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Today the AP reported that as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has been the central figure in pushing through the $600M "Road to Nowhere" project, which would provide an alternate link from her home town of Wasilla to Anchorage, AK. The problem for Sarah Palin is, once you dig down into the details of this project, you discover things which don't sound like they would be associated with a project designed to make drivers' commutes easier, like the new route will make most drives longer, and will cost users a toll they presently don't have to pay.

Now, why would a governor supposedly all about saving taxpayers money on pork barrel projects ascribe to such a cockeyed scheme? Hmmm...

Follow me below the fold for more.

One look at the intro of the AP article about Palin's Road to Nowhere, and you begin to understand that there is something wrong with this picture... $600 million for a road that will worsen commute times? This from the governor who McCain claims is partly qualified to be POTUS because she hasn't pursued any pork barrel projects, and is reforming the system, especially within her own party?

Gov. Sarah Palin may eventually have said "no thanks" to a federally funded Bridge to Nowhere.

But a bridge to her hometown of Wasilla, that's a different story.

A $600 million bridge and highway project to link Alaska's largest city to Palin's town of 7,000 residents is moving full speed ahead, despite concerns the bridge could worsen some commuting and threaten a population of beluga whales.

Ok, so let me get this straight... $600 million to connect to a town of 7,000 (that's over $85,000 per person!), and the road will actually make the commutes of most drivers take longer?

A sketch of the proposed route by an online friend at who lives in Anchorage

(local tv affiliate KTUU did a piece on the commuting. The bridge will be a toll bridge!... Couldn't find a youtube link though)

So, why build a route for such great expense if it doesn't help anyone's commute, and will actually cost drivers more in terms of time, gas and expense?

Buried in this article, we get a clue... mention of a group of land developers who also favor the project, and who have close Republican political ties.

The bridge is popular with property developers — including a group comprised of Young's son-in-law, the former legislative director for indicted Republican Sen. Ted Stevens and three others — who own tracts of land across from Anchorage on the inlet's western side

And then in the same article, news of who in Washington secured those funds.

The proposal exists thanks to an earmark request by Republican Rep. Don Young, whose son-in-law has a stake in property near the bridge's proposed western span.

Young and Stevens... Young and Stevens.

Think about that... When you're an ambitious politician stuck in Alaska, who's holding your ticket to the big show in Washington? Young and Stevens. If you're Sarah Palin, it would definitely be a good idea to do whatever you can to show that you're a team player. You know, like voting for their cockeyed road project, even when you know it's a bad deal for everyone else but them and theirs.

It sounds a lot to me like a land development scam that taxpayers are subsidizing here. The bridge is being built because a bunch of powerful people bought up land on the worthless side of the water, and are now legislating a bridge and road to be built at taxpayers' expense, so that they can develop their instantly valuable land and make millions in literally a 'can't lose' equation. (hell, the instant increase in land value would be worth millions in loan value, that could be used to capitalize other similar scams)

To me, this is a far larger scandal than 'Troopergate' or the 'Bridge to Nowhere'... On the surface, it appears that Palin is helping buy her friends a whole bunch of free and easy money, while everyone else gets stuck with the bill... And we can see what a little quid pro quo gets her in return... An all-expenses-paid ticket to the VP slot as the heir apparent to the throne of the Republican Mafia... err, I mean 'Party'.

Seriously, America can't have another four years of this corruption. It's simply gotten to the point where the rest of us simply can't afford to keep paying the bill.

Originally posted to jaosnhouse on Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 03:25 PM PDT.

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