From the archives: The time Sarah Palin hired Ethan Berkowitz to write a white paper on ethics


“Alaska’s highly touted Democratic nominee for the state’s lone congressional seat has nothing but compliments for Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s new running mate,” wrote Politico in 2008, after Palin had been named running mate for Sen. John McCain .

The Democrat praising Palin that year was former state Democrat Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, who lost his bid for Congress that year.

“This is an exciting day for Alaska,” Berkowitz told Politico. “Gov. Palin has made her name fighting corruption within her own party, and I was honored when she stepped across party lines and asked me to co-author her ethics white paper.”

Read the Politico story at this link.

In 2022, Palin is running for Congress to fill the shoes of the late Congressman Don Young and Berkowitz, who once challenged Young for the seat, has gone into political hiding.

Palin faces Republican Nick Begich, who has been criticized by some Sarah Palin fans for having voted for Berkowitz once when Berkowitz ran for mayor in 2015. Berkowitz won by a landslide that year, with 60.7% of the vote. (Palin also faces Democrat Mary Peltola.)

Berkowitz won not once, but twice as mayor of Anchorage. After his second mayoral election, he stepped down in disgrace, when a sexting scandal erupted between Berkowitz and a local news reporter, Maria Athens.

Former Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

Berkowitz had run for office continuously for years. In the 2006 election, Berkowitz had been the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Alaska, running with former Gov. Tony Knowles. Knowles and Berkowitz were defeated by Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell in November of 2006.

A few months later, Berkowitz’ wife ended up with a man plastered on the windshield of her Volvo. He died from the impact, and the news of a leading Democrat politician’s wife having killed a pedestrian with her car received scant coverage by the mainstream media. That was in 2007, when Berkowitz was the Democrats’ best chance — “highly touted,” as Politico put it, of beating Don Young in the coming cycle.

He was well into that race in 2008, when he praised Palin for having hired him to write her ethics white paper.

Two years later, Berkowitz ran for governor as a Democrat with running mate Diane Benson. The two lost to Gov. Parnell and Mead Treadwell in 2010.

In 2014, Berkowitz was preparing a run for governor and promised to name Bill Walker to his cabinet to take the lead on a gasline from the North Slope.

Berkowitz ended up withdrawing from the race in 2014, and Walker ran that year with Byron Mallott in a ticket that was endorsed by the Alaska Democratic Party — and Sarah Palin.

Berkowitz and Palin have been the odd political couple for years, but this year, Berkowitz is silent on her bid for Congress. An endorsement by Berkowitz for Palin would be neither welcome nor helpful to the congressional candidate.


  1. Sarah made a poor choice. Ethan is a poor choice. And we see what you are up to Suzanne. Smearing Sarah with Ethan. Nick is going to need that paper Ethan wrote when the House Ethics Committee calls him to explain his blank schedule J. Sarah was able to complete schedule J. Maybe Nancy Pelosi can help
    Nick with the Ethics disclosures. You dug deep here, nice work Suzanne.

    • David, Ethan wasn’t a poor choice to write Sarah’s White Paper, he was an expedient choice. He was at hand so to say and they shared common enemies. I do not see why you are bothered by Ethan working with Sarah, especially so since Sarah backed Walker. Surprised? Oh, and please tell us what a schedule J is…

      • No Sarah No. I just voted for you. Ethan is not liked in our city. From a 65 year lifelong Alaskan, anything to to with back door dealings is Ethan. We now have 12,000 Illegal Immigrants living in our state due to Ethan. He applied for a program to house Illegals. Wrote a three page dissertation full of lies. He stated We the people of Alaska were happy to open our state to unvetted, illegal aliens. Interesting now we have a 12,000 person homeless problem.
        These immigrants are getting more money, better living conditions, vouchers for clothes, transportation….Quest cards, Translators.
        Without Telling the People of Anchorage One Word. WE THE PEOPLE have a right to vote on anything to do with spending the cities money. I have copies of the $29,000.00 it cost for the Application. Municipality of Anchorage, State of Alaska, Wells Fargo.
        Mara the Murderer and Ethan belong in prison. His wife ran over George killing him with her car. There were witnesses. George had the walk signal. The police were called. ethan was running for office or in it, 2007, hush and crush story. The witnesses gave statements. No statue of Limitations on Murder. Oh her second felony is she didn’t render assistance. Just went across the street and started making phone call. Mara did the dirty deed, Ethan aided and abetted. They both belong in the Graybar Hotel. Sarah there has to be a better person.

    • If Palin could actually stand and deliver real intellectual depth in oration or debate, perhaps I could overlook her troubling record as a quitter. However, failing on both counts makes her a non-starter. The ability to simply recite rehearsed soundbites over and over does not qualify her to replace Don Young. The person to do that is Nick Begich.

      • S. Palin needs to bow out. Of course she never will. First, she is not a student. Second, she is not intelligent. Third, I NEVER voted for her. She did lend Alaska some “ class” in Alaska as Governor, but she failed in every detail that required thought.

    • Right on, there are times in office you try to get people to work with you by attempting to get them involved. Often, it bites you in the a–, like this Ethan BS. Nothing wrong with attempting to get people in line by using a connected member of the opposite party. It doesn’t work anymore. Snakes among us. Still voting for Sarah.

    • She gets to run on her record, David. She got into the political bed with Berkowitz, a known ambitious Democrat. She asked him to write her ethics paper. Dumb or naive. Either way, not ready.

  2. Sarah isn’t who she says she is. Praised by Berkowitz! She paid him to write a white paper on ethics in government! Berkowitz!!

  3. So many uninformed haters, the misinformation campaign is coming from the DC sewer Republicans.

  4. Thanks Suzanne, I got a good chuckle out of the headlines on this one!! By the way, are Sarah’s kids standing behind her in this race? I know where her ex (Todd) and parents stand but have never heard anything about the kids lately. PS Trump was good to her on Saturday I’m sure because of a past friendship, I’ll forgive him for that!!

  5. Too bad this site has become so biased….

    On the other hand, I remember when dan fagan was against Joe Miller…

  6. Wow took a lot of digging to drag that up! Why not give equal time and dig into NB111 business deals in State & around the World? Or would you see He’s not what He claims to be

  7. It’s my hope that the Palin and Begich campaigns can get together and work this out. It’s just like our side to get into pissing matches and let the other side waltz into office. If I have to vote for Palin, I’ll do it to keep Peltola out. One thing about the left is that, if they’re wrong, they’ll double down and vote together.

  8. Sarah’s ethics have always been over the top and a concern to me. Trooper Gate, as in using the ADPS Commissioner to fire her sister’s Trooper husband. Allowing the kids to get front and center attention with the major media, when most high ranking politicians forbid that kind of coverage of their own kids. Promoting sensational news about themselves in the grocery store rags. Hiding a pregnancy while in high office. Trying to re-enter high office politics while avoiding duties of raising a special.needs child. Using the sudden death of a much-loved congressman as an opportunistic means for further self-aggrandizement. Backing other politicians for office who have proved to be an enemy of Alaska.

    • Gov. Sarah Palin is the one who put the nail in the coffin of Sen. Ted Stevens’ campaign when he was running against leftist Democrat Mark Begich.

      Sen. Stevens should have been able to appeal to resolve the issue through the courts.

      Palin’s statement to the press was that Stevens should resign, and was taken seriously by those who have a religious devotion to her, so Mark won and was the 60th vote for Obamacare.

      When she endorsed Walker/Mallot instead of the conservative Republicans, Walker put Alaska into the Obamacare exchange by executive order and expanded Medicaid and government funded abortions.

      At the recent Trump rally, although the crowd gave Republican Mayor Bronson a standing ovation, Palin couldn’t be bothered to stand or even give our good mayor a golf clap.

  9. These Palinbots are no better than the left. They’re brainless. Truth means nothing to them.

  10. It’s not just her endorsements. Look at how Palin governed. She raised state spending and raised taxes on the oil industry to the point they stopped investing in exploration. When it came to new oil exploration, it was, “Nil baby nil.”

    • Inquiring minds want to know, is liberal Bill Walker returning the favor and endorsing Palin?

  11. Politics wasn’t always so divided and that’s one thing I miss about the old days. I didn’t always agree with Berkowitz, but he has a good heart and always has. Bronson needs to have a better plan for the homeless than Centennial Park come winter. Nobody deserves to live and die that way, even the people that say they want to. It’s like the rock biter, they just give up.

  12. Thanks for the history lesson and farming out the brain fog! As people, we do forget the small stuff! That is big stuff!

  13. I have never, ever understood the con job Palin played on Alaska. An effective local leader she was in over her head (like Dunleavy) as governor.

    She has proven vain, vindictive, petty, and unwilling to account for huge past mistakes. She hurt us far more than she ever helped us.

    Hell, she wanted to be appointed, not have to run.

    But for some reason, probably intellectual and political laziness, she has an army of followers ready to Peter principle her into the House.

    This huckster makes AOC look intelligent.

    Go ahead. Elect her and embrace the suck that coming.

  14. Wait all folks, wait. Think, don’t think simply. What’s the point of bringing this up now?

    In 2003, Palin was popular resulting her winning the governorship because of her stance on Republican Party corruption at the time. August 2008, investigations resulted in indictments against six sitting or former Alaska Republican state legislators on corruption charges. Tom Anderson, Pete Kott, Vic Kohring, John Cowdery, Norman Rokeburg, and Jerry Ward (dismissed).

    All Palin did was enlist Berkie as a co-author on writing an ethics paper. She used him. Who would know he would be a —- while in office 12 years later?

    Draining the Swamp in Alaska in early 2000’s sounds like Trump in 2016-2020. What’s wrong with that?

    Alaskans always try to sound like they are the ethical ones, but they get convoluted in the who’s who in Alaska politics. Can’t we get it STRAIGHT in politics. Pun intended.

    Additionally, in 2008, Palin resigned from her Governorship because of her selection to run as VP. Wow, what an opportunity to represent the nation from Alaska in the Executive Branch if the Republican ticket won.

    It used to be the hard-core Dems at the time were Ellis-Gara-Berkowitz. Two out, one to go, Gara.

    Bottom line, try not to make the Palin-Berkie thing a negative against Palin. I have campaigned, worked with on the Assembly, and against the Begich Administration and his cohorts for years in the early 2000’s. His house is few blocks from mine. The Begich’s are very calculating and disguising conservatively during campaigning. Then the sharks bite, and the honest conservatives get eaten.

    Beware of false flags!

    • Paul you have just outed yourself as an idiot. She did not resign to run for VP. She resigned after she lost for VP and had to come back to the dreary job of being Alaska governor after she had been the ‘it girl” on the national stage. So that is completely wrong.

      As for her alliance with Berkowitz, he was and is one of the most hard-liner Democrats in Alaska, a real San Francisco treat. We all knew it then, but she thought she was smarter than everyone else. And she still does.

      So now go ahead and explain to us why she said Sen. Ted Stevens should resign, and by doing so she effectively got Mark Begich elected to the Senate. Please, do tell.

  15. Well, BULLWINKLE hiding your true presence informs us of your cowardly nature, especially calling names instead of maturely correcting one of my points. You got balls tells us your Surname, or should you be classified as a NOBODY that you are. What is your name?

    On point, her distraction to run for VP was the beginning of her demise with the radical Dems and RINOS in the State of Alaska. Everything on how she got elected is because of the impaling corruption going on through the state on the Republican side and the blowback from the McCain campaign.

    She saved the state from millions of dollars being spent on her attacks. She resigned her office due to the costs and distractions of battling ethics investigations, describing the “insane” amount of time and money that both she and the state of Alaska had expended responding to “frivolous” legal ethics complaints filed against her.

    You offer no real evidence of the reasons she partially and temporarily aligned with the unknown perve at the time. The help to draw up ethical measures to ensure our state would not go through this again needed some help because the RPA disowned her and some prominent legislators at the time was very corrupt.

    For Sen. Ted Stevens who I admired for his enthusiastic support for Alaska, had shown a willingness to act dishonestly in return for some personal gain. It comes with longevity in power. VECO corrupted him.

    Mark Begich got elected because the RPA at the time had lost confidence in itself and from the people.

    We allowed the Dems to overrun us like a blitz. Begich already was getting his backdoor pledges behind the scenes. I can prove it; can you prove Palin got Begich elected. Only through conjecture. You are just looking for a fall girl. I bet you blame Trump for Biden.

    With one experience that I share personally on the receiving end of what a prim donna politician can try to corrupt you. What say you BULLWINKLE?

    I suppose you do not have a brain to collectively put your facts, history, and events together to come to a reasonable conclusion. The best you got is name calling.

    You are what they call simple-minded, that thinks simply, thinking you are the smartest chump on the block. What is your name BULLWINKLE? Expose yourself, let’s go head to head.

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