Monday, July 06, 2009

Alaska Lt. Gov.: "Legal Bills Swayed Palin"

NY Times:
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell of Alaska said Sunday that Gov. Sarah Palin’s decision to resign was largely prompted by the personal legal costs of the ethics investigations against her.
Ms. Palin announced on Friday that she would quit her job near the end of the month and turn the reins of state government over to Mr. Parnell, who like the governor is a Republican.

At the news conference, Ms. Palin cited numerous reasons for quitting, including more than $500,000 in legal fees that she and her husband, Todd, have incurred because of 15 ethics complaints filed against her during her two and a half years as governor. She said all of the complaints had been dismissed, but she still had to pay lawyers to defend her.

Mr. Parnell said Ms. Palin called him into her office on Wednesday night to tell him she was resigning.

“I think what I heard from the governor,” Mr. Parnell said on “Fox News Sunday,” “really had to do with the weight on her, the concern she had for the cost of all the ethics investigations and the like — the way that that weighed on her with respect to her inability to just move forward Alaska’s agenda on behalf of Alaskans in the current context of the environment. So that’s what I saw.”

Mr. Parnell, who is scheduled to take over for Ms. Palin on July 26, said it was costing the State of Alaska about $2 million just to pay for the staff to deal with the records requests from the ethics complaints.

“That was just over the top, and I think she used the word insane in her remarks,” Mr. Parnell said.

Ms. Palin, who was Senator John McCain’s running mate on last year’s Republican presidential ticket, is leaving office 18 months before the end of her first term as governor. In her comments on Friday, she acknowledged the toll that the ethics investigations had taken on her and her family.

But in the often-rambling announcement, Ms. Palin also sounded at one point as though she was quitting politics entirely and at another as though she had an eye on higher office, which immediately led to renewed speculation about the possibility of her running for president in 2012. She promised supporters that in the coming days, she would provide details — on her social networking Facebook and Twitter sites — on her reasons for leaving the governorship so abruptly.
In a posting on her Facebook page on Saturday, Ms. Palin appeared to indicate that she would seek a larger, national role — citing what she said was a “higher calling” to push for conservative causes nationally.
Howie P.S.: E.J. Dionne says Palin started out with a basketball analogy and then used a football term to finish it off.


Benjamin Wright said...

A principle of the Information Age: Government is wise to organize itself and its records so it can swiftly and efficiently respond to freedom-of-information-act requests. Resistance to such requests is wasteful and makes government look out-of-touch. --Ben

Howard Martin said...