Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin lies again (this time about Sudan divestment)

Based on what is now ample experience since Sarah Palin was picked to be John McCain's running-mate at the Republican convention, every time Palin makes a new claim about about her political record in Alaska, it's usually safe to expect that this claim falls somewhere between misleading prevarication and pure fiction. Remember when she supposedly "told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’, on that bridge to nowhere”? I'm afraid we really can't trust a single thing she says until it has been checked and double-checked.

Sure enough, Palin came up with another of these offhand lies during her Vice-Presidential "debate" with Joe Biden. I don't want to try keeping track of all these easily-disprovable lies that Palin tosses out and then keeps blithely repeating even after they have been debunked (that would take up too much time, since there are so many examples), but I confess that this one especially pissed me off, since it dealt with the morally very serious issue of genocide in Darfur.

Andrew Sullivan, who follows this sort of stuff for a living, picked it up:
Andrew Sullivan (Daily Dish)
October 3, 2008
The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XVI: Divestment From Sudan

She really does just make things up. In last night's debate she said:
"When I and others in the legislature found out that we had some millions of dollars [of Permanent Fund investments] in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars."
Yep: you guessed it:
A search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska's investments tied to the ruling regime. Moreover, Palin's administration openly opposed the bill, and stated its opposition in a public hearing on the measure.

"The legislation is well-intended, and the desire to make a difference is noble, but mixing moral and political agendas at the expense of our citizens' financial security is not a good combination," testified Brian Andrews, Palin's deputy treasury commissioner, before a hearing on the Gara-Lynn Sudan divestment bill in February. Minutes from the meeting are posted online by the legislature.

Gara says the lack of support from Palin's administration helped kill the measure.

"I walked out of that hearing livid," Gara recalled of the February meeting. Because of the Palin administration's opposition to the bill, "We could not get a vote in that committee," he explained. [....]
According to the ABC News report from which those extracts are quoted: "At no point did Palin come out in support of the effort, Gara said."

By the way, to John McCain's credit:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been a strong supporter of Sudan divestment efforts, and has urged Americans to liquidate their holdings in companies who do business there. He was criticized for that position when it was revealed in May his wife Cindy held $2 million in investment funds owning shares of Sudan-linked companies. She sold those holdings following a reporter's inquiries.
Yours for reality-based discourse,
Jeff Weintraub

(P.S. Let's be fair. If anyone can demonstrate to me that this particular charge against Sarah Palin is inaccurate, i will be glad to acknowledge that. She must tell the truth occasionally.)