Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Heaths: People Should Examine Positives Sarah Did for Alaska – Devito

"Why don’t people look at the positives Sarah did for Alaska," Sally Heath asked her husband and son regarding how some in Alaska treat her daughter. Both men discussed this matter with me when I met them on Friday to have my copy of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska signed and spend some quality time in their company. See “Our Sarah”: Open Window to Heath and Palin Lives, Times for my review. During my meeting with the Heath gentlemen, it became clear that Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her record are still very much routinely sullied in Alaska, with establishment Republicans being even worse enemies than leftist Democrats.

Economic Impact Study on Gov Palin, AK Tourism to Begin

Gov. Palin has brought in untold millions of dollars to the Alaskan economy via tourism from people who became fascinated with the state by virtue of her association with it, as well as the purchase of various products from the state. There is certainly more than enough anecdotal evidence to support this claim, but no one has made an attempt to quantify her benefit to Alaskan tourism – until now. This is a project I agreed to undertake, and it will consist of several core components.

First, I will be collecting anecdotes from people who have made the long and expensive journey to Alaska motivated at least in part by something to do with Gov. Palin. These tourists could be Palinistas who wanted to spend some time on Gov. Palin’s stomping grounds – in the company of her family and friends – that is they traveled for a Palin-specific purpose. Other tourists could have simply been fascinated by the state and got that final impetus to make the trip after seeing or hearing Gov. Palin in some context, though they are not necessarily Palinistas.

Alaska is also benefiting from people who never set foot there, but who buy one or more Alaskan products because of the Palin connection. For instance, I am a regular drinker of Mocha Moose Good Morning Alaska, and Whoa Nellie. When I learned the former is Gov. Palin’s favorite coffee, I started having bags of it shipped to my house. I must have consumed about $500 worth of this delicious coffee by now. It’s far better than any of the chain or supermarket brands. The main Mocha Moose shop used to be the house in which the Heaths lived – a fact they documented in Our Sarah and during last week’s interviews. I drank four cups of Good Morning Alaska with my breakfast before leaving the house to meet the Heaths, and four cups this morning. My consumption of Mocha Moose products – motivated by the Heath and Palin connection – is a small example of how Gov. Palin and her family brought and continue to bring positive economic benefits to Alaska.

Second, I will conduct a poll about the Palin connection to Alaskan tourism, and I will focus on the Sarah Palin’s Alaska series. I will attempt to quantify via research with the Alaska Film Office how that series specifically brought tourism dollars to the state.

ACES, Improved State Credit Rating

While the Heaths and I discussed Gov. Palin and tourism, I will not stop there. I will integrate my continuing coverage of Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share – ACES – which is responsible for at least $2 billion per year in tax revenue that goes to state savings. While other states hemorrhage money, Alaska has a surplus – thanks to the policies Gov. Palin and her administration put in place. Governor Parnell and cronies like "Make Alaska Competitive" want to repeal ACES and bring back the corrupt pre-Palin days when the oil company lobbyists were in bed – figuratively and literally – with Alaska’s legislators. Gov. Parnell’s designs on ACES are a frequent topic on Alaska’s Bob and Mark Show.

Finally, I will examine some of Gov. Palin’s other past and present economic accomplishments – such as Alaska’s state credit rating increasing under her steady hand – and integrate them into this project which will unfold over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Humbled, Honored to Have this Special Moment

It was truly an honor and a privilege to have met with Gov. Palin’s father and brother – Chuck Heath Sr., and Jr. last Friday, on New York City soil – my home turf – and to have this photo be the first one taken with my new iPhone 5. I had met Chuck Sr. three years ago in Rochester at the Going Rogue book signing. I had never met Chuck Jr. till this point. It is a pleasure to be in the company of authentic, sincere, down-to-earth people who make you feel at ease. In describing prior experiences with Gov. Palin, I had used the words, "Ordinary. Extraordinary." They are equally applicable to her parents and brother.

One of my goals resulting from this meeting is to ensure that people see the many positives Gov. Palin – Chuck Sr.’s and Sally’s daughter – brought and continues to bring to Alaska.

On With the Book Tour…

After our meeting broke up, the Heaths went to JFK Airport and on up to Rochester to begin their book tour. Donna Farrell Hoy, an American Grizzlies United/Organize4Palin NY volunteer and her daughter Bailey executed the Heath’s "Great Laundry Exchange." Hoy also secured a radio interview for the Heaths with Bob Lonsberry. The Heaths are currently in Florida with a tour stop scheduled at The Villages, and Alpharetta, GA thence.

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  • Mr.L

    Sounds great Ron. I look forward to reading your study. Some have claimed that her resignation "hurt" her state. I reply that the state most likely benefited ten fold from the tourism when Sarah Palin  drew attention to the great state of Alaska.

    • patnatasha

      Mr.L any updates on the Heath’s book and interviews? I would love to hear what you have to say about it.

      • Mr.L

         I just finished reading it over the weekend.  It really is a fantastic book.  I’m still going back over it and trying to process what I read for a compelling review.

  • blueniner

    Ron I will look foward to your upcoming work on Alaska. When the TV show "Sarah Palins Alaska" came out I thought this is going to buck up the tourism to Alaska like nothing else. It was so well done, the camera work was off the charts, and Sarahs excellent narration, had you wanting more. Sarah Palins Alaska could have more TV seasons, as it ended too soon. I just purchased the DVD series of Sarah Palins Alaska. That show was a travelog to a beautiful State.

  • dmac8889

    Ron,  I have to say you are the BEST supporter anyone could have.  From day one (for me Jan. 2009) you have always understood what Sarah Palin meant to so many of us and you went right to work to bring her world, and all things Palin, to the rest of us.  I think your idea of tying "Alaska economy via tourism to Sarah" is brilliant and well over due.  I think I would speak for millions stating that if I ever had the fortunate opportunity to visit Alaska, Sarah would be on my mine the entire time I was there.

    For me Sarah has put a forgotten State back on the map, and what this truly blessed land means to all of us here in America.  Ron, never give up the good fight, and I for one know how hard you have worked and enjoyed bringing us the Palin World.  There’s plenty more to come and will be following. Ron,  Thanks a bunch, and best wishes.   

  • PhilipJames

    All I have to say to agree with you is ask "How many reality shows are now on TV that have something to do with Alaska"?
    If it isn’t crab, its trucks, if its not trucks… its aircraft…. and now I see there is a Mountain Men show with a fellow in Alaska as one of them.
    Prior to Sarah being nominated, the only show was Deadliest Catch.
    Now, there have to be 5 or 6 that are Alaska related.
    And I do agree that Alaska has become a really recognized part of the United States whereas prior to Sarah becoming national figure, it was that weird state up north somewhere.
    I note that a lot of people in the public eye seem to go there and actually brag about it now…. i.e. fishing, hunting, tourism.

    P.S. forgot about a couple of "looking for gold in alaska" shows too… there were two reality shows about that in the last few years.

    • fb274

       The tax credit incentive has a lot to do with movies/shows being produced in Alaska–wasn’t that originated during Gov. Palin’s tenure.

    • otto

      You read my mind.

  • sarahhasmyvote

    I am going to very much look forward to reading your reports. 

  • Isabel Matos


    Just so you know, I shared this twice today in two great places.

    What a great aspect of Sarah’s influence to highlight ~ and who better to do this than you?!  It is a wonderful idea and effort to pursue! I can’t wait for the results. I know from personal experience that my family has considered going to Alaska, something which we never talked about before. I also know that at about the time she was Governor, many of our friends were taking cruises there.. so there must be a definite correlation!

    When I see the hard work and dedication that Sarah’s greatest supporters do on her behalf every day, whether it is in small ways, or big .. I am humbled.  I am humbled because I cannot bring myself to complain about anything! On the contrary, I am inspired to do better. I am sure that is not a unique sentiment among her closest friends and supporters.  

    All your work is immensely appreciated!  I cannot stresss enough wonderful things about who Sarah surrounds herself with.  I have never seen such devotion and loyalty displayed in my life.  It is truly admirable. I guess integrity begets integrity.   (I hope that phrase came out right :) !)  

    This has been not only a delightful journey, but a really inspiring one as well. 

    Thank you, Sarah, for all the wonderful people I have met because of you. Thank you for leading by example. (It is becoming contagious, I hope!)  May the family keep growing!

    With my compliments, ROn, the Heaths, and C4P editors for all you do every day.


  • otto

    Sarah has her stamp on many things ,i have noticed. The television show about gold mining "Gold Rush" ,and it’s spin offs all came about after piggy backing her show on discovery. .Alaskan shows have popped up like crazy. Alaska was not on to many people’s mind before Sarah Palin came onto the scene. It amazes me.She amazes me.

  • chuckjr

    Hi Ron,

    I know this comment is a little late, but I just saw your post. Thank you for willing to step forward and report on the incredible economic impact Sarah’s name/image has had on our state. Why someone else has done this before is beyond me.

    Anyway, we, and especially my mom, are anxiously awaiting your report.

    Thank you, Ron, and it was great to meet you in NYC,
    Chuck, Jr.

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