Photo by Dennis Drenner, McClatchy-Tribune. Gov. Sarah Palin, accompanied by Meg Stapleton, left, enters the Capital Hilton to attend the Alfalfa Club event Jan. 31, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Concerns about Economic Stimulus Plan
“Governor Palin discussed troubling elements in the stimulus package including provisions that punish Alaska for forward-funding education, the mass transit funding formula that will limit Alaska opportunities but will pour money into other states, and the ‘shovel-ready’ criteria for projects that northern climates might not be able to accommodate consistently due to the shortened construction season (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶3).
“The governor continues to express concerns first identified in a Jan. 7 letter to the Alaska congressional delegation about the overall level of spending and the hugely increased deficit our nation is growing. Under the legislation, the U.S. would continue sending money to OPEC nations even as it continues to borrow and miss opportunities to develop domestic supplies of energy” (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶4).
Further, the stimulus package rewards states for not planning ahead and punishes states that do. The state of Alaska forward-funds 21% of the General Fund dollars towards education (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶5).
“The governor has asked the nation’s leaders to look at these issues to ensure fairness in the stimulus package and that the package does not harm the long-term fiscal health of the nation. Contrary to some news reports, she looks forward to continuing to work with Alaska’s congressional delegation to accomplish the state’s goals” (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶6).
Governor Palin’s appearance at the Alfalfa Club dinner with Obama on January 31, 2009 is a well-known matter. During this meeting with political elites, reporters are barred (Martin, 2009, Â¶4).
One club tradition is is to “always nominate a mock candidate for the highest office in the land. The “nominee” is then required to give an acceptance speech. Should Palin be this year’s lucky nominee, she’ll be in good company: Three honorees have actually gone on to actually become president – Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush” (Martin, 2009, Â¶8-9).
The Alfalfa Club meeting has been very well publicized, but Governor Palin is attending several other functions that are not as well publicized during her trip to Washington, DC this weekend. One of the purposes of the trip is to discuss the stimulus package as it relates to Alaska (Non-Partisan, 2009, Â¶1), and Alaska developing its resources with an emphasis on energy independence (Non-Partisan, 2009, Â¶3).
“Governor Palin … first [attended] a dinner at the residence of Fred and Marlene Malek Friday evening. Fred Malek is a prominent business leader and the founder and Chairman of Thayer Capital Partners. In addition to his work in the private sector, Mr. Malek has had a distinguished career in public service. The governor is honored to have received the invitation and to have [had] the chance to speak about Alaska and other issues impacting our state. A number of high-profile business and economic leaders [were present], as well as political leaders who will be making decisions on the stimulus package, including U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan [also attended]. On Saturday, in addition to the official meeting with her staff, the governor [attended] the Center for Strategic and International Studies luncheon, which [was] a pre-Alfalfa event. Governor Palin [attended] the Alfalfa Club Dinner” (Non-Partisan, 2009, Â¶2).
Governor Palin returned to Alaska on Sunday, February 1, 2009 (Non-Partisan, 2009, Â¶4).
While the Alfalfa Club dinner is a popular subject of news coverage because it relates to a possible 2012 POTUS campaign — unfortunately Governor Palin was not “nominated” at the club on January 31 — her meeting with business leaders, Senators, and the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve is the important executive experience accomplishment that is being under-reported in this coverage. The primary purpose of her trip was to lobby for proper stimulus benefits to Alaska and for wise development of the state’s resources with the goal of energy independence. While this positions her well for a POTUS run, Governor Palin is serving the people of Alaska and doing so admirably.
Governor’s concerns on economic stimulus expressed while in Washington, D.C. (2009, February 1). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 2, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1618
Martin, J. (2009, January 29). Palin, Obama to share stage. Politico. Retrieved January 31, 2009 from: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18161.html
Non-partisan events in nation’s capital. (2009, January 28). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved January 31, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1614