September 3rd, 2008

Pixel Stained

Gov. Palin, Karl Rove and "Experience"

We are being told Gov. Palin is qualified for the VP slot because she has "executive experience." About which there are reports the record is less than stellar.

When Gov. Kaine was being floated to run with Obama this is what was said by Karl Rove on the value of gubentorial experience.

"With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years, he’s been able but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, 'You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States?' "

There you have it. A larger city, and a larger state; than either Wasilla, or Alaska, for a longer time. Which raised Gov. Kaine to the ranks of the undistinguished, and leaves him unfit to be the Vice President.

Smaller city, smaller state, lesser record... fit to be VP


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Details on Gov. Palin's Experience

In my last post, I pointed to a column about Gov. Palin's experience as mayor of Wassila, Alaska.

I thought I might higlight a small portion, because it seems to me more than a little apropos of how she things gov't ought to do things.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative." During her six years as mayor, she increased general government expenditures by more than 33 percent. During those same six years, the amount of taxes collected by the city increased by 38 percent. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax, which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefitted large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

Just the thing. It's quite in keeping with John McCain's tax plan.

So, what did she do with the increased revenues? We can assume (as a fiscal conservative) she either invested it in needed things, or that she set it aside, against unexpected need.

Sadly it seems she didn't quite do that (to the shock of all, I am sure, given the examples from Washington DC since the Republicans were in charge of all three branches of Gov't for six years and could set an example of how to reduce the tax rates; stimulating economic growth, while trimming fat and keeping spending in line with income).

The huge increases in tax revenue during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list, though — borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt but left it with indebtedness of more than $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? Or a new library? No. $1 million for a park. $15 million-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex, which she rushed through, on a piece of property that the city didn't even have clear title to. That was still in litigation seven years later — to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5 million for road projects that could have been done in five to seven years without any borrowing.

There you have it. The governing mindset of the potential Vice President. Running with the oldest man to ever run for a first term as president.

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Grab Bag

Now, for something completely different

Lest this become all politics, all the time (and all St. Paul, at the moment), I offer the following diversion.

One of the reason I bought a pro account at flickr was to get the stats, detailed drill downs of which photos are being looked at, how often and (joy of joys) referrers.

Some of them are amusing. Some of them are actually useful as intel (I knew when Rapid Trident was ramping up this year, because I suddenly found hits from google searches on it).

Today I got a first, and it was something I didn't know existed.

You can remove the frame, or you can go to the original page too (it will be clear if you click through).

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