Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) faced yet another ethics complaint on Friday: This time, for allegedly using state resources “for partisan political purposes” during the 2008 campaign.
Under state law, elected officials may not “use or authorize the use of state funds, facilities, equipment, services, or another government asset or resource” for campaigning, stumping or politicking.
But Palin, argues Andree McLeod — a local activist who has filed many ethics complaints against the former Alaska governor — sought political advice from her staff and asked her office to help her arrange media interviews or phone conversations leading up to Election Day, all using their government-issued e-mail addresses.
According to the Alaska Department of Administration, the use of e-mail is key: That medium, too, counts as a state resource, meaning Palin’s e-mail exchanges with her gubernatorial staff about national campaign strategies could have violated the state’s election law.
“State employees are prohibited from using the state e-mail system or using other state equipment, including fax machines, telephones, computers, or copiers, for partisan political purposes,” the department’s commissioner told The Huffington Post. “However, if you receive such a message, you may respond that Alaska law forbids your use of state equipment for partisan political purposes and ask that the sender not send you further messages concerning campaign activities.”
Palin has long struggled to battle back ethics claims stemming from her tenure as governor — an expensive problem, her allies note, that in part triggered her unexpected resignation earlier this year.
Nevertheless, many of those chargers have since been dropped.