Following up on the AP article (the same AP who needs to learn to google) on an illegally leaked investigator’s report concerning Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s legal defense fund. James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal says there different rules in effect for Sarah Palin.
One can certainly see how a legal defense fund might raise ethical concerns. If, let us say, the beneficiary were able to use the money for personal expenses or in a political campaign, then a contribution to the defense fund could turn out to be the practical equivalent of, respectively, a bribe or an extralegal campaign contribution.
But no such impropriety is alleged here. Rather, the investigator claims that defending herself against ethics charges itself constitutes “personal gain”…
…It may be that (Thomas) Daniel’s interpretation of the ethics act is consistent with a very literal reading of the act, but contrary to his claim, it is an affront to common sense. No “ordinary citizen” would face the kind of “legal charges” that have bedeviled Palin–to wit, politically motivated accusations that she has misused her office.
As I said yesterday that there is nothing with his conclusions that echo common sense. If she weren’t the Governor see wouldn’t be facing these charges. The only thing that made sense in his report is his statement regarding Governor Palin should be able to seek reimbursement from the state when complaints have been dismissed, and that there needs to be a change in the Ethics Act allowing for that. Amen to that.
However there is no legal recourse right now for her to do so, and even if she could the taxpayers are then on the hook for frivolous complaints. He also said “reasonable” expenses which would likely be debated as well.
Also, Emily Geiger points out, that President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton had a legal defense fund or two. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Former Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX), Former Representative Dick Gephardt (D-MO), and former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) also have or had legal defense funds. Ok, for them, but not for Governor Palin?
Update: You need to read the press release made available by the Trustee of the Alaska Fund Trust, Kristan Cole on the ethics complaint and the Alaska Fund Trust.