We didn’t know much about Alaska Governor Sara Palin when John McCain nominated her as the GOP Vice Presidential candidate Friday. Apparently neither did John McCain, other than she beat the good old boys club in Alaska politics and vetoed the Bridge to Nowhere. Somehow, he believed, that qualifies you to be the President of the United States.
In the four days since the announcement we have now learned that as Mayor of Wasilla she hired a lobbying firm with close ties to corrupt Alaska Republicans Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, to obtain over $27 million in earmarks for her town over a 4 year period. This pork barrel spending amounted to over $1,000 per resident of Wasilla.
We have also learned that when she was running for Governor in 2006 she supported using the senior status and power of Alaska’s Congressional delegation to obtain funding for the Bridge to Nowhere. And why wouldn’t she? Alaskan politicians for years have been re-elected over and over again on the promise that they will bring home the bacon from Washington, DC and have gotten results. Alaska is the most heavily federally subsidized state in the United States thanks to folks like Ted Stevens and Don Young.
We have also learned that while at the same time national Republicans ridiculed a national windfall profits tax on oil companies (an idea I do not support, by the way), in 2006 Governor Palin got one passed in Alaska (and increased the tax again in 2007) and distributed the profits of oil companies in the form of $1,200 checks to Alaska citizens.
Today we learn of something even more disturbing about Palin and her associations with a secessionist political party in Alaska, the Alaskan Independence Party. The AIP believes that Alaskan statehood is illegal and wants Alaska to secede from the Union and become its own independent nation. According to the Alaskan Independence Party’s chairperson, Palin was a member of the party as late as 1996 before becoming a Republican and running for Mayor that year. She even addressed the group’s convention earlier this year.
What else will we learn about Sara Palin’s radical associations over the coming weeks and days?