Sarah Palin has been mostly absent from Alaska politics since she quit that state's governorship prematurely.
Now she's back, kind of. The 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee recently took a jab at her successor as governor, fellow Republican Sean Parnell, for what she called unseemly ties to the Alaska oil industry.
Palin called into an Anchorage radio talk show that was discussing a new state law that cut taxes for oil producers, the Anchorage Daily News reports. It replaced a 2007 tax system that Palin signed into law and, according to her, brought the state billions in income.
Palin quit the Alaska governorship in July 2009, with 17 months left in her first term. She's largely been silent on Alaska issues since. Instead she's appeared in several television shows, given paid speeches, written books and otherwise enhanced her national media profile.
But she left little question about her stance during her phone call to KWHL-FM's Bob and Mark Show - a hard rock Anchorage station morning show on which she has appeared before and where she has said she'd announce a presidential run if she ever decides to do that.
During her call, she said people may be forgetting about the behavior that helped lead to a sweeping corruption investigation by the FBI - landing some state lawmakers in jail - and the passage of ACES.
Palin said Alaskans who aren't getting angry are buying into a 'lot of highly-funded PR campaigns coming from those who are not putting Alaska first,' an apparent reference to the millions of dollars spent by the oil industry - primarily BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. - to protect the tax cut.
The tax break was introduced by Parnell, Palin's former lieutenant governor who took office when she left. It removed the progressive feature of Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share that took more from producers as oil prices rose. With Senate Bill 21 in place, Alaska stands to lose billions of dollars in the coming years, opponents say. Voters will decide between the two tax laws when a referendum on Senate Bill 21 appears on the primary election ballot in August.
In her phone call to the radio station, Palin swiped at Parnell, who is expected to face attorney Bill Walker, running as an independent, and Democrat Byron Mallott in the November general election.
'Well, bless his heart,' Palin said of Parnell after one of the hosts asked why Parnell switched his loyalty from the Palin-era tax system he once supported to the new tax cut. 'Remember that Sean Parnell came from the oil industry. He was an employee of ConocoPhillips, being an attorney for the cause there, lobbying for the cause there. Perhaps that's ingrained in him.'