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POSTED: 10:04 AM ET, 09/11/2008 by Amanda Zamora

The Campaign Trail » The McCain campaign is using "hybrid" television ads that take shots at Congressional Democrats and are funded in part by the GOP ... Gov. Sarah Palin's lawyer claims a conflict of interest by the Alaska investigator leading the probe into potential ethics violations by Palin ... meanwhile, an informal adviser to Palin warned in July about the potential for "Troopergate" to erupt into a scandal. — Washington Post, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal

Sen. Stevens on Docket » Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who is accused of receiving more than $250,000 in improper gifts from an Alaska oil executive, is set to appear in court within the month after losing a bid to have the charges dismissed. — Reuters

It Was the Spanish » Rep. Charles B. Rangel, the Harlem Democrat under fire for not reporting income from his Dominican Republican vacation property, explained that "cultural and language barriers" complicated his financial dealings. "Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they'd start speaking Spanish," Rangel said. — New York Times

FDA's 'Dirty Little Secret' » In the wake of two high-profile outbreaks from food contaminants this spring, Congress is under pressure to take up food-safety reforms. The uncomfortable reality they face? Food safety oversight is planted heavily in the private sector. — U.S. News & World Report

Millions Lost on Katrina Contracts » The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general has identified millions wasted by the government on no-bid contracts, including $20 million for an evacuee camp that proved to be unusable. — Associated Press

Corrupt in Congress » The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is out with its annual rankings for corruption in Congress. Several who've been in the news lately include: Alaska lawmakers Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young; Rep. Rep. Rangel; Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.); and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).

By Amanda Zamora |  September 11, 2008; 10:04 AM ET The Daily Read
Previous: Report: U.S. Oil Program Rife with Conflicts, Favoritism, 'Promiscuity' | Next: Oil-and-Sex Scandal Spawns Criticism, Hill Hearing

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Completely unreal that there are not more articles up about Palin's advisor and an alaskan judge, both multiple times, warning her and criticizing for her actions, in written documents, involving the attempted firing of her brother in law.

How about stating facts you phony journalists. The McCain camp and especially Palin herself are LYING, not somewhat, but blatantly, about nearly every topic. While the top story remains, "Much Ado About a Pig." Well done hacks.

Posted by: alex | September 11, 2008 12:01 PM

ALEX is on target -- a sign of intelligent life in the universe. Hope is alive.

So about those little lies.......


FISCAL CONSERVATIVE


Sarah Palin’s portrait as a fiscal conservative when she ran the city of Wasilla, Alaska, as its mayor from 1996 to 2002. However, the truth is during her 6 years as mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33 percent.

According to figures provided by the city of Wasilla, the operating budget for Wasilla went from $6,050,160 in fiscal year 1996 to $9,393,768 in 2002. That’s a 55 percent increase. But adjusted for inflation, it’s a 35 percent increase.

She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a recessive sales tax which taxed even food. Under Palin, property tax rates did, in fact, go down; and the sales tax did go up from 2 percent to 2.5 percent.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though; borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? Or a new library?

No! $1 million for a park, $15 million-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex...She also supported bonds for $5.5 million for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 years without any borrowing.

The fiscal year ending 1996 (when Palin took the reins), which showed the city’s long-term debt at $1.12 million, mostly for paving and sewer projects.

The annual financial report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2002 — Palin’s last year in office — shows that the total long-term debt was $24.8 million. Long-term debt increased $23.7 million. From $1.1 million to $23.7million – that is one large increase.


HOW HAVE THOSE PROJECTS WORKED OUT

WASILLA, Alaska — The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.

The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin’s legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.

“It’s too bad that the city of Wasilla didn’t do their homework and secure the land before they began construction,” said Kathy Wells, a longtime activist here. “She was not your ceremonial mayor; she was in charge of running the city. So it was her job to make sure things were done correctly.”

Litigation resulting from the dispute over Ms. Palin’s sports-complex project is still in the courts, with the land’s former owner seeking hundreds of thousands of additional dollars from the city.

Palin likes to say “Good judgment can make the difference between avoiding a crisis and managing a catastrophe.”

Indeed.

Posted by: basementfrog | September 11, 2008 1:28 PM

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