Alaska Department of Revenue
550 W. 7th Ave. Ste 500
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3555
Re: Sarah Palin’s Alaska
To the Investigations Officer:
On February 19, 2011 the Anchorage Daily News reported that the TLC “reality show” Sarah Palin’s Alaska had been approved to receive $1.2 million in tax credits. The application was reportedly submitted by a California-based production company Jean Worldwide Inc. Your office reportedly approved the paperwork on Feb. 11, 2011.
Pursuant to the express provisions of AS 44.33.236, the tax credit is NOT available as follows:
“(b) The following productions are not eligible, regardless of the production costs:
(1) news, weather, or current events programming; …
(7) a political advertisement; or
(8) a production that is determined by the department to be …detrimental to the people of the state.
Enclosed is a copy of Sarah Palin’s Alaska DVD which contains each of the episodes filmed and used for the television show and which is now for sale in stores. As you will clearly see the show was NOT eligible for the tax credit as it was reflective of “current events”, it was a “political advertisement”, and it was detrimental to the people of Alaska.
In particular anything regarding Sarah Palin should be categorized as a “current event.” For the last two years, Sarah Palin has been headline news. The newspapers, news channels on television, tabloids, and bloggers like myself have focused on the activities of Sarah Palin every day. Moreover, the fact that author, Joe McGinnis, moved in next door to the Palins was headline news. Mr. McGinnis appeared on the Today Show, and was the subject of many newspaper articles and internet stories. The response of the Palins was to build a 14 foot fence which itself became headline news. At least one picture of Joe McGinnis was taken by the Palins, and that also became the subject of much media coverage. You will see as you review the DVD that there were several comments and filming of the house next door, a person sitting on the balcony of that house, and a reference to the 14 foot fence as an example of what America should do to prevent illegal immigrants. Sarah Palin also gave a radio interview to Glenn Beck suggesting that Mr. McGinnis was somehow invading her privacy.. Sarah Palin, Joe McGinnis, and the 14 foot fence clearly became a “current event.”
A POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT
This “reality show” was filled with political advertisement for both Sarah Palin, and the political positions she has taken. Specific examples include:
1. “You can see Russia from here- almost.”
2. Todd Palin comments about Joe McGinnis, the author living next to the Palins: “These people want to seek and destroy.”
3. Sarah Palin describes the 14 foot fence erected to create a barrier between the Palin family and Joe McGinnis and then adds: “This is a good example of what we need to do to secure our nation’s borders.”
4. In a discussion of Taxes, Sarah asks Todd to explain that the rate of taxes would determine the number of new employees he could afford to hire.
5. Repeatedly Sarah Palin uses the phrase, “Don’t Retreat, Reload.”
6. Sarah commented that she loves to tell the story about having her baby shower at the shooting range as “it gets the liberals all wee weed up.”
7. There were repeated references to stories in the “tabloids” regarding her family. The National Enquirer was mentioned by name at least three times.
8. With regard to Trig, she said “I wouldn’t trade this child or our situation for anything in the world.”
9. On the hunting adventure Sarah’s dad explained that Sarah “carries her own weight when hunting, fishing, and in politics.”
10. Sarah is described as a “mama grizzley.”
11. Sarah offers a quote from Ted Nugent after killing a caribou. Ted Nugent is the person who wrote the article on Sarah for Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people.
12. The woman Sarah met in the remote location where they landed to begin the hunting trip explained that Sarah had affected her life as the Governor of Alaska.
13. Palin mentioned the need to get out into the wilderness for her children because of the “brutality” in the political arena.
14. Kate Gosselin explained that she admired Palin because she was a strong woman who didn’t back down.
15. Palin features guns in multiple episodes. She explained that some people are politically “anti-gun.”
16. Palin is featured making s’mores, and comments that this is done in “honor of Michele Obama.” In case the comments were not audible, the words appear at the bottom of the screen to emphasize their importance.
17. Palin offers the statistic that 85-90 % of Down’s syndrome children are aborted. She explains that “they have their opinion, and we have ours.”
18. Palin says that “idiots and bloggers do not like our family.”
19. Palin comments that when she was Governor, people condemned her because she always had kids at her side.
20. Palin volunteers her explanation of her use of the word “refudiate” by explaining that she accidentally pushed a “F” instead of a “D” on her blackberry.
21. Palin uses the phrase “make lemonade out of lemons” which became controversial as a result of Sharon Angle’s comment regarding what a woman should do who had been raped. Palin endorsed Angle.
22. Palin makes a derogatory comment about conservationists suggesting that they shouldn’t be critical of the deforestation in Alaska, because… after all they use pencils and paper.
23. Palin criticized environmentalists for their opposition to logging and deforestation. She made derogatory remarks about the people who complain about deforestation by asking if they knew where their paper and pencils come from. Clearly Palin was making a political point that “environmentalists” were wrong. Regardless of your political position regarding deforestation, this was clearly a political commentary.
Each of these comments reveals the political agenda of Sarah Palin. Each is proof of the fact that the TLC show, and the DVD, constituted a political advertisement. Obviously Palin has the right to make political advertisements, and TLC has the right to promote Palin if they chose to do so. The outrageous thing is that Palin and TLC caused the taxpayers of Alaska to fund this political advertisement. Thus this endeavor was “unlawful.” The taxpayers of Alaska deserve a refund!
DETRIMENTAL TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
Almost 40% of children in Alaska are overweight or obese. While Sarah Palin was Governor of Alaska, she knew this as a result of a report issued by the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services from March of 2009, before Sarah Palin resigned:
Childhood Obesity in Alaska
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Jay Butler, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Alaska Division of Public Health Authors:
Andrea M. Fenaughty, PhD
Karol Fink, MS, RD
Diane Peck, MPH, RD
Charles J. Utermohle, PhD
I am pleased to share with you the following report on Childhood Obesity in Alaska. This report presents information from various sources to provide the most complete picture available in Alaska of childhood obesity and the behaviors that contribute to obesity. The information presented in this report indicates the need for a comprehensive, coordinated, long-term obesity prevention approach that involves and is supported by individuals, families, communities, schools, worksites, health care, media, industry, organizations, and government. Only the synergistic work of all these stakeholders will ensure that Alaska has a strong and healthy future. Alaska’s youth obesity prevalence would have to decrease by more than 50% and overweight prevalence would have to decrease by more than 25% to meet our Healthy Alaskans 2010 target. Despite the many benefits of physical activity and good nutrition, too many Alaskan children today grow up without developing positive physical activity and nutrition habits. As this report shows, they consume excessive soda and sugar-sweetened beverages, eat too few fruits and vegetables, and spend more time looking at screens than being physically active.
Positive change will occur if Alaskans work together to support policy and environmental changes that result in the healthy choice becoming the easy and affordable choice for everyone. I hope this report mobilizes government leadership and community partnerships to play a role in reducing obesity in Alaska’s children by adopting a comprehensive, long-term approach to solve this problem.
Jay Butler, MD
Chief Medical Officer
State of Alaska, Health and Social Services”
Several times in the TLC show Palin promotes the eating by children of unhealthy foods. Piper bakes cupcakes, and children are encouraged to eat s’mores. While a film depicting children eating such food might not normally be viewed as detrimental, Sarah Palin uses it as a way to attack the Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program to promote healthy eating by children in America. Sarah Palin specifically declares as they get out the ingredients for the s’mores that they are doing so in honor of Michelle Obama. In case the audio is hard to hear, the screen at the bottom has her words in graphic form. In the event there should be any question about Palin’s intention, consider Palin’s previous statements attacking Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. Palin’s attack on the Let’s Move campaign was both detrimental to the people of Alaska, and politically motivated.
As illustrated above, for three separate reasons the tax credit for Sarah Palin’s Alaska should never have been issued. The people of Alaska deserve better. The legislators never intended to allow a tax credit to promote the political agenda of anyone. Please take all appropriate steps to correct this error and obtain a refund for the citizens of Alaska.
cc. Governor Sean Parnell, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Mark Begich, Representative Don Young