Saturday, September 6, 2008

Palin's Hockey Rink

Today's Wall Street Journal tells the story of the $14.7 million sports complex that Sarah Palin built while mayor of Wasilla, Alaska that ended up costing an extra $1.3 million due to the failure to secure a signed contract prior to building the complex. The city had won a trial against another buyer who claimed that the property had been sold to him and started to build despite the fact that the competing buyer had filed an appeal. When the trial judge reversed the decision, Wasilla was forced to obtain a smaller slice of the property by eminent domain for $710,000 more than the original price and pay the other buyer $336,000 in interest. The city's legal bill has been approximately $250,000.

Not surprisingly, Palin is not taking any questions.
The McCain-Palin campaign referred questions about the sports complex to Mr.
Leonard, the former city finance chief. He blamed the Nature Conservancy [the
seller] for dealing with two different potential buyers at one time. "That's
what caused the confusion," he said.

"At the time, with the information she had, [Ms. Palin] made the right
decision," Mr. Leonard said. "But you know what? Litigation happens."

If Palin ever does answer any questions about her record in Alaska, here are two I would like to ask about this situation:
  • Have you ever heard of title insurance?
  • Are you really confused by the idea of a seller dealing with more than one potential buyer?


  1. Palin has to keep the public in the dark about her Christian extremism, her extreme ambition, and her gross authoritarianism. With all those things to cover up, her best strategy is to keep her mouth shut except when reading carefully prepared speeches and press releases.

  2. And I doubt that it will bother her base at all. Just as they willingly accept any ad hoc explanation for the inconsistencies in the Bible, they will accept any ad hoc rationalization for the inconsistencies in Palin's record and her refusal to explain them.

  3. "Christian extremism?" C'mon, she's a pretty standard issue evangelical from what I can tell.

  4. Chris,

    The thing that I most wonder about is why she is asking people to pray for oil pipelines. There is a worldview there that seems to be outside of what I understand to be standard evangelical Christianity.

    I am also a little bothered by her pastor's assertions that he doubts the salvation of anyone who voted for John Kerry. I don't hold her responsible for everything her pastor says just as I did not hold Obama responsible for everything his pastor said, but I would be interested to know whether she shares such opinions.

  5. why she is asking people to pray for oil pipelines

    I didn't see the comment, but if you think about how the energy situation is affecting everyone but especially the poor, changing that situation can have a real religious element to it.

    Plus, some people pray for rather mundane things -- good weather at a picnic and such. It might just be that.

  6. It is from a talk she gave earlier this year to some sort of youth group at the Assemblies of God church that she used to attend in Wasilla. I watched it at

    I am concerned whenever a politician thinks she knows God’s will on a particular policy. I think that good governance requires a fair amount of pragmatism and flexibility which may be inhibited by the belief that God wants a particular project. I’ve always suspected that Bush’s inability to acknowledge the deterioration of the situation in Iraq resulted in part from his belief that America’s success was assured because he was carrying out God’s will.

    Unshakable certitude about God’s position on abortion is one thing, but unshakable certitude about God’s position on a pipeline makes me nervous. It may be that her request for prayer did not reflect a belief that she knew God’s will on the project, but what I saw raises questions that I would like to see answered.