THE EARMARK QUEEN….UPDATED….Sarah Palin is the gift that just keeps on giving. By now, we all know that far from being a mortal foe of earmarks, Palin was in fact a pioneer and trailblazer in the earmark world. Small towns in Alaska almost never lobbied for federal pork until Palin showed the way, and her success inspired others to follow.
However, what we didn’t know until the LA Times told us today, is that John McCain’s annual list of objectionable pork singled out Palin’s requests not once, not twice, but three separate times:
Three times in recent years, McCain’s catalogs of “objectionable” spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time — Sarah Palin.
….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.
The McCain campaign’s response to this is exceptionally slick: one part blatant lie (all small towns in Alaska depended on earmarks at the time) and one part clever lie (Palin was so upset about being practically forced to hire a high-powered lobbyist to beg for pork that it scarred her for life and made her the earmark foe she is today). Further questions were no doubt declined since asking about this stuff is plainly sexist and unfair and Governor Palin deserves some privacy on these matters.