Governor Palin did her first full interview with Channel 2 and the Anchorage Daily News tonight. The raw feed video is also there.
She had on a very nice black dress and necklace while stirring the family's moose chili and cooking their moose cheese dogs...not props, they swear. Piper Palin was also wearing an apron and running around taking drink orders for the media. I figure she was practicing for her future career in the service industries. She's missed so much school lately (and let's face it, education does NOT seem to be a Palin family value) that might be all she's qualified to do when she grows up.
Right off the bat, Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily News asked the question I've wanted to ask. Her answer left my jaw on the floor and steam coming out of my ears.
Sean: One of the things that came up during the campaign was that you charged the State per diem for time spent here in Wasilla. Is that something that you are going to continue to do.
Gov. Palin: Oh we've always followed the law and fully disclosed all that. The choice there in many months of the Juneau mansion being replumbed and all the improvements being made in the infrastructure of the Juneau house...well, we weren't going to be there anyway. It would have cost the State more to do what other governors had done and that is either charge the State for hotel rooms or the State rents you an apartment, like they did for Governor Murkowski. We said "No, we just won't sell our house," knowing that we're going to spend quite a bit of time here especially those months where the remodels were taking place in the Governor's mansion. We would disclose my per diem, we wouldn't try to hide it. As long as this is about full disclosure, not trying to take anything from the State, just trying to do my job. Part of my job is with the First Family...having them with me and some of these events. I'm going to continue to do my job and my family is going to continue to be a part of it.
Later on in the interview, when asked about troopergate and those people who protested her, she responded, "It's done! It's over! People need to move on!"
Yup, you heard it, that's a Palin throw-down. That's equivalent of Palin saying: "I dare you to touch me now that Rasmusson says that 64% of Republicans NATIONALLY want me to be their candidate in 2012!"
I wonder if anyone is going to respond?
I'd like to be in a room with the entire Legislature, Senate and House, and play those clips for them. Then, I'd like to play a clip from her first day back in the Governor's office after the election, when she told her much-smaller media convoy that $60.00/barrel oil prices meant that we'd better get ready for some belt-tightening and budget cuts. In other words, she's telling us that we'd better prepare for less... those 943 families of the developmentally disabled waiting for services better be prepared to wait even longer...we'd better give up on the idea of better health care for our kids. But she'll still be collecting per diem FOR LIVING IN HER OWN HOUSE and taking her family along TO STAY IN $150.00/night HOTELS. Hell, if recent indicators from her appointed AG's office are any indication, she's even going to try and buck the State Constitution, which says that the Governor can't hold down more than one job:
A provision of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act restricts outside employment. It says: "The head of a principal executive department of the state may not accept employment for compensation outside the agency that the executive head serves."So, we Alaskans could be paying for her family while she's out on the speaking circuit trying to stay in the national limelight???
Senior Assistant Attorney General David Jones said the section likely applies to the governor but it's not clear what constitutes "employment."
"Clearly, the intent of the statute is to make it clear these are full-time jobs. If you are a commissioner, for example, you can't be working in the private sector. But does that mean you can't go out and give a speech now and then for an honorarium? I don't know. I don't know that we have interpreted it for that purpose in the past," Jones said.
Yup, I'd like to play those clips for them and then ask them one simple question: What are you going to do about it? Because, you see, I supported a number of these Legislators this year and I sweat blood for this election. I worked my butt off researching Troopergate and I watched while a group of state employees were encouraged to ignore the subpeonas from the Legislative Council, thus breaking the law! I just want to know if ANYONE is going to ANYTHING about ANY OF IT?????
It's important to know this; we constituents have three options for recourse: the Personnel Board (and we've seen how well three people appointed by the Governor will hold her accountable), the Attorney General (yup, Talis Colberg, who fights with Comm. Director Bill McAllister for the best spot to view [and drool all over] Gov. Palin) or...ta da...the Legislature!
So tell us, Legislators, whether or not you have any plans at all to try and tie up those HUGE ethical loose ends Palin's just told us she'll continue to exploit. We really want to know.