December 2007, Palin wrote an opinion column in which she described her opposition to the listing of polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In it she also stated that the polar bear population is more numerous now than forty years ago and "there is insufficient evidence of polar bears becoming extinct in the foreseeable future". After Dirk Kempthorne, the Republican Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior listed the bear as threatened on May 14, 2008, Palin (representing the state of Alaska) sued the federal government, claiming that the listing would adversely affect energy development in the bears' habitat off Alaska's northern and northwestern coasts, while again questioning the scientific basis for the listing.

Palin claimed that scientists found no ill effects of global warming on the polar bear, a claim disputed by a range of Alaskan state biologists and environmental groups. When Alaska University professor Rick Steiner invoked a federal records request in order to obtain open information on the state scientists' findings, he was informed his request would cost $466,784 to process; when at length he received the e-mails, he discovered that contrary to what Palin had suggested, the scientists had actually been at odds with the administration's denial that Alaskan polar bears are in danger.

On August 28, 2008, the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the American Iron and Steel Institute joined Alaska's suit against the federal government, objecting to a special rule the government issued along with the bears' listing. Meant to keep the bear's status from resulting in greenhouse gas limits, the rule creates a situation known as the 'Alaska Gap', where all states except Alaska are exempt from having their projects' emissions reviewed. The condition is seen by the plaintiffs as unfair to Alaskan industry and opening a backdoor for greenhouse gas limitation elsewhere. The lawsuit was filed as 'American Petroleum et al v. Kempthorne et al'.

Palin has opposed strengthening protections for beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet. Palin cited state scientists who claimed that hunting was the only factor causing the whales' decline and that the hunting has been effectively controlled through cooperative agreements with Alaska Native organizations. Recent research states that hunting controls have halted the decline of beluga whales in Cook's Inlet but that the population remains severely depleted and at high risk of extinction. The Palin administration has allowed Chevron to triple the amount of toxic waste it pours into the waters of Cook Inlet. Federal scientists do not attribute the decline in the Cook Inlet beluga population to human pollution. The Cook Inlet Beluga Whale was declared an endangered species by the Bush Administration on October 17, 2008.

Palin supports the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq, but is concerned that "dependence on foreign energy" may be obstructing efforts to "have an exit plan in place".

In the September 2008 CBS interview, Palin criticized Barack Obama for saying he would meet with leaders of Syria and Iran without preconditions. Reminded by the interviewer that Henry Kissinger, whom Palin had recently met, supports direct diplomacy with both countries, Palin responded: "I've never heard Henry Kissinger say, 'Yeah, I'll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.' " Five days earlier Kissinger had made a televised statement of his position regarding Iran: "I am in favor of negotiating with Iran... I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations." However, Kissinger does not advocate negotiations at the presidential level.

According to The Washington Times, Palin's faith has made her a "favorite with the staunchly pro-Israel neoconservative elements in the Republican Party." Palin displays an Israeli flag in her governor's office in Juneau. Palin has received a strong endorsement from the Republican Jewish Coalition, and has also been described as being "totally out of step with Jewish public opinion" by the National Jewish Democratic Council.

In an interview with ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, Palin stated that she would not "second-guess" Israeli military action against Iran.

Palin believes that the former Soviet Union states of Georgia and Ukraine should be admitted into NATO, and that if Russia invaded a NATO signatory country, the United States should be prepared to go to war in that country's defense. Going to war in defense of NATO allies who are invaded is current US policy.

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Sarah Palin interviews with Katie Couric

Gov. Sarah Palin in Dover cropped 2, NH.jpg

The Sarah Palin Interviews with Katie Couric were a series of interviews of the 2008 Republican Party US Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. They were recorded and broadcast on television in several programs before the 2008 US presidential election.

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

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Source : Wikipedia