Sarah Palin denies claims of wrong doing in an exclusive article in her hometown paper, the Frontiersman.
On an issue, I have covered here and am about to cover in greater detail, Palin remarks on her real record of support for disabled people. She has actually done more than she reports here which I will document in coming days (e.g., the waiting list was 1300 when she took office and her administration is committed to eliminating the list).
9. You’ve stated on the trail that you would be an advocate for families with special needs, yet the state of Alaska has a Developmental Disabilities Waiting List with more than 900 people waiting for the critical assistance they need. The latest report said it would take $45 million dollars to eradicate this waiting list. What is your administration doing to address the issues that families with special needs face?
In March 2008, I signed legislation reforming Alaska’s education funding formula to bring more accountability and predictability. The legislation increases funding for students with special needs from $26,900 to $73,840 per student. It is our hope that by providing the necessary funding support, we can touch more children with special needs who did not have opportunities before due to the prohibitive costs of providing the appropriate care. I’m an advocate for special needs children. Ever since I took the chief executive’s job up North, I’ve pushed for more funding for students with special needs. It’s touched my heart for years, especially with the beautiful addition to our family 13 years ago, of our nephew with autism, then with the birth of our beautiful baby boy, Trig, we joined so many American families that know that some of life’s greatest joys come with unique challenges. We’re going to make sure the government is on their side. John McCain and I have a vision of an America where every child is cherished.
In her interview with Katie Couric, Sarah Palin comments on abortion, homosexuality and origins.
I suppose the media now will attempt to track down Palin’s dear gay friend.
Paul Kengor and I have an article in today’s National Review Online which addresses the claims that Sarah Palin cut the budget of the Special Olympics.
Stock market crash. Franklin Roosevelt. Television. Ok, I understand the point he was trying to make…
Watch CBS Videos Online
It was a little strange to hear him say, “if Barack had…” in relation to the ad. So did Obama approve the ad or not?
I admire Biden for saying the McCain attack was terrible and I agree with him that it is wrong for either camp to knowingly distort the other candidate’s positions. The differences between candidates is great enough without embellishing.
Newsday points out that Keith Olbermann of MSNBC said on September 10 that he would give a charity $100 for every lie told by Sarah Palin.
After showing a clip of Sarah Palin supporting the Alaska Bridge, which she now says she opposed, this is what Olbermann said:
“By the way, as of tomorrow, every time Senator [sic] Palin repeats one of her standard lies about the Bridge to Nowhere or the plane she sold on eBay that she didn’t sell on eBay, or the fired chef she didn’t fire, I will donate $100 to charity. It will be $300 if she somehow says she sold the chef on eBay.”
Then on September 17, he said he had decided what charity would get his money.
Twice now in two days – in Colorado, then today at Vienna, Ohio – Governor Palin has again invoked – that is the polite term – her status as the mother of a special needs child and the role of advocate she wants to play for special needs kids. Yesterday, she said, “Ever since I took the chief executive’s job up north, I’ve pushed for more funding for students with special needs.” Today the quote was, “I sought more funds for students with special needs.”
Problem: As the chief executive up north, she vetoed $275,000, crossed it out, of the state funding of the Special Olympics. She cut the Special Olympics budget in half and is campaigning as an advocate for special needs kids. That’s pretty sick. Well, at least we do know which charity I should donate that hundred bucks to every time she lies about her record: the Alaska Special Olympics.
Here and at Newsbusters, the claim that Palin cut the Special Olympics budget has been debunked. She signed a budget which gave them a 10% raise.
Olbermann apparently takes his reporting from blogs without fact checking. In fact, the ThinkProgress blog has attempted a correction but could not get that right either.
And so, if a charity gets $100 for what he perceives to be a lie, what will the charity get when he spreads false witness via his reporting? I think he should double his contribution, do you?
This is an update on the collection of claims that Sarah Palin cut everything in sight as Alaska Governor.
Various bloggers have claimed that Palin cut funds to Catholic charities and it made at least one mainstream source as well. In a September 11 op-ed, Margaret Carlson claimed:
Palin, who said parents of special-needs children would have an advocate in the White House, cut funds for the Special Olympics, Catholic Charities and Covenant House. It would be good to know what she favors that parents need.
I have examined the Special Olympics and Covenant House claims here and found them false. The Catholic charities claim is a similar kind of claim but a bit more complex.
First, I cannot find a line-item or listing for Catholic Charities in the FY 2008 or FY 2009 Alaska budgets. In the FY 2008 budget (7/1/07-6/30/08). However, Catholic Community Services in various locations was allocated funding for several projects. Here is the FY2008 breakdown:
By my calculations, the AK legislature proposed $582,925 in four capital projects and the Palin administration left $62,925 intact. According to the Palin administration’s rationale for vetoes, the $20,000 for the freezer would have been duplicate funding (apparently another source was found) and the $500,000 would have created “new facilities and programs.” Wilda Laughlin, spokesperson for the AK Department of Health and Social Services told me that most requests for new facilities were not funded with the priority given to refurbish existing infrastructure (e.g., the parking lot).
Now look at the FY2009 budget and funding for Catholic Community Services:
The Angoon folks still didn’t get their freezer and frig but the Juneau branch received $50,000 for Hospice care and the Fairbanks branch received $150,000 that they did not have before. Again, the charge regarding a cut relates to a reduced increase, and not a cut. As a legislator, it is relatively easy to ask for money for a constituent’s project knowing that the Executive branch has to balance the budget. In summary, the legislature proposed $370,000 in three line items, with the final budget allocating $200,000 to Catholic Community Services. CCS received almost six times as much funding in FY2009 as in FY2008. I do not see how this can be considered a cut.
In fact, the Director of the Catholic Community Services was happy to get the funding, saying in this May, 2008 article,
Palin also halved funding for counseling and adoption services at Catholic Community Resources. But Camille Connelly-Terhune, the group’s executive director, said the group was “thrilled” with the $150,000 it did get.
“It gives us the option to continue our services,” she said.
I wonder if her recipe for mooseburgers was discovered?
This is sad.
Moderate David Brooks takes on the issue of Sarah Palin’s experience in Monday’s New York Times. He raises the question of whether or not Sarah Palin is qualified to be Vice-President without raising the more important question of whether Barack Obama is qualified enough to be President.
What is prudence? It is the ability to grasp the unique pattern of a specific situation. It is the ability to absorb the vast flow of information and still discern the essential current of events — the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.
How is prudence acquired? Through experience. The prudent leader possesses a repertoire of events, through personal involvement or the study of history, and can apply those models to current circumstances to judge what is important and what is not, who can be persuaded and who can’t, what has worked and what hasn’t.
So what is our alternative, Mr. Brooks? A half-term Senator has prudence? I suppose one could make the case that Palin and Obama are about the same in the experience category, but I think this misses two points. The first easy point is that Palin is the running mate and not at the top of ticket. A corollary is that past Vice-Presidents have been relatively inexperienced but gone on to serve quite well (e.g., Harry Truman).
Would Brooks suggest Republicans and moderates vote for someone at the top of the other ticket who has only a bit more time in public life? Second, questions of how much experience is necessary are hopelessly confounded by policy positions and ideological commitments. To many voters, where people stand on the issues that matter to them will influence (bias?) how much experience is deemed necessary.
It is one thing to raise a point and it another to make a point. I am not sure what David Brooks is advocating. Given where he ends his op-ed, perhaps he would like a reduction in smugness. My perception is that this election presents many voters with a compromise choice. They can easily find fault with aspects of both tickets but what would he advocate given the choices available? By raising Palin’s experience as inadequate, he also raises the question of Obama’s experience which is left unexamined.
ThinkProgress has produced another inaccurate and misleading claim about Sarah Palin’s actions as Governor of Alaska.
They claim that she cut funds to Special Olympics in an obvious bid to paint her as a hypocrite given that she has a Down Syndrome son and she asserts that she will be an advocate for families with special needs kids.
Here is the 2007 budget with the Special Olympics line item:
The program was alloted received $250,000 in FY 2007.
Here is the 2008 budget with the Special Olympics line item:
The program received $275,000 for a 10% increase.
This type of attack is getting old. Palin opponents are going through these budgets looking for reductions in legislative allocations and then calling Palin’s program management “a cut in funding.” In fact, under Palin, Special Olympics received a 10% increase in funding.
ThinkProgress says that the Special Olympics operating budget was cut in half. Given what the 2007 budget says, I believe that claim to be incorrect. It appears that the projects funded “facility upgrades” in 2007 and “travel and event related costs and property acquisition” which were designed to supplement the Special Olympics. I went back to 2005’s budget and the Special Olympics only received $125,000 in that year. A review of Special Olympics 990 form shows that they received just over 1.8 million in revenues in 2006 and so this allocation from the state of Alaska did not slash their operating budget.
UPDATE: 9/18/08 – ThinkProgress made a bit of a clarification but didn’t really correct their misleading post with this:
It’s a stretch to say she “pushed” for any policy improvements. Though Palin did sign a law increasing special education funding in Alaska, “she had no role whatsoever” in its development, according to the bill’s author, Rep. Mike Hawker (R). Moreover, as governor, Palin vetoed $275,000 in Special Olympics Alaska funds (Page 100, SB 221 with vetoes),
slashing the organization’s operating budget in half.
Update: To clarify, the documents show that Gov. Palin proposed cutting the Special Olympics budget in half. The actual budget as passed slightly increased Special Olympics funding, though by only half of what the organization had requested.
No, Gov. Palin did not propose cutting the Special Olympics budget in half. She reduced a proposed 120% increase to a 10% increase.
Katie Paul at Newsweek alerted me that Newsweek printed a correction to their story claiming that Palin cut funding for teen mothers and the state WIC program. I blogged about it here and had extensive conversations with Alaska officials about the claims. Ms. Paul was also diligent to work with Alaska officials to correct the story once I made her aware of the facts.
Here is the correction (at the end of page 2):
Clarification (updated Sept. 11, 2008) : A number of readers have challenged the assertion in this story that Gov. Palin “cut by 20 percent the funding for Covenant House Alaska, a state-supported program that includes a transitional home where new teenage mothers can spend up to 18 months learning money management and parenting skills.” In fact, she did not cut existing funding, but rather trimmed by $1.1 million funds the Alaska legislature had allocated for Covenant House Alaska this year for a capital construction project. We have also clarified the original wording which implied that Palin had voided the entire Women, Infants, Children (WIC) program. This was not our intent; Palin voided $15,840 the legislature had allocated for a WIC provider.
Now when is the Washington Post going to correct the Sept 2 story that started the teen mom claim?