Everybody’s talking about Sarah Palin’s change of heart on the Bridge to Nowhere, but somehow the more interesting and arguably consequential part of the story keeps getting pushed to the bottom.
“What happened to the $223 million Palin is saying she said ‘No Thanks’ too?,” asks TPM’s Josh Marshall. “She kept it.”
But many papers reporting this information are having a hard time getting it across clearly.
Here’s the Anchorage Daily News taking a a shot.
Paragraph 21: Once Palin spiked the bridge project, the money wasn’t available to Minnesota or other states, however. Congress, chastened by criticism of the Alaska funding, had removed the earmark but allowed the state to keep the money and direct it to other transportation projects.
Reuters takes a stab at it:
Paragraph 8: National fury over the bridge caused Congress to remove the earmark designation, but Alaska was still granted an equivalent amount of transportation money to be used at its own discretion.
And, this is an attempt by the AP:
Paragraph 8: After the Ketchikan bridge became an issue and an object of ridicule, Congress dropped the earmark.
It’s easy to get bogged down in terms like “earmark designation,” but, come on, folks. Just make it clear: She kept the money. And, who’s asking where it went?