Despite its go-it-alone spirit, sparsely populated Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of funding from Washington among the 50 states. A major portion of those federal taxpayer dollars in recent years has come from large infusions of homeland security grants and appropriations handed out to the state since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, where she was mayor from 1996 to 2002, has benefited immensely from the anti-terrorism bonanza. Wasilla, with a population of 7,028, has acquired a surveillance system for its water wells, a 150-foot tall communications tower that altered the city’s landscape, a half-million dollar mobile command vehicle with off-road capabilities, and more.
According to an analysis of federal spending figures and additional records obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting from the state of Alaska through open-government laws: