Monday, July 6, 2009

Observers: Palin resignation cuts losses in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Ever since Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin returned from the presidential campaign trail, many Alaskans felt her heart wasn't in the job.

Lawmakers complained she didn't take an interest in the state's politics, and she limited her access to Alaska's media. One lawmaker quipped after her state of the state address in January that the only eye contact she made in the legislative chamber was with the television camera.

In Alaska, Palin has become a polarizing figure, and the focus of multiple ethics complaints filed against her with the state personnel board. She has taken a beating from Senate Democrats over many of her recent appointments, including an attorney general candidate who became the first Cabinet appointment ever rejected by the Alaska Legislature.

And things weren't likely to improve, if she stayed in office. She faces a potential veto override of nearly $29 million in federal stimulus funds for energy efficiency programs. She rejected the funds, fearing there were strings attached to the money that could bind the state to federal building mandates. Legislators said they could find no such strings.

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