Alaska law forbids state officials from using state resources to advocate on ballot initiatives. Then, six days before the Aug. 26 vote, with the race looking close, Palin broke her silence. Asked about the initiative at a news conference, she invoked "personal privilege" to give an opinion.
Palin's comments rocked the contest. Within a day, the pro-mining coalition fighting the referendum had placed full-page ads with a picture of the governor and the word "NO." The initiative went down to defeat, with 57 percent of voters rejecting it.