Friday, July 03, 2009
Leaving Alaska Going in the Right Direction
Governor Sarah Palin announced her resignation today because the media and political frenzy around her was taking up the majority of her time, her staff's time, millions in state funds and half a million of her family funds. All this was not about her policies, but about her personally and her family.
I've been in a somewhat similar position--except for the personal rancor. I left the position of CFO of a company after bringing it out of crippling debt because of internal fighting that was starting to hurt the company and bring undue pressure on employees who needed to be left alone to do their jobs.
Sarah Palin leaves Alaska in good shape. In terms of the state employment trend, in great shape. Alaska has had one of the best state employment trends for the last four months while my state of Oregon has been vying for, capturing and maintaining the second highest unemployment rate in the nation. (Alaska good news: February, March, April, May)
While many other states spent during the good times and are agonizing over budget cuts in the millions and even billions (and the Obama administration is deepening the national debt by the trillions), Alaska actually tripled its savings under Governor Palin. Alaska had about $2 billion in savings when she came into office, and now has about $6.5 billion in savings. Even with that substantial backup, she considered it to be good policy to cut almost $270 million from this year's original budget request.
This is a legacy that the people of Alaska feel every day.
If other governors had paid that kind of attention to their states, double digit unemployment, state IOU's and economic crisis management wouldn't be as common as it is. And if Presidents Bush and Obama had paid that kind of attention to the nation, we wouldn't have trillions in debt piling up and the national unemployment rate lapping at double digit shores.
Sarah Palin keeps showing good judgment not only in stabilizing the economy and employment in Alaska, but in underlining the fact that good political leadership is about the people being served not the leader's political position and perks.
Cross posted at The Next Right