JUNEAU, Alaska, March 20 (UPI) -- Gov. Sarah Palin is putting political ambition above Alaska's interest by rejecting federal stimulus funds, Democrats said Friday.
Bob Poe, a Democratic candidate for governor, suggested Palin is grandstanding because the legislature can overrule her -- and is considered likely to -- CNN reported. Poe, in a conference call with reporters, suggested the governor is "narcissistic."
"It's outrageous that Palin wants to turn down Alaskans' fair share of federal stimulus money for education, public safety, unemployment services and health programs," said State Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins. "It's very clear that Palin is sacrificing the needs of Alaskans for her national political ambitions."
Palin said she is willing to take federal dollars for construction projects but not $288 million for schools, energy assistance and social services, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported.
"We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government," Palin said. "In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government."
Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau said she was "shocked and very disappointed" that Palin would reject funds for schools.
Others said they admire her for turning down money that would expand government.
"She's got the best interests of the state and her career at heart," said state Sen. Bert Stedman, the Republican leader in the Alaska Senate.