In what Universe is it appropriate for a 7-year old girl to be listed as  “in official capacity helping” and therefore have all her travel expenses covered by the state?  Oh, well, that would be the Twisted Wacky World of Sarah Palin, of course!

Somehow, Mrs. Palin has deemed it completely within reason to appropriate vast sums of the Alaskan taxpayers money to cover the air travel and luxury hotel accommodations of her 7-, 14- and 17-year old girls on numerous occasions, both within and outside the state of Alaska.  From what I can ascertain, the children had no real official business, were not expected to attend the functions to which they were traveling and therefore were not actually invited.  Although it appears that their mother may have inquired at times of the hosts/promoters of said functions if she could have one of her children accompany her, Sarah Palin is known to have showed up with more children than was concessioned, and the state had to foot the bill.  According to the Associated Press story, she actually did not usually even inquire but just assumed and brought along the brood.

Sound professional to you?  Not to me.  Hmm…let’s see…to start with, the wording “in official capacity helping” doesn’t even sound official, not to mention the fact that I can in no way can I fathom how a 7-year old (or 14-year old, etc) would fulfill duties included “in official capacity helping”!  Neither does the amended description of  “to draw two separate raffle tickets” make any sense!   Last I heard, the mere drawing of raffle tickets is not considered official state business that warrants the extra airline tickets and hotel accommodations.  Sounds like Mrs. Palin just wanted an extra edge to win that new snowmobile, flashy rod ‘n’ reel or matching high-powered scope-sight for her moose-shootin’ power rifle.  Hmm…maybe, too, she was trying to have a little getaway for “just the girls”.  I mean, has anyone seen the itemized bill from the hotel for things like the hotel’s spa/salon and room service?!.

Tony Knowles, Governor of Alaska 1994-2002, has said regarding this investigation:

“There was no valid reason for the children to be along on state business.  I cannot recall any instance during my eight years as governor where it would have been appropriate to claim they performed state business.”

And no, this is not a “Career Day” scenario…’Oh, let’s go spend the day with Mommy and see what she does for a living!’  This is systematically and routinely using taxpayers funds for unofficial use, and then changing the records later hoping to make it fly.  This is the kind of thing that people in the REAL world get fired for ALL…THE…TIME!  “Inappropriate use of company funds” and “Misuse of company expense account” spring to mind as two official terminologies used on termination documents for such activity.  Buh-bye, So-long, Do not pass ‘Go’, Do not collect severance pay.  FIRED.

And interestingly, it appears that she didn’t feel the need to change the records until AFTER she was selected as John McCain’s running mate.*

Hmm…that stinks of “oh shit!” to me…

The McCain/Palin campaign talks a lot about “across the board spending freeze” and “accountability” and “transparency”…but I don’t see that happening with them.  I see the complete opposite of transparency.  I see a lot of LIES…and scrambling to cover up lies (that’s called MORE LIES).  Yeah, so I say “Oh, HELL NO!” to putting this woman so close to MY hard-earned and hard-paid tax dollars!   And I say “Oh, HELL NO!” to the “Straight Talk” that is actually Double-Talk and Bullshit.

*(Correction:   CNN sites the date Palin ordered the records changed as August 6th, three weeks before the official announcement of the VP running mate pick by the McCain campaign.  However, Palin requested the changes to the record AFTER Alaska reporters asked for the records.  Sorry.  Still stinks of “oh shit! to me…)

© 2008 D. Kessler