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should conservatives support palin?


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i don't know but she doesn't seem very fiscally conservative to me!

Palin hired lobbying firm to get millions in earmarks for her town of 7,000 residents:


Palin enacted Windfall Profits tax on oil companies.

Palin redistributed taxes in form of $1200 government handout to pay energy costs for citizens.



Palin's Small Alaska Town Secured Big Federal Funds

By Paul Kane

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 2, 2008; A01

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 1 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group.

There was $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9 million for a transportation hub, $900,000 for sewer repairs, and $15 million for a rail project -- all intended to benefit Palin's town, Wasilla, located about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

In introducing Palin as his running mate on Friday, Sen. John McCain cast her as a compatriot in his battle against wasteful federal spending. McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, hailed Palin as a politician "with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies -- someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past, someone who's stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money."

McCain's crusade against earmarks -- federal spending sought by members of Congress to benefit specific projects -- has been a hallmark of his campaign. He has said earmarks are wasteful and are often inserted into bills with little oversight, sometimes by a single powerful lawmaker.

Palin has also railed against earmarks, touting her opposition to a $223 million bridge in the state as a prime credential for the vice presidential nomination. "As governor, I've stood up to the old politics-as-usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ol'-boy network," she said Friday.

As mayor of Wasilla, however, Palin oversaw the hiring of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, an Anchorage-based law firm with close ties to Alaska's most senior Republicans: Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted in July on charges of accepting illegal gifts. The Wasilla account was handled by the former chief of staff to Stevens, Steven W. Silver, who is a partner in the firm.

Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla in 1996 on a campaign theme of "a time for change." According to a review of congressional spending by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, Wasilla did not receive any federal earmarks in the first few years of Palin's tenure.

Senate records show that Silver's firm began working for Palin in early 2000, just as federal money began flowing.

In fiscal 2000, Wasilla received a $1 million earmark, tucked into a transportation appropriations bill, for a rail and bus project in the town. And in the winter of 2000, Palin appeared before congressional appropriations committees to seek earmarks, according to a report in the Anchorage Daily News.

Palin and the Wasilla City Council increased Silver's fee from $24,000 to $36,000 a year by 2001, Senate records show.

Soon after, the city benefited from additional earmarks: $500,000 for a mental health center, $500,000 for the purchase of federal land and $450,000 to rehabilitate an agricultural processing facility. Then there was the $15 million rail project, intended to connect Wasilla with the town of Girdwood, where Stevens has a house.

The Washington trip is now an annual event for Wasilla officials.

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."

Silver, reached by phone at his Vienna home, declined to comment. Wasilla's town offices were closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

Maria Comella, Palin's campaign spokeswoman, said Palin sought the Wasilla earmarks because she was "working in the best interests of Alaska, working within the confines of the current system."

Palin became a staunch reform advocate after her 2003 appointment to the state's Oil and Gas Commission. She accused another commissioner -- Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich -- of raising campaign contributions from industries he was regulating. "She realized that the environment around her was no longer what it once was, and elected officials were abusing their power," Comella said.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, used to secure earmarks for public nonprofits in Illinois, but he announced last year that he would no longer seek earmarks for any entity. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), Obama's running mate, co-sponsored $85.6 million in earmarks for 2008, according to one study.

The Palin earmarks came when Stevens was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Young was a senior member of the House transportation committee.

In hiring Silver, Wasilla found someone who was a member of each lawmaker's inner circle. Silver has donated at least $11,400 to Stevens's political committees and $10,000 to Young's reelection committee in the past decade, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Sliver's firm employed Stevens's son, Ben Stevens, in the late 1990s as a federal lobbyist, according to multiple media accounts. Ben Stevens was not listed on lobbying disclosure forms as having worked on Wasilla earmarks.

The firm became ensnared in the wide-ranging federal investigation of corruption by Alaska Republican officials. Federal agents reviewed records about its other municipal clients, as well as fishing companies represented by Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh that were close to Ben Stevens.

The investigation has increasingly focused on Veco, a now-defunct energy services company whose chief executive, Bill Allen Jr., pleaded guilty in May 2007 to bribing Alaska officials.

Ted Stevens is awaiting trial on charges that he accepted more than $250,000 in unreported gifts from Allen. Ben Stevens, who has not been charged, has been identified in court documents as having accepted more than $240,000 in consulting payments in exchange for legislative favors while he served in the state Senate.

A Veco executive testified last year in a criminal trial that Allen had ordered him to arrange annual fundraisers for Young. The congressman has not been charged with any crimes.

After becoming governor, Palin became a critic of Young and the Stevenses. She endorsed Young's opponent in a Republican primary last week that is still too close to call, and last year she demanded Ben Stevens's resignation as Alaska's member of the Republican National Committee. She has also criticized Ted Stevens.

In addition, Palin has reversed course on at least one major earmark: After initially supporting the $223 million bridge, which was to connect the town of Ketchikan with a remote island, she reversed course last year and canceled the project because of cost overruns. Critics have dubbed the project the "Bridge to Nowhere."

But her administration remains eager for many other earmarks.

In February, Palin's office sent Sen. Stevens a 70-page memo outlining almost $200 million worth of new funding requests for Alaska.


Windfall tax lets Alaska rake in billions from Big Oil

By Ángel González and Hal Bernton

Seattle Times staff reporters

Republicans in Congress this June united to defeat a proposed windfall tax on oil companies, deriding it as a bad idea that would discourage investment in U.S. oil exploration.

Things worked out far differently in the GOP stronghold of Alaska, a state whose economic fate is closely tied to the oil industry.

Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska's Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry — a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.

At a time when Americans are feeling the pinch at the gasoline pump and oil companies are racking up record profits, Alaska's choice foreshadows one of the sharpest debates in the upcoming presidential election.

Democrat Barack Obama supports a national windfall-profits tax, while Republican John McCain opposes it.

Alaska collected an estimated $6 billion from the new tax during the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. That helped push the state's total oil revenue — from new and existing taxes, as well as royalties — to more than $10 billion, double the amount received last year.

While many other states are confronting big budget deficits because of the troubled economy, Alaska officials are in the enviable position of exploring new ways to spend the state's multibillion-dollar budget surplus.

Some of that new cash will end up in the wallets of Alaska's residents.

Palin's administration last week gained legislative approval for a special $1,200 payment to every Alaskan to help cope with gas prices, which are among the highest in the country.

That check will come on top of the annual dividend of about $2,000 that each resident could receive this year from an oil-wealth savings account.

State Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat who supported the windfall tax, said the oil companies " ... were literally printing money on the North Slope. We decided to strike the balance a little bit more on our side."

The industry, however, warns new taxes are already discouraging future exploration and development in newer, more expensive projects needed to boost waning production in Alaska's oil patches.

"Clearly, from the investor standpoint, Alaska has become a less attractive place to invest exploration and production dollars," said Marilyn Crockett, executive director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association.

Tax imposed by Carter

The oil industry has long fought windfall-profits taxes. Officials cite a congressional study that indicated a windfall-profits tax imposed by President Carter — and later repealed in the 1980s — appeared to discourage U.S. oil-field development.

"It was a bad idea in the 1980s, and it is an even worse idea today," says an American Petroleum Institute statement on windfall taxes.

The industry's arguments held sway in the U.S. Senate in June, where Republicans defeated a Democratic proposal for a windfall-profits tax that would have raised an estimated $10 billion to $12 billion.

The debate has spilled into the presidential campaign.

Obama supports a federal windfall-profits tax, with the proceeds used to provide rebates of $500 or $1,000 to taxpayers. "Increased domestic oil exploration certainly has its place," Obama said last Monday in Michigan. "But it's not the solution" to America's energy problems, he added.

McCain has blasted the idea, saying it would "increase our dependence on foreign oil and hinder exactly the same kind of domestic exploration and production we need."

In Alaska, the willingness of Republicans to tax the oil industry reflects unusual political developments.

Last year, as part of a major federal corruption investigation, an oil-services executive — former VECO Chairman Bill Allen — pleaded guilty to bribing some state legislators as he sought to limit the size of an oil-tax increase approved in 2006.

In the fall primary of 2006, Palin upset Republican incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski, whom she criticized for giving too much of a break to the oil industry.

Then last year, Palin introduced a graduated tax pegged to increased oil prices. The state Legislature modified her proposal to increase the state's take even further.

Production falling

The bill's proponents — a coalition of Democrats and maverick Republicans — argued that oil production was declining in Alaska, and that the lower tax rate under previous governors had done little to spur additional investment in the state's oil industry.

Critics say the companies, who have lobbied to open the federal Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration, have lagged badly in developing already available fields on state lands. Some estimates indicate those fields may contain billions of barrels of oil, mostly heavy crude that's difficult to extract.

They argue that the state — which owns most of the land around Prudhoe Bay, North America's largest oil field — needs to grab its fair share of proceeds from the declining output there.

"You don't get to grow another oil barrel," said French, the Anchorage lawmaker. "You sell that barrel once, and it's gone forever."

The Alaska tax is imposed on the net profit earned on each barrel of oil pumped from state-owned land, after deducting costs for production and transportation, which are currently estimated at just under $25 a barrel.

The tax is set at its highest rate in Prudhoe Bay, where the state takes 25 percent of the net profit of a barrel when its price is at or below $52.

The percentage then escalates as oil prices rise over that benchmark. Alaska gets about $49 of a $120 barrel, not counting other fees.

ConocoPhillips said that in total, once royalty payments and other taxes are added in, the state captures about 75 percent of the value of a barrel.

An accounting benefit eases the sting for oil companies. They get a huge deduction on their state taxes when calculating their federal taxes.

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I will comment on this thread when it's posted by someone else. You are just worthless.

so much for wanting serious discussion!! by all means go back to gabbing about palin's daughter's pregnancy & other trivial matters. people complain about how politics focuses on irrelevant distractions but given chance to talk serous policy those same people return to gossip like mosquitoes flying to bug zapper!!

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so much for wanting serious discussion!! by all means go back to gabbing about palin's daughter's pregnancy & other trivial matters. people complain about how politics focuses on irrelevant distractions but given chance to talk serous policy those same people return to gossip like mosquitoes flying to bug zapper!!

I'm all for serious discussion, and intellectual truthiness. Let me know when you are capable of it.

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Issues, huh?

Issues like the seizure of and redistribution of wealth?

Punishing by profit-seizing the people who find, refine, and distribute crude oil and gasoline.....because they're finding, refining, and distributing crude oil and gasoline?

You mean issues like those? Because if you weren't around 35 years ago, and it's obvious you were not.....we had a guy named Jimmy who tried exactly those things, and it damm near ruined the country. Try 14% unemployment, 3-hour WAITS for gasoline, 22% interest rates, 11% inflation. This is what's possible under your God Obama.....but who cares, right? The important thing is that everything will be more FAIR.

good thing we have debate on issues important ot conservatives instead of stoopid one-liner retorts that liberal loosers always spout!!!!

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She almost sounds like a Democrat. Take money from the government/rich/business and give free hand outs to everybody. Man, you guys shoud LOVE her, maybe you guys shouldn't bash her so hard.

But then again there is the abortion and gun control she supports so you can just go knocking girls up & paying for the abortion instead of facing your responsibility at the wrong end of her father's shotgun.

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She almost sounds like a Democrat. Take money from the government/rich/business and give free hand outs to everybody. Man, you guys shoud LOVE her, maybe you guys shouldn't bash her so hard.

i don't know if i trust her as fiscal conservative!!! not mcuh conservative about taxign profits & giving handouts for energy!!! she sneaky one she is!!!

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any other fiscal conservatives think we're getting lied to by mccain about palin's record in alaska???

McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin

Three times in recent years, the Arizona senator's lists of 'objectionable' pork spending have included earmarks requested by his new running mate.

By Tom Hamburger, Richard Simon and Janet Hook

Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

September 3, 2008

WASILLA, ALASKA — For much of his long career in Washington, John McCain has been throwing darts at the special spending system known as earmarking, through which powerful members of Congress can deliver federal cash for pet projects back home with little or no public scrutiny. He's even gone so far as to publish "pork lists" detailing these financial favors.

Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin.

Now, McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has chosen Palin as his running mate, touting her as a reformer just like him.

McCain has made opposition to pork-barrel spending a central theme of his 2008 campaign. "Earmarking deprives federal agencies of scarce resources, at the whim of individual members of Congress," McCain has said.

But records show that Palin -- first as mayor of Wasilla and recently as governor of Alaska -- was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state.

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.

In 2001, McCain's list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town -- one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion.

McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002. The funding was provided to help direct locally grown produce to schools, prisons and other government institutions, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

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.)

The community transit center is a landmark: a one-story, tile-fronted building with a drive-through garage. Its fleet of 10 buses provides service throughout the region. Mat-Su Community Transit Agency officials say the building was made possible with a combination of federal money and matching gifts from a private foundation.

Taylor Griffin, a McCain campaign spokesman, said that when Palin became mayor in 1996, "she faced a system that was broken. Small towns like Wasilla in Alaska depended on earmarks to take care of basic needs. . . . That was something that Gov. Palin was alarmed about and was one of the formative experiences that led her toward the reform-oriented stance that she has taken as her career has progressed."

Palin, he 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), who long controlled federal spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He made funneling money to Alaska his hallmark.

Steven Silver was a former chief of staff for Stevens. After he was hired, Wasilla obtained funding for several projects in 2002, including an additional $600,000 in transportation funding.

That year, a local water and sewer project received $1.5 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, which combs federal spending measures to identify projects inserted by congressional members.

When Palin spoke after McCain introduced her as his running mate at a rally in Ohio last week, she made fun of earmarking. She said she had rejected $223 million in federal funds for a bridge linking Ketchikan to an island with an airport and 50 residents, referring to it by its derogatory label: the "bridge to nowhere."

In the nationally televised speech, she stood by McCain and said, "I've championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress thanks, but no thanks, on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we'd build it ourselves."

However, as a candidate for governor in 2006, Palin had backed funding for the bridge. After her election, she killed the much-ridiculed project when it became clear the state had other priorities. She said she would use the federal funds to fill those needs.

This year she submitted to Congress a list of Alaska projects worth $197.8 million, including $2 million to research crab productivity in the Bering Sea and $7.4 million to improve runway lighting at eight Alaska airports. A spokesman said she cut the original list of 54 projects to 31.

"So while Sen. McCain was going after cutting earmarks in Washington," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, "Gov. Palin was going after getting earmarks."

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Bravo Mizzu! Serious discussion and the people you questioned are afraid to answer. Congrats to you for pointing out her less than conservative nature. It just goes to show that politicians are all the same except for the initial before the name.

The "R" should stand for "********" and the "D" for "ditto"

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Bravo Mizzu! Serious discussion and the people you questioned are afraid to answer. Congrats to you for pointing out her less than conservative nature. It just goes to show that politicians are all the same except for the initial before the name.

The "R" should stand for "********" and the "D" for "ditto"

thanks!! here's mccain attacking obama on windfall profits!!


Instead, McCain said Obama "wants a windfall profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas. If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big idea too -- and a lot of good it did us."

mccain attacks obama on windfall profits tax while his running mate enacted those very policies in her state??? says policy that palin enacted was same failed jimmy carter policy??? conservatives supposed to just blindly accept her as fiscal conservative???

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Bottom line I could care less how bad Palin and McCain are on spending. They are a sight better than Obama, and if you think spending would be better under Obama you need medication.

on oil taxes palin is identical to obama!!! she raised taxes on oil companies by $1 billion!!!! then took money and redistributed it in form of $1200 government handouts!!!

there's nothign "slightly better" here!! it's the same exact identical policy!!!

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more facts about palin's earmarks!!! if anyone cares to talk about hte facts!!!


"I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she's change, and that's great," Obama said. "She's a skillful politician. But, you know, 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."

McCain has vowed to wipe out earmarks, which are targeted funding for specific projects that lawmakers put into spending bills. As governor, Palin originally supported earmarks for a controversial $398 million Alaska project dubbed the "bridge to nowhere." But she dropped her support after the state's likely share of the cost rose. She hung onto $27 million to build the approach road to the bridge.

Under Palin's leadership, Alaska this year asked for almost $300 per person in requests for pet projects from one of McCain's top adversaries: indicted Sen. Ted Stevens. That's more than any other state received, per person, from Congress for the current budget year. Other states got just $34 worth of local projects per person this year, on average, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based watchdog group.The state government's earmark requests to Congress in her first year in office exceeded $550 million, more than $800 per resident. Palin actually reduced the state government's requests for special projects this year in the wake of President Bush's demand for a cutback in earmarks.

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does this sound conservative to you??

palin killed bridge project b/c she couldn't get feds to pay full costs!!!


“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.”

she kept the hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars for other projects!! she never returned money!!! AND she already asked for $256 million in earmarks for alaska this year alone!!!


"Senator McCain said Gov. Palin 'learned that earmarks are bad', but for fiscal year 2008 alone, Gov. Palin requested $256 million in earmarks for Alaska," he noted."

this is conservatism we want in government??? derrrr.... :blink: :wacko: :blink: :wacko:

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