[UPDATE] CNN-Soledad O'Brien Just Destroyed Palin (Special Needs Record)

McCain/Palin need to be more careful when pandering to special interest groups.  

Just now, 9:35 am on CNN, in discussion with a McCain representative and Palin preparer.

Not quote but representation ...

SO- Last night your candidate Gov. Palin discussed her special needs child.

Surrogate- Yes, if Gov. Palin is elected they will have an advocate in the White House.

SO- Well, that's interesting, I received numerous e-mails from special needs advocates in Alaska and they say.  Sarah Palin, is not advocate for special needs families, she cut the special needs budget in Alaska by 62%

Surrogate- Well she will be an advocate for them.

SO- So she will do the opposite of her record as Govener?

Surrogate- No one should doubt her word, if she says she will be an advocate for special needs families.  

Update [2008-9-4 19:24:12 by nextgen]: Turns out O'Brien's information was incorrect. I'm not sure if she or CNN has commented on that fact but I have seen enough information to conclude she was mistaken.

Tags: Alaska, Needs, O'Brien, Palin, Soledad, special (all tags)



That really sums up what the Republicans are running on, doesn't it?
"So she will do the opposite of her record as Governor?"
"No one should doubt her word."
by vcalzone 2008-09-04 05:50AM | 0 recs
Thats the way it always is with the GOP.

Every chance they get to undermine working families, they take it. Typically, they try to present it as helping you.

With friends like them, who needs enemies.

McCain's healthcare proposals do something similar, and sinister in that, by throwing open the US healthcare market to international companies, they would LOCK US IN to never beng able to withdraw, except at TREMENDOUS cost, the WTO rules on healthcare whch would PREVENT our ever implementing 90% of the other proposals that were on the table a few months ago as being ways to cut healthcare costs for Americans.

That's a VERY expensive "cost savings".

Is he aware of this?

OF COURSE he is aware of it.

We should be making this a campaign issue.

Read a description of the issue in the section on healthcare and McCain here:
http://www.citizen.org/hot_issues/issue. cfm?ID=1846

by architek 2008-09-04 03:05PM | 0 recs
What's that old saying?

Never anger someone who buys ink by the barrel.  If you're going to attack the press while blatantly lying, they just might call you on it.

by thezzyzx 2008-09-04 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: CNN-Soledad O'Brien

the day after the speech and she is still going to be forced to defend her record.

and she will be forced to non-stop, untill they give the press access to her. they can try and game the refs all they want, but if she isn't going to answer the questions then the Media will try it themselves

and all that will happen is we will all become partisan and then it comes down to

are there more democrats or republicans, and which way are the independents leaning?

anyone notice how NO conservatives are talking about polls? maybe they are waiting for the end of the convention, but with Obama at or starting to hit 50% in polls, and the McCain campaign playing non-stop defense

when he hits that 48% barrier of the GOP party, how does he get above that, if they are only exciting the GOP base?

sure she will make the election close, but 51-49 Obama, is still an Obama win, McCain will now try and pivot to indies, but that will be hard with this on his ticket, especially when none of them want to answer questions about her.

by TruthMatters 2008-09-04 05:54AM | 0 recs
advocate for who

If she and McCain are elected the only one that would have an advocate would be the oil industry czars.

by pollbuster 2008-09-04 06:01AM | 0 recs
Thanks, Soledad

I was thinking that when I heard that part of her speech.  "Didn't she, you know, cut that special needs funding so she could look like she was against wasteful spending?"

by Dracomicron 2008-09-04 06:21AM | 0 recs
Is there a link or vid?

I also wonder whether being tough on this surrogate will mean the McCain will cancel another interview with CNN?

by cornbreadprogressive 2008-09-04 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Is there a link or vid?

I'm still looking...

by nextgen 2008-09-04 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Is there a link or vid?

Anything that keeps him off the air is a good thing.

by Spiffarino 2008-09-04 09:09AM | 0 recs
Soledad O'Brien is a fool

I saw that "cut special needs funding by 62%" stat last night.  A little digging shows it is a red herring.  Shame on her for just pushing it out there without spending 10 minutes looking at the details.    I'm all for trashing Palin's record when she's a hypocrite, but for crying out loud make sure your right.

That budget dropped from around 8 million to 3 million from 2007 to 2008.  The drop was due to moving a 5 million dollar program (Alaska Challenge Youth Academy) out of the bigger budget in 2007 into it's own budget line in 2008.  The funding for special needs education did drop about 0.5%, which would be worthwhile pointing out, but by throwing out the 62% number you destroy the argument.

Complete details here.

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2008/9/ 3/163229/8631/40#c40

by jimotto 2008-09-04 06:35AM | 0 recs
Why a fool?

Soledad asked a question, the proper answer is what you gave. The surrogate gave an AWFUL answer.

Why shoot the messenger? You should be pissed at the surrogate.

by Neef 2008-09-04 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Why a fool?

She asked a question based on bad information.  Any attack aimed at her treatment of special needs children needs to be absolutely accurate, as the families of special needs kids are pretty large and motivated demographic.  They will already be sympathic to Palin, the spread of an inaccurate talking point will be hard to overcome.

by jimotto 2008-09-04 07:48AM | 0 recs
I disagree

That's why you ask a question, to improve the information you have. This isn't a courtroom, where she should know the answer to every question before she asks it. She gave the surrogate a chance to clear a rumor, and he failed  - badly.

How many times did we howl because the media asked Obama some question based on a rumor? Now that they are giving the other side equal treatment  we want them to stop?

Not me.

by Neef 2008-09-04 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Soledad O'Brien is a fool
Thanks for responding to this.  There is enough real background on the Governor to debate, we don't need false arguments.
Steve C
by sc1962 2008-09-04 10:25AM | 0 recs
A Gift!

This sounds great, can't wait to see the vid popping up.

On the hypocracy front, here's a little gift for a Thursday morning:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Yup, it's the scribble of our SP.

http://www.washingtonindependent.com/432 8/more-on-palins-true-stand-on-earmarks


by January 20 2008-09-04 06:38AM | 0 recs
Could you

get the video and/or transcript and update your diary?

by kevin22262 2008-09-04 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Could you

I thought the same thing. Here the transcript is from the CNN page:

O'BRIEN: Which is the job of a VP candidate.

ROSEN: Which is that job. And in many respects, she's also going to be held to the same standard anyone else is.

Why is it she went on and on about being an advocate for special needs when she cut special needs funding as governor? Why is she...

O'BRIEN: Yes, I asked the spokesperson that, Robert. Let me go to Robert.

ROSEN: I heard that you didn't get an answer on that.

O'BRIEN: No. That was an interesting thing. She said that she has given her word that she would be an advocate and we just have to take her at her word.

Is that going to be a problem, Robert? You know, because you just have to do the math and you see it was cut -- I think it's like 62 percent. Is that going to rub against the image of a mom who now has a special needs baby?

TRAYNHAM: Well, I'm not sure it's going to be a problem or not, but she definitely made a promise that, I'm going to be an advocate for special needs kids. And look, everyone in the audience, either at home or in the convention hall recognizes that she has an infant child with Down syndrome.

by TCQuad 2008-09-04 09:30AM | 0 recs
If Palin is the future of politics in America

I am moving to fucking Canada.

by Iago 2008-09-04 07:41AM | 0 recs
Palin (Special Needs Record)

 Republicans are funny about 'needs'. If you need it, it's a boondoggle. If they need it, then well - you know.

by QTG 2008-09-04 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin (Special Needs Record)

That's SOP for the Republican party.  

Torture only counts when it's Republicans who were tortured.  Otherwise, it's AOK.

Sexism only counts when it is Republican women being attacked.  Otherwise, it is AOK.

Pork barrel spending only counts as such when it's a democrat pushing for the funds.  Otherwise, it's AOK.

The hypocricy leaves me breathless.

by mtnspirit 2008-09-04 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: CNN-Soledad O'Brien Just Destroyed Palin (Spec

Hillary has been a special needs advocate for over 30 years.  She was instrumental in bringing to light the need for funding of programs in Arkansas in the 1970's.

HRC knows more about this subject than Palin will ever hope to know.  Funny but it seems to me that its easy to be interested in something when you have a personal stake in the issue.  

What was Palin's position regarding special needs issues/funding PRIOR to learning about Trig?

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-04 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: CNN-Soledad O'Brien Just Destroyed Palin (Spec

Let's get this straight. We can't question Sarah Palin's performance. To do so means we are being sexist. We can't question John McCain's mistakes. To do means we are disrespecting him as a former POW. Does that about sum it up?

by zenful6219 2008-09-04 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: CNN-Soledad O'Brien

No doubt.   Palin will be an advocate.   Republicans always advocate the same thing.   "Tough luck, you are on your own."

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-04 09:57AM | 0 recs
listen to what I say and ...

don't watch what I do.  That is reform I can believe in...does this philosophy sound familiar.

VP Chaney...70% of the American people are against the war in Iraq.

Chaney response: SO....tick tock...tick tock...

by netgui68 2008-09-04 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: CNN-Soledad O'Brien

Unfortunately Soledad has her facts incorrect on this one.  That 62% drop comes from the 2006 budget that was inherited from the previous Governor.  Palin is actually increasing the spending on special needs.  I don't know when she decided to do that (before or after Trig?), but the 62% figure that Soledad quoted isn't correct from what I understand.  I sure hope CNN is checking their sources before they air this stuff, I wouldn't want it coming back and biting them.  

by Dbot 2008-09-04 11:34AM | 0 recs
What about the money for teen pregnacy?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-tra il/2008/09/02/palin_slashed_funding_to_h elp.html?hpid=artslot

By Paul Kane
ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

Any info about whether  or not this got moved around in the budget?

by NeciVelez 2008-09-04 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: What about the money for teen pregnacy?

This group received only about $1.2 million in funding from the State of Alaska in 2006.  So while a $5 million expenditure was suggested by someone (either her predecessor or the legislature, presumably), the $3.9 million that was approved  was more than three times the amount the group had received in its 2006 budget.

by markjay 2008-09-04 01:27PM | 0 recs
Even Soledad could handle this one

It's like feeding candy to a baby.   That's the problem with rethuglicans.  They can say all the right things about advocating for families (while slashing funding for young moms and special needs kids), protecting the great outdoors (while killing the polar bears and "drill baby drill"), protecting the country (while firing law enforcement officials for petty family feuds), and fighting the corrupt establishment in DC (while taking earmarks).  

Governor Palin, your words sounds as uplifting as those of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  But there is just one little obstacle that they have to overcome - the TRUTH about your record and policies.

If I look at your policies, I see one who would leave young mothers to fend for themselves, ravage the environment for short sighted economic gain, run a cult of patronage just like the court of King George, and cozy right up to the trough of public largesse in Washington.   In other words governor, you are more of McSame.

by activatedbybush 2008-09-04 12:23PM | 0 recs
actually a historic increase in funding

As people pointed out upthread, the decrease in that year was about 0.5%, not 62%.  More importantly, Palin has since helped put in place a broad educational funding reform that includes one of the most dramatic expansions of funding for special education in U.S. history.

According to an article in Education Week,

Gov. Sarah Palin and state lawmakers have gone ahead with an overheal of Alaska's school funding system that...raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008

This represents a 174% increase in funding for students with special needs in three years. I wouldn't be surprised if the 2011 amount will represent the most money ever spent on special needs children by any state in the U.S.

by markjay 2008-09-04 01:23PM | 0 recs
McCain v Obama on Disabilities and Special Needs

Okay, I've been throwing this out here all day for folks.  I'm glad Palin said she'll be an advocate - I really hope she means it.  However, there are several key aspects of McCain's policy that would make advocating for special needs folks pretty much worthless in a McCain administration.  Plus, she'd first have to convince McCain to take the issue seriously.

1. First red flag - There is absolutely no discussion of special needs kids or adults as a group on McCain's official web site. There is a single sub page, linked at the end of the health care section, that includes a bland comment that McCain will keep investigating the causes of autism and somehow ensure access to support for people with autism - no detail at all on what that means, and no discussion at all about folks with DS, CP, MS, PDD-NOS, Asperger's, or any of the myriad other conditions that the special needs community deals with. From another site, I understand the one thing an advocacy group has gotten to him about is the autism-vaccine link, which would be great if it caused him to do anything broadly for people with special needs.  No such luck.

2. The McCain healthcare reform agenda has no mandates for private insurers to cover the special needs population. Right now, several states permit private ensurers to exclude or drastically limit coverage for treatment and basic therapy for developmental disabilities, with every company doing their best to limit exposure. McCain won't touch that patchwork quilt of mistreatment. Rather, he'll let insurers exclude pre-existing conditions (and yes, being born with a developmental disability is considered "pre-existing" by insurance companies) and create government run plans of last resort like state minimum auto insurance. Of course, since those plans will have to cover all the people private insurance considers untouchable, the care will likely be sub-standard, doctors won't want to accept patients who rely on it and costs will be significantly higher than under private insurance. Which brings us to the centerpiece of the McCain healthcare reform:

3. Taxing any healthcare benefit your employer gives you and offsetting it with a tax credit for individually bought insurance worth something like half the average cost of insuring a typical person today (with no indexing to skyrocketing healthcare cost). The stated goal of this is to encourage healthy people to give up company health care so as to drive "competition" in the private insurance market. The problem with this is no one will compete to cover a special needs person without a big government subsidy. Insurance companies like to make money, and special needs people are a near certainty to cost more in care than the company gets in premiums. So again, the folks in the worst position get hit the hardest.

4. On education, McCain is no better for kids with special needs. His main proposal is vouchers for "school choice." This ignores the fact that most private schools want nothing to do with kids with special needs. Kids with special needs are often disruptive in class settings - something most private schools won't tolerate as a matter of policy. They also require staff time, training and special attention that in turn strains resources in a way private schools don't like. They are perfectly within their rights to refuse to accept such students, but the net effect will be to ensure public schools end up with all the special needs kids in town and anyone else who can't pass private school muster or can't afford the gap between the voucher and private tuition. So like insurance, the most vulnerable get left out.

5. As it stands today, No Child Left Behind actually allows states to leave all kids with special needs behind. Because scoring on NCLB standards is based on averages, schools try very hard to "excuse" anyone they think won't pass. Since many states mandate passage of their NCLB tests to graduate, the effect is to stunt these kids' education and then deny them the diplomas required to get decent jobs, go to college or otherwise necessary to have a truly integrated life. Yet McCain has no plans to revisit this part of NCLB or otherwise advocate for education for special needs children.

6. The primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (a bill McCain co-sponsored and contributed to back in 1990), Tom Harkin of Iowa, has proposed a new law that would encourage states to transition people with developmental disabilities from state institutions (think prisons, without the armed guards but with the fences and lockdowns) to community based environments (mainly group homes). This bill - the Community Choice Act of 2007 - is, in effect, funding a central goal of the ADA, to ensure people are treated with dignity and truly integrated into their community with appropriate accommodations. It also implements the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, which requires states to offer choices to and honor the reasonable decisions of people with developmental disabilities regarding the location and setting of their state care. Guess what - McCain is on record against the bill, having all but shouted "no" at a self-advocate in a wheelchair at one of his town halls.

Sarah Palin may become an advocate for special needs families some day. But she and McCain aren't there yet.

By contrast, Barack Obama has a comprehensive plan for assisting folks with disabilities and a seperate on on autism.  The page is http://www.barackobama.com/issues/disabi lities/.  Among other things, he's for fully funding IDEA, passing the Community Choice Act, comprehensive health care without pre-existing conditions exclusions and finding alternatives to measure school progress outside of the all or nothing testing model.  Also, if what matters to you is knowing there's an advocate with access to power, David Axelrod (Obama's chief strategist) has a kid with autism.  His wife is a big advocate for special needs care in Illinois.

by Andrew Dzeguze 2008-09-04 01:43PM | 0 recs
from state budget

Alaska Challenge Youth Academy
Component Financial Summary
All dollars shown in thousands

                  FY2007      FY2008      FY2009

Grants, Benefits   5,449.3     5,709.0    6,082.1

Expenditure Totals 5,449.3     5,709.0    6,082.1

Funding Sources:
General Fund       5,449.3     5,709.0    6,082.1

Alaska Challenge Youth Program is a National Guard program for troubled (in trouble) kids.

We are speaking of an increase of  $259.70.

by barnowl 2008-09-04 03:42PM | 0 recs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adrienne-w illiams/palin-gutted-special-ed-f_b_1237 74.html

The number in 2007 is $8,265,300 to the proposed for 2009 which is $3,156,000. That is roughly 62%. So CNN is correct. I think the confusion is "special needs" as in school for deaf and disabled students to that of troubled students. The latter belongs under the purview of the national guards and saw an increase in budget.

The above link also has pdf files for these years. Please don't have second thoughts. The woman is lying as it is don't try and acquit her from her lies.

by tarheel74 2008-09-04 04:53PM | 0 recs
Needs video and better sourcing

Either get correct info and a video up or delet the diary.  Jeez.

by Beerman 2008-09-04 05:07PM | 0 recs


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