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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sarah Palin Outrage of the Day: Turns out the "fiscally conservative" vice presidential candidate charged the taxpayers of Alaska for nights she slept in her own home.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.

The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.

Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official "duty station" is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.

The governor's daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.
And if you're wondering, gee, 312 nights out of 19 months sounds like a lot, you're right! It's more than half her term as governor. 55% of her entire term in office was spent charging the taxpayers for living in her own home, effectively skimming 14% on top of her annual salary from state funds. An additional 34% on top of her salary went to travel reimbursement.

That's change we can believe in.

Via Washington Monthly.

IMPORTANT CORRECTION The 55% number is wrong, as it counts weekends, in which the governor usually wouldn't be expected to work anyway. The right number is 312 days out of 407, not counting holidays, or roughly 76% of her time as governor.