In her speech (or rather, the speech that was written for her) to the Republican National Convention, the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, tried hard to paint herself as a Washington outsider and a reformer, and while it may be true she’s not a Washington insider, it’s absolutely certain she’s not the reformer she’d have folks believe she is:
In fiscal year 2002, Wasilla took in $6.1 million in earmarks — about $1,000 in federal money for every resident. By contrast, Boise, Idaho — which has more than 190,000 residents — received $6.9 million in earmarks in fiscal 2008.
All told, Wasilla benefited from $26.9 million in earmarks in Palin’s final four years in office.
“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.”
The segment of that blurb that I highlighted is especially interesting, given Palin’s own remarks in her speech to the RNC:
I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau … when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network.
So let me get this straight: the old-boy network was good enough for Sarah Palin when she was mayor of Wasilla, but once she was governor she flip-flopped?
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was quick to point out the hypocrisy in Palin’s two positions on the issue of earmarks at a campaign event today:
“I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change,” Obama said at a town hall meeting here. “And that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you [have] been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person.
“That is not change, come on,” Obama continued. “I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”
Welcome to the flip-flop club, Sarah Palin…you’re in good company!