February 19, 2009, Juneau, Alaska - Following up on several trips to Western Alaska by multi-agency state personnel, Governor Sarah Palin and Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell will travel with Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, to the communities of Marshall and Russian Mission on Friday. Samaritan's Purse is a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid across the world. Working with private sector and nonprofit resources, an estimated 10,000 pounds of food will be distributed to more than 200 Alaska families in need.
For several weeks the administration has been working with residents on the Lower Yukon in an attempt to identify their eligibility for various aid programs for communities and individuals. Five state departments and the governor’s rural affairs advisor, John Moller, are involved in the immediate relief effort, and are currently visiting communities across the region.
Faith-based, non-profit groups, such as Samaritan’s Purse, have partnered with state agencies and have been instrumental in providing assistance to Western Alaska in recent weeks. The Department of Public Safety has utilized its aircraft to deliver food collected from around the state by faith-based and other nonprofit organizations. The Department of Public Safety is working with the Department of Education and Early Development personnel in implementing a plan to provide bulk foods to area residents.
Additionally, state benefit specialists from the Department of Health and Social Services visited Emmonak recently and enrolled individuals in several existing public assistance programs. The Department of Fish and Game has expanded the moose-hunting season for residents, and is also reviewing concerns with the commercial king salmon fishery that many Lower Yukon River residents depend on for a substantial portion of their income.
The governor’s trip to Western Alaska, coupled with work on the economic stimulus certification requirements and budget amendments, will prevent her from attending the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C., this weekend.
Instead of making the people of Western Alaska dependent on government handouts, Governor Palin has harnessed the power of private charity, made it easier for residents to obtain their own food via hunting, and is partnering those resources with the transportation the State can provide with its existing aircraft. Bravo!
For those who may not know, Franklin Graham is the son of evangelist (and advisor to Presidents) Billy Graham.
(photo: Jeff Geerling)
UPDATE by JR: This story also confirms that Palin will not be traveling to D.C. for the National Governor's Association meeting.
UPDATE by VO: Reminds me what Elaine Lafferty said about Palin's decision-making process:
Palin asks questions, and probes linkages and logic that bring to mind a quirky law professor I once had. Palin is more than a “quick study”; I'd heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts.
UPDATE by Ramrocks: The ADN now has an article posted on the trip and includes the requisite snarky dig from the Jerk from Fairbanks.
Newsmax reports that Gov. Palin will be in D.C. this weekend:
The 2009 Governor's Dinner will be held in conjunction with a meeting of the National Governors Association, which is holding its winter meeting in D.C.
Among those expected to attend the White House bash will be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The visit will mark Governor Palin's first visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since Obama took office on January 20.
I think Newsmax is wrong about this one. I don't think the Guv will be dining with The One this time.
Word is that the Guv will be holding a presser tomorrow morning before heading out. We'll have video of it when it becomes available.
UPDATE by VO: Senator Begich is pursuing the government handout route for Emmonak. I'm worried about moral hazard here...I've seen firsthand how government dependence has destroyed Native American culture in my native South Dakota. Why work hard to support yourself and prepare for hard times if the government will step in with free money? I prefer Governor Palin's approach of removing obstacles to subsistence, partnering with private charity when extraordinary circumstances crop up.