Sarah Palin: The best defense is a good offense

Posted on March 31, 2011

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And so, as the world’s media takes notice of Sarah Palin’s latest endeavor in her seemingly endless quest for more pay, the former half-governor of Alaska doesn’t try to defend the fact that she took $1.2 Million of Alaska’s tax dollars to film her pathetically self-aggrandizing faux-reality show on TLC. Instead, she pouts and whines and plays the fake self-righteous indignation card and blames the media for – yet again and as always – misquoting her, not treating her fairly, giving her the respect she believes she’s entitled to, and ACCURATELY reporting her words and actions – just not prominently enough to serve her satisfaction.

Clearly, as evidenced time and time again by Sarah Palin claiming to have been duped, misled, misquoted, attacked or otherwise represented poorly by the media she so loves to hate, Palin is just irritated that yet another relatively high-profile media outlet didn’t pump sunshine up her butt and call her everything from brilliant to goddess. If it isn’t drooling praise, it’s “sloppy journalism” that Palin believes herself more qualified than anyone else to correct.

Here is the actual response Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page and in several other online venues to “vindicate” herself, and claim once again that the “liberal media” she claims to abhor so vehemently and yet takes every opportunity possible to get her face in front of, is just plain wrong, because she – as always – believes she is never is.

Setting the Record Straight on State’s Film Production Tax Credit
by Sarah Palin on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 9:22am

Goodness, cleaning up the sloppiness of reporters could be a full-time job. In response to The Daily Caller’s online inquiry, I gave them a statement that the writer buried on his story’s second page (which most people won’t even notice – I didn’t even notice it) after he spent the first page completely spinning a situation to give the impression that Alaska’s film production tax credit legislation was somehow solely my idea hatched up to benefit the Palins years before I was ever involved in a documentary series on TLC/Discovery Channel. Here’s setting the record straight: As Governor, I signed into law a popular bipartisan bill that was crafted and passed by others and has resulted in numerous Alaska-based productions that are airing today. The only alternative to signing the legislature’s work product would have been for me to veto their legislation, which would have been useless. Besides all that, their legislation worked.
This bill was not some secret big government agenda. These Alaskan legislators just wanted Alaska to be able to compete with the many other states that offer similar incentives. As I noted in my statement (which was curiously buried by The Daily Caller – whose editor-in-chief was recently called on the carpet for publicly using a degrading term to describe women. C’mon Daily Caller, we can’t afford you slipping up like this. America is counting on more professionalism than that.), I can’t speak for the film tax credit programs in other states, but the program in Alaska has been effective. The bipartisan legislation I signed into law in 2008 was borne out of elected lawmakers’ frustration with the fact that shows and films about Alaska were mostly filmed elsewhere. They wanted to incentivize production companies to film in Alaska instead of Canada, Washington state, or Maine. Their bill worked, and as the legislation’s supporters will testify, the state’s economy enjoys the benefits of having this production money circulating right here at home. It was so successful that state lawmakers now want to renew the film production tax credits for another ten years. Keep in mind that we don’t have a state income tax, state sales tax, or state property tax in Alaska. Our state government is predominately funded by oil and gas revenue. Essentially we are using revenue generated from the development of Alaska’s natural resources in order to diversify our economy and create jobs beyond just resource development. Not only does this help promote a new film industry in Alaska, it obviously also has the added benefit of encouraging our tourism industry. These shows and films about Alaska act as perfect tourist advertisements for our state.  People come here to experience what they see on the shows filmed here. The dramatic increase in Alaska-based television shows and films are testament to the fact that this legislation worked, and it’s exciting to see our state showcased and appreciated. There has been more film productions here than ever before, and the economic benefit of filming here exceeds the tax credit.
And another point missed by this reporter: apparently The Daily Caller’s conspiracy theory must be that I did all of this not even to benefit myself but Mark Burnett Productions. As I tried to explain to the writer at The Daily Caller, if you believe in this bizarre scenario then why not ask the sponsors, drafters, and supporters of this legislation that would boost job creation if they crafted this bill years ago in order to benefit Sarah Palin. Any suggestion that I somehow did something wrong by signing this legislation is ridiculous. The accusation hinges on the notion that I signed the legislation into law knowing that it would personally benefit me. That’s totally absurd. It wasn’t even my bill, and obviously I had no intention of benefiting from it when I signed it into law in 2008 because I had no idea I would be involved in a documentary series years later. If you’re going to accuse me of benefiting from legislation I signed into law, why stop there? Go ahead and accuse me of “benefiting” from the legislation my administration actually did craft – like for example, our oil and gas evaluation legislation (ACES). You could say I “benefited” from it in the sense that due to ACES the state where I live (Alaska) now enjoys a $12 billion surplus. In fact, you could say that as an Alaskan, I benefited from all of the legislation I championed or signed as governor – just as every Alaskan benefited.
As I also tried to tell the reporter, it’s also a false accusation to suggest that signing this bipartisan bill somehow goes against my position on the proper role of government. I’ve said many times that government can play an appropriate role in incentivizing business, creating infrastructure, and leveling the playing field to foster competition so the market picks winners and losers, instead of bureaucrats burdening businesses and picking winners and losers. Again, I can’t speak for what other states do, but Alaska’s film production tax credit program was an effective way to incentivize a new industry that would diversify our economy. It worked. The lawmakers’ successful legislation fit Alaska’s economy, as our economy is quite unique from other states’ due to our oil and gas revenue. Perhaps it would behoove people to learn much more about the 49th state’s young economy before making broad accusations about the efficacy of business programs. People who live in ivory towers don’t understand the real world where governors and lawmakers actually have to fight to attract business and jobs to their states.
One final thought: having to set the record straight on my Facebook page yet again is further proof that the media can’t be trusted even to print a statement in a manner that people can read.
– Sarah Palin

I can’t help but notice that nowhere in her response does half-Governor Palin ever actually deny accepting the $1.2 Million from Alaska for her faux-reality television series.

All I see is more of Ms. Palin’s patent-pending “I’m a victim” reaction to the media accurately reporting her own words and actions, and then her railing against the “liberal media” for being “mean” to her. According to Ms. Palin, she is the single-most-often misquoted person in the history of the written word.

I haven’t seen anyone accusing or even implying that Palin crafted the legislation back in 2008 so she could benefit from it now. NOBODY believes she has enough intelligence to have conceived a plan that intricate. What the observation is, is that Sarah Palin – or someone in her 24/7 quest-for-cash opportunity team – realized that Palin could financially benefit NOW from the legislation created THEN. And since it’s quite clear that she HAS benefited financially from a law she imposed, the observation is that she is profiteering from her own actions as governor. And THAT is where the “feathering the nest” questions come into play.

So, I will present so simple a set of questions that even Sarah Palin shouldn’t be able to misconstrue, divert, distort or distract from a simple yes-or-no answer – provided, of course, she actually responds to them in that manner instead of yet another too-long tirade of empty, fluffy, non-answering “Go America!” platitudes.

  1. Was “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” or its producing entities subsidized, fiscally augmented, reimbursed, credited or remunerated in any way, shape or form by the state government of Alaska? Yes or No.
  2. If so, did your TLC television show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” receive the aforementioned subsidy, fiscal augmentation, reimbursement, credit or remuneration because it became possible as the result of legislation you implemented as governor of Alaska in 2008? Yes or No.
  3. Were you, Sarah Palin, or any investments or accounts held by you or for you, the recipient of ANY money – directly or indirectly – as a result of that Alaska payment/credit to the production company? Yes or No.
  4. Do you believe that you should not be held accountable to the “feathering the nest” rule regarding legislators and profit from legislation? Yes or No.
  5. Do you believe it is hypocritical of you to personally accept public money for a private television endeavor while you simultaneously speak out in favor of cutting funding for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System? Yes or No.

No punches pulled there, Ms. Palin. No obscure, unclear questions. No sandbag “trick” questions. Just a series of simple, easy to answer, yes-or-no requests for information.

I challenge Sarah Palin to reply to them each with nothing more than a “yes” or “no” answer.

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