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This is journalism?

From the ADN feature story giving their take on the resignation of Governor Palin:

"...Gov. Palin pushed through ethics reforms, major changes in the way the state taxed oil companies, and a natural gas pipeline deal that injected momentum into a project that had sat dormant for decades."

She did? This is essentially a rephrasing of her PDF press release, almost word for word.

"...Running as the outsider breath of fresh air, she charmed many voters and trounced former two-term Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles in the general election."

It was a multi-horse race. They forget Halcro and write-ins for Benson and others.

"...Palin used her popularity, her own squeaky-clean image and bipartisan support in the Legislature to leverage some major achievements in her first six months as governor. She pushed through a rewrite of state ethics laws."

She did? How about a link to that one? I didn't hear nor do I recall ANY major ethics reform legislation emanating from this administration ever. Not even a groundswell effort from the legislature to reform anything. Though I think the marmot is now our official state rodent! Woot! Go Alaska! If anything, this fiasco of the reign of Governor Palin should teach all Alaskans that our ethics laws are severly messed up. Seriously, people.

"...Later that year, ethics again was at the center of Palin's push to raise oil taxes when prices are high. The federal corruption probe was centered largely on bribery during legislative debate of an oil-tax rewrite in 2006, while Palin was running for governor. She called a special legislative session that resulted in a major tax increase on Alaska's oil companies when oil prices are high."

Yeah, ummm... REALLY? Didn't they (meaning the legislature) pretty much just rubber stamp the 22.5% rate as hammered out at the very end of the Murkowski administration? What did she have to do with that? It was a done deal and the ink was dry before she had even started to decide how to redecorate the Governor's office (the one in Anchorage, silly). What has changed other than Governor Palin passing along big oil windfall profits to her constituents in the form of $1200 Energy Rebates financed out of the pocket of The Alaska Permanent Fund? Is that her "new energy independence" accomplishment? Robbing Peter to pay Paul?

"She also crafted legislation that changed the state's approach to jump-starting a multibillion-dollar (sic) (it's "multi-billion dollar", ADN) North Slope natural gas pipeline project -- a project that had eluded previous governors and could bring a fresh new source of petroleum wealth to Alaska."

But as most Alaskan agree, won't. No pipeline gets built unless it is profitable for everyone and none gets built without the cooperation of ALL of the producers, which as we should all know they're all still wrangling over because of issues with leases at Pt. Tomson, pipeline maintenance and a raft of other discords amongst all the parties. Pipeline still not built yet. Film at 11. This is an accomplishment? And in recent news we learned she may have been in somewhat less than public negotiations with the somewhat less than popular (in Alaska at least, by a large chunk of the population who still have a very hard time "forgiving and forgetting" about oil spills and settlements) Exxon Corporation, giving them the "hookup" as it were with Trans-Canada? Really? Exxon who owns vast amounts of gas lease contracts right across the border from ANWR that they intend to pump into the same pipeline system as Alaska gas would be headed? If, as many of the producers have already said, it's not profitable or barely profitable for them to do this from their holdings already in Canada, what makes you think they'll or any other producers have ANY motivation whatsoever to push Alaska gas to market? Thus our number one priority as Alaskans MUST be Alaskan natural gas FOR Alaskans first. Apparently Governor Palin won't be around to take credit for that.

"...The costs of investigating and defending against them were high both for the state and for Palin. Friends and supporters created a legal defense fund for the governor, whose expenses were recently estimated in excess of $600,000."

Two thirds of which is accountable to the partisan and opaque 'Troopergate' disclosure she launched against herself with the personnel board when a bi-partisan, independent investigation was already underway. A Personnel Board investigation, by the way, whose opening salvo commenced with them pre-depositioning and possibly witness tampering (by resigned ex-Attorney General Talis Colberg himself) many of those subpoenaed by the independent counsel BEFORE the independent counsel got his chance to depose. In spite of her continued claims of the "MILLIONS and MILLIONS of DOLLARS it is costing the state and it's taxpayers" (actual breathless quote, not once but twice during her resignation speech), the personnel board disclosed it has spent $297,000 for independent counsel investigators. Even adding the two and getting the phrase "millions and millions of dollars", is a stretch. Besides -- why so expensive for 15 dismissed ethics complaints? Dismissed by an executive branch controlled Personnel Board, hiring local attorneys to serve as independent counsel (the only smart move in this equation), paid for by the executive branch, investigating a greviance against a member, no -- the head -- of the very same executive branch? Open and transparent? Not so much as the bipartisan alternative as originally embarked upon by the checks and balances action of the legislative branch.

So I take issue with the sycophantic, non-investigative and lazy nature of the first part of this ADN article. It is pretty much a reiteration of her own talking points -- but we've come to expect that from ADN, haven't we?

From Sarah herself:

"Every one -- all 15 of the ethics complaints -- have been dismissed. We've won! But it hasn't been cheap. The state has wasted thousands of hours of your time and shelled out some two million of your dollars to respond to 'opposition research.' That's money not going to fund teachers or troopers (or) safer roads."

See above, Governor. $297,000. Two thirds of it for the investigation you launched against yourself. Thanks. We'll give your regards to the unemployed teachers and troopers. What you have to pay to defend yourself against your own possible unethical behavior is your own business. Simple answer: stop giving the perception that you're acting unethically and people stop filing ethics grievances.

Lastly and perhaps the most heinous and craven act:

"...Palin also is unpopular with some Alaska Natives, who have criticized her for failing to appoint a Native to a rural affairs position, and for being slow to respond to fuel and flooding crises in the Bush and along the Yukon River, among other shortcomings they cite."

And then she did appoint one as rural advisor who I have an idea they abused badly when they possibly put words in his mouth and twittered away about something (during her visit to ANG troops stationed in Kosovo) that may have been less than truthful about the state of natives living in Emmonak and their situation with subsistence fishing -- something that appeared to be far south of the truth. Something that differed greatly with statements from actual residents and a boots on the ground freelance videographer working for CNN who just happened to be there at the time of the "good news" tweeting.

So there's my take on the circus up to this point. Including that which lately passes for actual journalism at ADN. During this 4th of July holiday season, much popcorn has been sold, fireworks were blown, champagne corks popped, BBQ eaten, kool-aid drank and careers ruined (or re-branded, or re-launched). Who knows? But it ain't over yet because the fat lady... well you know the rest.


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