Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Palin says thanks but no thanks for stimulus money

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin turned down $28.6 million in stimulus money to make buildings more energy efficient.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin turned down $28.6 million in stimulus money to make buildings more energy efficient.

In a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity on June 8, 2009, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin criticized the stimulus package as a "dizzying debt that we're handing to our kids."

She said, "I vetoed a bucket of the money, not a whole lot, we did accept education dollars and infrastructure dollars, but dollars that were tied to universal energy building codes for Alaska, kind of a one-size-fits-all building code that isn't going to work up there in Alaska and really prohibits opportunity to build and to develop, and just wasn't going to work up there in Alaska, so I vetoed a bucket of that money.

"...I don't think that it would be a healthy thing for our state to adopt because it would be a federal mandate, fixed, centralized government, telling Alaskan communities that have opted out of building codes for the most part.

"Them telling us what's best for our businesses and residences, how to build them, and we're all for energy conservation. We have hundreds of millions of dollars, in fact, budgeted for programs there but we don't want those fat strings attached where centralized, big government is going to tell us what is best."

We wondered if the building codes were as strict as Palin claimed. She did, in fact, veto $28.6 million in federal stimulus money for weatherization and other projects to make new and existing homes and buildings more energy efficient. But many state legislators in Alaska, including some of her fellow Republicans, say Palin has overstated the strings attached to the federal money.

We found the state legislators were right, that Palin was misstating the rules. Check out our ruling for the full details.