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Another Palin Ethics Problem - Children's Travel Expenses

After Palin was found to have violated Alaskan Ethics Laws with regards to TrooperGate, the fact that she lied on expense forms claiming her children were traveling with her under official State business should come as no surprise.

Remember who were talking about here - Sarah Palin - who took per diem payments amounting to tens of thousands of dollars -- for sleeping in her home 300 nights.

Well, she's been caught again lining her pockets at taxpayer expense:

Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.

As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters -- Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 -- by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor's schedule.

But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend.

Several other organizers said the children merely accompanied their mother and did not participate. The trips enabled Palin, whose main state office is in the capital of Juneau, to spend more time with her children.

The children weren't there on any official business, a fact backed up by event organizers, and yet Palin apparently lied on expense reports, claiming there were there on official State of Alaska business.

The smart thing for Palin to do would be to admit her mistake and pay up pronto, but my guess is that Caribou Barbie will fight this and lie some more.

After all, she's been shown to lack ethics in her role as Governor, and lord knows she's lied to reporters and the voters about TropperGate - so she obviously has a problem admitting when she's wrong.

After Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate and reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters' travel.

In the amended reports, Palin added phrases such as "First Family attending" and "First Family invited" to explain the girls' attendance.

She doctored the expense reports after reporters asked for a copy, lying - claiming the children were invited when they weren't.

In July, the governor charged the state $2,741.26 to take Bristol and Piper to Philadelphia for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The girls had their own room for five nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for $215.46 a night, expense records show.

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 to accommodate governors and their families, NGA spokeswoman Jodi Omear said.

She said they were on official business when they weren't.

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Comments (13)

Reader from the beginning:

You should update with the $150,000 that the Palins got to buy clothing from the RNC.

If thats not taxable income, I will eat my hat.

Your fellow blogger Drummond over on the dark side needs his chain pulled back. May I suggest that you do a diary on none other than electionprojection.com a favorite of Wizbang.

But you have to remember, lying isn't wrong when it is about a personal issue. I don't see any problem here.

John Loki:

Did the State of Alaska approve the expenses? If so, then who cares?

Eric:

Lee,
You should change the very first sentence of this article. Sarah Palin is ACCUSED of violating Alaskan ethics laws... She has not been tried or found guilty of anything. The Branchflower report is the result of the investigation and would be analogous to an indictment by a prosecutor.

Tim:

Is this like accepting speaking fees when state law specifically prohibits it?

Tim:

Oops. It can't be the same, since Alaska law doesn't address expenses for children, whereas Illinois law does address speaking fees for legislators. My bad.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Palin lied. She said the children were traveling on State business when they weren't.

Just like her lies about the Bridge to Nowhere.

And her TrooperGate lies, when she lied and said the investigation found no ethical violations.

Sarah Palin is no maverick - she found out reporters were requesting copies of her travel records and she went back and amended the reports falsely claiming the children were on official state business.

How very typical and ordinary....

But, once again, all she did was lie. And lying, as we all know, isn't ever wrong because lying is always a personal issue, even when it is perjury.

When will I shut up about this? When Lee states "President Bill Clinton was wrong for lying under oath and was properly impeached for his illegal action."

That's when. Oh, and when he mentions all the lies that the liberals have spouted in the past 12 months.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"When will I shut up about this? When Lee states "President Bill Clinton was wrong for lying under oath and was properly impeached for his illegal action.""

I wasn't aware that Bill Clinton is running for President this year, but thanks for admitting you're just here to harass, Dwayne.

If Bill Clinton does it and it is okay, it must be okay for everyone else to do it as well. You can't support Bill in his lying and then find fault for someone else lying. Just saying.

And as the old joke goes, "I know that 'harass' is one word"

Lee Ward:

Reader in 1. above:

"If thats not taxable income, I will eat my hat."

It is indeed taxable income, according to experts cited by ABC.

"Your fellow blogger Drummond over on the dark side needs his chain pulled back. May I suggest that you do a diary on none other than electionprojection.com a favorite of Wizbang."

Commenting on Drummond's drivel would mean I'd actually have to read that nonsense. I have better things to do than read made-up right wing conspiracy theory crap.

Besides - anyone can look at the Fox News polls and realize that there is no left-wing conspiracy in place if Fox is reporting the same results that the other polls do. Likewise with the right wing poll at the WSJ.

Less than two weeks before Election Day, Barack Obama leads John McCain 49 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, according to a FOX News poll released Wednesday.

Drummond laid an egg with his first post on this subject a couple of weeks ago, and after commenters laughed at him and pointed out the fallacies in his "theory" he's been re-posting and tweaking his "theories" ad nauseum ever since.

It's horse shit, but the right wing nutcakes need something to cheer them up, so belivin' that the polls are lying is as good as anything else...

Herman:

The previous Alaskan governor never charged the state for the airplane travel of his children. But then he was a Democrat.

Herman:

Actually, in my last post I had forgotten about Frank Murkowski who Palin replaced, basically what I wrote applies to Murkowski's predecessor, Democratic governor, Tony Knowles.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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