Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The World Does Not Begin And End With Sarah Palin-- Sure She's Corrupt But She's Just Like So Many Other Slimy Political Hacks


"When racism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in bacon and wearing lipstick."

The headlines may be filled with the latest Palin story-- not the son who cut the school bus breaks and kept getting busted on drug charges and not the daughter who slept with half the guys in town, but Sarah's own multiple examples of stealing from the public purse.
Ms. Palin received a “per diem” expense allowance for 312 nights she spent at her home in Wasilla, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The $60-a-day allowance is available for state employees when traveling on official state business to cover meals and other sundry expenses. Ms. Palin’s per diems, which included some charges for partial days, totaled $17,059, from Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office, through June 30, 2008, the most recent data available, according to Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office. Ms. Palin’s salary is $125,000 a year.

Ms. Palin was able to receive the allotment while she was at home because her official “duty station” is listed as Juneau, the state capital, aides said. That allowed Ms. Palin to file for per diems while she was working out of her Anchorage office and commuting from her home about 45 miles away in Wasilla. Juneau is nearly 600 miles away.

The practice of billing for staying at home seems to be unusual. Many officials said it would not be allowed in their states, including California, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, as well as other jurisdictions. On the federal level, officials said members of Congress do not get per diem allowances for routine home visits.

And, of course, it isn't just the NY Times giving us the real scoop on this crooked hack. The biggest newspaper in Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News pointed out today that her and the rest of the trashy family weren't suffering with Ramen noodles while she could access taxpayer's money. They claim the myth the McCain camp has manufactured for her-- that she's a maverick and a pork-fighting watchdog, is wearing very thin very fast. Normally the state of Alaska pays for meals for the governor and the first family when they are in Juneau.

In Palin's case, the state is also paying for at least some meals when she's staying in Wasilla. Like other state officials, she's entitled to $60 a day "per diem" for food and incidentals, such as tips, while traveling on state business. State rules say that if your job stations you in Juneau or Anchorage, but you live in another part of the state, you can still get the meal money when visiting your hometown, said Linda Perez, director of administrative services for the governor.

...The last governor from Southcentral Alaska was Tony Knowles, who said he leased out his Anchorage home while in office.

"When you're living at home, you don't pay yourself for living at home," Knowles, a Democrat, said in an interview Tuesday. "And if you use a technicality to get around that rule so you can get paid for it, it's not right."

But this morning CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, reminds us that Sarah Palin is far from an anomaly. Like her running mate, Mr. Keating Five, she fits right into the sleazy image of DC. CREW just released their latest list of The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress-- except there were so many they had to include 24. On this year's list of 24, at least half are under investigation and/or already indicted: Ken Calvert (R-CA), John Doolittle (R-CA), Tom Feeney (R-FL), Vito Fossella (R-NY), William Jefferson (D-LA), Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Gary Miller (R-CA), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Rick Renzi (R-AZ), Don Young (R-AK) and Ted Stevens (R-AK). So far two who look like among the most likely to wind up in prison for a long time, have announced their retirements from Congress, John Doolittle and Rick Renzi, as has Congressman Vito Fossella, who was pulled over for driving drunk and wound up admitting that he has two families, one back on Staten Island and one closer to her DC office.

Melanie Sloan from CREW was pretty hard: "With soaring gas prices, a housing market in crisis, rising unemployment, and a nation at war, elected officials should be prioritizing their constituents' needs over their own self-interests. Unfortunately, the members of Congress listed in CREW's Most Corrupt report have decided that their personal needs are paramount to those they represent. This report holds them accountable for those choices."

And this year's losers are:

• Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
• Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
• John T. Doolittle (R-CA)
• Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
• Rep. Vito J. Fossella (R-NY)
• Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
• Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
• Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
• Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
• Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
• Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-CA)
• Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
• Rep. Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA)
• Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
• Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
• Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
• Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
• Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)
• Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
• Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

Dishonorable mentions

• Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
• Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
• Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
• Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)

And if Palin doesn't work out...

Meanwhile, that still leaves us to answer the question everyone in America wants answered-- is Sarah Palin garbage? Did you think the Republicans could rise to the occasion of actually finding something even worse than Bush and Cheney to thrust down our throats? Did you think your fellow countrymen could be persuaded to swallow it?


Short version: McCain is unworthy of the respect you would give one of the homeless veterans he has consistently voted to deprive of human dignity. Slightly longer version: Rove and his disciples are driving the Double Talk Express and McCain doesn't care what they do as long as he can win. "On core moral issues, where this man knew what the right thing was, and had to pick between good and evil, he chose evil." And he's been on this shameful road for years now; not a surprise for many, but earth-shattering for poor Sullivan. Full version: here.

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