WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the likely Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee, has requested earmarks worth nearly $198 million for her state, records show.
Earmarks are a legislative technique used to slip individual projects into large U.S. congressional appropriations bills that usually escape rigorous debate. In her first appearance as probable presidential nominee John McCain's running mate, Palin said she opposed earmarks, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Palin, appearing with the U.S. senator from Arizona Friday, said she "championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending." But the Web site of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, says the state is seeking $197.8 million in earmarks from Congress, the Times said.
The newspaper said it also appears that as mayor of the small city of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin hired Washington lobbyist and former Stevens aide Steven Silver to represent the town. It later got a $600,000 earmark for a bus facility.
Palin has, in recent months, denounced the most infamous earmark of all, for the Alaska "bridge to nowhere." But as a gubernatorial candidate, she supported Stevens' request for a $223 million bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska, to Gravina Island, the Times reported.