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Nice Work If You Can Get It: Palin Paid Herself To Live At Home

The Washington Post has an article this morning on the 312 nights Sarah Palin spent in her own home — and still charged the state for 312 days of "per diem" allowance (which is supposed to cover expenses while traveling).

The media narrative is that Palin cut back wasteful government spending in Alaska and took on her own party to do so.  But that becomes less compelling when you factor in that she paid herself $16,951 to live at home.  And it’s not like she can toss her hair and say that "this is just the way things are done in Alaska":

In 1988, the head of the state Commerce Department was pilloried for collecting a per diem charge of $50 while staying in his Anchorage home, according to local news accounts. The commissioner, the late Tony Smith, resigned amid a series of controversies.

"It was quite the little scandal," said Tony Knowles, the Democratic governor from 1994 to 2000. "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," he said.

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."

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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