September 5, 2008

Actual responsibilities. Plus costs. Plus fees.

WASILLA, Alaska — The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.

The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin's legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.

Last year, [an] arbitrator ordered the city to pay $836,378 for the 80-acre parcel, far more than the $126,000 Wasilla originally thought it would pay for a piece of land 65 acres larger. The arbitrator also determined that the city owed [a competing prospective buyer] $336,000 in interest. Wasilla's legal bill since [a more recent] eminent domain action has come to roughly $250,000 so far, according to [Tom] Klinkner, the city attorney.
Palin's hockey rinkWall Street Journal

Plus escape clauses.

Also, here is a very interesting report from the Canadian press on Gov. Palin's natural gas pipeline, the one she proudly touted during her "masterwork" of a speech at the RNC Wednesday evening:
Alaska must resolve a $30-billion battle that pits Ms. Palin against energy giants BP PLC and ConocoPhillips Inc., two pillars of [Alaska's] economy. Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., Canada's largest pipeline company, is caught in the middle, enjoying legislative and some financial support from the State to build the 2,670-kilometre-long line that would ship four billion cubic feet of gas a day beginning in 2018.

But TransCanada is up against a rival pipeline project [dubbed 'Denali'] that would be built by BP and Conoco, the very oil companies TransCanada needs as its customers. Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest corporation, potentially holds the power to crown a winner by virtue of its sizeable gas production, but it has not yet picked a side.

It is a political poker game, and even though all the major parties say they are willing to work with one another, there is a plethora of ways they could stonewall the process.
The power poker chipFinancial Post

Seems it's not quite the done deal Sarah Palin presented it as, because there's no way there's going to be two 1700-mile, 48-inch diameter pipelines built.

At least TransCanada's posterior is well protected, however. In the still-possible event its current agreement is scuttled, the State of Alaska will reimburse its expenditures to that date plus a 200% mark-up, yet another contractual aspect of God's will.

It's little wonder that John McCain doesn't want her near any reporters; they might make an untoward attempt at vetting her.


Anonymous said...

In fairness she said only that she had responsibilities; she hasn't claimed to have lived up to them.

illusory tenant said...

Good point. She sets the table, McCain takes 'er home:

"You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay, and made a profit!" -- Campaigning in Cedarburg.

None of that is true. Except possibly the part about him enjoying it the most.

Anonymous said...

Here's a beautifully stupid defense of the Barracuda that echoes that on offer locally:

The simple fact of her being a pro-life married mother of five with a thriving political career was--before anything else about her was known--enough for the left and its outliers to target her for destruction. She could not be allowed to contradict symbolically one of the central narratives of the left.

How galling it will be to Sarah Palin's many new enemies if she survives this assault and prevails. If she does, her success may be an important moment in the struggle to shape not just America's politics but its culture.

The subhed is "Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left." The "smart" led me to recklessly assume there would be some evidence of alleged intelligence offered. Yet "pro-life married mother of five" is the only specification of any kind in the entire disquisition; the remainder boilerplate amateur psychoanalysis of The Left.

And I thought conservatives hated PBS.

illusory tenant said...

Yes, I've seen quite a bit of that. Yet aside from the most rabid Daily Kossacks, the only ones making a fuss about gender and motherhood and so forth are Republicans.

Most politicians -- and even most people -- have families and remain perfectly capable of raising them while doing their jobs.

If she has a record and is running on it, then examining it is hardly an exercise in "destruction." Nor is it "fear" nor "hate" nor any of the other nonsense being alleged.

Anonymous said...


No baby-boomer Republican who achieves national importance is allowed to be smart.

This particular talking point crashed and burned with Palin, because experience counts in just two different ways: It suggests you learned how to do your job by doing it; and it suggests others have had the opportunity to learn something about you. Neither one of those can be pondered, with regard to Gov. Palin, and diverted toward a conclusion about her that is negative. Therefore, in all the ways that matter, she's as experienced as any balanced aribiter [sic] would wish for her to be.
We like her politics. We like her dedication to the principles behind them. And we love how she doesn't apologize for this. We admire her for her drive, and for her scruples. After those, the experience she does have, is just frosting on the cake; it is more than sufficient for the task at hand.

It takes real skill to utilize that many words in signifying absolutely nothing.

illusory tenant said...

Odd. She seems pretty smart to me.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Canuck saves the day!

illusory tenant said...

You know, I was just reading that this very minute.

William Tyroler said...

Though iT suggests that only the Republicans are raising the issues of gender and motherhood, the Dems plainly are, if gingerly. I don't believe they quite know how to handle Palin, not at this point.

I was going to develop this thought a bit but frankly lost interest -- s/t to the effect that Clinton misunderestimated Obama, as Bush's opponents previously did him, and that Obama's supporters might not want to repeat the mistake.

Instead, I'll just say this: I am unfailingly impressed by Mr. Foley's insights, even (especially?) when I disagree with them, and particularly impressed by his expressiveness. Appreciative, too, of his taking the time and trouble to provide a forum for others (great link to Frum, by Gnarly -- Frum makes a much more persuasive argument against Palin than most coming out of the Dem camp).

illusory tenant said...

Thanks again, Mr. T., and one of these days I'll resume the telephone tag so I can buy you lunch.

And I'm greatly appreciative for all the comments, which are invariably of fine quality.