On March 13, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced that federal earmark requests have declined by 85% since her administration took office in 2006 (Earmarks, 2009, Â¶1). Out of the eight pending requests under the Federal Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2009, only two are new requests, while the remainder are continuing appropriations requests.
Further, “Our eight requests have broad public support and have been vetted through a transparent public process, and most of the projects are nationally significant,” Governor Palin said. “The new requests are for national security, with upgrades at the Kodiak Missile Defense Complex, and for America’s energy security, with replacement of a bridge that is critical for a natural gas pipeline” (Earmarks, 2009, Â¶1).
“My state can better participate in this reform and we’ll be a more self-sufficient state when the federal government finally allows us greater opportunity to safely and responsibly develop our natural resources,” Governor Palin added. “I look forward to the realization of the enormous potential Alaska has to contribute more to our national security and energy independence by unlocking our potential” (Earmarks, 2009, Â¶1).
Governor Palin noted that less than 1% of Alaska’s landmass is under private ownership “excluding land set aside by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act” (Earmarks, 2009, Â¶1).
Many states and their governors are more than happy to swill at the federal appropriations trough becoming increasingly dependent on federal monies as time marches on. Governor Palin is taking the opposite approach — pushing her state to be independent of federal funds to the greatest degree possible. The Governor understands that with increased dependence comes decreased state control of its own destiny.
Governor Palin carefully chose earmarks for projects that have both been transparently vetted and are of national significance. Once again her skill as an executive and as a financial administrator are on clear display. The Governor’s approach to earmarks is the model to follow.
Governor Palin continues earmark reform on Fed Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2009. (2009, March 13). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 14, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1713