Friday, October 03, 2008

Oops. It Does Get Worse

One of Palin's answers that actually came close to impressing me last night was her comment on Darfur (I say 'came close to' because I think we need to do much more than this, as Biden and Obama do). Anyway, here's Palin: "America is in a position to help. What I've done in my position to help, as the governor of a state that's pretty rich in natural resources, we have a $40 billion investment fund, a savings fund called the Alaska Permanent Fund. When I and others in the legislature found out we had some millions of dollars in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars to make sure we weren't doing anything that would be seen as condoning the activities there in Darfur. That legislation hasn't passed yet but it needs to because all of us, as individuals, and as humanitarians and as elected officials should do all we can to end those atrocities in that region of the world."

Seems like a pretty good move. Too bad it's a total lie, as ABC notes in a report tonight. A bipartisan group of Alaska legislators "co-sponsored a resolution early this year to force the Alaska Permanent Fund ... to divest millions of dollars in holdings tied to the Sudanese government." Palin's administration openly opposed the bill: in fact, her deputy revenue commissioner said in a February public hearing on the measure "The legislation is well-intended, and the desire to make a difference is noble, but mixing moral and political agendas at the expense of our citizens' financial security is not a good combination." ABC's report adds "a search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska's investments tied to the ruling regime."

Democratic State Rep. Les Gara, one of the original sponsors of the measure, said that the Palin administration's opposition to the legislation kept it from being voted on by the relevant committee, dooming it. His Republican co-sponsor Bob Lynn, meanwhile, says Palin did support the bill, but when asked to explain why her administration would send someone up to speak against it replied (rather lamely, in my view) "We don't all work in lockstep here. People have different opinions". (Fine, but if the governor's in support of the bill, shouldn't her aides at least be singing the same tune?). Lynn said he and the governor agreed to re-introduce the bill this coming January, after the administration's position "softened" toward the end of the most recent legislative session (once it was too late to pass the legislation this year).

Shady. And untruthful. But coming from Palin, that seems to be just more of the same.


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