Palin charging state for families' travels

I believe I read somewhere that the plane was also used for shuttling around Alaska’s prison inmates who were being housed out of state (due to there not being enough space in the state’s prisons).

off to Google

News article from Sept 4, 2008:

I feel bad for her kids. I am sorry, I do not like her, I think she was an addition to the McCain campaign that is attempting to pander to women. I am voting for Obama. But I still feel sorry for her kids.

God, I am such a mom.

The records were requested prior to her being selected as the VP. I think this was in the works for awhile, although I understand what you’re saying.

I like this part though…

This story didn’t just break. It’s just now showing up here.

Whether or not it’s a common practice is not really relevant. Whether she followed State of Alaska procedure is relevant. She should have just done the time honored procedure of having some political lobby fly her kids to the New York boondoggle.

I’m kind of surprised that she’d take her kids to those hotbeds of terrorist-loving liberals, but maybe she thought it would be educational to see how the Fake America lives. Or she thought that the shopping might be better than Anchorage.

From the article:

Forgive me if I don’t trust the AP’s opinion on Alaskan law.

Are children conducting official state business now, Rand Rover? Seriously now. You can’t honestly believe your own bullshit half the time.

You’re forgiven. Now go back to wherever it was you were.

I was beating up on liberal doper douchebags in a different thread. OK I’ll go back.

But seriously, who do you belong to? Will they be upset when they find out that you’ve been out of the cage since September?

This one is old news - it came out in the first two weeks but was ignored in the other trainwrecks about her that were being discovered - I mean its hard to beat the rape kits, the unwed teenage pregnant daughter, the weird flight back home in labor, Troopergate, etc. Padding expense reports - that’s garden variety political corruption.

(It appears that most tax attorneys disagree with the one she found - if her kids travel was paid for, that should be a taxable benefit to her - so she is probably screwed on the tax thing even if the travel is allowed - and the travel being allowed will probably be determined by some sort of audit group in Alaska - whose business it is).

The whole thing bothers me. I used to draw per diem when I traveled and have never heard of someone drawing same for living at home where you don’t pay rent nor purchase your meals. I also always had to submit lodging receipts. Her defenders say “Oh, but she saved the state all this money by not drawing per diem in Juneau!” That’s like saying I saved $3,000 when I bought this $50,000 automobile. You still spent taxpayer dollars, just not as many.

I’m looking for anything about Governor’s shuttling their families when they travel. So far I found this article about New York Governor Pataki who campaigned on the excesses of Cuomo using state airplanes to transport his family, then continued to use them for his own, albeit not as often.

From a 1995 New York Times article:

I infer from the above that this practice does not breach any legal boundaries in New York but was construed as somewhat lacking in ethics or decorum.

In California Governor Schwarzenegger pays for his own private jet commutes from his home in Southern California to Sacramento. He is a wealthy SOB, so it’s not necessarily a fair standard to hold other Governors of lesser means (like the Palins) to.

Evidently it was.

Nitpick: you probably mean tax accountants. Most tax attorneys don’t do this type of stuff.

The thing that pisses me off is that when I am on travel for work I have to justify why I spent $80 on a motel when a $75 one was available (this is charged to the government). Little things like that I have to completely justify in an attempt to provide some kind of internal controls on where company/government/taxpayer money is going. Yet the fat cats will think nothing of dropping a thousand on wine and staying in ritzy $800 to $1,000 a night at different hotels. It just amazes me that they go through so much effort to stop the “little man” from spending an extra $50 on a week long trip while these guys literally blow thousands, and as we have seen from the recent taxpayer bailout billions.

But what the fuck do I know. I am just a lowly engineer.

Looks like the situation is a little less murky than the AP states. Palin’s actions have wasted Alaskan tax dollars, but they don’t appear to violate state law. The Alaskan state laws regulating who can claim travel expenses and who may claim per diems (such as AS 39.20.120: Only actual and necessary traveling expenses shall be allowed to an official or employee) defines employees as people employed by state agencies and officials as appointive heads of state agencies. Looks like the governor and lieutenant governor have carte blanche when it comes to claiming travel expenses, since it appears that Palin claimed her children’s expenses as part of her own and not under their own category.

As much as I despise Palin, I can’t get worked up about this. It looks like she was padding her expenses and per diems, but doing it to bring her kids along on trips is just not something that chaps me all that much. I suspect it’s also not very unusual for elected officials.

There are much better reasons to vote against Palin. I can’t see this blowing up into anything significant. I’m not sure I’d want the press diving too deeply into Obama’s or Biden’s exoense accounts either.

Nitpick: Not only are you an idiot, you also happen to be wrong…again.

Better still:

It appears to be an issue of more-that-average political phoniness (“maverick reformer”, my ass) rather than one of actual ethical or legal impropriety.