Sarah Palin, maverick John ‘Wayne” McCain’s surprise pick for VP, has a great life story. She’s a moose hunting hockey mom maverick politician who has gone from mayor to Governor to VP candidate. She opposed the bridge to nowhere, she’s a reformer, a tax cutter who is against earmarks and pork barrel spending..or is she? Turns out that most of this story is a great big urban myth.
1. Myth: Sarah Palin opposed the $200 million bridge to nowhere. Actually, Governor Palin supported it until she opposed it. According to The Atlantic:
“Palin supported the project and even told residents of Ketchikan that they weren’t “nowhere” to her.”
“OK, you’ve got Valley trash standing here in the middle of nowhere,” Palin said, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News. “I think we’re going to make a good team as we progress that bridge project.” –Governor Sarah Palin
But that was before the $200 million bridge to nowhere story got national coverage. Now she claims that shes the one that stopped the bridge to nowhere–after she had already supported it! So where did the all the money go? Its being used on other projects that the State does not need. Some of the funds are being used to build a road to an empty beach in the very same place the bridge was to be located:
According to the Anchorage Daily News:
The Alaska governor campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them “nowhere.” They’re still feeling pain today in Ketchikan, over Palin’s subsequent decision to use the bridge funds for other projects — and over the timing of her announcement, which they say came in a pre-dawn press release that seemed aimed at national news deadlines.
“I think that’s when the campaign for national office began,” said Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Weinstein noted, the state is continuing to build a road on Gravina Island to an empty beach where the bridge would have gone — because federal money for the access road, unlike the bridge money, would have otherwise been returned to the federal government.
Oh well, and it sounded so good at the time.
2. Myth: Sarah Palin is a tax cutter. Well, not quite Actually, as Mayor, Palin cut property taxes but raised sales taxes, which are more of a burden on the poor and elderly with fixed incomes. Se also supported windfall profts tax o noil companies, a policy Barack Obama supports and her potential future boss John McCain opposes.
3. Myth: Sarah Palin is a maverick politician just like John McCain. The truth: Sarah Palin is a skilled politician who stepped into the void left by all the corruption in Alaska state politics, and her politics are from the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. Extreme, yes, maverick, no.
4. Myth: Sarah Palin has more experience than Barack Obama to be President of the United States. The truth: Barack Obama has more political experience at both the local and national levels than Sarah Palin. He has eight years as a state senator from Chicago and two as a US senator, she has six years in a local political capacity on the city council and Mayor of Wasilla, population 8,000. Plus he was selected by the voters over Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and several other more experienced politicians, who obviously believe that Barack Obama is ready to be President. We will no know until election day if the voters feel the same way about Sarah Palin.
5. Myth: Sarah Palin had nothing to do with efforts to get her ex brother in law fired as a state trooper. The truth: there is mounting evidence that she was involved in the dozens of phone calls from herself and her own staff members to the Public Safety commissioner to get her sister ex-husband fired. After refusing to fire the trooper, the commissioner himself was fired–by Governor Palin. There is now an ongoing state investigation that should be wrapped up by late October, just in time for the election.
6. Myth: Sarah Palin opposes earmarks for pork barrel spending. The truth: Sarah Palin took trips as the mayor of Wasilla to beg for earmarks, and won $27 million in federal funding by employing lobbyists. This is what all politicians do, so if anyone says “Vote for me and I’ll turn down money government for our home town” don’t believe them.
Palin’s Small Alaska Town Secured Big Federal Funds–Washington Post:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog.
In fiscal year 2002, Wasilla took in $6.1 million in earmarks — about $1,000 in federal funds for every resident. By contrast, Boise, Idaho — which has more than 190,000 residents — received $6.9 million in earmarks in fiscal year 2008.
“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.”
7. Myth: Sarah Palin is ready to be Vice President of the USA. The truth: she told a television interviewer this summer that she did not fully understand what it is that a vice president does. Maybe she should ask Dick Cheney?
8. Truth: John McCain had met Governor Sarah Palin only once before putting her on his list of VP candidates. John McCain met her once in DC at the annual Governor’s conference. They say that first impressions matter. That must have been quite a first impression! Enough to get her on the short list with Sen. Joe Lieberman and Govs. Pawlenty, Jindal and Crist, and then enough to get her the #2 spot after just one more meeting with McCain. With friends like John Wayne McCain, who needs affirmative action?
9. Myth: Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for the pregnancy of her underage daughter. This is untrue. Since her selection as the VP running mate, rumors have been flying in cyberspace that Palin faked being the mother of her new son in order to cover up the underage pregnancy of her unmarried 17 year old daughter Bristol. Governor Sarah Palin did in fact recently give birth to a baby, and her 17 year old daughter is also now pregnant. From the Clackmas Review:
According to these rumors, Sarah Palin had faked a pregnancy and pretended to have given birth in April to her fifth child, a son named Trig who has Down syndrome. The rumor was that Trig was actually Bristol Palin’s child and that Sarah Palin was the grandmother.
Liberal blog the Daily Kos has been blamed for spreading this rumor, but Kos himself denies this is true. And if this all sounds a bit like a bad episode of Hee Haw on steroids, we won’t disagree with you.
10. Myth: Governor Palin fired the chef at the Governor’s mansion to save the taxpayers money. This is untrue. The chef was merely transferred to another state job since Gov. Palin decided to live mostly in Wasilla instead of Juneau. Wasilla, which is over 500 miles away from the state capitol. Thats right, she lived in Wasilla with her family, not in Juneau where the mansion and chef is actually located! This makes the following quote from the McCain Palin Colorado Springs rally sound even more ridiculous:
Sarah Palin said : “I fired the chef. My children aren’t starving.”
The chef wasn’t fired because the children weren’t starving, or to save the state money, he was transferred because in Alaska, unless you are an Ice Road Trucker, a 500 mile commute is considered to be a bit too grueling.