(with credit to the author)
THE TRUTH ABOUT SARAH PALIN
Sarah Palin's credentials as a "reformer" are nothing but spin. She has sided with Big Oil, lobbied to increase pork spending and abused her public power to carry out personal vendettas. Here's a guide to separating myth from fact.
Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, Oct 02, 2008 9:30 AM
THE MYTH: "She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay. And made a profit!" - John McCain, at a campaign stop in Wisconsin
THE FACTS: No one bought the jet online. It was eventually sold through an aircraft broker - at a loss to taxpayers of nearly $600,000.
THE MYTH: "I told the Congress 'Thanks, but no thanks' on that Bridge to Nowhere." - Sarah Palin, convention speech
THE FACTS: Supported the infamous pork project in her 2006 run for governor, even after Congress had killed the bridge; derided its opponents as "spinmeisters." Reversed her stance a year later - but kept the money, doling out the $223 million in federal funds to other pork projects throughout the state.
THE MYTH: "We ... championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress." - Sarah Palin, convention speech
THE FACTS: As mayor, employed a lobbyist who also worked for Jack Abramoff to secure $27 million in pork spending for Wasilla - more than $4,000 per resident. In her two years as governor, requested $453 million in earmarks. Alaska ranks first in the nation for pork, raking in seven times the national average.
THE MYTH: "I found ... someone who stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money." - John McCain, introducing Palin
THE FACTS: Signature accomplishment as mayor: building a $15 million hockey arena that plunged the city into debt. Broke ground on the project without finalizing the city's purchase of the land; the resulting fiasco cost Wasilla $1.3 million - roughly $200 per resident.
THE MYTH: "Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we didn't know that already." - Sarah Palin, convention speech
THE FACTS: "I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem." - Sarah Palin, July 2008
THE MYTH: "We began a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence." - Sarah Palin, convention speech
THE FACTS: With federal approval years away, not a single section of the pipeline has been laid. State could end up paying the pipeline's contractor $500 million - even if it never breaks ground on the project.
THE MYTH: "She's from a small town with small-town values." - Fred Thompson, convention speech
THE FACTS: Wasilla and the surrounding valley recently named the meth capital of Alaska, with 42 meth labs busted in a single year.
THE MYTH: Palin has "taken on the political establishment in the largest state of the union." - Fred Thompson, convention speech
THE FACTS: Served until 2005 as director of fundraising group associated with indicted senator Ted Stevens.
THE MYTH: "She's fought oil companies." - John McCain, introducing Palin
THE FACTS: Collected $13,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas lobbyists, including Exxon, BP, Shell and Chevron. BP was a sponsor of her inaugural ball.
THE MYTH: "She's been to Kuwait. She's been over there. She has been with her troops. The National Guard that she commands, who have been over there and had the experience." - John McCain, highlighting Palin's national-security credentials
THE FACTS: Never had a passport before 2007, when she made a brief photo-op trip to visit troops in Germany and Kuwait. Has never been to Iraq, and has not met a single foreign head of state.
THE MYTH: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending." - Sarah Palin, convention speech
THE FACTS: As governor, sought travel reimbursement for 312 nights she spent in her own home.