Another Palin Claim Doesn’t Pan Out

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin seems to be palling around with inaccuracies. The latest bit of bad press for her (and by upwards osmosis Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain) comes from USA Today:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin calls herself a fiscal conservative who wants to “rein in government spending.” She says she “reformed the abuses of earmarks in our state.” Republican John McCain said during the last debate that his running mate has “cut the size of government.”

But Palin didn’t cut the size of government as mayor of Wasilla, and she hasn’t done so as Alaska’s governor, city and state budget records show. Spending in fast-growing Wasilla increased by 55% during her tenure from 1996-2002, records show. In nearly two years as governor, she has presided over a 31% spending hike by a state government that sought earmarks from Washington even as it reaped billions from higher oil prices and Palin-backed tax increases on oil companies.

Bill McAllister, a governor’s office spokesman in Alaska, said the state lived through painful budget cuts in the 1990s when low oil prices restricted revenue. “There’s an element of catch-up here,” he said.

It isn’t helpful when this kind of story surfaces during a campaign’s last weeks since it has a way of surfacing later on — in big, fat quotations in TV campaign ads run by the other side…