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Friday, September 05, 2008

Palin's history shows ever-growing opposition to earmarks

GOP vice presidential nominee has been accused of "flip-flopping" and being hypocritical on the subject of federal "earmarks" — appropriations to state governments associated with particular state spending projects.

This article from the Anchorage Daily News is probably the best reporting I've seen on the subject, and I highly recommend it to you. From Palin's own mouth in a February 2008 interview:

"My position has been in trying to read that writing on the wall, and understanding there's going to be reform," she said. "We can either put our heads in the sand and ignore the reforms that are coming or we can be proactive and get Alaska in the position of being more productive, contributing more and becoming less reliant on the federal government."

The article goes on to chart some of the earmark requests with which she had been involved either as Mayor of Wasilla or governor, and then brings us up to date (bold-face mine):

One thing is clear: Palin has increasingly distanced herself from earmarking since she made her first trip to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress for money in 2000. And over the past year, it has been the leading source of tension between Palin and the state's three-member congressional delegation.

Last year, when Palin announced the state was abandoning plans for the so-called "bridge to nowhere" in Southeast Alaska, she was met with what could kindly be described as a frosty reception from the delegation.

Her move embarrassed Stevens and Young — Stevens even complained publicly this spring that "the issue of earmarks and the way they handled the bridge money" made it challenging for him, Young and fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski to ask for any special federal set-asides for Alaska.

"It is a difficult thing to get over right now, the feeling that we don't represent Alaska because Alaska doesn't want earmarks," Stevens said in an interview at the time.

When a candidate's positions and actions show change over time, you want the change to be in the correct direction. With respect to the "Bridge to Nowhere," what's significant is that by the time she was in a position to direct where federal funds (which were no longer dedicated for that project) could go, she directed them elsewhere. Gov. Palin's current claim to have stopped the expenditure of those funds on the "Bridge to Nowhere" is exactly accurate.

Combine that with a track record of using her line-item veto to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in "pet-project" expenditures from the state budget — more than $268 million from this year's budget alone — and you have not just promises, but an actual record, of fiscal conservatism that neither Barack Obama or Joe Biden can dream of demonstrating from their own records of tax-and-spend.

Posted by Beldar at 02:15 PM in 2008 Election, McCain, Obama, Palin, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Palin's history shows ever-growing opposition to earmarks and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) rfy made the following comment | Sep 5, 2008 2:39:02 PM | Permalink

Sen. McCain did fine last night, but I kept thinking "I am sure glad Gov. Palin is on the ticket." Tom Ridge is one impressive guy when you meet him in person, but on TV he comes across very flat. I love Sen. Lieberman for his stand on Iraq, but on the Republican ticket - wtf?! Romney, Guiliani, Thompson and even Huckabee would not have generated the excitement in the base that resulted from the selection of Gov. Palin. More later - I'm off to get my McCain-Palin yard signs and bumper stickers.

(2) Dale MacInnis made the following comment | Sep 5, 2008 4:24:35 PM | Permalink


Yes. She's grown into her positions on "earmarks" and exercised her authority where her position/office allowed. All wonderful. All to the good. But, as VP she has no authority or position which leaves her as a cheerleader for McCain in this deparment.

And what can he do - really? Actual change in government moves at a glacier's pace, or slower. My pessimistic side says we'll never see the end of these loathsome "earmarks."
My optimistic side says, "Maybe, just maybe, this Lady knows something making glaciers move."

I hope McCain is listening.

(3) arb made the following comment | Sep 5, 2008 4:33:43 PM | Permalink

"And what can he do - really?"

Negotiate. Threaten. Veto.

(4) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 5, 2008 5:40:13 PM | Permalink

It apparently wasn't in the prepared text, or maybe it was a late addition, but McCain included in his acceptance speech last night a promise I've heard him make on the stump repeatedly:

I've fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names. You will know their names!

As a senator, he's never had a big enough bully pulpit to genuinely embarrass any pork-meisters on a national basis. As president, he would. Or — better still — he could delegate that to Sarah Palin.

Man, I'd pay good money to watch her do that from the floor of the U.S. Senate!

(5) Charlie (Colorado) made the following comment | Sep 5, 2008 6:21:30 PM | Permalink

Beldar, the link to the ADN article leads back to this one.

(6) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 5, 2008 7:02:57 PM | Permalink

D'oh! That's because I forgot to put in the URL, Charlie (Colorado). Thanks, duly fixed!

(7) DRJ made the following comment | Sep 7, 2008 7:08:14 PM | Permalink


I apologize for linking elsewhere but is there any chance you could share your knowledge with Bradley Fikes in this discussion or, better yet, lure Bradley to your website to discuss the particulars?

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