“Every time I heard an allegation, every time I got an allegation or my office did, we investigated that with guard leadership,” Parnell said even as he acknowledged the same leadership turned out to be the cause of some of the guard's biggest problems."We asked the fox how the hens were doing.
Sort of like how he investigated the claims of the oil companies that they needed a tax break so they could increase production and create more jobs.
Good intentions are important, but our Governor was simply unable to get to the heart of matters for four years. You need more than intentions. You need to be able to figure out what's going on and then correct it.
For four years the governor has heard about problems at the National Guard. Often such complaints come from people whose credibility may be questionable to people in authority, which, of course, doesn't invalidate their claims. It just makes it harder for them to get people to listen.
But in this case the people who complained to the governor were people with credibility. Chaplains. Officers in the guard. A senior politician from the governor's party.
What is revealed in this case is that the governor is, like Don Young said, Captain Zero. He's an empty shell. He simply doesn't have the ability to judge people - he listened to Katkus and not to Katkus' critics. He doesn't know how to investigate and find the facts. He got bamboozled for four years by the likes of Katkus. (If you were to actually meet Katkus, you'd find this even more amazing.)
The National Guard scandal is all the more outrageous because Parnell made ending domestic violence one of his top priorities - but when it was waved in front of his face for four years, he didn't see it. Or know what to do about it. [OK, he'll say I did everything I could but there wasn't evidence. That answer gives Parnell a fail on this question. A more alert and serious governor would have done something much sooner. The head of the National Guard is an appointed position and serves at the pleasure of the governor.]
And this is the governor who told us we needed to pass SB 21 giving the oil companies a $2 billion a year tax cut because the tax was hindering oil production and costing the state jobs. (If he had done the math, he would have known that for $2 billion a year he could have given every unemployed Alaskan a decent paying job.) And he fought against the referendum to repeal SB 21 saying it would cost the state oil revenue and jobs.
Yet the oil companies Parnell supported said themselves production would decline and after it passed one oil company said there wouldn't be increased oil production and another laid off a significant number of employees. We all know that if Prop 1 had passed, they would have blamed it for the layoffs.
We don't have a governor, we have a puppet. He only knows what to do when one of his puppeteers tells him what to do. His "Choose Respect" campaign to end domestic violence was a poor marketing campaign. The scary thing is that I believe Parnell thought it had substance. (There were some substantive actions, but only because a non-profit that working with state agencies had already developed a statewide plan and the governor's task force was able to adopt some of that.)
But it seems the governor is a good representative of the voters of Alaska who continue to believe Parnell's promises and continue to elect Republican majorities in the house and senate. And continue to buy the Republican brand for our US Representative. The majority of voters seem to be swayed by symbols and not by substance. Perhaps the so-called Unity Party with Walker an Mallot will change things. I think just the change itself will allow for a little different direction, but how long will it last? And if he wins, how will Walker's socially conservative values play out after the election? Stay tuned.
I realize this is not my normal style. But this situation is so outrageous, even I have to call it out harshly. This is a clear fail on the part of the governor. There are no shades of gray here.