Palin rejecting less stimulus cash than she said

The Alaska governor told reporters she wants to send back almost half of the funding, but that didn't count a big chunk of money she's accepting.

Published March 20, 2009 3:35PM (EDT)

Apparently, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin isn't quite as much of a deficit hawk as she'd like us to think. On Thursday, when she announced her rejection of some stimulus money, she said the total amount of money she was rejecting came to about 45 percent of the funding the bill provided for her state. It didn't take long before she conceded that wasn't quite true.

Palin's initial tally didn't include money she's accepting for Medicaid, the Anchorage Daily News reports. That means she's really only rejecting 31 percent of the stimulus cash -- still a sizable chunk, sure, but "about a third" isn't nearly nearly as appealing to Republican primary voters as "about half."

The governor is also leaving the door wide open for the legislature to accept additional funding, and she says she's willing to negotiate with them on that, so the number could come down even further before the process is finished.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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