First, Nick Ayers, the executive director of the Republican Governor's Association with some GOP spin, told Fox News that in emails sent to him moments before she announced her resignation as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin discussed expanding the role she played in the Republican Party.
"Part of her decision is she wants to spend more time campaigning for candidates. She felt like she needed to make her colleagues around the country aware, so she had given us a brief heads up. We have known for a couple of days she was considering not running for re-election but it was news today that she had gone ahead and made the decision to fully step down and resign."
Besides campaigning for other GOP candidates, this could be a move that indicates Palin wants to focus on a Presidential run (we now start with 3 1/2 years left in the current Presidential term?).
Shannyn Moore, an Alaskan blogger, has her own theories:
For weeks the rumors of a criminal investigation against the governor have been brewing. They are rumors, but are swirling fresh again with Palin's resignation. I'm holding my breath for the other "Naughty Monkey" to drop. Another theory for the resignation is that the Palins would have to disclose the book deal as well as other financial details as governor. [...]
Rumors of an "iceberg scandal" have been circulating.
What's this Iceberg Scandal? Keep reading. Meanwhile, TPM's theory:
So what happened exactly? As I just mentioned in our editorial chat, this clearly happened so quickly that Palin hasn't even had a chance to come up with a coherent cover story for her resignation. Some context is probably helpful here, however. Remember that based on the public record, Palin is a wildly unethical public official, guilty at a minimum of numerous instances of abusing her authority as governor. And a lot of very damaging information has come out about her in the last few days -- though mainly embarrassing information about her character rather than new evidence of bad acts. I would not be surprised if this latest round of revelations shook something else loose that we haven't heard about yet.
Later in the day, TPM came up with this gold:
Wow. It just gets better and better. Apparently one of Palin's rationale's for resigning is that she would not stand by while so many taxpayer dollars were being spent investigating her.
Here's what BradBlog has to say:
Sources say embezzlement scandal, federal indictments may soon break concerning use of Wasilla Sport Complex building materials for Palin's home...
Get the Iceberg Scandal now?
Finally, The Daily Beast:
One logical place to start looking is the affair that has Alaska political circles buzzing: an alleged scandal centered around a building contractor, Spenard Building Supplies, with close ties to Palin and her husband, Todd.
Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide-open state.
SBS has close ties to the Palins. The company has not only sponsored Todd Palin's snowmobile team, according to the Village Voice's Wayne Barrett, it hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004.
Though Todd Palin told Fox News he built his Lake Lucille home with the help of a few "buddies," according to Barrett’s report, public records revealed that SBS supplied the materials for the house. While serving as mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin blocked an initiative that would have required the public filing of building permits—thus momentarily preventing the revelation of such suspicious information.
Just months before Palin left city hall to campaign for governor, she awarded a contract to SBS to help build the $13 million Wasilla Sports Complex. The most expensive building project in Wasilla history, the complex cost the city an additional $1.3 million in legal fees and threw it into severe long-term debt. For SBS, however, the bloated and bungled project was a cash cow.
If the reports are true, this is likely the end to Palin's political career, and with scandals surrounding other likely GOP 2012 presidential candidates (such as Gov. Mark Sanford of S.C.), the ranks of GOP candidates for 2012 continue to thin.