A Different Kind of Republican?
The news of the last few days, which may not seem too important taken separately, really seem to reveal that she is every bit as venal and self-dealing as the old Alaska hands like Ted Stevens. I think these stories about the expense accounts and so forth are not a side show at all, but reveal the candidate's character.
Big money first. The story that broke overnight tells us that the Republican National Committee dropped $150,000 on her, spending money at Nieman-Marcus, Saks, and Barney's. Obviously she needs to look good, but $150K? That's what Josephine the Plumber spends on clothes? Sure, they eventually cooked up the story that they're giving the clothes to charity after the campaign, but I'd like to see that in writing from before the shitstorm started, wouldn't you?
Then, we also get the story that in her job as governor of Alaska, Palin charged the people of Alaska over $20,000 to fly her kids around the country on various jaunts, put them up in hotels, and otherwise show them the high life. Then, when she gets caught on it, she goes back and doctors her expense reports to they look like official state business, but those claims are particularly transparent.Possibly the worst of it was when she flew her kids to the National Governors' Association convention.Expense forms describe the girls' official purpose as "NGA Governor's Youth Programs and family activities." But those programs were activities designed to keep children busy, a service provided by the NGA
In other words, she takes her kids to a convention, puts them up in the babysitting service they set up for governors' kids, and then claims that they were on official state business because they got in on the babysitting program. Nice, huh?
And, following the rule that three data points make a trend, we can go back to earlier in her career as governor. 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.
So what do these incidents have in common? In each case, what we see is Sarah Palin using her official position as an elected official (or candidate) to enrich herself. You could argue that the thing with the kids is just because she's a devoted mother who wants to spend time with her family, and I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with charging the state for what is a purely personal expenditure.
How is this any different from Ted Stevens letting someone build a house for him?I guess it's a good thing that the McCain-Palin slogan of the week is "Country First", and not "State First".