Palin said little about shrinking government, but did note — reading from a script and not her hand — that “government shouldn’t be redistributing” wealth.

By Craig Medred

Beck and Palin — loved by the loose-knit Tea Party — are rising powerbrokers in a wing of the Republican Party calling for a radical reduction in the size of the federal government. How Palin ended up hooked up with this group — given that as Alaska governor she grew state government in the two and a half years before her resignation — is unclear. (Palin doesn’t take questions from most of us in the “lamestream” media.) Yet, there she was Saturday night on home turf — the first time in a long time.

Sullivan, always a small government guy, joked about Palin’s short stint as governor, saying, “Sarah we hardly knew you.”

Back in July 2009, when she announced she was resigning, Palin argued that protests — including a flurry of ethics complaints targeted at her — against how government was being run had tied up the whole process of governance. She was quitting, she said at the time, to attack on a different front. A best-selling book and a national roadshow followed. She became a TV media pundit of little standing and a Facebook/Twitter commentator with huge influence.

Palin almost disappeared from Alaska, barely making a public appearance for a year. But she was back out there Saturday night. She got a warm welcome, not as big and as warm as that given to Beck, but the event was his, not hers, and he was arguably the bigger celebrity in Alaska. Earlier Saturday, there was a coming out of sorts for Palin in her hometown of Wasilla. About 300 people turned out at the Wasilla Sports Complex to praise her. Meantime, about a third as many gathered on Park Strip in Anchorage to lambast her.

On stage, Palin said little about shrinking government, but did note — reading from a script and not her hand — that “government shouldn’t be redistributing” wealth.

She apparently overlooked that she, as governor, took money out of the pockets of the shareholders of privately owned oil companies and redistributed it in the form of $1,200 energy rebates to Alaskans — one of the reasons some called her the Hugo Chavez of the North. Palin and the Alaska Legislature justified their actions because they thought Alaskans were paying too much for oil and gas and deserves to pay less because.. heck, “We’re Alaskans” It was a popular — and quite populist and socialistic — This program coming from someone who has NO record of ever being a Conservative Republican. Yes these are the facts, to be sure.

And then there is the irony of Palin and Beck warning against socialism in the land of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend of which Palin, like most Alaska pols, has always been a supporter. The fund, seeded with oil royalties collected by the state, is invested in stocks, bonds and real estate, and part of the profits go to Alaskans in the form of a check. So, one could argue, the state redistributes what could be the wealth of oil companies to Alaskans for nothing other than living in the 49th state, which might be a just reward to hear Beck tell it.

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