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Palin needs to clean house

Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On Dec. 4, Governor-Elect Sarah Palin will become Alaska’s top program manager. As she assumes her duties and responsibilities, Gov. Murkowski’s overt arrogance and obtuseness (he still doesn’t get it!), his lack of any meaningful communications with his constituency and his surrounding himself with yes-people and cronies, should be her model for “lessons learned, which should not be repeated.”

Murkowski refused to recognize his total lack of experience as a program manager and fired everyone who had the audacity to give him honest feedback and wise counsel. He apparently thought he knew everything about everything and seemingly still believes he is above the Rule of Law, a frightening specter for all Alaskans.

During Mrs. Palin’s campaign, she said Alaskans deserved the best deal obtainable for a gas pipeline contract ASAP. To accomplish this, she should recognize her own lack of complex program management experience and surround herself with the smartest, most experienced management team she can find, who will always give her honest, constructive feedback.

Also, she should spend some of the state’s money to hire a top notch legal team, with extensive oil/natural gas industry experience, to help her negotiate a definitive gas pipeline contract in the best interests of Alaska.

A few million spent now to accomplish this contract would be a good, long-term investment of state funds. (Her legal team’s remuneration incentive might be conditional on how good a deal they negotiate for Alaska, in a reasonable period of time.)

In addition, once she is governor, she should convince Alaskans they still have a democratic, elected, representative-of-the-people form of government. The “king” and at least two “princes” were removed by the voters. She should remove others who were not affected by the electoral process, but who subscribed to Murkowski’s philosophies/policies, and who will give her a bad name, if they are allowed to remain in her new administration.

Cleaning house of these derelicts is a definite requirement to enhance her gubernatorial image in Alaska and the United States.

She should reconsider the costly and divisive “roads and bridges to nowhere.” They represent apparent incestuous political favors and a “development at any cost” policy, which the Last Frontier cannot afford. The development of Alaska should be a carefully thought-out, planned and integrated, long-term process.

She should also reconsider her avowed position on aggressive aerial killing of wolves and bears, and Murkowski’s Board of Game’s trophy hunting in Alaska’s wildlife sanctuaries, beginning in 2007. These practices violate the Alaska Constitution’s provision of citizen’s equal access to Alaska’s natural resources, while denigrating Alaska’s tourism image on an international scale.

Mrs. Palin faces many difficult management challenges over the next four to eight years, and for the sake of all Alaskans, I truly wish her success in all her endeavors.

Richard Hahn

Soldotna



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