During Palin's six years as Wasilla mayor, the city asked for almost $100,000,000.00 in Federal earmarks, receiving 27 million. That would be the equivalent of Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich asking for $4.75 billion from the Feds, and receiving $1,282,000,500.00 in mayor-requested Federal earmarks. Neither the Palin or Begich figure includes money passed through budgets for education.
The Wasilla Sports Complex, pictured above, meets all Wasilla, Mat-Su Borough, State and Federal energy efficiency standards. So do all the other building projects Palin created as Wasilla mayor, that incorporated Federal funds.
Gov. Palin's assertion that Federal funds have "strings attached" is a new one. As many have observed, these strings never held her back from asking for Fed money in the past.
This rich irony would be more laughable if it weren't being accompanied by more signs every day that we can use all the energy efficiency help we can get in Alaska.
Palin's refusal to take the Federal energy assistance stimulus funds was covered in Alaska media yesterday afternoon, and this morning. Sean Cockerham updated his ADN poliblog entry through the afternoon, and The Anchorage Daily News turned it into a story this morning. KTUU TV had a segment on it yesterday:
Alaska's progressive bloggers connected more dots, and gathered in the layers of rich irony in the Palin refusal, though, far better than the ADN or KTUU could. And, when it comes to writing about Sarah Palin these days, if your structure refuses to deal fully with the irony and hypocrisy, you're not really telling the story. Covering the gibberish for what it truly is helps in painting the true portrait, also.
Shannyn Moore's essay, Dude, Where's My Governor's Head?!, on the refusal to take the funds is blunt:
Even though Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage municipalities are already complying with the federal building codes, Palin turned money down for weatherization and energy assistance to avoid the building requirements statewide. The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, negotiated taking the money without a statewide code. [!!!!]
Alaska has the highest energy costs in the nation. Alaska has two seasons; winter and construction. Now would be the best time for window replacement, weatherization, etc.
In a “bring it on” move, Palin dared the legislature to over-ride her veto. I just spoke to a state legislature about the chances of a special session being called. It is possible, if not, the next session is January 2010.
And AK Muckraker, at The Mudflats makes some more stark comparisons:
I can’t help noticing the irony of the front page of the Anchorage Daily News. It pretty much says it all, quite poetically.
A) Over there on the left in the headlines section it says:
Palin Cuts $80 Million from Budget - Gov. Palin announced today that she is vetoeing $80 million from the state budget, including federal stimulus dollars meant to go for energy relief.
B) And then right next to it under an aerial photo of the remote village of Selawik, it says:
In the winter, Village Police Officer Clarence Snyder doesn’t use jail cells. They don’t have heat, and Selawik, an Inupiat village of around 800 people just above the Arctic Circle, gets pretty cold. So Snyder sits in a grimy green office chair watching prisoners until morning.
A press release issued by the governor’s office touts:
“We submitted a responsible, fiscally conservative budget,” Governor Palin said. “Given the current revenue outlook and economic conditions, we must focus on providing essential public services, while continuing to invest in communities and resource development that will fuel our economy in the future.
I guess weather stripping, insulation and reduced energy bills just don’t fit into that picture. We don’t need to save money THAT way. Why keep it from leaking out of windows and doors when you can just use a red pen? We need to focus on resource development, not the resources that get wasted heating leaky buildings. I remember as a kid, my mother telling me in the winter if I stood with the door open, “We’re not paying to heat the outdoors!” My mom could teach the governor a thing or two. Apparently she has no problem with heating the outdoors.
The only people lining up to defend Palin on this are going to be Eddie Burkes, Glenn Becks, teabaggers and people way to the right of Newt Gingrich.
Both Moore and AKM link to or quote extensively to statements made yesterday by Alaska legislators, state- and Federal-level, who contradict Palin's totally self-serving press release.
Which is exactly why she did this, exactly who she is courting.
Alaskans, especially rural Alaskans, watching huge ice-jams coming their way, or cleaning up the worst debris in a generation? Uh, they've been left out of the picture.