Sarah Palin has suddenly remembered that she accepted campaign contributions from a couple of Alaska politicians who have since been charged with corruption. The corruption she pledged to fight when she was elected governor. I guess it must have slipped her mind that Alaska state Senator John Cowdery (R) donated $1,000 to her gubernatorial campaign, even though she did remember to tell him he should “step down, for the good of the state” after his July indictment. She also forgot about the check from former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch (R), who is awaiting trial. Now that the AP has pointed all this out to her, she is donating the money to charity.
You know what? This is the focus of the headline and most of the linked article, but it’s not what really irks me. This is:
Palin took aim at gift-giving to state officials as part of her ethics agenda but has kept more than $25,000 in gifts in the 20 months she has been governor, The Washington Post reported in a story in its Friday editions. A review of state records shows that gifts came from industry executives, municipalities and a cultural center whose board includes officials from some of the largest mining interests in Alaska, according to the newspaper.
The Post reported that the 41 gifts Palin accepted included artwork, free travel, a gold-nugget pin valued at $1,200, a $2,200 ivory puffin mask, a woven grass fan worth $300 and a $150 ivory necklace. A spokeswoman for McCain’s campaign said the gifts had no undue influence on Palin, according to the newspaper.
Really? No undue influence? Well, maybe not, but why accept the gifts at all? If you’re going to run as a reformer, you should at least live up to the standards you want to set for others. I guess this is yet another thing the vaunted McCain team missed in the vetting process.