The Maverick Retort (guest posting by my wife)

So...it appears I have been sportingly challenged on the previous statements I have made regarding Sarah Palin (I truly dig a good debate). In an effort to clear a few things up I decided to justify 10 of the 11 statements I listed, and partially concede to one. I was challenged here as you can read in the "comments" section of my original posting.

I'll break down each one, one by one. I will be referring to the list of facts I wrote at the end of my original post.

Sorry this has taken me so long to reply to. A business, a house, a husband, a 2 and half year old…you get it.

1. "YES, she did vote YES for the “bridge to nowhere”. I was wrong that she didn't "vote" for the bridge to nowhere, as the Governor she can't. However, I was correct that she did in fact support the Bridge to Nowhere, until it became a kind-of laughing stock issue (which at the time McCain himself called out as pork-barrel spending), at which point Palin pulled her support as it became increasingly obvious that to continue her support would just be embarrassing. As a matter of fact, in the web page of facts from the individual that contested my statements, his claim states in number 59 that "yes, she did finally turn down the money for the bridge to nowhere". In fact, she did not turn down the money at all. She simply re-allocated all of it to other transportation projects in Alaska.

And folks, truly it is not that she changed her mind. We all have the right to do that. It is the blatant disregard for our intelligence as Americans that she had the nerve to make the statement "I told Congress "thanks but no, thanks" for that bridge to nowhere". I stand by my statement.

2. "The Right finds that Obama not wearing a flag pin is more of an issue than Palin’s association with the far right Alaskan Independence Party, which has been known to support succession from the US." I never said she was a member. I simply said she was associated with this organization. She did in fact speak in front of this party in 2006 as a candidate for governor and furthermore, I think it is safe to say that given that her husband was a member for 7 years allows us to use the word "association" when discussing Palin and the Alaskan Independence Party. For the record, I never said she was a member, which was in fact a misconception widely printed and stated in the media. I stand by my statement.

3. "Palin, like her running mate, does not support funding for teen pregnancy programs." This is a tricky one. Here's where semantics can be a real pain in the ass. Although, as stated in the list of facts given by the individual contesting my claims, it seems the Alaskan government does appropriate a portion of its budget to help support programs for "troubled youths", I still can't seem to find where there was an "increase" in support. And mind you, these are programs that support all troubled youth. These are not "teen pregnancy programs". However, with that being said, there is no direct facts that I can find stating that Sarah does not support those either. I can't find that she does, and I can find that she doesn't. I will partially concede my statement.

4. "She has vehemently refused to support sex education in schools, other than abstinence." In answer to this question from the Eagle Forum Alaska Questionnaire:
"Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?" Palin's answer was: "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support." So, yes she does support abstinence-only education. And even her own supposed supporters have stated that her comments on abstinence-only education and lessons on contraception didn't sound clear and seemed disjointed. I stand by my statement.

5. "Palin does not support pro-choice abortion rights. So, while applauding her daughter for CHOOSING (interesting selection for a word, don’t you think?) to have her baby, she has made it a point to try and take away choice from other women." Palin has stated many many many many many many times that she is pro-life. She has stated she thinks a woman should not have an abortion for any reason other than the mother's life being in danger. She has stated that she believes it should not be a federal decision, but a state decision. Now, I know everyone will tell me "this is her personal opinion", but what are we to judge her future decision-making on if not her "personal opinion". And I will also give you my personal opinion that the reason this has remained a federal decision is because it is the only way to fully protect this right for women. Should it become a state decision I believe you will find many women taking many drastic measures, including ones that put the mother's life in danger. AND during an interview with Newsmax.com, she answered “And your stand on abortion” with this: “I'm pro-life. I'll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.” I think that’s clear. I stand by my statement.

6. "She claims to want to put the smackdown on earmark spending, yet applied for over $200 million in earmark requests this year before being asked to accept the VP nomination. She also applied for and received thousands and millions in earmarks over the years during her stint as mayor of Wasilla. And a few of these earmarks were actually criticized at the time by McCain himself." I fully stand by this statement. You can show me how she actually decreased earmark spending during her time in Alaska but the fact still remains that "Alaska has consistently topped the pork per capita ratings drawn up by Citizens Against Government Waste since 2000. According to the latest 2008 ranking, every Alaskan received $555 in pork over the last year, compared to $25 for every inhabitant of Illinois and $15 for every Arizonan."

AND "While she has cut back on earmark requests, records cited by the Associated Press show that she has requested $750 million in federal subsidies during her two years as governor, the largest per-capita request in the nation."

AND "McCain has also weighed in on the Gravina Island Bridge. In advertisements, McCain labeled the bridge as wasteful spending. [40] and in an August 2007 townhall speech recorded on video[41] and quoted again on April 30, 2008,[42] he blamed the tragedy of the Minneapolis I-35 bridge collapse on the Bridge to Nowhere. His advertising and comments which before September 21, 2006 contradicted Governor Sarah Palin's support of the bridge drew the attention of the media,[43] when he chose Palin as his running mate." (all citations left in this quote are backed up on the wikipedia page as linked above). I stand by my statement.

7. “She is in the middle of an investigation that is accusing her of abusing her powers surrounding the termination of her public safety commissioner. Apparently an attempt to get back at her ex-brother-in-law for violent (and unforgivable, if true) acts against her sister and her nephew, she pressured the public safety commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law. When he refused, she fired him.” I could link a whole bunch of articles stating this fact but I really don’t think I have to. It is common knowledge that Palin is in the middle of this investigation. She is, in fact, accused of the above. I stand by my statement.

8. “She tried to have books banned in the local library in Wasilla, Alaska during her time as mayor because “some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them”. This is a case of “you say potato, I say potato”. In my statement I claim she tried to have books banned. In the statement given by the person contesting my claims, he says “…she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive…” So, here we are. I don’t support Palin, so I say “banned”. You do support Palin, so you say “withdrawn”. Potato/potato. I stand by my statement.

9. “She opposes same-sex marriage.” “Ms. Palin said she supported Alaska’s decision to amend its Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But she used her first veto as governor to block a bill that would have prohibited the state from granting health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees. Ms. Palin said she vetoed the bill because it was unconstitutional, but raised the possibility of amending the state Constitution so the ban could pass muster.”

So she supported amending the state’s constitution to ban it, then vetoed a bill trying to prohibit health benefits for same-sex partners, but went on to discuss amending the state’s constitution AGAIN to support the ban. You be the judge. I stand by my statement.

10. “She opposes embryonic stem-cell research.”
It is widely known that McCain supports embryonic stem cell research and his running mate does not. I stand by my statement.

11. “She opposes the decriminalization of marijuana for people with painful illnesses.”
Palin has stated several times she does not support the decriminalization of marijuana. I stand my statement.