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>Washington Post Critical of Palin’s Expenses


Here’s the first of a three-part article by the Washington Post which is both critical and complimentary of Sarah Palin’s expenses while mayor and governor. It is complimentary because the Post reporters were professionals in getting both sides, and on balance Palin comes out on top. I commented to the story because it made me mad. My comments were printed on the Post’s blog, surprisingly, because I was critical of the newspaper and of the New York Times and their treatment of Republican candidates generally.
Read my comment, then hit the link below and go to the Post story and leave an appropriate comment. Thanks, Don White

Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home

Taxpayers Also Funded Family’s Travel

Ed O’Keefe talks to Washington Post’s investigative reporter James Grimaldi, who is working from Alaska, about documents showing that Gov. Sarah Palin billed Alaska taxpayers for travel expenses for her and her family.


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Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 9, 2008; Page A01

ANCHORAGE, Sept. 8 — 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.

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The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.

Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official “duty station” is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.

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The governor’s daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.

Gubernatorial spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Monday that Palin’s expenses are not unusual and that, under state policy, the first family could have claimed per diem expenses for each child taken on official business but has not done so.

Before she became the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, Palin was little known outside Alaska. Now, with the campaign emphasizing her executive experience, her record as mayor of Wasilla, as a state oil-and-gas commissioner and as governor is receiving intense scrutiny.

During her speech at the Republican National Convention last week, Palin cast herself as a crusader for fiscal rectitude as Alaska’s governor. She noted that she sold a state-owned plane used by the former governor. “While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for,” she said to loud applause.

Speaking from Palin’s Anchorage office, Leighow said Palin dealt with the plane and also trimmed other expenses, including forgoing a chef in the governor’s mansion because she preferred to cook for her family. The first family’s travel is an expected part of the job, she said.

“As a matter of protocol, the governor and the first family are expected to attend community events across the state,” she said. “It’s absolutely reasonable that the first family participates in community events.”

The state finance director, Kim Garnero, said Alaska law exempts the governor’s office from elaborate travel regulations. Said Leighow: “The governor is entitled to a per diem, and she claims it.”

The popular governor collected the per diem allowance from April 22, four days after the birth of her fifth child, until June 3, when she flew to Juneau for two days. Palin moved her family to the capital during the legislative session last year, but prefers to stay in Wasilla and drive 45 miles to Anchorage to a state office building where she conducts most of her business, aides have said.

Palin rarely sought reimbursement for meals while staying in Anchorage or Wasilla, the reports show.

dusanotes (Don White) wrote:

Palin can well answer any criticism of her expense account by looking at the bottom line and comparing it with any of the other candidates and her predecessor in the governorship. The bottom line is that she has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars comparing the past governor’s expenses and when comparing those of any governor in the country. The Palins are not extravagant people.

Now that the Washington Post has vetted Palin, get on with vetting Obama who has been running for the past two years. There’s a lot of graft and dishonesty about his expenses, the Democrat slush funds, his house, his lot, his relationship with Tony Rezko and George Soros and his protective arm and do-nothing, say-nothing policy about the crooks that were running Freddie and Fannie that were dealt a death blow with the government taking them over this week, and the many favors Obama has received from his friends where there is no accounting and little or no oversight, especially by the Washington Post and the NY Times, two of the most liberal pro-Democrat papers in the country. Don White, Florida, a conservative writer and blogger.

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