Monday, 18 May 2009
Sarah Palin and creative excuses
Here are some snippets from an ADN editorial:
An investigator made short work last week of two ethics complaints against Gov. Sarah Palin. His conclusions made sense, given how the cases were framed.
But investigator Michael Geraghty and one of the complainants, Anthony Martin, never addressed one question about the governor's November trip to Georgia to campaign for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Why did the state of Alaska pay per diem expenses to Kris Perry, director of the governor's Anchorage office, for her time in Georgia?
Spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said the state paid per diem to Perry in Georgia because the trip qualified as state business.
The administration argues that Chambliss was a vote for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and his opponent wasn't.
The Georgia trip was partisan politics. None of that should happen on the state dime, including Perry's per diem.
It seems ADN have changed their tune a little bit. Their comments section appears to have improved as well. ADN may have escaped the grip of the Sarah Palin fan site. Hurrah! But they still do very little investigative stuff and are not very cutting edge in their reporting...
The definition of state business as given by Sarah Palin's office is the usual vague, clutching at straws drivel: Sarah Palin's children are state officials and the governor is entitled to claim travel expenses for them, if anybody mentions ANWR while the governor and her staff are away from Alaska on partisan business, it automatically qualifies as state business, and so on and so forth.
The amount of Kris Perry's per diems is not very high, only $105. But the simple fact that it was claimed as state business at all proves that the system is open to abuse. The explanations given by Sarah Palin's office are creative at best. In my opinion, they are pathetic.
There's a major scandal involving politicians' expenses going on in the UK at the moment. Sarah Palin comes across as a rank amateur compared to them. The amounts are not that important, the real problem is accountability. When politicians and their staff are seen as dishonest, with their large or small snouts in the trough, it erodes their credibility.
The electorate deserves better, anywhere in the world.