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From the International Herald Tribune:
"Sarah Palin of Alaska lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal.

So when there was a vacancy at the top of Alaska's Division of Agriculture, Palin appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as one of her qualifications for running the roughly $2 million agency.

Havemeister was one of at least five high school classmates Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding what they had made in the private sector.

When Palin had to cut the 2007 Alaska state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.

Last May, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor's career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to find an assistant to the governor on the line. "You should be ashamed!" Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. "Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now."

It's very, very worth reading the full story.
 

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March 2011

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