11 sep. 2008

1. Palin paid herself to stay at home


Sarah Palin is being trumpeted as a fiscal conservative. And it's true to a certain extent. She did cut funding for a program that helps teen moms get back on their feet. But as the Washington Post revealed today, Palin may not be a paragon of fiscal restraint after all. The Post reports that Palin paid herself a per diem allowance (money that's supposed to cover expenses accrued while traveling on state business) for the 312 days she spent in her home in Wasilla during her 19 months in office.

The Post also states that travel expenses for her husband and kids totaled $43,490.

According to former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, this is hardly par for the course in Alaska:

"I gave a direction to all my commissioners if they were ever in their house, whether it was Juneau or elsewhere, they were not to get a per diem because, clearly, it is and it looks like a scam -- you pay yourself to live at home,"

Furthermore:

... the policy was not to reimburse for family travel on commercial airlines, because there is no direct public benefit to schlepping kids around the state.

As Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake writes:

Palin and her husband both make six-figure incomes. They don't need to be chiseling the state for this money to live, and she sure isn't entitled to be running on fiscal responsibility when she's pocketing cash in a way that has a history of being regarded in Alaska as a "scam."