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Mel at henkimaa has already posted an essay that expands upon her excellent analysis from Monday.
The Associated Press ran a teaser that pretty much regurgitated state talking points early this morning. They told me today that they will write a detailed story, once they got the spreadsheet. Several news outlets statewide picked up the AP piece, including the News-Miner and Alaska AM radio.
Late this morning, I asked Linda Perez in the Governor's office to send me a copy. She agreed. It hasn't arrived yet. But mid-afternoon, a disgruntled employee in the Governor's office sent me one spontaneously. Thanks.
At least one Outside blog, The Plum Line, has posted a piece that includes interviews with state officials, questioning the rationale of the cost analysis:
During her resignation speech last week, Palin presented herself as a heroic defender of the taxpayer. She said that money being spent on government lawyers to defend against these “frivolous ethics violations” could be “going to things that are very important, like troopers and roads and teachers and fish research.” Palin repeated exactly the same point this week.
But David Murrow, a spokesperson for the Governor, said in an interview that much of this money was budgeted to the lawyers in advance and would have gone to them anyway, even if state lawyers hadn’t been defending against these ethics complaints.
In response to our questions, the Governor’s office provided us with a detailed breakdown of the millions Palin has claimed has gone to defending against ethics complaints. It does list roughly $1.9 million in expenditures.
But Murrow, the spokesperson, acknowledged to our reporter, Amanda Erickson, that this total was arrived at by adding up attorney hours spent on fending off complaints — based on the fixed salaries of lawyers in the governor’s office and the Department of Law. The money would have gone to the lawyers no matter what they were doing. The complaints are “just distracting them from other duties,” Murrow said.
In other words, while these lawyers might have been free to do other legal work for the state, the ethics complaints have apparently not had the real world impact Palin has claimed, and didn’t drain money away from cops, teachers, roads and other things.
I'll update this post as more articles appear.
The Immoral Minority had an article up on this at 6:00 p.m.
The Mudflats has an article up (8:00 p.m.) - Palin's Millions of Dollars - nothing yet at the ADN.
Sean Cockerham's ADN story went up at about 9:45 p.m. It doesn't yet contain a link to the PDF.
KTUU ran a story near the top of their 10:00 p.m. news. The print version of the story, by Lori Tipton, blindly and blandly follows the Governor's office's narrative:
Ethics Complaints Cost the State Nearly $2 million. The print article does not contain a link to the PDF and centers upon an interview with fierce Palin partisan, Rep. Bob Lynn.
More Update - Thursday - 11:00 a.m:
Mel at Henkimaa spent all night going through all existing articles and information relevant to the spreadsheet released yesterday by the governor's office. It is outstanding analysis, and is the definitive look at this blatant, intentionally false document. Reading Mel's article, I'm struck at how this level of deliberate misinformation by our state feels quite criminal.
• The ADN will be posting a link to the spreadsheet pdf soon.
• KTUU doesn't yet link to the pdf, but they now are posting video of their story. Watching the video and re-reading Lori Tipton's story, I find her coverage of this to be some of the worst reporting in recent Alaska history. Presstitution at its most pathetic.
• The Fairbanks News-Miner isn't covering the spreadsheet release yet, but today's FNM editorial echoes my concerns about the quality of our executive ethics statute I've been voicing since last November - fix the statute!
• The Juneau Empire is not covering this story yet.
• The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman is not covering this story yet.