This is from Max Blumenthal’s column on The Daily Beast.
Apparently, our favorite beauty queen-turned-governor-turned-quitter really made a mess of Alaska on the way out. Why am I not surprised? Here’s an excerpt:
Palin’s Final Insult
by Max Blumenthal
It wasn’t enough to quit on Alaska mid-term. As The Daily Beast’s Max Blumenthal reports, Sarah Palin’s strange exit strategy could cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars as it tries to sort out the mess she left behind.
Since her sudden resignation from the Alaskan governor’s office on July 3, Sarah Palin has created a constitutional crisis that could cost state legislators hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money to resolve. Palin appointed Lt. Governor Sean Parnell to succeed her, and tapped Lt. Gen. Craig Campbell, the commissioner of the Alaskan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, to fill Parnell’s post. However, the state legislature had already chosen someone to succeed Parnell in case of an emergency: State Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt. To resolve the conflict Palin created, the legislature will almost certainly have to call a special session, an event that could require at least $200,000 to administer.
The legislative sources heaped scorn on Palin for saddling them with a new and potentially expensive crisis while she made plans to pursue lucre and celebrity in the lower 48.
“Honestly, Sarah’s resignation was complete bullshit and I’m saying that as a Republican,” a Republican political veteran working in the legislature told me. “In all my years in politics, nobody has left Alaska in such a mess. Everyone here is just shocked.” The Republican added, “There’s no choice but to hold a special session. The conflict has to be handled in an orderly way.”
“Sarah [Palin] just out of the blue picked a new person [for lieutenant governor] without even conceding that this was a new pick,” said Democratic Rep. Les Gara. “She has offered no explanation for doing this, which is like not turning in your homework and not saying why you didn’t turn it in.”
“Nobody really understands why she tried to appoint Campbell, but nobody understands why she resigned either,” Ethan Berkowitz, the former Democratic minority leader in the Alaskan House of Representatives, told me. “That’s just Sarah—she’s always been this way.”
The legislators said they would also use the special session to recover $29 million in federal stimulus grants Palin rejected in May. At the time, Gara and other lawmakers accused Palin of rejecting the money to further her national political ambitions. “I’m worried that the governor has taken this sort of national political stance, which is that she’s going to be the opposite of Barack Obama on everything,” Gara said in May. Now that Palin is on her way out, a bipartisan consensus seems to have emerged on retrieving the funding, which would enable the state to fulfill weatherization and energy-efficiency priorities.
Because both the House and Senate chambers in Juneau are undergoing renovation, the session to confirm Alaska’s new lieutenant governor and recover the stimulus money would have to be held in a different location, or another city altogether—Anchorage is one of many possibilities. If past estimates hold firm, the change in venue would make the session more costly to Alaskan taxpayers. Berkowitz predicted the session would cost “at the very least $200,000.”
While Palin chases lucrative opportunities, she has apparently left Alaskan taxpayers to pick up her tab. Some of her former Republican allies are not sad to see her go. “Sarah said she can’t be out of here fast enough and we agree,” said the Republican legislative source. “When you use Alaska to make money for yourself and leave the state, people here don’t take that lightly. Honestly, she’s hurt us enough.”
Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and writing fellow at The Nation Institute, whose book, Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books), is forthcoming in Spring 2009. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be sure to check out ••Sarah Palin’s Facebook Page••! You cannot imagine how much fun it is! I’ve been posting stuff there all week….