Friday, September 5, 2008

Palin's record on earmarks is loud and clear

Sarah Palin, the great champion of earmark abuse, was - quite simply - a proponent for earmarks until her speech Wednesday night. Here's what she said:

"I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress."

Now here's what she did.

As mayor of the minuscule town of Wasilla, Sarah Palin hired a Washington lobbyist in 2000 to secure federal earmarks for her community. (Yep, the "L" word). In fact, Alaska receives more money per capita in federal earmark money than any other state. That's right, the 47th most populous state receives the most earmarks. Go figure.

Sarah Palin, avenger of earmarks, secured over $27 million in earmarks from 2000-2003, averaging $6.7 million in federal money every year for her town of about 6,700 people.

Now the lovely irony here is that her earmarks were actually opposed by - you guessed it - none other than John McCain. The LA Time reports that, “three times in recent years, McCain’s catalogs of ‘objectionable’ spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time — Sarah Palin.”

As Governor, Palin defended earmarking as a vital part of the legislative system. In a newspaper column this year she wrote:

"The federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship."


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