Anchorage, Sept.9 : It turns out that Alaska Governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.
According to the Washington Post, Palin also charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions.
Her husband, Todd, billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he made on official business for his wife. Palin, who earns 125,000 dollars a year, claimed and received 16,951 dollars as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official "duty station" is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post. The governor's daughters and husband charged the state 43,490 dollars to travel and many of the trips were to and from their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show. Gubernatorial spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Monday that Palin's expenses are not unusual and that, under state policy, the first family could have claimed per diem expenses for each child taken on official business but has not done so.
Palin, however, has spent far less on her personal travel than her predecessor: 93,000 dollars on airfare in 2007, compared with 463,000 dollars spent the year before by her predecessor, Frank Murkowski.