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Here's Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-AK) rather...interesting resignation speech:

The following statement was released by the Governor's office on Friday, July 3.

Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she will not seek a second term as Governor of the State of Alaska and will relegate the power of governor to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell in order to serve Alaska's best interests. Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will move into Parnell's current role.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," said Governor Palin. "Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine." Standing outside her home in Wasilla, Alaska, Governor Palin reflected upon some of the administration's accomplishments for Alaska as she approaches her final year in office. "I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path," said Governor Palin after the announcement. "Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional 'Lame Duck' status in this particular climate would just be another dose of 'politics as usual,' something I campaigned against and will always oppose. It is my duty to always protect our great state. With that in mind, my family and I determined that it is best to make a difference this summer, and I am willing to change things, so that this administration, with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future, can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success. I look forward to helping others - to fight for our state and our country, and campaign for those who believe in smaller government, free enterprise, strong national security, support for our troops, and energy independence." The transfer of power will occur following the Governor's picnic in Fairbanks on July 26. At that point in time, Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell will be sworn in and Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume his role as Lieutenant Governor. Governor Palin will spend July 4th in Juneau.

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), the unsuccessful 2008 nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President, has announced that will resign her office, effective at the end of the month.

Initial reports had been that she simply wasn't going to run for a second term in 2010, seemingly setting up a 2012 campaign for the White House. But this sure is something...

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), the unsuccessful 2008 nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President, has resigned her office, effective at the end of the month.

Initial reports had been that she simply wasn't going to run for a second term in 2010, seemingly setting up a 2012 campaign for the White House. But this sure is something...

Late Update: Reporter Andrew Wellner from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman just appeared on CNN after attending Palin's press conference. She said, Wellner reported, that she could be more effective outside of government.

And she wholly blamed the national press, saying they were creating national distractions that cost the state money. Palin said: "You are naive if you don't see a full-court press on the national level, picking apart a good point guard."

Late Late Update: Here's the video. Part 1:

And Part 2:

CNN reports that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) is set to announce soon that she will not run for a second term as Governor in 2010.

There are any number of reasons she might not be running again -- but it's worth pointing out that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) also recently announced his retirement, which most people see as a step towards a potential run for President in 2012.

And given the huge distances involved, it's hard to travel all around the Lower 48 while also being an actual Governor of Alaska. Palin had to essentially leave the state during the two months that she ran for Vice President back in 2008.

Could we be seeing a Palin/Bachmann ticket in 2012?

Democratic House candidate Francine Busby (CA-50), whose fundraising house party last Friday night ended disastrously with a now-infamous raid by the San Diego Sheriff's Department, met yesterday with the county's new Sheriff William D. Gore, who was just sworn in yesterday, and she told me today that it was a constructive meeting.

The incident began after an unnamed person, believed to have been a heckler who reportedly shouted obscenities and anti-gay slurs at the event, phoned in a noise complaint.

"I congratulated him on being sworn in. We had a conversation about this incident. I told him that I'm going to be completely cooperative with him, because I think it's going to be so important that we find out how this happened, and why this happened, and make sure it doesn't happen again," said Busby. "And I told him that it's very important to me to find out that if there was political motivation behind the phone call, for two reasons. One, is these types of political meetings occur all the time for all candidates. It's important that people feel safe when they attend one of these, and it should be a protected right in our democratic process. And two, law enforcement should never be put in a position to be used in a political way."

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As we noted yesterday, the Washington Post has published the documents turned over by the Corporation for National and Community Service to a Senate committee reviewing the White House's firing of AmeriCorps IG. Conservatives had charged that the IG, Gerald Walpin, was canned for going too hard after an Obama ally.

We've taken a look through the documents, and it's fair to say they offer a pretty clear picture of how and why the CNCS board lost confidence in Walpin. They jibe closely with what the White House and the board have already said -- to us, among others -- about the deterioration of the relationship between the IG and his agency. And they also make clear that this deterioration had begun long before the Obama administration existed.

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Did Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) sick the cops on a group of health care reform organizers? That's what the Service Employees International Union is claiming. The group had received permission to gather at the Nebraska Medical Center to meet Johanns who was scheduled to appear at a roundtable discussion on health care--but Johanns apparently wasn't interested.

"SEIU along with teachers and members of the military set up a table with apple pie and signs welcoming the Senator and urging him to support an American solution to healthcare reform," noted Jane Kleeb, SEIU State Director. "Instead of coming by and saying hello, the Senator walked right by us as we were surrounded by police and said 'good luck with that.'"

Johann's staff, however, portrays things rather differently. They contend that the organizers were confronted by hospital security and asked to move their protest off hospital grounds. They also deny complaining--either to the police, or to hospital security--about the protesters' presence, and say the roundtable proceeded, with Kleeb's participation, after the controversy was resolved.

Those are two very different versions of events, obviously. We'll try to tease out exactly what went down.

Late update: It's certainly worth pointing out that Jane Kleeb is the wife of Scott Kleeb, who was Johanns' opponent in the 2008 election for Chuck Hagel's old Senate seat.

Late, late update: I just got off the phone with Jane Kleeb who stuck to her version of events and provided more details. According to Kleeb, she and about 10 other advocates set up out front with two home made signs--one which read 'Sen. Johanns, we can't wait' and one which read 'Health care '09, we can't wait'. She says that soon thereafter four cars rolled up--both medical center security and Omaha police. According to Kleeb, the police waited in their cars while she spoke with hospital security officers, who told her that Johanns' staff had indeed called to complain about the protest.

According to an email Kleeb provided from the hospital, "[e]xternal groups can distribute literature on public sidewalks, so long as they are not obstructing pedestrian or vehicle traffic, and do not interfere with those entering and exiting the buildings." Kleeb says she and the group gathered on a walkway several feet from the medical center's doors, but that security moved them to the other side of a barrier about several feet further from the entrance.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) gave what he perhaps hopes can be a final comment on the 2008 Minnesota Senate race: That he's glad it's over, and let's stop talking about it.

"I think we're all relieved the Senate race is over," Pawlenty said on his weekly radio show. "There's been some frustration over how long it took."

Pawlenty, of course, did add that "I wish it had come out the other way," but he respects the process.

Interestingly, as the Star Tribune points out, Pawlenty declared that it was "time to move on" -- the exact same turn of phrase he used to describe the media coverage of Michael Jackson.

One of the biggest developments on the health care front this week was Wal-Mart's decision to back an employer mandate as a major provision of reform legislation. The move rankled the Chamber of Commerce, which accused the retail giant of using the government to build competitive advantage against its competitors--all despite the fact that Wal-Mart is the Chamber's largest member. But liberals were by and large pretty happy with the development.

At least as far as health reform goes.

But Wal-Mart is a major stakeholder on a number of key issues, and some wonder whether the Arkansas-based behemoth will try to cash in their support for health reform with the White House when the focus in Washington eventually turns to employee free choice.

Labor sources, well-acquainted with Wal-Mart's anti-EFCA tactics, have suggested or acknowledged this concern to me in the days since the administration announced the deal--and as hard as it is to imagine Wal-Mart fighting that legislation harder than they already do, the sources say both sides may turn up the temperature in the fight over employee rights in the weeks and months ahead.

It's unclear where the basis of this concern lies--whether it comes from internal knowledge of Wal-Mart's negotiations with key health care players in Washington; or from an understanding of the company's incentives; or whether some in the labor movement are using this moment to launch a pre-emptive strike against their main EFCA opponent.

But either way, it's clear that the uneasy alliance between labor and Wal-Mart on the question of health reform does not translate into rapprochement on the issue of unionization. If anything, it makes the fight over that issue bloodier.

As I reported yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee unveiled its plan for a public health insurance option after a weeks-long delay, and leaders announced that it had the support of every Democrat on the panel...including Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC).

Last night, Hagan made it official in a joint statement with committee members. "My colleagues and I on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have been working on a plan to reform the health care system in this country," Hagan said. "We have crafted a plan that will stabilize health care costs and includes a Community Health Insurance Option, which I support."

This clears the path for the legislation to be moved out of committee. Until now, her objections to the public option were blocking it. That raised the ire of liberal groups like MoveOn, which targeted her directly. Now, everyone's friends again. "MoveOn commends Senator Hagan for deciding to support the health care reform bill that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee released today, which includes a national public health insurance option," MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben said in a statement.

A public health insurance option will lower the cost of insurance and medical care for everyone, and put an end to many of the predatory practices of private insurers. This measure is the heart of health care reform and is supported by MoveOn's five million members as well as the majority of the American people. With the support of legislators like Senator Hagan, we can come closer to our goal of making quality health insurance accessible and affordable for everyone.