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Sarah Palin, Earmark Queen

Steven Taylor has an excellent rundown of Sarah Palin’s reliance on earmarks during her tenure so far as governor and especially during her tenure as the Mayor of Wassila. Of particular interest to me in the articles linked is this piece:

In fiscal year 2002, Wasilla took in $6.1 million in earmarks — about $1,000 in federal money for every resident. By contrast, Boise, Idaho — which has more than 190,000 residents — received $6.9 million in earmarks in fiscal 2008.

All told, Wasilla benefited from $26.9 million in earmarks in Palin’s final four years in office.

“She certainly wasn’t shy about putting the old-boy network to use to bring home millions of dollars,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “She’s a little more savvy to the ways of Washington than she’s let on.”

In some campaigns, this really wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Earmarks are a part of politics, after all. But as Dr. Taylor notes:

This isn’t a scandal. But (and this is big but), McCain is running as the anti-earmark Maverick who selected Palin because she is cut from that same cloth. If Palin was, instead, a master of the earmarks (which the numbers from Wasilla suggest), then what does that do for McCain’s argument about her status as an anti-earmark crusader?

That’s the question, isn’t it?

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About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp writes about pretty much everything under the sun, including politics, art, religion, philosophy, sports, music, culture, and science.

Comments

  1. Hal says:

    She’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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  2. Jim says:

    This is an interesting twist on the entire earmark issue. The traditional earmark story is always about a lawmaker inserting earmarks into bills to benefit his constituents. Instead Palin (as mayor of her town) was requesting and her town was the beneficiary of such earmarks….I would call that doing her job. Sorry this is an apples and orange type of comparison.

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  3. Hal says:

    Because receiving stolen goods is really not the same crime as stealing them, right?

    Hey, this isn’t my framing, it’s yours on the right. But I guess consistency isn’t in vogue.

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  4. Beldar says:

    More pertinent evidence to suggest how she’d govern in Washington, and more recent, is the fact that this spring she used her line-item veto as governor of Alaska to cut $268 million from state spending bills — in a state that, comparatively, is flush with money, which makes pork projects almost irresistible. She resisted, and it appears that she’s going to make her vetoes stick.

    $268 million, every dollar of which was some legislator’s pet project. Gee, I wonder why the WaPo didn’t mention those 268,000,000 reasons to think she really is a fiscal conservative and reformer?

    Gov. Palin has always had instincts for reform and fiscal conservatism, even when she was a city councilman and then mayor of Wasilla. (She took a voluntary salary cut from $68,000 to $64,200, for example). But she will be among the first to tell you that it wasn’t until she was part of the Frank Murkowski administration in 2003-2004 and saw the “good old boy network” from that perspective that she resolved to risk her political career by taking them on. She’s learned on the job, and become a more consistent and effective reformer.

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  5. Hal says:

    Yea, I guess heading up Ted Steven’s 527 really is a break away reformist thing to do.

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  6. rodney dill says:

    Actually the framing as ‘stolen goods’ would be yours Hal. Neither gaining the earmark, nor using the earmark at the state is illegal. The negative toward the the practice of earmarks is that that is hides the use of the money from a direct vote in Congress. Once its allocation I don’t know of any Onus on a state to not use it.

    I would agree that the claim of an anti-earmark crusader is thin, as she is representing the state (which as governor is as it should be) and not the country in this case. It makes a better case as a cost cutting crusader.

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  7. Hal says:

    Um, Dill that’s quite the stretch but I’ll give you top marks for the double back flip.

    “Framing” has nothing to do with the actual legality, as you well know. And if you don’t think that the right frames taxes as stealing, then I think I’m going to have to give you a full 10 for your impression of Dr. B.

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  8. Triumph says:

    That’s the question, isn’t it?

    Listen, Wasilla is one of the most complex metropolises to govern in the US. After New York and Los Angeles, Wasilla is number 3. Managing a huge bureaucracy is extremely difficult in a context like Wasilla and Palin shows she has the mettle for rough-and-tumble big city politics.

    This is especially impressive as she was simultaneously dealing with foreign affairs due to Alaska’s proximity to Russia. She had to consistently contend with the potential of Russian aggression and figure out a way to keep the citizens of Wasilla safe.

    She showed this further as commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard. Unlike any other state in the union, Alaska borders two different–often hostile–countries. Through her determination as the Alaska National Guard commmander-in-chief she successfully warded off attacks from Putin and Harper.

    Additionally, during her tenure as Wasilla’s mayor she insured that another 9/11 didn’t happen in her municipality. She was also chair of the Alaskan Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as we liberated Baghdad. Without her leadership we likely would have fallen to Saaddam.

    Palin is the most qualified person McCain could think of to be the Vice President and it is clear she will do a bang-up job.

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  9. rodney dill says:

    Your trying to represent that you know what the right thinks? I don’t think the ‘right’ frames taxes as stealing. Some of the right, certainly would. I’m sure there are a number of links that would support this. But to imply all the right considers all taxes as stealing is just fictional.

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  10. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    What’s the old saying… it takes a thief to catch a thief.

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  11. Hal says:

    But to imply all the right considers all taxes as stealing is just fictional.

    Again, Dill, you are ascribing literal interpretation where you know very well it isn’t about literal interpretation. Are you really claiming to be clueless about the concept of framing or are you just desperately trying to leverage a fingernail into some imagined crack?

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  12. Triumph says:

    are you just desperately trying to leverage a fingernail into some imagined crack?

    Hey, hey, hey….let’s not bring Bill Clinton into this….

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  13. DC Loser says:

    Gov. Palin has always had instincts for reform and fiscal conservatism, even when she was a city councilman and then mayor of Wasilla. (She took a voluntary salary cut from $68,000 to $64,200, for example). But she will be among the first to tell you that it wasn’t until she was part of the Frank Murkowski administration in 2003-2004 and saw the “good old boy network” from that perspective that she resolved to risk her political career by taking them on.

    There is contradictory first hand observation of this.

    Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%.
    This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents. The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing. While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

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  14. Hal says:

    it takes a thief to catch a thief.

    Hey, sounds like a new catch phrase for the entire GOP.

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  15. rodney dill says:

    What throws me off Hal is saying ‘the right’ implying everyone on the right frames it this way. If you meant that some, even a large number of politicians or pundits have ‘framed’ taxes as stealing, then I have no problem with it.

    Just as ‘some’ on the left have framed ‘tax cuts’ as ‘stealing’ from the government the money they want the government to invest for the taxpayers.

    It was just the blanket inference to all ‘the right’ I had a problem with.

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  16. Hal says:

    Well, usually one can make those adjustments in one’s own head. If one wants to get down to pure wanking over semiotics, then I guess you’d have to take the frame of what *I* refer to when I say “the right” rather than what the fictional entity Rodney Dill infers when he sees fictional entity Hal write “the right”.

    Don’t you think?

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  17. rodney dill says:

    Don’t you think?

    Yes, very often, thank you. Don’t you?
    😉

    More seriously I do often make those adjustments in my head, But I’ve spotted exaggerations in your comments before which makes me more easily suspicious.

    (as an aside)Early in Bill Clinton’s administration I notice his use of the phrase “Everybody knows that XXXX” to precede something that he really couldn’t support by facts. He was very good at it and I had to train myself to question the XXXX.

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  18. John Burgess says:

    Rodney: Think, man, think!

    Feeding trolls, like pigeons, only encourages them to come back and crap all over everything.

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  19. Rodney, realize you are not arguing with someone who can be relied upon to be consistent or coherent. Hal merely gainsays anything you write and changes the color of the sky as necessary to reply without reference to reality, previous statements, or even what you have written.

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin really has some folks’ panties in a bunch, doesn’t she?

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  20. rodney dill says:

    Feeding trolls, like pigeons, only encourages them to come back and crap all over everything.

    Not sure this applies in this case. Hal has been making comments here long before I started any bantering with him, and probably will long after I stop bantering with him.

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  21. rodney dill says:

    someone who can be relied upon to be consistent or coherent.

    Oh, I thought that was anjin.

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  22. rodney dill says:

    I think I cut too much off when quoting you charles.

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  23. Hal says:

    Coming from y’all it’s a mark of pride. I mean, you guys count Dr. B as one of your own.

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  24. sam says:

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin really has some folks’ panties in a bunch, doesn’t she?

    I understand a posse of GOP lawyers has been dispatched to Alaska for a “deeper vet”.

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  25. Hal says:

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin really has some folks’ panties in a bunch, doesn’t she?

    Yea, we’re really scared.

    I understand a posse of GOP lawyers has been dispatched to Alaska for a “deeper vet”.

    Even funnier is the consideration as to how simple it was to buy off the social conservative wing of the party. Can’t remember where I read the argument, but it’s pretty clear now that Lieberman was the first choice – Tom Ridge was certainly in consideration – and the SoCons threatened revolution over a pro-choice candidate

    So, here’s a guy who wants to pick a pro-choice VP and they’re suddenly mollified – nay thrilled – when he picks a solid anti-choice VP. I mean, it’s like they’re simply schmucks. Easily bought off with a symbolic gesture.

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  26. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Hal, since we are comparing apples and oranges, and because the topic is earmarks. Is there any evidence Sarah Palin earmarked any money for her spouses employer? Can you guess where I am going with this? U. S. Senator B. Hussein Obama earmarked over a million dollars ($1,000,000.00) to his wifes employer. She of course, got a substancial raise. Sarah Palin is basically an honest person. Obama has proven to be less so in just his recent past.

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  27. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    By the way Rodney. I have been reading this blog for some time now and have always considered Hal a troll. Sorry!

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  28. Hal says:

    Hey Zels, two words for you: Ted Stevens.

    have always considered Hal a troll

    Woo Hoo! Today I am a man.

    Interesting, though, that starting with Rodney, y’all who hold argumentation in such high regard have turned this entire comment thread into a non stop ad hominem attack on me. But then, it’s apparently the only argument style you’ve got.

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  29. Triumph says:

    But then, it’s apparently the only argument style you’ve got.

    At least we’re not terrorists.

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  30. rodney dill says:

    Zels, I was only implying that my feeding wasn’t what was bringing him around, as he was already here.

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  31. JPSobel says:

    I don’t believe that most conservatives object absolutely to the idea of earmarks. The root of public objection is the manner in which they are allocated and passed.

    Helping a growing community with an infrastructure project such as a water treatment plant is a reasonable use of earmark funding. Attaching a package of anonymously-sponsored, crony-favoring earmarks to unrelated, but popular legislation is not.

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  32. Hal says:

    At least we’re not terrorists.

    Oh, I’m sure that’ll come up – Rodney is apparently not finished with me yet.

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  33. Joe says:

    A possible litmus test of her convictions would be whether or not she favors a law/amendment which either bans earmarks altogether, or demands that the person responsible for the earmark be noted in the bill, thus making everything out in the open.

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  34. Hal says:

    but popular legislation is not.

    If they weren’t popular in the representative’s locale, then they would be there. The question is who gets to determine “popularity” – and there is no objective measure of that, really. Your city getting a water treatment plant against my region losing WIC funding.

    Again, broadly speaking (so as to not draw the picayune stiletto of der Dil), the way the earmarks issue is framed is that it’s all wasteful spending. Heck McCain is using them as a reservoir of untold sums to balance his budget through their cuts. His campaign – again, broadly speaking – frames them as “wasteful spending”.

    So, according to this framing, Palin was at best a drug user providing the incentive for the supplier.

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  35. rodney dill says:

    If presented a sword, I will stick it in and twist it, with relish.

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  36. Hal says:

    A possible litmus test of her convictions

    Would be interesting to see if any reporter delves into this at all.

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  37. Beldar says:

    DC Loser, I’m sure others have commented on it before, but your name is so apt. You’ve done a CRAPTACULAR job of lying with statistics!

    Rising tax revenues could come from tax increases. But these didn’t. In fact, Mayor Palin reduced property tax rates while increasing city services and drawing in new industry.

    Thus, the increased collections you cite came from increases in the property tax rate base, i.e., GROWTH. Wasilla is a growing city in a growing region. Cutting taxes and financing long-term capital improvements through bonds is fiscally prudent. (If it weren’t you’d have statistics to cite about bond defaults, but you don’t, do you?)

    The ultimate proof that she satisfied her taxpaying constituents’ desires is that she won every local election she ever ran, always by substantial margins, every two years between 1992 and 1990 inclusive. She could have probably been Mayor of Wasilla for life, and she was head of the Alaskan Conference of Mayors, but there were greater opportunities and responsibilities beckoning her talents for state-wide application.

    You need to get whoever is drafting your talking points to give you a better version. Yours are awfully easy to explode.

    And I continue to hear 360,000,000 examples of her cutting state-level earmarks echoing in the silence. Will none of her critics here have the decency to at least acknowledge that that figure dwarfs many times over the federal funds Wasilla received during her tenure there? I’m just asking for a little bit of intellectual honesty, folks.

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  38. angellight says:

    A Question – Should we have a VP pick who is under ethics investigation? It seems as if that would be a Disqualifier!

    To me it seems that it would be a legal policy and position that anyone under investigation by a federal or state Court, that it would be an automatic disqualifer for the V.P. (or for that matter, Presidential) job.

    If Barack was under investigation or Biden they (the press and opposition party) would crucify them.

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  39. Beldar says:

    Oh! It was Sullivan’s blog! Yes, his credibility on all matters Palinesque has now been definitively established.

    I apologize for not recognizing that you were quoting from Sullivan quoting from someone else, DC Loser. But shame on you for being so gullible.

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  40. Beldar says:

    angellight: Your naivete is very charming, but your proposed standard could never work.

    There is no public official who has ever served who cannot be subjected to trumped-up political charges that lack substance. If that worked as a veto, no one would ever be elected from either party.

    I’ll wager the first five “facts” you think you “know” about the “investigation” of Gov. Palin are demonstrably false. Care to list them, and I’ll have a go responding?

    And if you don’t think Obama and Biden are “under investigation,” you’re not paying attention, dear. Google “Rezko.” Google “Biden son lobbyist retainer.”

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  41. Hal says:

    If presented a sword, I will stick it in and twist it, with relish.

    Ah, such self aggrandizement. Dill, the only thing you did was start a train of ad hominem attacks on me. I’m glad you relished it. I’ll be careful to avoid triggering such so that Michael won’t have a fainting spell witnessing it and be forced back to DKos.

    But really Dill, if you want to keep making mountains out of my molehills, feel free. It certainly does seem to keep the rubes happy.

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  42. rodney dill says:

    I guess Bill Clinton could’ve set a precedent by stepping down from office while under investigation by Ken Starr.

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  43. Steve Plunk says:

    Mayors don’t earmark, congressmen earmark. Even as Vice President she could not earmark legislation. Doesn’t anybody know how it works?

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  44. DC Loser says:

    Steve – you know very well how it works. Even though a mayor or even VP can’t earmark, they can and do influence congressional earmarks by making the case to their congressional friends. This game is done everyday in every congressional district and even withing government agencies.

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  45. Alex Knapp says:

    Beldar,

    The article you linked to implies that the spending that was “cut” was replaced with a bond package. If that’s the case, she didn’t actually cut the projects, did she? Additionally, just because she cuts some spending doesn’t mark her as a reformer or a fiscal conservative–all politician’s cut spending in some program at some point. Just because Bush vetoed SCHIP doesn’t make his record a fiscally conservative one.

    Before Palin became Mayor, Wassila received $0 dollars in federal funds. After Palin became mayor and HIRED A LOBBYING FIRM TO WORK IN WASHINGTON D.C., the town received close to $27 million in federal funds.

    While governor, Plain claimed in her debut speech that she told Congress that she didn’t want federal funds for the “Bridge to Nowhere.” But she only pulled the plug on the project when the federal government didn’t provide enough money–but bear this in mind, they still provided over $200 million, which Palin proceeded to spend on other porkbarrel projects throughout the state, including a $25 million dollar access road–a road whose purpose was to connect the highway system to the “Bridge to Nowhere”–a bridge which will not be built.

    Additionally, in February of this year, Palin sent a memo to Ted Stevens’ office requesting that the Senator seek appropriation of over $200 million in federal funds to provide resources for state projects.

    None of these things is particularly controversial for an ordinary politician, but if you’re going to run on an “anti-earmark” platform, it demonstrates some questionable judgment to select as your vice-President someone who gleefully sought out and used federal earmarks for state and local purposes throughout her entire political career.

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  46. Bithead says:

    Zels, I was only implying that my feeding wasn’t what was bringing him around, as he was already here.

    well, yeah. I mean, Zels, think now… what evidence do you have he’ll go away, if we ignore him??

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  47. Hal says:

    Steve, don’t you get the title? Do you think that Welfare Queens dole out welfare as well?

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  48. Hal says:

    Yes, Dill has done a cracker jack job of making sure that the arguments stay above board and don’t descend into personal attacks.

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  49. rodney dill says:

    Ain’t my job

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  50. Hal says:

    Ain’t my job

    Hmmm. So, I guess leading the pitchfork crowd and continuing with the personal attacks is in the job description.

    Odd. I’m sure you’d have a thing or two to say – perhaps even banning – if the positions were reversed.

    But I guess it’s all just fun and games here at OTB with respect to personal attacks on commenters.

    Noted!

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  51. Alex Knapp says:

    Folks,

    Let’s keep the comments to the topics brought up by the post and not to petty squabbling. I don’t want to close comments to this post.

    Thanks.

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  52. rodney dill says:

    Um, I’m just a commenter here Hal. I’m not leading any charge of attacks.

    Just what personal attacks do you think I have made against you in this thread? I did clarify with Zels that I didn’t think you weren’t a Troll. Somehow I don’t think you are that thin skinned. I scanned back through the thread and thats all I could find. If you wish to list which comments I made which are personal attacks against you please do so, so I can clarify any misunderstandings.

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  53. rodney dill says:

    Sorry Alex, It took me awhile to compose that last comment and I posted before I saw yours.

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  54. sam says:

    Here is Gov. Sarah Palin’s current thinking on earmarks:

    I am not among those who have said “earmarks are nothing more than pork projects being shoveled home by an overeager congressional delegation.” I recognize that Congress, which exercises the power of the purse, has the constitutional responsibility to put its mark on the federal budget, including adding funds that the president has not proposed.

    Accordingly, my administration has recommended funding for specific projects and programs when there is an important federal purpose and strong citizen support.

    This year, we have requested 31 earmarks, down from 54 in 2007. Of these, 27 involve continuing or previous appropriations and four are new requests. The total dollar amount of these requests has been reduced from approximately $550 million in the previous year to just less than $200 million.

    My role at the federal level is simply to submit the most well-conceived earmark requests we can. Of course, since the congressional delegation has told us that they expect state or local matches, requests submitted by others may have implications for the Alaska Legislature as well.

    As I have said previously, we can either respond to the changing circumstances in Congress or stick our heads in the sand. For better or worse, earmarks, which represent only about 1 percent of the federal budget, have become a symbol for budgetary discussions in general.

    Unfortunately, Alaska has been featured prominently in the debate about reform. By recognizing the necessity for change, we can enhance the state’s credibility in the appropriations process and in other areas of federal policy.

    One of my goals as governor is making Alaska as self-sufficient as possible. Among other things, that means the ability to develop our natural resources in a responsible manner.

    However, I am also mindful of the role that the federal government plays in our state. 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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  55. bains says:

    Kudos Alex for bringing up a topic worthy of debate (unfortunately, it appears the usual suspects are more concerned with smearing…)

    First off, earmark has taken on a negative connotation, and rightly so. Federal legislators sully the process with vote buying pet projects of dubious tangible benefit. Stevens and Youngs’ bridge to nowhere is a classic example. As mentioned upthread however, the closer the politician is to the beneficiaries of the earmarked project, the less objectionable the earmark is.

    Thus the city council and county commissioners that sought a $1.2mil earmark to improve the transportation centers in Pitkin county, CO are doing what they were elected to do. Sen, Salazar however, is not doing the bidding to the majority of his constituents when he consents to the earmark. Pitkin county includes Aspen and Snowmass, not only one of the wealthiest county in Colorado, but of the country. Those of us outside Pitkin wonder why the we should be paying for something that not only doesn’t benefit us, but for which the county could easily secure funding locally.

    Secondly is the merit of the project for which earmarking is sought. Looking over the list provided by the WaPost, some do appear questionable (e.g. the $15mil for a rail line to Girdwood), but without local knowledge, we can not honestly evaluate the requests.

    That is not to say that an impression of hypocrisy is not founded. It will be interesting how Palin and/or McCain explain this.

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  56. Alex Knapp says:

    bains,

    I’m with you–I don’t think that earmarks, per se, are a bad thing necessarily. But McCain has made the claim that he has never brought back a dime to Arizona while Senator (which isn’t 100% true but is pretty close to it), and the McCain campaign touts Palin as anti-earmark, when she plainly isn’t.

    I think that Palin does have some legitimate anti-corruption bona fides, but being “anti-earmark” isn’t really a quality of her record. Accordingly, the fact that the McCain campaign has tried to sell her as such is a bit troubling.

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  57. anjin-san says:

    This just in from TPM:

    Palin’s Lobbyist Linked To Jack Abramoff
    As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin oversaw the hiring of lobbyist Steven Silver to help win earmarks. Who is Silver? He appears to have been part of “Team Abramoff,” working on Native American and gambling issues for the now-imprisoned lobbyist’s firm.

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  58. Fence says:

    As for whether someone is a “troll” — for people who want only to talk to people who already agree with them, there are already plenty of places on the net for that.

    Now what would really be cool is is more of the commenters would surprise the rest of us every once in awhile and admit the flaws in the candidates or policies of the parties they generally support, like James does, and even the merits of the other party’s candidates or positions. There seems to be no shortage of opportunities available on either side, but perhaps that is just my own unique perspective from being on the “Fence.” Sitting where I do, it is hard to treat credibly the position of anyone who claims that their side is always right, that their candidates have no flaws, and that the other side’s people are only immoral, inexperienced, corrupt baffoons. Sometimes I wish I could drop a fact pattern on some of you guys, say, did you hear McCain did X, then watch half of you defend it and the other half rip it, then come back and say “Oops, did I say McCain, I meant Obama did that.”

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  59. Steve Plunk says:

    DC & Hal, I understand how earmarks work but does everyone else?

    Earmarks are not put into a budget as new spending but instead are priorities given to the budget. If my state needs a new freeway interchange an earmark can direct the Highway Administration to prioritize that interchange before something like a resurfacing project. Not all earmarks are stealing or collecting welfare like a welfare queen.

    The infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” is a classic example of earmark abuse. I have yet to see any argument in support of Palin’s earmarks as abusive in nature. Local officials can and should have a say in prioritizing projects.

    So this answers Alex’s question about spin as well. It’s not earmarks but earmark abuse.

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  60. Triumph says:

    Let’s keep the comments to the topics brought up by the post and not to petty squabbling. I don’t want to close comments to this post.

    Alex, I think its time to close the comments. We need to stop this squabbling about Palin for the good of our country and for the good of the troops (whom she has visited, by the way, and has pictures to prove it).

    She is going to be our new Vice President. She is qualified enough.

    The last thing we need are a bunch of neer-do-wells asking questions about her past. She is with us. She is a new face. She is a tough cookie. She is a hockey mom. She is great and likely the best we can do.

    I am proud to call her the next Vice President of the United States of America.

    God Bless you Alex, and god bless America.

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  61. G.A.Phillips says:

    Hmmm. So, I guess leading the pitchfork crowd and continuing with the personal attacks is in the job description.

    lol did you see the liberals getting sprayed outside the convention, they should have gave the cops stun guns.

    liberals talking about earmarks as a bad thing and labeling someone else as the pitchfork crowd lol were do you guys get all the crack from.

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  62. Alex, if $26.9 million in earmarks in Palin’s final four years in office earns her the sobriquet of Earmark Queen, what title would you use for Senator Obama’s earmark total of $91 million in 2007?

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  63. bains says:

    Charles, I dont think Alex’s intent was to compare earmarks (and yes, his title was hyperbolic) but to point out that she sought earmarks, supposedly the bane of federal budgeting according to McCain. As I explained above, I think it is a moot point based upon what Palin’s position was at the time (Mayor of Wasilla.) However there is an impression of hypocrisy (false in my mind, but then again, I’m not your average voter.) Based upon the Palin’s statement linked by sam above, I think McCain/Palin will take the proper tack in explaining the… dare I say… nuanced difference.

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  64. Hal says:

    Charles, I’m confused. Is Obama running as the “anti-earmarks maverick”? This post is about the hypocrisy of running as such and then choosing a VP who eagerly lapped them up.

    And again, the whole “queen” characterization is a play on “welfare queens”. Given that Obama gives the earmarks, not receives them, it seems kind of odd to ask the challenge you did. To coin a phrase, it’s apples and oranges.

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  65. G.A.Phillips says:

    Sitting where I do, it is hard to treat credibly the position of anyone who claims that their side is always right, that their candidates have no flaws, and that the other side’s people are only immoral, inexperienced, corrupt baffoons.

    well you can come down off the fence for you truly have come to know how liberals think to look on others, just make sure you climb down on the right side.

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  66. anjin-san says:

    Hey where the heck is Palin anyway? Why does McCain have her hidden away?

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  67. Derrick says:

    Hey where the heck is Palin anyway? Why does McCain have her hidden away?

    Obviously, she is in an undisclosed bunker somewhere in the continental US with Cheney. What better place to learn to become the new Dark Lord of the Sith.

    There can only be TWO!

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  68. rodney dill says:

    Hey where the heck is Palin anyway??

    Alaskas a long trip… by dog sled.

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  69. […] is, at best, political pandering and, at worst, an outright falsehood.  She supported, as one would reasonably expect an Alaska politician to do, all sorts of earmarks for her state.  […]

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  70. […] One poops in the yard and the other uses taxpayer money to […]

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  71. This whole earmark controversy is ridiculous. There is nothing inconsistent about Palin seeking earmarks for her State, while at the same time opposing them on principle.

    While the abusable system is in place, she is perfectly justified in playing the game the way everyone else does, and not placing Alaskans at a disadvantage vis-a-vis every other state when it comes to getting some benefits back from their tax monies that went to fatten the Federal treasury.

    She can still advocate reform of the system without being labelled a hypocrite. Governor Palin has her feet on quite solid ground, both practically and morally, when it comes to the issue of earmarks.

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