Excellent. She’s up for re-election next year and this move won’t do her any favors inside the state, so I can only assume it’s a sign that she’s keeping her options open for 2012.
“We will request federal stimulus funds for capital projects that will create new jobs and expand the economy,” Governor Palin said. “We won’t be bound by federal strings in exchange for dollars, nor will we dig ourselves a deeper hole in two years when these federal funds are gone. For instance, in order to accept what look like attractive energy funds, our local communities would be required to adopt uniform building codes. Government would then be required to police those codes. These types of funds are not sensible for Alaska.”…
“Our desire is to foster a discussion about what is true stimulus and what is just more federal interference in Alaskans’ lives through the growth of government,” Governor Palin said. “We think stimulus items devoted to government agency growth and program expansion ought to be examined in light of the funding needs already being addressed with our pending budget requests.”
Follow the link up top for the full press release or click the image and scroll down for video of her presser. According to the ADN, the biggest chunk of the money that she’s turning down would go to education, so look out for a “Palin hates children” story on “Countdown” tonight or tomorrow. She also promised to work with the legislature if they decide they want to invoke the stimulus’s “Sanford Amendment” and accept the money. Exit question: Er, is the “Sanford Amendment” constitutional? Survey says: No.
Update: My bad: Debbie Schlussel e-mails to note that Palin actually rejected $288 million, not $515 million. Overall, that means she’ll accept 69% of the funds. Sorry for the error.
Update: Why did Palin initially say she was rejecting roughly half the funds when the actual number’s just north of 30%? The ADN explains:
Palin first told the news media that she’s turning down nearly half the federal stimulus money — but later conceded that does not count the Medicaid money she is accepting. That brings down what she’s refusing to 31 percent of what the state government could get. Local governments and nonprofits could still compete for stimulus grants.