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Daniel Kurtzman

Daniel Kurtzman

Posted: September 18, 2008 03:31 AM

Sarah Palin, by the Numbers


Sarah Palin may lie, but numbers don't. Her record speaks for itself:

2007: the year in which Sarah Palin first obtained a passport (Source)

312: the number of nights during her first 19 months in office that Palin charged taxpayers a "per diem" totaling $16,951 for staying in her own home -- an allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business (Source)

$500 to $1,200: the fee that Wasilla charged rape victims to pay for post-sexual assault medical exams, after the city cut funds during Palin's tenure that had previously covered the exams (Source)

$150: the cash payment offered by the Palin administration to hunters who turn in legs of freshly killed wolves gunned down from airplanes (Source)

3: the number of times during her first few weeks as mayor that Palin inquired with the Wasilla librarian about banning books (Source)

3: the number of months after the censorship discussion that Palin fired the librarian (Source)

100: the approximate number of Wasilla residents who rallied to support the librarian, prompting Palin to withdraw her termination letter (Source)

0: the number of foreign heads of state Palin has met (Source)

0: the number of commands Palin has issued as head of the Alaska National Guard (Source)

2: the number of times in Palin's ABC News interview that she said the word "nucular" (Source)

0: Wasilla's long-term debt when Palin took office in 1996 (Source)

$18.6 million: the long-term debt Palin racked up by the time she left office in 2002, amounting to about $3,000 per resident (Source)

$50,000: the amount of city funds Palin used without authorization to redecorate the Wasilla mayor's office, including adding flocked, red wallpaper that made it look "like a bordello," according to a former Wasilla City Council member (Source)

33: the percentage by which Palin increased the budget of Wasilla during her tenure, despite billing herself as a fiscal conservative and champion of smaller government (Source)

25: the percentage by which Palin raised the local sales tax in Wasilla to pay for a sports center, despite claims that she cut taxes (Source)

$27 million: the total amount of federal earmarks Palin secured for Wasilla's town of 6,700 people while she was mayor, thanks to the help of a Washington lobbyist with ties to indicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and convicted felon Jack Abramoff (Source)

3: the number of times John McCain specifically criticized earmarks requested by Sarah Palin when she was mayor of Wasilla, citing them as examples of wasteful spending (Source)

$453 million: the total amount of earmarks Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund for Alaska projects over the past two years, despite McCain's insistence that she hasn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress (Source)

$506.34: the amount of federal earmarks Alaska residents will receive per capita in 2008, the highest level of any state (Source)

$223 million: the earmark secured for the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" that Palin initially supported before opposing (Source)

$223 million: the amount of money designated for the "Bridge to Nowhere" that Palin ultimately used for other projects, rather than returning it to the federal government (Source)

20: the percentage of domestic energy that Palin claims Alaska produces (Source)

3.5: the actual percentage share of domestic energy Alaska produces (Source)

0: the number of people in America who know more about energy than Sarah Palin, according to John McCain (Source)

$600,000: the loss at which Palin sold the governor's jet after making a show of placing it on eBay. It was eventually sold to a Palin campaign contributor who paid $2.1 million (more than 20% less than the original $2.7 million purchase price). (Source)

1: the number of private tanning beds Palin installed in the governor's mansion after taking office (Source)

1.5: the approximate number of hours Palin spent on a refueling layover in Ireland, which the McCain campaign cited as part of her foreign policy experience (Source)

0: the actual amount of time Palin spent in Iraq during a 2007 visit to the region, despite the McCain campaign's claim she had visited the Iraq battle zone. She never made it beyond the Khabari Alawazem Crossing in Kuwait. (Source)

2006: the year in which Palin declared she favors abstinence-only education and that "the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support" (Source)

2008: the year in which Palin's 17-year-old daughter was impregnated by a self-described "f***ing redneck," who wrote on his MySpace page "I don't want kids" and "ya f*** with me I'll kick ass" (Source)

9: the number of U.S. Geological Survey studies concluding that the habitat of Alaska's polar bears is threatened by global warming, which Palin discounted as "insufficent evidence" when she sued the Bush administration to overturn its decision to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act (Source)

5: the number of colleges Palin attended over six years before graduating in 1987 from the University of Idaho with a major in journalism (Source)

500: the number of Fortune 500 companies Sarah Palin is not qualified to run, according to McCain adviser Carly Fiorina (Source)

50: the number of days after Palin announced she "will fully cooperate" with an ethics investigation into the "Troopergate" scandal that the McCain campaign announced she was "unlikely to cooperate" because it had been "hijacked" by Obama operatives. The probe was unanimously authorized by a bipartisan panel of eight Alaska Republicans and four Democrats. (Source)

28: the number of days prior to accepting the vice presidential offer that Palin said she couldn't entertain the idea "until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day" (Source)

15: the number of minutes McCain and Palin spent together during their only meeting prior to the interview in which McCain offered her the vice presidential slot (Source)