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Palin, Ted Stevens and earmarks

McCain on The View: Palin didn't get earmerks

In this interview on The View, McCain claims that Palin never sought earmarks as governor:

Palin praises Stevens, the grandaddy of earmarks

Palin has long had a close relationship with Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, widely considered to be at the heart of the old-boy Alaska network connected to Washington. Stevens was charged in July 2008 on seven counts of corruption. Soon afterwards, Palin and Stevens held a joint press conference.

Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the Senate, helped bring 1,452 projects worth $3.4 billion between 1995 and 2008 to Alaska from Washington, including $220 million for the Gravina Island Bridge to Nowhere and $176,000 in 2001 for the Reindeer Herders Association, and helped Alaska become ranked number one in “pork per capita” from 2000-2008.

View the first part of the press conference here:

Part 2

After Stevens’ indictment McCain claimed that Stevens’ appropriation practices “bred corruption.” You can hear McCain’s comments here:

Stevens' endorsement of Palin

Stevens supported Palin in the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial race and even appeared in a Palin campaign commercial:

Palin claims she has been saying "no more" to earmarks

Palin claimed in an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson that she has been telling all Alaskans for years that she has been saying “no more” earmarks:

But Palin has long been a close ally of Sen. Ted Stevens, arguably the biggest pork barreler in history (and certainly of the last 8 years according to taxpayer watchdog groups), and herself has been perhaps the biggest pork barreler per capita in the country during her time as mayor and governor.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

… Alaska has been the largest beneficiary of the earmark system through the years and its most senior legislators, including Stevens and Rep. Don Young, also a Republican, were among its most ardent defenders.

The money that the state of Alaska requested for 2009 includes $25 million for “Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery” and $3.2 million for seal and sea lion biological research, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Alaska's earmark cutbacks were due to Congress, not Palin, Palin and her top official say.

Palin’s Director of State-Federal Relations, John Katz wrote in the Juneau Empire that Congress, the Federal Highway Administration and members of the Alaska Congressional delegation instituted the reforms and Palin responded to the “unwanted attention” by making changes accordingly.

In a press conference with Sen. Ted Stevens, Palin stated the state’s changes in seeking earmarks were based on “dealing with” the “writing on the wall.”

From the press conference:

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