One of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s major statehouse foes is being rewarded for his opposition with a plumb position in the Obama administration, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Juneau Democrat Kim Elton resigned from the state Senate on Monday to take a job as director of Alaska affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Elton supported Obama in the presidential race. He also had a central role in the Legislature's "Troopergate" investigation of Palin, and the governor's surrogates accused Elton and other Democrats of playing partisan politics with it.
Palin greeted the appointment with what Alaska writers described as a “terse” statement: “Senator Elton pledged his allegiance to President Obama last summer. We wish him well as he moves on and hope that he uses this job for Alaska’s benefit - to advance the state’s oil and gas issues, including the natural gas pipeline, and to work diligently to remove the barriers imposed upon all states that want to open up their shores to off-shore drilling.
“I hope he can represent Alaskans by opening ANWR, conveying the importance of responsible mining development, and building roads – all issues crucial to the future of our state,” Palin said, according to the Associated Press.
Palin will appoint Elton's replacement in the state Senate. Elton and Democratic Party leaders are pushing for House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula, another Palin opponent, to get the nod. But since Kerttula has been sharply critical of the governor since her run as Republican nominee for vice president last fall, few observers think she will get the appointment.
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