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Palin, a Portrait in Corruption

7 years ago
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As Sarah Palin retreats to the press isolation of one of John McCain's 8 residences to cram for her Thursday debate (yes, that means another 6 days without a news conference), we're learning more about the kind of politician this woman showed herself to be in Alaska. As the Associated Press details in an article today, her tenure as mayor was marked by noted examples of corruption:

When Palin needed to sell her house during her last year as Wasilla mayor, she got the city to sign off on a special zoning exception--and did so without keeping a promise to remove a potential fire hazard.

She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free "awesome facial" she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The "absolutely gorgeous flowers" she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home.

She also stepped in to help friends or neighbors with City Hall dealings. She asked the City Council to add a friend to the list of speakers at a 2002 meeting--and then the friend got up and asked them to give his radio station advertising business.

We also know that, as mayor, Palin fired a librarian whose answers on banning books she didn't like, only to re-instate her a day later after a public outcry. We know that as Governor, she hired underqualified friends to run state programs at salaries far above those in the private sector. We know that she used her authority to pressure the firing of a former relative, and fired a commissioner who defied her. We know that she is actively obstructing the investigation into the matter. We know she has repeatedly lied about her initial support for the "Bridge to Nowhere." These are not isolate events. Unlike Obama's Rezko, or McCain's Keating 5, they show a pattern of corruption, rather than a one-off lapse in ethical judgment.

Supporters of Palin say she is now a champion of reform. That, apparently, she has changed her ways. But like McCain on the subject of deregulation, it seems that this miraculous transformation has come about just in the nick of time. Yes, Palin is a fox, and she should not be allowed to guard our national hen house.

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