Pointing Toward Reality
The Gravina Island Bridge, also known as the “Bridge to Nowhere“, was a proposed bridge to replace the ferry that currently connects Ketchikan, Alaska, to the Ketchikan International Airport on Gravina Island. The bridge was projected to cost $398 million. Members of the Alaskan congressional delegation, particularly Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens, were the bridge’s biggest advocates in Congress, and helped push for federal funding. The project encountered fierce opposition outside of Alaska as a symbol of pork barrel spending and is labeled as one of the more prominent “bridges to nowhere“.
The Gravina Island Bridge seems to be one of the Republican’s selling points of Sarah Palin. The quote from her speech last week at the Republican National Convention was as such: “I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere.” One of the more recent McCain/Palin ads say this: “He fights pork barrel spending. She stopped the Bridge to Nowhere. He took on the drug industry. She took on big oil.” But how real is this?
The truth from Reuters:
In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere,” political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska’s Congressional delegation during her run for governor.
The bridge, a span from the city to Gravina Island, home to only a few dozen people, secured a $223 million earmark in 2005. The pricey designation raised a furor and critics, including McCain, used the bridge as an example of wasteful federal spending on politicians’ pet projects.
When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she was insulted by the term “bridge to nowhere,” according to Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, and Mike Elerding, a Republican who was Palin’s campaign coordinator in the southeast Alaska city.
This says a lot about the McCain/Palin campaign. Giving Obama a hard time about flip-flopping is yet another double standard for the Republicans. Starting out with lies can only lead to more lies.