Thursday, September 18, 2008

Records reveal Palin's push for earmarks

Records reveal Palin's push for earmarks
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:31 PM ET
Filed Under: Politics

By Jim Popkin, NBC News Senior Investigative Producer
As a vice presidential candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin has railed against federal earmarks, or congressional funding for pork-barrel projects. "In our state, we reformed the abuses of earmarks," Palin recently boasted to a rally in Lancaster, Pa. "We championed earmark reform up there," she said, "to stop Congress from wasting public money on things that didn't serve the public interest."

But musty records culled from the archives of the Wasilla, Alaska, city government reveal that Palin was directly involved in soliciting millions of dollars in earmarks for Wasilla when she was mayor. And she got help from a well-connected Washington lobbyist.

In a monthly status report to the city on March 7, 2000, newly hired "City Lobbyist" Steve Silver describes how the Palin administration had requested $6.6 million in federal earmarks for water and sewer improvements for Wasilla, and another $1 million for police equipment. Mayor Palin reviewed and signed the lobbyist's report, dated April 5, 2000.

Those earmark requests have not previously been disclosed, said Keith Ashdown, chief investigator for the non-profit Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. Ashdown said the lobbyist's report offers a rare window into a normally closed-door process. "The document you've found is a peek behind the curtain of how earmarks get approved in Washington," he said....

Read the rest of the story:
Records reveal Palin's push for earmarks

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