Governor's influence inappropriate

Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008

Until this week, I had never witnessed a politician at any level advertising themselves for sale in the media. Not even Frank Murkowski did that. However, all that changed this week, when Sarah Palin sold her name as governor of our great state to the Alaska mining industry on Ballot Measure 4.

Readers must realize that Gov. Palin is the boss of Tom Irwin, who is the Commissioner of Alaska Department of Natural Resources (Palin is the boss of ALL State commissioners), and DNR is the primary state agency ultimately responsible for permitting the proposed Pebble gold mine.

And everyone should know that Ballot Measure 4 specifically targeted the proposed Pebble mine, an Alaska tragedy highly probable to happen, and other similar very large mines, in an attempt to protect Alaska's priceless clean water and wild salmon.

Based on former Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan's recent firing by Palin, I wonder if Tom Irwin has received Gov. Palin's very overt media messages? That is: "We (the Palin Administration) are going to support the Pebble mine," and, "we support (Murkowski's) mine pollution mixing zones in salmon spawning streams," and "we don't care about Alaska's priceless clean water nor do we care about Alaska's priceless wild salmon fisheries, especially in Bristol Bay."

I suggest Mr. Irwin listen to and observe Gov. Palin's public policy directions very closely because, if he doesn't, he might be unemployed (again). This week's media ads are "her direction" on this subject. But those very expensive state-wide ads in the media were paid for by the Alaska mining industry.

I know this is Mrs. Palin's initial term in state politics but ignorance or naivete should not an excuse for her. She must have at least one common sense adviser, who would explain the prejudicial implications of her overt actions on this subject. Everyone would respect her right to a private vote on Ballot Measure 4.

But publicly selling her name as governor of our state on a controversial ballot issue is sad and infuriating at the same time. And the state's department commissioners, who work for her, based on Walt Monegan's experience, should be very alert to "Palin's direction today" (each changing day) is.

Each day, she is acting more and more like Frank Murkowski in a skirt. He is certainly not her antithesis!

Richard Hahn


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