Now this one is just delicious. The Obama campaign has accused Sarah Palin of “first being for the Bridge to Nowhere – before being against it.” At first I was concerned that this could represent a chink in Palin’s heretofore shining reformist armor – but the plot thickens. According to the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) – and verified via the track of votes cast, per the Congressional Register, here’s a bit of information that sheds more light on the whole story:
The Bridge to Nowhere was first funded in August 2005 through the 2005 SAFETEA-LU Act through a $223 million earmark inserted by then-House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). In October, 2005, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2006 Transportation Appropriations Act to transfer $75 million in funding for the Bridge to Nowhere, along with money for the Knik Arm Bridge in Alaska, to support the rebuilding of the Twin Spans Bridge in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. His amendment was defeated by a vote of 15-82. Senators Biden (D-Del.) and Obama (D-Ill.) voted against the amendment; Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) was not present for the vote.
In November, 2005, Congress included language in the final version of the fiscal 2006 Transportation Appropriations Act that allowed the state of Alaska to either spend money on the two bridges or on other surface transportation projects. In October, 2006, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski included $91 million for the Gravina Island Bridge in his budget submission for fiscal year 2007. As a candidate for governor, Sarah Palin expressed a mixture of support and doubt about the bridge, particularly about how the project would be funded. As governor, she submitted her budget on January 17, 2007 without any money for the bridge. On July 17, 2007, the Associated Press reported that "The state of Alaska on Friday officially abandoned the 'bridge to nowhere' project that became a nationwide symbol of federal pork-barrel spending." Governor Palin said in a statement that "Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer."
"Media reports that Congress killed the Bridge to Nowhere are not accurate," said Schatz. "The 2006 transportation appropriations bill allowed Alaska to decide whether or not to move forward. Governor Murkowski said yes; Governor Palin said no. Any discussion about the project should begin with facts."
SO: both Barack Obama and Joe Biden actually cast votes preserving the earmark for the “Bridge to Nowhere” against an effort by another rock-solid anti-government waste conservative Republican (Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK), while Governor Palin, irrespective of whatever remarks she may have made during her campaign, actually DID kill the project once assuming office as governor.
In short: both Barack Obama and Joe Biden were “against being against… the Bridge to Nowhere” before Sarah Palin was just plain against it.
You can’t make this stuff up.