This morning before leaving San Francisco (I’m now back in LA), while my nephew was having his morning nap, I scanned the blogs and read (some of my) e-mail. One thing which stayed in my mind for the first part of my drive (until I started listening to Ronald C. White Jr’s biography of Lincoln on CD) was John Fund’s thoughts on Sarah Palin’s “Death by a Thousand FOIAs”as he put it his piece for WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription):
“Attacks inside Alaska and largely invisible to the national media had paralyzed her administration,” someone close to the governor told me. “She was fully aware she would be branded a ‘quitter.’ She did not want to disappoint her constituents, but she was no longer able to do the job she had been elected to do. Essentially, the taxpayers were paying for Sarah to go to work every day and defend herself.”
This situation developed because Alaska’s transparency laws allow anyone to file Freedom of Information Act requests. While normally useful, in the hands of political opponents FOIA requests can become a means to bog down a target in a bureaucratic quagmire, thanks to the need to comb through records and respond by a strict timetable.
Similarly, ethics investigations are easily triggered and can drag on for months even if the initial complaint is flimsy. Since Ms. Palin returned to Alaska after the 2008 campaign, some 150 FOIA requests have been filed and her office has been targeted for investigation by everyone from the FBI to the Alaska legislature. Most have centered on Ms. Palin’s use of government resources, and to date have turned up little save for a few state trips that she agreed to reimburse the state for because her children had accompanied her. In the process, though, she accumulated $500,000 in legal fees in just the last nine months, and knew the bill would grow ever larger in the future.
Just a few days before this good woman announced her impending resignation as Governorof the great state of Alaska, Jim Geraghty, noting Todd Purdum’s mentioning those ethics complaints in his Vanity Fair hit piece on the Republican, broughtd up something Mr. Purdum appeared to have neglected:
The fact that Palin is now 15 for 15 in having those “formal ethics complaints” dismissed as groundless would seem to be somewhat relevant. Come on, man. You can think Sarah Palin is a terrible governor, and should never have been McCain’s running mate, etc., and still think these frivolous complaints are an expensive waste of everyone’s time.
The mere fact that these complaints were filed–even if they lacked merit (as has each one that has been filed) allows journalists with an agenda to suggest that the good Governor (as the politically correct might put it) is ethically challenged.
These people in filing these complaints are out destroy Palin at all costs, no matter what the means. As a result, as Glenn puts it, she has been “been subjected — along with her family — to more abuse than any other non-national-officeholder I can think of.”
Once again, their obsession with this good woman says more about them than it does about her. I’m now beginning to wonder at the misogyny of certain gay men obsessed with Sarah Palin, particularly those who attacked Hillary with similar venom when she vying for the Democratic Presidential nomination.