Monday, August 01, 2011

Palin - Bridge to Nowhere - FactCheck

" Q: What's the full story on the Bridge to Nowhere?

A: Palin supported it even after McCain denounced it, then blamed "inaccurate portrayals" when she canceled it for lack of money. Obama and Biden voted for the big transportation bill that contained it. McCain's vote was one of four against. Our time line gives full details.

"....NBC News, Sept. 13: Palin has come under fire in recent days for misleadingly saying she told Congress “thanks but no thanks,” refusing an earmark for a bridge to a sparsely inhabited island in her home state. Independent groups and media fact-checkers have said Palin advocated for the federal earmark before opposing it, only ended after Congress had essentially killed it, and kept the $223 million for the appropriation after the project was killed.

Palin had cut the refrain from her speech during her three-day visit to Alaska. But she came back to it today, citing it as an example of earmark reform she and McCain would push for in the White House.

“I told Congress thanks but no thanks to that Bridge to Nowhere – that if our state wanted to build that bridge, we would build it ourselves," she said....."

"....Palin (Sept. 2007): Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island. Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened..."

"..The digested version of the time line:

Palin expressed support for the bridge while running for office.

Congress removed earmarks for both bridges long before Palin was elected.

While campaigning, Palin still made statements supporting the Gravina bridge, which had no earmarks at that time.

Palin chose not to use the money for the Gravina bridge but kept it for other projects, including the Knik Arm bridge.

Biden and Obama voted for the authorization bill, which included the earmarks, and the final appropriations bill, which didn't. McCain voted against the authorization but was not present for the vote on the appropriations bill.

Biden and Obama voted against redirecting the money intended for Alaska to Louisiana. McCain did not vote.

As we said above, Palin is still using the discredited "thanks, but no thanks" line, which implies that Congress gave Alaska money for the bridge and that Palin rejected it. But in a September interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson, she said that she had supported the bridge, that the money from Congress was given to Alaska for general transportation expenses and not for the bridge particularly, and that the state kept that money...." "



See also:

The bridge failed, but the 'Road to Nowhere' was built

Palin Defends Construction of ‘Road to Nowhere

An Apostle of Alaska - We know the outlines—the moose-hunting mom who juggles BlackBerrys and kids. But what does she believe? The real Sarah Palin.

Palin touts stance on 'Bridge to Nowhere,' doesn't note flip-flop

Palin "bridge to nowhere" line angers many Alaskans