White House ’08: The Mythbusters Strike Back

Story by Chris Graham

You could call it the Democrats’ version of the Sarah Palin Truth Squad.

“I have some very serious concerns about the qualifications for the office and some of the issues that they are running on in terms of change that doesn’t meet the facts of the situation,” said former Alaska governor Tony Knowles, one of the charter members of the Alaska Mythbusters team introduced by the Obama-Biden campaign today.

Knowles was joined on a conference call with reporters by another blast from Sarah Palin’s past – Bob Weinstein, the mayor of Ketchikan, the Alaska city back in the headlines again thanks to Palin as being Nowhere. Weinstein briefed the news media from the Lower 48 on the background of the Bridge to Nowhere that Palin said she was instrumental in blocking as governor even as it has become widely known that, to borrow from the GOP’s characterization of John Kerry regarding the war in Iraq in ’04, she was for it before she was against it.

“She came to Ketchikan in September 2006. She was asked in public when she gave a speech here if she supported the project. Not only did she clearly state her support for the project, but she also made it clear that she understood that the use of the words Bridge to Nowhere was a derogatory term, and she compared to the use of a similar derogatory term in the area in which she lives,” Weinstein said today. He then read from a newspaper article from the ’06 campaign in which Palin was quoted as saying that “we need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.” “The concern I have is she has obviously become a spinmeister herself with regard to that project and using the words Bridge to Nowhere and frankly showing disrespect for the community of Ketchikan knowingly,” Weinstein said.

Knowles addressed another form of disrespect that he sees from the McCain-Palin camp regarding the Troopergate investigation into her firing of the Alaska public-safety commissioner that is alleged to have been motivated by her desire to have an ex-brother-in-law fired from his state-trooper job. “The charge itself that is being investigated, and I say this as a former governor, is a very serious charge,” Knowles said. “What the fundamental issue is in it is after something has been dealt with under regulations and in law, Can a governor interfere with the results of that case, and in this case by a personal vendetta extract further punishment against a party. And then when informed that this was an inappropriate approach, not only did the pressure not stop, because it came from others in the governor’s office as well as other commissioners and other high-level Cabinet officials, not only did it not stop, but then in fact the Commissioner of Public Safety was fired for reasons that were extraordinarily puzzling, and seemed to many people in the community as fabricated,” Knowles said.

“That is a very serious ethical charge. And whether it’s for personal vendetta or personal gain, persons in public office cannot use their power to achieve those ends,” Knowles said.

Another truth squad of sorts issued its own rebuke to the McCain-Palin campaign. FactCheck.org labeled a new McCain-Palin TV ad titled “Fact Check” as “less than honest” for its misappropriation of an earlier FactCheck.org article that reviewed rumors circulating on the Internet about Sarah Palin.

“A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama’s attacks on Palin ‘absolutely false’ and ‘misleading.’ That’s what we said, but it wasn’t about Obama,” FactCheck.org reported on its website today, citing an earlier article that criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin being posted on the ‘Net. “We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign,” FactCheck.org reported.

“With its latest ad, released Sept. 10, the McCain-Palin campaign has altered our message in a fashion we consider less than honest. The ad strives to convey the message that FactCheck.org said “completely false” attacks on Sarah Palin had come from Sen. Barack Obama. We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin,” FactCheck.org reported.”They call the ad ‘Fact Check.’ It says “the attacks on Gov. Palin have been called ‘completely false’ … ‘misleading.’ ” On screen is a still photo of a grim-faced Obama. Our words are accurately quoted, but they had nothing to do with Obama.”

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