“The message of The Undefeated is bigger than Governor Palin. … It’s about all of us.”
– Jasmine Velasco, Chicago Mom, Palin supporter, C4P contributor
“Once people have seen The Undefeated their expectations for political leaders will be forever changed to that of a higher standard.” – Jackie Siciliano, coordinator of Team Sarah
What if The Undefeated were required viewing for anyone seeking elective office? Wouldn’t that be COOL? Or alternatively, what if the message contained in that film morphed into a sort of “How to Behave in Office” guide for our public officials?
Well, there’s no reason it can’t become a how-to-guide if we make it! In our second hour of Grizzly Fest this Saturday, a panel including Steve Bannon, Jackie Siciliano (Team Sarah), Stacy Drake (C4P), and Whitney Pitcher (Illinois O4P coordinator) will discuss these expectations that we have for our public servants.
Those of us who have followed Governor Palin’s career for these last three years (or longer) admire her in many ways … for her straight talk, for the fearless challenge she presents to the status quo, for her policy positions … and for her servant’s heart. We have drawn inspiration from Governor Palin’s words in Going Rogue, America By Heart, and from the bold message of reform in The Undefeated.
Now, our challenge is to take all that, and boil it down into a set of policies and principles that we can carry with us into the political battles ahead whether Governor Palin reconsiders her run for office or not. Our mission is to translate what we admire about Governor Palin into ideas from which to evaluate other would-be leaders at the local, state and federal level.
And then it’s my fervent belief that we’ll naturally start noticing other hidden “Palins” out there at all levels who share these convictions and we can work to get them elected, with a long-term goal in mind. (Oh, and believe me, this works … Think about how after you’ve been researching a particular vehicle you start noticing ALL those cars out there that you just researched, whereas before they whizzed on past you on the road without triggering your recognition? It’s the same principle.)
So, here are some examples of “Restoration Principles” I came up with from researching Gov. Palin’s career …
Your list no doubt would be different than mine. But what if we actually listed what we expect from our public servants … both in their policies (fiscal, national security, energy policy) and their personal character (ethics, reform, service) … you know, kind of like how a boss lists expectations for an employee? And YES, we are the EMPLOYER … our public servants are our EMPLOYEES, agents, if you will, acting on our behalf.
So here’s my list …
Example #1: We expect our elected public servants to reject pay increases and lavish benefits.
Governor Palin took a pay cut as mayor, rejected a pay increase as governor, and minimized the benefits her family members received while she served in office, forgoing potential per diems, laying off the chef and chauffeur, and selling the luxury jet. She reduced her personal travel expenditures by 85% as governor from her predecessor.
In an era of 9%+ unemployment when so many in the private sector are hurting, we need leaders who practice frugality in office.
Example #2 : We expect our elected public servants to reject taxpayer-funded projects that serve narrow interests and instead pursue higher-priority projects that benefit all or most-all constituents.
Governor Palin vetoed nearly a billion from the budget in three budget cycles as governor while setting aside billions in a rainy day fund for education. She reduced federal earmark requests by 85% from her predecessor. As mayor, she pursued projects that could be enjoyed by all constituents equally, such as sewer and road projects, while rejecting a fancy new municipal building.
If our public officials had followed this principle, we wouldn’t have Obamacare (or Romneycare)! Eighty-five percent of the public was HAPPY with their current health insurance. There was no need to radically revamp the entire system. The government-imposed solution, even if it succeeded, would only serve a narrow interest, while costing everyone trillions of dollars.
Example #3: We expect our elected public servants to constantly look for ways to cut or eliminate taxes that burden citizens.
As mayor, Palin eliminated the business inventory tax and reduced personal property taxes. As governor she suspended the state fuel tax. Lowering taxes spurred economic growth, which created jobs for her constituents, and allowed her city to become one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and Alaska to be the #2 job-creator in America.
Our government officials need to remember that money belongs to those who EARNED it. The government should always be looking for ways to let people keep more of what they earn, and to allow citizens to spend what they earn according to their own priorities. The government should get OUT of the business of trying to equalize or redistribute wealth.
Example #4: We expect our elected public servants whenever and wherever possible to leave the free market alone.
Governor Palin opened up free-market competition in the bidding process for the $40 billion natural gas pipeline, while assuring that the state interests were protected from the monopoly oil providers. She also sold a government-owned dairy that the government had no business running. As mayor she rejected unnecessary regulations that attempted to micromanage the closing time for bars, as well as calls to regulate barber shop poles. She opposed efforts to impose a garbage-collection mandate on all residents that would have only benefited the owner of the sole garbage collection company. She believes government plays a vital role but must be limited.
The free market produced Apple. The government produced Solyndra. Enough said.
Example #5: We expect our elected public servants to adhere to the state and federal Constitutions and to the limits and vision of government contained therein.
Governor Palin let the Alaska Constitution be her guide. She and her natural resource team devised a fair royalty tax on Alaskan-owned oil that incentivized energy exploration while compensating the people for their resource – following the directives set down in the state Constitution. She never let her personal views get in the way of enforcing the law. She believes that the limited federal powers laid out in Constitution preserve our freedom and sovereignty as states and individuals.
Our public officials MUST adhere to the “rulebook.” It’s what they’ve sworn an oath of office to protect and defend. We need leaders who see the Constitution as their “Bible.”
What do you expect from your elected public servants? (Keep it clean!) Ha!