Palin backs independent for Alaska governor

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CHARLESTON, WV - OCTOBER 30: Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin greats supporters during a rally for Republican John Raese's U.S. Senate campaign October 30, 2010 in Charleston, West Virginia. Raese and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, are embroiled in a hotly-contested race for the seat vacated following the death of Robert C. Byrd. (Photo by Randy Snyder/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MARCH 08: Conservative pundit, television personality and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. The conference, a project of the American Conservative Union, brings together conservative polticians, pundits and voters for three days of speeches and workshops. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
INDIANOLA, IA - SEPTEMBER 03: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin greets supporters following a speech during the Tea Party of America's 'Restoring America' event at the Indianola Balloon Festival Grounds September 3, 2011 in Indianola, Iowa. Yesterday Palin attended a Conservatives4Palin event. She is scheduled to speak at another Tea Party event in New Hampshire on Monday. The stops continue to fuel speculation that the former governor will run for president, a decision which she said she would make by the end of September. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
INDIANOLA, IA - SEPTEMBER 03: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks to supporters during the Tea Party of America's 'Restoring America' event at the Indianola Balloon Festival Grounds September 3, 2011 in Indianola, Iowa. Yesterday Palin attended a Conservatives4Palin event. She is scheduled to speak at another Tea Party event in New Hampshire on Monday. The stops continue to fuel speculation that the former governor will run for president, a decision which she said she would make by the end of September. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 29: Former U.S. Vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rides on a motorcycle before participating in 'Rolling Thunder' rally May 29, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Although not an official guest, former U.S. Vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin is expected to participate in today's motorcycle parade from the Pentagon to the National Mall. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WOODBURY, NY - FEBRUARY 17: Former Alaska governor and Republican vice president candidate Sarah Palin waves after speaking at the Long Island Association's annual meeting February 17, 2011 in Woodbury, New York. Palin discussed issues including the economy, health care, oil drilling and her possible presidential aspirations. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, WV - OCTOBER 30: Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks to supporters of Republican John Raese during a rally for his U.S. Senate campaign October 30, 2010 in Charleston, West Virginia. Raese and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, are embroiled in a hotly-contested race for the seat vacated following the death of Robert C. Byrd. (Photo by Randy Snyder/Getty Images)
ANCHORAGE, AK - OCTOBER 28: Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks in support of Senatorial candidate Joe Miller at a rally on October 28, 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska. Miller, a Tea Party favorite, is in a tight race with Repbulican incumbant Lisa Murkowsiki, who is running as a write- in candidate for Senate after losing to Miller in the Republican primary. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a Tea Party rally in Searchlight, Nevada on March 27, 2010. Thousands of Tea Party activists attended the rally which kicks off their latest cross-country protest against big government and health care reform. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin arrives to sign copies of her recently released book 'Going Rogue: An American Life', sitting in front of a Christmas Tree on December 5, 2009, inside the BJ's discount warehouse in the Fair Lakes shopping mall in Fairfax, Virginia. Well over 1,000 people waited in a rare heavy Washington, DC, snowstorm for an autograph, some overnight. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - NOVEMBER 18: Former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signs her new book, 'Going Rogue' for a customer at a Barnes & Noble bookstore November 18, 2009 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Palin chose Grand Rapids as the first stop of her book signing tour. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Sarah Palin has snubbed her former lieutenant governor in his bid for re-election, supporting an independent candidate after Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell dismantled the increased oil taxes that were a signature part of her time as governor.

Palin on Tuesday night hosted a reception for the gubernatorial ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott at her lakeside home north of Anchorage.

Walker, a former Republican, and Mallott, a Democrat, joined forces after the primary with Walker at the top of the ticket, in an effort to unseat Parnell in next month's election. Parnell, a Republican, has held office since Palin quit in July 2009 after her run as vice president.

Parnell's spokesman said in an email to the AP that the campaign won't comment at this time. Messages to Palin's spokesmen Thursday weren't immediately returned, and Walker's campaign says they don't consider it a full-on endorsement by Palin.

But coming from Palin - who has been known to energize tea party supporters and affect campaigns across the county by merely tweeting or Facebooking an endorsement - the support in her former state could be a boon for the independent ticket at a time when Parnell already is under fire over allegations of sexual abuse and fraud within the Alaska National Guard.

The relationship between Palin and her former lieutenant soured since their time together in office, with a major source of contention centered on taxes on the oil industry, which funds nearly all of Alaska state government.

Palin's plan placed higher taxes on the industry, and as a result, provided a multibillion dollar cash injection to state coffers.

Parnell initially supported Palin's taxation plan, but began efforts to change it after he was elected to his own term in office in 2010.

Oil companies complained that state taxes ate too much of the profits and discouraged new investment. Parnell's plan, approved by lawmakers, lowered taxes on the oil industry with the hope that companies would invest more in increased production and exploration.

Palin supported a ballot initiative in the August primary to repeal the law, but the vote failed. Months before that vote, Palin questioned Parnell's motivation for his about-face on her tax plan.

"Well, bless his heart. Remember that Sean Parnell came from the oil industry. He was, you know, an employee of ConocoPhillips ... lobbying for the cause there. So perhaps that's ingrained in him," she said during a May interview on an Anchorage radio station.

Parnell was the director of state government relations for ConocoPhillips in Alaska from 2000 to 2003.

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