Barack Obama’s allegation that Gov. Sarah Palin didn’t really stop the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” has run into a roadblock, as a U.S. senator says Palin really opposes earmark spending.
Sen. Jim Demint, R-S.C., said Palin's actions speak louder than Obama's words.
Demint cited Obama's statement that, “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.”
Noting that both parties have a shameful record of wasting hundreds of billions of tax dollars on pork-barrel projects, Demint said Palin's “leadership and record of reform stands well above that of Mr. Obama.”
Writing in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, the South Carolina Republican laid out Palin's record on spending: “Mrs. Palin used her veto pen to slash more local projects than any other governor in the state’s history. She cut nearly 10% of Alaska's budget this year, saving state residents $268 million. This included vetoing a $30,000 van for Campfire USA and $200,000 for a tennis court irrigation system. She succinctly justified these cuts by saying they were ‘not a state responsibility.’” While “Obama voted for numerous wasteful earmarks last year, including: $12 million for bicycle paths, $450,000 for the International Peace Museum, $500,000 for a baseball stadium and $392,000 for a visitor's center in Louisiana, Gov. Palin cut Alaska’s federal earmark requests in half last year, one of the strongest moves against earmarks by any governor.”
Wrote Demint: “It took real leadership to buck Alaska's decades-long earmark addiction.” Although Palin once supported the bridge, she killed the project in her own state. “After witnessing the problems created by earmarks for her state and for the nation's budget, she did what others like me have done: She changed her position and saved taxpayers millions,” Demint wrote.
“Even the Alaska Democratic Party credits her with killing the bridge,” he wrote.
When the Senate had a chance to stop the bridge and transfer the money to Katrina rebuilding, Demint recalled, "both Obama and [Sen. Joe] Biden voted for the $223 million earmark, siding with the old boys’ club in the Senate. And to date, they still have not publicly renounced their support for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere earmark.” Palin has proved her courage "by taking on big spenders in her own party. In March of this year, the Anchorage Daily News reported that ‘Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is aggravated about what he sees as Gov. Sarah Palin's antagonism toward the earmarks he uses to steer federal money to the state.’”
Demint concluded by noting that Palin “is one of the strongest anti-earmark governors in America. If more governors around the country would do what she has done, we would be much closer to fixing our nation's fiscal problems than we are.
“Mrs. Palin’s record here is solid and inspiring. She will help Mr. McCain shut down the congressional favor factory, and she has a record to prove it. Actions mean something. You can't just make stuff up.”
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