The Bridge to Nowhere – Gibson’s shameful Lies – the documents & facts to prove the Truth

ABC’s Charles Gibson’s shameful lies & The bias of the Liberal Left Media – The truth about the Bridge to Nowhere and how it was funded.  

ABC’s Charles Gibson falsely accused Governor Palin of “Being for the Bridge to Nowhere before you were against the Bridge to Nowhere”. With Gibson’s large staff of researchers one would have to assume Gibson knew his accusation to be false.                                http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594 

Thanks to ABC’s editing, Palin’s actual, verbatim, responses to this false accusation may never be heard. 

The following is a brief analysis of the facts, based on Congressional voting records and State Budget Documents.

The spending Proposal to fund the Bridge was submitted in 2005 to the US House, by US Rep Don Young, (R) from Alaska. The “Bridge” received funding that year, 2005,  while Palin was serving as Mayor of Wasilla. This “fact” can been confirmed by Congressional documents and in fact, has been confirmed by the independent consumer group, “Citizen’s Against Government Waste.”    http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594    

The original “bill” funding the $223 Million “Bridge” (in fact 2 bridges were funded) was passed by the US House of Representatives, the US Senate and was signed by President Bush and became law in 2005. When the bill reached the US Senate, Senators Obama and Biden voted to fund the Bridge while Senator McCain did not. In 2005 Mayor Palin was not involved with any part of this process. In 2005 the Governor of Alaska was Frank Murkowski, the incumbent Republican Governor Mayor Palin later defeated.  http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594 

In October, 2005, Senator Tom Colburn, (R) Oklahoma, offered an amendment to transfer $75 million from the ‘Bridge to Nowhere” to funding to rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. His amendment was defeated by a vote of 15-82.  Senators Biden and Obama voted with the Majority and against the amendment which would have decreased funding for the Bridge to Nowhere; Sen. McCain was not present for the vote.   http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594 

With the completion of this vote in October 2005, formal Congressional opposition to the “Bridge to Nowhere” came to an end.

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. Frank Murkowski was still the Governor of Alaska. http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

Congress was attempting to create “cover” for the Congresspeople and Senators who voted to fund the “Bridge to Nowhere” by changing this language. Politicians, when questioned, could claim they didn’t vote to fund the “Bridge”, that question was left for the State of Alaska to answer. Congress tossed this fully approved, fully funded, “hot potato” to the Alaska Governor.

In October, 2006, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski included $91 million for the Bridge to Nowhere (actually known as the Gravina Island Bridge) in his State budget submission for fiscal year 2007. This money, $91 million, would be financed directly by Alaskan Taxpayers and would be added to the $223 Million of Federal funds to build the Bridge. http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

As a candidate for governor, Sarah Palin expressed a mixture of support and doubt about the bridge. Specifically, Candidate Palin questioned how the project would be funded. Candidate Palin supported the concept of a Bridge to Gravina Island and the improved transportation it would bring the residents of the Island, however, Candidate Palin also questioned whether the planned bridge was the “right answer” or “the right bridge”.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Candidate Palin questioned whether the Bridge was fiscally responsible. 

Palin was elected Governor and took office in January 2007. Governor Palin submitted her first budget on January 17, 2007, two weeks into her Administration. The Governor’s budget contained no 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.”                                                     http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

According to the Committee for Citizen’s Against Government Waste, “Media reports that Congress killed the Bridge to Nowhere are not accurate,”. “The 2006 transportation appropriations bill allowed Alaska to decide whether or not to move forward.” The decision on whether to spend the money on the Bridge to Nowhere was left up to the Governor of Alaska. The money, which had already been appropriated, could have been spent on the “pork barrel bridge project” or on “freeways and infrastructure” items that are not considered “pork barrel”. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, “Governor Murkowski said yes; Governor Palin said no.”

 ABC’s Charles Gibson and the spiteful Media claim that Governor Palin, “took no action on the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ until after Congress “killed the project’“, that claim is an outright lie. ABC’s Gibson and the Liberal Press are showing their bias when they make that false claim or falsely state that Governor Palin was,   “for the Bridge before you were against it“. Gibson knows his accusation is a falsehood – the voting records are a matter of public record. Congress never killed “the Bridge to Nowhere“, it was given full and final approval by Congress and provided with funding.                             http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594

Congress presented Alaska with two choices “Build the Bridge” or “Kill the Bridge and use the money  elsewhere”. The criticism of “The Bridge to Nowhere” by Congress had ended long before Governor Palin made her choice. The “Bridge” was fully funded at the time she made her choice.                                                    

Governor Palin said NO to the “Bridge to Nowhere”. Governor Palin said “NO” two weeks into her Administration.  

In a closing shot at Governor Palin, Gibson noted that Congress sent approximately $200 million in earmark funds to Alaska this year. Those funds were requested by Alaska’s Congressional delegation, not Governor Palin. Gibson failed to mention that the 2008 total, $200 million, was $445 Million less than the amount sent by the last Congress. ($645 Million). The amount of earmarked money being sent to Alaska has been reduced by nearly 70% in two years. A 70% reduction in just two years. In addition to that amount, Governor Palin has cut  $500 million in wasteful spending from the Alaska State budget in just this past year.  http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/News2?abbr=CCAGW_&page=NewsArticle&id=11594  

Governor Palin has earned the right to call herself a Reformer and a Maverick. 

This is what ABC News had to say about the “Bridge” in September 2007.  The End of the Bridge to Nowhere

September 21, 2007 1:43 PM

Lindsey Ellerson

ABC News’ John Cochran reports: The Bridge to Nowhere is gone.  Not the victim of aging frames, bolts and joints.  No, this bridge has collapsed, even before it was built, after an onslaught of angry editorials, furious anti-pork citizens groups, and caustic jokes on late night TV.

First, that name. It was not accurate. If built, the bridge would have gone somewhere. It would have replaced the ferry that takes residents of Ketchikan, Alaska (population 8,000) to the local airport on Gravina Island. In 2005, Congress approved $223 million for construction.

In Washington, groups such as Taxpayers for Common Sense and Citizens Against Government Waste, rallied their troops to try to block the money. They said the island was home to far more deer than people (50). 

The bridge’s main sponsor in the Senate, Alaska Republican Ted Stevens, was outraged by any attempt to prevent his state from getting federal funds. In 2004, with the help of Stevens, his state got special projects worth $645 million. That was $984 for every Alaskan. By contrast, Congress handed out less than $3 to every Texan. And a Texan was, and still is, the President. 

But the barrage of publicity was too much for his fellow Republicans. Senator John McCain, R.-Ariz., cited the Bridge to Nowhere as a perfect example of wasteful spending.  Senator Tom Coburn R-Okla., a longtime foe of pork spending, tried to shift the money to rebuild an interstate highway damaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

Senator Stevens grew even more outraged: “I don’t kid people.  If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state…I will resign.”  He did not resign.

An uneasy compromise was reached.  Congress took away the money for the Gravina Island bridge and another Alaskan bridge which was almost as controversial.  Instead, Congress gave the money to the state with the understanding that it was not required to use the funds specifically for bridges.

Friday, the state of Alaska officially sank the Bridge to Nowhere. Governor Sarah Palin, also a Republican, said “Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport.”  “But,” she said, the bridge “is not the answer.”  Palin has told state transportation officials to look for the most “fiscally responsible” alternative.

A spokesman for Senator Stevens was not immediately available for comment.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/the-end-of-the-.html

 

 

ABC’s Gibson – FALSE SEXIST PARTING SHOTS: Gibson’s use of debunked internet attack – Palin/Hilliary & “whiner”

At the conclusion of yesterday’s interview segment, ABC’s Charlie Gibson, the once respected Journalist,stooped to an all time low. After getting caught editing the Palin interview, removing Palin’s objections to incorrect quotes and re-splicing her answers, Gibson closed last night’s segment with a repeat of a long ago debunked accusation that Palin called Hilliary a “whiner”.

The false accusation involved a now “removed” video of Palin speaking at a “Woman’s Forum” where Woman’s Rights issues were being discussed. The Forum took place prior to Palin’s selection as VP. The topic of media bias was brought up, specifically – how woman Politicians – being subjected to sexist attacks and questioning – should handle the situation. Attacks on Hilliary Clinton were used as a notable example of the media bias. Palin’s misquoted statement was that woman have to be careful on how they respond – that when woman complain about the unfair treatment the media is likely to accuse them, the unfairly treated female candidates, of being whiners.

Palin did not call Hilliary a whiner. The Panel used Hilliary as an example of unfair media treatment. Palin noted that challenging the media on their sexist bias would result in additional “sexist attacks” from that same media. Palin new what she was talking about.

Charles Gibson should be ashamed – and I thought he was one of the last to have some sense of  Journalistic Ethics.

The Associated Press is now attempting to resurrect the vicious and false rumor.

During the Friday interview Governor Palin said that she thinks Barack Obama regrets not making Hillary Rodham Clinton his running mate.  Palin praised Clinton’s “determination, and grit and even grace” during the nasty Democratic primaries.

ABC’s Gibson Interview of Palin – The Bush Doctrine Question – Gibson got it Wrong Again

Charles Krauthammer, the Columnist credited with coining the term “Bush Doctrine” says Gibson got it wrong again!

FOX News – September 12, 2008 – By Bill Samon

ABC News’ Charles Gibson, who is being credited with stumping Sarah Palin on the definition of the “Bush Doctrine,” has himself defined the nebulous phrase in a variety of ways, including one that mirrored Palin’s disputed explanation.

Gibson and his colleagues have been all over the map in defining the Bush Doctrine over the last seven years. In 2001, Gibson himself defined it as “a promise that all terrorists organizations with global reach will be found, stopped and defeated.”

But when Palin tried to give a similar definition on Thursday, Gibson corrected her.

“I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation,” Palin said in her first interview since being nominated as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate.

Gibson countered: “The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us.”

Much has been made of the fact that Palin had to ask for clarification when Gibson inquired: “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?”

“In what respect, Charlie?” the Alaska governor said.

“The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?” Gibson challenged.

“His world view?” Palin queried.

“No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war,” Gibson said.

That’s when Palin talked of ridding the world of “Islamic extremism,” prompting Gibson to define the Bush Doctrine instead as preemption.

The term “Bush Doctrine” was first coined by columnist Charles Krauthammer three months before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and has undergone profound changes as the war against terror has evolved.

There is no single meaning of the Bush Doctrine,” Krauthammer noted in a forthcoming column. “In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.”

Richard Starr, managing editor of the Weekly Standard, agreed.

Gibson should of course have said in the first place what he understood the Bush Doctrine to be–and specified that he was asking a question about preemption,” Starr observed. “Palin was well within bounds to have asked him to be more specific. Because, as it happens, the doctrine has no universally acknowledged single meaning.”

Starr pointed out that other ABC journalists, including George Stephanolous, George Will and the late Peter Jennings, have defined the Bush Doctrine on the air in a variety of ways.

Ben Smith of the Politico said the Bush Doctrine exchange was “not a great moment” for Palin. But he conceded that critics are unfairly “pouncing on Sarah Palin’s apparent unfamiliarity with the Bush Doctrine as last night’s gaffe.”

This isn’t an easy question,” Smith noted. “Commentators have offered a range of meanings for the phrase, from the principle that countries that harbor terrorists are responsible for their actions to broader statements about the spread of freedom.”

Starr added: “Preemptive war; American unilateralism; the overthrow of regimes that harbor and abet terrorists–all of these things and more have been described as the ‘Bush Doctrine.’ It was a bit of a sham on Gibson’s part to have pretended that there’s such a thing as ‘the’ Bush Doctrine, much less that it was enunciated in September 2002.”

Bill Sammon is Washington Deputy Managing Editor for FOX News.

BLOGGERS NOTE:This writer will post a BLOG tomorrow on this topic. To add to this confusion – their have actually been 2 separate “Bush Doctrines” – the second superseded the first – that version has undergone at least 4 revisions as noted above. The Bush doctrine contains 4 separate components  1). Military Action / Terrorism, 2) Political – Spreading Democracy, 3) Economic and 4) Post War Recovery and the roll of Democracies. The complicated Doctrine borrows from both the Truman Doctrine and the Monroe Doctrine. 

Gibson’s definition was not incorrect it was simply incomplete. Governor Palin’s request for more detail wasn’t surprising. The Governor’s response was equally correct but incomplete. A complete correct answer was impossible in the format – the interview was only 1 hour long.

Targeting Trig Palin – Obama supporters go negative on a baby: WSJ BEST OF THE WEB by By James Taranto

“South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin [yesterday], saying John McCain had chosen a running mate ‘whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion,’ ” Politico reports. Fowler later apologized “to anyone who finds my comment offensive.”

We’ll leave the offense to others. We find Fowler’s comment revealing and disturbing. And she is not alone in striking this theme. Here is Andrew “Beagle With a Smear” Sullivan of The Atlantic:

And then, because [John McCain] could see he was going to lose, ten days ago, he threw caution to the wind and with no vetting whatsoever, picked a woman who, by her decision to endure her own eight-month pregnancy of a Down Syndrome child in public, that he was going to reignite the culture war as a last stand against Obama.

Sullivan loses control of his syntax, but Salon’s Cintra Wilson manages to make a similar point with flawless grammar:

Sarah Palin is a bit comical, like one of those cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms. What her Down syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter unequivocally prove, however, is that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform that ensures her own political ambitions with the conservative right.

This is worse than tasteless or even unhinged. It is depraved. It represents an inversion of any reasonable conception of right and wrong, including liberal conceptions.

Fowler uses Palin’s motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women’s equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but “a woman’s right to choose,” here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.

Sullivan and Wilson go further, ascribing evil intent to an act of maternal love. To Sullivan, Palin’s decision to carry her child to term is a salvo in a “culture war”–that is, an act of aggression against those with different political views. (That, at least, is how he sees it for the purpose of this post. In an earlier one, he praised her for going through “eight months of pregnancy and a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in”–which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)

To Wilson, Palin’s adherence to her own principles about the sanctity of life is an act of neglect toward her children–proof “that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform.” Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live.

Both Sullivan and Wilson make a point of highlighting Trig Palin’s handicap. Indeed, both his more recent post and her article refer to Trig only by his handicap. If this were all you had heard about him, you’d think his name was Down Syndrome Child Palin.

In their defense, one might note that Sarah Palin, too, is using Trig as a symbol. But there is a world of difference between humanizing a political candidate and dehumanizing a 4-month-old baby.

None of this can be explained in terms of political calculation. Scorning a woman for declining to abort a disabled child is likely to be about as persuasive to voters as burning an American flag. These ugly sentiments have to be sincere. In a way, that makes them even more disquieting.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122113849516123327.html?mod=Best+of+the+Web+Today

MORE LIES & DAMN LIES: McCain Camp Knocks Down Another Nasty Palin Rumor From The National Enquirer

From CBS News’ John Bentley:

(ST. PAUL, MINN.) – John McCain’s campaign threatened legal action against the National Enquirer today for running a story about McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, allegedly having an affair with her husband’s business partner.

“The smearing of the Palin family must end. The allegations contained on the cover of the National Enquirer insinuating that Gov. Palin had an extramarital affair are categorically false. It is a vicious lie,” said McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt.

“The efforts of the media and tabloids to destroy this fine and accomplished public servant are a disgrace. The American people will reject it.”
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/09/03/politics/fromtheroad/entry4413030.shtml

SC Democratic Chairwoman Issues Apology: Palin’s “Primary Qualification is she hasn’t had an abortion”

South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler lashed out at Sarah Palin Wednesday, saying the Republican vice presidential candidate’s “primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

Fowler issued an apology Wednesday evening.

“I personally admire and respect the difficult choices that women make everyday, and I apologize to anyone who finds my comment offensive,” she said in a written statement. “I clumsily was making a point about people in South Carolina who may vote based on a single issue. Whether it’s the environment, the economy, the war or a woman’s right to choose, there are people who will cast their vote based on a single issue.  That was the only point I was attempting to make.”

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/10/sc-democratic-chair-palins-chief-qualification-is-she-hasnt-had-an-abortion/

Don Fowler, Former National Democratic Commitee Chairman, last week was forced to apologize after being captured on an amateur video during an airplane flight chuckling while saying, “Hurricane (Gustav) is going to hit New Orleans about the time (the Republican National Convention) starts. … That just demonstrates God is on our side.”

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/10/sc-democratic-chair-palins-chief-qualification-is-she-hasnt-had-an-abortion/

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