Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did she or didn't she? Palin on special ed and teen mothers

Last week I wrote in my Palin RNC post that Sarah Palin had cut funding to special ed programs and teen mother support groups in Alaska. Then I got a link to this site, which goes through a list of attacks on Palin and marks them as true of false. For the most part nothing on that list was unfamiliar to me but two things did stand out: the fact that she did not cut funds for special ed programs but raised them and that she increased funding for the Covenant House Alaska, a program for unwed teen moms. This was news to me because I had read in the Washington Post that she had actually slashed the funding. Annoyed, and concerned about spreading falsehoods, I began to look into it. After much reading of various posts, news clippings, factcheck.org, Barack Obama's site and even the damned boring budgets themselves, it seems that this story is indeed a misrepresentation. The reason the budget seemed smaller was because it was split into two categories. When added together, the amount is actually larger. The 'slashing' that the post reports on is actually a reduction of the proposed $5 million funding to $3.9 million, which is still an increase over the $1.1 million from the year before.
Since in my research I came across other rumors, which I had not written about but which are not entirely true, I decided to make a new, hopefully more correct list. If you catch any other mistakes, please let me know ASAP. It is very important to me that the Democrats (and myself) maintain their integrity and stick to facts, not fiction. That is a Karl Rove tactic I do not want anything to do with.

- Palin did not cut funding for special needs programs.
- Palin did not ban books from the library. Apparently there is a list of books making the rounds which Sarah allegedly asked the Wasilla library to remove, some of which weren't even published at the time. What really happened was that she asked the librarian a hypothetical question about what she would do if asked to remove some books, to which the librarian said that she wouldn't. The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, did get fired along with four other major department heads as part of what Palin called a 'loyalty test', but was then rehired the following day. Odd, yes, but that's the facts...
- Palin was never a member of the Alaska Independence Party. It was her husband who was a member for years, and she only attended the conventions and spoke via video message to the 2008 convention.
- In 2000, Palin supported Steve Forbes, not Pat Buchanan. The story started because she wore a Pat Buchanan pin when welcoming him to the town.
- Palin supports teaching creationism alongside evolution but has not attempted any legislation to force the point.
- Palin supported bridge to nowhere until Congress killed it off.
- For a comprehensive list of Palin's vetoes please check out this blog. I wash my hands of the blasted budget. What a bore!
- For a complete list of what falsehoods Palin, Giuliani and Huckabee actually said, go to factcheck.org.

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