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Obama and Biden Voted for Bridge to Nowhere

John Powers 31 August 2008 126 Comments

Now that Alaska is front and center in the news again, it is a good time to catch up on a favorite story, The Bridge to Nowhere, using the Washington Post US Congress Votes Database.

Though Gov. Palin originally supported the earmark spending on the Ketchikan bridge (“to nowhere), she eventually killed the project, chosing to spend Federal money on other infrasturcture programs.

However, Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama voted for funding the Bridge, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief.

Sen. McCain did not vote on the Coburn Amendment, though he is on record as opposing the Ketchikan bridge earmark.

Link to votes record below.


  • acidpants said:

    lol pechango was the name of the dumb gangster in Carlito’s Way who got killed in the end. that is aimed at the above commenter who calls himself that.

    Despite the bigots like Oprah who circle around Obama, i like him, although, it is true he is a politician like any other.

  • Disingenuous Much? said:

    Politicians do not vote ON earmarks. They vote on bills to which earmarks are attached. They can, however, do things like–oh, say–hire a lobbying firm to push politicians to INCLUDE earmarks into various bills on their behalf.

    It’s a complicated process, but there’s a former Alaskan mayor who could tell you more about how that works.

  • Steve said:

    This amendment was specifically about the Bridge, and nothing else.

    One of Obama’s earmarks was to his wife’s employer, who then doubled her salary.

  • Kaylei said:

    Let’s just conveniently ignore that most people in both the House and the Senate voted for this bill, and McCain didn’t even vote no on it. Oh, yeah, and that the bill talked about more than the bridge in question. Congress is kind of like the President in that you can’t vote for pieces of a bill just like you can’t line-item veto; if you could, I bet there’d be a lot less pork.

    Let’s complain more about the politicians who get pork barrel projects into the bills than the ones who vote for the bills that happen to have those projects attached.

  • Booch said:

    I hear in other countries… well all other democracies anyway, people don’t care about this stuff.

    Rather they care about ISSUES, what their policies are and what their plan is.

  • Obama Republican said:

    Here is Barack Obama’s record on rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

    * Sept. 2, 2005: Obama holds press conference urging Illinoisans to contribute to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

    * Sept. 5, 2005: Obama goes to Houston to visit evacuees with Presidents Clinton and Bush.

    * Sept. 7, 2005: Obama introduces bill to create a national emergency family locator system

    * Sept. 8, 2005: Obama introduces bill to create a National Emergency Volunteers Corps.

    * Sept. 8, 2005: Obama co-sponsors the Katrina Emergency Relief Act of 2005 introduced by Senator Harry Reid

    * Sept. 8, 2005: Obama co-sponsors the Hurricane Katrina Bankruptcy Relief and Community Protection Act of 2005 introduced by Senator Russ Feingold

    * Sept. 12, 2005: Obama introduces legislation requiring states to create an emergency evacuation plan for society’s most vulnerable

    * Sept. 15, 2005: Obama issues public response to President Bush’s speech about Gulf Coast rebuilding.

    * Sept. 21, 2005: Obama co-sponsors bill to establish a Katrina commission to investigate response to the disaster introduced by Hillary Clinton

    * Sept. 21, 2005: Obama appears on NPR to discuss the role of poverty in Hurricane Katrina.

    * Sept. 22, 2005: Obama and Coburn’s Hurricane Katrina financial oversight bill unanimously passes Senate committee.

    * Sept. 22, 2005: Obama’s amendment requiring evacuation plans unanimously passes Senate committee.

    * Sept. 28, 2005: Obama and Coburn issue statement about the need for a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the financial mismanagement and suspicious contracts occurring in the reconstruction process

    * Sept. 29, 2005: Obama and Coburn investigate possible FEMA refusal of free cruise ship offer

    * Oct. 6, 2005: Obama and Coburn issue statement on FEMA Decision to re-bid Katrina contracts

    * Oct. 6, 2005: Obama co-sponsors Gulf Coast Infrastructure Redevelopment and Recovery Act of 2005.

    * Oct. 21, 2005: Obama releases statement decrying the extension of FEMA director, Michael “Brownie” Brown’s contract. Obama calls Brown’s contract extension, “unconscionable.”

    * Nov. 17, 2005: Obama and Coburn introduce legislation asking FEMA to immediately re-bid all Katrina reconstruction contracts.

    * Feb. 1, 2006: Obama gives Senate floor speech on his legislation to help children affected by Hurricane Katrina

    * Feb. 2, 2006: Obama introduces legislation to help low-income children affected by Hurricane Katrina

    * Feb. 23, 2006: Obama issues statement responding to a White House report on Hurricane Katrina. Obama noted that the top two recommendations that the report had for the federal government were initiatives he had been working on since immediately after the storm hit. Obama called the administration’s response “delinquent.”

  • Obama Republican said:


    * May 2, 2006: Obama gives speech about no-bid contracts in Hurricane Katrina reconstruction

    * May 4, 2006: Obama’s legislation to end no-bid contracts for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction passed the Senate.

    * June 15, 2006: Obama and Coburn announce legislation to require amendment to create competitive bidding for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction for federal contracts over $500,000. Although it passed previously, the language was stripped in conference.

    * June 15, 2006: Obama releases podcast about his pending Katrina reconstruction legislation in the Senate.

    * June 16, 2006: Obama and Coburn get no-bid Hurricane Katrina reconstruction amendment into Department of Defense authorization bill.

    * July 14, 2006: Obama and Coburn’s legislation to end abuse of no-bid contracts passes senate as amendment to Department of Defense authorization bill.

    * August 11, 2006: Obama visits Xavier University in New Orleans to give Commencement address

    * August 14, 2006: Obama and Coburn ask FEMA to address ballooning no-bid contracts for Gulf Coast reconstruction

    * Sept. 29, 2006: Obama and Coburn legislation to prevent abuse of no-bid contracts in the wake of disaster passes Senate to be sent to President’s desk to become law.

    * Feb. 2007-Present: As Obama begins his Presidential campaign he references Katrina as a part of his stump speech as he travels around the country in his familiar line, “That we are not a country which preaches compassion and justice to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of a major American city. That is not who we are.”

    * June 20, 2007: Obama co-sponsors Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007 introduced by Senator Chris Dodd.

    * July 27, 2007: Obama and colleagues get a measure in the Homeland Security bill that will investigate FEMA trailers that may contain the toxic chemical, formaldehyde.

    * Aug. 26, 2007: Obama outlines a detailed Hurricane Katrina recovery plan.

    * December 18, 2007: Obama calls on President Bush to protect affordable housing in New Orleans

    * February 16, 2008: Obama releases statement on toxic Gulf Coast trailers

  • Chris said:

    This article is a lie. Using the link John provided in the story (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/bills/h_r_3058/) and drilling into the ACTUAL Bridge to Nowhere amendment, you can see Barack Obama and Joe Biden voted to reject the amendment. The amendment was rejected and later the bill passed.

    John, I believe you owe Barack Obama and Joe Biden an apology.

  • Dub said:

    @Nona – The general public is just plain dumb! And if McCain/Palin win that will only be further proof.


  • Dan from CT said:

    In reading the full text of the bill, I found that it only has two references to the “Gravina Island Bridge” aka Bridge to Nowhere, and those are in section 185. Section 185 concerns the funds “made available pursuant to Public Law 109-59″. The purpose of this Section is to allow the State of Alaska to use those funds elsewhere, and allots no other funds to the Gravina Island Bridge.

    I wonder if Mr. Powers even read the bill that he was referencing here.

  • Bert said:

    How does this excuse Sarah Palin’s lie about her opposition to the bridge to nowhere and the McCain campaign’s co-opting of that lie for their campaign? Ah, that’s right, it doesn’t, though it’s amusing how people can be distracted and swayed by this disingenuous issue.

    Also, did anyone read the entire bill? There is a lot more stuff in that than the bridge to nowhere. Shouldn’t we instead be lambasting the person who earmarked that project?

    Nah, that would require reading, rational thought, and logic, something which is sadly deficient in the American electorate.

  • John Powers said:


    The “No” vote on the Amendment continued funding the “Bridge to Nowhere”. The “Yes” vote shifted it.


    Bert and Dan,

    The link is for the Coburn Amendment which was pretty narrow on the shifting funding from Bridge to Nowhere to Katrina disaster recovery.


    There is plenty of lambasting to go around for earmark spending, but remains pretty clear: Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden voted to fund the Bridge to Nowhere. Sen. McCain was not present to vote.


  • Eric said:

    John Powers, thanks for the link onf HR-3058. It shows that Obama voted along with the majority of Republicans (and Democrats) against the bill when it went down 15-82.

    Also thanks to Conservative Liberal for that link, which shows that Obama voted along with the majority of Republicans (and Democrats) to approve the bill (once it was amended) when it won 93-1.

    So, Obama voted FOR the modified Coburn Amendment. And you’ve now shown he has a record of working with Republicans to pass reforms. Thanks guys!

  • John Powers said:

    Yes Eric,

    The Bridge to Nowhere was a bipartisan earmark, with only 15 dissenters (11R, 4D), and McCain sort of dissenting, by not voting (Corzine and Schumer also did not vote).

    I question Sen. Obama’s charges that Gov. Palin flip-flopped, when he clearly was in support of the maniacal spending. So, he is criticizing her for agreeing with him at one time?


  • Melt said:

    The issue isn’t the bridge itself, it’s the lying.

    Gov Palin is out there lying about her record.

    John McCain is out there lying about her record.

    They’re trying to whitewash her past. They seem to be concerned that her support for the Bridge to Nowhere was a liability.

    Changing your mind and being honest about it? Not a liability.

    Lying and saying that you told them “thanks but no thanks” (<– Lie!) and keeping the money? Liability.

  • Chris said:

    John, if you what you say is true, then why did Stevens vote against funding it?

    Vote description: Stevens Amdt. No. 2181; To ensure reconstruction of the Twin Spans Bridge.

    FOR: Ted Stevens

    AGAINST: Joseph Biden, Barack Obama

    No offense to your reading skills, but the Amendment was rejected, despite Stevens’ support, with the help of Senators Obama and Biden. You’re wrong on this issue.

  • huge1 said:

    “sort of dissenting”? is not voting? then a lot of people are “sort of dissenting” by “not voting” for president?

  • huge1 said:

    doesn’t anyone care that she wants to ban books and incorporate church and state or is a failed bridge project more important?

  • Chris said:

    From the amendment in question:

    “What this amendment does is prohibit and directs no money to be spent on these bridges. That does not mean Alaska will not get the same amount of money. It will get the same amount of money less $75 million, and it directs $75 million to go to the twin span bridges of I-10 that were knocked out during Hurricane Katrina.”

    So Stevens is asking that Alaska get the money, but that it NOT be spent on the bridges. In addition, they would like $75 million LESS than what they asked for, so that it goes to NOLA.

    In simple terms: Please give us money, but just a little less, and we promise not to spend it on the bridge.

    How magnaminous of Stevens! It’s no wonder it was rejected soundly.

  • David G. said:

    Two issues here…..pork and Palin.


    The way these pork projects were set up individual pork was not voted on but the entire bill was up or down / yes or no. The pork sponsors weren’t identified. So Obama and Biden both voted on the overall bill which is how Republicans ran the pork barrel spending.


    Alaska still got their $300 million for the bridge, that Palin campaigned on, but the wealthiest state in the Union used it for other stuff. But her change of heart came about for the bridge when she realized as governor that the state of Alaska would need to pony up the difference between the 300 million and the total cost of bridge which was at least twice more.

  • nobama said:

    Nobama is running around blaming Palin for flipping on something that he himself voted for, which is itself strange since he doesn’t seem to vote on much over the years. can you stop drinking the obama crack-aid long enough to see the hypocracy?

    ok. probably not.

    But it’s ok. His handlers will flip-flop for him on this issue. Too bad we can’t ask him directly without a prepared teleprompted speech. but we know that answer would be, um-um-um but mccain, um um…etc.

  • John Powers said:


    It is really easy to use the link on the Washington Post webpage to show what actually happened to the Coburn amendment.

    Here’s the link again


    Ted Stevens voted NO

    Barack Obama voted NO

    Joe Biden voted NO

    John McCain did not vote.

    The NO vote signifies being against shifting funding from Bridge to Nowhere to Katrina. Stevens, Obama, and Biden were on the same side of issue, that is supporting he Bridge to Nowhere.


  • Mark H. said:


    Please cite the specific amendment number that Coburn introduced that had to do with the bridge. I don’t see it.

  • Josh M said:

    point Dems are making is that Palin’s version of her own actions is dishonest. They’re not taking a stance on the bridge, they’re pointing out that she is lying about her own record.

  • Creeker said:

    The bridge was one item in a huge and complex transportation bill. Obama and Biden were part of the BIPARTISAN majority that voted for the bill. Senators don’t have line item veto powers.

    The Amendment to redirect funds from the bridge to New Orleans generated some discussion on the floor, which may give some insight as to why so many Senators voted against that Amendment.

    In short, from a layman’s viewpoint, one Senator wanted to grandstand and redirect the funds (this would have been a Yes vote on the amendment). Another argued to send the money and let the State figure out what to do with it (which is what happened, and BTW, what Governer Palin did). Obama, Biden, and 80 other senators voted NAY on the amendment. Let the States figure out what to do with their share. And Obama/Biden voted yes on the overall bill.

    The bill was not “about” the Bridge to Nowhere. To say that Obama and Biden “voted for the bridge to nowhere” is reductive at the very least. In any case, they are not running on this platform. McCain and Palin are. Conveniently, McCain wasn’t even in the house when the vote was taken. And Palin acts as if she saved a bunch o’ money by her actions. She didn’t. The money was still sent to her state; she just spent it on something different.

  • SamWolfe said:

    Let’s see if the purveyors of treating Americans as DOLTS will correct their posting. I don’t think that correcting the heightened misinformation drive is really their interest but I can dream.

    The Dead Soldiers from Iraq thank you for making their sacrifice meaningless in protecting the American heritage and honor. If you don’t think that this type of @*#) is dishonorable to their memory you aren’t much of an American.

  • Cindy said:

    John, can you provide a link that actually shows that Obama & Biden voted for funding the bridge to nowhere?

    All you’ve provided is a link to show they voted not to send “bridge to nowhere” money to rebuild a bridge in Louisiana.

    The majority of Republicans also voted against the amendment. This is not surprising because there were plans to provide billions in aid for hurricane relief.

    And it’s “choosing”, not “chosing”.

  • nobama said:

    obama and biden are running on a campaign of smears, distortions and lies.

    Even if the bridge was part of a huge bill, they still voted FOR it.

    They are hypocrits.

    What about obama wanting universal health care for everyone, which will include the illegal aliens he will want to give amnesty to, just where will he get the money? not from the top 5% of earners.

  • SonnyDR said:

    So McCain didn’t vote period yet he can use it as his positive??? It’s kinda hypocrit to be yelling about something you didn’t even take a stand in.

    Powers is wrong no matter how he tries to spin it in this paragraph – if you click on his link, you will see that this was one vote on the many votes congress participated with regards to this bill. If you were to go further and click on the HR3058 link on the page Powers provides, you will see that there were votes for and against the changes to this bill before and after. Also you will notice the point of the vote that Powers links us to is for the “Perfection of the bill” no direct stipulation of the “Bridge to Nowhere”. So somehow this means Biden and Obama voted for it – Powers must think we are stupid

  • nobama said:

    I would say not voting would have been better than voting for a huge waste. If anything, look at obama’s record. He ducked more votes than anyone while a member of the illinois senate. and who is holding his feet to the fire on that? he voted present on well over 100 issues (I thought it was 173)

    he can’t flip anymore on the national stage, because the people are getting wise to this snake oil salesman.

  • SamWolfe said:

    Illegal immigrants will not get health care under anyones plan Mister Moron…spin, spin, spin.

  • SamWolfe said:

    You know I am beginning to recognize like my friends that having something done to you is not like having you do something. For instnace, JFK NEVER spoke about PT-109 and WHAT he did was risk his life for others. If getting beaten by your captors makes you a hero then I worry about the heros we have created in the name of saving our nation from terrorists. POWS deserve our forever gratitude for their service. But that doesn’t make them heros – and many of them I believe would agree with me. They know who the heros were amongst them. John? I don’t think so. JFK? Absolutely.

  • nobama said:

    uh sam – obama will try to push his amnesty position thru and make the illegals citizens and they will get health care. the little fine, back taxes and back of the line B.S. will just bide time before he makes this country the socialist country the dems want.

    so spin on this.

  • nobama said:

    not taking the easy way out made him a hero to his fellow captives and did show something of honor.

    or is that too hard to acknowledge since obama did what for his country?

  • mcpalin_moreofthesame said:

    nobama? If you knew anything about the Illinois politics, you wouldn’t post such rubbish. Voting “present” in the Illinois was a common practice among ALL of the senators. It meant you might have been ‘for’ the bill but there was certain verb included that you didn’t agree with. Please, educate yourself before you comment on matters you know nothing about. “Smears”, “distortions”, and “lies” just described the McCain campaign. Please, I implore you to educate yourself on the isssues instead of commenting with illiteracy. It really makes you look foolish.

  • sdfgvchcrthcr said:

    That’s because the article is a smear.


    The money for the stupid bridge was packaged within a Bill that contained GOBS of vitally important things.

    No Vote AZ McCain, John [R]

    No Vote NY Schumer, Charles [D]

    No Vote NJ Corzine, Jon [D]

    No Vote NH Sununu, John [R]

    No Vote MT Baucus, Max [D]

    Nay IN Bayh, B. [D]

    No Vote HI Inouye, Daniel [D]

    Besides the No Votes, and the lone No by one Democrat, everyone else voted Yes to the bill.

    Of those in attendance, ALL BUT TWO REPUBLICANS voted Yes to the Bill. No Republican vote No.

  • nick said:

    Palin is the hypocrite, is what they are pointing out; they are not defending their vote on BTN.

    Thier actions were same as McCain

  • nobama said:


    funny thing about liberals. The first words out of their mouths or keyboards are insults.

    Obama hid on almost everything in Illinois because he what? couldn’t make up his mind or didn’t know which way the political wind was blowing.

    just why are they demanding palin have to face immediate media scrutiny when they hid obama’s plans for over a year while he was selling his CHANGE snake oil?

    The dems are afraid that Palin will turn the election away because obama was too arrogant and obstinate to pick clinton as a veep.

    I am well versed on facts, but disgusted by foolish rhetoric.

  • Eric G said:

    Huge1, where is there anything, other than extreme liberal sites that have ‘proof’ that she wanted to ban books or incorporate church into state? Now who is lying? Neither of these statements are true. She asked about if books could be banned, and she has never included any of her religious views into Alaskan politics.

  • John Powers said:

    Gentle readers,

    Voting in favor of the Bridge to Nowhere is different than not voting.

    Please click on the Link for the Coburn Amendment. It is pretty clear. Do not confuse it with other amendments that others are pointing to.

    This is the link:


    I don’t know how you can get this mixed up. Sen. Coburn was pretty clear on the wording of it….unless of course you are trying to obscure the issue.

    It is a matter of public record. Obama and Biden voted for the Bridge to Nowhere in a roll-call vote on the Coburn Amendment.


  • nobama said:

    why is deciding against the bridge worse than voting for it? Who authorized the money? Our stupid federal government.

    it’s like getting chastised by your rich parents after they give you money to buy a 400 foot yacht, and you spend it more productively elsewhere.

  • Charrua said:

    You mean he didn’t just vote “Present”?

  • mathew alex said:

    many of dems say, voting for mccain is like third term for george bush. voting for obama means, voting kim jongil to white house.

  • nobama said:

    i don’t like juan mcamnesty either, but it won’t be a 3rd term of bush. mccain will lean left, but no one leans more left than the most liberal senator in the nation. and if you think obama will reach across the aisle, it will only be to lift a wallet.

    I just want someone to secure the damn border. Obama will not because he claims it is too expensive, yet most of the illegal drugs coming to America flow from Mexico. How expensive is that to Americans?

    hmm. maybe that’s obama’s plan all along, since his drug smoking/snorting street organiziner days he probably still owes a lot of drug dealers.

  • Kyle said:

    For the folks chastizing Obama as ‘never voting for anything’,look up yourself who is number 1 for not voting. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/110/senate/vote-missers/

    A lot of familiar names on that list.

  • nobama said:

    he voted present in the illinois senate, no sense in making a political statement of positions. as for all of the candidates for president they should return their senate salaries. they are all guilty, except you would think obama could have used this time gaining experience, but why bother?

    Oprah already annointed him as the chosen one.

  • hola said:

    I think the point is Palin’s dishonesty about saying she said, “No Thanks” to the bridge to nowhere, When she supported the earmark until the bridge was under funded then excepted the money for other infrastructure projects. Thousands of earmark bills are passed and it is up to state to determine the where they are used. In this case the majority of the Senate voted for the bill. If Palin said she was for the bridge (the truth) I would not see her as a bad politician, but now I just see her as a typical politician.

  • mofo said:

    powers i cant believe they let you type.

    1) the original bill, like said by others above was about SHIFTING the money for the bridge to nowhere to other areas in alaska. ref: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.3058:

    2) i find no reference to “for the reconstruction of the Twin Spans Bridge connecting” in any bill searching the government sites. However if its in there according to #1 it would likely change the reference of shifting funds to the Twin bridges.

    3) the original bill which funded the bridge to nowhere also included funds to repair hoover dam bridges and golden gate. ref: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ059.109

    4) lastly and importantly, voting down an amendment isn’t voting AGAINST a change. Its voting against the WAY it was written or done. So anyone voting against that amendment doesn’t mean they supported the bridge.

    I now have to post this on all the garbage sites that referenced this as a legit article.

  • mofo said:

    let me rephrase my #2…i say “in any bill” i mean any bill or amendment. I also mean it would reference substituting twin bridges from the shifting of funds to other alaska projects – not the gravida bridge since that isn’t waht the orig bill (#1) was about.

  • Bob Elliott said:

    Gov. Palin changed her mind and vetoed the “Bridge to Nowhwere”. Obama and Biden voted for the “Bridge to Nowhwere”. Neither has apoligized for it. Who is the Candidate of “Change?” But then maybe Obama thought the ‘bridge to nowhere’ was in Cook county?

  • Susan said:

    McCain rejected all of the following:

    l)S. Amdt. 1661 authored by Biden

    to provide emergency funding for victims of Hurrican Katrina.

    2)S.Amdt 1678 on 9/1505 to provide financial relief for individuals and entities affected by Hurrican Katrina

    3) S.Amdt 2356 on 11/03/05 to provide emergency health care and other relief for survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

    4)S.Amdt 2602 on ll/17/05 to Amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax benefits for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

  • susan said:

    I urge all Americans who care to contact media sources and become more active in exposing the lies and frauds of the Republicans. Do not be complacant. America cannot afford 4 more years of corruption.

    Make your voices heard!!

  • John Powers said:


    Of course you are ignoring the Coburn amendment, which is the subject of this post.

    The Coburn Amendment shifting funding from Alaska to Louisiana is here:


    Biden and Obama voted against it. McCain did not vote.

    The concept of using public records to examine candidates seems very novel to many of the commenters here.


  • mofo said:

    Not ignoring it at all, please reread my post. In fact I referenced it twice.

    First, I said I tried a google search on finding the text you referenced in your own article to find the exact text but couldn’t find it.

    Second, I assumed the material was correct. Then stated the argument presented here about Obama/Biden voting against it is problematic because of two reasons:

    1) The amendement ONLY tried to transition funds from the Alaska Government (NOT the bridge since the bill itself in question already moved funds OFF of the bridge project to a general Alaskan transportation). So the orig bill didn’t have to do w/ Support of the Bridge!

    2) A vote against the amendment wasn’t a vote against Katrina funding it was a vote against amending a bill and a vote against how it was written / edited.

    This whole thread is filled with incorrect conclusions, assumptions and holes in logic.

  • John Powers said:

    Your statement is about as misleading as a post can get.

    1) The BTN was part of the spending in Alaska. It was funded and this amendment sought to remove the funding.

    2) It was a vote to move funds from Alaska to Louisiana. That was the edit.

    Read the full text of the amendment. It is pretty clear.

    There have been many posts on this thread trying to rewrite history, but you would have to go scrub the Senatorial records to get that taken out.


  • nobama said:


    Don’t underestimate the liberals, they never let facts get in the way of their blind devotion to their chosen one.

  • hmm... said:

    Under the definitions used by Citizens Against Government Waste and John McCain, the Coburn amendment in question would have shifted money from one earmark (in Alaska) to another earmark (in Louisiana).

    Also, Coburn proposed MANY amendments to HR 3058, the vast majority of which were tabled and never came up for votes.

    Lastly, the amendment in question was voted down 82 to 15 in bi-partisan fashion, with more Republicans opposing it than Democrats. That’s a huge landslide for the Senate, folks. Use some sense. I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that senators voted against the amendment for reasons other than the fact that they were dying to see a bridge to nowhere built. The most likely reason is that this amendment, like most of those proposed by Coburn, violated long-standing Senate norms.

  • John Powers said:


    Yes, but that was the point, and a good use of earmarks. Louisiana was in desperate need. Alaska was building an unnecessary bridge to nowhere.

    This very specific amendment 2165.. was not tabled it was voted on. Sen. Biden and Obama voted to fund the Bridge to Nowhere rather than funding Katrina relief.

    Sens. Obama, Biden, and McCain are in question here, not the other 97.

    If long standing Senate norms are so great, why wouldn’t Sen. Obama and Biden (or McCain for that matter) be shouting from the microphone how they support the Bridge to Nowhere because pork is a “long standing senate norm”

    For the life of me, I don’t see how this is so obscure. The vote is a matter of public record.


  • HAMMER said:


    For the 2008 fiscal year alone, Obama requested 112 earmarks.


  • Jesus Christ said:

    You people are idiots and don’t understand how appropriations or earmarks work. I challenge any of you people to read and understand the Coburn amendment mentioned.

    You people are what is wrong with American politics. Not Barack Obama. Not John McCain. You are undereducated, misinformed. You are easily distracted. You care about the wrong things. You are terrible. And you’re the American voters.

  • John Powers said:


    I accept your challenge.

    The full text of the amendment and the voting records are posted public records.

    I don’t think the problem is that the American voter is misunderstanding earmarks. The problem is that Sens. Obama and Bide certainly do understand earmarks.


  • Paul said:

    John McCain cracked under the Vietnamese and cracked under Republican pressure. Lots of soldiers died for less and didn’t sign admissions of guilt. Hero my foot!!Lets face it, he can’t take pressure. He certainly is a different candidate than 8 years ago (worse now). The last 8 years of Republican rule is the worst in American history. Al Qaeda is sitting back watching this country implode. Mission Accomplished!!!! And who are we supposed to be at war with? We’re not at war with a country. We have a war on TERROR!!!I can’t believe my country has sunk to the depths of the rediculous.I would vote for Ron Paul or anyone who believes lobbyists must get out of Washington. Lets face it McCain is run by lobbyists ( oh yeah he’s gonna look out for my best interest HA!) Oh yeah, will someone please explain to Alaska’s Gov just what it is a VP does on a day to day basis. What a Joke. It’s also high time religious institutions start paying taxes. Enough free rides. If the hypocritical evangelist institutions are going to influence politics they need to ante-up!!!!

  • George said:

    Read the bill, the language appropriating the funds to the “bridge to nowhere” were stricken out and replaced with funds for the Alaska Dept of Transportation. They didn’t vote against diverting funds for Katrina in favor of the “bridge to nowhere.”

  • kal said:

    I think some people miss what made Mccain a hero,after being beaten and wounds neglected he was given the chance to leave before others he chose to stay.

  • Phillip said:

    Regardless of the topic, how does such poor writing end up on the Chicago Daily Observer?

  • John Powers said:


    Who else would print a fact based story that does not reflect positively on the Democratic Ticket?


  • Quechan said:

    The bottom line is Obama and his partner in crime (Biden) did support the funding for this bridge.

    That’s all I want to know.

  • Paul said:

    Bottom line : If you think the last eight years were great and justifiable than McCain’s your man. If you people would stop sniffing glue and get your heads out of your asses or fox tv you might realize the party you cherish so much has badly screwed us all. Palins dumb as a bag of hammers and McCain just needs to go sit in the Old folks home. He’s ready for that. Look at the facts and WAKE UP!!!!!!

  • John Powers said:


    The report is not from Fox TV; it is from the Senatorial record.

    The fact is that Palin and McCain were generally (but not 100% consistently) against funding the Bridge to Nowhere. On the only occasion that Sen. Obama and Biden could have voted against it, they opted to support funding Alaska bridges over funding Katrina repair.

    The Senate has quite a bit of responsibility here, so how about judging the facts as they are, rather than as how you want them to read?


  • monroe said:

    Perhaps the Senate voted down the Coburn amendment because the Louisiana DOT was already going to fund the Twin Spans reconstruction without help from the feds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-10_Twin_Span_Bridge

    McCain’s record on Katrina relief? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-geiger/mccain-to-katrina-victims_b_122848.html

  • Paul said:

    Get it straight JBP,Palin is the EARMARK QUEEN and did not give the money back. Further more she absolutely SUCKED as mayor of Wasilla. It was an entry level position and in no way prepares her to be anything but a Walmart greeter. By all means vote McCain and prove me right. This country will continue in a death spiral.

  • John Powers said:


    Perhaps, but there is only so much money to go around. Do you think that money would have been better spent on disaster recovery than on the Bridge to Nowhere?


    Sen. DeMint, the leader against earmarks in the Senate, disagrees with you. His track record is pretty good.



  • Paul said:

    John Power,

    Here again we see info being picked and manipulated. Demints article doesn’t exactly checkout. Factcheck has a better account of her spending. Bottom line is this: When you cast your vote in Nov. consider all the crisis situations we now face. “Drill,Baby,Drill” is the dumbest solution I’ve heard yet (next to palins own admission “What exactly does a VP do?). McCain represents a continuation of what Bush has gloriously botched in this country and around the world. I think this country can do better. The bar has been seriosly lowered thanks to Bush. I don’t want another playboy, c-student one dimensional dope from another entitled family running the USA. The brain power isn’t there for the McCain/Palin ticket. We’re bordering on WWIII right now! We need somebody with some serious smarts. NOW!!! Sorry but McCain/Palin is wrong on everything and every level. I’m not saying Obama is the next messiah but I guarantee he’s more on track with restoring this country to a level of respect we haven’t seen in 8 years.

  • John Powers said:


    I’ll take Sen. DeMints word before anything sponsored by Annenberg, the same sponsors of the $100 Million CEC boondoggle, run by Barack Obama and Bill Ayers.

    The whole reason Sen. Coburn brought the amendment to roll-call was to get some clarity on who supports pork and who supports worthwhile projects. The Senatorial record is definitive; Joe Biden and Barack Obama voted for funding Alaskans Bridges over Katrina victims.


  • Paul said:


    What’s next? Obama hates black people? I’ll take a $100 million boondoggle over a $9 trillion deficit any day. Lay off the Kool-aide. Bush and company have screwed this country (maybe) beyond repair. Universal law: Change or Die

  • toomuchtimeonhands said:

    in this election where everyone uses manipulates phrases to their own evil ways (ie lipstick on a pig), let me prove how it is being done here:

    1) True & False. True: The BTN WAS part of Alaskan Funding – originally, yes. That’s not the point I’ve made through 2 posts.

    The point, as I’ve stated above AND other readers have mentioned, is that the orig bill ALREADY changed the specific BTN and island references to a generic Alaskan Transportation – meaning Alaskan can use the funding for other projects. If you go back in time and do more research you’ll see opinion was turned against it Alaska was going to use the funding for other things.

    LET ME REPEAT THAT: BTN was already STRICKEN AND CHANGED to GENERIC ALASKAN FUNDING in THIS BILL BEFORE the amendment. Therefore, amendment attempted to change funding from GENERIC to katrina repair. There is not misleading statement, I’m explaning the same thing over and over. Theres no spin, manipulating facts, missing details, just pure timeline-based reading. If this still isn’t clear i’ll give up


    2) First, the reply seems to imply i didn’t understand the edit. Problem is, that’s not what i was questioning. Other readers (monroe, hmmm, etc) suggested similar possibilities – the vote against the edit could have more to do than just the intention of the edit, but rather the consequence of the edit or the way it was written.

    Again, no misleading at all, simple explanations and logic. But it questions the original article so it must be wrong.

  • toomuchtime said:

    Sorry I forgot to give George credit, he repeated what I said for point #1.

    Also JC, explain what you mean – it’d be good to hear your point on not understanding.

    And I want to second “hmmms” call for common sense. The other 97 matter just as much in helping explain the logic of the 3 in question.

  • Drizzit said:

    Check these facts; Barack and Biden are two of the biggest EAR markers/ Porkers in the senate. They fear MCain because he’ll veto all their waste and theft.

  • John Powers said:


    Your statements question the Senatorial voting records and tries to replace it with your spin on the issues.

    The Senatorial voting records are public information. You can shout all you like about how you are not spinning, but the records are open to the public and clearly referenced.

    Obama and Biden voted against shifting funding from Alaska Bridges to Katrina Relief and it is recorded in a Roll-Call vote. You may not like the fact that it is recorded, but it still is.


  • John Ryan said:

    The original funding occured when Congress was controlled by the Republicans, that was when the money was mandated for THAT bridge

  • J Van Horn said:

    A little thing about earmarks and Congressional spending that most Dems seem to conveniently forget. Once an earmark is put into place, the money is there for the spending. There is no “giving it back.” Congress can take it back, but that takes an act of Congress – just like changing the money earmarked for the “bridge to nowhere” was changed, by law, to general funds for transportation. Now, the funds could have still been used for the bridge – that was included in the definition of transportation, but Palin decided to use the funds for other projects once it became apparent that (1) the balance of the cost could not be afforded by Alaskans and (2) the bridge had become a political liability to the state. So, she went against popular support and her own party, both of which still wanted to spend the money on the bridge, and she spent the money on other road projects. Let me say again, however, there is no “giving back” federal money. Once the money is allocated by Congress, it either sits there doing nothing or Congress takes it back. No governor, Republican or Democrat, in their right mind would allow the money to just sit there. So, Palin did the fiscally responsible thing – she ended the “bridge to nowhere” project and used the money for other road and bridge projects around Alaska. Another thing that many of the Obama supporters are ignoring is that, although, like all governors, Palin looked for money from the feds, when President Bush called for a reduction in earmarks in 2007, she reduced the number requested by her state from 54 to 31, 27 of which were for already existing projects. The reduction in requested dollars – from $500 million to $220 million. That’s good a good governor.

  • nosweattkennels said:

    obama is for change…WHAT CHANGE…what has he done in his 2 years(1 year running for president) makes anyone think he can change washington..what bill has he passed..when has he reached across the aisle and shown bi-partisanship..he wants to raise taxes on the wealthy..i have never seen a poor man sign the front of a check…oil companies dont write checks to cover higher taxes..it goes downhill to the customers..THE POOR PEOPLE..THE ONES OF US THAT CLING TO THEIR GUNS as he tells the liberals of san fran

  • nosweattkennels said:

    obama is for change…he ran on being an outsider fed up with the politicians that have been there for years..against lobbyist…against the war in iraq….so he chooses a vp that has been in the senate for 30 YEARS…whose son is, now was a LOBBYIST and one that VOTED FOR THE WAR…a vp that said HE WOULD BE PROUD TO BE MCCAINS RUNNING MATE AND THAT OBAMA WAS NOT READY TO BE PRESIDENT ON DAY 1….since those comments at a debate a few months ago,WHAT HAS OBAMA LEARNED OR ACCOMPLISHED THAT MAKES HIM READY TO BE PRESIDENT NOW?

  • nosweattkennels said:

    when television shows and radio host go out onto the street and ask people who theyre voting for many say OBAMA..why are you voting for obama? HE IS INTELLIGENT,YOUNG,A GREAT SPEAKER..what is it that you like about obama? HE IS FOR CHANGE…well what things is he going to change? I DONT KNOW,CHANGE…HE IS GOING TO CHANGE THINGS AND GIVES US HOPE, CHANGE,CHANGE CHANGE…well democratic liberal change is not a destination and hope isnt a plan to get there….what experience does he have? what has he done, BESIDES WRITE 2 BOOKS, while in the senate? like hillary clinton and joe biden both have said, OBAMA IS NOT READY TO BE PRESIDENT ON DAY 1

  • L.A.Observer said:

    Interesting fact: Palin approved using part of the funds diverted from the “Bridge to Nowhere” for the building of the Road to Nowhere. She went ahead with building the road that was to connect the bridge to an airport. It is a useless road that ate up around $26 million which would have needed to be returned if not used for this project.

  • nancy said:

    Sen. biden and sen. obama both voted for bridge to nowhere. McCain voted no. CNN just reported this and it can be found on the internet. Once the money was appropriated Alaska was bound to take it. Palin wasn’t in charge until the decision on the bridge was already made. The road to nowhere was built to where the bridge would be connected. Sorry folks the truth is the truth, she didn’t ask for a bridge or a road. better luck next time.

  • nancy said:

    Biden and Obama voted “yes” on the bridge rather than give the money to the Katrina project. Go figure.

  • sickofnobama said:

    nobama – You are the type of person that doesn’t know when to shut up. You made your point about a hundred posts ago, now you are just getting annoying.

    Who cares about the stupid Bridge to Nowhere. Neither canidate seems to have the time to talk about the issues anyway. Seems to me that this race has turned into nothing but a high school popularity contest. Doesn’t matter what you stand for, just that you can make everyone else look bad so you look better.

    Both canidates stink, the only choice we have is who you think is going to do the least amount of damage of the two.

  • John Powers said:


    McCain did not vote.


    Earmarks certainly are an issue, and not much to do with a popularity contest. Reckless spending would seem to be part of the popularity contest, while sort of sensibly opposing pork spending should work in McCains favor.


  • Socco said:

    Honestly i really hope the people realize something… Who the hell is Obama, not even a few years ago we had no idea who this man was. With some basic media tricks and backing up of people that he is already involved with in the white house, he is some type of celebrity now. Who cares about Palin and a “bridge” to nowhere. Why dont we worry about our roads a little more and our bridges that are in horrible condition? It just scares me just because people see this individual on TV they are going to back him up like he is some good guy and has done so much for this country. This man wont even show is birth certificate or stand up for the pledge of alliegence. This man wants to run your country, think about it. This campaign sent a bunch of lawyers to alsask to try to “find” some dirt on Palin. How scared can you be? Please, I wish you educate yourself on what is really happening in this country and who these people really are.

  • Wari said:

    Well isnt this a Republican squirm fest. The only person losing in the polls, keeping thier VP hidden from the medias questions and re-shceduling important debates is none other then Mccain.

  • kevinV said:

    YAY OBAMA!!!

    GO GO GO!


  • Obama is a "Talk but not walk" liberals said:

    Obama asked for and received 900+ millions in 3 years for ear-marks. We have 100 senators. Let’s say if each made 900 millions in every 3 years for their pet projects and their wives’ employers, that 99 billion dollars every 3 years.

    Shoot … Wall Street should have asked for double the 700 billions it asked for.

  • David Adams said:

    The more we learn about Obama the more we realize that there were some folks in the Mass Media and the Political world were engaged in building a Trojan Horse.

    Obama would not be making any decisions or setting any policies that did not originate in the minds of those people who created him.

  • Conservative Liberal said:

    McCain did not vote at all for the H.R. 3058 or for the Coburn Amendment. He was not “present” for both votes. The HR 3058 bill passed the senate by 93%. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=s2005-264)

    This bill includes a great deal more than just the “bridge to no where”.

    As for voting against Katrina relief. Here is Obama’s record on Katrina when the cameras were off


  • Nona said:

    Obama most really think the general public is just plain dumb. McCain & Palin ’08!

  • Original Pechanga's Blog said:

    Dems are going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory..

  • Tigerlover said:

    I just looked at the voting list on washingtonpost.com and it shows that Obama and Biden both voted no on this. Is John Powers not checking the facts, or will the republicans do anything to hold on to the White House? And if you want women’s rights set back 40 years and the polar bear vanishing go aheaad and vote for mccain/palin!

  • Tigerlover said:

    The “No” vote maintained funding for the Bridge to Nowhere. Voting “Yes” shifted the funding to Hurricane Katrina relief.

    Obama and Biden voted to support the Bridge to Nowhere by voting NO to the Coburn Amendment.

    and CL, when in the last 4 years have the cameras ever been off Sen. Obama? He has been campaigning for president ever since he won the Democratic Senate primary.


  • ReginaldL said:

    Tigerlover – if you check the language of Sen Coburn’s amendment it would have transferred funds FROM the Ketchikan bridge(AK) to Katrina rebuilding(LA). A NO vote on this bill means fund the Bridge to Nowhere. Sen Biden and Sen Obama both voted NO on this amendment.

    So John Powers did check his facts.

  • Bob Smythe said:

    Affirmative Action Boy and Hairplug Joe. This is even better than the Gigolo and the Ambulance Chaser from ’04. Way to go Dems!

  • Treehiker said:

    And the hits just keep on coming. Way to implode!

    Nobama, no way, no how.

  • Chris said:

    You mean Obama actually cast a vote besides “present?”

  • Dudya said:

    Vote George W. Bush for the third term. Forget McCain or Obama.

    Write in George W. Bush when you’re ready to vote on 11/4/08.

  • Morgan said:

    This election FTW. No one I’d rather see go down in smoke than Obama and Biden, and they seem intent on obliging me.

  • RimJobinson (Freeper 1) said:

    Caribou Barbie didn’t not kill the project. Congress did. They pulled the money but let Alaska keep the money. So Palin spent it on other things. Its fun to make things up though.

  • Mama73 said:

    In Alaska about 1/3 of jobs depend on federal aid of one kind or another.

    After giving the previous Governor the sack, I don’t believe Governor Palin could have refused Bridge to Nowhere funds WITHOUT the aid of outside pressure. (In fact, Reuters has an article about how she ticked off Alaskans by canning the bridge project).

    In the end what sort of infrastructure did she actually spend the money on? If it was infrastructure that supports the transportation of oil/gas from Alaska to the U.S., then maybe she has done a good thing.

  • Paul B said:

    “However, Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama voted for funding the Bridge, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief.”


    Obama and Biden aren’t running on opposition to the Bridge – McCain and Palin are and they are so their opposition is CORRECTLY pointing out that Gov Palin SUPPORTED the Bridge until it became politically inconvenient. Notice that she held onto the money too instead of doing the MAVERICK thing and giving all or part of it back. BWAAAHHAHAHHAH

  • Steve B said:

    “Obama and Biden aren’t running on opposition to the Bridge – McCain and Palin are and they are so their opposition…”

    What Obama and Biden ARE running on is a huge wave of hypocrisy–chiding Palin for not opposing sooner a pork barrel project that they helped ram through the Senate.

    Are you serious?

  • formerroadie said:

    People who vote for McCain/Palin are just stupid.

  • Jim Lindgren said:

    Would you please give us the exact Bill Numbers, dates, and votes so I can tell what you are asserting?

    I think the final Transportation Bill still included the money for Bridge, just not the restriction that it be used for that.

    I seem to recall that Biden and Obama voted for the Transportation Bill (including the money for the bridge) and McCain voted against it.

  • dude1394 said:

    I just don’t understand it. A governor stops a complete waste of federal dollars (bridge to nowhere) and she is castigated for it, because she didn’t stop it fast enough and used the dollars for something useful.

    What did obama use his 1billion in earmarks for?

  • get both sides said:

    Click on the link, Obama voted “No”. Look around for where you point the finger at earmarks “…in her two years in office, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. And as mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million.”

  • terrance513 said:

    Here you go. This is what Obama used his earmarks on.


    I don’t see a useless multi-sports complex in there anywhere.

  • Jim said:

    “When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she was insulted by the term “bridge to nowhere,” according to Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, and Mike Elerding, a Republican who was Palin’s campaign coordinator in the southeast Alaska city.

    “People are learning that she pandered to us by saying, I’m for this’ … and then when she found it was politically advantageous for her nationally, abruptly she starts using the very term that she said was insulting,” Weinstein said.

    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.

    The state, however, never gave back any of the money that was originally earmarked for the Gravina Island bridge, said Weinstein and Elerding.

    In fact, the Palin administration has spent “tens of millions of dollars” in federal funds to start building a road on Gravina Island that is supposed to link up to the yet-to-be-built bridge, Weinstein said.

    “She said ‘thanks but no thanks,’ but they kept the money”

  • DrMAntis said:

    Ladies and gentleman, a fraud has been exposed and the elction is over. Now the only question is whether the election was stolen again or racism was the cause for the collapse of Balack Obama

  • Jim said:

    More likely a Warren Commission. When Biden got em shaking in their boots over future investigations, the next step becomes readily apparent. Just like the cowards of old, bound and determined to hold on to power. This time the Obama team has your number, there will be a reckoning, a real good reckoning.

  • terrance513 said:

    So let me get this right, we’re chastising Barack for voting yes on a legislation that included funding for this bridge? Did anyone read the other 780 things listed in this bill? And I’m sure the famous Ted Stevens had nothing to do with the amount of money this scarcely populated state got, right? Maybe all you “Oh my God, this is the end for Obama” nay sayers should do a little more digging on how corrupt the politics in Alaska really is. And that’s what you’re voting for to run this country?

  • Hal said:

    Again I am appalled by the simpleton arguments of the right. You people seem to just repeat the same babble uttered by your ‘leaders’. The right has even employed the same slanderer (Jerome Corsi) that did a hatchet job on Kerry and was behind the “Swift Boat” scam four years ago. If you don’t care for what he did after he returned, fine-criticize, but don’t rewrite with lies what he did in country.

    I know old news, but I see the same approach being used again. Tell the BIG LIE again and louder – repeat.

    I gues that is the best campaign strategy the RNC can muster.

    Try a few facts.

  • terrance513 said:

    Here’s one place you can start,


    McCain wasn’t even present to cast his vote.

  • Wil Burns said:

    It would be hard to list all the media lightweights who pimped the eBay/Bridge to Nowhere tales. But clearly, someone was selling these tales to the media, even before Palin herself mentioned the eBay blather. Palin began misstating about the Bridge to Nowhere in her initial August 29 speech—but she didn’t mention the eBay foolishness until Wednesday night’s convention speech. But somehow, pundits already knew how to pimp it.

  • The Great Communicator « Don't Let Me Stop You said:

    […] Jobs?  Jobs are the bridge that were washed out by the stream, and Joe-Joe Biden’s bridge contractor has yet to show up.  (But you can be damn sure that Obama and Biden could line you up with a bridge!) […]

  • Obama/Biden Voted For "Bridge to Nowhere" said:

    […] The now-famous “Bridge to Nowhere” which GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin axed was supported by her political rivals, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, according to The Chicago Daily Observer. […]

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