Monday, September 08, 2008

McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin.

Senator John McCain has three times highlighted the "objectionable" spending, requested through earmarks, of the small town of Wasilla, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin.

McCain has made objection to pork-barrel spending a central theme of his campaign and Palin implied in her Republican National Convention acceptance speech that she too objected to this practice.

However, that was not always the case:

This year, Palin, who has been governor for nearly 22 months, defended earmarking as a vital part of the legislative system. "The federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship," she wrote in a newspaper column.

In 2001, McCain's list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town -- one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion.

McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002. The funding was provided to help direct locally grown produce to schools, prisons and other government institutions, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.
Indeed, during her time as Mayor of Wasilla, Palin became the Earmark Queen which only makes her claims to the recent Republican Convention all the more odd. Indeed, on a ticket which has taken such a tough stance against earmarks, it makes McCain's choice of Palin extremely odd.
When Palin spoke after McCain introduced her as his running mate at a rally in Ohio last week, she made fun of earmarking. She said she had rejected $223 million in federal funds for a bridge linking Ketchikan to an island with an airport and 50 residents, referring to it by its derogatory label: the "bridge to nowhere."

In the nationally televised speech, she stood by McCain and said, "I've championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress thanks, but no thanks, on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we'd build it ourselves."
We now know this to be untrue. Palin was initially for the bridge to nowhere and certainly requested more money through earmarks than her comments to the Convention would lead one to believe.

Here we see that even Chris Wallace can't ignore the vast difference between what she actually did and Rick Davis' claims that she was a reformer:

The lies are actually too big for even Fox News to ignore. Palin stood on a national platform and lied her head off. This lead Obama to make his first ever attack on her stating, "But, you know, when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up."

She deserves to be given a chance to answer these accusations that she has, in effect, lied to the Convention when she claimed to be against earmarks and that she said no to funding for the bridge to nowhere. Here, again, Chris Wallace asks Rick Davis when the press will be allowed to ask her a question. Note that Davis begins by complimenting Fox News for some utterly fluffy piece they did on Palin and suggesting that this is the kind of information that the public need, " on who Sarah Palin is; a working mother, a brave and courageous politician".

In the end it's too embarrassing even for Chris Wallace who has to ask, "Why is she scared to answer questions?" Davis, having complimented Fox on their insight into this "working mother" defends her inability to face "a cycle of piranhas called the news media that have nothing better to ask her about than her personal life and her children."

Here, you will note, he compliments Fox on portraying her as "a mother" but attacks the media for it's questions about "her children". That's a remarkably fine line which Davis is insisting that everyone should walk.

In the end Davis refused to give any date as to when she will be ready to face the press. Indeed, Davis goes as far as to say that she will not speak to the press until they are "ready to treat her with some respect and deference", which I presume must mean when they are ready to throw softball questions at her.

The sheer amount of lies which she has told to date - selling the plane on Ebay, opposing earmarks, being against the bridge to nowhere - make it almost impossible to imagine when this might happen.

The McCain team are boxing themselves into a corner here. The longer they keep her from the press the more hostile the press will become towards her, as even Chris Wallace is making clear. Fox might be able to run fluffy pieces that Rick Davis loves but eventually the lady who they claim is ready to be Commander in Chief is going to have to prove that she can take command at a moment's notice. And that means she's going to have to face the media.

Rick Davis' comments here show just how worried team McCain are about ever allowing that to happen.

Click title for full article.

No comments: