Monday, September 8, 2008

Palin's Hockey Rink

Over the next 8 weeks there will be much discussion about, one of many topics, Governor Palin's qualifications, background and temperament. Already there has been quite a bit in the last week.

Ms. Palin, now Alaska's governor and Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate, has pointed to her two terms as Wasilla's mayor, from 1996 to 2002, as evidence that she has enough executive experience to take on the presidency, should the need arise -- more than Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who touts his own background as a community organizer in Chicago.

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities," Ms. Palin said Wednesday in her acceptance speech at the Republican convention.

In this article, a few items jump out at me. First, these numbers: Ms. Palin marched ahead, making the public case for a sales-tax increase and $14.7 million bond issue to pay for the sports center, which was to feature a running track, basketball courts and a hockey rink. At the time, the city's annual budget was about $20 million. In a March 2002 referendum, residents approved the mayor's plan by a 20-vote margin, 306 to 286. The city cleared roads, installed utilities and made preparations to build.

592 votes in total.

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