In the only-the-beginning-folks (expect it to escalate as the election nears) hysteria over Palin that reveals the Democrats’ panic, the WaPo is all afflutter that Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home
Taxpayers Also Funded Family’s Travel
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a “per diem” allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.
In the middle of the “expose”, the WaPo manages to mention that
Gov. Palin has spent far less on her personal travel than her predecessor: $93,000 on airfare in 2007, compared with $463,000 spent the year before by her predecessor, Frank Murkowski.
It must have been a slow news day that they put this on their front page.
If you read the story carefully
you learn that the per diem’s she’s sought are explicitly provided for under state law, she sought less reimbursement than she’s entitled to, she sought less than her predecessor, and she also eliminated other expenses that her predecessor imposed on Alaska’s taxpayers (e.g. a personal chef at the Governor’s mansion).
David Bernstein explains,
You have to read the article carefully to figure this out, but what the story ultimately reveals is that Palin (a) billed the state for most expenses allowed by law, including per diem when she stayed in her own home (her “duty station” was the state capitol of Juneau) in Wasilla; (b) didn’t bill the state for other expenses, when she could have done so lawfully, such as per diems for her children; and (c) spent a lot less money on expenses than did her predecessor, especially on travel and by ridding herself of the state’s personal chef. [FWIW, she apparently maintained two residences, the governor’s mansion in Juneau, where assumedly she didn’t get a per diem (but where her predecessor had a personal chef), and Wasilla, from which I believe I read she commuted to Anchorage for work when the legislature wasn’t in session. Saintly to take the per diem when in the second residence? No. Worthy of the lead headline on Washingtonpost.com? Please! Not illegal, not unethical, and not a scandal.]
There is one item in the WaPo article that I expect the Dems will froth over soon enough:
The family also charged for flights around the state, including trips to Alaska events such as the start of the Iditarod dog-sled race and the Iron Dog snowmobile race, a contest that Todd Palin won.
Someone in the Dem party’s kicking him/herself for not recruiting the Palins for the party. Imagine the favorable, glowing, PR in the media and in the leftblogs if Chelsea Clinton married a handsome Yup’ik Eskimo from the Curyung tribe, with a pilot license, and who had won the Iron Dog championship four times. US magazine would be intereviewing the dogs. For now, kosanoia reveals itself asking “Just what is Todd Palin’s role in the governance of Alaska, anyway?”
He’s the First Dude, y’all. And he’s gorgeous.
The media has its priorities, and as such they are shifting terrorism experts on their staffs towards investigations of political candidates, according to Andrew Cochran.
Too bad no reporters were around to be outraged when Lucinda Fiorio was taking the NJ governor’s limo and police escort to get to her pedicure appointments back in the day.
Special thanks to Larwyn for the links.