Hal Bernton from the Seattle Times Lies About Governor Palin But Concedes Her Oil Tax Reform Allowed Alaska “To Sock Away About $12 Billion in Reserves” (Update)

So I opened up today’s Seattle Times and the lead article in the business and technology secion is an article about the oil tax reform that Governor Palin implemented in 2007. The Seattle Times does correctly concede that Palin’s oil tax reform allowed Alaska “to sock away about $12 billion in reserves.”

However, the Seattle Times also prints the following lie in the article (emphasis added):

Palin, who quit the governorship two years into her four-year term, has made no comment on whether she thinks the oil tax should stand or be revised.

The statement that Governor Palin has “made no comment on whether she thinks the oil tax should stand or be revised” is an objectively false statement. She made the following statement in support of the oil tax reform she implemented on March 18th, seven days before this Seattle Times article went into publication:

Regardless of the recent political posturing, ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share) is a success for all stakeholders who want more domestic energy supplies for our great country. The Alaskan people (who collectively own the natural resources, via our state constitution), the resource producers who bid on the right to develop our oil and gas, and consumers all benefit under ACES. It incentivizes production and development. It works….

Most importantly, Alaska enjoys a $12 billion surplus thanks to ACES and the sound fiscal policies of my administration. I put billions of dollars aside in savings accounts (though I could have easily spent those billions and made a lot of friends with big-spending legislators on both sides of the aisle), and I continued to veto excess spending and Obama stimulus funds, and chopped earmarks by 86% – much to the chagrin of liberal legislators who were used as “sources” in the article. It’s kind of amusing to see state legislators claim credit for the surplus when they didn’t vote for ACES, and they cried to high heaven when I vetoed their wasteful spending on their special interest projects.

Of course, I could have made a lot more friends in Juneau if I had spent the surplus. But I chose to put billions in savings for a rainy day and return a portion to the people of Alaska. (It was their money after all.) I paid down hundreds of millions of dollars into our under-funded state pension plans, then set aside another billion for forward-funding education. I fought the union’s demands for more benefits, engaged in hiring freezes, and cut frivolous state expenditures – again, much to the chagrin of those who spend other people’s money recklessly. That’s sound fiscal policy. I’m proud of it, and Alaska is stronger today because of it….

But let’s not pretend that ACES wasn’t a key factor in the surplus, and let’s not pretend that it hasn’t been a success.

Unless the Seattle Times really believes the statement I just blockquoted is unclear as to where the Governor stands on the oil tax reform she implemented in 2007, then the Seattle Times has printed an objectively false statement that likely results from a failure to do even a modicum of research.

Please e-mail Hal Bernton, the author of this article at hbernton@seattletimes.com, to correct his lie about Governor Palin. If nothing is fixed, we’ll contact Breitbart’s “Retracto” alpaca.

Update: The online version of the article has been updated. The article now says:

Palin, in the March 18 Facebook comments, also criticizes Parnell for his proposed revisions that would reduce state revenue. She has not testified to this year to the state Legislature about the oil tax structure.

As to the point about her not testifying before the state legislature, how many times have Tony Knowles, Bill Sheffield, or Frank Murkowski testified before the legislature over the years? If it’s not a common occurrence for former governors to testify, then I don’t see how it is relevant that Palin hasn’t testified and how it’s supportive of Doogan’s quote.



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