Out of bounds! RNC misleads about Palin's earmarks record

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 12, 2008 

WASHINGTON — Throw the flag against: The Republican National Committee.

Call: False Start

What happened: In a new 30-second radio advertisement, the RNC says that, as governor of Alaska, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin "vetoed nearly half a billion dollars in wasteful spending and cut earmark requests by hundreds of millions of dollars."

Why that's wrong: It's accurate, but so incomplete that it misleads as to the truth. The ad fails to mention that Palin, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, hired a lobbying firm to obtain nearly $27 million in earmarks, according to FactCheck.org, a non-partisan watchdog Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania. GOP presidential candidate John McCain, a longtime opponent of earmarks, even criticized some of his future running mate's requests at the time.

As governor, Palin did reduce the number of Alaska's earmarks, but she didn't stop asking for them. This year, Palin's office asked Alaska's congressional delegation to help the state get 31 earmarks worth about $197 million.

Penalty: Set the RNC's credibility back five yards.


McClatchy Newspapers 2008

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