Palin & Earmarks

From the WSJ Palin's Project List Totals $453 Million

It does state that prior to Palin's first year as governor, $350 millions was requested. Her first year it was cut to $257, and for her second year, cut again to $197.
But the rest of the article was rather superficial (surprisingly so for the WSJ).
These projects include more than $130 million in federal funds that would benefit Alaska's fishing industry and an additional $9 million to help Alaska oil companies. She also has sought $4.5 million to upgrade an airport on a Bering Sea island that has a year-round population of less than 100.

Perfunction reveals that "an airport on a Bering Sea island that has a year-round population of less than 100" is
According to this document (PDF; thanks, Ed), the Aleutian backwater that needs an airport upgrade is Adak Island. (Example of more WSJ sloppiness: the amount is $3.2 million, not $4.5 million).

OUTRAGE! How dare Palin attempt to pork up some ghost town speck of rock in the Pacific? Airport to Nowhere indeed! There's no good reason for this federal spending.

Or is there?

Adak Island is the new home port of the newest sensor in the US ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, the one-of-a-kind Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX):

The SBX has been on station off the coast of Adak since early 2007, and played a key role in tracking/targeting the toxic spy satellite shoot-down this past February. Positioned in the North Pacific, the SBX is ready to detect ICBMs launched from Asia towards the US:

[Missile Defense Agency Director] Obering said this radar is so powerful that if it were located in Chesapeake Bay, it could track an object the size of a baseball over San Francisco.

While stationed off Adak, the SBX's crew of 85 will be frequently transiting through the island's airport. With Adak's harsh weather and usually socked-in conditions, it seems that $3.2 million is a small price to pay for the safe transport of this important crew.

Patterico tells us what the other earmarks are for:
“Meets the increased needs under the Magnuson-Stevens Act for developing regional fishery coordinated databases.”

“This is an ongoing effort to collect data on the recreational hailbut fishery that is conducted by federal agencies though relying on the state for data.”

“Provides state funding for management of federal fisheries, including Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands king crab and tanner crab, weathervane scallops and groundfish.”

“To meet federal obligation to enhance Sockeye salmon production, the state operates an enhancement unit at an existing hatercy and conducts fish monitoring. The work is completed cooperatively with the Canadian government.”

“Provides ongoing funding for programs that mitigate that impacts of harvest reductions imposed by the Pacific Salmon Treaty on Alaskan fisheries and coastal communities.”

“Funds Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Northwest Treaty Indian Tribes in meeting federal obligations under Pacific Salmon Treaty.”

“Funds monitoring of ice seal populations in Native Villages, research on species delineation and genetics of harbor seals to understand the declines in population and provide for population restoration, and continues research into Stellar Sea Lion population decline.”

“Allows State of Alaska to monitor Yukon River salmon and provide information necessary to support negotiations between US and Canada under Yukon River Salmon Agreement.”

“To continue necessary airport upgrading after transfer of the Naval Air Station (Adak) to the State.”

“Continued funding to address the challenges of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) as it relates to teacher quality and student achievement. It provides trained, full-release mentors for beginning teachers and principals.”

“Funds State of Alaska for implementation of federal obligations under Yukon River Treaty.”

“To complete a communication facility to support the 168th Air Refueling Wing’s 8 PAA KC 135 aircraft.”

The more I look into her beyond what the MSM are reporting, the more I like her candidacy.
btw, Governors cannot request earmarks, only Congress can.

See also Earmarks, Palin & the Bridge to Nowhere

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