John McCain has chosen governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as his running mate and potential vice-president. Palin, who in September 2007 rejected $233 million in Congressional funds for a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska to an airport on Gravina Island (better known as "the bridge to nowhere"), has been criticized for supporting the bridge project during her 2006 Gubernatorial campaign.
Even though the money had been earmarked specifically for the construction of the bridge, in August 2007 Congress said the $233 million could be used by the state of Alaska for any purpose. On September 21, 2007 A press release from the Governors office said that since project costs had ballooned to $398 million the state would be considering alternatives to the bridge. Govern Palin said "we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island." Ironically, McCain points out wasteful spending as the main problem with the political process, proudly claiming that he never sought an earmark for Arizona.
Different media outlets have proven Palin's earlier support of the Ketchikan bridge. However, when McCain made a big deal of her rejection of the money for the project, which he called a pork-barrel project, Palin came under much criticism by Democrats and even a few Republicans, including Mike Elerding, who helped Palin in her running for governor in 2006. Palin, who was once "insulted" by the term "bridge to nowhere," referred to the project by that same name when she was officially introduced as McCain's vice-presidential choice. Although her evolution from supporter to detractor of the Ketchikan bridge was a slow and covert process, Palin's administration never gave back any of the money that was originally earmarked for the bridge project. Instead, that money was used in federal funds to build a road on Gravina Island that is supposed to link up to the bridge whenever it is built.
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