Sarah Palin in 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile series in Anchorage Daily News


On Environment: Supports “Roads to Resources”: subsidized access to mines

When it comes to spending state money, Palin is generally conservative. Yet Palin supports the state’s “roads to resources program,” which funds roads to mines and other natural resources projects such as oil and gas. Knowles say the state should not subsidize road construction to new mines.
Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 31, 2006

On Jobs: Praised the Red Dog zinc mine for bringing rural jobs

The major candidates for governor can’t go anywhere in Alaska without discussing Pebble, the gigantic mineral, copper and gold deposit north of Iliamna. Following are the candidates’ positions.

Knowles claims strong opposition. At a resource industry forum in Anchorage, Knowles said he finds the Pebble project “terrifying.” Knowles said recently, “The scale of it is so enormous. On its merits, (Pebble) is an unacceptable risk.”

Palin is reserving judgment on Pebble, for now. On the Pebble project, Palin says she would not put one resource, such as the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, at risk “for another resource.”

In recent debates, Palin has rarely commented on individual mines, though she praised the Red Dog zinc mine near Kotzebue for bringing jobs to rural Alaska.

SUMMARY: TONY KNOWLES: Thinks the Pebble mine prospect is “terrifying.”

SARAH PALIN: Withholding judgment until she sees Pebble permit applications, but unwilling to risk the region’s fisheries.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 31, 2006

On Budget & Economy: Coordinate state tourism marketing but no additional funding

The next governor also will help shape how the Legislature will spend the anticipated tens of millions in new cruise tax revenue.

Knowles said he would work with the Legislature to use a portion of the new cruise tax revenue to market the Alaska tourism. The candidate complains that the state’s funding for tourism marketing has plunged in the last decade. “When you compare that to other states, like Connecticut, Indiana or Tennessee, we’re out-marketed across the board,” Knowles said in a recent interview. Knowles said he supports doubling state funding for tourism marketing to $10 million.

Palin said the state should continue to match industry’s marketing funds, but a “huge overblown budget” isn’t necessary to entice more travelers to Alaska. “It doesn’t necessarily cost more money to market,” Palin said at the recent Wasilla gubernatorial debate. She advocated “better coordination” and “better ideas” as the way to improve tourism marketing.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 30, 2006

On Drugs: Questions cruise ship gambling, under casino gambling ban

Palin questioned business aspects of the new cruise ship law in an Oct. 17 letter to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, the state’s major tourism group: “We all have to recognize that voters passed the measure--it is water under the bridge--but now we have to work together to make sure that it doesn’t have a negative impact on you--as small business owners,” Palin wrote.

Palin worried about the law’s new tax on gambling while ships are in state waters. “Currently casino gambling is prohibited in Alaska. So what are we getting ourselves into?“ Palin also asked.

Though she didn’t say how she would do it, Palin told the ATIA she would work with the tourism industry to ”mitigate some of the impacts“ from the new law. Knowles spokeswoman Patty Ginsburg said Friday that her boss supported taxing the cruise industry but he was unhappy with the law’s other provisions.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 30, 2006

On Environment: Don’t duplicate effort in monitoring cruise ship emissions

Palin questioned environmental aspects of the new cruise ship law in an Oct. 17 letter to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, the state’s major tourism group. Palin questioned whether the new environmental monitoring is “redundant” under state law and she said no other Alaska business faces the consumer disclosures now required for cruise lines. Palin worried about the law’s environmental enforcement and its requirement for cruise lines to disclose their commissions for channeling passengers to flightseeing companies, rafting businesses, gift shops and other on-shore vendors.

The state Departments of Environmental Conservation and state Department of Revenue are now writing the regulations to enforce the taxes, environmental permits and disclosure rules. The new taxes and rules go into effect Dec. 17.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 30, 2006

On Tax Reform: Mitigate impact of new $50M annual cruise ship tourism tax

Thirteen days after the next governor takes the oath of office, Alaska will enact sweeping new rules and taxes on the tourism industry. Just a few months ago, Alaska voters put cruise lines and their passengers on the hook for millions in new taxes and fees, all contained in a cruise-ship ballot proposition approved in August’s primary election.

Sarah Palin now says she doesn’t feel comfortable with some aspects of the new law. She recently told tourism industry officials that if elected, she would work with them to “mitigate some of the impacts” of the law.

The new taxes and fees will generate at least $50 million a year in additional state revenue, according to recent estimates from the Alaska Department of Revenue. For the first time, the state also will put observers on cruise ships visiting Alaska to monitor the ships’ smokestack and wastewater emissions. And cruise lines will need to begin disclosing their sales commissions with on-shore vendors.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 30, 2006

On Environment: Don’t amend AK constitution for rural subsistence fishing

Subsistence fishing might be the issue that most clearly separates Knowles and Palin. 83% of rural households have subsistence fishing permits. Knowles expended much effort as governor trying to reconcile state and federal law, the latter of which gives rural residents priority to fish and game on the vast federal lands in Alaska. He wants an amendment to the Alaska Constitution to cement the rural priority. Pundits reckon that position is a plus for Knowles among rural voters.

Palin opposes a constitutional amendment, saying equality provisions should not be tampered with. She says the state should work toward another resolution that protects subsistence for those who need it most.

Knowles & Palin are in accord on one final item: No fish farms in Alaska waters.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 29, 2006

On Jobs: Department of Fish and Game is under-funded

Knowles & Palin, courting the fish crowd is de rigueur. More than 20,000 commercial fishermen chase fish. More than 200,000 residents hold sportfishing licenses. And 83% of rural households have subsistence fishing permits.

All the candidates say the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is underfunded, lacking enough people and tools to study and protect the fish and their habitat.

All also promise to appoint people to the state Board of Fisheries and the North Pacific Council who will put the health of fish stocks first and won’t let politics interfere.

Knowles vows he won’t appoint “lightning rods,” but his commercial critics argue he did as governor, naming people with sportfishing or environmental bents such as Kenai River sportfishing kingpin Bob Penney.

“What I was trying to do was bring a real balance,” Knowles said. Indeed, the makeup of the board and council have at times tilted heavily toward commercial fishing interests.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 29, 2006

On Principles & Values: Endorsed by United Fishermen of Alaska (commercial group)

So far, commercial fishing groups are choosing Palin. The state’s flagship group, United Fishermen of Alaska, endorsed Palin, as did a leading commercial fishing organization.

The executive director of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association said his group believes Knowles mismanaged spawning runs, culminating years later in this season’s poor Inlet sockeye harvest. “The reason we went with Sarah was, she believes in managing these fisheries for the highest abundance on average that we can get,” the director said. That’s good, he said, for all kinds of fishermen including commercial gillnetters, sport anglers and dipnetters.

A handicap for Knowles is his eight-year record of engaging tough fish policy questions and crises, creating baggage that doesn’t burden Palin, said Terry Gardiner, speaker of the Alaska House in 1979-80. “It’s simple: He has a record. It’s a record versus no involvement,” he said, adding: “The way to be popular with fishermen is do nothing, because you don’t make enemies.”

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 29, 2006

On Abortion: If Roe v. Wade got overturned, let people decide what’s next

Q: If Roe v. Wade were overturned and states could once again prohibit abortion, in your view, to what extent should abortion be prohibited in Alaska?

A: Under this hypothetical scenario, it would not be up to the governor to unilaterally ban anything. It would be up to the people of Alaska to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Abortion: Opposes use of public funds for abortions

Q: Do you support or oppose the use of public funds for abortion (e.g., paying for abortion, promoting abortion, subsidizing organizations that provide or refer for abortion)?

A: I oppose the use of public funds for elective abortions.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Crime: Death penalty for adults who murder children

Q: Would you introduce--or, if introduced by a legislator, would you support--a bill to adopt the death penalty in Alaska? If yes, which crimes should it apply to?

A: If the Legislature were to pass a bill that established a death penalty on adults who murder children, I would sign it.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Education: Support charters & home schools; not private school vouchers

Q: Would you support amending the state constitution to allow private school vouchers?

A: My priorities are to support options for education as allowable within the current funding formula--including home schools, charter schools and vocational training. This doesn’t require amending the constitution.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Energy & Oil: Firm start date as part of gasline incentive offer

Q: Do you believe the state should demand a firm construction start date for a gas line, despite the uncertainties of construction costs, permits and financing?

A: Yes. If the state is going to offer incentives--and award them to a specific proposal--it is reasonable to expect a firm start date. Otherwise, other proposals need to be given the opportunity to begin construction.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Energy & Oil: Opposes natural gas reserves tax--it’s not earned income yet

Q: Do you support the natural gas reserves tax on the Nov. 7 ballot? If it passed, how would that affect your negotiations with the producers on a gas pipeline?

A: I am opposed. This initiative is akin to taxing income before it is even earned. The way to get an agreement on building a pipeline is to negotiate . not litigate.

Q: Do you support the Petroleum Profits Tax passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Murkowski? If no, why not?

A: My preference was a tax on the gross price with a price-progressive index. We need to see how companies apply the tax credits within the law. If the credits are abused and Alaska is shortchanged, changes will be proposed. The intent of the credits is to encourage new exploration and infrastructure development.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Energy & Oil: Analyze potential costs associated with climate change

Q: What role does state government have, if any, in addressing global warming and climate change?

A: We need to analyze the potential economic costs, needs and opportunities associated with climate change. Let’s be cautious in how we react--to make sure we don’t overreact. The Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission is supposed to assess the situation and issue a report on March 1, 2007. This is a good start.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Government Reform: Supports state funding for Gravina Island bridge

Q: Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges? [Note: The Gravina Island bridge later became known as the “Bridge to Nowhere”]

A: Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Immigration: Immigrants want more vocational training & senior assistance

Q: The state has seen big growth of minority and immigrant populations, specifically Latinos & Southeast Asians. What sort of outreach has your campaign done?

A: I have reached out to all these communities and asked them to identify their needs. Their response has been for more vocational training, senior assistance, ending gang violence, and more state outreach and communication with their communities. One of the key components of my internal campaign is a diversity task force. I turn to them often.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Tax Reform: No income tax; no taking the people’s dividends

Q: If the state finds itself squeezed for funds in the future, where would you look for more revenue?

A: Unlike my opponents’ efforts in the past, I will not propose to take the people’s dividends or impose an income tax. Given our current revenue projections, I will focus my administration toward developing our natural resources and establishing an agreement to build a gas pipeline.

Q: Should the state consider using more Permanent Fund earnings to run government?

A: No.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Tax Reform: Would support a seasonal sales tax, but no income tax

Q: Would you support state sales or income taxes under any circumstances?

A: I don’t support state income taxes. There are circumstances where I could support a sales tax if applied seasonally.

Q: Are there sectors of the Alaska economy that are under taxed or overtaxed? Which ones?

A: As a fiscal conservative, I’m not enamored with additional taxes on anything. I believe it’s the governor’s job to make sure the state gets a fair return on the development of our natural resources.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On War & Peace: I support President Bush’s efforts to stop terrorism

Q: This year saw the biggest wartime call-up of Alaska National Guard troops ever. Combined with deployments of active-duty forces, thousands of Alaskans are now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas. What’s your view of the Iraq war, and do you support Pres. Bush’s “war on terror”?

A: I support President Bush’s efforts to stop terrorism by taking the fight to the terrorists. In the Iraq war, I would like to see the president develop an exit strategy to get our troops home

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

On Welfare & Poverty: Funding for faith-based initiatives is adequate today

Q: Do you support an increase in state-funded, faith-based initiatives?

A: We see an adequate level of funding for faith-based initiatives today.

Q: What, specifically, would you do to help make rural Alaska sustain itself economically?

A: I support a municipal revenue sharing so local areas can prioritize their own needs. The state needs to establish a rural energy plan. Commercial fishing is a mainstay for many villages, and I oppose actions that cut off Alaskans from our fisheries.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006

The above quotations are from Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile series, Oct. 29-31, 2006.
Click here for other excerpts from Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile series, Oct. 29-31, 2006.
Click here for other excerpts by Sarah Palin.
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