Commentary: Palin took reasonable action on kids' travel expenses

This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

Gov. Sarah Palin made a good call when she agreed to repay the state for more than $9,000 worth of travel for her children. She could have tried to fight this ethics complaint to the end, as a typical politician might have. And she might have prevailed, since independent investigator Tim Petunmenos admitted state rules on paying for her family travel are hopelessly vague.

Both he and Gov. Palin agreed the lines need to be much clearer. In settling the case, Gov. Palin agreed that 10 of her children's state-paid trips went beyond where the line reasonably could be drawn.

Billing for her daughter to attend the Iron Dog start and see the first gentleman take off in a snowmachine race was one that didn't pass the test.

Taking children along to the national governor's association meetings and a Women and Leadership Conference didn't qualify either.

Had the governor thought it through, she wouldn't have billed the state for trips like that. The children's travel was a clear personal benefit with no benefit to the public paying the bill. Nonetheless she deserves credit for agreeing to repay the most questionable of her children's travel expenses.

However she couldn't help complaining about the partisan aspect of the ethics case. The complaint came last fall as she was running on the GOP ticket for vice president.

"It is troubling that this complaint was such an obvious political weapon, with an associate of a political adversary filing this and making it public – against state law – just before the election," her statement said.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.