Three male legislators have introduced a bill that, if approved, will make it into law the requirement of parental consent for a minor to have an abortion in Alaska. Sarah Palin supports it, of course. The same Sarah Palin who would like to see Roe v Wade overturned, so all women would lose their rights to make decisions regarding reproduction.
This bill would revise the Parental Consent Act passed by the Legislature in 1997, which was overturned 3-2 by the Alaska Supreme Court in 2007. The court held that the parental consent requirement was unconstitutional because it infringed on a pregnant teenager's right to reproductive freedom.
Sarah Palin is now more confident the Supreme Court will uphold the act requiring parental consent. She has appointed a new judge to replace one of the two who cast a vote to overturn it.
I'm not going to discuss the merits of parental consent versus the reproductive freedom rights of teenage girls. Gryphen, of Immoral Minority, has already written a moving article saying everything I could have possibly said about it in a far more eloquent and compelling manner than I could ever hope to achieve.
I want to discuss Sarah Palin's almost limitless powers as governor.
According to the Constitution of Alaska, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on a single ticket, and are the only statewide elected officials.
The governor will appoint the judges. Gubernatorial appointment, by its nature, is a political choice. In other words, Sarah Palin has the power to influence Supreme Court outcomes. Once appointed, the judge will remain in place until retirement or impeachment. Regarding the Judiciary, she may have to be patient, but eventually she gets her own way.
The Commissioner of Public Safety, the Attorney General and members of various boards and comissions also serve at the governor's pleasure.
This is a woman who, ever since attaining power, first as mayor of Wasilla and now as governor of Alaska, has consistently abused it, appointing members of her church, high school friends and other cronies to positions in every area. The boards of Mat-Su Providence Hospital, Agriculture & Conservation, the Board of Game and who knows how many more, consist solely of people with no qualifications other than religious affiliation, a love of cows, being a neighbour or a former high school mate, or sharing her passion for hunting.
Sarah Palin's firing power is legendary. Being very trigger happy, she fires at will. All members of boards are eliminated if they displease her. Anybody who dares disagree with her is summarily discarded. When issues of ethics are raised regarding a dismissal, leading the Personnel Board, whose members also serve at the Governor's pleasure, to "investigate", they decide that no ethics are ever violated. Sarah Palin always acts within her powers to hire and fire at will, it is her prerogative and she doesn't have to explain herself to anybody. As it happened in the case of Walt Monegan, of Troopergate fame.
She also fires people for personal reasons, if their conduct in their private lives conflict with her personal views or with her husband's allegiances, which was the case when John Bitney was dismissed from his job as her legislative director because he was having a relationship with the soon to be ex-wife of one of Todd's closest friends.
Sarah Palin has a very clear agenda. In her two tears as governor she has empowered her church through several appointments, she has been fighting to enable the oil industry to become less accountable and more profitable, she has undermined initiatives to promote and preserve the lifestyle and culture of Alaska Natives. The appointments she makes to boards and comissions that oversee wildlife and predator management also reflect her personal and pro-oil agendas. The same happens in the area of the environment, her "scientists" don't believe the actions of man influence environmental or climatic changes.
The other important power Sarah Palin has is the power of veto. With one stroke of her pen, whole projects bite the dust or are severely undermined. These projects tend to be in the social welfare areas. Education and health projects have suffered the effects of her cuts. People don't matter much to her.
But the people elected her, one may argue. Yes, but she ran profoundly dishonest campaigns. In Wasilla she was elected after she ran a campaign based on vicious innuendo about her opponent. Sarah's bid for the governorship was founded on an anti-corruption, "I'll take on Big Oil" platform. She was popular because she wasn't Murkowski, who was too openly pro-big oil. People believed in her because she didn't sound like the other more seasoned politicians, they believed she would conduct her administration in a non-partisan way. The whole country is now familiar with her campaigning style.
Alaskans were sadly mistaken. Sarah Palin is a power hungry politician who puts herself and her distorted agenda ahead of anything else, regardless of the cost to people, creatures or the environment. Her motivation is not to serve the people who elected her or to preserve the integrity of the state and its natural wealth for the people who depend on it.
Sarah Palin's appetite for power and the lack of constitutional boundaries to the powers of her office is a lethal combination.
I'm fond of quotations and I'll end this article with one that seems very fitting.
All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. ~Lord Acton