Filing ethics complaints against Gov. Sarah Palin (R) had become the favorite sport in Alaska among those with a liberal agenda. The complaints were largely frivolous and exacted a heavy price tag for the Palin family with legal bills amounting to $500,000. One of the reasons Palin gave for her surprise resignation was the cost to the State's taxpayers and to her family from the complaints. Every one of the complaints has been dismissed.
But the complainants had an agenda unrelated to ethics law violations.
One of the complaints involved Palin wearing a jacket with a logo. According to a press release by Palin's office:
The complaint, filed by Linda Kellen Biegel, a blogger designated by the 2008 Democratic National Convention to represent Alaska bloggers, alleged that the governor violated the ethics act when she acted as the official starter of the Iron Dog snow machine race in February while wearing a jacket with the name Team Arctic, a logo of the Arctic Cat Company.
"In the past several months, we have seen an orchestrated effort by the governor's opponents to make differences of opinion and ideology almost criminal," said Mike Nizich, the governor's chief of staff. "Governor Palin has spent a considerable amount of time and money fighting ethics complaints - and no charge has been substantiated. I hope that the publicity-seekers will face a backlash from Alaskans who have a sense of fair play and proportion. I served six previous governors, and I've never seen anything like the attacks against Governor Palin."
The latest ethics complaint against the governor alleges that she entered into a "contract" outside of her official duties in regard to a political action committee and that her recent trip to Indiana also conflicted with those duties.
Kraft has said it was illegal for Palin to announce that she opposed the measure aimed at limiting pollution at the Pebble Mine gold and copper prospect in Bristol Bay. The initiative called for tougher pollution discharge requirements for large mines.
Palin had said she was taking off her "governor's hat" when she announced her opposition six days before the vote.
Kraft, a lodge owner, is the founder of the Bristol Bay Alliance, a group that opposes the mine.
If it is a crime for a governor to wear a jacket with a logo, to advocate for or against a proposition, to engage in politics, or to travel out of state for political purposes, then all of our governors are guilty and should be locked up.
These complaints were distracting and costly to Palin and they impaired her ability to do her job. The motive behind the attacks was to silence a conservative voice which threatened the liberal agenda.
By resigning, Palin has an opportunity to lend her voice to the conservative cause without the relentless attacks she has encountered as Governor. She also has a chance to regroup with her family and work on her book. I wish her well.
Palin and her supporters have established The Alaska Fund Trust to help pay her legal costs. Click on the link if you wish to contribute.