The Corner

Per Diem Palin Cont’d

From a reader:

A 30-second google search shows that she did not inappropriately or illegally claim per diems:

M&IE

Meals and incidental expense allowance. The portion of per diem that reimburses travelers for the cost of meals and necessary incidental expenses including tips, laundry expenses, and other personal costs of travel.

The per diem consists of two parts, meals and incidental expenses, and lodging.

Per Diem

Per diem allowance is a daily payment instead of reimbursement for actual expenses for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. It is separate from transportation expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.

Residence

The residence of a traveler is the location, or within 50 miles thereof, where the traveler maintains the primary dwelling.  If a traveler maintains multiple residences, the commissioner of the department shall designate the residence that bears the most logical relationship to the traveler’s duty station as the traveler’s primary residence. Factors to be considered in determining the primary residence include: the time ordinarily spent performing duties at each location; the degree of business activity at each location; the relative amount of state wages earned at each location. Agencies may also contact the Division of Finance for assistance.  [NOTE – obviously the governor of Alaska’s duty station is not Wasilla, and so her primary residence is the gov’s mansion]

M&IE Rules for Specific Situations

…If a traveler maintains a dwelling at their destination and it is available to them [NOTE – think Wasilla], they will be entitled to only an M&IE allowance for normal workdays. [NOTE – which is what she claimed] An M&IE allowance for other than normal workdays is not allowed.

Alaska Administrative Manual – Accounting Travel 60.28

If a traveler is temporarily returned to the traveler’s duty station while on a long-term assignment and is continuing to receive a long-term lodging per diem, the traveler is not entitled to any M&IE allowance while at the duty station. [NOTE – she did not claim per diem while at governor’s mansion]

The document cited by the WaPost clearly shows she did not claim lodging while staying at her Wasilla house.

Perhaps the washington post ought to do some reporting rather than disseminating Obama’s talking points.  Or maybe they are acting “like a heroin addict” like MSNBC  I mean seriously, why isn’t the headline, “Sarah Palin Followed Alaska’s Per Diem Policy”

Again, McCain will win if this is the best that Team Obama can do.

You stay classy Washington Post. 

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