If you don’t know who Sarah Palin is then you need to get your head out of the sand and start looking around. John McCain just announced yesterday that Sarah Palin will be his VP running mate. As the big news media is apt to do, it has gotten some information not quite correct.
Today’s topic will be about the “bridge to nowhere” – and if you haven’t heard about this then you need to do some homework. The media, in particular, the AP, has reported that Palin essentially told the federal government “thanks, but no thanks” regarding building the bridge. It makes it sound as if she saw that this was a waste of taxpayer money and she wasn’t going to waste it in her state. Well, this story isn’t exactly accurate. This bridge, which was to be built between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Gravina Island in September 2007 was supported by her during her gubernatorial run and while she was governor.
What actually happened was that the federal government changed the amount of money allotted to it and it became too expensive for the state. So, Governor Palin decided that the money allotted for it should be spent elsewhere as it was clear they would not have enough money to pay for it because the federal government had no intention of increasing its amount. Originally, the state was going to have to pay about $160M, but after changes by Congress, the state became responsible for $329M or about 80% of its cost.
Readers, I don’t really know the merits of the bridge and whether it was really a “bridge to nowhere”, but I do know that one of the reasons the federal government changed the amount of money allotted was to divert that money to the Katrina catastrophe. And it’s not whether the bridge was a legitimate project or not. It’s the fact that her actions have been spun by the RNC as throwing money back into the federal government’s face – and that could not be further from the real truth.
So, had Governor Palin received the money from the federal government that she needed for the bridge, she would have built it.
Here’s the link to the press release from her office when she said that the bridge was not going to be built: Press Release
Doesn’t sound like she thought the bridge was a bad idea, does it?