« Will Democrats take the bait on Palin? | Main | Convention smear watch »

September 04, 2008


I haven't seen any of the "thorough debunking" mentioned above. Does anyone have links (including any McCain/Republican responses, is any)?

Go to http://www.dailyhowler.com . Somerby explains why Palin's lie about the Bridge to Nowhere is even more audacious than Kevin Drum lets on.

Excerpt -

In 1996, when Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla, a city of about 8,000 some 40 miles north of Anchorage, she did not take part in the earmark process.

But by 2000, into her second term, the city had hired a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Steven Silver, a former aide to Stevens, then the ultimate rainmaker as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"She was hungry for earmarks just like everybody else," said Larry Persily, who worked at the Alaska state office in Washington, D.C., until earlier this year. "Everyone was feeding at the trough."

Before she left office, Wasilla, with aid of the lobbyist and the blessing of Stevens and Rep. Don Young, got $27 million in earmarks, according to the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

During her fall 2006 campaign for governor, Palin appeared to embrace the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," even after Alaska had been held up for ridicule by McCain and others for what was seen as a wasteful boondoggle, a $233 million bridge that would replace ferry service connecting Gravina Island and its Ketchikan airport to mainland Ketchikan.

In a debate, Palin said she would fight for the earmark to build the bridge. McCain and others sought to divert those funds to help fund Hurricane Katrina recovery. That prompted a threat from Stevens to resign from the Senate for such discrimination against his state.

A year later, as criticism of earmarks mounted, Palin began to speak out against earmarks. Though she took the federal money to fund Alaska earmarks, she diverted the money for the Ketchikan bridge to other projects. She also issued a news release to alert the national press to her action.

Palin's criticisms strained her relationship with Alaska's congressional delegation because they were still receiving plenty of earmark requests that they were trying to push through a Democrat-controlled Congress.

This year, in addition to the 31 submitted by Palin's office, there were dozens submitted by smaller communities and borough governments.

"It really drove a wedge between her and the Alaska delegation," Persily said. "She was branding them as irresponsible, and they felt like she was holding them up to public ridicule."

Palin also was admonished by the Fairbanks News-Miner, which chided her for "misplaced criticism" for suggestions that the state earmarks were pork-barrel projects.

Palin wrote back an angry response, saying she had reduced the earmarks — but never labeled them as "pork projects."

Palin wrote that she supports state earmarks "when there is an important federal purpose and strong citizen support."

She also said in the News-Miner that she had slashed the state's earmark requests by nearly two-thirds, down from $550 million in 2007 to just under $200 million.

Palin's earmarks request came just days after President Bush promised in his State of the Union address to veto any spending bills from Congress unless lawmakers cut earmarks in half.

Yet documents Palin's office released to The Seattle Times on Tuesday show her cuts in earmarks were far more modest than she claimed. Last year, Palin requested $254 million in earmarks, not $550 million, so her cuts this year were only 22 percent, not the 63 percent she claimed.

Karen Rehfeld, Palin's Office of Management and Budget director, said she needed to look into the discrepancy between her boss's written remarks and the earmark tally provided by the staff. "We want to make sure we don't have a problem," Rehfeld said.

Full article at -


The article doesn't add that she still took the "bridge to nowhere" money.

I guess she just should have said "thanks".

The article doesn't add that she still took the "bridge to nowhere" money.

That's right. Congress gave her a blank check and she cashed it. She said "No thanks" to the people of Ketchikan Island and to Senator Stevens not to the Congress of the United States. (And screwed over the voters she'd rallied to her side at that.)

The comments to this entry are closed.