An AP report shows that Sarah Palin charged Alaska for her children’s travel. The state funded travel expenses when the children were not invited and records show that expense reports were amended after the fact to say they were on official business.
The charges include air travel and hotel stays for Palin’s three daughters to watch a snowmobile race that Todd Palin was in and a trip to New York. The New York trip was for a five-hour conference yet Bristol stayed with her mother for five days and four nights at a luxury hotel.
The total cost of the trips was $21,012 for the girls. That was for 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since Palin took office in December 2006. There are also some hotel room charges for the girls.
Palin justified the expenses by saying that her daughters were invited to the events. When organizers were questioned though it was found that the children showed up uninvited.
The Associated Press report also shows that three weeks prior to being named as McCain’s running mate Palin ordered changes to expense reports that had been previously filed that involved her children’s travel.
The report also showed that Palin shewed the reports to make it seem that her daughters were more involved in some events than was fact.
At times the children also flew with their mother on a state plane. Those flights did not increase the cost of travel.
At this time the state of Alaska is reviewing almost $17,000 of per diem payments to Palin for the time she spent at her own home in Wasalla.
Former Alaskan mayor Tony Knowles says that he never charged the state for his children’s travel expenses. AP quotes the former governor:
“There was no valid reason for the children to be along on state business,” said Knowles, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. “I cannot recall any instance during my eight years as governor where it would have been appropriate to claim they performed state business.”