Gov. Palin’s fight against the Alaska establishment

Kimberley Strassel has an informative piece in the WSJ today that discusses how Governor Palin successfully beat back corruptocrat GOPers in Alaska alongside their too-chummy buds in the oil industry:

If you’ve read the press coverage of Sarah Palin, chances are you’ve heard plenty about her religious views and private family matters. If you want to know what drives Gov. Palin’s politics, and has intrigued America, read this.

Every state has its share of crony capitalism, but Big Oil and the GOP political machine have taken that term to new heights in Alaska. The oil industry, which provides 85% of state revenues, has strived to own the government. Alaska’s politicians—in particular ruling Republicans—roll in oil campaign money, lavish oil revenue on pet projects, then retire to lucrative oil jobs where they lobby for sweetheart oil deals. You can love the free market and not love this.

Alaskans have long resented this dysfunction, which has led to embarrassing corruption scandals. It has also led to a uniform belief that the political class, in hock to the oil class, fails to competently oversee Alaska’s vast oil and gas wealth, the majority of which belongs to the state—or rather, Alaskan citizens.

And so it came as no surprise in 2004 when former Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski made clear he’d be working exclusively with three North Slope producers—ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP—to build a $25 billion pipeline to move natural gas to the lower 48. The trio had informed their political vassals that they alone would build this project (they weren’t selling their gas to outsiders) and that they expected the state to reward them. Mr. Murkowski disappeared into smoky backrooms to work out the details. He refused to release information on the negotiations. When Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin suggested terms of the contract were illegal, he was fired.

Make sure to read the whole thing, and you’ll come away from it asking yourself what we’ve all been asking this week: How can anyone credibly compare Obama’s “record” on reform – not to mention battling wayward Republicans in the state GOP – with a straight face?

The Obama campaign is sending out emails to pundits which reference Republicans who are concerned with the veep nomination. Now, I know that while most of the conservative/Republican circle are thrilled with Mc’s choice, there are those who are legitimately wondering whether or not Gov. Palin will be “ready to lead on day one” in the unfortunate event that something happens to Senator McCain. However, some of the Republicans mentioned in that email that are skeptical of McCain’s choice are prominent Alaska Republicans who may resent Gov. Palin for her past actions against corrupt Republicans in Alaska, so keep that in mind whenever you see criticisms come out of that corner.

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