As the MSM and their readers continue to search through Governor Palin’s emails searching for non-existent bombshells, let me be one of the first to welcome the Washington Post to 2008. As Ian mentioned earlier, the Washington Post recognized that Governor Palin’s emails showed that she budgeted frugally and was opposed to pork barrel spending. Now, the Washington Post recognizes that Governor Palin did not have a buddy-buddy relationship with Big Oil. Both of these supposedly new revelations are not new at all to Palin supporters who have followed her political rise after Senator McCain chose her as his VP nominee or even prior to that.
But on one issue in particular — the party’s long-standing ties to large oil and gas companies that have helped underwrite its attempts to seize and hold power in Washington — the Palin that emerges from e-mails during her Alaska governorship is a definite renegade.
While a book she published last year still displays her animus for “Big Oil” and proudly recounts her decision not to “pal around” with its lobbyists, these criticisms feature less frequently in her rhetoric now. And on the national political stage, she’s been supportive of the industry’s aspirations to expand deep-ocean drilling, famously telling a crowd of Florida supporters before the 2008 election, “Drill, baby, drill.”
The article later goes on to highlight several emails between Governor Palin and her staff noting her dislike for Big Oil. One email recounts how Governor Palin took joy in choosing to read to a kindergarten class rather than meet with oil company executives, and additionally shares the role of corruption in Big Oil relationship with Alaskan politicians:
The oil industry’s influence in the state was at the heart of a corruption scandal involving top legislators that emerged during her governorship, an issue on which Palin was privately briefed by the FBI. But it is clear from the e-mails that Palin’s resentments, and those of her top aides, ran deep and were not opportunistic.
It should be noted that the indictments for the corruption scandal came during her tenure, but the corruption scandal itself took place during Governor Murkowski’s term. Murkowski’s oil tax plan was a behind closed door deal that aimed to give preferential treatment to certain companies. Some Alaskan legislators took pride in their cozy relationships with oil companies, some of them forming a club known as the "Corrupt B*****s Club". Fighting this corruption and ensuring transparency in any oil company -government interactions was paramont in her administration. Transparency was two of her key pieces of legislation-ACES (the oil tax mechanism) and AGIA (the transcontinental natural gas pipeline), as Governor Palin noted in a March Facebook post. In fact, regarding AGIA, one of the released emails revealed how serious Governor Palin was about transparency (emphasis mine):
So that everyone is clear and we’re consistent , despite what some of the press is saying and already criticizing us for , I WILL release the number and name of applicants tonight, and will always err on the side of MORE transparency, not less, when dealing with applicants and proposals and the public ‘ s expectations that they’ll be privy to all AGIA info (unlike murkowski ‘ s tactic).
One thing that the Washington Post fails to reconcile is Governor Palin’s pro-development, yet anti-Big Oil stance. Governor Palin has always advocated for increased development. As Governor, she did so in part because she is a strong constitutionalist, and the state constitution called for Alaska’s natural resources be developed for the "maximum benefit of the people", who are the resource owners. Both as a state and national voice, Governor Palin has advocated for increased development to help ensure energy independence for Americans, which would help make America more physically, economically, and monetarily secure. She does not stand for crony capitalism, however, and her support for drilling remains for the interest of all Americans, not for government selected oil companies.
These emails only further confirm Governor Palin’s consistent stance on the issues. Whether it’s budgeting, earmarks, or crony capitalism, it’s nice to see that the Washington Post is beginning to catch up to 2008.
Please remember to join in C4P’s project to search the emails for things that re-affirm Governor Palin’s strong gubernatorial record and governing skills.
Update: The Alaska Dispatch,which has often been critical of Governor Palin’s tenure, has a piece that highlights emails between Governor Palin, her staff, and Chuck Hamel, who the Dispatch calls a " longtime oil industry critic". The article highlights Governor Palin’s willingness to listen to Hamel’s concerns about the relationship between lawmakers and oil companies and about safety by instructing the Petroleum Systems Integrity Office, which Governor Palin created, to address Hamel’s concerns. Read the whole article. It is quite good.