Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Wasilla Project: #3

The third in the series of videos by the Wasilla Project. Here's how they describe this one:

On the heels of the final, historic 2008 presidential debate, the Wasilla Project releases Part 3 of our series, where we examine Palins record as a fiscal conservative. Clearly, the economy has emerged as the dominant issue of the 2008 presidential campaign and we hope that this video will be a useful contribution in understanding some of the history of Palins public service in Alaska.

After 8 years of a Republican White House, there still seems to be a reality distortion field around the concept of Fiscal Conservative. Governor Palin presents herself as a fiscal conservative who has a record of helping taxpayers in her state. The reality has often been quite different.

Its surprising that someone who came into office as mayor to cut wasteful spending and lower property taxes, actually left office with Wasilla over $20 million in debt, when records show that she entered office with city debt at one million or less.

Some $14-15 million of that debt was due to a hockey rink she built while in office, land for which Wasilla negotiated the purchase for $145,000. They eventually paid out nearly $1.5 million for the land, not counting legal fees, due to Palin moving forward on the project before the city had clear title to the land. This echoes in significant ways Palins later negotiations as governor on the Alaskan pipeline, where she committed $500 million in taxpayer money, without assurances that a Canadian company would even build the pipeline.

As the economy worsens in the United States, markets around the world are crashing and people are losing their homes and pensions, its irresponsible not to question the economic positions and records of the candidates. In the case of Palin, her record has been extremely troubling and reflects part of the reason that she has lost credibility with so many Alaskans in recent weeks.

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