Is Sarah Palin Violating Ethics Rules (Again)?
There is currently a ballot initiative trying to gain support in Alaska that would bypass the state legislature and “forbid a girl under 18 from getting an abortion unless the doctor informed at least one of her parents beforehand.” The organizers’ goal is for Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell to certify the ballot language as legal, collect signatures, and get the initiative on the ballot for the August 2010 primary elections. Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has now come out and said that she plans to be the first in line to offer her signature:
“I got a preliminary opinion from Law (Department) just giving me a heads up that critics would certainly file an ethics charge against me if I were to sponsor an initiative. So though I maintain I have First Amendment rights just as any other citizen does, I won’t flirt with the notion of giving critics more ammunition to keep filing wasteful ethics charges against me, but instead I’ll volunteer to be the first signature,” Palin said.[...]
“I acknowledge the ‘new normal’ we’re dealing with today will no doubt see someone filing a charge against me anyway, for exercising my First Amendment rights as a citizen, but I will not hesitate to speak up in support of Alaska’s daughters,” she wrote.
State law says that a governor cannot spend money or “provide anything of value” to influence the outcome of a ballot measure unless the Legislature has appropriated money for that purpose.
Alaska election regulators are already investigating whether “Palin violated the law last summer when she said in response to a question at a state press conference that she would vote no on a controversial ballot measure to tighten limits on water pollution discharges from mines.”