In Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin’s latest political ad, the two claim that Palin “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” However, the Alaska governor was for the controversial project connecting a nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport before she was against it.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, she “campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them ‘nowhere.’”
Mccain’s position as a fighter of pork-barrel spending and special interest earmarks is being sorely tested this week as more questions and criticism is being lobbed his way about the infamous bridge. Palin’s image as an anti-pork fighter has been tattered by the bridge debacle, and as long as a crusader for the thrifty use of tax dollars who turned down an offer from Washington to build an expensive bridge of little value to the state.
This issue t be such a big deal if McCain hadn’t positioned himself as the reformer who will “stop earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and waste.” On his site, he says he will “veto every pork-laden spending bill and make their authors famous. As president, he will seek the line-item veto to reduce waste and eliminate earmarks that have led to corruption. Earmarks restrict America’s ability to address genuine national priorities and interfere with fair, competitive markets.”
In the ad, an announcer states:
The original mavericks.
He fights pork barrel spending.
She stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.
He took on the drug industry.
She took on big oil.
He battled Republicans and reformed Washington.
She battled Republicans and reformed Alaska.
They’ll make history. They’ll change Washington.
The McCain campaign provides fact-checks for each line of the ad, sourcing every statement made. But what’s missing is any information about her former support for the bridge.
“We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge,” Palin said in August 2006, according to today’s Wall Street Journal, citing a local newspaper, “and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.”
In her convention speech last week and on the current campaign trail, Palin has often said: “I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”
That’s not what she told Alaskans when she announced in 2007 that she was ordering state transportation officials to ditch the project. Her explanation then was that it would be fruitless to try to persuade Congress to