Thursday, 23 April 2009
Sarah Palin's job description
As far as Sarah Palin is concerned, all ethics complaints against her are frivolous, ridiculous and outrageous. Her preocupation with business unrelated to the state was turning into a talking point among Alaska lawmakers, including some from her own party. Sarah Palin's choice to go AWOL during the crucial closing stages of the legislative session confirmed the lawmakers suspicions.
Sarah Palin's choices have made headlines recently. She gave herself the choice of having a baby while advocating the removal of choice for other women. She made the choice to remove herself from state business and go to Indiana before the end of the session. She made the choice of not attending some Republican events after the end of the session but used the session as an excuse to decline the invitations.
So, which is which? Is the Legislative session important to her as the governor of Alaska or does it become important only when it can be used as an excuse? Her inability to engage in state business is not new.
In 2008 the lawmakers started wearing "Where's Sarah?" buttons because she couldn't be bothered to stay in Juneau long enough to attend to state business. Those were the good old days when the price of oil was going through the roof and there was no recession.
This year things became a bit more serious: oil prices plummeted, affecting the state budget. The recession set in and the new president proposed a short term solution to kick-start the economy, the stimulus plan. Sarah Palin not only didn't understand the spirit of the plan, she sabotaged the whole thing by refusing to take a big chunk of the money. Fortunately, the issue still had to be discussed by the lawmakers. Did Sarah Palin make herself available to take part in the discussions? Was she around to answer any questions?
Somebody should tell Sarah Palin what it is that the governor does all day. She seems to be under the impression that the job of governor consists of cutting ribbons in shopping malls, an opportunity for family travel on the state's dime, promoting her church, attending picnics, cheering her husband when he competes in the Iron Dog while clad head to toe in the colours of his team and giving interviews to Fox News, Vogue, Esquire, People and other magazines.
Somebody should tell the "governor" that the 90-day Legislative session is not a mere inconvenience to be avoided at all costs, that Juneau is the capital of the state and not Wasilla, where she stays in the comfort of her nice, warm home while collecting per diems.
A governor doesn't take her governor's hat off for a minute in order to influence the outcome of a ballot.
Being the governor is not about issuing press releases about her family's shortcomings and little scandals. A governor of state shouldn't make stump speeches in an endless loop of political soundbites for the benefit of her fawning supporters from other states.
Being the governor is not ignoring a crisis affecting some of her constituents for weeks on end then turning the whole thing into an Evangelical circus for a photo opportunity. A governor shouldn't indulge in political games while leaving an important area of the state without representation.
A proper governor doesn't ignore a potential environmental disaster when a volcano is erupting with millions of gallons of crude oil sitting in its vicinity. A proper governor would issue a press release about what precautions the citizens of the state should take regarding the volcano on her own website. For some reason, such a warning appeared on the SarahPac site, not the first place a concerned citizen of Alaska would look for guidance.
The job of governor is not about appointing her not necessarily qualified high school and church chums to key positions in her administration.
An accountable, transparent, ethical governor doesn't use private e-mail accounts to conduct state business then drag her feet when asked to disclose their contents.
A governor who storms into a colleague's office and scolds his aide shows no respect for her place of work or the people who surround her.
Ethics complaints apart, there must be something somewhere in the Alaska Constitution about a governor who doesn't meet the job description. In the private sector, a person who fails to fulfill the requirements of the job gets fired.
For a governor of state who falls short of the requirements and doesn't have the competence or the inclination to stay on the job there is impeachment.
Maybe it's time for Alaska senators to make their choice. Sarah Palin doesn't blink when making her decisions, she plows through the doors.
Please, senators, don't blink. Show her the door.