Does Sarah Palin Not Read the Newspaper?

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cartoon_pork.gif Over the last couple days, every newspaper and network in America has disproven Sarah Palin’s claim that she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. Yet just moments ago at a campaign rally in Lebanon, Ohio, she repeated her familiar refrain on the bridge, claiming she told the federal government, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

There appears to be no accountability here; the McCain campaign will trot out Palin to repeat her talking points no matter how many times the press reports that Palin campaigned for governor as a supporter of the bridge and only opposed it when it became obvious the federal government was going to cancel its funding.

Today she went on to say, “If our state wanted a bridge we would build it ourselves.” Palin seemed to be suggesting that she had no interest in federal support for infrastructure projects. That, too, is not true. As Kevin has noted, small towns in Alaska never sought federal earmarks until Palin pioneered the tactic, even using an Abramoff-connected lobbyist to get them.

And as governor, Palin continued the trend. Today, states receive roughly $50 per person in earmark funds from the federal government. Alaska gets a stunning $506 per person. For fiscal year 2009, Palin has submitted 31 earmark requests totaling $197 million. According to the Seattle Times, that is “more, per person, than any other state.” And, for what it’s worth, there are a “road to nowhere” and a second bridge to nowhere that Palin is decidedly less upset about.

Let’s be real. The fact that Sarah Palin is not an anti-pork crusader has been reported. Repeatedly. Sarah Palin just seems to be the last to hear the news.

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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