Washington, Sept.2 : Alaska Governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost 27 million dollars in federal earmarks for her hometown - Wasilla - when she was its mayor.
This town of 6,700 residents, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog, secured 500,000 dollars for a youth shelter, 1.9 million dollars for a transportation hub, 900,000 dollars for sewer repairs, and 15 million dollars for a rail project, reports the Washington Post.
That such a huge amount was allocated to Wasilla, located about 45 miles north of Alaskan capital Anchorage, exposes Republican presidential nominee John McCain's view that he and Palin will battle against wasteful federal spending.
McCain's crusade against earmarks -- federal spending sought by members of Congress to benefit specific projects -- has been a hallmark of his campaign. He has said earmarks are wasteful and are often inserted into bills with little oversight, sometimes by a single powerful member of Congress.
Palin has also railed against earmarks, touting her opposition to a 223 million dollar bridge in a remote corner of the state as a prime credential for the vice presidential nomination.
In her years as mayor of Wasilla, however, Palin oversaw the hiring of Robertson, Monagle and Eastaugh, an Anchorage-based law firm with close ties to Alaska's most senior Republicans.
Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla in 1996 on a campaign theme of "a time for change."
According to a review of congressional spending by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, Wasilla did not get any federal earmarks in the first few years of Palin's tenure.
U.S. Senate records show that Silver's firm began working for Palin in early 2000. Federal funds began flowing shortly thereafter.