Saturday, September 6, 2008

Palin's Pork

Some libertarian blogs are going gaga over Sarah Palin this week. The reason for their excitement: Palin's supposed hatred for pork. I don't know where this rumor got started, but it's got to stop.

As mayor of Wasilla, Palin paid the lobbying firm Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh nearly $100,000 to get federal earmarks for the town. The firm succeeded, to the tune of $27 million - or about $5,000 for every resident of the town at the time (check out Palin's handwritten comments in the picture to the left). The earmarks included $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9 million for a transportation hub, $900,000 for sewer repairs, and $15 million for a rail project linking Wasilla and the ski resort community of Girdwood. As the Anchorage Press notes, "This is a town where about 500 people turn out to vote, where the city pays for the mayor’s car and a tiny government runs a $15 million hockey barn/sports arena." She also supported the $200 million "bridge to nowhere," though she now claims she opposed it (check out this picture).

So the next time you hear Sarah Palin bragging that she both cut taxes and improved services in Wasilla, ask yourself who might have paid for that. Then ask yourself if you believe her when she says that "I have championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress."

Update: "I am not denying that Sarah Palin may have great skills. She may well. I am insisting that neither you, nor I, nor John McCain has any valid reason to believe that she does. This is not an argument about the attributes she lacks. It's an argument about the information we lack. I am pleading with my fellow conservatives: Please demand more and better knowledge before you commit yourselves to a political leader. That's all." - former Bush speech writer David Frum (via PoliticalWire)

Update II: Not only did Palin support the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, but even after she started opposing it, she didn't oppose it quite enough to send the money back to Washington. Alaska kept the $200 million and spent it on other pork barrel projects.

Update III: "John McCain and Sarah Palin criticized Democrat Barack Obama over the amount of money he has requested for his home state of Illinois, even though Alaska under Palin's leadership has asked Washington for 10 times more money per citizen for pet projects." - The Associated Press, via TalkingPointsMemo.


Hrafn said...

Of interest on Sarah Palin.

I think the big question in Sarah Palin being such an unknown factor is how it reflects on McCain's judgement in picking her, especially given the utter lack of vetting that is becoming evident.

Mark said...

Agreed. I predict that the most interesting things to know about Sarah Palin are not yet publicly known.

Anonymous said...

alaska is an entire state on welfare

Anonymous said...

Update! Barack Obama is a friggen' Bolshevik agitator with absolutely no experience who has proposed Federal taxes on every American for the sake of awarding it to the "poor" around the world.