The Governor's House, Juneau, where she doesn't live
Imagine Chris Gregoire living in Bellingham and governing 150 miles away in Olympia. Now imagine she actually lives four times that distance away - somewhere in the upper reaches of British Columbia, say. And now imagine what Republicans would have to say about a Democrat governor who commutes 600 miles one way.
They don't seem to have much to say about Sarah Palin, however, who resides in Wasilla and commutes 600 miles to the Alaska state capital of Juneau. In fact, the McCain campaign won't allow reporters to question her until they agree to treat her with "some level of respect and deference."
Fortunately, if the vice presidential candidate isn't willing to talk, documents are. As ex-Seattle Times reporter James Grimaldi co-writes today in the Washington Post, Palin billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office using an allowance intended to cover costs of traveling on state business.
The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.
Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 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 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.
This morning, Palin and McCain were on the campaign trail in Ohio, promising to fight government waste.
Update: The state Republicans today released a statement criticizing the governor's refusal to talk - Gov. Gregoire, that is.