When Christine O’Donnell wanted to show voters in the 2008 election what type of “pork barrel” spending she would never vote for, she cited the example of the controversial so-called “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska — a project backed by now-supporter Sarah Palin.
Palin’s endorsement of O’Donnell gave her candidacy a big boost just before the primary.In an archived version of her 2008 campaign website found by Talking Points Memo, O’Donnell wrote:
I will never vote for “pork barrel spending” or corrupt “earmark favors.” These terms refer to the practice of slipping favors for special interest groups into the final stages spending bills. These so-called special projects have little accountability to determine if the projects were completed on time, if the money was spent the way it was intended or who profited from the deal. (For example, $250 million was earmarked three years ago for a bridge to nowhere in Alaska.)
Palin said in a nationally televised speech when accepting the job as John McCain’s running mate that she opposed federal funding for the controversial bridge which would have linked the sparsely populated Gravina Island to the town of Ketchikan, Alaska. But she evidence later emerged that she was for it before she was against it.
“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 in August 2006, according to the Ketchikan Daily News and as reported by USA Today.
O’Donnell’s letter was on her website as of April 10, 2008, months before Palin was named as McCain’s running mate.