Sunday, September 07, 2008

Palin Speech Fact Check

I received the following fact check of Palin's speech from someone in the Obama campaign. It does a pretty good job of breaking things down (albeit with some occasional Obama-flavored spin).
Hello,
We who work on the Obama-Biden campaign will not resort to malicious attacks. We will let the facts speak for themselves.
Please see below,
Best, Mitchell
Mitchell Schwartz
California State Director
Barack Obama for President
(310) 836-2009

Fact Check of Governor Palin’s Speech

STATEMENT

RESPONSE

PALIN: “Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”

REALITY: PALIN SAID SHE WOULD BEG TO DISAGREE WITH ANY CANDIDATE WHO SAID WE CAN’T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF OUR PROBLEM

Palin Said She Would Beg to Disagree With Candidate Who Said We Can’t Drill Our Way Out of Our Problem.7/11/08] Asked by Invester’s Business Daily “Some politicians and presidential candidates say we can't drill our way out of our energy problem and that drilling in ANWR will have no effect. What's your best guess of the impact on prices?” Palin responded, “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won't ultimately affect prices. Of course it will affect prices. Energy being a global market, it's impossible to venture a guess on (specific) prices.” [Investor’s Business Daily,

PALIN: “Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest - and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.”

REALITY: PALIN OPPOSED CRUCIAL EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND SENIORS FUNDING

EDUCATION/CHILDREN

Total: 396,000.

Anchorage – Fire Lake Elementary School Replacement of Unsafe Sports Equipment. Palin vetoed $10,000. [FY08 Budget]

Tanana City School District – Repair School Bus. Palin vetoed $36,000. [FY08 Budget]

American Lung Association of Alaska – Asthma Control Program and Champ Camp. Palin voted $350,000. [FY08 Budget]

HOSPITALS/HEALTH CARE

Total: $4,527,500.

Ketchikan General Hospital Surgical Suite Expansion/Relocation. Palin vetoed $4,400,000. [FY09 Budget]

Ketchikan General Hospital – Replacement of Outdated Equipment. Palin vetoed $70,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Sitka – Community Hospital – Medical Equipment. Palin vetoed $31,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Kenai Peninsula Borough – Diagnostic Hospital Equipment. Palin vetoed $26,500. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

SENIORS

Total: $600,000.

Ketchikan Senior Citizens, Inc. – Access Road for Pioneer Heights. Palin vetoed $300,000. [FY08 Budget]

AARP Ketchikan – Access Road for Ketchikan Senior Housing Project. Palin vetoed $100,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Catholic Community Services – Angoon Senior Center Stove, Refrigerator and Freezer. Palin vetoed $20,000 twice. [FY08 Budget, 2007 Legislature Supplemental]

Alpha Omega Life Care, Inc. – Delivery Van and Moveable Building. Palin vetoed $20,000. [FY09 Budget]

Older Persons Action Group – Senior Voice Equipment Upgrade. Palin vetoed $20,000. [FY09 Budget]

Statewide Independent Living Centers – Assistive Technology for Alaska’s Centers for Independent Living. Palin vetoed $125,000. [FY09 Budget]

Kodiak Senior Center – Facilities repair and Equipment. Palin vetoed $15,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

PALIN: “Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.”

REALITY: UNDER PALIN, WASILLA GOVERNMENT SPENDING & DEBT SKYROCKETED.

Total Government Expenditures Increased 63 Percent Under Palin. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the total government expenditures of Wasilla, excluding capital outlays, were $7,046,325. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—the expenditures were $4,317,947. The increase was 63 percent. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 1]

Palin Supported Increasing Wasilla Sales Tax From 2 to 2.5 Percent to Build $14.7 Million Sports Center. “Wasilla residents have given the go ahead to building a new multiuse sports center in town and to raising the city sales tax to pay for it. With the final votes counted Friday, residents voted 306 to 286 in favor of a measure to raise the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay the estimated $14.7 million cost of building the center…Mayor Sarah Palin, who supported the measure, said the tight vote will motivate city officials to keep a close eye on the budget for the center.” [Anchorage Daily News, 3/9/02]

Palin Left Behind Almost $19 Million In Long-Term Debt, Compared to None Before She Was Mayor. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the bonded long-term debt was $18,635,000. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—there was no general obligation debt. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 10]

PALIN: “It was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau … when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network.”

REALITY: PALIN HAS A LT. GOVERNOR WHO IS A FORMER OIL LOBBYIST, HIRED WASILLA’S FIRST FEDERAL LOBBYIST (A FORMER STEVENS STAFFER) & HAD THE SUPPORT OF ENTRENCHED ALASKA POLITICIANS DURING HER 2006 RACE.

Palin’s Oil & Gas Appointee Is Former Lobbyist for TransCanada. “Marty Rutherford, who leads Gov. Sarah Palin’s gas pipeline team, made $40,200 in 2003 while consulting in Juneau for a pipeline subsidiary of TransCanada. TransCanada is one of the companies bidding for a state license to build a pipeline to carry gas to market from Alaska’s North Slope. It’s not a disqualifier, but the past connection deserves a second thought.” [Anchorage Daily News editorial, 12/15/07]

Palin “Counting on Her Lieutenant Governor Candidate… Former Oil Lobbyist” to Help Win Oil Industry Support. “The defiantly grass-roots nature of the campaign may have distanced her from certain traditional centers of power in Alaska. The oil industry is one -- but the campaign says it is counting on her lieutenant governor candidate, Parnell, a former oil lobbyist and legislator, to help there.” [Anchorage Daily News, 10/24/06]

Palin’s Former Chief of Staff is Stevens’ Campaign Manager. “Monegan says pressure came from those around Palin, including former Palin chief-of-staff Mike Tibbles, Department of Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer, and director of boards and commissions Frank Bailey. Tibbles, who is now the campaign manager for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, said Friday he couldn't comment on whether he spoke to Monegan about Wooten.” [Anchorage Daily, 7/19/08]

As Mayor, Palin Hired a Washington Lobbyist to Help Get Earmarks for Wasilla – Lobbyist Was Former Chief of Staff for Indicted Senator Ted Stevens. “And as mayor of the small town of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, Palin also hired a Washington lobbying firm that helped secure $8 million in congressionally directed spending projects, known as earmarks, according to public spending records compiled by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste and lobbying documents. Wasilla's lobbying firm was headed by Steven Silver — a former chief of staff to Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a key proponent of the bridge project.” [USA Today, 8/31/08]

The Usual Alaska Suspects - Ted Stevens, Don Young, And Lisa Murkowski Fundraised For Palin. “Will we see Ted Stevens stumping for Sarah Palin? Palin said this morning that Stevens appeared at a fund-raiser for her in Ketchikan and gave a speech about ‘moving Alaska forward.’ But does that mean he’ll pop up in any advertisements? (Remember his arguably pivotal role at the end of the Knowles and Murkowski Senate race?) Palin said she doubts it and hasn’t asked… She said Don Young came to one of her fund-raisers two days ago, and she expects Lisa Murkowski at an upcoming event. Tonight she planned to talk with John Binkley, who she says is writing a letter to his supporters on her behalf, and she planned to meet with Frank Murkowski tomorrow morning.” [“The Trail” blog, Anchorage Daily News, 10/13/06]

In Her 2002 Campaign for Lieutenant Governor, Palin Raised ‘About 10 Percent Of Her Campaign Fund’ From Veco, An Oil Company At the Heart of Federal Investigation. “While mayor of Wasilla, Palin ran for lieutenant governor in 2002. She gathered $5,000 -- or about 10 percent of her campaign fund -- from Veco officials or their wives along the way.” [Anchorage Daily News, 9/6/06]

PALIN: “I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.”

REALITY: PALIN SIGNED WEAK ETHICS REFORM BILL & HAS HAD NUMEROUS ETHICAL FLAPS OF HER OWN.

Palin Signed Ethics Reform Legislation That Anchorage Republican Bob Roses Said Didn’t Go Far Enough. “An ethics reform package for state officials was signed into law Monday by Gov. Sarah Palin, just minutes after a former state representative was convicted on seven federal extortion and bribery counts. Palin said the law will help re-establish trust between the public and elected officials by improving on existing statutes. … Ethics reform had been a recurring theme throughout Palin's election campaign, and she pushed hard for the bill to become a bipartisan effort in the Legislature this session. She said she remains determined to clean up Alaska politics. … Rep. Bob Roses, R-Anchorage, who succeed Anderson in the Legislature when Anderson didn't seek re-election in 2006, said the law didn't go far enough. Campaign contributions should be available for immediate public scrutiny, he said, and all contributions should be reported, even those below the current $1,000 threshold. ‘Quite frankly, I thought some of the things should have been a little tighter than what they were, but this is a first step,’ he said.” [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/10/07]

AUGUST 2008: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Gov. Palin Over Alleged Involvement in Hiring a Campaign Contributor. In August 2008, former state House member Andree McLeod” filed against Gov. Sarah Palin and her staff today with the Attorney General’s Office. It accuses the governor’s office of using its pull to get a Palin supporter hired to a [Department of Transportation] job in Fairbanks.” McLeod said “ ‘Executive branch employee shouldn’t be getting involved in the recruitment process unless it’s based on merit,’ said Andree McLeod, who wrote the complaint based on a series of e-mails between members of Palin’s team…The complaint accuses Palin, her acting chief of staff and others of breaking executive ethics branch and hiring rules. It centers on the hiring of surveyor Tom Lamal, who once co-hosted a Palin fundraiser, for a state right-of-way agent job in Fairbanks.” The complaint is available at http://community.adn.com/sites/community.adn.com/files/McLeod Ethics Complaint1.pdf [Anchorage Daily News, http://community.adn.com/adn/node/128527, 8/6/08; Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com/front/story/486163.html, 8/7/08]

July 2008: Special Counsel Appointed Last Month to Investigate Palin Abuse of Power Claim. In July 2008, the Alaska State Legislator voted 12-0 to approve $100,000 for a special investigator to begin an investigation into claims Palin fired a former state official because he would not fire a state trooper who was involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. The legislator’s intent was to investigate the events surrounding the termination of former Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and improper action by Palin and her administration. [KTVA 11, 07/28/08]

PALIN: “I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

REALITY: ALASKA HAS REQUESTED $589 MILLION IN PORK SINCE PALIN TOOK OFFICE & AS MAYOR, SHE HIRED WASILLA’S FIRST FEDERAL LOBBYIST TO SECURE EARMARKS FOR THE TOWN.

Over $589 Million in Federal Pork Requests During Palin’s Tenure as Governor. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, www.cagw.org, under Palin’s tenure as Governor the state of Alaska has asked for $589,599,715 in pork barrel projects. [2007 and 2008 Pig Book, www.cagw.org]

· Alaska Has Sought 31 Earmarks Worth $197.8 Million in Next Year’s Federal Budget. “But under her leadership, the state of Alaska has requested 31 earmarks worth $197.8 million in next year's federal budget, according to the website of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.” [LA Times, 9/1/08]

As Mayor, Palin Hired a Washington Lobbyist to Help Get Millions in Earmarks for Wasilla – Lobbyist Was Former Chief of Staff for Indicted Senator Ted Stevens.8/31/08] “And as mayor of the small town of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, Palin also hired a Washington lobbying firm that helped secure $8 million in congressionally directed spending projects, known as earmarks, according to public spending records compiled by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste and lobbying documents. Wasilla's lobbying firm was headed by Steven Silver — a former chief of staff to Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a key proponent of the bridge project.” [USA Today,

· Under Palin, Wasilla Received $26.9 Million in Earmarks. “As mayor of Wasilla, Palin made regular trips to Washington seeking federal aid. The city received $26.9 million in earmarks during her tenure from fiscal year 2000 to 2003, according to the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense, which tracks pork barrel spending.” [LA Times, 9/2/08]

McCain Criticized Earmarks that Palin Sought as Mayor.9/3/08] “Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin… In 2001, McCain's list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town -- one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion. McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002. The funding was provided to help direct locally grown produce to schools, prisons and other government institutions, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.” [LA Times,

PALIN: “In fact, I told Congress -- I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere.”

REALITY: PALIN WAS FOR THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE BEFORE SHE WAS AGAINST IT.

October 2006” Palin Supported Bridge To Nowhere. In 2006, Palin was asked, “Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?” She responded, “Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” [Anchorage, 10/22/06, republished 08/29/08]

2006: Palin: Don’t Allow “Spinmeisters” To Turn Bridge To Nowhere Project “Into Something That’s So Negative.” "Part of my agenda is making sure that Southeast is heard. That your projects are important. That we go to bat for Southeast when we’re up against federal influences that aren’t in the best interest of Southeast.' She cited the widespread negative attention focused on the Gravina Island crossing project. 'We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,' Palin said." [Ketchikan Daily News, 10/2/06]

REALITY: PALIN ONLY ANNOUNCED OPPOSITION TO ONE “BRIDGE TO NOWHERE,” STILL SUPPORTS THE OTHER ONE

Palin Refused to Fund Ketchikan Bridge, But Did Not Stop Funding for Knik Arm Bridge.“Among the earmarks: $449 million for what critics have ridiculed as two ‘bridges to nowhere’ -- one in Ketchikan and one across Knik Arm in Anchorage formally named Don Young's Way. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, also a Republican, last month refused to use any more money for the Ketchikan project, redirecting it for other purposes.” [Anchorage Daily News,11/11/07]

As Recently as June, State Asking for Cost Estimate Proposals for Knik Arm. “An independent party will be called in to look at one of the most elusive aspects of a proposed bridge linking Anchorage and Mat-Su: the price tag. Gordon Keith, regional director for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said his office will be putting the job of estimating the cost of the controversial project out for bids in coming weeks. He said the task of coming up with a price could cost up to $200,000 and take up to 3½ months. ‘The issue keeps swirling around, so we thought it best to go ahead and do an independent estimate,’ he said. The cost to get the estimate is going to be high ‘if you want to do it correctly,’ he said. The cost of a span reaching across Knik Arm from Anchorage to Point MacKenzie has ranged over the years from $450 million to $1 billion, depending on what kind of bridge is envisioned and what starting date is plugged into the formula… Randy Ruaro, a special assistant to Gov. Sarah Palin, said the administration, even in the face of the recent lengthy report from the bridge authority, was having trouble getting an accurate picture of everything that is involved in the project, of the timing of the phases, and of the costs. He said the independent estimate is expected to answer those questions. Mary Ann Pease, spokeswoman for the authority, said she welcomes the effort to get updated costs.” [Anchorage Daily News, 6/22/08]

PALIN: “But we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions…”

REALITY: PALIN UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ABUSE OF POWER.

Former State Official Accused Palin, Palin’s Former Chief of Staff and Current Ted Stevens Campaign Manager and Palin’s Husband Of Pressuring Him to Fire Trooper. In July 2008, former state official Walt Monegan accused Palin, Palin’s former Chief of Staff and current Stevens’ campaign manager Mike Tibbles and husband Todd Palin of pressuring him to fire Palin sister’s ex-husband Mike Wooten. [Anchorage Daily News, 07/18/08]

July 2008: Special Counsel Appointed Last Month to Investigate Palin Abuse of Power Claim. In July 2008, the Alaska State Legislator voted 12-0 to approve $100,000 for a special investigator to begin an investigation into claims Palin fired a former state official because he would not fire a state trooper who was involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. The legislator’s intent was to investigate the events surrounding the termination of former Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and improper action by Palin and her administration. [KTVA 11, 07/28/08]

PALIN: “As Governor, I have a record of being a strong fiscal conservative and have vetoed millions in special projects pushed by legislators.”

Palin Increased Taxes on Oil Companies to Pay for $1,200 Giveaway to Every Resident in the State. “One of her most significant accomplishments as governor was passing a major tax increase on state oil production, angering oil companies but raising billions of dollars in new revenue. She said the oil companies had previously bribed legislators to keep the taxes low. She subsequently championed legislation that would give some of that money back to Alaskans: Soon, every Alaskan will receive a $1,200 check.” [New York Times, 8/30/08]

PALIN: “I understand that we must reduce our dependence on foreign energy. I’ve worked with our state’s energy producers to expand our production so that we can have a safe, reliable supply of energy produced here in the United States.”

REALITY: PALIN SUPPORTED EXPORTING NATURAL GAS WHILE ALASKA BUSINESSES CLOSED BECAUSE OF SHORTAGES

Palin Backed A Two-Year Extension Of The Export License To Export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) To Japan And Other Asian Countries—Criticized Because Alaska’s Gas Reserves Are Declining. “Alaska producers can continue shipping gas to Asia after DOE last week approved an extension of the export license for the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon. The companies will be allowed to export up to 98.1 Bcf to Japan and other Pacific Rim countries over a two-year period through March 31, 2011. […] The application came under fire from local end-users, including gas distribution companies Enstar and the Chugach Electric Association, as well as fertilizer maker Agrium, all of which claimed the exports would exacerbate the problem of declining gas reserves in south-central Alaska. Agrium permanently closed its plant near Kenai due to an inability to find enough local supply for the facility that used 53 Bcf/year. In January, ConocoPhillips and Marathon reached a deal in which they agreed to step up development in the Cook Inlet region in return for the state's support of the export license extension. The producers also agreed to divert gas from the LNG plant as needed to meet the peak winter supply needs of the local utilities. […] Alaska Governor Sarah Palin welcomed the DOE approval. "In these times of economic uncertainty, this is great news for the state and its residents. This extension will secure a future for the LNG operation and is another step toward ensuring energy supplies and energy security for Alaska," the Republican governor said. [Platts Inside FERC, 6/9/08]

· Agrium Closed Manufacturing Plant Because Of Gas Shortage. “Reserves of gas in producing fields in Southcentral Alaska are declining, posing concerns for supply to local utilities. A manufacturing plant on the Kenai Peninsula owned by Agrium Corp. recently announced it would close because the gas shortage.” [Alaska Journal Of Commerce, 11/25/07]

· Gov. Palin: Agrium Closure Is Unfortunate. “Agrium announced yesterday that the plant will close in December due to a shortage in the supply of Cook Inlet natural gas, leaving about 100 of the 140 employees without employment.It's unfortunate to see the closure of a facility that has provided so many jobs that support families on the Peninsula,’ said Governor Palin. ‘I am heartened to hear that Agrium is willing to keep its options open if sufficient long-term supplies of gas can be found. We know there is more gas to be found and developed in Cook Inlet, so I remain hopeful that those jobs can be preserved.’” [Palin press release, 9/26/07]

PALIN: “And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.” This

REALITY: PALIN IS CLOSE TO THE OIL INDUSTRY

Sierra Club Director Carl Pope Said “No One is Closer to the Oil Industry Than Governor Palin.” "No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club in comments reflecting the views of a cross section of environmental activists. They cite her eagerness to embrace expanded offshore oil development, her lawsuit against further protection of polar bears so as not to hinder oil drilling in Alaska's ice-filled waters and her ardent support to allow oil companies into the Alaska wildlife refuge. [Associated Press, August 30, 2008]

Palin Took $13,000 from Lobbyists Representing the Oil Industry in Her 2006 Campaign for Governor. The lobbyists who donated to her campaign represent a range of industries, including oil and gas, tobacco, education and the Native Alaskan community. "She's fought oil companies and party bosses and do-nothing bureaucrats and anyone who puts their interests before the interests of the people she swore an oath to serve," Mr. McCain said Friday at an Ohio rally to introduce her as his running mate. But since Mrs. Palin leads a major oil-producing state, that industry is one of her top donors. She collected nearly $13,000 from lobbyists who represent oil and gas industries in her primary and general campaigns, according a review of her campaign donations and 2006 registered state lobbyists. [Washington Times, September 1, 2008]

PALIN: “Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines … build more new-clear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.”

REALITY: PALIN CUT FUNDING FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

2007: Palin Vetoed $20 Million Toward A Fire Island Wind Farm Project. “[Sen. Hollis] French and [Anchorage Mayor Mark] Begich both lamented the [Palin] veto of $20 million toward a Fire Island wind farm project and connecting transmission lines. That money was part of Railbelt Energy Fund cash that Palin said she doesn't want to spend until a study on energy needs is finished.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 7/30/07]

2008: Palin Cut $20 Million For Chugach Electric Association Wind Farm. As part of a large package of budget cuts, in June 2007, Gov. Sarah Palin, R-AK, cut $20 million in funding for a Chugach Electric Association wind farm. The funding was expected to come from a fund called the Railbelt Energy Fund. Palin said she cut the $20 million because she wanted more information before dipping into the Railbelt Energy Fund. [Anchorage Daily News, 6/30/08]

PALIN: “Taxes are too high … he wants to raise them.”

REALITY: PALIN HAS REPEATEDLY SUPPORTED TAX INCREASES

Palin Supported Increasing Wasilla Sales Tax From 2 to 2.5 Percent to Build $14.7 Million Sports Center. “Wasilla residents have given the go ahead to building a new multiuse sports center in town and to raising the city sales tax to pay for it. With the final votes counted Friday, residents voted 306 to 286 in favor of a measure to raise the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay the estimated $14.7 million cost of building the center…Mayor Sarah Palin, who supported the measure, said the tight vote will motivate city officials to keep a close eye on the budget for the center.” [Anchorage Daily News, 3/9/02]

Palin Increased Taxes on Oil Companies to Pay for $1,200 Giveaway to Every Resident in the State. “One of her most significant accomplishments as governor was passing a major tax increase on state oil production, angering oil companies but raising billions of dollars in new revenue. She said the oil companies had previously bribed legislators to keep the taxes low. She subsequently championed legislation that would give some of that money back to Alaskans: Soon, every Alaskan will receive a $1,200 check.” [New York Times, 8/30/08]

PALIN: “It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

They overlooked the caliber of the man himself - the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better.”

REALITY: MCCAIN COUNTED MCCAIN OUT TWICE

February 2008: Palin Wouldn’t Endorse McCain. “Top Alaska Republicans were downcast Thursday as Mitt Romney suspended his presidential campaign just two days after overwhelmingly winning the state party caucus. Romney’s decision makes it nearly certain Arizona Sen. John McCain will be the party’s nominee for president. McCain finished dead last in the Alaska Republican preference poll, behind Romney, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. McCain opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and has repeatedly battled with Sen. Ted Stevens over federal spending on Alaska projects… Republican Gov. Sarah Palin said she won’t make an endorsement until she can speak to McCain. [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 2/3/08]

July 2007: Palin Was Waiting For A New Player In GOP Primary. ‘A lot of us are sitting back and waiting to see if there will be new players in there,’ Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said. ‘That’s probably why that box that says ‘none of the above’ is so popular right now.’ [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/23/07]

Palin Couldn’t Support McCain Because Of His Opposition To ANWR. “Some Alaska Republicans are conflicted over McCain, including Gov. Sarah Palin. They like his maverick reputation and military background but not his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ‘She said she’d like to support McCain but felt she couldn’t at this particular time because of his stand on ANWR,’ said the governor’s spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 2/3/08]

PALIN: “They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America … who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.”

Palin Backed A Two-Year Extension Of The Export License To Export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) To Japan And Other Asian Countries—Criticized Because Alaska’s Gas Reserves Are Declining. “Alaska producers can continue shipping gas to Asia after DOE last week approved an extension of the export license for the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon. The companies will be allowed to export up to 98.1 Bcf to Japan and other Pacific Rim countries over a two-year period through March 31, 2011. […] The application came under fire from local end-users, including gas distribution companies Enstar and the Chugach Electric Association, as well as fertilizer maker Agrium, all of which claimed the exports would exacerbate the problem of declining gas reserves in south-central Alaska. Agrium permanently closed its plant near Kenai due to an inability to find enough local supply for the facility that used 53 Bcf/year. In January, ConocoPhillips and Marathon reached a deal in which they agreed to step up development in the Cook Inlet region in return for the state's support of the export license extension. The producers also agreed to divert gas from the LNG plant as needed to meet the peak winter supply needs of the local utilities. […] Alaska Governor Sarah Palin welcomed the DOE approval. "In these times of economic uncertainty, this is great news for the state and its residents. This extension will secure a future for the LNG operation and is another step toward ensuring energy supplies and energy security for Alaska," the Republican governor said. [Platts Inside FERC, 6/9/08]

· Agrium Closed Manufacturing Plant Because Of Gas Shortage. “Reserves of gas in producing fields in Southcentral Alaska are declining, posing concerns for supply to local utilities. A manufacturing plant on the Kenai Peninsula owned by Agrium Corp. recently announced it would close because the gas shortage.” [Alaska Journal Of Commerce, 11/25/07]

· Gov. Palin: Agrium Closure Is Unfortunate. “Agrium announced yesterday that the plant will close in December due to a shortage in the supply of Cook Inlet natural gas, leaving about 100 of the 140 employees without employment.It's unfortunate to see the closure of a facility that has provided so many jobs that support families on the Peninsula,’ said Governor Palin. ‘I am heartened to hear that Agrium is willing to keep its options open if sufficient long-term supplies of gas can be found. We know there is more gas to be found and developed in Cook Inlet, so I remain hopeful that those jobs can be preserved.’” [Palin press release, 9/26/07]

PALIN: “As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. I’m not a member of the permanent

political establishment.”

1999: Campaigning In San Francisco, CA, McCain Said “I Would Not Support Repeal Of Roe v. Wade.” In August 1999, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that McCain said he “would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade”: “I'd love to see a point where (Roe vs. Wade) is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to (undergo) illegal and dangerous operations.” [The San Francisco Chronicle, 8/20/99]

· McCain Said Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned. McCain said, “I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.” [New York Times, 2/24/07]

At A Private Meeting With Hispanic Community Leaders, McCain “Assured Leaders He Would Push Through Congress Legislation To Overhaul Federal Immigration Laws If Elected.” “Republican presidential John McCain assured Hispanic leaders he would push through Congress legislation to overhaul federal immigration laws if elected, several people who attended a private meeting with the candidate said Thursday. Democrats questioned why the Arizona senator held the meeting late Wednesday night in Chicago. But supporters who were in the room denied that McCain held the closed-door session out of fear of offending conservatives, many of whom want him to take a harder line on immigration. … ‘He's one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he's a different John McCain in front of Hispanics,’ complained Rosanna Pulido, a Hispanic and conservative Republican who attended the meeting. Pulido, who heads the Illinois Minuteman Project, which advocates for restrictive immigration laws, said she thought McCain was ‘pandering to the crowd’ by emphasizing immigration reform in his 15-minute speech. ‘He's having his private meetings to rally Hispanics and to tell them what they want to hear,’ she said. ‘I'm outraged that he would reach out to me as a Hispanic but not as a conservative.’” [AP, 6/20/08]

· During GOP Primary Debate At Reagan Library, McCain Said He Would Oppose the Legislation He Authored With Kennedy. McCain co-authored the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration bill which was described in 2006 by the Miami Herald as “the most generous of the bills now before Congress.” The legislation “would legalize as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants” and “grant temporary work permits to illegal immigrants and then after waiting six years and paying a $2,000 fine, it would enable them to apply for green cards.” During a Republican presidential primary debate held at the Regan Library, McCain was asked whether he would vote for the this immigration legislation that he previously sponsored. When pressed, he eventually replied, “No, I would not.” [Miami Herald, 2/24/06; CNN GOP Presidential Debate, 1/30/08]

PALIN: “But we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions…”

REALITY: PALIN UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ABUSE OF POWER.

Former State Official Accused Palin, Palin’s Former Chief of Staff and Current Ted Stevens Campaign Manager and Palin’s Husband Of Pressuring Him to Fire Trooper. In July 2008, former state official Walt Monegan accused Palin, Palin’s former Chief of Staff and current Stevens’ campaign manager Mike Tibbles and husband Todd Palin of pressuring him to fire Palin sister’s ex-husband Mike Wooten. [Anchorage Daily News, 07/18/08]

July 2008: Special Counsel Appointed Last Month to Investigate Palin Abuse of Power Claim. In July 2008, the Alaska State Legislator voted 12-0 to approve $100,000 for a special investigator to begin an investigation into claims Palin fired a former state official because he would not fire a state trooper who was involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. The legislator’s intent was to investigate the events surrounding the termination of former Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and improper action by Palin and her administration. [KTVA 11, 07/28/08]

PALIN: “We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.”

Palin Responded Favorably to Obama’s Energy Plan. According to a news release from her office, Gov. Sarah Palin, R-AK, said she was “pleased” by Obama’s energy plan. “I am pleased to see Senator Obama acknowledge the huge potential Alaska’s natural gas reserves represent in terms of clean energy and sound jobs,” she said. “The steps taken by the Alaska State Legislature this past week demonstrate that we are ready, willing and able to supply the energy our nation needs.” The press release said that “in a speech given in Lansing, Michigan, Senator Obama called for the completion of the Alaska natural gas pipeline, stating, ‘Over the next five years, we should also lease more of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska for oil and gas production. And we should also tap more of our substantial natural gas reserves and work with the Canadian government to finally build the Alaska natural gas pipeline, delivering clean natural gas and creating good jobs in the process.’” [Palin press release, 8/4/08]

PALIN: “ But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.”

REALITY: OBAMA PASSED THE MOST SWEEPING REFORMS SINCE WATERGATE IN BOTH THE ILLINOIS AND US SENATES, AMONG OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Obama Helped Pass The 2007 Ethics Reform Law, Which Curbed The Influence Of Lobbyists And Was Described As The “Most Sweeping Since Watergate.” In the first week of the 110th Congress, Obama joined with Senator Feingold to introduce a “Gold Standard” ethics package. Many of the Obama/Feingold bill’s most important provisions were included in the final ethics reform package passed by the Senate in late January: a full ban on gifts and meals from lobbyists including those paid by the firms that employ lobbyists; an end to subsidized travel on corporate jets; full disclosure of who's sponsoring earmarks and for what purpose; additional restrictions to close the revolving door between public service and lobbying to ensure that public service isn't all about lining up a high-paying lobbying job; and requiring lobbyists to disclose the contributions that they "bundle" - that is, collect or arrange - for members of Congress, candidates, and party committees. In January 2007, the Washington Post wrote in an editorial that “…Mr. Reid, along with Sens. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), deserves credit for assembling and passing this package.” In September 2007, the AP reported, “President Bush signed a bill Friday that will require lawmakers to disclose more about their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from lobbyists, a measure that backers call the biggest ethics reform in decades…Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. who had pushed for the bundling provisions and was one of four lawmakers who participated in a Democratic conference call to reporters said the measure marks "the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate.” [S. 230, 110th Congress; S.1, Became Public Law 109-110-81, 9/14/07; AP, 9/15/07;The Washington Post, Editorial, 1/21/07]

Obama Passed Illinois State Gift Ban Act “Heralded As the Most Sweeping Good-Government Legislation in Decades.” In 1998, Obama passed the Illinois Gift Ban that prohibited legislators, state officers and employees, and judges from soliciting or receiving gifts from a person or entity with interests affected by government. The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Gov. Jim Edgar signed into law Wednesday an ethics and campaign finance package heralded as the most sweeping good-government legislation in decades.” The law also required greater campaign finance disclosure and limited the uses for which raised money could be spent. Obama said, “I have seen a general cynicism from taxpayers about government. They believe they have no influence on the process since they don't have the money of special interest groups. With the gift ban and the ban on Springfield fund-raisers that are contained in this legislation, I think at least some of this confidence will be restored.” [HB672, 3R P 52-4-1, 5/22/98; PA 90-0737, 8/12/98; Chicago Tribune, 8/13/98; Chicago Independent Bulletin, 6/4/98]

Ø Illinois Ethics Bill Most Far Reaching Since Watergate, Product Of Bipartisan Work. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote of Obama’s bill, “The ethics restrictions would be the most far-reaching since the Watergate-era campaign financial disclosure law. They are the product of months of negotiations among two lawmakers of each party, other state officials and Mike Lawrence. He is an aide to former Sen. Paul Simon, a Democrat, and used to be an aide to Edgar, a Republican.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/24/98]

Obama And Lugar Passed Law Boosting U.S. Efforts To Keep WMDs And Other Dangerous Weapons Out Of The Hands Of Terrorists. In 2006, Obama and Lugar introduced The Cooperative Proliferation Detection Act, which was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously on May 26, 2006 and was eventually incorporated into the Department of State Authorities Act of 2006 and signed into law on January 11, 2007. According to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on its legislative activity in the 109th Congress, “The committee passed S. 2566, The Cooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act of 2006 by unanimous consent on May 26, 2006. The legislation authored by Chairman Lugar and Senator Obama enhances: (1) U.S. cooperation with foreign governments to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles around the world; and (2) the United States' ability to provide assistance to foreign governments aimed at helping them detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction. The legislation, which garnered 26 co-sponsors (including 8 committee members), sought to energize U.S. programs to secure lightweight anti-aircraft missiles…The initiative was modeled after the Nunn-Lugar program that focuses on weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. The legislation was signed into law on January 11, 2007, as a part of H.R. 6060, the Department of State Authorities Act of 2006.” [P.L. 109-472, 1/11/07; House Report 109-706, 9/3/06; S. 2566, 109th Congress; S.1949, 109th Congress; Senate Report 110-40, 3/29/07]

Ø Lugar Said It Was Accurate That Said Obama Reached Out To Him And They Passed Legislation To Lock Down Loose Nuclear Weapons. “Republican Sen. Dick Lugar (IN) today said an Obama campaign ad which features him is ‘accurate.’ The ad makes the point the Obama previously ‘reached out’ to Lugar to ‘help lock down loose nuclear weapons.’ Lugar is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable in the area of nuclear weapons proliferation and the coauthored of the 1991 Nunn-Lugar Act on cooperative threat reduction. ‘He did’ reach out, Lugar said. He explained that in 2005, Obama asked if he could join Lugar on a trip to Russia and other countries to visit sites under the Nunn-Lugar program. ‘After that, we had legislation that we cosponsored together which passed’ dealing with dangerous missiles. ‘So I am pleased we had that opportunity to work together,’ Lugar said. ‘I'm pleased we had the association Sen. Obama describes.’ But Lugar made clear up front that while the ad was accurate, and he's comfortable with the association, ‘There is no chance I will consider running with Barack Obama.’” [MSNBC, 7/15/08]

Obama and Coburn Passed A Bill Creating A “Google-like” Database For The Public To Search Details About Federal Funding Awards. In 2006, Obama and Coburn co-authored a bill to create a “Google-like” database of information on federal spending. The bill requires the OMB by January 1, 2008, to make available to the public a searchable, free website that includes the (1) amount; (2) transaction type; (3) funding agency; (4) North American Industry Classification System code or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number; (5) program source; (6) an award title descriptive of the purpose of each funding action; (7) the name and location of the recipient and the primary location of performance; and (8) a unique identifier of the recipient and any parent entity. The site must allow users to conduct separate searches that distinguish between awards that are grants, sub-grants, loans, cooperative agreements, and other forms of financial assistance and awards that are contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, task orders, and delivery orders. [S. 2590, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 9/7/06; Became PL 109-282, 9/26/06]

Obama Passed Law Ensuring That Wounded Veterans Recovering In Military Hospitals Do Not Have To Pay For Their Meals Or Phone Calls To Family Members. In 2005, Obama sponsored and passed an amendment that to the 2005 emergency supplemental appropriations act ensuring that wounded veterans recovering in military hospitals do not have to pay for their own meals or phone calls to family members. The amendment was then passed in each of the following Congresses. Prior to passage of the amendment, service members receiving physical therapy or rehabilitation services in a medical hospital for more than 90 days were required to pay for their meals. Obama’s amendment required the military to provide free meals for service members in military hospitals undergoing recuperation or therapy as a result of wounds sustained in Iraq or Afghanistan. The amendment was retroactive to January 1, 2005 in an effort to provide those injured service members who received bills for their meals with some relief from those costs. The amendment became law. [S. Amdt. 390, Passed by unanimous consent, 4/14/05 to H.R.1268, Signed by the President, 5/11/05, Became Public Law No: 109-013; Obama Press Release, 5/11/05]

Obama Proposals Providing Improvements In Health Care For Recovering Soldiers Were Passed Into Law, Including Requirements For Post-Deployment Mental Health Screenings And National Study On The Needs Of Iraq War Veterans. H.R. 976, passed by the Senate on August 2, 2007, includes several provisions from bills originally sponsored by Senators Obama and McCaskill. The provisions would improve health care services and health care tracking for service members, and would require post-deployment, face to face mental health screenings for returning service members within 30 days. The bill also adopts other Obama-McCaskill legislation, the HERO Act, which would launch a major national research endeavor into the readjustment needs of returning service members, veterans and their families. The bill also included measures to improve and reform the disability rating process. [Vote 307, H.R. 976, Passed, 68-31, 8/2/07; S. 713, 110th Congress; S. 1271, 110th Congress; Obama Press Release, 7/25/07; H.R. 4986, Became Public Law No: 110-181, 1/28/08]

Obama Worked With Republicans To Pass Legislation, Which Became Law, Improving And Increasing Services For Homeless Veterans. In 2006, Congress passed a Veterans Affairs Committee bill which included several provisions originating in Obama’s SAVE Act (S. 1180) and Homes for Heroes Act (S. 3475). “The legislation…includes a number of proposals from legislation Senator Obama had previously introduced (S.1180, the SAVE Act and S.3475 the Homes for Heroes Act) to expand and improve services for homeless veterans. The bill permanently authorizes and increases funding to $130 million per year for a competitive grant program to provide homeless services to veterans. It greatly increases a successful program to provide rental vouchers to homeless veterans. The legislation extends programs to providing treatment for veterans with mental illnesses and other special needs. And it permanently extends VA's ability to transfer property it owns to homeless shelters.” Obama worked with VA Committee Republicans Craig and Burr on the committee legislation that eventually became law. [S. 3421/P.L. 109-461; S. 1180, 109th Congress; S. 3475, 109th Congress; Obama Press Release, 6/26/06]

Obama Passed Bipartisan Legislation That Expanded Health Care Coverage To 154,000 Residents, Including 70,000 Children. As a state senator, Barack Obama sponsored and helped pass legislation that expanded and made permanent Illinois’ KidCare program by raising eligibility from 185% to 200% of the federal poverty level. The legislation provided coverage for an additional 20,000 children and 65,000 more Illinois adults in the first year, and by 2007 had expanded health care to 70,000 kids and 84,000 adults. In its endorsement for his Senate race, the State Journal-Register wrote, “Obama brings similar common-sense views to improving health care in America - for example, as a state senator he championed the successful KidCare program that assists thousands of children of the working poor.” The bill was sponsored in the state House by Sandra Pihos, a Republican and passed 42-13. [93rd GA, SB 130, 3R P 42-13-2; Signed into law 6/30/03, PA 93-0063; Chicago Daily Herald, 7/2/03; Blagojevich release, 1/9/07; Blagojevich release, 4/13/07; Kaiser family report, 5/07; State Journal-Register, 10/29/04]

Obama Passed A Bill Creating $100 Million Earned Income Tax Credit As A Member Of The Minority Party In The Illinois Senate. In 1999, Obama was the lead sponsor of a bill making Illinois the 11th state to adopt an earned income-tax credit. The bill provided that each individual taxpayer is entitled to a credit against the tax imposed by the Act in an amount equal to 5% of the federal earned income tax credit allowed. Then-Gov. George Ryan opposed the move, but an unlikely political alliance – including Republicans and Democrats – formed to reduce the tax burden on working poor families. The AP wrote, “The new law, which offers about $105 million in tax breaks over the next three years, gives a state income tax credit equal to 5 percent of a similar federal tax credit. For the average working family making less than $30,580, that amounts to about $55 a year, or 15 cents a day. The maximum credit for families with two or more children is $191 a year.” [91st GA, HB 3939; 4/14/00, 3R P; 59-0-0; P.A. 91-0700, 5/11/00; Chicago Tribune, 4/10/99]

Obama Passed Near-Unanimous Death Penalty Overhaul Package. Obama was the chief co-sponsor and voted for bill creating the Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee Act. The proposal, which was approved on a 57-1 vote, was virtually identical to reforms pushed in 2002 by then-Gov. George Ryan. If passed by the House and signed into law by the governor, the bill would let judges rule out a death sentence for someone convicted solely on the testimony of a jailhouse informant, accomplice or single witness; let the state Supreme Court overturn a death sentence that was “fundamentally unjust.; Reduce the crimes eligible for the death penalty by focusing on “inherently violent” offenses; Expand defendants’ access to genetic evidence used against them; Ban police officers from the police force if they committed perjury in a murder case; and Require juries to consider a defendant’s history of abuse or mental illness when deciding whether to impose the death sentence. Obama said, “As far as the Bill goes, it doesn't address whether the death penalty is applied fairly to all races and in all regions of the state. And it doesn't appease those who want capital punishment eliminated.” [93rd GA, SB 0472; 4/3/03, 3R P; 57-1-0; 5/29/03, HA1 SC; 56-3-0; 11/5/03, OAV P; 58-0-0; P.A. 93-0605, 11/25/03; Pantagraph, 4/4/03; Associated Press, 4/24/03]

PALIN: “America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it.”

REALITY: Obama has expressed support for a bipartisan compromise that would cut tax breaks for oil companies, invest in alternative energies, and allow for limited new offshore drilling

Obama Said He Would Be Open To Offshore Drilling If We Come Up With “A Genuine Bipartisan Compromise” To Get To Energy Independence. “Senator Barack Obama said Saturday that he would reluctantly consider accepting some new offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in exchange for stripping oil companies of tax breaks and extending several tax credits to spur the search for alternative fuels. At the same time, Senate Republicans appear to have dropped their insistence on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Mr. Obama has until now opposed any offshore drilling. But in a news conference here, he noted that there had been ‘very constructive’ talks between Senate Republicans and Democrats on this issue in recent days, applauding a plan unveiled by a group of Republican and Democratic senators to permit drilling while supporting an effort to convert most vehicles to using alternative fuels in 20 years. ‘If we come up with a genuine bipartisan compromise, where I have to accept some things that I don’t like in order to get energy independence,’ Mr. Obama said, ‘that’s something I will have to consider.’ Still, he cautioned that he was not yet ‘ready to sign off on any approach.’” [New York Times, 8/3/08]

Ø Tapper: “This Strikes Me As Not A Complete And Utter Reversal “But Rather “A Recognition That Energy Legislation Requires Compromise.” “Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, now says he'd be willing to consider legislation including expanded off-shore drilling if part of a larger package, despite his long-time opposition to the idea. I'm with my friend Marc Ambinder -- this strikes me as not quite a complete and utter reversal, but certainly a shift in tone and language, indicating a softening of his opposition and a recognition that energy legislation requires compromise. Not unlike Sen. John McCain's statement that when it comes to Social Security reform, everything must be on the table, even though he personally opposes tax increases. (Though the back-peddling on that was confounding.).” [ABC News, 8/2/08]

Ø Ambinder: “This Strikes Me As Less Of A Shift And More As A Gesture Of Sorts To The Reality That The Major Cap And Trade Legislation Next Year…Requires The Participation Of And Compromise From The Industry.” Marc Ambinder wrote, “In an interview yesterday, Obama said that he'd be willing to accept additional domestic oil exploration as part of a bipartisan compromise on energy reform. This strikes me as less of a shift and more as a gesture of sorts to the reality that the major cap and trade legislation next year that Congress will mark up -- legislation that will be introduced regardless of who's president -- requires the participation of and compromise from the industry. The oil industry has two cards, basically, in the negotiations. One: that windfall profits taxes would disincentivize further exploration somehow... two: that, as the staple source of energy, oil companies ought to have more land/water to figure out where oil is and then tap those pools. Democrats are more likely to compromise on the second, rather than the first. Note that Obama is still opposed to expanded drilling off the coasts of Florida.” [The Atlantic, 8/2/08]

Ø Stoller: Obama Supported A “Real Compromise” On Energy. Obama’s position on drilling is “actually a real compromise…the compromise put forward by Obama would in fact move us forward on sustainable energy while raising taxes on the oil companies. Since opening up new areas to oil companies is more about financial manipulation of oil leases than actually drilling, this is calling the oil company's bluff.” [Open Left, 8/5/08]

Ø Pelosi: Obama Position On Gang Of Ten Compromise Was Presidential. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, “What Senator Obama said is what we want a president to say…Let's look at all of the options. Let's compare them. And let's see what really does increase our supply, protect our environment, save our economy, protect the consumer, instead of a single-shot thing that does none of the above.” [Washington Times, 8/4/08]

PALIN: “Victory in Iraq is finally in sight … he wants to forfeit.”

REALITY: BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND INDEPENDENT MILITARY EXPERTS AGREE THAT DRAWING DOWN ONE TO TWO BRIGADES A MONTH IS NOT ONLY POSSIBLE BUT SAFE

McCain Said He Thought 16 Months Is A Pretty Good Timetable For Withdrawal >From Iraq. McCain was asked, “So why do you think he said that 16 months is basically a pretty good timetable?” McCain responded, “He said it's a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground. I think it's a pretty good timetable, as we should -- or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground.” [CNN, 7/25/08]

Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: “Obama Is Right When He Talks About 16 Months.” “Asked in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel of when he would like to see American forces leave Iraq, Maliki said: ‘As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned.’ He then added that ‘Obama is right when he talks about 16 months. Assuming that positive developments continue, this is about the same time period that corresponds to our wishes.’” [The Hill, 7/19/08]

Maj. Gen. Anderson Said Current Capacity to Remove 2 ½ Brigade Combat Teams a Month. “The military has been redeploying troops for years, and Maj. Gen. Charles Anderson, who would help with the withdrawal, told us as we toured Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, ‘We have the capacity to do a minimum of two-and-a-half brigade combat teams a month -- can we expand that capacity? Sure. Can we accelerate? It depends. It depends on the amount of equipment that we bring back. And it's going to depend on how fast we bring them out.’" [ABC News, 7/11/08]

4/8/08: Petraeus, Asked By a McCain Ally Whether A Brigade a Month Could Be With Drawn From Iraq, Said It Could Be “Doable.” In a Senate Hearing before the Committee on Armed Services, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), asked General Petraeus what would happen if one brigade per month was withdrawn beginning in January 2009. Petraeus responded, “It clearly would depend on the conditions of that time. If conditions were good, quite good, that might be doable.” [Senate Hearing before Senate Committee on Armed Services, 4/8/08]

9/07: Larry Korb Wrote “A Phased Military Redeployment From Iraq Over The Next 10 To 12 Months Would Begin Extracting U.S. Troops From Iraq’s Internal Conflicts Immediately And Would Be Completed By The End Of 2008.” Lawrence J. Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, along with Max A. Bergmann, Sean E. Duggen, Peter M. Juul, wrote for a Center for American Progress Report, “A phased military redeployment from Iraq over the next 10 to 12 months would begin extracting U.S. troops from Iraq’s internal conflicts immediately and would be completed by the end of 2008. During this timeframe, the military will not replace outgoing troops as they rotate home at the end of their tours and will draw down force and equipment levels gradually, at a pace similar to previous rotations conducted by our military over the past four years. According to a U.S. military official in Baghdad involved in planning, a withdrawal could take place safely in this time period.” [“How to Redeploy: Implementing a Responsible Drawdown of U.S. Forces from Iraq” September 2007, Center for American Progress]

7/13/07: Pace Said US Forces Were “Designed Right Now To Be Able To Increase Or Decrease About One Brigade Per Month.” General Peter Pace, former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “On the logistics side, the system itself is designed right now to be able to increase or decrease about one brigade per month. Can you surge U.S. military and commercial capacity beyond those numbers? Sure. But for a normal planning factor, we’re looking at either adding or subtracting about one brigade a month.” [DoD Media Roundtable with Secretary Gates and Gen. Pace, 7/13/07]

12/6/06: Iraq Study Group Report Said “All Combat Brigades Not Necessary For Force Protection Could Be Out Of Iraq” By the First Quarter of 2008—15 Months. The Iraq Study Group’s independent assessment, released Dec. 6, 2006, found that, “By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.” [Iraq Study Group Report]

PALIN: “Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay … he wants to meet them without preconditions.”

REALITY: REPUBLICANS AGREE WITH DIRECT TALKS WITH IRAN

Defense Secretary Gates: We Need To “Sit Down And Talk” With Iran. “The United States should construct a combination of incentives and pressure to engage Iran, and may have missed earlier opportunities to begin a useful dialogue with Tehran, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday. ‘We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage . . . and then sit down and talk with them," Gates said. "If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us.’” [Washington Post, 5/15/08]

Henry Kissinger Said That The U.S. Should Negotiate Directly With Iran. “Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. should negotiate directly with Iran over its nuclear program and other bilateral issues. ‘One should be prepared to negotiate, and I think we should be prepared to negotiate about Iran,’ Kissinger, who brokered the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war and peace talks with the North Vietnamese, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Asked whether he meant the U.S. should hold direct talks, Kissinger, 84, responded: ‘Yes, I think we should.’” [Bloomberg, 3/14/08]

Hagel: The United States Should Actively Pursue Direct, Unconditional, And Comprehensive Talks With Iran. Hagel said, “Now is the time for the United States to actively pursue an offer of direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with Iran. We cannot afford to refuse to consider this strategic choice any longer. We should make clear that everything is on the table, our issues and Iran's issues.” [CNN, 11/8/07]

Lugar: Direct Talks With Iran “Would Be Useful.” “The United States needs to pursue direct talks and other diplomatic avenues with Iran about its disputed nuclear program before considering a military option, lawmakers from both parties said yesterday. ‘I think that would be useful,’ said Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when asked on ABC's ‘This Week’ about having direct talks. ‘The Iranians are a part of the energy picture,’ said Lugar, a Republican from Indiana. ‘We need to talk about that.’” [AP, 4/17/06]

Former H.W. Bush Secretary of State James Baker: “It's Not Appeasement to Talk to Your Enemies.” James Baker said, “I can't make that judgment here this morning because I don't know what other elements are involved in it. I will say just generally as I've been saying since I've been on this book tour that I believe in talking to your enemies. I don't think you restrict your conversations to your friends. At the same time, it's got to be hard-nosed. It's got to be determined. You don't give away anything, but in my view, it's not appeasement to talk to your enemies. There ought to be some way. I mean, I point out the fact that I made 15 trips to Damascus back in 1991 when they were on our list of countries of state-sponsored terrorism and they changed 25 years…”[“This Week,” ABC News Transcripts, 10/8/06]

Arlen Specter: It Seems Unrealistic That We Say To The Opposite Party That As A Precondition To Discussions We Want The Principle Concession We’re After. Republican Senator Arlen Specter said in a hearing of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, “Now, the position taken by the secretary of State has been we won't talk to Iran unless, as a precondition, they stop enriching uranium. It seems to me that it is unrealistic to try to have discussions but to say to the opposite party, as a precondition to discussions, we want the principle concession that we're after. Do you think it makes sense to insist on a concession like stopping enriching uranium, which is what our ultimate objective is, before we even sit down and talk to them on a broader range of issues?” [Hearing of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/20/08]

Rice: I Am Prepared To Meet My Counterpart At Any Time If Iran Suspends Its Enrichment and Processing Activities. Condoleezza Rice said, “I am prepared to meet my counterpart or an Iranian representative at any time if Iran will suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities. That should be a clear signal.” [AP, 2/25/07]

PALIN: “Government is too big … he wants to grow it. Congress spends too much … he promises more.”

REALITY: IT IS MCCAIN’S BUDGET PLAN THAT WILL BREAK THE BANK

Analysts Say McCain’s Plan Would Increase The Deficit More Than Obama’s. “Experts say that both the McCain plan and the Obama plan would increase the deficit, and that neither man has adequately explained how his proposals would be paid for. But several analysts have said they believe that Mr. McCain’s plan would increase the deficit more, because of the size of the tax cuts he is seeking.” [New York Times, 6/11/08]

McCain’s Tax Cuts Will Either Explode The Federal Deficit Or Require “Unprecedented Cuts” In Federal Spending On Domestic Programs. “Sen. John McCain is proposing tax cuts that would either cause the federal deficit to explode or would require unprecedented spending cuts equal to one-third of federal spending on domestic programs. Once thought of as a deficit hawk, the near-certain Republican presidential nominee is now putting more stress on the traditional Republican orthodoxy of tax cuts.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/22/08]

New York Times: McCain’s Budget Will Add $200 Or $300 Billion To The Deficit Per Year. “The Obama campaign claims it can pay for all this, and even reduce the deficit, through tax increases and spending cuts. I think a more skeptical look at its budget leaves you worried it may add something like $50 billion a year to the deficit. But applying the same arched brow to Mr. McCain’s stated plans leaves you worried that he will add $200 billion or $300 billion or, depending on his voluntary tax system, even more.” [New York Times, 6/18/08]

Tax Policy Center Report Said That McCain’s Budget Plan Would Add $5 Trillion To The Debt Over The Next Decade. “Obama's plan -- cuts targeted to middle- and low-income Americans and increases for the wealthy -- would increase the national debt by an estimated $3.4 trillion in the next decade, the center said. Under a similar analysis, McCain's plan -- largely a continuation of Bush's tax reductions -- would add $5 trillion.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/24/08]

· Ten Percent Corporate Tax Rate Cut Would Cost $100 Billion A Year. “The proposal to lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% would cost about $100 billion a year.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08]

· Full Repeal Of The AMT Would Cost Over $150 Billion A Year. According to the Wall Street Journal, altering the Alternative Minimum Tax for middle class families at $91 billion annually. Eliminating the AMT for up-incomer earners would be an additional $60 billion per year. [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08]

· Gas Tax Holiday Would Cost $10 Billion. An Arizona Republic editorial questions McCain’s summer gas tax holiday proposal, asking “do we really want to extract $10 billion from the nation’s woefully underfunded transportation infrastructure?” [Arizona Republic, Editorial, 4/16/08]

Doubling The Dependent Tax Exemption Would Cost $65 Billion A Year. “Doubling the dependent exemption would cost $65 billion a year.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08]

April 2008: McCain “Changed His Position” On Balancing The Budget, Said Economic Conditions Made It Unrealistic. John McCain had previously said he would balance the budget in four years, but changed his position in April saying that “economic conditions are reversed” and it would instead take eight years. [New York Times, 4/16/08]

PALIN: “Taxes are too high … he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific. The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes … raise payroll taxes … raise investment income taxes … raise the death tax … raise business taxes … and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

REALITY: OBAMA TAX PROPOSAL WILL NOT RAISE TAXES AND WILL PROVIDE A BIGGER BREAK FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES THAN MCCAIN’S PLAN

Annenberg Political Fact Check: McCain’s Ad Attacking Obama’s Plans That Would Increase Taxes And Bring On “Years Of Deficits” And “Billions In New Government Spending” “Puts Another Stitch In What We’ve Call His Pattern Of Deceit On Obama’s Tax Plan.” “McCain's new ad puts another stitch in what we've called his pattern of deceit on Obama's tax plan. This one claims Obama and congressional Democrats plan to push forward ‘painful tax increases on working American families’ and that they will bring about ‘years of deficits,’ ‘no balanced budgets’ and ‘billions in new government spending.’ The ad is plain wrong about higher taxes on working families. In fact, Obama's economic plan would produce a tax cut for the majority of American households, with middle-income earners benefiting most. As for ‘years of deficits,’ exactly the same claim could be made about McCain's program. It's unlikely either Obama or McCain would balance the budget, and both are projected to increase the debt by trillions.” [FactCheck.org, 9/2/08]

Washington Post Editorial: “McCain Campaign Insists on Completely Misrepresenting Mr. Obama’s Plan” on Taxes – Under McCain’s Plan, “Wealthiest Taxpayers Make Out Terrifically.” “Instead, the McCain campaign insists on completely misrepresenting Mr. Obama's plan. The ad opens with the Obama-as-celebrity theme – ‘Celebrities don't have to worry about family budgets, but we sure do,’ says the female announcer. ‘We're paying more for food and gas, making it harder to save for college, retirement.’ Then she sticks it to him: ‘Obama's solution? Higher taxes, called 'a recipe for economic disaster.' He's ready to raise your taxes but not ready to lead.’ The facts? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the Obama plan would give households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution an average tax cut of 5.5 percent of income ($567) in 2009, while those in the middle fifth would get an average cut of 2.6 percent of income ($1,118). ‘Your taxes’ would go up, yes -- but not if you're someone who is sweating higher gas prices. By contrast, Mr. McCain's tax plan would give those in the bottom fifth of income an average tax cut of $21 in 2009. The middle fifth would get $325 -- less than a third of the Obama cut. The wealthiest taxpayers make out terrifically. The country can't afford the tax cuts either man is promising, although Mr. McCain's approach is by far the more costly. We don't expect either side to admit that. But neither side should get to outright lie about its opponent's positions, either.” [Washington Post Editorial, 8/31/08]

Analysts Say That Obama’s Tax Cut Plan “Offers Three Times The Break For Middle Class Families Than Proposals” Of McCain. “The tax cut plan of Democratic nominee to be Barack Obama offers three times the break for middle class families than proposals of likely Republican nominee John McCain, according to analysts working for a left-leaning think tank. Families making between $37,595 and $66,354 of annual income with Obama would get an average tax cut of $1,042 per family while McCain’s tax cut for this group would be $319, the report states.” [Nashua Telegraph, 6/12/08]

Under Obama’s Plan The Middle Of The Middle Class Would See Taxes Cut By $1,042 A Year; McCain’s Tax Plan Would Give Them Only A $319 Tax Cut. According to the non partisan Tax Policy Center’s computations, “under Mr. Obama’s plan, the middle of the middle class, or those earning $37,595 to $66,354, would see taxes cut by $1,042 a year. Under Mr. McCain’s plan, taxes for people in that category would also fall, but by $319; the largest chunk of the benefits would go to those making $2.8 million a year or more.” [New York Times, 6/13/08]

Obama Plan: $80 Billion A Year In Tax Cuts “To Middle-Class Workers, Homeowners And Retirees.” “Senator Barack Obama proposed a plan on Tuesday to provide at least $80 billion a year in tax cuts to middle-class workers, homeowners and retirees, saying if he was elected president he would ‘end the preferential treatment that’s built into our tax code.’ Mr. Obama said he would give a $500 tax credit to more than 150 million workers, create a tax credit for homeowners who do not itemize their deductions and eliminate income taxes for older taxpayers who make less than $50,000 a year.” [New York Times, 9/19/07; Tax Fairness For The Middle Class]

REALITY: OUTSIDE OBSERVERS AGREE: CLAIMS THAT OBAMA WILL RAISE TAXES ARE “WRONG,” “FALSE,” “MISLEADING”

Time: McCain’s Tax Plan “Benefits Mostly Those In Higher Income Brackets While Obama’s Plan Benefits Mostly Those In Lower-And Middle Income Tax Brackets.” “They do, however, offer plans that differ strikingly from each other. McCain's tax plan benefits mostly those in higher income brackets, while Obama's plan benefits mostly those in lower- and middle-income tax brackets. McCain wants a tax cut for corporate profits, while Obama has proposed a whole host of tax cuts that will benefit those in the middle-income brackets.” [Time, 7/24/08]

“Overwhelmingly Most Americans Will Not See Their Income Taxes Increased” Under Obama’s Tax Plan. Anne Mathias, an economist at the Stanford Group Company, “points out that 95.1% of the American people are in households that earn less than $200,000 -- so overwhelmingly most Americans will not see their income taxes increased, if Obama's math is correct.” [ABC News, 7/7/08]

New York Sun: “Some Conservatives Are Praising” Obama For His Tax Plan And A Senior Policy Analyst At The Heritage Foundation Said That The Middle Class Would Likely Pay Less Under Obama’s Plan Than McCain’s. “Senator Obama, with his lead against Senator McCain narrowing in some polls, is trying to portray himself as the real tax-cutter in the presidential race. And even some conservatives are praising him for it. A senior policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Rea Hederman Jr., praised Mr. Obama for proposing a 20% tax rate on dividends and capital gains, lower than a 28% rate he had initially floated, though still more than the current 15% rate. ‘That's a great step in the right direction,’ Mr. Hederman said. ‘It's a big change from what we thought the Obama tax plan would be at the beginning of the summer.’ Mr. Hederman said the middle class would likely pay less under Mr. Obama's plan than Mr. McCain's but that the Democrat was excessively reliant on complicated tax breaks that would make the tax code more confusing. ‘Instead of a grab bag of tax credits, lower the marginal rates,’ Mr. Hederman said.” [New York Sun, 8/15/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Campaign Attacks on Obama Tax Plan “Overblown,” “Wrong,” and “Greatly Exaggerated.” “The McCain camp is attempting to persuade Americans that their taxes will increase dramatically with Barack Obama as president. The presumptive Republican nominee has repeatedly said that Obama would enact ‘the largest tax increase since the Second World War.’ A surrogate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, insists that Obama has not proposed ‘a single tax cut’ and wants to ‘raise every tax in the book.’ … The claim that Obama will ‘enact’ the largest tax increase since World War II is also overblown. The Bush tax cuts will expire automatically at the end of 2010, so it is hardly a question of ‘enacting’ a new tax increase. ... Carly Fiorina is wrong to claim that Obama has proposed no tax cuts and wants to raise ‘every tax in the book.’ John McCain is on more solid ground when he claims that Americans from many different backgrounds could be affected by a rise in capital gains taxes, but he has greatly exaggerated the adverse impact.” [Washington Post, 6/11/08]

Politifact: McCain’s Statement That Obama’s Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes Is “False.” Politifact reported, “So calling it a tax increase might not be considered fair. There's no disputing that taxes will rise, but the question of who's responsible for that tax increase is another matter entirely. At PolitiFact, we've concluded, as have others, that it's unfair to call Obama's plan a tax increase merely because it doesn't change existing tax law to keep rates low. We think about it this way: The reason taxes will increase is because of tax policy signed into law not by Obama, but by somebody else… the more recent data — combined with the fact that Obama's proposal does not constitute a tax increase in the traditional sense, since some taxes would be lower under his plan than they would under current law — persuades us to classify McCain's statement as False.” [Politifact, 6/11/08]

Washington Post: McCain’s Attack On The Obama Tax Plan “Crosses The Line From Reasonable Argument To Unacceptably Misleading.” “Barack Obama and John McCain have important differences on tax policy. These are fair game for campaign ads, and no one expects 30-second spots to be suffused with nuance. But Mr. McCain's latest attack on the Obama tax plan crosses the line from reasonable argument to unacceptably misleading.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/10/08]

Annenberg Political Fact Check: Claim That Obama “Promises More Taxes On Small Business, Seniors, Your Life Savings, Your Family” Is “Simply Not True For The Vast Majority Of Viewers Who Will See It.” “The TV ad also says that Obama ‘promises more taxes on small business, seniors, your life savings, your family.’ This statement is simply not true for the vast majority of viewers who will see it. Obama, in fact, promises to deliver a $1,000 tax cut for families making up to $150,000 a year, and he says he would increase income tax rates, capital gains tax rates and taxes on dividends only for those with family incomes over $250,000 a year, or for single taxpayers making over $200,000.” [FactCheck.org, 8/8/08]