Palin’s record of secrecy and cronyism affects environment among other issues
A passion for oil drilling isn’t the only thing Sarah Palin has in common with Dick Cheney. “Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy,” The New York Times reports in a front page article on Sunday.
“While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret,” the Times reports. “The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records.” Sounds an awful lot like White House officials using RNC accounts so their emails wouldn’t have to be made public.
One prime example in the article comes from the environmental realm:
Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.
When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.
“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.
And a few other key paragraphs from the article:
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.
As she assembled her cabinet and made other state appointments, those with insider credentials were now on the outs. But a new pattern became clear. She surrounded herself with people she has known since grade school and members of her church.
The administration’s e-mail correspondence reveals a siege-like atmosphere. Top aides keep score, demean enemies and gloat over successes. Even some who helped engineer her rise have felt her wrath.
And here’s a last tidbit: As mayor of Wasilla, “she used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor’s use — employees sarcastically called it the mayor-mobile.”