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View Full Version : Elections AP: Alaska by far the largest per-capita consumer of federal pet-project spending


jAZ
09-08-2008, 03:32 PM
Jezus, I had not idea Palin was the porkbarrel Queen.

Alaska = 2/3 that of Illinois???

Alaska = 10x that of Illinois per capita???

:shake:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080908/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_palin;_ylt=ApNKaALGM0GuBsxna_io3a1p24cA

Obama hasn't asked for any earmarks this year. Last year, he asked for $311 million worth, about $25 for every Illinois resident. Alaska asked this year for earmarks totaling $198 million, about $295 for every Alaska citizen.

Palin has cut back on pork project requests, but under her administration, Alaska is still and by far the largest per-capita consumer of federal pet-project spending.

The governor did reject plans to build the notorious "Bridge to Nowhere" after Congress had cut off its financing.

McCain and Palin were presented as a maverick team in a campaign ad released Monday that played up their reputation for taking on entrenched interests. The ad credits Palin with stopping the bridge without mentioning she once appeared to support it.

Donger
09-08-2008, 03:36 PM
Just curious, but how much of that was requested by the congresscritters of Alaska?

BigCatDaddy
09-08-2008, 03:38 PM
Why did Obama not ask for any this year?

Did he sacrifice the funds to his state and the citizens he represents , just so he could appear to oppose earmarks in the election?

BucEyedPea
09-08-2008, 03:39 PM
That Alaska gets a lot of fed money has been true for a long time. There's little up there. Including few people and there's lots of Fed owned land. Exactly what the left environmentalist love about it.

jAZ
09-08-2008, 04:04 PM
Just curious, but how much of that was requested by the congresscritters of Alaska?

I don't know but her time as Mayor of a town of 7000 that the town had never really gotten any earmarks... is revealing.

http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/per_capita_earmarks.jpg

She hired a Ted Stevens lobbist to open the floodgates of the federal coffers to the city.

She was such an earmark queen that McCain himself called her out for her wasteful spending requests.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-earmarks3-2008sep03,0,5932587.story

McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin

Three times in recent years, the Arizona senator's lists of 'objectionable' pork spending have included earmarks requested by his new running mate.

By Tom Hamburger, Richard Simon and Janet Hook | Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 3, 2008

WASILLA, ALASKA - For much of his long career in Washington, John McCain has been throwing darts at the special spending system known as earmarking, through which powerful members of Congress can deliver federal cash for pet projects back home with little or no public scrutiny. He's even gone so far as to publish "pork lists" detailing these financial favors.

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.

Now, McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has chosen Palin as his running mate, touting her as a reformer just like him.

McCain has made opposition to pork-barrel spending a central theme of his 2008 campaign. "Earmarking deprives federal agencies of scarce resources, at the whim of individual members of Congress," McCain has said.

But records show that Palin -- first as mayor of Wasilla and recently as governor of Alaska -- was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state.

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.

Wasilla received $11.9 million in earmarks from 2000 to 2003. The results of this spending are very apparent today. (The town also benefited from $15 million in federal funds to promote regional rail transportation.)

The community transit center is a landmark: a one-story, tile-fronted building with a drive-through garage. Its fleet of 10 buses provides service throughout the region. Mat-Su Community Transit Agency officials say the building was made possible with a combination of federal money and matching gifts from a private foundation.

Taylor Griffin, a McCain campaign spokesman, said that when Palin became mayor in 1996, "she faced a system that was broken. Small towns like Wasilla in Alaska depended on earmarks to take care of basic needs. . . . That was something that Gov. Palin was alarmed about and was one of the formative experiences that led her toward the reform-oriented stance that she has taken as her career has progressed."

Palin, he said, was "disgusted" that small towns like hers were dependent on earmarks.

Public records paint a different picture:

Wasilla had received few if any earmarks before Palin became mayor. She actively sought federal funds -- a campaign that began to pay off only after she hired a lobbyist with close ties to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who long controlled federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He made funneling money to Alaska his hallmark.

Steven Silver was a former chief of staff for Stevens. After he was hired, Wasilla obtained funding for several projects in 2002, including an additional $600,000 in transportation funding.

That year, a local water and sewer project received $1.5 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, which combs federal spending measures to identify projects inserted by congressional members.

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."

However, as a candidate for governor in 2006, Palin had backed funding for the bridge. After her election, she killed the much-ridiculed project when it became clear the state had other priorities. She said she would use the federal funds to fill those needs.

This year she submitted to Congress a list of Alaska projects worth $197.8 million, including $2 million to research crab productivity in the Bering Sea and $7.4 million to improve runway lighting at eight Alaska airports. A spokesman said she cut the original list of 54 projects to 31.

"So while Sen. McCain was going after cutting earmarks in Washington," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, "Gov. Palin was going after getting earmarks."

Direckshun
09-08-2008, 11:03 PM
Since McCain has completely reframed his campaign around the issue of pork-barrell spending, I'm going to bump this.

If for no other reason than to watch Donger deny, deny, deny.

Donger
09-09-2008, 07:52 AM
I don't know but her time as Mayor of a town of 7000 that the town had never really gotten any earmarks... is revealing.

http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/per_capita_earmarks.jpg

She hired a Ted Stevens lobbist to open the floodgates of the federal coffers to the city.

She was such an earmark queen that McCain himself called her out for her wasteful spending requests.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-earmarks3-2008sep03,0,5932587.story

McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin

Three times in recent years, the Arizona senator's lists of 'objectionable' pork spending have included earmarks requested by his new running mate.

By Tom Hamburger, Richard Simon and Janet Hook | Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 3, 2008

WASILLA, ALASKA - For much of his long career in Washington, John McCain has been throwing darts at the special spending system known as earmarking, through which powerful members of Congress can deliver federal cash for pet projects back home with little or no public scrutiny. He's even gone so far as to publish "pork lists" detailing these financial favors.

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.

Now, McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has chosen Palin as his running mate, touting her as a reformer just like him.

McCain has made opposition to pork-barrel spending a central theme of his 2008 campaign. "Earmarking deprives federal agencies of scarce resources, at the whim of individual members of Congress," McCain has said.

But records show that Palin -- first as mayor of Wasilla and recently as governor of Alaska -- was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state.

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.

Wasilla received $11.9 million in earmarks from 2000 to 2003. The results of this spending are very apparent today. (The town also benefited from $15 million in federal funds to promote regional rail transportation.)

The community transit center is a landmark: a one-story, tile-fronted building with a drive-through garage. Its fleet of 10 buses provides service throughout the region. Mat-Su Community Transit Agency officials say the building was made possible with a combination of federal money and matching gifts from a private foundation.

Taylor Griffin, a McCain campaign spokesman, said that when Palin became mayor in 1996, "she faced a system that was broken. Small towns like Wasilla in Alaska depended on earmarks to take care of basic needs. . . . That was something that Gov. Palin was alarmed about and was one of the formative experiences that led her toward the reform-oriented stance that she has taken as her career has progressed."

Palin, he said, was "disgusted" that small towns like hers were dependent on earmarks.

Public records paint a different picture:

Wasilla had received few if any earmarks before Palin became mayor. She actively sought federal funds -- a campaign that began to pay off only after she hired a lobbyist with close ties to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who long controlled federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He made funneling money to Alaska his hallmark.

Steven Silver was a former chief of staff for Stevens. After he was hired, Wasilla obtained funding for several projects in 2002, including an additional $600,000 in transportation funding.

That year, a local water and sewer project received $1.5 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, which combs federal spending measures to identify projects inserted by congressional members.

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."

However, as a candidate for governor in 2006, Palin had backed funding for the bridge. After her election, she killed the much-ridiculed project when it became clear the state had other priorities. She said she would use the federal funds to fill those needs.

This year she submitted to Congress a list of Alaska projects worth $197.8 million, including $2 million to research crab productivity in the Bering Sea and $7.4 million to improve runway lighting at eight Alaska airports. A spokesman said she cut the original list of 54 projects to 31.

"So while Sen. McCain was going after cutting earmarks in Washington," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, "Gov. Palin was going after getting earmarks."

Thanks for the information. I read that federal earmarks have actually been reduced since she became governor.

J Diddy
09-09-2008, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the information. I read that federal earmarks have actually been reduced since she became governor.

yeah, she probably woke up one day and thought "this was a bad thing I was doing and I must stop it"

:spock:

Donger
09-09-2008, 08:28 AM
yeah, she probably woke up one day and thought "this was a bad thing I was doing and I must stop it"

:spock:

I don't know what her reason was.

J Diddy
09-09-2008, 08:33 AM
I don't know what her reason was.

she wasn't a publicity whore and get sick of mccain publishing her name in those pork barrel reports, most likely

mlyonsd
09-09-2008, 08:36 AM
Why did Obama not ask for any this year?



Wasn't ever in Washington long enough to ask.

Chief Henry
09-09-2008, 10:07 AM
Wasn't ever in Washington long enough to ask.

He didn't understand the "bills" so he decided to vote PRESENT. Just think of all the tax payer pet projects for the community organizers of south side Chi town he missed out on. Did Barry help the unemployment rate while he was the community organizer in the south side? Did he help the High School drop out rate on the south side of chicago ? I bet the unwed mothers birth rate went down didn't it ? :doh!:

jAZ
09-09-2008, 10:07 AM
I don't know what her reason was.
I believe Ted Stevens got indicted.

Donger
09-09-2008, 10:10 AM
I believe Ted Stevens got indicted.

That kind of goes back to my original question: how much can a governor "request"?

jAZ
09-09-2008, 10:13 AM
That kind of goes back to my original question: how much can a governor "request"?

Infinity + 1, so I guess on a % basis she's quite frugal.

Donger
09-09-2008, 10:15 AM
Infinity + 1, so I guess on a % basis she's quite frugal.

But you have to have a congresscritter deliver the cash, right?

jAZ
09-09-2008, 11:40 AM
But you have to have a congresscritter deliver the cash, right?
They don't just walk-up to people and start handing out money. Realistically (as Palin learned) you have to hire a lobbist connected to a powerful member of the delegation. Preferably one who understands exactly how many internet tubes there are in a full series.

And it also helps if you run a 527 group that's focused on supporting that powerful congress critter. When you do all of those things, no matter how corrupt the legislator (and the mo corrupt, the better) you have a very good shot at being able to laughably lie to the public about the nature of your efforts in this area.

Alphaman
09-09-2008, 04:05 PM
Thanks for the information. I read that federal earmarks have actually been reduced since she became governor.

She's been governor for 22 months. So basically 2 years.

The first year she flip-flopped to not supporting the "bridge to nowhere" and its $270+M in earmarks (even though she still used those same funds for other stuff).

The 2nd year she did reduce the federal earmark requests to $178M.

So yes she reduced them, but a reformer and maverick would have eliminated them (or at least come close to eliminating them). At a minimum as a reformer, she should have reduced the Alaskan earmarks per capita to be equal to the average of the US rather than the highest in the nation.

The fact that Wasilla didn't receive earmarks before she was mayor and that she hired a lobbyist to go get a piece of the pie for Wasilla is not the actions of a reformer but of one who is manipulating the system to their own selfish benefit.

Garcia Bronco
09-09-2008, 04:28 PM
A Governor requesting funds from the Federal Governemnt is fine and how it works under our oppressive Federal Government. The problem is Congress passing them. Let's see....who in the election was in Congress? Biden and McCain.

Alphaman
09-09-2008, 04:48 PM
A Governor requesting funds from the Federal Governemnt is fine and how it works under our oppressive Federal Government. The problem is Congress passing them. Let's see....who in the election was in Congress? Biden and McCain.


I don't have a problem with a governor requesting available funds for their state. However, don't come tell me when you are running for Pres/VP that you are a reformer and against them when you go after more than anyone else.

Programmer
09-09-2008, 05:03 PM
They don't just walk-up to people and start handing out money. Realistically (as Palin learned) you have to hire a lobbist connected to a powerful member of the delegation. Preferably one who understands exactly how many internet tubes there are in a full series.

And it also helps if you run a 527 group that's focused on supporting that powerful congress critter. When you do all of those things, no matter how corrupt the legislator (and the mo corrupt, the better) you have a very good shot at being able to laughably lie to the public about the nature of your efforts in this area.

So you are saying that Palin is better than Obama because he can't get the money for his state? Hmmmmm!