Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin's earmark flip flops

The New York Times and Washington Post both report how Gov. Palin was for the "Bridge to Nowhere" before she was against it. Gov. Palin's support for the project only disappeared when it became clear that Washington would not come up with extra money for cost over-runs.

As for her claim that she "told Congress 'thanks but no thanks' on that Bridge to Nowhere," Alaska kept ALL of the money that Congress had appropriated for the bridge, the state just spent it elsewhere.

Gov. Palin's conversion to earmark "reform" is not only inconsistent but also very recent. The Times article goes on to report
As the new mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, in 2000, Ms. Palin initiated a tradition of making annual trips to Washington to ask for more earmarks from the state’s Congressional delegation, mainly Representative Don Young and Senator Ted Stevens, both Republicans.

“It was about being face-to-face with those who were actually writing the budget,” she told The Anchorage Daily News in 2006, boasting that she brought home more money for priorities like upgrades to the local sewer system.

She directed Wasilla to employ Washington lobbyists to press for federal money for the town, helping obtain more than $8 million in earmarks for projects ranging from waterworks to a shelter.
Update: Although Gov. Palin is stating in rallies that she "told Congress 'thanks but no thanks,'" her actual press statement at the time said
"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," said Governor Palin. "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island," Governor Palin added. "Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened."
Funny, the words "thanks but no thanks" are neither stated nor implied. Shouldn't a candidate who was selected to bring "change and reform that we need in Washington" be just a tad more honest?