In advance of the release of thousands of e-mails from Sarah Palin’s time as governor, we take a look at some of the issues that marked her tenure.
Sarah Palin billed Alaska taxpayers more than $17,000 for travel expenses when she stayed in her own home during her term as governor in Juneau. The money was part of a “per diem” system of travel stipends, which the governor was able to claim for trips to her home town of Wasilla.
The Washington Post reported in September 2008 that Palin claimed expenses for 312 days spent in her own home, and an additional $43,000 in travel cost for her family — much of it between Juneau and Wasilla.
Palin has said that the expenses were not unusual and that she saved the state money by selling the official plane and trimming other expenses.
The travel expenses include nearly $11,000 for airfare for her daughter Piper, now 10, and more than $38,000 for her husband, Todd. State officials later said that she would be liable for federal taxes on the per diems.
Palin also accepted more than $25,000 in gifts for herself and her family while she was governor, including artwork, jewelry, travel expenses and a Nintendo game system.
About a quarter of the entities that supplied Palin with gifts are linked to a mining lobbyist. In one case, the Barrick Gold Corp. paid $805 for Todd Palin to travel to a mine, including the cost of a hat and T-shirt. Calista Corp., a mining and energy company, gave Palin an ivory puffin mask and necklace.
When The Post reported on the gifts, a McCain-Palin campaign spokesman said they had no influence on her and that Palin has stood for the highest standard of ethics.
Palin pushed the state legislature to adopt new ethics standards, which barred state officials from taking gifts from lobbyists or others with business before the state.