By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Sarah Palin and the Special Olympics

Several news organizations, including the New York Times and NPR, have reported that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin cut the state’s Special Olympics budget by $275,000 earlier this year. That’s accurate, but it’s not the whole story, and I’ve posted an update to reflect that.

According to, and verified by state documents, the Special Olympics sought $550,000 for the coming fiscal year. Palin used her line-item veto to cut that in half, but it still represented an increase of $25,000.

Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard gets carried away, describing the $550,000 as merely a number that was “proposed.” In fact, it was approved by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, so Palin really went out of her way to make this cut. The question: Why? Alaska’s KTUU-TV tried to get someone from the Special Olympics to comment, but was unsuccessful.

What services would the extra money have paid for? Was it for new programs? Was it to make up for a loss of funding from other sources? What will be the effect of Palin’s veto?

I’d say someone ought to find out. How about it, Anchorage Daily News?

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Dark thoughts at the new OJR


Beating the press


  1. liamstliam

    Thanks for following this up, Dan.The Special Olympics are near and dear to me.This changes things. somewhat.I appreciate it.

  2. Ani

    Maybe Palin is on a learning curve about special needs children, now that she has Trig. Why many people need to have someone near and dear to them be affected by something before they get on board, I don’t know, but Palin wouldn’t be alone in that, and I guess I’m hoping that if (and I really don’t know much about the story) she cut Special Olympics funding for dubious reasons before, she’ll do better in the future on that and other related issues. She could become a real effective spokesperson for special needs children, if she wants to.

  3. Peter Porcupine

    DK – what did the REST of the budget look like?I am VERY familiar with Evil Republican Cuts which turn out to be less that the expected increase, but still an increase over the prior year – THAT is a Democrat’s Cut.Also – does Alaska have a balanced budget amendment? For 16 years, a favorite trick of the Boston Lege was to send whatever porked-up version of the budget they wished (House and Senate didn’t even use the same dollar amount as a budget basis – Senate was usually 5% higher!) to the Governor, comfortable in the knowledge that WelUcciSwiRomney would be legally bound to cut the local items, so they could say THEY voted for the Gazebo, it was the Infernal Republicans and their mad, omniscient power that cut it! I thought it was telling back in the fiscal crisis of 2002 that the Lege voted extra CUTTING powers to the Governor (expanded 9-C cuts, they’re called) rather than try to live within their own means.Frankly, party control isn’t as much s issue in these things as the eternal legislative-executive tug of war.

  4. Aaron Read

    Maybe Palin is on a learning curve about special needs children, now that she has Trig. Ani – I hear what you’re saying, but if that’s true, then Palin has no business being in national office, much less the Veep slot (or, quite possibility, the Oval Office).To be fair, though, I’d be surprised if that’s the case…she DID manage to get elected guv of Alaska. Small population that it has, it’s still a frickin’ state…one does not become a governor without knowing how to make a widely disparate range of constituents’ interests seem as important to you as it does to the voters.In no way should that be construed in such a way that it implies I think Palin is qualified for VP. I most certainly don’t.BTW, the fact that we have to dig for every scrap and morsel of information here is, I think, rather telling. Palin supposedly got into both the governorship and the VP nomination because of her reputation as a “throw the bums” / “open government” reformer. Instead we see more of the mania for secrecy that Republicans are infamous for.

  5. Larry Tanner

    I don’t see the problem. They got approved for $225K, which was an increase over the previous year. Does every agency and group get what they propose to the governor? If so, I need to get in on this….

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Larry: Again, not a proposal. It was in the budget, approved by the legislature, controlled by the governor’s own party. Palin vetoed it. Your attitude is pretty cavalier given that we don’t know what the money was for, whether it was intended to offset funding from another source that had been lost, and the like.

  7. Ani

    aaron read,Yeah, you’re probably right, but maybe in the TV movie version we can write a different script?

  8. Don, American

    Special Olympics are funded by donations. Let’s keep it that way. Anything the government keeps its nose out of, is better for it.

  9. DA

    >> Larry, not a proposal. It was in the budget, approved by the legislature<<Gee Dan, I didn't know you took tap-dancing lessons….

  10. Dan Kennedy

    DA: The state of civics education in this country is pathetic, as evidenced by your comment.Please spend some time with this.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén