At least in Alaska. When I got home today from a meeting this morning, I saw this article in my in-box. It was about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s mounting legal debt.
Gov. Sarah Palin owes more than a half million dollars to an Anchorage law firm that has defended her against ethics complaints, and she may create a legal fund to pay the bill, she said Friday.
Legal bills have mounted fighting complaints that she called partisan, false and frivolous, starting with "the politically motivated Troopergate probe," Palin said in a written response to questions.
She said the legal bills all stem from her actions as governor.
"I must defend against these baseless ethics accusations out of my own pocket as the use of public monies to do so could itself violate state law," Palin wrote.
She isn’t complaining or whining about this problem. The only reason this came to light was through her annual financial disclosure to Alaska Public Offices Commission.
There have been 10 ethics complaints. Six have been dismissed, one has been concluded (whatever that means). There are three pending, with one of those I believe just being filed this week. The charge? “Using state staff and resources for political purposes on two occasions.” Allegedly once during the presidential campaign and once this week. This is from her favorite ethics filer (somebody who has done this four times) Andree McLeod.
Andree McLeod, who has filed four ethics complaints against Palin and top aides, and made a number of public records requests, says she’s doing exactly what Palin expects. When Palin was sworn in as governor in December 2006, McLeod recalled, she said "Alaskans, hold me accountable; and right backatcha. I’ll expect a lot from you too."
"I’m unambiguously, steadfastly and doggedly holding Palin accountable," McLeod said in a statement. Her most recent complaint, filed this week, accuses Palin of using state resources to post a campaign message on the state Web site, and using her state spokesman to address confusion caused by her political action committee.
I haven’t found anything on her website that is political in nature. And having Bill McAllister address a schedule concern is political? Give me a freaking break! This woman is a walking waste of not only taxpayer money, but the Palin’s money as well.
Palin made $131,891 last year, counting her $125,000 salary and expense payments she collects when she’s away from Juneau, according to the disclosure. Todd Palin made $86,150 from his two jobs, as a commercial fisherman and a BP production operator.
"Obviously we cannot afford to personally pay these bills — and really no future governor should feel the sense of financial vulnerability at the hands of those with a political vendetta bent on personal destruction," Palin wrote. "Some have suggested a legal fund to pay these bills. We’ll have to pursue that."
Who would want to run for office after seeing what is taking place in Alaska. You would either have to be independently wealthy, which the Palins are not or use your entire salary for legal fees. It is certainly a discouragement for average Americans who desire to run for public office whether they are Republican or Democrat.
The thing is with “Troopergate” she was allotted $95,000 for legal defense by the Legislature. She didn’t take a dime of that money. Why?
Palin said she knew the case had turned political when CNN reported that the Obama campaign had spoken with the troopers’ union about Monegan. Meg Stapleton, spokeswoman for Sarah PAC, Palin’s political action committee, said in an e-mail Friday evening that a CNN reporter who was live on the air Sept. 5 reported the Obama campaign reached out to Wooten through his union.
Palin said she didn’t think it would be fair to "sacrifice public monies to defend against something that was so politically charged." Van Flein (her attorney) called the investigation a "political probe" and an "abuse of state money."
That, people, is not an action of somebody with ethics problems. That is the action of someone who has personal integrity and places the concerns of the state before her own. The Legislative Council didn’t seem to mind spending taxpayer money – they shelled out $75,000. Now who is the one with an ethics problem?
Also, a side note – be sure to check out Conservatives4Palin.com’s coverage of this.
2nd Update 3/24/09: Another bogus ethics complaint made because she wore “Arctic Cat” clothing at the Iron Dog snow machine competition. Let’s forget it was what her husband wore for the competition and she was there to support him. Anybody in Alaska getting sick of this? Because I’m not a resident there and I’m getting pretty hacked off about these stupid complaints. Leave her the heck alone and let her do her job!!!!!!!!
3rd Update 3/29/09: Linked at Sarah Palin for President, thanks for the mention Josh!