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The TRUTH About Sarah Palin, John McCain and Barack Obama
Sarah Palin's Experience Print E-mail
Written by The Fact Checker in Chief   

Claim: Sarah Palin's years as Mayor and Governor show she has the experience to be Vice President Truth: Palin's record shows that she abuses power, mistrusts science, and is overly secretive

As full attention is now being paid to Sarah Palin's record as Mayor of Wasilla and later as Governor of Alaska, the picture that is beginning to form is that of an aggressively ambitious person who hires and fires people based more on loyalty than competence, who rewards campaign contributors with jobs or insider information, and who goes to great lengths to hide all of her office's internal communications from the public. Like George Bush and Dick Cheney, she ignores the findings of science when it does not fit with her worldview, and ignores the advice of subordinates when the don't agree with her wishes.

Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.

Palin ignores the findings of her state's own scientists, lies about it, and then tries to hide the evidence.

Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.
When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.
“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.

Much has been made of Palin's interest in the possibility of banning books from the Wasilla library when she was Mayor. Though it is true that Palin never made an official request to remove any books--because the city's residents rose up in opposition when she tried to fire the librarian who said she would not do so--there is no question that she felt some books should be removed, even though she hadn't even read them.

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.
“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”
More on how Palin hired friends and mismanaged programs
 
John McCain's Honesty Print E-mail
Written by Fact Checker Chris Carlson   

John McCain has spent decades building up a reputation as an honorable man, willing to fight the system, willing to do what's right even if it cost him politically. Whether that reputation was deserved or not is a question for historians, but it seems that now, as he is making his run for president, John McCain has decided that doing the right thing and being honest are far less important than winning. In the short time since John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate, his campaign has produced a constant flood of mis- and dis-information, exaggerating and flat-out lying about both the record of Governor Palin and the record of Senator Obama.

Harsh advertisements and negative attacks are a staple of presidential campaigns, but Senator John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and even some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Senator Barack Obama’s record and positions...

New York Times - McCain Barbs Stirring Outcry as Distortions

NEW YORK -- John McCain got it wrong Friday when he asserted that his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, had not requested any earmarks, the spending directives lawmakers insert in spending bills that McCain has vowed to eliminate.

Palin, in fact, requested $198 million in federal earmarks in February, including such expenses as $487,000 to fight obesity in Alaska and $4 million to develop recreational trails.

Los Angeles Times - McCain Wrong on Palin Earmarks

Sen. John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Sen. Barack Obama's record and positions.

Obama also has been accused of distortions, but McCain is under fire for two headline-grabbing attacks. First, the McCain campaign twisted Obama's words to suggest he had compared GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin to a pig after Obama questioned McCain's claim to be a change agent by saying, "You can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig." (McCain has used the same expression to describe Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's health plan.)

He then falsely claimed that Obama supported "comprehensive sex ed" for kindergartners. (Obama supported teaching them to be alert for inappropriate advances from adults.)

 

Seattle Times - McCain Lambasted for Inaccuracies

More papers across the country weigh in on McCain's honesty
 
"Obama's" Sex Education Bill Print E-mail
Written by The Fact Checker in Chief   

Claim: Barack Obama created a bill to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergarteners
Truth: Obama supported a bill that would have provided funding to teach young children how to avoid being sexually molested by adults

In what has widely been considered one of the lowest points in the history of political campaign commercials, John McCain's campaign recently released this advertisement:

There are multiple errors in this short advertisement. Obama did have other achievements related to education while in the Illinois legislature, but most notably, the bill in no way supported "comprehensive sex education" for kindergarteners. The only education in the bill aimed at children that young was to help them recognize inappropriate touching, or other signs that an adult might be about to molest or abduct them.

“I have a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean,” Mr. Obama said in 2004. “And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age.”
It is a misstatement of the bill’s purpose, therefore, to maintain, as the McCain campaign advertisement does, that Mr. Obama favored conventional sex education as a policy for 5-year-olds. Under the Illinois proposal, “medically accurate” education about more complicated topics, including intercourse, contraception and homosexuality, would have been reserved for older students in higher grades.

NY Times - Ad on Sex Education Distorts Obama Policy 

More details about the history of the bill and further discussion of the ad
 
John McCain's Memory Print E-mail
Written by The Fact Checker in Chief   

Claim: John McCain is honest and fully competent to be president
Truth: John McCain is either dishonest, has a very bad memory, or both

Anyone question John McCain's memory runs the risk of being accused of age discrimination, so let's say right up front, no evidence has been put forward that John McCain is suffering from age-related memory loss. As the following video clips and articles will show, however, John McCain has on several occasions flat-out denied having said things that he was previously on the record as saying. He has not simply said, "I didn't mean it that way," but clearly and literally denied ever saying them. 

This leaves only two options. The first is that he genuinely does not remember saying them. This is completely plausible, given the number of on the record things that a public figure says in their life, but when the subject matter is of such high importance, this kind of memory failure is worrying. The second possibility is that McCain does remember what he has previously said, and is only pretending otherwise to avoid the necessity to answer uncomfortable questions about why he is now saying something different. There is of course the third possibility that both of these things are partially true at the same time--that is, that McCain is lying to himself about whether he remembers what he said. This would tend to indicate that he says things he does not mean, and then later does not clearly recall what he said because it was never his true opinion.

More examples of John McCain denying things he is on the record as saying
 
McCain, Palin, Rape Victims & Unwed Mothers Print E-mail
Written by The Fact Checker in Chief   

Claim: Naming Sarah Palin as his running mate shows that McCain is sensitive to women's issues
Truth: John McCain has a record of often voting against funding to help abused women or rape victims
Truth: While Sarah Palin was Mayor of Wassila, AK, the city charged rape victims for testing that would help catch their assailants
Truth: As Governor, Sarah Palin vetoed funding for shelters for single teenage mothers

Though it would be unfair to say that John McCain does not care about women's issues, he has a record of voting against providing government funding for women's programs, as well as voting against federal requirements for equal pay, equal rights, or even guarantees of proper law enforcement for rape victims.

In 1994, Joe Biden authored the "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994." The main purpose of the bill was to provide federal funding to help local governments get more police on the streets--100,000 more nationwide. Among other things, though, this bill also mandated that any local government which received these funds must agree to cover the full cost of "rape kits" for victims. These kits allow for the collection of evidence not only to prove that the woman was sexually assaulted, but also to obtain DNA evidence which could be used to prove the identity of her assailant.

(1) IN GENERAL- A State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government, shall not be entitled to funds under this part unless the State, Indian tribal government, unit of local government, or another governmental entity incurs the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic medical exams described in subsection (b) for victims of sexual assault.

Read the entire bill - H.R.3355: Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994  

To become a law, a bill must pass both the House and Senate with identical wording. Usually, each house will pass what they think is the "best" version of a bill, and if those bills pass both houses, a compromise committee will then take the two similar bills and work out a single "compromise" version which then returns to each house for final approval. When this bill was first introduced, John McCain voted for it (thus, he could later campaign claiming he voted for it), but when it came time for final approval, McCain switched positions and voted against it. Luckily for women across the country, McCain was in the minority on that vote and the bill became law when President Clinton signed it.

The record of the final vote on that bill 

As Mayor and Governor, Sarah Palin has also cut funding for rape victims and pregnant mothers
 
John McCain's Opinion of Palin and Spending Print E-mail
Written by The Fact Checker in Chief   

Claim: John McCain says that Sarah Palin is a "maverick reformer"
Truth: McCain critcizes earmark spending while standing next to Palin, who has requested nearly $200 million in earmarks for Alaska this year 
Truth: McCain has also on many past occasions criticized Palin's earmark spending in Alaska
Truth: McCain also blamed the money sent to Alaska for the "Bridge to Nowhere" for the 35W bridge collapse in Minnesota

While John McCain now touts Sarah Palin as a "maverick reformer" who "fought earmark spending" as Mayor of Wassila, Alaska and then later as Governor of that state, in the years before he chose her as his Vice Presidential nominee, McCain often criticized money that was going to Alaska for Palin's projects

On the campaign trail, John McCain and Palin have both been speaking out forcefully about how they will "end" the practice of earmarking (Federal funds set aside for specific projects in the states). Yet, no mention is made of the fact the Governor Palin herself has requested $197 million worth of earmarks in the 2009 federal budget.

Campaigning in Virginia, McCain suggested earmarks are particularly shameful at a time when families are struggling with rising food, gas and home mortgage costs. He vowed again to veto any bill that contains such funding.
"I got an old ink pen, my friends, and the first pork barrel-laden earmark, big-spending bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. You will know their names. I will make them famous and we'll stop this corruption," McCain said during a rally at a park in suburban Washington, D.C.
Palin has sought $197 million worth of earmarks for 2009, down about 25 percent from the $256 million she sought in the 2008 budget year. As mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, she hired a lobbyist to seek federal money for special projects. Wasilla obtained 14 earmarks, totaling $27 million, between 2000-2003, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Associated Press - McCain and Palin castigate the earmarks she seeks 

McCain attacks Palin's past earmark requests, criticizes the $233 million "bridge to nowhere" spending after Palin supposedly said "no thanks", with video
 
Sarah Palin's "Alaskanomics" Print E-mail
Written by Fact Checker MaximusNYC   

Claim: Sarah Palin turns down federal money and is fiscally responsible
Truth: Under Palin, Alaska receives more federal dollars per resident than any other state
Truth: Alaska gives its residents $3,200 from oil revenues while still accepting federal funds
Truth: Palin even charges the state for meals she eats at her own house!

Alaska is the ultimate welfare state: it receives more federal tax dollars than any other state in the union. It gives its residents handouts, thanks to a windfall profits tax on oil (a tax supported by Obama and opposed by McCain!). Sarah Palin has been at the forefront of making all of this happen.

Back to reality. Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 2-1/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it. Although Palin, like McCain, talks about liberating ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, there is no evidence that being dependent on Alaskan oil would be any more pleasant to the pocketbook.
Alaska is, in essence, an adjunct member of OPEC. It has four different taxes on oil, which produce more than 89% of the state's unrestricted revenue. On average, three-quarters of the value of a barrel of oil is taken by the state government before that oil is permitted to leave the state. Alaska residents each get a yearly check for about $2,000 from oil revenues, plus an additional $1,200 pushed through by Palin last year to take advantage of rising oil prices. Any sympathy the governor of Alaska expresses for folks in the lower 48 who are suffering from high gas prices or can't afford to heat their homes is strictly crocodile tears.
[...]
Under the state constitution, the governor of Alaska has unusually strong powers to shape the state budget. At the Republican National Convention, Palin bragged that she had vetoed "nearly $500 million" in state spending during her two years as governor. This amounts to less than 2% of the proposed budget. That's how much this warrior for you (the people) against it (the government) could find in wasteful spending under her control.

Time Magazine: Sarah Palin's Alaskanomics 

That's just the first of many examples...
 
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