Tags: Sarah Palin | Parnell | Palin | Alaska | Governor | race

WSJ: Sarah Palin Opposed Alaska GOP Governor's Campaign Out of Spite

WSJ: Sarah Palin Opposed Alaska GOP Governor's Campaign Out of Spite
Former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska., and Gov. Sean Parnell. ( Ethan Miller/Getty Images; Jeff Schultz/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 November 2014 01:32 PM

With a surprise endorsement in the midterms, former Alaska governor, vice presidential candidate, and tea party darling Sarah Palin may have tipped the scales against her former lieutenant governor and party mate, Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell.

But why would she do that?

Palin said her endorsement of the ticket of independent Bill Walker, who joined with former Juneau Mayor Byron Mallott, the Democratic nominee, in a "unity ticket" campaign was because, "This strong independent ticket represents an Alaskan-sized heart, putting people over party machine politics and Alaskans over egos," The Wall Street Journal reports.

However, the Journal cites political spite over Parnell's opposition to a tax hike Palin won against oil companies while governor to be the true reason behind her anti-Republican endorsement.

The Walker/Mallott ticket won by a squeaky close margin of 6,225 votes, at 134,428 versus 128,203, or just a 2.23 percent margin, indicating that Palin's endorsement could have made a big difference.

Palin's tax increase helped Alaska's economy between 2006-2008, when oil prices were at a high point. But when oil prices dropped, the tax increase profits shrank, drillers left Alaska, oil production dropped by 20 percent, and the state's economy slumped. Parnell attempted to reform the oil tax, engendering Palin's wrath, the Journal notes.

Walker and Mallott opposed his efforts and gained Palin's endorsement.

The Associated Press reported that Palin hosted a reception for Walker and Mallott at her Anchorage home, and Walker said in a statement that Palin "joins a long line of Alaskans from all political persuasions who are ready for a new direction for Alaska."

Palin's popularity in Alaska in way down, leading some to doubt her ability to influence the race.

Public Policy Polling found in August that only 36 percent of Alaskans hold a favorable view of Palin, who left the governor's office in 2009, while 55 percent view her negatively.

Only 20 percent would support Palin in a run for the White House, including 17 percent of Democrats and just 23 percent of Republicans, leading Public Policy Polling to comment, "There are as many Alaskans who want to see her run for the entertainment value as because they actually want her to be president."

A September brawl at an Anchorage party involving virtually the entire Palin family further lowered Alaskans' opinion of the Palin clan.

However, the Journal commented, "Given that the election appears to have been decided by fewer than 5,000 votes, and that Republican Dan Sullivan topped incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich by nearly 8,000, Ms. Palin may very well be able to claim Mr. Parnell's scalp."

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With a surprise endorsement in the Alaska gubernatorial race, Sarah Palin may have tipped the scales against her former lieutenant governor and party mate, Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, to punish him for changing her signature tax hike, The Wall Street Journal says.
Parnell, Palin, Alaska, Governor, race, midterms, oppose
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2014-32-19
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 01:32 PM
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