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?