On the bridge, Palin basically says "Yeah, I wanted a bridge, but I didn't want it to be funded through earmarks" and Gibson doesn't believe her. Then, judging from the transcript, it sounds like Gibson is trying to blame her for the earmarks requests submitted by state agencies to U.S. senators and representatives---the only people who can actually make earmark requests. Quite franky, I do not know what power a governor has over her state agencies to bar them from making these requests to people like Ted Stevens. I don't think governors can do this, but this is something I am going to figure out soon.
For now, here's the partial transcript ABC is teasing us with:
Bridge to Nowhere
GIBSON: You have said continually, since he chose you as his vice-presidential nominee, that I said to Congress, thanks but not thanks. If we're going to build that bridge, we'll build it ourselves.
GIBSON: But it's now pretty clearly documented. You supported that bridge before you opposed it. You were wearing a t-shirt in the 2006 campaign, showed your support for the bridge to nowhere.
PALIN: I was wearing a t-shirt with the zip code of the community that was asking for that bridge. Not all the people in that community even were asking for a $400 million or $300 million bridge.
GIBSON: But you turned against it after Congress had basically pulled the plug on it; after it became apparent that the state was going to have to pay for it, not the Congress; and after it became a national embarrassment to the state of Alaska. So do you want to revise and extend your remarks.
PALIN: It has always been an embarrassment that abuse of the ear form -- earmark process has been accepted in Congress. And that's what John McCain has fought. And that's what I joined him in fighting. It's been an embarrassment, not just Alaska's projects. But McCain gives example after example after example. I mean, every state has their embarrassment.
GIBSON: But you were for it before you were against it. You were solidly for it for quite some period of time...
PALIN: I was...
GIBSON: ... until Congress pulled the plug.
PALIN: I was for infrastructure being built in the state. And it's not inappropriate for a mayor or for a governor to request and to work with their Congress and their congressmen, their congresswomen, to plug into the federal budget along with every other state a share of the federal budget for infrastructure.
PALIN: What I supported was the link between a community and its airport. And we have found that link now.
Palin on earmarks
GIBSON: The state of Alaska, under OMB figures in 2008, got $155 million in earmarks for a population of 670,000. That's $231 per person in Alaska. The state of Illinois, Obama's state, got $22 per person. You got ten times per person as much.How does that square with your reforms?
PALIN: We have drastically, drastically reduced our earmark request since I came into office.
GIBSON: But you still have multiple of any other state.
PALIN: We sure are -- and this is what -- you go out and you ask any Alaskan this. This is what I've been telling Alaskans for these years that I've been in office, is no more...GIBSON: Governor, this year, requested $3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs. Isn't that exactly the kind of thing that John McCain is objecting to?
PALIN: Those requests, through our research divisions and fish and game and our wildlife departments and our universities, those research requests did come through that system, but wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors, with lobbyists making deals with Congress to stick things in there under the public radar.That's the abuse that we're going to stop. That's what John McCain has promised over and over for these years and that's what I'm joining him, also, saying, you're right, the abuse of earmarks, it's un-American, it's undemocratic, and it's not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop.