More Ethics Charges Against Sarah Palin

Following Sarah Palin’s announcement that she intends to resign as governor and speculation that this is to avoid action against her for ethics violations, yet another report of ethics violations has come out:

In the wake of Governor Palin stepping down from her job, new allegations have surfaced today in Alaska charging Palin with additional violations of the Alaska Executive Ethics Act.

Zane Henning — a conservative government watchdog from the governor’s hometown of Wasilla and an oilfield worker on Alaska’s North Slope — asserts in a letter to Alaska Attorney General Daniel S. Sullivan that Palin has “been charging and pocketing per diem to live in her home and has used the process for a personal gain since being elected.”

The Washington Post first broke this story last September during the 2008 presidential race, but until now, no formal ethics charges have been brought on the matter in Alaska.

In a detailed press release accompanying his complaint, Henning declared that:

“Palin’s use of the per diem is in direct conflict with Section 39.52.120. (a) of the Alaska Executive Ethics Act….More than a thousand state employees commute from the Mat-Su Valley daily and none of them get to pocket free money.”

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12 Comments

  1. 1
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    There’s that nasty righ wing attack machine at it again with more baseless allegations. 🙂 Ron, I don’t know why you want to be an echo chamber for these distortions by conservatives attacking Sarah Palin. Ok, now that I’m done with the satire. Fact is, as Ron points out this last allegation came from a conservative and yes the allegation is really silly. But I do get a little annoyed about all the superlatives attributed to conservatives. Yes both democrat and republican politicians lie, but when the republicans lie, those lies are the biggest, most outragous lies. Both sides smear but republicans are the lowest, dirtiest smearers. Back to Sarah Palin, Ok, I’ll admit now that if someone can’t take the heat of the media, be it fair heat or unfair, IMO they aren’t fit to lead the nation. Sarah Palin has proven being unable to take such heat, I don’t see that as such a big charature flaw but I do see it as a disqualifier for pres or vice pres.

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I find the juxtaposition of views of Sarah Palin’s fans and critics tremendously entertaining. On the one hand, the clear facts of ethics issues (including the finding of the original, Troopergate ethics hearing that while she did not commit any overtly /criminal/ acts she was clearly guilty of unethical use of her position) are more convincing than not, despite the spurious charges interwoven with the legitimate. On the other, her fans persist in a denial of the facts that puts hardcore Clintonistas of the 1990s to shame (I’m, of course, talking about the sex life and the flexibility of the truth when talking to the media rather than the more bogus accusations).
    Here is an example of the views held by Palin supporters, for those who wish to hear both sides of the argument.
    I have to agree with Mike that even if one disregards everything else, her inability to competently handle media pressure or delegate the task to someone more competent than her and give them a free hand to do so certainly makes her national political qualifications questionable at best.
     
     
     

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike,

    “Yes both democrat and republican politicians lie, but when the republicans lie, those lies are the biggest, most outragous lies…”

    You miss the point. Individual people on both sides lie. The difference is that the Republicans, along with the Republican noise machine (such as talk radio, the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, and Fox) intentionally use lies as a matter of organized strategy. This included lying about Republican policies when Bush was in office (such as WMD, claims of ties between Saddam and 9/11, and threatening to fire a government expert on Medicare if he testified about the true costs of his Medicare D plan to Congress).

    Distortions of the position of the opponent were common features of the Republican campaigns against both Kerry and Obama, keeping fact check organizations quite busy as they repeated the same lies. We saw similar strategy such as with the false claims that 60% (or in Limbaugh’s case 80%) of Sotomayor’s decisions were overturned. They are fighting health care reform measures with many outright lies as to what the proposed bills even contain.

    Of course this is a different subject than the charges against Sarah Palin which are based upon fact, and which frequently do come from Republican sources. Palin’s worst critics right now aren’t among Democrats but among people from the McCain campaign.

  4. 4
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    Organized strategy v.s. what? Are you saying that is worse than perhaps lies that come off the cuff from people that do it so habitually they hardly think about it? Was there no strategy at all behind Hillary’s story about a pregnant woman who, without insurance, was denied health care because she lacked $100, her baby ending up stillborn and she dieing from complications weeks later? Surely with all the millions of uninsured out there she could have picked a case that actually happened rather than one about a woman who had health insurance and was not denied care.
    I’ve seen many movies “based on fact” that start with a couple of facts and they make a whole fiction. Zane Henning takes the fact that Palin had an interview after losing the election, and claims it was done as a campaign to be elected. I’m not the legal scholar on this point of law, but my understanding is that there would be no ethical violation for having done the interview unless it could be linked to her campaigning for office. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be found not guilty of any ethics violations in this case. She has been found guilty of nothing as of yet. Here I acknowledge how weak a statement that is, considering as far as I know Charles Rangel hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet either. But if we are talking about the Repulican attack machine, then perhaps you have a point, (15 probes against Palin and counting is the number I read) zero results except a lot of money defending Palin wasted and a tarnished reputation, deserved or undeserved.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    I don’t know about the Hillary example. If she used a fictitious case it would have been foolish considering how many real cases there are. Without seeing the evidence I would be skeptical of such claims that it was untrue. It is quite common for such claims to come out on talk radio regardless of the actual facts.

    “She has been found guilty of nothing as of yet.”

    Untrue. Palin has already been found to have committed ethics violations with regards to Troopergate and with her failure to pay taxes on the per diem payments she received.

    You are referring to isolated examples, which occur on both sides. This is far different from an organized campaign based upon intentional use of false information which the Republicans regularly engage in.

  6. 6
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “She has been found guilty of nothing as of yet.”
     
    This has been a popular refrain among Palin defenders and it is not strictly true.
     
    A panel ruled it was not illegal for Palin to have her ex-brother-in-law fired, because she did not directly intervene in contravention of the written law on the matter. However, it did find that the preponderance of evidence left no doubt that she had improperly and unethically used her influence as governor to secure his firing through indirect means that fell short of that written law.
     
    That is NOT an exoneration, it is a censure. Ethics panels issue censures because they find individuals guilty of unethical behavior.
     
    If one wishes to say ‘Sarah Palin has not been charged with or convicted of any crime’ that is factually accurate, though it leaves out a signficant portion of the truth. If one says ‘Sarah Palin has not been found guilty of anything’, that is a substantive enough misrepresentation of the facts to qualify as a lie under most ethical standards.
     

  7. 7
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    Here is a CNN news reference to the Hillary story. Here I have to show that despite Ron’s careful instructions on how to post a site, I still haven’t taken the time to learn it:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/06/clinton.hospital/

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    That was rather dumb of Hillary–and hardly the first time. The classic is her claims of gun fire on her Bosnia trip. I did comment on how she has adopted many of the techniques of the right wing during the primary campaign. I actually classified her as more of a conservative (but I would understand if you don’t want her either).

  9. 9
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Some of the Rovian tactics were first developed by Bill Clinton’s center-right king of triangulation, Dick Morris, who attacked Hillary so virulently during the primaries. Hillary used them extensively but didn’t hire him.
     
    Hillary is essentially a neoconservative on foreign and economic policy and a Rockefeller Republican on social policy. Barack Obama is essentially the same. Why Republicans brand them as liberals and liberals were so avidly embracing them in the primary has always evaded me. It’s all about ‘electability’ these days, sure, but liberals seemed to believe the Republican claims of uberliberalism.
     
    I thought Bill Clinton was a good president on the balance, but the Clintons (during his administration and campaigns ) had a very clear media and electoral strategy: the truth was great when necessary, but should take a back seat to an attractive lie when the lie would have more visceral and meaningful impact.
     

  10. 10
    Nance Confer says:

    So she’ll have to pay the money back?

    Nance

  11. 11
    bruno says:

    All you need to know about Sarah Palin being rather dimwitted:
    What makes her think that the mere fact of resigning from your post – any post –  absolves you from any wrong doing?
    Did she really think that by resigning all her misdeeds would become non-issues?  She DID abuse her office, and yes she’s been fighting the charges…
    OJ Simpson had excellent – and expensive – legal advice and prevailed.  When he proclaims that he was innocent, are you the one who says: Yup the jury said so, it must be true.  Or are you more inclined to believe the jury was misled and prejudiced and OJ actually IS guilty of murder?
    Palin fits that category.  Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, she did abuse the powers of her office, and she did use cronyism to appoint people.  Legally, you can maneuver in many directions, but that doesn’t take away the facts.

  12. 12
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