Elizabeth Gunto, staff writer
Lately, there has been a lot of media coverage of Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska and the running mate of Republican Presidential Candidate, John McCain. The public’s response has been quite dramatic, and McCain’s standing in the polls has jumped accordingly. While I think the coverage has gone way overboard, I still feel compelled to express my views on Mrs. Palin if only to expose some of the absurdities of the self-proclaimed ‘pit-bull with lipstick.’
The McCain spokespeople have portrayed Palin as some sort of political reformer who has repeatedly turned down expensive, unnecessary projects. In fact, McCain’s campaign has tried to make Palin look like a politician who has been sheltered from the evil ways of other Washington, D.C. However, her past actions and her denial of those actions speak differently. With Palin as governor, Alaska has spent more money on “pet projects” than any other state.
One example of Palin acting like a typical, corrupt politician is her involvement with the “Bridge to Nowhere.” This bridge would have connected a small town in Alaska to a small island that has an airport. It would have cost $223 million. Palin has stated over and over again that she never supported the bridge saying “I told the Congress, ‘Thanks but no thanks’ for the Bridge to Nowhere.” However, in 2006, when the bridge was being considered in Congress, Palin said in a questionnaire that she wanted the project. When she was campaigning for Governor, she said “I think we’re going to make a good team as we progress [with] that bridge.”
Bill Adair of the St. Petersburg Times pointed out that many Alaskans were against the bridge when it was being considered. He said that Palin supported the bridge until it became a political embarrassment, and then she stood against it. “Even in Alaska, there were a lot of people who were opposed to it,” he wrote. “So it’s not like she boldly stood up against it.” Congress voted against giving money specifically for the bridge in 2007, but Palin is looking for $200 million for other Alaskan projects.
Perhaps even more damning is her past praise of Senator Ted Stevens for promoting the project. She even ran a fund raising group in support of the senator who has close ties to large oil companies. In July 2008, the Senior Senator was indicted on corruption charges, and now Palin criticizes Stevens for his attachment to Big Oil.
Some people are also concerned that Palin has abused her power. Her husband, Todd Palin, has been ordered to testify in an investigation that is trying to determine whether Mrs. Palin pressured staff to fire her former brother-in-law, who is a state trooper. A prosecutor is investigating the allegation that Mrs. Palin fired Alaska’s Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he refused to fire Mike Wooten, the ex-brother-in-law in question. People have criticized Palin for exploiting her power as governor to act out family drama. Palin also hired Talis Colberg, a lawyer whose specializes in insurance law, as her attorney general, despite legal experts who wanted Palin to pick someone with more knowledge of gas and oil. Colberg, to the surprise of no one, is a good friend of Palin.
If someone uses such power to punish people who have pissed her off personally, it scares me to think what she would do if McCain won the election, ate a poisonous berry or something, and, by death, led Palin to the Presidency. For the last eight years, the country has been ruled by an administration that has let friends exploit that country. The hyprocrisy, backslapping, and personal feuds acted out at the expense of the American people has been a theme in American politics for too long. Don’t let McCain’s campaign fool you; Sarah Palin has proved that she is not too low for politics as usual.