DNC - Palin Distortions on Display in the Show Me State

Washington, DC - John McCain and Sarah Palin continue to show the voters that they won't let the facts get in their way of their misleading campaign rhetoric.  Whether claiming Governor Palin fought the earmarks she so actively sought or arguing that John McCain put principles ahead of the party line despite voting with President Bush more than 90 percent of the time, Sarah Palin's remarks in Missouri today bear almost complete disconnected from reality.  The following are the facts behind Sarah Palin's false and misleading claims on the campaign trail today:

PALIN TODAY: "And then there are those like John McCain who use their careers to promote change. Americans, this is a moment when principles and political independence matter a lot more than just a party line."


  • McCain Has Voted With Bush 90 Percent Of The Time In The Senate.  According to Congressional Quarterly, McCain has voted in support of President Bush's position 90 percent of the time since the beginning of his administration. [Congressional Quarterly, 8/15/08, http://www.cqpolitics.com/cq-assets/cqmultimedia/flash/votestudy/index.html]
  • Arizona Republic Headline: "In Tight Senate Votes, McCain Not A Maverick. When It Matters The Most, He Seldom Bucks His Own Party." "Over the years, Sen. John McCain has publicly condemned Republican Party leaders and occasionally voted against the GOP on selected issues. But an Arizona Republic analysis of his Senate votes on the most divided issues in the past decade shows that McCain almost never thwarted his party's objectives." [Arizona Republic, 5/7/08]
  • McCain: On The "Most Important Issues Of Our Day, I Have Been Totally In Agreement And Support Of President Bush." In a June 2005 interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," John McCain stated that he was a strong supporter of President Bush: "I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I have been totally in agreement and support of President Bush." [NBC, "Meet The Press," 6/19/05]

PALIN TODAY: "Senator McCain has called the two of us a team of mavericks and knows that we've done some shaking up there in Alaska."


  • Palin Has Refused to Say If She Will Support Indicted Senator Stevens' Re-Election Bid. "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is not saying whether she will vote in November to send the indicted Ted Stevens back to the Senate for a seventh full term. The indictment has put Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) running mate in a tricky position. If Palin endorses Stevens, it will appear that she is undermining her message of taking on the GOP establishment and cleaning up corruption in her state. But should the popular governor oppose his reelection, it could deliver a blow to Stevens's campaign and give Democrats ammunition as they try to pick up one more Senate seat. Palin's spokesmen in the McCain campaign have not responded to several inquiries seeking comment on the governor's position on Stevens. A spokesman for the McCain campaign told the Alaska-based Peninsula Clarion that Palin has yet to endorse Stevens, the paper reported on its website Friday." [The Hill, 9/5/03] 
  • The Usual Alaska Suspects - Ted Stevens, Don Young, And Lisa Murkowski Fundraised For Palin. "Will we see Ted Stevens stumping for Sarah Palin? Palin said this morning that Stevens appeared at a fund-raiser for her in Ketchikan and gave a speech about 'moving Alaska forward.' But does that mean he'll pop up in any advertisements? (Remember his arguably pivotal role at the end of the Knowles and Murkowski Senate race?) Palin said she doubts it and hasn't asked… She said Don Young came to one of her fund-raisers two days ago, and she expects Lisa Murkowski at an upcoming event. Tonight she planned to talk with John Binkley, who she says is writing a letter to his supporters on her behalf, and she planned to meet with Frank Murkowski tomorrow morning." ["The Trail" blog, Anchorage Daily News, 10/13/06]

PALIN TODAY: "I champion earmark reform. You'll hear about this from the Senator. To stop Congress from wasting public money on things that don't serve the public interests."


  • In 2008, Alaska Got More Earmarked Federal Funding Per Person Than Any Other State. "Arizona, the second fastest growing state in the nation, will receive just $18.70 per capita in federal earmarks this fiscal year. By comparison, Alaska -- with roughly a tenth of Arizona's population -- is set to receive $506.34 per capita, the highest in the nation, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group which tracks earmarks. The state of Alaska receives about three times as much as Arizona receives in actual dollars, $346 million to $119 million." [USA Today, 3/22/08]
  • Alaska Asked for Over $589 Million in Federal Pork Requests During Palin's Tenure as Governor.  According to Citizens Against Government Waste, www.cagw.org, under Palin's tenure as Governor the state of Alaska has asked for $589,599,715 in pork barrel projects.  [2007 and 2008 Pig Book, www.cagw.org]
  • Washington Post: Palin's Administration "Remains Eager For Many Other Earmarks." "But her administration remains eager for many other earmarks. In February, Palin's office sent Sen. Stevens a 70-page memo outlining almost $200 million worth of new funding requests for Alaska." [Washington Post, 9/2/08]

PALIN TODAY: "We took on the old politics as usual in Juneau and we broke the monopoly that had controlled our state and that was the special interests and the lobbyists surrounding the big oil companies."


  • In Her 2002 Campaign for Lieutenant Governor, Palin Raised 'About 10 Percent Of Her Campaign Fund' From Veco, An Oil Company Under Federal Investigation. "While mayor of Wasilla, Palin ran for lieutenant governor in 2002. She gathered $5,000 -- or about 10 percent of her campaign fund -- from Veco officials or their wives along the way." [Anchorage Daily News, 9/6/06]
  • Palin Said She Had Begun Working With the White House and Even Talked With Dick Cheney About Alaska's Energy Policy. In her 2007 State of the State Address, Palin said, "Of course, the primary focus of our long-term energy plan can be summed up in three words -- NATURAL GAS PIPELNE! This gasline will fuel our homes, our economy, and careers for Alaskans - for generations. The gasline is critical not just for our future, but for the nation's future. It's also an essential component of our nation's energy policy. Truly, for energy independence, the nation will look to Alaska. We've already begun working with the White House. In fact, I had a nice conversation with Vice President Cheney today. And we are also blessed to have a strong ally in former State Senator Drue Pearce, who's been tasked by the President to get the gasline built. The energy industry is also engaged and I look forward to working with Congress and our legislators - our "partners" to deliver our natural gas to market." [Excerpt from January 17, 2007 State of the State Address]
  • Palin Took $13,000 from Lobbyists Representing the Oil Industry in Her 2006 Campaign for Governor. The lobbyists who donated to her campaign represent a range of industries, including oil and gas, tobacco, education and the Native Alaskan community. "She's fought oil companies and party bosses and do-nothing bureaucrats and anyone who puts their interests before the interests of the people she swore an oath to serve," Mr. McCain said Friday at an Ohio rally to introduce her as his running mate. But since Mrs. Palin leads a major oil-producing state, that industry is one of her top donors.  She collected nearly $13,000 from lobbyists who represent oil and gas industries in her primary and general campaigns, according a review of her campaign donations and 2006 registered state lobbyists. [Washington Times, 9/1/08]

PALIN TODAY: "I told Congress thanks, but no thanks, for that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted to build a bridge, we would build it ourselves."


  • Palin Was for the Bridge to Nowhere Before She Was Against It. In 2006, Palin was asked, "Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?" She responded, "Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist." [Ancorage Daily News, 10/22/06, republished 08/29/08]
  • Politifact: Palin's Stance On "The Bridge To Nowhere" Is "A Full Flop."  Politfact, a service of CQ and the St. Petersburg Times wrote, "McCain said Palin has 'stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money on things they don't want or need. And when we in Congress decided to build a bridge in Alaska to nowhere for $233-million of yours, she said, we don't want it. If we need it, we'll build our own in Alaska. She's the one that stood up to them.' Nevermind that Alaska didn't give the money back. It spent the money on other transportation projects. The context of Palin's and McCain's recent statements suggest Palin flagged the so-called Bridge to Nowhere project as wasteful spending. But that's not the tune she was singing when she was running for governor, particularly not when she was standing before the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce asking for their vote. And so, we rate Palin's position a Full Flop." [Politifact]