Bridge to Somewhere

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is being touted as a corruption buster.

In the great state of Alaska, where Senator Ted Stevens is doing the octogenarian perp walk, finding corruption is like shooting fish in a barrel. Today Palin proudly declared that she nixed the infamous “bridge to nowhere.” But that’s not entirely true, at least according to an Aug. 19, 2007 AP news story that ran on According to that piece, Washington said no, but Palin said yes. Congress stripped the earmark requiring the slush fund be spent on the bridge. But listen up, kids: Congress gave Alaska the $200 million anyway– which Gov. Palin gladly accepted to spend on other projects.

Accepting a $200 million blank check. That’s cleaning up government?

Author: Amy Zegart

Amy Zegart is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. She is also a faculty affiliate at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and a professor of political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (by courtesy). Her research examines national security agencies, American foreign policy, and anything scary. Academic publications include two award-winning books: Spying Blind, which examines intelligence adaptation failures before 9/11, and Flawed by Design, which chronicles the evolution of America’s national security architecture. She is currently working on a book about intelligence in the post-9/11 world. Zegart writes an intelligence column at, and her pieces have also appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. Previously, she taught at UCLA and worked at McKinsey & Company. A former Fulbright Scholar, she received an A.B. in East Asian Studies from Harvard and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. A native Kentuckian, she loves to watch good college football and bad reality TV.