New Palin scandal: She billed the state for stuff she was allowed to bill

We’re late to this but let’s flag it now because it’s such a worthy complement to the last post. After 10 days of digging through her and her kids’ trash, here are the media’s big scoops: (a) she supported the bridge to nowhere before killing it, unlike the two tools on the other ticket who supported it consistently; (b) she sought earmarks as mayor of Wasilla, the grand total of which was a fraction of what the “Change” duo has requested in its combined 40 years in Washington; and (c) she billed Alaska for per diem expenses to which she was perfectly entitled, including travel expenses that were roughly 75% less than the previous governor racked up, and actually declined to be reimbursed for some expenses she could have claimed. If you’re wondering why the left is so heavily invested in smears, it’s because the actual “dirt” on her is an inch thin. Better to photoshop her into a picture of a woman with a rifle in a bikini and send that around than take your chances with trying to explain why the state can’t afford to cover occasional airfare for the small children of a governor who doesn’t have a team of nannies to watch them while she’s on business trips.

There’s a second reason to flag this, though. The main gripe here is that she billed the state for “lodging” while staying at her own home in Wasilla; the governor’s official home is in Juneau, so technically any nights spent away from there while working entitled her to a hotel per diem. WaPo supplies us with only one sample expense report which includes an item for “lodging – own residence”, but as Jonah Goldberg and David Bernstein note, there’s no amount listed on that line. She simply noted it, almost as if to say “I’m not charging anything because I stayed at my own residence.” The only amount on the line, $60, is for meals and incidentals (M&IE). The money question, then: Did WaPo simply misread her reports, treating amounts for M&IE as though they were amounts for lodging? Remember, they’ve already egregiously misread one financial report of hers, generating a smear that still hasn’t been fully scrubbed away.

We can’t know unless/until someone produces the other expense reports; presumably Team Maverick is already checking this and will humiliate them publicly forthwith if it’s warranted. In the meantime, via Bill Amos, here’s Captain Earmark weaving a tapestry of exquisite hypocrisy in chiding Palin for her pork-loving ways. Note the response from the crowd when he insists he’s not perfect.

Update: Believe it or not, the AP’s version of this is even worse than WaPo’s, wondering aloud why her kids were allowed to travel on the state dole when even WaPo notes that they’re covered if they’re part of the event to which the governor’s traveling.