FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Palin: More Than Just Words – Reform And Change We Can Really Believe In
Why Obama Threw Change We Can Believe In Under The Bus
Over the last few days, the Obama campaign has engaged in some of its more audacious Machiavellian political maneuvers to attack Governor Sarah Palin for killing a controversial earmark – the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
Audacious is an apt term to describe Obama’s distortion’s of Governor Palin’s record, especially in light of Obama’s record of requesting nearly $1 billion in earmarks during his extremely brief Senate career.
The Obama campaign apparently has no choice. Obama’s career as a “community organizer,” state legislator and Junior U.S. Senator/presidential campaigner left Obama with no reform or “change we can believe in” accomplishments.
Obama feels he must lash out with a less than truthful attack designed to belittle Governor Palin’s reform record. A record complete with actual accomplishments, not just words. A record, which includes killing the “Bridge to Nowhere,” and which stands in stark contrast to Obama’s record of wasteful earmark spending.
Governor Palin Ordered Her Administration To Reduce The Number Of Earmark Requests
For three years now there has been a serious movement afoot to cut wasteful governmental spending.
The movement has focused on earmarks — those dreaded stealthy provisions that specify Congressional spending for the benefit of a specific and very limited number of individuals or entities.
The poster child of the anti-earmark campaign is the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” Governor Palin killed it.
Governor Palin made history on December 4, 2006, when she became the first woman governor of Alaska. Nine months later, Governor Palin made history again, when she killed the Bridge to Nowhere. According to the non-partisan Polifact.com, “it’s true that on Sept. 21, 2007, Palin officially killed the project.”
Governor Palin’s campaign against the “Bridge to Nowhere” was gathering steam from the beginning of her administration. In February 2007, her transition team concluded the bridge was “a severe drain on resources that could be put to better use.” The State’s 2007 budget, Governor Palin’s first budget, contained no additional money for the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
Then in September, 2007, Governor Palin ordered state officials to abandon the “Bridge to Nowhere” project.
After serving as governor only a year, Governor Palin recognized that Alaska needed to change its national image and become less dependent on the federal government. That realization was a result of the growing backlash against earmarks and the lack of public scrutiny associated with such wasteful spending. The “Bridge to Nowhere” became the favorite target of the anti-earmark movement. Governor Palin, therefore, “ordered her administration to seek fewer congressional earmarks.”
That was a move that was picked up by the national press and applauded by Alaskan editorials. The Anchorage Daily News, citing the controversy over “Alaska’s bridges-to-nowhere” praised Palin’s plan to cut back on earmarks as the “right way for Alaska to go:”
Gov. Sarah Palin says her decision to quit asking for so many federal earmarks is a sound step toward more responsible and accountable government.
[. . .]
In this new climate, the Palin administration’s standards for seeking federal earmarks are appropriate and realistic. The projects should be of national significance, her budget chief says, and agencies should aggressively investigate alternatives to a congressional handout.
The Palin administration’s effort to reduce earmarks was seen as part of the governor’s “broader effort to weed out corruption and waste in a state government.”
The Media And The Alaska Democrat Party Credited Governor Palin With Killing The Bridge To Nowhere
The elite media, including The Los Angeles Times and Newsweek, credited Governor Palin with canceling the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Even the Democrats, gave the governor credit. At least the Dems gave her before Governor Palin became the GOP’s vice presidential nominee. Now, the Dems have decided to rewrite history and removed the web pages where they acknowledged Governor Palin’s success in killing the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
Governor Palin hammered the final nail in the “Bridge to Nowhere” coffin two years, after U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and U.S. Rep. Don Young secured more than $200 million in earmark funding for the bridge.”
Obama Consistently Supported The “Bridge To Nowhere”
During those two years that Stevens and Young sought the earmarked funds for the project, Obama consistently supported the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
In 2005, Obama voted for the “Bridge to Nowhere” three times.
First, on May 17, 2005, Obama voted for H.R. 3 as amended – the bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes. (Vote #125: Passed 89-11: R 46-9; D 42-2; I 1-0, 5/17/05, Obama Voted Yea and McCain voted Nay.)
Then on July 29, 2005, Obama voted for the conference report for the highway reauthorization bill that included funding for the “Bridge to Nowhere.” (Vote #220: Adopted 91-4: R 48-4; D 42-0; I 1-0, 7/29/05, Obama Voted Yea and McCain Voted Nay).
On October 20, 2005, Obama voted for the “Bridge to Nowhere” a third time, when he voted against an amendment that would have transferred $125 million of the “Bridge To Nowhere” earmark funds to rebuilding a bridge in New Orleans (H.R. 3058, Vote #262: Rejected 15-82: R 11-43; D 4-38; I 0-1, 10/20/05, Obama Voted Nay)
Under Governor Palin, The Number And Size Of Earmarks Decreased Dramatically
Under Governor Palin, the number of earmarks requested by the governor’s office fell by $150 million to only 31 earmarks valued at $197 million.
Governor Palin Has Vetoed Nearly $500 Million In Government Spending In Two Years
Even though it angered some Alaskan lawmakers, in 2007, Governor Palin vetoed $231 million in projects from the state’s proposed $1.8 billion state capital budget. It took 36 spreadsheet pages to list the 300 projects Governor Palin vetoed.
In 2008, Governor Palin vetoed another $268 million or about 10 percent of the spending that state legislators approved for pork barrel projects.
Obama Has Requested Nearly $1 Billion In Earmarks In Just Three Years In Office
While Governor Palin was practicing Accomplishing actual change, taking on her own party, canceling, the “Bridge to Nowhere,” Drastically reducing earmarks, and reducing spending with her vetoes, what was Obama doing?
In three years as the junior senator from Illinois, Obama has requested nearly $1 billion in earmarks.
No wonder Obama had to throw his “change we can believe in” mantra under the bus. To Obama, change is just a word. To Governor Palin change is an actual accomplishment.