Fact-checking Palin’s Wednesday night acceptance speech:
This was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau … when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network.
While mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired Steven Silver, former chief of staff for the indicted Senator Ted Stevens, to lobby Congress for earmarks. Silver, who has ties to imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff, helped the town secure $1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the national per capita average.
That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.
Yeah, but it didn’t sell — even though she tried three times. Eventually, Alaska sold the jet through a private broker for a $500,000 loss.
I told the Congress “thanks, but no thanks,” for that Bridge to Nowhere.
Palin originally supported the Bridge to Nowhere before flip-flopping on the matter.
I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Palin “was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state,” with many of her earmarks turning up in McCain’s lists of “objectionable” spending. A sampling of her earmarks: $500,000 for a youth shelter, $900,000 for sewer repairs, and $15 million for a rail project, connecting Wasilla to a local ski resort. Bridge to Nowhere Take II, anyone?
More from the Tribune: “This year she submitted to Congress a list of Alaska projects worth $197.8 million, including $2 million to research crab productivity in the Bering Sea and $7.4 million to improve runway lighting at eight Alaska airports.”
But listening to [Obama] speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state Senate.
The most blatant lie in the entire speech. In the Senate, Obama authored a comprehensive ethics reform bill, touted across the aisle as the most sweeping change since Watergate, with Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn. He worked with Indiana Republican Dick Lugar to pass a bill that increased efforts to secure loose nuclear weapons and other conventional arms. And in the State Senate, the Washington Post writes:
Along the way, he played an important role in drafting bipartisan ethics legislation and health-care reform. He overcame law enforcement objections to codify changes designed to curb racial profiling and to make capital punishment, which he favors, more equitable.
Obama favored more ambitious changes in campaign law, including limits on contributions, but nipped and tucked in search of consensus.The result, according to good-government groups, was the most ambitious campaign reform in nearly 25 years, making Illinois one of the best in the nation on campaign finance disclosure.
Obama’s signature effort was a push for mandatory taping of interrogations and confessions. It was opposed by prosecutors, police organizations and Ryan’s successor, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, who said it would impede investigators.
Working under the belief that no innocent defendant should end up on death row and no guilty one should go free, Obama helped get the bill approved by the Senate on a 58 to 0 vote. When Blagojevich reversed his position and signed it, Illinois became the first state to require taping by statute.
Back to Palin:
Taxes are too high … he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.
We will be specific. Under Obama’s plan, 95% of the country would receive a tax cut; only the top 1% would see a tax increase. Also note that over 80% of taxpayers are better off monetarily under Obama.