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Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 10/ 3/2008

Palin twists the facts on Darfur

By Michael Dobbs

Vice Presidential Debate.

"When I and others in the legislature found out we had some millions of dollars in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars to make sure we weren't doing anything that would be seen as condoning the activities there in Darfur.
--Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential Debate, October 3, 2008.

Sarah Palin suggested that she was at the forefront of a campaign in Alaska to sell stock in companies that do business with Sudan in protest against the mass killing of civilians in the southern part of the country. But the record shows that her administration was against the divestment movement before it was for it.

The Facts

The Save Darfur Coaltion has been urging states to divest from companies that do business with Sudan for the last two years, arguing that the investments "help fund genocide." An Alaska saving fund, The Alaska Permanent Fund, has around $22 million invested in international trading companies such as China Petroleum and Alstom of France, that do business with Sudanese oil interests.

Alaska Permanent Fund officials made clear from the outset that they were opposed to any divestment effort. Executive director Mike Burns told a local Anchorage TV station, KTUU, on December 11 that they were looking for the "best return" on the investments, and never took into account "socially responsible investments . . . whether it's tobacco or alcohol or hospitals that perform abortions or hospitals that don't perform abortions."

In January 2008, a bill known as HB 287 was introduced into the Alaska House of Representatives restricting investments in companies that do business with Sudan. During a committee hearing in February, a Palin administration representative, deputy revenue commissioner Brian Andrews, testified against the legislation on the grounds that it would do nothing to help "the afflicted in Sudan," and would add to the fund's administrative costs.

While acknowledging that the legislation was "well-intended" and "the desire to make a difference is noble," Andrews warned that "mixing moral and political agendas at the expense of our citizens' financial security is not a good combination."

A co-sponsor of the legislation, Anchorage Democrat Les Gara, said that Governor Palin apparently had a change of heart on the divestment issue in March. During a brief hallway conversation, she expressed sympathy for his bill. By that time, however, the bill had effectively died in committee.

The change in the Palin administration's position became official in early April when Revenue commissioner Pat Galvin announced that the administration supported a Senate bill on divestment, SB 227, as "a proactive action against genocide in Darfur . . . The situation is an ongoing human tragedy and Alaska has an opportunity to take a stand against those activities." The Senate bill, like the House Bill, went nowhere as there was no time to take action on it before the legislature wrapped up its business in early April.

The Pinocchio Test

Sarah Palin is exaggerating her role in leading the Sudan divestment effort in Alaska. The legislative record shows that her administration was late in embracing the campaign to sell stock in companies that do business with Sudan, and initially opposed the divestment effort. The Alaska Permanent Fund still invests in companies blacklisted by the Save Darfur Coalition.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | October 3, 2008; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  2 Pinocchios, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, Other Foreign Policy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Vice Presidential Debate: St Louis
Next: VP Debate Part II


Here we go again! Another "bridge to nowhere"!

Posted by: boesc | October 3, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The wording from this candidate is important: ..., we called for divestment ... This implies action will take place beyond a mere call to action.

Posted by: Rudesan | October 3, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Biden misrepresents the Constitution regarding the Vice-President's duties - Ignored by Fact Checker.

Biden the foreign policy expert lies about Hezbollah being kicked out of Lebanon - Ignored by Fact Checker

Palin - overstates role in Darfur divestment, trumpeted by Fact Checker.

What happened to objectivity?

Posted by: alvint | October 3, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

She's a lying sack of liquid cra.....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Biden simply cited the wrong article in the constitution regarding the WP position. It is faulty memory, not deliberate lying. On th other hand, Palin was distorting the truth. So the Pinocchios are well deserved.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's like the natural gas pipeline she is buidling in AK, which is not being built, is only being talked about, and is not even in the planning stage to be exact. Only a pipe dream at this moment.

Posted by: tbitzel | October 3, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there is a difference in making an honest mistake and telling an outright lie!

Posted by: tbitzel | October 3, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Jennifer | October 3, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

We see who the real stars of this election are. Participate in a national poll give your oppinion about the VP debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Biden lies his way through the entire debate, and this is the best you can come up with? Just admit you are an Obama staffer.

Posted by: Bob | October 3, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I love it. Thank GOD for the Liberal Media. WE DOMINATE. The stupid people in America will follow us to the polls and Vote for Senator Obama because we know how to get them there to do it. It's now a done deal. let's keep up the good work. Obama is sure to win NOW. Thank GOD for the Washington POST and other publications like it.

Posted by: poptoy | October 3, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

to argue about the size and number of lies misses the point, palin is a small town mayor with neither the I.Q. nor the world experience to be anything more than what she is now. the peter principle lives. and don't expect fact checker to conform to your daily list of dubious claims... over the long run they get to both sides equally. palin will say whatever it takes as will most politicians at some point.

Posted by: d watson | October 3, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

What a hypocrite. Apparently it's fine to tout the pregnancy of your promiscuous teenage daughter as a pro-life stance, but to sell stock of companies whose operations in Sudan help that country's rulers continue genocide in Darfur, well, you fight it, then give lip service to it but don't act on it. And then you lie about it during a debate. Palin is not a morally or intellectually sound individual, and she is certainly not deserving or worthy of being vice president.

Posted by: Jake D | October 3, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Members of Congress (including Sens Brownback and Durbin) requested, in writing, that Palin support divestment back in Nov. 2006, when she was still governor elect. It took her 16 months to publicly support it - only after her subordinates worked to kill it in the Alaska legislature.

Sourced and fact checked here:

Posted by: Maassive | October 3, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Geez, when are we going to hear all the false crap biden spouted being 'truthchecked'? Ah ya, he's on the Democrat ticket, they get a pass from the Washington Post on every thingas usual.

All those votes he claimed Mccain made siding with Obama, FALSE!

I'd really like to know when we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon to.... since it never happened, Biden made that claim in the debate.

Posted by: mhuitt | October 3, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

1- Sarah Paulin: pipe dreamer

2- Sick of those partial Reps who attack journalists' integrity and validity when their work goes the opposite way they'd wished. Talking about lying!!

3- What happened to serious Republicans?

4- Disappointing Rep ticket.

5- Have to say that Biden appeared a very solid leader.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin didn't actually demonstrate concern for Sudan, and then lied about it in the debate? I'm shocked-SHOCKED.

Obama/Biden '08.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | October 3, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This is similar to the story about selling the state jet on Ebay-- which was something done routinely before her in the State and in the case of the plane, it was sold, but not on ebay. Half truths are much more convenient than the whole truth and nothing but the whole true.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | October 3, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Remember how Reagan opposed politicians who wanted him to speak and then act to oppose the apartheid government in South Africa? Palin's opposing withdrawing Alaskan monies from Sudan do show that the GOP regularly supports regimes that oppress black Africans by either whites or other Africans.

Posted by: tanaS | October 3, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Head of State

Friday, October 03, 2008
I May Not Answer The Questions The Way You And The Moderator Want...

Palin: I may not answer the questions the way you and the moderator want, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people

Ifill: Ok...Gov. Palin. Sen. McCain has said that he will take on the excesses of the financial industries that have led to today's chaos. Yet, Sen. McCain has been for deregulation of those industries throughout his career. How do you resolve that seemingly glaring inconsistency?

Palin: Well, like I said. I'm an outsider, so it's time for straight talk. In Alaska, we like a good cup of Mocha. Good n' strong. And that's how I want out government to be. Good and strong. We won't let terrorist or Al Qaeda march into our towns, into Wasilla--and I know that we're behind that. Why, I just saw a hockey mom walkin' with Joe Sixpack on Main Street in Wasilla.

And so I think that's the way that we can best support our people.

Biden: With all due respect, the Governor has not answered the question. The facts are that in virtually every legislative instance where Sen. McCain has had the opportunity to place reasonable regulations on financial industry before this crisis occurred, he has not done so. It is only with the advent of his campaign that he has begun making these statements. Sen. Obama and I have called for such regulation long before.

Ifill: Gov. Palin?

Palin: There you go, Joe, usin' those facts and those figures that Washington insiders use. Regular, everyday Americans don't want those fancy facts and figures. They want to know that they're getting straight talk--even if it doesn't answer the question at all.

Ifill: Our next question is on Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan has now gone on for over 8 years. We have seen a return of violence to multiple areas in Afghanistan, where the origins of the conflict began, while most funding has been devoted to Iraq, where there was no direct link to the origins of the fight against terrorist group. Sen. Palin, specifically, how would you modify current policy to ensure that proper military effort and funding are being devoted to Afghanistan, and what specific plans would you propose for phasing out action in Iraq and in creating strategic and tactical military progress in Afghanistan?

Palin: Well, Gwen, like I said, I'm an outsider, and outsiders, like mavericks, make their own rules, and that includes how they answer questions. So I'd like to give a shout out to the third grade class in the APO in Kabul. Hey kids! Now, I'm sure that those kids, just like all decent Americans, believe that General Petreaus is doing a heroic job, and we know that he will keep the terrorist on the run in main theatre of the war, Iraq, without showing the white flag of surrender, until we win. Hi, Kids. And with general Petreaus in place, we have the surge...and the surge is working in Iraq, and so the surge would work in Afghanistan, where General Petreus's brave principles would also win them their freedom if we don't surrender. After all, it's like we say in Wasilla, it's energy independence, the phrase is "Drill, Baby, Drill." I respect you, Sen. Biden, for doing things wrong. And that's why John McCain will stand in the face of terror for our freedoms.

Ifill: Senator Biden?

Biden: The general who is the commander of forces in Afghanistan has said--today--that the surge strategy will notwork in Afghanistan. I want you to listen to that again. The commander in Afghanistan--not Joe Biden--has said that the surge will not work in Afghanistan. You just have to listen to the person who is actually in charge of that specific area. That's a fact.

Palin: General McClellan did not say that. He did not say that a strategy of hold and secure would not work in Afghanistan. General McClellan is the Joe Sixpack of Afghanistan--every hockey mom knows that. How long have I been at this, five weeks? Me and McCain and Joe Sixpack and hockey moms--we share that worldview.

Voice of Truth, at a frequency only able to be heard by dogs: His name is McKiernan. McKiernan. McClellan was a general in the Civil War. McKiernan.

Biden: The general...(gracefully) did say that. And, I do have to say, Gwen, I did not hear a plan. Sen. Obama and I, if we have the privilege of taking office, will remove troops from Iraq within 18 months, will ensure that Iraq troops can become responsible for their own security, and will devote those extraordinary funds to the security and financial needs of Americans where it is most necessary---in Afghanistan, and here at home.

Ifill: Alright, now we move onto the question of your own qualifications. Gov. Palin, you have been criticized recently for being unprepared for the Vice Presidency, or the possibility of the Presidency. Sen. Biden, you have been critiqued for being undisciplined. Can you name your Achilles Heel, as it were? Sen. Biden, first:

Biden: Well, I'm sure that lack of discipline is only one of my flaws. But I know that we will work as hard as we can for this country.

Ifill: Gov. Palin?

Palin: No. But that's such a short answer, so I'll say this. Gwen, I have the experience for doin' this job, the executive experience, and I think we need that kind of experience, of what folks are wantin' on Main Street in Wasilla, and what hockey moms are wantin' too! And I know that John McCain will also bring the experiences necessary to this great nation, to preserve our great freedoms. Sen. Biden isn't a hockey mom. He didn't grow up on Main Street in Wasilla. Joe Sixpack did. I may not have an Achilles heel, or know what one is. And that's exactly what America needs. And that's why Americans will be proud and free.

Head of State

Posted by: Jana Walter | October 3, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer (Posted at 3:35 PM)

Honey: There are NO TRUE Democrats for McCain/Palin. Only in YOUR imagination. Get over it.

Posted by: Hank | October 3, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Head of State

Friday, October 03, 2008
Joe Sixpack Speaks

Come on in.

I prefer Joseph, really. It's not a status thing. It's just, you know, once I was walking down the street in Wasilla, it was all "Hey, Joe!" "Hey, Joey!"

Yes, that's right, I don't drop my "g"s. What is that, anyway? There is a "g" at the end of the word, after all.

The thing is, sure I like bowling, poker. But I also like Vivaldi, you know? It's so condescending. It's as if they're trying to draw a caricature, a one-dimensional person for purely political purposes.

(Brushes hair back with his hand. Steam from radiator hisses softly in background)

And did you ever notice how the people who use the term "Joe Sixpack" are never from the lower class of the population themselves?

It's an act, really, on their part, just a political vehicle, a means to an end. If I was working for her, and said just one thing the wrong way, you can be sure that ol' Joe Sixpack would be canned just as fast as a load of Wasilla salmon.

Personally, I'd rather have someone who saw me as an actual person, not a political trope. They're more likely to care about me and my kids' needs, rather than using the false empathy designed to once again lure the middle and lower classes with populist appeals that are then brutally contradicted by their policies.

I mean, it's as if they're hoping that we're stupid, so that we'll fall for the same old empty words, and then they think we'll just fall asleep again once they're in office, while they cater to their buddies again, you know?

(Dog barks). Quiet, Bruno!

It's like they create a symbol of a false humanity, in order to avoid dealing with our actual problems and needs. It's like my foreman told me, who's that guy, what's his name, oh yeah, Dostoyevsky said: "A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else."

Anyway, I've got to get going. You can take the rest of the six-pack with you if you want. I'm giving the stuff up. Fogs the head, makes you vote for these opportunistic guys, you don't hear what they really are saying.

Not this time.

This time, it's going to be different.

Head of State

Posted by: Jana Walter | October 3, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs continues his tilted miscalibration. Sarah Palin's intentional LIE about her position on divestiture as one response to genocide is surely worth more than the same two Pinocchios he awarded Obama when he got wrong the name of the Nazi concentration camp that his uncle helped to liberate.

Posted by: EdA | October 3, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs continues his tilted miscalibration. Sarah Palin's intentional LIE about her position on divestiture as one response to genocide is surely worth more than the same two Pinocchios he awarded Obama when he got wrong the name of the Nazi concentration camp that his uncle helped to liberate.

Posted by: EdA | October 3, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

For the folks saying Biden got the Constitutional article wrong, read Article 1, Section 3, paragraph 4. Obviously you didn't actually read the document.

Posted by: Ernest | October 4, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

We cannot afford Republicans any more.
They cannot govern, don't want to (!) and they proved it.

We don't want more proof.
No more years for lies, corruption, deceit, greedy deregulation and destruction of the MIDDLE CLASS while handing them the bill!---

No thanks. Enough is ENOUGH.

That the McCain campaign to attack Obama's character is another SMEAR CAMPAIGN from the crowd that cannot govern at all: Republicans proved they deserve NO MORE YEARS to Republican liars.

Posted by: darker | October 4, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The Alaska Permanent Fund is not part of the Governor's administration. It was created by the legislature and is run by an independent board of trustees.

Governor Palin didn't lie...but you did!

Posted by: Reality Hammer | October 4, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"We cannot afford Republicans any more.
They cannot govern, don't want to (!) and they proved it."

Posted by: darker | October 4, 2008 12:36 AM

I couldnt agree more. Those evil Republicans screwed up housing big time. If the Democrats were running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, none of this wouldve happened :)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Don't you just love these people that call them selfs fact checkers- I got one for you fact checker you did not get the fact that Palin got the name of the gerneral of wrong of Afghanistan. Did you get that one or the many mistakes she made doing the night.Oh did not find them, but you did jump on Biden. let me ask a questtion are you a racist. To let all the errors That Sarah Palin made during the debate I can not help to think that either your a racist or you were watching the debate with another part of your brain. You know the none thinking one

Posted by: voice of one | October 4, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I would like for a Palin supporter to explain why she flat our refused to answer the question Gwen Ifill asked concerning the economy. I promise not to throw darts at her if someone can provide a substantive reason why she dodged the question. Let's be fair; both were inaccurate on some facts but it does not excuse her refusing to answer a question. If she didn't know, she should have simply said..."I don't know, Gwen." She would have won the RESPECT of millions!

Posted by: golley gee my @ss | October 4, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse


When are we going to hear Obama/Biden admit:

The Surge is succeeding, we were wrong.

After all, this is what all the media outlets, and most Americans have known for some time.

Perhpas it's that "White Flag of Surrender" that so haunts their reluctance...



Posted by: Johnny Democracy | October 4, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse


When are we going to hear Obama/Biden admit:

The Surge is succeeding, we were wrong.

After all, this is what all the media outlets, and most Americans have known for some time.

Perhaps, it's that "White Flag of Surrender" that so haunts their reluctance...



Posted by: Johnny Democracy | October 4, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

When are we going to hear Obama/Biden admit:

The Surge is succeeding, we were wrong.

After all, this is what all the media outlets, and most Americans have known for some time.

Perhaps, it's that "White Flag of Surrender" that so haunts their reluctance...

SURRENDER to who, If the object was to change the government ( Last excuse for going to war from BUSH) We did it!!! Lets go home. If the object was to get rid of WMD; none found!!! Lets go home. If the object was to stop Sadam; DONE!!! Lets go home

Posted by: Joe Sixpac | October 5, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey! Where is the winks on the pinochios?She is the most ignorant politician I have ever seen,... Can you picture he meeting the Queen of England..Oh my G-d, we will then be the laughing stock of this whole world.. She is just a gimmic, to raise votes and bring the repub. base into the fold, by McCain...I hope that people are not taken by this act of hers..Let's face it; Joe six-pack does not say, gosh-darn, wink wink; nore does he say gottcha...Nope! He sayz more to the effect of, Hey man, what the Fu-- ya talkin' about?. and did ya see the a-- on her? That is Joe six-pack..So I wonder how she talks when not in public view? I sure would like to be a fly on her kitchen wall for a day..And I wonder if she wins, will Todd be called The Vice-Dude? Wink Wink!!!

Posted by: sassystar007 | October 5, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Darfur is in western, not southern, Sudan, Factchecker.

Posted by: Mapquest | October 7, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I made a nice video for Barack Obama at:

Obama 2008. God bless USA.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

This whole site is joke!!!

Posted by: dafillht | October 7, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John McCain clearly won last night's debate.

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008.

Posted by: Heather | October 8, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Sassystar nailed it for Joe Sixpack.
Joe SIxpack reminds me of the construction workers 10-15 years ago that used to whistle at the women walking by and saying crude remarks.

Posted by: D_Right_One | October 9, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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