Sunday, September 07, 2008

What We Know About Sarah Palin

She took over as mayor of a small town in Alaska with the population of slightly over 5,000 people and virtually no debt and left office with over $20 million in long term debt, or about $3000 in debt per person. This was primarily due to a sports complex built through an increase in sales tax which Sarah Palin advocated, but not obtaining clear title to the land. A legal battle continues today, which has significantly raised the price. A wastewater treatment facility was needed, but the sports complex is what they got. However, Palin is labeled a "fiscal conservative."

This is in line with the Bush McCain definition of fiscal conservatism as well.

One of the biggest symbols of political pork, the famous "bridge to nowhere" has been roundly renounced by Governor Palin multiple times:

Palin claimed she “championed reform of earmark spending by Congress, and I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’” she said, ommiting [sic] mention that she’d campaigned for governor supporting the bridge. [Albuquerque, NM, 9/6/08]

PALIN: And I’ve championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress thanks, but no thanks, on that “Bridge to Nowhere.” [Dayton, OH, 8/29/08]

PALIN: I told the Congress “thanks, but no thanks,” for that Bridge to Nowhere. [St. Paul, MN, 9/3/08]

This is an outright falsehood. Before this particular issue became so radioactive, Governor Palin actively supported it. Is this an example of "straight talk" we can expect from the judgement of John McCain?

Governor Palin is running on the message of "reform" promising to shake-up the good old boy network. As mayor of Wassilla, she hired a lobbying group and received the services of Steven W. Silver, former chief of staff to the recently indicted senior senator of Alaska, Ted Stevens. All told, the small town of Wasilla received nearly $27 million dollars worth of earmarks during Palin's administration.

Indeed, during her tenure as Governor, Alaska continues to lead the nation in federal earmarks on a per capita basis.

I find Sarah Palin's claims about being a reformer, being against pork and willing to shake up the good old boys network to be disingenuous. Hopefully, she will address these inconsistencies soon by sitting down with someone who will ask her to square these things up. Hopefully, they will stay away from her personal life.

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