Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin didn't ask for the earmarks she requested

I know, I'm a total bitch for publicly noting I'm a little confused about Sarah Palin being a reformer and against earmarks. I mean, after all, she did say "Thanks, but No Thanks" to the bridge to nowhere and that's not a total lie. Granted, she was for the bridge before she was against it but, then, when it became obvious the whole country was against it she decided against it. This shows that Mrs. Palin isn't rigid or un willing to change her mind about something - especially when she was able to keep a sizable portion of the funds that were part of the earmark and has spent tens of millions of dollars to starting building a road to that bridge to nowhere. Plus, as her supporters, John McCain among them, have pointed out: Palin didn't request the earmark.

McCain even went so far as to tell the yentas on The View that Palin had not requested any earmarks - at least not as Governor.

The problem is, that's not true and McCain had to clarify his comments by having his spokesperson say he didn't really say she never asked for earmarks, the viewers just misunderstood his description of how she was reforming the Alaska State budget and cutting some of that other white meat:
"Sen. McCain was in the throes of a discussion about her record of reforming government, which includes drastic cuts in wasteful spending in the Alaska state budget," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. "If he gave viewers a mistaken impression, it certainly wasn't intentional or without some basis in fact."
The problem is, that's not entirely true either. Yes, she did cut back on the requests for earmarks requesting only only $198M in earmarks for 2009, $58M less than she had requested for this year. Her reasons for decrease in the amount requested seem to be less about reform or cutting waste than they seem to be about the recent change in the state's abilities to have these requests honored:
Since then, Palin has cut back her requests for earmarks, submitting $198 million in requests for 2009 fiscal year compared with $256 million for the previous year, her first as governor. Her position was best summed up during a news conference she held this summer with Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) when she said that political realities required Alaskans to think differently about earmarks.

"Both presidential candidates have both confirmed that they will work towards earmark reforms," she said. "So, just recognizing that, seeing the writing on the wall and dealing with it, is where I am." LA Times
This is a little different from what she told Charlie Gibson the other day:

So as far as McCain & Palin are concerned, earmarks are OK as long as you're transparent that you're asking for earmarks. As Palin has stated, she is the reformer since she's asking for less in earmarks for Alaska than Barack Obama has asked for Illinois. More importantly, she has always been about transparency and Obama is obviously very much against that. And that's kindasortamaybe the truth.


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