speaking of Sarah Palin

here is an article from the Wall Street Journal about what she did in Alaska.

first, the general problem to be addressed.

Alaska’s politicians—in particular ruling Republicans—roll in oil campaign money, lavish oil revenue on pet projects, then retire to lucrative oil jobs where they lobby for sweetheart oil deals. You can love the free market and not love this

Ms. Strassel then gives the details regarding the natural gas pipeline being negotiated by Governor Murkowski that was the immediate problem.

Enter Mrs. Palin. The former mayor of Wasilla had been appointed by Mr. Murkowski in 2003 to the state oil and gas regulatory agency. She’d had the temerity to blow the whistle on fellow GOP Commissioner Randy Ruedrich for refusing to disclose energy dealings. Mr. Murkowski and GOP Attorney General Gregg Renkes closed ranks around Mr. Ruedrich—who also chaired the state GOP. Mrs. Palin resigned. Having thus offended the entire old boy network, she challenged the governor for his seat.

Mrs. Palin ran against the secret deal, and vowed to put the pipeline back out for competitive, transparent, bidding. She railed against cozy politics. Mr. Murkowski ran on his unpopular pipeline deal. The oil industry warned the state would never get its project without his leadership. Mrs. Palin walloped him in the primary and won office in late 2006. Around this time, news broke of a federal probe that would show oil executives had bribed lawmakers to support the Murkowski tax changes.

the results of Ms. Palin’s work and determination:

Mrs. Palin has meanwhile passed an ethics law. She’s tightened up oil oversight. She forced the legislature to rewrite the oil tax law. That new law raised taxes on the industry, for which Mrs. Palin is now taking some knocks, but the political background here is crucial.

The GOP machine has crumbled. Attorney General Renkes resigned. Mr. Ruedrich was fined $12,000. Jim Clark—Mr. Murkowski’s lead pipeline negotiator—pleaded guilty to conspiring with an oil firm. At least three legislators have been convicted. Sen. Ted Stevens is under indictment for oil entanglements, while Rep. Don Young is under investigation.

Throughout it all, Mrs. Palin has stood for reform, though not populism. She thanks oil companies and says executives who “seek maximum revenue” are “simply doing their job.” She says her own job is to be a “savvy” negotiator on behalf of Alaska’s citizens and to provide credible oversight. It is this combination that lets her aggressively promote new energy while retaining public trust.

Sarah Palin is by all indicators an incredible person and a very gifted politician. I keep in mind advice from James Dobson that christians shouldn’t fall in love with politicians, because that is a good way to get heartbroken and disappointed, (the actual quote is: “You marry a politician you can be a widow pretty quickly.”) but there seems to be something unique here.

She resigned on principle from a position over the Alaska oil and gas industry after she took on directly the conflicts of interest of the state’s Republican party chairman. She then ran in a contested primary race against the incumbent governor of the state and beat him. She then ran in the general election against a former democratic governor of the state and beat him soundly. Once in office, she scotched the sweetheart deal the oil companies were counting on to get state help in building the pipeline. She played chicken with them then, and they blinked, coming up with the money to build their own pipeline.

If she stays straight (and for this end, we should all be in prayer), she has the potential to do much good in this country. She has already simply with her presence on the ticket smoked out and made obvious the worst instincts of the left and the media.

We will see what happens next. I for one will be watching intently and rooting for Sarah Palin. More importantly, I will be praying for her and her family as she has entered a crucible of scrutiny and pressure like nothing she has encountered before.

Hat tip to Kim Priestap at Wizbang for the Wall Street Journal article.

UPDATE: here is Jennifer Rubin’s take on the same article.

I especially liked this part, but its all good:

Several things are remarkable. First, it is not a story which MSM outlets are explaining or acknowledging. Why? Because it runs counter to their concocted storyline that her sole selling point is as a cheerleader for social conservatives, sent to whip up the base at the expense of selecting a competent VP. Second, there is nothing remotely evident in Obama’s record, or Joe Biden’s, frankly, which demonstrates this level of political competence, direction, accomplishment or tenacity. It is not merely a throw away line to say that she is more experienced than Obama, it is factually well established — for those who care to look. And finally, of course, John McCain wants such a person. This is now the essence of his campaign — run against corruption and do-nothing careerism.


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