Sarah and the Giant Stimulus

My blog yesterday on potential 2012 GOP candidates and the stimulus provoked a deluge of e-mails from fans of Sarah Palin objecting to my characterization of her support for the bill. And Palin’s office, responding to news reports (like this one from Fox News and the Associated Press that I relied on), put out a statement attempting to clarify her position. It wasn’t particularly successful.

Palin does urge Congress to “consider” whether the stimulus bill is too big and burdens future generations with debt, but unlike some other governors (Sanford, Barbour, Jindal, for example), she does not call for the bill’s defeat or urge her congressional delegation to vote against it. Instead, she goes on to raise her big concern with the bill – it doesn’t give enough money to Alaska:

“Governor Palin discussed troubling elements in the stimulus package including provisions that punish Alaska for forward-funding education, the mass transit funding formula that will limit Alaska opportunities but will pour money into other states, and the “shovel-ready” criteria for projects that northern climates might not be able to accommodate consistently due to the shortened construction season.”

Earlier Governor Palin sent a letter to her congressional delegation in which she similarly complained, not about the spending in the stimulus bill per se, but about the formulas for distributing the funds, which she believes short changes her state (as if Alaska were not already a wholly-owned subsidiary of the federal government.) She also wants the bill to include five specific projects (we used to call those “earmarks.”)

So, I’ll stand (somewhat) corrected. Governor Palin didn’t lobby for the bill. She just lobbied for her share of the pork.