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The Alaska Democratic Party has released this statement on Sarah Palin's resignation:

"Alaskans are dismayed yet not surprised that Governor Palin is abandoning her obligations to our great state. Sarah Palin's decision to step down as governor is a shock to Alaskans, coming at a time when leadership is needed secure a gas pipeline and address rising unemployment. Palin's lack of commitment to her sworn obligation to serve her term to the best of her ability is a betrayal to all Alaskans," said Patti Higgins, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.

The Alaska Republican Partry released this statement on Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) resignation:

Alaska Republicans Grateful For Palin's Leadership, Excited For Soon To Be Governor Parnell.

Republicans across Alaska and the nation were surprised to learn today our Governor, Sarah Palin will be stepping down and not seeking re-election.

The party shares mixed feelings as we lose a valued public servant who raised Alaskan issues and concerns in the national consciousness in a way no Alaska leader had previously been able. While sadden to see Gov. Palin leave we are excited to see a conservative of Lt. Gov. Parnell's character enter the Governor's office.

Gov. Palin's decision not to run for re-election means there will be a vigorous race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010. Alaska has an impressive cadre of conservative candidates we are confident will vie for the office of governor and the party stands ready to fully support which ever conservative candidate our members choose to represent them in the general election.

The Alaska Republican Party has not been informed whether Gov. Palin plans another run for national office and as such cannot comment on that possibility. The party does feel, however, there needs to be a strong challenge to President Obama's attack on Alaskan values waged by his administration since taking office six months ago. If that challenge comes from Gov. Palin the party ready to support her as all Alaskans should.

Sen. Mike Johann's communications director Ann Marie Hauser has released an official statement about today's mini-kerfuffle outside of a Nebraska health care roundtable. "Sen. Johanns has been a public servant for 25 years and he has no problem with people protesting. He came to UNMC today to hold several productive discussions with concerned Nebraskans and members of the health care community, including the SEIU and Jane Kleeb. UNMC's security personnel took it upon themselves to enforce university policy of no protesting on their property. It's a shame Jane's politcial agenda takes priority over participating in a constructive discussion on an issue of such importance to Nebraskans."

Kleeb notes that her work in politics and health care advocacy long predates her introduction to her husband, Scott Kleeb, who ran against Johanns in the Nebraska Senate race in 2008, and that her work in Nebraska--including the event today--is not about political retribution in any way.

Notwithstanding the political disagreement, though, there's still the unanswered question of who, if anybody, called security on the activists.

TPMDC's update on the biggest legislative initiatives on the Hill:

  • Health Care: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will in all likelihood advance their health care reform bill--public option and all--after Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) drops her opposition.


  • Nominations: In a holiday-Friday news dump, the Senate Judiciary Committee has released hundreds-more pages of documents dating back to Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor's tenure on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Republican Governors Association released this statement on Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) resignation:

Republican Governors Association Executive Director Nick Ayers issued the following statement in regards to Sarah Palin's announcement today that she will not seek reelection in 2010 and will step down from the governorship on July 25th.

"While we regret the news announced by Governor Palin today, Alaska will continue to have a Republican governor through 2010 and we are confident the state will elect a Republican in next year's election.

The RGA's focus remains firmly on the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia this year, and the 37 gubernatorial elections that will take place in 2010. We know that winning these races is the most important task facing our Party over the next two years."

The Governor's website posted this transcript on Friday, July 3.

Hi Alaska, I appreciate speaking directly TO you, the people I serve, as your Governor.

People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska. Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine.

I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state. We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln's cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. He boldly looked "North to the Future". But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this "Seward's Folly". Seward withstood such disdain as he chose the uncomfortable, unconventional, but RIGHT path to secure Alaska, so Alaska could help secure the United States.

People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska.

Alaska's mission - to contribute to America. We're strategic IN the world as the air crossroads OF the world, as a gatekeeper of the continent. Bold visionaries knew this - Alaska would be part of America's great destiny.

Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, AND oil and gas. It's energy! God gave us energy.

So to serve the state is a humbling responsibility, because I know in my soul that Alaska is of such import, for America's security, in our very volatile world. And you know me by now, I promised even four years ago to show MY independence... no more conventional "politics as usual".

And we are doing well! My administration's accomplishments speak for themselves. We work tirelessly for Alaskans.

We aggressively and responsibly develop our resources because they were created to be used to better our world... to HELP people... and we protect the environment and Alaskans (the resource owners) foremost with our policies.

Here's some of the things we've done:

We created a petroleum integrity office to oversee safe development. We held the line FOR Alaskans on Point Thomson - and finally for the first time in decades - they're drilling for oil and gas.

We have AGIA, the gasline project - a massive bi-partisan victory (the vote was 58 to 1!) - also succeeding as intended - protecting Alaskans as our clean natural gas will flow to energize us, and America, through a competitive, pro-private sector project. This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. THIS is energy independence.

And ACES - another bipartisan effort - is working as intended and industry is publicly acknowledging its success. Our new oil and gas "clear and equitable formula" is so Alaskans will no longer be taken advantage of. ACES incentivizes NEW exploration and development and JOBS that were previously not going to happen with a monopolized North Slope oil basin.

We cleaned up previously accepted unethical actions; we ushered in bi-partisan Ethics Reform.

We also slowed the rate of government growth, we worked with the Legislature to save billions of dollars for the future, and I made no lobbyist friends with my hundreds of millions of dollars in budget vetoes... but living beyond our means today is irresponsible for tomorrow.

We took government out of the dairy business and put it back into private-sector hands - where it should be.

We provided unprecedented support for education initiatives, and with the right leadership, finally filled long-vacant public safety positions. We built a sub-Cabinet on Climate Change and took heat from Outside special interests for our biologically-sound wildlife management for abundance.

We broke ground on the new prison.

And we made common sense conservative choices to eliminate personal luxuries like the jet, the chef, the junkets... the entourage.

And the Lt. Governor and I said "no" to our pay raises. So much success in this first term - and with this success I am proud to take credit... for hiring the right people! Our goal was to achieve a gasline project, more fair oil and gas valuation, and ethics reform in four years. We did it in two. It's because of the people... good public servants surrounding the Governor's office, with servants' hearts and astounding work ethic... THEY are Alaska's success!

We are doing well! I wish you'd hear MORE from the media of your state's progress and how we tackle Outside interests - daily - SPECIAL interests that would stymie our state. Even those debt-ridden stimulus dollars that would force the heavy hand of federal government into our communities with an "all-knowing attitude" - I have taken the slings and arrows with that unpopular move to veto because I know being right is better than being popular. Some of those dollars would harm Alaska and harm America - I resisted those dollars because of the obscene national debt we're forcing our children to pay, because of today's Big Government spending; it's immoral and doesn't even make economic sense!

Another accomplishment - our Law Department protected states' rights - TWO huge U.S. Supreme Court reversals came down against that liberal Ninth Circuit, deciding in OUR state's favor over the last two weeks. We're protectors of our Constitution - federalists protect states' rights as mandated in 10th amendment.

But you don't hear much of the good stuff in the press anymore, do you?

Some say things changed for me on August 29th last year - the day John McCain tapped me to be his running-mate - I say others changed.

Let me speak to that for a minute.

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I've been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations - such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters' questions.

Every one - all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We've won! But it hasn't been cheap - the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to "opposition research" - that's money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers - or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the "politics of personal destruction" ... Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime so they're not going to stop draining public resources - spending other peoples' money in their game.

It's pretty insane - my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with THIS instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more "politics as usual," but THIS isn't what anyone had in mind for ALASKA.

If I have learned one thing: LIFE is about choices!

And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose NOT to tear down and waste precious time; but to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!

Life is too short to compromise time and resources... it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: "Sit down and shut up", but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and "go with the flow".

Nah, only dead fish "go with the flow".

No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time... to BUILD UP.

And there is such a need to BUILD up and FIGHT for our state and our country. I choose to FIGHT for it! And I'll work hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security for our country and support for our troops; energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality and LIFE... I'll work for and campaign for those PROUD to be American, and those who are INSPIRED by our ideals and won't deride them.

I WILL support others who seek to serve, in or out of office, for the RIGHT reasons, and I don't care what party they're in or no party at all. Inside Alaska - or Outside Alaska.

But I won't do it from the Governor's desk.

I've never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this - to make a difference... to HELP people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more "freedom" to progress, all the way around... so that Alaska may progress... I will not seek re-election as Governor.

And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn't run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks... travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade - as so many politicians do. And then I thought - that's what's wrong - many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and "milk it". I'm not putting Alaska through that - I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That's not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old "politics as usual." I promised that four years ago - and I meant it.

It's not what is best for Alaska.

I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is unconventional and not so comfortable.

With this announcement that I am not seeking re-election... I've determined it's best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell; and I am willing to do so, so that this administration - with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future - can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success.

My choice is to take a stand and effect change - not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment. Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities - and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.

Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me - sports... basketball. I use it because you're naïve if you don't see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket... and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I'm doing that - keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities - smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it's time to pass the ball - for victory.

I have given my reasons candidly and truthfully... and my last day won't be for another few weeks so the transition will be very smooth. In fact, we will look to swear Sean in - in Fairbanks at the conclusion of our Governor's picnics.

I do not want to disappoint anyone with my decision; all I can ask is that you TRUST me with this decision - but it's no more "politics as usual".

Some Alaskans don't mind wasting public dollars and state time. I do. I cannot stand here as your Governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor. And my children won't allow it either. ? Some will question the timing. ? Let's just say, this decision has been in the works for awhile...

In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life - my children (where the count was unanimous... well, in response to asking: "Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children's future from OUTSIDE the Governor's office?" It was four "yes's" and one "hell yeah!" The "hell yeah" sealed it - and someday I'll talk about the details of that... I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig - I know he needs me, but I need him even more... what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT - that time is precious... the world needs more "Trigs", not fewer.

My decision was also fortified during this most recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, to visit our wounded soldiers overseas, those who sacrifice themselves in war for OUR freedom and security... we can ALL learn from our selfless Troops... they're bold, they don't give up, they take a stand and know that LIFE is short so they choose to NOT waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than SELF... and to build up their families, their states, our country. These Troops and their important missions - those are truly the worthy causes in this world and should be the public priority with time and resources and NOT this local / superficial wasteful political bloodsport.

May we ALL learn from them!

*((Gotta put First Things First))*

First things first: as Governor, I love my job and I love Alaska. It hurts to make this choice but I am doing what's best for Alaska. I've explained why... though I think of the saying on my parents' refrigerator that says "Don't explain: your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe you anyway."

But I have given my reasons... no more "politics as usual" and I am taking my fight for what's right - for Alaska - in a new direction.

Now, despite this, I don't want any Alaskan dissuaded from entering politics after seeing this REAL "climate change" that began in August... no, we NEED hardworking, average Americans fighting for what's right! And I will support you because we need YOU and YOU can effect change, and I can too on the outside.

We need those who will respect our Constitution where government's supposed to serve from the BOTTOM UP, not move toward this TOP DOWN big government take-over... but rather, will be protectors of individual rights - who also have enough common sense to acknowledge when conditions have drastically changed and are willing to call an audible and pass the ball when it's time so the team can win! And that is what I'm doing!

Remember Alaska... America is now, more than ever, looking North to the Future. It'll be good. So God bless you, and from me and my family - to ALL Alaska - you have my heart.

And we will be in the capable hands of our Lieutenant Governor, Sean Parnell. And Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume the role of Lieutenant Governor. And it is my promise to you that I will always be standing by, ready to assist. We have a good, positive agenda for Alaska.

In the words of General MacArthur said, "We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction."

###

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse has put out this statement about Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) resignation -- taking what might just be the final opportunity to rip into her:

"Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can't handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down. Either way - her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today."

Here's Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) rather...interesting resignation speech:



The following statement was released by the Governor's office on Friday, July 3.

Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she will not seek a second term as Governor of the State of Alaska and will relegate the power of governor to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell in order to serve Alaska's best interests. Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will move into Parnell's current role.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," said Governor Palin. "Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine." Standing outside her home in Wasilla, Alaska, Governor Palin reflected upon some of the administration's accomplishments for Alaska as she approaches her final year in office. "I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path," said Governor Palin after the announcement. "Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional 'Lame Duck' status in this particular climate would just be another dose of 'politics as usual,' something I campaigned against and will always oppose. It is my duty to always protect our great state. With that in mind, my family and I determined that it is best to make a difference this summer, and I am willing to change things, so that this administration, with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future, can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success. I look forward to helping others - to fight for our state and our country, and campaign for those who believe in smaller government, free enterprise, strong national security, support for our troops, and energy independence." The transfer of power will occur following the Governor's picnic in Fairbanks on July 26. At that point in time, Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell will be sworn in and Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume his role as Lieutenant Governor. Governor Palin will spend July 4th in Juneau.

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