09 July 2007

Can I Get a Mooseburger?

Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is showing Republicans everywhere how she rolls - by keeping her promises.

One of the few Republicans elected to anything this past November, Governor Palin recently dried out her veto pen, cutting $231 million from the $1.8 billion state budget.

Limiting state spending to necessities, Governor Palin emptied the legislature’s pork barrel, striking pet projects such as a $15,000 security camera for a Petersburg hydro plant and $60,000 worth of batting cages for Ketchikan’s Little League from the budget in the largest line-item veto in state history. Besides nixing 13% of state expenditures, the Governor deposited $50 million in the Constitutional Budget Reserve, the state’s savings account.

But Governor Palin is not just pinching frostbitten pennies. In May, she oversaw the passage of her Gasline Inducement Act, which offers oil companies up to $500 million in aid to build a North Slope gas pipeline, yet places requirements on them such as hiring native workers and guaranteeing Alaskans five sites where they can access gas from the pipeline. After years of claptrap over gaining energy independence, Governor Palin has won Alaska greater autonomy over its oil reserves. Here, Governor Palin has succeeded where her predecessor, former Governor Frank Murkowski, failed; exactly what the Governor promised voters in her campaign.

Keeping promises has paid off, and Governor Palin boasts an approval rating of 89%.

Even with its blemishes, the Republican Party is still the champion of fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity. In Connecticut, Republican House Leader Larry Cafero and his “Fighting 44” won a no-income-tax-increase budget for the state. Building on this momentum, the Connecticut Republicans should remember Governor Palin’s example, and the fact that voters reward leaders who stick to their word.