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Sarah Palin addresses a Labor Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express (Manchester, September 5, 2011). Author: Shemp Howard, Jr. at en.wikipedia

Overview

Sarah Louise Palin (Listeni/ˈpeɪlᵻn/; née Heath; born February 11, 1964) is an American politician, commentator, and author who served as the ninth Governor of Alaska from 2006 until her resignation in 2009. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 election running with the Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major political party and the first Republican woman nominated for the vice presidency. Her book Going Rogue has sold more than two million copies.

She was elected to the Wasilla City Council in 1992 and became Mayor of Wasilla in 1996. In 2003, after an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor, she was appointed chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, responsible for overseeing the state's oil and gas fields for safety and efficiency. The youngest person and first woman to be elected Governor of Alaska, Palin held the office from December 2006 until her resignation in July 2009.

Since leaving office, she has endorsed and campaigned for the Tea Party movement as well as several candidates in multiple election cycles. From 2010 to 2015, she provided political commentary for Fox News. On April 3, 2014, Palin premiered her latest TV show, Amazing America with Sarah Palin, on the Sportsman Channel.  On July 27, 2014, Palin launched an online news network, the Sarah Palin Channel. 

Sarah Palin, while serving as Governor of Alaska, was nominated as the first female candidate of the Republican Party for Vice President of the United States. Following the nomination, her public image came under close media scrutiny, particularly regarding her religious perspective on public life, her socially conservative views, and a perceived lack of experience. Palin's experience in foreign and domestic politics came under criticism among conservatives as well as liberals following her nomination. A poll taken by Rasmussen Reports just after the Republican National Convention in the first week of September 2008 found that Palin was more popular than either Barack Obama or John McCain; however, this perception later reversed. At the same time, Palin became more popular among Republicans than McCain. A February 2010 ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 71% of Americans felt Palin lacked the qualifications necessary to be President of the United States. 

Personal life

Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her family moved to Alaska in 1964, when her parents came to teach school in Skagway.

After graduating from high school in 1982, Palin enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Shortly after arriving in Hawaii, Palin transferred to Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu for a semester in the fall of 1982 and then to North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d'Alene, for the spring and fall semesters of 1983. She enrolled at the University of Idaho in Moscow for an academic year starting in August 1984 and then attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska in the fall of 1985. Palin returned to the University of Idaho in January 1986 and received her bachelor's degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism in May 1987. 

In June 2008, the Alumni Association of North Idaho College gave Palin its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. 

After graduation, she worked as a sportscaster for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage and as a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, fulfilling an early ambition. 

In August 1988, she eloped with her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin. Following the birth of their first child in April 1989, she helped in her husband's commercial fishing business. 

Sarah Palin is a union member, a moose hunter and holds a NRA Benefactor Life membership. She stays active as a marathon runner, sports team mom, hockey manager and school volunteer.

Palin enjoys hunting, fishing and Alaskan history.

City CouncilwomanSarah married Todd Palin, a part Yupik Eskimo and lifelong Alaskan, on August 29, 1988.

Early career

Palin served two two-year terms on the Wasilla City Council from 1992 to 1996

Palin ran for governor in 2006 on a clean government platform, and accomplished a political rarity in defeating the incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary. Palin went on to defeat former Governor Tony Knowles in the general election. Some of the highlights of her governorship include: cutting expenses of Alaska's government, freezing government hiring, reducing earmarks by 86%, and championing the private sector.

Approach to governance

Palin came under fire in congress and the media as a result of her support for the Gravina Island Bridge "Bridge to Nowhere," often called an emblem of pork-barrel spending and excessive earmark requests.

Some media outlets repeated Palin's statement that she "stood up to Big Oil" when she resigned after just 11 months as the head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission because of abuses she witnessed involving other Republican commissioners and their ties to energy companies and energy lobbyists, and again when she raised taxes on oil companies as governor; in turn others said that she is a "friend of Big Oil" due to her fervent advocacy of oil exploitation, including her push to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and effort to de-list polar bears as an Endangered species since this could hinder oil speculation. 

Similarly, some called Palin a "small-town foe of 'good old boys' politics and a champion for ethics reform," as evidenced by her run-ins with Ted Stevens, while others argued that Palin's record "undermined arguments that Palin has broken from Alaska's Republican machine, including Stevens." Still others point to nepotistic hiring tendencies and question her firing policies. Controversy arose concerning Palin's dismissal of the Wasilla police chief at the start of her first term as mayor and her firing of the public commissioner while governor of Alaska (what the media referred to as "troopergate"). 

In an article entitled "State leaders question Palin's qualifications," the Juneau Empire, one of Alaska's main papers, reported that as governor, Palin was so frequently absent from work at the state capitol that, "someone at the Capitol even printed up buttons asking, ‘Where's Sarah?’"; the article quoted Rep. Andrea Doll, D-Juneau, "At a time when her leadership was truly needed, we didn't know where she was." 

Alaska gas pipeline

In August 2008, Palin signed a bill authorizing the State of Alaska to award TransCanada Pipelines—the sole bidder to meet the state's requirements—a license to build and operate a pipeline to transport natural gas from the Alaska North Slope to the continental United States through Canada. The governor also pledged $500 million in seed money to support the project. 

It was estimated that the project would cost $26 billion. Newsweek described the project as "the principal achievement of Sarah Palin's term as Alaska's governor." The pipeline also faces legal challenges from Canadian First Nations. 

Predator control

See also: Governorship of Sarah Palin § Environment In 2007, Palin supported a 2003 Alaska Department of Fish and Game policy allowing the hunting of wolves from the air as part of a predator control program intended to increase moose and caribou populations for subsistence-food gatherers and other hunters. In March 2007, Palin's office announced that a bounty of $150 per wolf would be paid to the 180 volunteer pilots and gunners in five areas of Alaska to offset fuel costs.

In the prior four years, 607 wolves had been killed. State biologists wanted 382 to 664 wolves to be killed by the end of the predator-control season in April 2007. Wildlife activists sued the state, and a state judge declared the bounty illegal on the basis that a bounty would have to be offered by the Board of Game and not by the Department of Fish and Game. On August 26, 2008, Alaskans voted against ending the state's predator control program. 

Federal funding

In her State of the State address on January 17, 2008, Palin declared that the people of Alaska "can and must continue to develop our economy, because we cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government [funding]." Alaska's federal congressional representatives cut back on pork-barrel project requests during Palin's time as governor; despite this, in 2008 Alaska was still the largest per-capita recipient of federal earmarks, requesting nearly $750 million in special federal spending over a period of two years. 

While there is no state sales tax or income tax in Alaska, royalty revenues from the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field (consisting mostly of state-owned lands) have funded large state budgets since 1980, with the exact amounts largely dependent upon the prevailing price of petroleum. As a result, state revenues doubled to $10 billion in 2008. For the 2009 budget, Palin gave a list of 31 proposed federal earmarks or requests for funding, totaling $197 million, to Alaska's senior U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. Palin has stated that her decreasing support for federal funding was a source of friction between her and the state's congressional delegation; Palin requested less in federal funding each year than her predecessor Frank Murkowski requested in his last year. 

Troopergate

The Alaska Public Safety Commissioner dismissal, also known as Troopergate, involves the July 2008 dismissal of the Public Safety Commissioner for the State of Alaska by Governor Sarah Palin.

On October 10, 2008, the twelve-member bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council voted unanimously to release, without endorsing, the Branchflower investigative report, which found Palin had violated the ethics law covering state executive employees. The Branchflower report did not recommend a criminal investigation or sanctions. Under Alaska law, the state's gubernatorially appointed Personnel Board, not the Legislature, decides whether a Governor has violated the ethics laws On November 3, 2008, the bi-partisan Alaska State Personnel Board released the findings of its own investigation which concluded that Palin did not violate any ethics laws.

Controversial hobbies

  • Moose hunting.
  • "Peering over the Bering States at Russia".

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Also see

External sources