As I wrote previously, the Alaska legislators want to accept more federal stimulus money despite Palin's warnings and concerns. She agreed to meet with them to discuss what would happen if they accepted all the federal stimulus money. Instead, they canceled the meeting and decided to waste more of the state's time in order to create a war with Palin over this.
Governor Comments on StimulusThe legislators responded with this:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 09-66
Governor Comments on Stimulus
March 26, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin was scheduled to participate telephonically in a meeting with legislative leadership today when legislative leaders cancelled the meeting to host their own press conference.
Earlier, legislators had expressed concern over whether the governor might veto funds the legislature might add to the governor's request for federal stimulus funds. The governor has made her position clear on stimulus funds and would not speculate on what she might do with legislation that continues to change and has not passed. While legislative leadership might want to take all federal funds, the legislature would still have to pass an appropriations bill that they might choose to amend in the legislative process after hearing more public testimony.
“I can't predict how much or what funds legislators might add to my request, and we haven't heard all the public testimony yet,” Governor Palin said. “To say now what might happen with an unknown bill would be premature."
Governor Palin expressed her concerns about accepting federal dollars that come with strings attached and would require the state to provide additional oversight. The state has requested federal clarification on those funds.
The governor went on to note, "I have to certify that these funds will create jobs and stimulate the economy, and that's why I requested federal funds for job-ready projects. If the legislature wants to add funds to grow government, then I also want to hear how we will get out of the fiscal hole we'll be in just two years from now when those temporary stimulus funds are gone."
Legislative leaders blasted Gov. Sarah Palin this afternoon for issuing an "absolutely false" press release and denying lawmakers direct access to discuss the federal stimulus and the state's budget.So allegedly Governor Palin said members of her staff would meet with the legislators and then they got pissy. They wanted face time with her. IF this is true, that Palin offered her staff instead of herself, then I say to the legislators "take it." Take what you can get and do everything you can to convince her you need the money. If you really cared about the money you would meet with her staff if necessary. They are abandoning their responsibilities to their constituency and instead playing games with Palin. These people are just political hacks. Suck it up and meet with her staff if you need to. Explain your case and don't whine and cry like a 2-year-old who wants mommy.
Palin and legislative leaders were to meet today. But, her legislative liaison, Gerry Gallagher, asked Senate Pres. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, if lawmakers would be willing to meet with staff instead.
"The decision was, there is really limited value in our meeting with the staff, when in fact we need to meet with the governor," Stevens said.