Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Facts about Governor Palin's Support of Divestment

There is a lot of discussion in the media about Governor Palin's support of Sudan divestment. All of the questions revolve around when she supported the divestment legislation and her role in championing the cause. We began Alaska's divestment campaign, so we feel we are the most equipped to provide reliable information about the Governor's involvement. That information is offered here, in (very) brief, to set the speculation to rest -- not to discredit Governor Palin but to bring back into focus the real priority: ending the genocide in Darfur.

Governor Palin was aware of the divestment legislation as early as December 2007. We know. We met with her staff at the Governor's Anchorage Office to discuss Sinopec's role in the Alaska Gas Pipeline and to request her support for targeted divestment from Sudan. As late as mid-March 2008, the governor was not on board with the divestment legislation. Again, we know. A group member who wrote the Governor asking her to support divestment received a letter dated March 11, 2008, wherein the Governor again declined on the opportunity to support divestment. Most importantly, however, in April 2008, Governor Palin publicly announced her support of targeted divestment legislation.

You see, in the end, she publicly supported it, and, based on her statements during the debate, she still does! Many people do not believe in or understand the value of targeted divestment immediately. Targeted divestment is a totally different beast than the divestment most people know about (like divestment from South Africa), so it can take some time to fully understand. That's no crime.

We at Save Darfur Anchorage are excited about Governor Palin's support, the national attention she has brought to the divestment campaign, and, most importantly, the national attention she and Senator Biden have brought to the Darfur genocide. In this time of partisan activity, we must work hard to remember what matters most, and in this case, it is that the Darfur Genocide must be stopped. We are encouraged that both presidential (and vice-presidential) candidates support taking the necessary actions to end the Goverment of Sudan's brutal campaign against its own people.