“Legal Bills Swayed Palin, Official Says”

by Walter Olson on July 6, 2009

High cost of the ethics wars? Today’s New York Times quotes Alaska’s lieutenant governor on the reasons for the governor’s surprise departure:

At the news conference, Ms. Palin cited numerous reasons for quitting, including more than $500,000 in legal fees that she and her husband, Todd, have incurred because of 15 ethics complaints filed against her during her two and a half years as governor. She said all of the complaints had been dismissed, but she still had to pay lawyers to defend her.

More: Lawrence Wood/Examiner, Anchorage Daily News and earlier.

Further: WSJ Law Blog with letter from Palin lawyer Thomas Van Flein (outlining possible after-the-fact state indemnification of cost of officials’ legal counsel when complaints are found without merit).

{ 18 comments }

1 John Beaty 07.06.09 at 10:41 am

If she’s being investigated in her official job, why isn’t the state paying for lawyers?

2 Frank C ostanza 07.06.09 at 10:59 am

And that may be a lousy excuse since cable news reported she has a legal defenxe fund already established by supporters paying the bills.

3 throckmorton 07.06.09 at 11:50 am

I would suspect that there is also the constant attacks on her children by the “media”.

4 Bill Poser 07.06.09 at 12:38 pm

‘I would suspect that there is also the constant attacks on her children by the “media”.’

Really. Of her five children, to my knowledge nothing even slightly negative has been said about four of them: the baby, the son serving in the military, or the two younger girls. The only negative comments have concerned the older daughter who became pregnant out of wedlock, and there the commentary, at least in the mainstream media, has been on Palin herself more than the daughter.

5 Ron Miller 07.06.09 at 1:37 pm

Why put “media” in quotes?

6 Jim Finkel 07.06.09 at 2:17 pm

wrt media, I guess there are not enough readers of http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

which is the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotes

This is almost as much fun as watching how people treat data as singular and not plural.

7 MF 07.06.09 at 6:22 pm

Why was ‘media’ put in quotes? As a mark of derision, I believe.

“Of her five children, to my knowledge nothing even slightly negative has been said about four of them: the baby, the son serving in the military, or the two younger girls.”

You must not have been paying attention. The youngest, with Down Syndrome, has been cast as a pawn in Palin’s quiver, and also falsely claimed that he was Palin’s daughter’s child instead of Palin’s, which reflects negatively on all of them. The son in the military has been accused of bad stuff as well, although I can’t recall the details now.

It’s my belief that Palin has been attacked more severely than any politician in memory, and my memory spans almost 50 years (and hasn’t faded at all).

8 Robert 07.06.09 at 10:37 pm

Well, MF, we know who you’ll be voting for in 2012!

9 Ariel 07.07.09 at 12:42 am

You might read this defense of Palin by somebody who will not be voting for her: Palin, Feminists, and Hate

10 Bill Poser 07.07.09 at 1:23 am

MF,

The suggestion that the baby with Downs syndrome is Palin’s grand-daughter rather than her daughter is hardly an attack on the baby, nor is the baby’s being used as a pawn, if she was.

I am not aware of the attacks on Palin’s son. If there were some, it seems likely that they didn’t attack much prominence.

11 Bill Poser 07.07.09 at 1:28 am

I turned up one attack on Palin’s son Track, a claim that he had been addicted to Oxycontin. The source: the National Enquirer, which is only sort of a “newspaper”.

12 Patrick 07.07.09 at 7:51 am

Bill Poser, there’s this. The source is the Huffington Post, which is only sort of “media,” but draws more eye traffic than the Washington Post.

I dislike Palin, but her most rabid detractors make me want to like her.

13 Xmas 07.07.09 at 9:33 am

Frank,

There is the $500,000 in personal lawyer fees, $2,000,000 that the state has spent on defense fees, and her staff is spending more time handling the paperwork and information requests to defend these charges than they spend on legitimate Alaska business.

14 Todd Rogers 07.07.09 at 11:10 am

Of course there is the possibility that she is simply fed up with the paparazzi, regrets joining the fray, and just wants to get back to the simple life. Kind of late in the game to be coming to that kind of conclusion I suppose. But she strikes me as someone who got in to the game for good and noble reasons and then the game elevated her to a level for which she wasn’t prepared, sprinkle in the perpetual need to fend off investigations (bogus or legit), raise a family – with a special child and an untimely grandchild – and you’ve probably got a little kid asking, “Mommy, what does knocked-up mean?” and she just walked away for good reason.

15 W. Rogers Turner, Jr. 07.07.09 at 11:42 am

I am with the post by John Beaty. I don’t have time to research it, but I am confused why she would have to pay out of her own pocket to defend ethics charges related to her duties as governor. I read the links above, and they don’t really give details. The WSJ LawBlog had not explanation either. If this is the norm, I am amazed that political opponents of all sitting governors/politicians don’t pursue this overlawyered approach.

16 zOlOft 07.07.09 at 7:21 pm

Fer god’s sake, the lady wanted to be VP of the USA.

When you take on that kind of responsibility, it is the media’s job to go over your past with the veritable fine tooth comb. Would we expect/demand any less?

Of course, when the media went after Hillary, that was fair game to her opposition.

17 throckmorton 07.09.09 at 12:49 pm

zOlOft

Where are the media reports that reveal how Obama paid for his undergrad degree? Where is the media reports that show his birth certificate? Where are the media attacks on the Obama children? We do expect and deserve more.

18 R 07.10.09 at 10:06 am

It’s rather easy to figure out what BHO paid for his degree. Just find an old Harvard student handbook. It’ll probably discuss tuition.

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