Planet Gore

Palin Angers Alaska Dems Over Stimulus Cash

Gov. Palin wants to pipeline Alaska’s natural gas to the Lower 48. Dems want roads to nowhere.
From the Alaska Standard blog:

The Democrats in Anchorage had their Legislative send-off Friday night at Café del Mundo in midtown. As a blogger who spent a lot of time with my fellow Democrats during the Convention in Denver as well as during the campaigns, it was nice to see a lot of folks that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

While I heard and participated in many conversations, the one that piqued my curiosity the most came from several legislators who preferred to remain anonymous. It seems that they had been unable to get a list from the Governor of the state infrastructure projects she was going to put forward as requested by President-elect Obama. She even refused to give the information to the legislators in person, saying they were “confidential,” yet she stated she was sharing them with Senator Begich’s Administration.

So why couldn’t she share them with her State Legislature?

You may remember that economic consultant Gregg Erickson’s Dec. 20th Op-Ed piece in the ADN first alluded to these items on the “infrastructure list”:

“Gov. Sarah Palin also caught the spoor of massive federal project handouts, but — to the chagrin of road builders at the state Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities — she directed officials to focus all the state’s efforts on getting a massive federal subsidy for the TransCanada gas pipeline”

AndrewHalcro.com picked up this story through emails from his incredibly accurate network of sources:

“…unlike other states, the governor is limiting requests for federal economic stimulus funds, in our case to a few transportation projects which are directly related to the gasline.

I have heard also that DOT has been told not to submit a number of projects (including some that might be supported by legislators and their constituent communities) because they are non-gasline-related.”.

The concerns here, according to Halcro’s post, are that Alaska would miss out on a valuable opportunity to gain much-needed infrastructure improvements (important, for Alaska’s Rural communities) plus Alaska would lose our share of some very important federal funding at the same time that our state revenue is on the decline (and, I would add, at the same time that the Alaska “brand” has been seriously damaged in Congress).

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