Sarah Palin Hired Lobbyists To Bring In $27 Million In Federal Earmarks

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At any point now, I expect Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell us this whole Palin thing is just John McCain doing a "Punk'd" on the entire country.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog.

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McCain's crusade against earmarks -- federal spending sought by members of Congress to benefit specific projects -- has been a hallmark of his campaign. He has said earmarks are wasteful and are often inserted into bills with little oversight, sometimes by a single powerful member of Congress.

Palin has also railed against earmarks, touting her opposition to a $223 million bridge in a remote corner of the state as a prime credential for the vice presidential nomination. "As governor, I've stood up to the old politics as usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ol'-boy network," she said Friday.

In her years as mayor of Wasilla, however, Palin oversaw the hiring of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, an Anchorage-based law firm with close ties to Alaska's most senior Republicans: Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted in July for allegedly accepting illegal gifts. The Wasilla account was handled by the former chief of staff to Stevens, Steven W. Silver, who is a partner in the firm.

Ash Josh Marshall notes and the NY Times is now reporting, it is clear Sen. McCain used the same sort of judgment in bringing Sarah Palin into his campaign as he did when he voted for the Iraq War: None at all. It is just the latest bad decision and lack of judgment John McCain has demonstrated in both his public and private life, and the sort of impulse control he would exercise if God forbid he was elected president.

The Obama campaign should just run an ad saying "Barack Obama thinks before he makes important decisions". It would be an excellent rebuttal to Bush, McCain, and the entire Republican apparatus.