Friday, Aug. 29, 2008

Ethics Reformer

Despite her own brewing ethics scandal — Palin has been accused of abusing her power to try to get her ex-brother-in-law fired as a state trooper — she has built her political career, in part, on ethics reform and whistle blowing. As mayor of Wasilla, she cut her own salary, and was appointed ethics commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She resigned from the post after complaining that her fellow Commissioner, Republican Randy Ruerich, was raising money for the state party from energy companies he was charged with regulating. He later resigned from the commission and paid a record fine for conflict of interest violations. Palin was elected governor after campaigning as a reformer, and shortly after taking office, she passed a sweeping ethics reform bill regulating lobbyist activities and forcing more disclosure from lawmakers. Palin has enjoyed approval ratings in Alaska as high as 90%.