Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is striking back against a flurry of ethics complaints filed against her, calling them “bogus harassments.”
Palin’s administration has faced 10 ethics complaints filed with the state attorney general’s office, precipitating a rash of investigations. Two of the complaints have been filed just in the past week.
To date, Palin has said, six of the 10 complaints have been dismissed.
The most recent ethics complaint was filed Tuesday by an Anchorage political blogger who said Palin violated state ethics laws by wearing an “Arctic Cat” logo as part of a sponsorship agreement. She did so while serving as the official starter of February’s “Iron Dog” race, and an image of Palin sporting the logo gear was posted on the state Web site.
The complaint made to the state attorney general’s office states: “The governor wearing the Team Arctic Cat outerwear at this even was the equivalent of a kid getting paid to walk around with a sandwich board in New York.”
Palin fired back Tuesday, issuing a statement titled: “Governor Comments on Latest Bogus Ethics Complaint.”
"Are Alaskans outraged, or at least tired of this yet -- another frivolous ethics charge by a political blogger?” Palin asked.
“This would be hilarious if it weren’t so expensive for the state to process these accusations and for me to defend against these bogus harassments,” she continued. “Yes, I wore Arctic Cat snow gear at an outdoor event, because it was cold outside, and by the way, today, I am wearing clothes bearing the names of Alaska artists, and a Glennallen Panthers basketball hoodie.
“I am a walking billboard for the team’s fundraiser! Should I expect to see an ethics charge for wearing these, or the Carhartts I wear to many public events? How much will this blogger's asinine political grandstanding cost all of us in time and money?" she asked.
The ethics complaint was filed by Linda Kellen Biegel, a Democrat who blogs under the name “Celtic Diva.” Palin’s representative told the Anchorage Daily News she has no promotional agreement with Arctic Cat to wear the logo gear. Arctic Cat does sponsor Palin’s husband, Todd, in the race, which is the longest in the world via snowmobiles.
On March 18, an ethics complaint was filed against Palin by Anchorage activist Andree McLeod, who has filed previous complaints according to the Anchorage Daily News. According to Palin’s staff, McLeod has also filed over 150 freedom of information requests with the state.
McLeod’s complaint charged that a news release posted on the state’s Web site in August 2008 was an inappropriate use of Alaska’s resources.
In that news release, Palin spoke of being named as GOP presidential nominee John McCain’s running mate.
“It is a great privilege to be John McCain’s running mate and to be considered by the American people for the vice presidency,” Palin’s news release stated. “This honor is a testament to the reforms and progress we have made together in Alaska. Now is the time to take that spirit of reform to Washington.”
Palin’s statement responding to that complaint described McLeod as a “disgruntled person” who had hounded her staff and family “for many months.”
“She hounded us for a job for many months, didn’t get hired and decided to go this route,” Palin’s statement said.
Palin recently said she faces mounting legal bills – now over half a million dollars – from defending herself from the slew of ethics complaints filed against her.
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