Sarah Palin lies and, for some reason, that concerns me (but not her backers)
Most of the lies about Sarah Palin's record had been discovered before she made her acceptance speech. Yet, she repeated them, along with a misleading truth. It seems the idea is why let a little fact get in the way of an applause line.
We've had almost eight years of expedient lying from a president and vice president. I see no need for more. Yet, there are so many born-again McCainers who are enraptured with MooseMamaMania.
So, ol' "Straight Talk" McCain must be figuring why let the truth stand in the way of good hype?
The truth was known about her bridge to nowhere stand. She was for it. The truth was known that she only cancelled the bridge out of political expediency when funding had been cut and it endangered other "earmark" pork barrel spending for Alaska. It was known she did not send the money back.
However, in her acceptance speech, what did she say?
I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.
If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged — directly to the people of Alaska.
More indirectly to the people of Alaska, as it went into other projects, not in a check to its citizens.
Then, we get the jet line. You know, she had a good story there. She identified a piece of wasteful spending in a poweful symbol. She campaigned against it, and got rid of it when elected, saving the taxpayers money. She coyly hedged her statement there and allowed the McCain campaign, the nominee included, to do the actual lying.
That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.
Yes, she put it on eBay. It didn't work. The Republican speaker of the house stepped in, found a broker and sold the plan at a minimal loss to a Republican backer (who now says the state owes him $50,000 for maintenance fees he had to incur). There is no mention of a public bidding process to sell the surplus state property, but this is a Republican administration and no-bid contracts for friends simply follows the national example.
Her statement left the impression the plane sold on eBay, but it was strictly true. Of course, one was led to believe that by the GOP background video that played before her speech, which came out and said it.
It befell to her hero John McCain, who she did not support in 2000, to do the actual lying about the plane's sale.
"You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay -- and made a profit!" McCain declared in Wisconsin at a campaign stop on Friday.
As a mayor and as governor, Palin has relentlessly pursued, not fought federal "earmark" spending, even hiring a crony of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R), who is under federal indictment for corruption charges.
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.
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.)
Palin, he [McCain] 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) [emphasis added - ed], who long controlled federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He made funneling money to Alaska his hallmark.
As mayor, she used federal funds and borrowing to get a city of about 5,000 - 7,000 into $22 million in debt, and ended her term as she began with a city that had no water treatment plant. As mayor, she did lower property taxes, but raised sales taxes. Those who owned property got a break, part of which was consumed by the sales tax. Those who did not own property got an overall tax hike.
Then, there was the community sports center, for which Ms. Palin pushed through the sales tax hike.
The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing
utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land.
The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in
extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be
Ms. Palin's legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to
"It's too bad that the city of Wasilla didn't do their homework and
secure the land before they began construction," said Kathy Wells, a
longtime activist here. "She was not your ceremonial mayor; she was in
charge of running the city. So it was her job to make sure things were
It also appears she has ruled city and state government alike, insisting on total loyalty for continued employment or favor. That must rate high with her Bush handlers.
She even comes equipped with her own, built-in ethics scandal. No one will have to start one for her.
That is the record of someone fighting for fiscal responsibility and reform?
As for the snide attacks and lies about the Democrats in her acceptance speech. That's really not her fault. The speech wasn't written by, or even for, her.
In the meantime, she already had been given an old Bush Campaign handler to tell her what to do. If she truly objected to any of the things she said in the speech, she did not have the courage to stand up and defend her stand.
What's the difference from a true reformer and an opportunistic pretender? The truth.
In the end, she keeps on lying. Her supporters lap it up, despite the facts they are shown to prove her falsehoods.
It is not a disease that is unique to the Republican Party, wanting to believe something so much that truth only gets in the way. It just seems the disease has grown to epidemic proportions in the GOP over the past eight years.
Sadly, McCain, who once fought back nobly, now is suffering from a terminal case, and those who slimed him and lied about him and his family now embrace and defend him.
The "Maverick" is now a steer and has ring in his nose.