Murray Walsh: Palin’s political felonies



It may not matter to you that Sarah Palin has not been loyal to the State of Alaska or the Alaska Republican Party, but it should.  Palin has not been active in the party since 2008, but that is no crime. Donald Trump was not active in the party before his election either, but I still voted for him, twice. Just as I voted for Sarah, before I knew of her first political felony.

What is a political felony? It is an act that is so contrary to the well-being of your state, and to the expectations of your party, that it should doom your future in politics unless you apologize in public. Sarah Palin’s first felony was allowing herself to be led by Democrats in the Alaska Legislature to pass ACES, an oil tax regime so draconian that not one more nickel was spent on oil exploration in Alaska after she signed the bill.

This felony occurred in 2007, early in Palin’s first year. The Dems and Palin forgot that Alaska has to compete with other petroleum-bearing regions for oil company investment in exploration and new production. If you tax too much, the oil companies will go somewhere else to look for new oil. The TAPS line was well below capacity then. We needed new oil then and we still do.

The Dems have always had a contempt for the oil biz and a willingness to bite the hand that feeds them. Republicans do not worship the oil business, but they do try to understand and respect it. Why would Palin allow herself to ally with the Dems in this scheme? See below. The key point is that she did the deed and got very lucky, in the years after, that the public did not realize how foul a deed it was.  I didn’t know either when I voted for Palin and McCain in November of 2008.

Palin was criticized in mid-2009 for resigning the governorship, but not by me. There were a lot of good reasons for her to abdicate and the best one was that Sean Parnell became governor. He began working on a fix for ACES, but it took several years, including getting re-elected in his own right in 2010 to finally fix the tax regime in 2013.  

Exploration resumed and there is new oil in the pipeline today. Parnell was cool about this. He didn’t blame Palin or make an issue of her gullibility at the hands of Democrats. He just got it fixed and was on a good path for re-election in 2014 when Sarah Palin committed her second political felony.

You can recover from widely known political mistakes if you acknowledge the deed and atone for it convincingly. Bill Clinton and Donald Trump did. But, in 2014, Palin’s first crime was not publicly understood because Parnell had cleaned things up. Rather than heave a sigh of relief, Palin went on to openly support Bill Walker and his strange brew campaign to unseat Parnell. That was as dark a day in Alaska politics as I can remember.   

Why support Walker? Well, as near as I can tell, he and Palin are part of a splinter group of people who claim to be conservative but have the same contempt for oil as Democrats. I also suspect she resented Parnell for terminating her once-much-bragged-about ACES plan.

I have watched campaigns in Alaska with great attention. Sarah Palin had, and still has, a lot of star power. She communicates well, holds the attention of the room and is entertaining to many.  So does Donald Trump, but he also governed well and has been respectful of the party that put him in office. I don’t think Sarah Palin’s political felonies are known to Trump. He is clearly smitten with Palin’s star power and gives it more value that he should. 

She is in this for herself. Don’t vote for her, ever.  Nick Begich has earned my vote.

Murray R. Walsh is a semi-retired land use consultant.  He has lived in Juneau since 1976 and has been involved in the Republican Party since arriving in Juneau. 


  1. The more you Establishment Republicans spew out the Palin Hatred, the more we deplorables want to vote for her. GO PALIN!!!

    • It’s amazing after the RINO’s Murkowski and Young that people will actually consider voting for a Begich?!?!
      Sarah is the ONLY one running that took on the Murkowskis and won. Took on the good ‘ol boy network of the AO&GC and won.
      Before she was governor there 2 oil companies operating on the Slope.
      Now, ENI, Armstrong, OilSearch, Resolute, and Hilcorp.
      No exploration? Ever hear of Willow?
      Sarah is not perfect – but she is the kind of leadership this State needs.
      Not someone that will go along – bit someone that will “give ’em hell”.

      • Maybe most of us don’t feel the need to be led. I don’t vote for political “leaders”. I vote for those who best align with my political ideology and will best represent me in political office. Politicians are not leaders. They work for us.

  2. NB3 has my vote too, Murray. Palin came out swinging for Trump and Trump being a loyal man, is returning the favor by endorsing her. I voted for Trump twice. But I will never vote for Palin. She is an opportunist and a meglamaniac. Even her husband Todd had enough of her. She should settle down and take care of her special needs child. Her political days should be over.

  3. Outstanding article. I observed the same transgressions by Palin and put her in the same political trash heap as Murkowski.

  4. I agree with almost all of your points Mr. Walsh, and this was an article that needed to be written, but on this point I disagree: “She communicates well,….”
    She is never able to discuss detailed plans and ideas about issues that are important to us as a state.
    It has always appeared as though she lacks the knowledge to do so, and is hostile to taking the time to educate herself.
    When debating any political opponents, or asked questions by anyone, her answers are always detail free platitudes that can fit on a bumper sticker.
    Beyond being a celebrity candidate, she is not a serious person, she is only serious about seeking out media cameras, and finding ways and means to draw attention to herself.
    Sean Parnell on the other hand, IS a serious person, and as you alluded, a hard working person who toiled quietly on the important issues facing the state, and fixed many of them, including the atrocious ACES, for which I thanked him in person.
    He is also a very good and decent person.
    Unfortunately, being a good and decent person doesn’t make for being a good politician, and he is a poor politician, lacking the desire to draw attention to himself, and be a shameless self promoter.
    And in fact I told him that.
    I told him that he lost his re-election because he is a good person but a not a great politician, and that while it was a loss to our state that he did not get a second term, he should rest easy knowing he lost by remaining true to his morals and principles, and not turning into a ‘glad-handing, say anything to get elected, attention whore’.
    Anne Barnhardt famously stated that: “All politicians are psychopaths and whores”…..and this is the conundrum that we as voting citizens are faced with…..that decent, hard working people, rarely get elected to office, but instead “politicians” who relish the attention and power, do.
    Like you, Mr. Walsh, I will be voting for NB3, who appears to be a very serious and hard working person, as evidenced by his private sector success, his attention to details about our state’s issues, and willingness to put in the effort to educate himself and come with actual solutions, and not just bumper sticker slogans.

    • Well written point of view. I appreciate the analysis and perspective, and agree with your premise!

  5. “He has lived in Juneau since 1976 and has been involved in the Republican Party since arriving in Juneau.” $30,000,000,000,000 dollars later where has that gotten you, Mr. Walsh? ‘Rino’ in an antiquated term. Republicans are simply Republicans. ‘Dino’ should have been used in 1976 to describe American Marxists. I went to the Begich website and in his bland resume he worked for the King of the Earmarks. I did not see the words ‘Liberty’ or “Freedom”. I’m no big Palin fan but when the press uses unflattering pictures of her it tells you something.

  6. I will never vote for her “ever” but I am curious how Little Nicky has “earned” your vote. By not being Sarah?

    • I have interviewed Begich for several hours. He is consistently conservative, intelligent, informed and articulate. He is no reflection in the least of his uncle Mark. I recommend we all vote for him. His reliability and competence far exceed Palin’s. Murray Walsh is accurate in his assessments.

      • And I have seen more quotes ‘about’ Nick Begich than ‘from’ Nick Begich, especially on this site. With his war chest you would think there would be more policy on his website. I guess we just have to elect him to find out what he stands for. Heck, Wayne, you won’t even be specific.

  7. I am not yet on board with Begich but Murray is accurate about the Palin history with oil. However, the actions that swept Palin so easily into office – easily winning a primary against an incumbent and another strong candidate, then just as easily defeating Knowles and Halcro (who tag-teamed her) – were not done by Palin, and they preceded her. She may not understand them even today! Without those actions Palin was just a former Wasilla Mayor who had run for Lt. Governor and been handily defeated, and she would have had no chance to be Governor. Palin and Walker are equally stupid about oil, but Palin is politically smart. Walker is merely a crooked attorney.

  8. I agree with you. I will not vote for her either. I hope Alaskans haven’t forgotten about her antics in office and mental lapses that led to us having to dig out of her mess. Her endorsement of Walker and his decisions to raid the PFD formula are where we are at today. Don’t forget the drama queen can see Russia from her back yard (bank account).

    Go Nick!

  9. I blame ACES on the d’rats and Sarah’s naivite’ – but she has learned little since. What totally turned me off was her diva entrance to the Republican Convention last month – complete with paparazzi – sashaying into the entrance area bedecked with her designer dress and enough makeup to hide her age. Then she started soliciting photographs with her for a donation. When someone else arranges for that we call it fundraising. When someone offers themselves that way we call it prostitution. No thanks. This is all about Sarah, not representing Alaska. Vote for Nick Begich.

  10. Sarah Palin for those of us who were here was not just a poor leader, but she brought a negative emotional element that stained Alaska for many years after she left. Her support of Bill Walker helped turn the state into a cluster. Unfortunately, Alaska being the most transient state in the union may not remember and as such will look to the celebrity status and vote. Voters, you must take the time and do your homework this election cycle.

    • Did you need therapy for that “negative emotional element that stained Alaska for many years after she left”? I can only imagine the trauma of just when you think you’ve healed from the Palin Years she returns like a bad penny to cause you nightmares.

  11. The most important obligation is to defend the Alaska Constitution. Art. VIII of our constitution requires that Alaskans get maximum benefit from our finite nature resources:

    § 2. General Authority

    “The legislature shall provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the State, including land and waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.”

    The lands that were provided to Alaskans at statehood by the United States- about 105 million acres are supposed to ensure that Alaskans can pay their own way and not be an Alaskan welfare colony as opponents to our statehood worried. Wally Hickel knew this, because he fought for Alaskans getting this acreage at statehood.

    Hickel, like Palin, had the guts to stand up for Alaska and not be subservient to the outside corporations who would plunder our resources leaving us destitute.

    Because we now give away our oil under SB-21 Alaskans have lost a lot of money. A typical family has lost over $15,000.00 due to our dividends not following the statutory formula. We’ve also spent almost $18 billion in savings that we built up under ACES. Try and imagine what our economy would have been reduced to if we had not had those savings- credit for that goes to Sarah Palin.

    I write all of the above as a shareholder of various oil companies. Its not wrong for Alaskans to defend their interests- especially after Alaskans have provided billions and billions of dollars to subsidize the development of the North Slope.

    • Thank you, M. Why can oil companies be profitable everywhere in the world with $2 per barrel, plus costs, but not in Alaska? Because their employees in the legislature gave them Alaska’s oil for almost free, and the people allowed it, so now we fight over the scraps.

  12. I agree with all your points……..mostly. I forgive her for being hoodwinked by Walker. Better than half the Alaskan electorate is in that canoe with her. But I’m pretty confident Palin isn’t at war with oil. She has been at war with the corrupt individuals at the helm of both big oil as well as big government just as she was with local Wasilla politics in the 1990’s. That is why she was the original model of the treatment that both she and Trump got from the party as well as the media and business. The corruption will be the death of us all, and that social/cultural/political death is at hand.

  13. Sara I voted for you 100% the best choice we have to represent the citizens of Alaska. Citizens give me a break about that past crap, if any of us was in her shoes we all would of jumped for it. Sara’s accomplishments for the citizens alone by that time was more than any other oath taker. Sara Sara Sara thank you for helping my mom as governor.

  14. What, exactly, has Nick Begich III ever done? I keep hearing about his business success but no one seems to be able to tell me what he does or where. I’m told he’s a life long Republican but I don’t see much evidence of that, don’t recall any history of him endorsing Republicans or supporting them. I do recall him telling people he voted for his uncle Mark and for Berkowitz and you can be very sure I did not.

    I also never hear of him talk about his dad and his goofy theories about the Air Force controlling minds through HAARP radar. I did see that he made over $100,000 just last year publishing his dad’s strange books. Funny he doesn’t mention that. Nick III apparently owns EarthPulse publishing, lots of goofy books available on Amazon.

    I’ve also seen that he loaned his campaign $650,000; not sure where that money came from or how he intends to pay it back. My guess – only a guess – is that he expects to win and once he is the Rep-elect, he’ll hold fund raisers and pay himself back. Legal, I suppose, but a little smelly.

    I do know that Don and his wife were not fans and were not thrilled that he filed.

    His main qualification seems to be his last name. That’s not enough for me. Not near enough.

    • Jim,
      You do ask good questions. How do you know that Don Young was not a fan of NB3? Will Don’s widow be supporting a particular candidate?

    • Hear, hear! I read that book. I also read both Environmental Impact studies and traveled to HAARP to find out for myself what was going on. Not much different than telecom, really.

  15. They changed ACES because oil prices dropped too low so the oil companies were actually paying lower taxes under ACES that they paid under MAPA, so this is a crap article with a slant against the realities at the time. ACES paid Alaska more under high oil prices but gave oil companies a break when prices were low.

  16. Oh Horse Pucky. If there is a loyalty check one needs to look no further than the Party’s acceptance of Lisa Murkowski who was primaried and lost and has represented her self as a Republican every since. has she been loyal? come on. has she ever in history voted with the Republican Party when the the vote was important to the Democrats? And yet, somehow she is running yet again with a big fat (R) next to her name.

  17. I worked in the oil industry when ACES was enacted and I know how devastating it was. What I didn’t remember was that she endorsed Bill Walker, the absolute worst governor Alaska ever had. THE WORST!!!
    Sarah, your 15 minutes of fame is over. Please go home and stay there. You’re a bigger RINO than Lisa.

  18. Thank you Murray, This article and comments have reminded me there are still people around that GET it. I have felt like i live in twilight zone talking with republicans about how Palin set us back at least 20 years and made S. Dakota rich. I have gotten to know NB3 a little the last few years and after finally getting over his political surname i think he is the best choice we have. Great article!

  19. I really could care less about party affiliation and the good ole boys club, over the years it’s done nothing for me and my family and has NOT increased the annual PFD check nor has it kept many promises made, if you take care of the common people you have my vote, this was something that Palin had going for her and earned my respect. Go Palin!

  20. I will never forgive Sara Palin after she joined with the Democrats to destroy Senator Ted Stevens, She placed her faith in the words of Bill Allen, a drug dealer and pedophile. It was with her popularity that turned the election allowing Mark Begich to take Stevens Senate seat. Go Away Sarah

  21. I don’t trust any politician whether they have a (R) a (D) or an (I) after their name. EVERYONE of them may have had good intentions of making real changes, but we know that ALL of them eventual crater and fall victim to the almighty $$$!

  22. I respectfully disagree with the author when he says that Palin’s resignation as governor was not one of her sins.
    Many many people worked hard and spent a lot of time and money getting her elected. She disregarded them and in a fit of pique quit! You don’t quit a job like she held. That is unless you are about to be impeached as was the case with Nixon. Just because you are uncomfortable or having to respond to ethics complaints as she had to do is not a valid reason to let down her constituents who sacrificed so much by spending time and money to get her elected.
    By quitting , she committed an unpardonable “sin” which should keep her from ever serving in the elected position of U.S. House of Representatives.

  23. Hmmm, wrecked the oil industry out of one side of her mouth while yelling drill baby drill out of the other. She’ll go just below Lady Donna Duchess on my list (but above the avowed democratic socialist Santa Claus and bear hunter Al Gross)

  24. Remember when Sarah was interviewed by Katie Couric ? Katie: So what do you read Sarah ? Sarah: wellll… l, uh, um l, well, uh gee, wow , that’s such a hard question. The woman is poser, a faker, a grifter, she has never in her life had an original idea. And she hates the oil industry. She just wants to be famous, to run the Sarah goes to Congress show. She will put Don to shame at making Alaska look stupid. That woman is the QUEEN OF STUPID !

    • Here is what Sarah actually said when asked what newspapers she read: “All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years”.

      In the same interview, when asked about Russia, Sarah replied: “When you even consider national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, Where do they go? It’s Alaska, it’s right over the border, it is from Alaska (United States Air Force) that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this powerful nation, Russia…”

      Sounds like Sarah was properly concerned about Putin, the thug who has invaded sovereign, neighboring countries…

  25. The qualities I’d like to see in our lone US Congressman should be someone of devotion to our founding documents and who will stick to the wonderful US Constitution. I’d like this person to have an even temperment and keen intellect who can write intelligibly and be someone whose family blesses his efforts. He needs to have a natural reservoir of human compassion for the 1,500,000 Alaskans relying upon him and and his seasoned, kind staff who will advocate for this million and a half Alaskans with a federal problem in these coming days of intense difficulties.

    At one time I had high hopes for Sarah Palin. I prayed for her as she carried the load which was too much for her. I was so relieved for her and for us when she saw her way clear to enjoy more family times and personal pursuits and left the governorship. Alaska is very hard on some families and personalities. Perhaps President Trump can find another meaningful spot for her in the years ahead.

  26. Murray Walsh. Enough said. Grifter and Good Old Boy thinks his opinion matters. I was there almost three decades ago going to- to-toe when he was a lap dog for Canadian mining companies trying to turn Juneau into a superfund site. Enjoy the clean water and fresh air we bequeathed to you in spite of your efforts to silence us. His behavior was nothing short of felonious trying to push projects down the public’s throat so it’s funny to see him tossing out recriminations.

  27. I agree with this article except “She communicates well” because to me that implies that she tells the truth. I’ve read Art Chance’s articles for many years and respect his opinions. He explained how some of her “victim of corruption, freedom fighter” status was a false narrative set up by her own actions. She did it again by not applying for the Republican endorsement and then claimed they endorsed Nick because they were a “good ol’ boys club”. I didn’t mind that she quit on us because I believed her explanations but I’ve had opportunity to examine more of her record and she wasn’t good on the moral issues either. Among other things, she appointed a former Planned Parenthood board member to the Ak Supreme Court who Obama then promoted to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Many important cases are decided there. There is case is pending there now because CA AG Kamala Harris charged the undercover journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s sales of baby body parts and altering abortion methods to obtain fresh organs.Through discovery, it was found that P.P. had been secretly selling maternal blood samples too. Sarah endorsing/ helping Walker & Mallott get elected sent Alaska into a quagmire of crime, loss of PFDs (which hurts the poor and the middle class) and almost got us into partnership with communist China. After paying attention and talking to them, I believe Richard “Clayton” Trotter or Nick Begich III would each do a stellar job of representing Alaska. Only one of them is well known so that’s a factor.

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