Palin's 'Reforms' Include State Jobs for Donors

Governor's appointees include loyalists with iffy qualifications
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, left, her husband Todd and daughters, Piper, center, and Willow, right, pledge allegiance to the flag before a campaign rally at the Beaver Area...   (AP Photo/John Heller)
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(Newser) – Sarah Palin has touted herself as a reformer, telling voters she "took on the old politics as usual in Juneau." But an LA Times investigation shows the Alaska governor gave more than 100 state jobs to campaign contributors and their relatives, many of whom lacked qualifications for the positions. One controversial appointee received a note from a Palin aide that read, "Well now your foot's back in the door."

Palin appointed a political supporter to succeed Walt Monegan, the public safety commissioner she fired in the "Troopergate" scandal. That appointee lasted just 2 weeks before resigning amid accusations of sexual harassment—and he still received $10,000 in severance pay. One expert on Alaskan politics said Palin showed "a disrespect for experience"; another went further, calling her behavior "cronyism."