Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin, Bridge to Nowhere

Palin comes into office as Governor of Alaska. She supports her constituents' reasonable interests in infrastructure development. She also countenances the use of federal funds to this end. A link to an island facing the city of Ketchikan was amongst the reasonable interests. An earmark for the bridge is already place when Palin is about to taking office. Palin accepts this fact but states that it isn't clear what sort of link should be built with these funds. In office she talks and budgets as though to Bridge to Nowhere is imprudent. So goes her moment of entering office in 2006.

Right away Palin pushes forward a steep reduction in earmarking and in the Alaska budget. Her budget eschews the Bridge to Nowhere and she gets it through the state legislature. In Washington, Congress has killed the Bridge-to-Nowhere earmark but left the funds still in place for Alaska. But Palin doesn't use these funds to build the Bridge to Nowhere.

Some say Palin killed the Bridge to Nowhere only after Congress did. That's incorrect. Congress never killed the bridge. Palin did. She removed it from the Alaska budget she inherited from her predecessor.

Obama and Biden voted for the Bridge to Nowhere before Sarah Palin came onto the scene and quickly killed it without ever supporting it.

Go here, here, here, and here, here, and here for more. None of these links gives any evidence that Palin ever supported the Bridge to Nowhere. Of course, Palin saw a link of some kind from Ketchikan to the neighboring island as a reasonable interest to consider funding. But this is very different from supporting the Bridge to Nowhere, a particular way of fulfilling this interest which Palin did not see as reasonable. I don't even see any evidence that Palin is not on record as having moved the link idea from "reasonable interest worth considering" column to the "we must do this" column.

If any evidence comes to light that Palin supported the Bridge to Nowhere, then I'll update this post with the correction.