Wednesday, September 3, 2008

McCain, Palin and earmarks

Sarah Palin is a big fan of earmarks - that special spending system "through which powerful members of Congress can deliver federal cash for pet projects back home with little or no public scrutiny."

McCain has fought against those earmarks - on occasion.

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of 'objectionable' spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town [Wasilla], requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin."

Palin, it seems, likes federal money deposited in Alaskan political pockets. She has been "far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state."

In fact, in 2008, Palin wrote in a newspaper column that "The federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship."

Earmarks for Wasilla that escaped "normal budget scrutiny" included $500,000 for a public transportation project in 2001, $1 million for an emergency communications center in 2002, as well as "$450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility ... that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor and cleared Congress after she left office in 2002."

The Los Angeles Times notes that "Wasilla received $11.9 million in earmarks from 2002 to 2003."

When Palin first moved into the mayor's job, Wasilla had received minimal federal monies. The then she hired a lobbyist with ties to Ted Stevens "who long controlled federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He made funneling money to Alaska his hallmark."

Hypocrisy is the hallmark of most Repugnican politicians and Palin is no different. When McCain introduced her as his running mate, she lampooned earmarks. In her speech, she lied about her support for the infamous "bridge to nowhere."

Not only so, but "This year she submitted to Congress a list of Alaska projects worth $197.8 million, including $2 million to research crab productivity in the Bering Sea and $7.4 million to improve runway lighting at eight Alaska airports."

It's getting more and more difficult to believe anything Ms. Palin says!

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