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Old 09-10-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
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Palin's Per Diem

I don't think I've seen this discussed too much on this forum.

Why was Palin allowed to collect per diem for 300 days while she was staying at home?
While other governors collect per diem, if after a set amount of time of collecting per diem, the "working" post is then transfered to where they are doing their work (in Palin's case, Anchorage).
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:17 PM   #2
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I'm not too sure I understand the situation fully, perhaps you can clarify. But I'm under the impression that she essentially closed down the governor's mansion so it wouldn't have to be staffed for much of her tenure as governor and worked out of her own home. If she were at the mansion she would be allotted many perks, including meal reimbursements and such. And so she filed to have some of her meals paid for by the state as she would if she were at the mansion. Through this process she saved ended up saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, it doesn't seem ethical to me and it definitely opens her up to scrutiny. I don't think this was a good move on her part. She needs to pick, either be in the mansion and enjoy the perks or stay at home without them. Once she starts mixing the two it opens the whole thing up to ethical questions.
 
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JaJae View Post
I'm not too sure I understand the situation fully, perhaps you can clarify. But I'm under the impression that she essentially closed down the governor's mansion so it wouldn't have to be staffed for much of her tenure as governor and worked out of her own home. If she were at the mansion she would be allotted many perks, including meal reimbursements and such. And so she filed to have some of her meals paid for by the state as she would if she were at the mansion. Through this process she saved ended up saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, it doesn't seem ethical to me and it definitely opens her up to scrutiny. I don't think this was a good move on her part. She needs to pick, either be in the mansion and enjoy the perks or stay at home without them. Once she starts mixing the two it opens the whole thing up to ethical questions.
As far as I understand, she only fired a staffed chef --not the entire mansion.
Per Diems are typically for working away from the place of business and while not at home. What she did was legal by the state of Alaska law, but it more or less flies in the face of the image of "Maverick Reformer" that she is being portrayed as.
Here's an article about it
Palin received per diem at Wasilla home: Gov. Sarah Palin | adn.com
(I just did a quick google search and pulled the first one)
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HughRuss View Post
As far as I understand, she only fired a staffed chef --not the entire mansion.
Per Diems are typically for working away from the place of business and while not at home. What she did was legal by the state of Alaska law, but it more or less flies in the face of the image of "Maverick Reformer" that she is being portrayed as.
Here's an article about it
Palin received per diem at Wasilla home: Gov. Sarah Palin | adn.com
(I just did a quick google search and pulled the first one)
I don't see how it flies in the face of being a maverick reformer, but perhaps I'm just uninformed.

If I'm hired to do a job, and I'm legally able to pull both a salary and a per diem, I'm going to collect both while I do my job. In fact, I'm on a per diem right now, though I'm not at home in my case. If I could collect one while I was at home, then that would be part of my compensation package, and guess what... I wouldn't turn it down.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
I don't see how it flies in the face of being a maverick reformer, but perhaps I'm just uninformed.

If I'm hired to do a job, and I'm legally able to pull both a salary and a per diem, I'm going to collect both while I do my job. In fact, I'm on a per diem right now, though I'm not at home in my case. If I could collect one while I was at home, then that would be part of my compensation package, and guess what... I wouldn't turn it down.
Yet, the difference between you two is that you aren't living at home, nor are you the governor of a state. She is getting paid 125,000 a year (from what I've read somewhere, can't remember where, I've seen so many figures in the past week or so), while collecting on a certain per diem every day that she isn't in office, but is at her own home. A per diem, as I assume you know, is used to cover travel expenses and food. She is then getting paid twice for groceries (her paycheck = 1, her per diem = 2), as well as car expenses. So, should she become President if McCain is elected (as 9 VPs have), would she rather run her executive duties from her home? If that's the case, will she collect on a federal per diem?

On that note, an adviser mentioned that it was there so she took it. That doesn't really seem like an ender of wasteful spending.

I understand if a working class individual as yourself would collect a salary and per diem while being away from work, but an elected official who runs on the docket as a "reformer" and one who ends wasteful spending, I don't think it's a wise choice. Nor do I think is it a wise choice for her to comp her family travels with state money.
Her response was that "The [incumbent --don't recall his name] spent more" implying the activity itself is okay, as long as you spend less than your predecessor.
To me, that's not necessarily the least-flippant fiscal policy. I think if she is going to run on the rug of fiscally responsible and as an economic reformer, she shouldn't have been so prodigal with her per diem and traveling with her family. That's just my opinion, though.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HughRuss View Post
Yet, the difference between you two is that you aren't living at home, nor are you the governor of a state. She is getting paid 125,000 a year (from what I've read somewhere, can't remember where, I've seen so many figures in the past week or so), while collecting on a certain per diem every day that she isn't in office, but is at her own home. A per diem, as I assume you know, is used to cover travel expenses and food. She is then getting paid twice for groceries (her paycheck = 1, her per diem = 2), as well as car expenses. So, should she become President if McCain is elected (as 9 VPs have), would she rather run her executive duties from her home? If that's the case, will she collect on a federal per diem?

On that note, an adviser mentioned that it was there so she took it. That doesn't really seem like an ender of wasteful spending.

I understand if a working class individual as yourself would collect a salary and per diem while being away from work, but an elected official who runs on the docket as a "reformer" and one who ends wasteful spending, I don't think it's a wise choice. Nor do I think is it a wise choice for her to comp her family travels with state money.
Her response was that "The [incumbent --don't recall his name] spent more" implying the activity itself is okay, as long as you spend less than your predecessor.
To me, that's not necessarily the least-flippant fiscal policy. I think if she is going to run on the rug of fiscally responsible and as an economic reformer, she shouldn't have been so prodigal with her per diem and traveling with her family. That's just my opinion, though.
Per diems don't cover travel expenses, just food and various sundries that one might need while traveling. That might have been what you meant, though, so not trying to be argumentative.

As for getting paid twice, if the policy/law says she can collect it, then change the law, don't get on her case for collecting it. It's part of her comp package.

Also, I should note this as well: I'm here, out of town, in a hotel with my family. We are living off my per diem mostly for food (not really hard if you are frugal like we try to be) and they stay in the room for the same price as I would have stayed here. In fact, since we don't travel home on the weekends, it actually works out cheaper to stay straight through and bring them with me than had I gone alone. The company we're doing consulting for paid to bring them out here with me (or will, when it's expensed). Ultimately they will save money because I am not traveling back and forth each weekend, can get a cheaper hotel room because we're here for a much longer period of time, and I get to spend more time with my family. Since she's a stay at home mom, we all win, basically.

I can't speak for Palin's specifics, but in some cases at least, you'd be surprised how it can work out. Thankfully I don't have a bunch of people ignoring specific facts like the actual dollar amounts and calling me out because I chose to keep my family nearby while I worked.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
Per diems don't cover travel expenses, just food and various sundries that one might need while traveling. That might have been what you meant, though, so not trying to be argumentative.

As for getting paid twice, if the policy/law says she can collect it, then change the law, don't get on her case for collecting it. It's part of her comp package.

Also, I should note this as well: I'm here, out of town, in a hotel with my family. We are living off my per diem mostly for food (not really hard if you are frugal like we try to be) and they stay in the room for the same price as I would have stayed here. In fact, since we don't travel home on the weekends, it actually works out cheaper to stay straight through and bring them with me than had I gone alone. The company we're doing consulting for paid to bring them out here with me (or will, when it's expensed). Ultimately they will save money because I am not traveling back and forth each weekend, can get a cheaper hotel room because we're here for a much longer period of time, and I get to spend more time with my family. Since she's a stay at home mom, we all win, basically.

I can't speak for Palin's specifics, but in some cases at least, you'd be surprised how it can work out. Thankfully I don't have a bunch of people ignoring specific facts like the actual dollar amounts and calling me out because I chose to keep my family nearby while I worked.
What do you do professionally?
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HughRuss View Post
What do you do professionally?
I work for a management consulting firm
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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Both Hugh Russ and TheWise1 make valid points, good posts by both.

As a starving actor, next to "residuals", "per diem" are some of the most beautiful words in the English language. (Yes, yes, I know...) But, man, I remember so vividly the first time I got it, they just passed out little white envelopes with cash in them without comment. My mind was blown. Then, to get them every day? Incredibly sweet. I too, eat cheaper than I probably should, so in addition to getting paid for the gig, I end up coming home with a pocketful of cash that I totally didn't expect. I can't blame anyone for taking them if they're allowed, and it looks like she did it legally.

So, for me personally, I don't find any issue with Palin taking per diem. Even if I did, I shouldn't criticize, because I love it whenever I get it.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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I don't see a problem with it either, as long as what she did was legal. On an NRP show yesterday afternoon they said her expenses were 80% less than the previous Governor. That's quite a bit.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
I don't see how it flies in the face of being a maverick reformer, but perhaps I'm just uninformed.

If I'm hired to do a job, and I'm legally able to pull both a salary and a per diem, I'm going to collect both while I do my job. In fact, I'm on a per diem right now, though I'm not at home in my case. If I could collect one while I was at home, then that would be part of my compensation package, and guess what... I wouldn't turn it down.

This "per diem" comes from somewhere though. Your "per diem" comes from the company you work for...hers comes from the taxpayers. Legal or not...slightly different and slightly sketchy.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
I work for a management consulting firm
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:24 AM   #13
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I got a meeting with the Bobs.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Donkey® View Post
I got a meeting with the Bobs.
HA HA HA I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY! Though it must be twice as hard for you since you have the same name and all. Well, lets get down to business Michael.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:12 PM   #15
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Do you like Michael Bolton?

You know what? 'Mike's' just fine.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
I don't see how it flies in the face of being a maverick reformer, but perhaps I'm just uninformed.

If I'm hired to do a job, and I'm legally able to pull both a salary and a per diem, I'm going to collect both while I do my job. In fact, I'm on a per diem right now, though I'm not at home in my case. If I could collect one while I was at home, then that would be part of my compensation package, and guess what... I wouldn't turn it down.
exactly.

if they were going to pay for her lunch in the mansion then why shoudln't they pay for her lunch at her house?
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HughRuss View Post
She is then getting paid twice for groceries (her paycheck = 1, her per diem = 2),
what?

if she was in the mansion she'd be getting food paid for by the state and a paycheck.

working from home she's getting..............food paid for by the state and a paycheck.



she's either getting paid twice either way or (the right answer) she's getting a paycheck and a food allowance.
 
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by HughRuss View Post
Do you like Michael Bolton?

You know what? 'Mike's' just fine.
Why don't you just go by mike?

Why should I change, he's the one who sucks.
 
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by thewise1 View Post
As for getting paid twice, if the policy/law says she can collect it, then change the law, don't get on her case for collecting it. It's part of her comp package.
I think that while what she did is normally acceptable, she opened the door to a higher level of scrutiny by declaring herself a woman who doesn't waste a dollar of government money. Holding herself up to that standard, she should be criticized for being paid twice.
 
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SpicyMcVoodoo View Post
I think that while what she did is normally acceptable, she opened the door to a higher level of scrutiny by declaring herself a woman who doesn't waste a dollar of government money. Holding herself up to that standard, she should be criticized for being paid twice.
except that she wasn't paid twice.
 
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