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Mr. McCain has railed against earmarks and said he has never requested a pork-barrel project for his home state of Arizona during his two decades in Congress.

This week, Washington-based Taxpayers for Common Sense issued a report showing that as mayor of Wasilla, Mrs. Palin helped secure nearly $27 million in earmarks for her community. Under Mrs. Palin, the town also hired a powerful lobbying firm, Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, whose partners included a former chief of staff to Mr. Stevens.

The earmarks secured for Wasilla included $1.5 million for water and sewer improvements, $15 million for a commuter rail project and a $500,000 for a shelter for homeless youths, the taxpayers group said.

“When she became mayor, she certainly figured out how to turn on the tap to get them funding,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “As governor, she moved on to request earmarks, though to a lesser extent than her predecessors.”