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The Collective
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I have made it clear that I find the selection of Sarah Paling to be questionable from a resume perspective and risky from a political one. Having said that, I have to say that WaPo’s story on Sarah Palin’s per diem payments and travel reimbursements strike me as barely newsworthy, and certainly nothing scandalous: Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home.

In reading the story it is clear that she broke no laws and didn’t even take the maximum allowed amount under state law. It seems to me that if one draws a salary and one also is allowed to draw a per diem under specified circumstances, then the per diem is part of one’s compensation package. And the big “scandal” that she drew per diem while staying at her own home, it should be noted that she didn’t take money for lodgings, but for only expenses.

Even if one wants to attack on the fiscal responsibility angle, one has to give her credit for not maintaining a personal chef and for selling the private jet (even if it ultimately didn’t sell on eBay). Indeed, one suspects that she saved the state more money in those actions than she cost them in per diem.

What this story will do is add to the McCain campaign’s narrative that the press is out to get them.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, MSM, US Politics | |
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

9 Comments

  1. By itself, the story means nothing and frankly is too difficult to understand. The danger is the cululative effect if enough of these type of stories come out. It makes her look like just another politician gaming the system.

    Comment by Jay Dubbs — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 9:14 am

  2. [...] Monthly, The Corner, Outside The Beltway, D-Day, The Caucus, PoliBlog (TM), Spin Cycle, Commentary, Electoral-vote.com, The RBC, Brilliant at Breakfast, TalkLeft, Balloon [...]

    Pingback by The Left Attempts But The Right Says Gotcha To The “Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home,” | Right Voices — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 9:28 am

  3. A lot of this is throwing things against the wall and see what sticks. The upside for the McCain-Palin ticket is that with this amount of faux scandals (per diem, babies, troopers, hockey arena, hubby DUI, etc.) breathlessly reported if a real scandal does come along it’s unlikely to be treated seriously by the public.

    On another note: As someone who has traveled extensively with my job over the last 20 years, the thought of a line-by-line public examination of old expense reports sends chills down the spine…

    Comment by Buckland — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 9:46 am

  4. The question isn’t whether it was illegal; it obviously wasn’t.

    The question is instead whether scrapping this bizarre perk wouldn’t qualifying as pretty low-hanging fruit for a candidate whose sole agenda item is, we are told ad nauseum, “reform”?

    (Another question, to which I don’t know the answer: Do other governors do this?)

    Comment by KipEsquire — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  5. Here’s what I thought was interesting on the list: The authors thought that 4 of the 10 worst ideas for each candidate dealt with energy:

    McCain — Gas-Tax Holiday, Drilling, Nuclear, Cap-and-Trade.

    Obama — Coal, Ethanol, Oil company Tax, and Strategic Petroleum Reserve (and that’s not Trade Agreement).

    I don’t see a by-line on the article. However it’s interesting that the author(s) went out of their way to urinate on any idea with any potential to produce more energy except the political correct counting quasi energy related like talking to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Renegotiating the North American Free ones like wind and solar.

    The energy critiques seem much more detailed than the others. Especially the “inside baseball” stuff about McCain’s Cap-n-Trade doesn’t include enough auction personality makes me think that the authors tried to write this pretty much down the middle, but their background comes from the energy field, especially the renewable crap that needs subsidies as far as the eye can see.

    Am I missing the by-line? I’d really like to know the background of the authors.

    Comment by Buckland — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 10:10 am

  6. Above in wrong topic, reposted in correct on….

    I really shouldn’t do this while working.

    Comment by Buckland — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 10:27 am

  7. I have been there. When you travel for a company (government), no matter the per diem, or expense reimbursement, you lose money.
    I wonder how much these scabs digging for gold dirt in Alaska are making (losing) per diem.

    Comment by BJ Melton — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 10:52 am

  8. What it tells me when this sort of thing is reported is that there isn’t anything more scandalous to report.

    If there was, they would be reporting it.

    Comment by Captain D — Tuesday, September 9, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

  9. It costs the state of Alaska $356,500.00 annually to maintain and staff the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. That is where the governor of Alaska is supposed to live while serving their term. The State Capitol, and legislature, is about a hundred yards down the street. Governor Palin prefers to live at home in Wasilla, over 600 miles away, and collect per diem, while the state continues to pour the money into the empty Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. That is not efficient or ethical.

    http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb/budget/Gov/comp9.pdf

    Comment by Dick — Saturday, September 13, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

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