Skip to comments.Blumenauer asks Park Service if Sarah Palin received special--and expensive--treatment (Democrat)
Posted on 06/07/2011 2:46:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
WASHINGTON -- Suggesting that Sarah Palin's recent tour of historic sites was anything but a low-cost family get-away, Rep. Earl Blumenauer on Tuesday asked the National Park Service if it extended extra services to a private citizen.
He also demanded that Palin should reimburse the government any additional cost caused by her high-profile visits to Gettysburg, Independence Hall, Fort McHenry and other iconic sites on a swing along the Northeast last week.
"I am writing with serious concerns about the use of federal resources in conjunction with the 'One Nation' partisan political tour conducted by former Gov. Sarah Palin," Blumenauer said in a letter to Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis.
"Many of the press accounts of stops included in this tour, which provided personal and political benefits to former Gov. Palin, suggest that National Park Service resources were made available to an extent beyond that which an average American family would receive," the letter said.
Palin began the journey in Washington on Memorial Day weekend, joining the Rolling Thunder motorcycle parade on the National Mall then slipping in to tour George Washington's home at Mount Vernon and the National Archieves, where she and her family were given a private tour that included a viewing of the Constitution.
From there, the bus carrying Palin and her family stopped at Fort McHenry in Baltimore then on to Pennsylvania for stops at Gettysburg and then to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
The entourage then sped north through stops at the Statue of Libery and Ellis Island in New York and then on to Boston. Throughout it all, Palin declined to reveal the itineray which meant her bus and support vehicles were chased every inch along that way by a group of reporters.
It was one of the more compelling bus trips since Oregon-native Ken Kesey bumped along the roadways with his cohorts on a trip made famous in the 1968 book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe.
Park Service officials "reached out" to Palin after reading reports of her trip, Park Service spokesman David Barna said, out of concern that a large group could disrupt the experience for other visitors. "They assured us it was a family trip," he said, adding that on most of the stops about six people from Palin's group took part.
Barna declined to comment on Blumenauer's letter. But as a general matter, the services provided by local park officials were consistent with has been historically offered when any high-profile visitor decides to visit a site, he said. Barna said Palin's aides were told how the Park Service has handled celebrities in the past and "they took us up" for an after-hours tour the Archieves. He said it did not require additional personal. "Our rangers were there anyway," he said.
Barna said the Park Service was not given an itinerary or asked for special treatment. That seemed to the case at Fort McHenry. Ranger Jim Bailey told the Baltimore Sun the Palin's were "just one more visitor for me." He told the paper that he had about an hour's notice before the is-she-or-isn't-she-a-presidential-candidate stopped by for a 20-minute visit. "I gave them the program I give any visitor," he said.
Blumenauer wants a more complete accounting. "I respectfully request that you provide a written explanation of the Park Service's policies on the use of taxpayer-funded resources for publicity events, as well as an accounting of Park Service resources that have been utilized by the 'One Nation' tour," he said in the letter to Jarvis.
The letter does not ask that the costs be reimbursed if any are found, but Blumenauer's spokesman Derek Schlickeisen said that request would be made if it is determined that extra money has been spent.
"It certainly seems like she is using National Park Service resources, and at a time when the Park Service budget is being stretched, she should absolutely be reimbursing them for any expenses," Schlickeisen said.
"What exactly was this bus tour supposed to be? If it was a political campaign event, then it is inappropriate for any federal resources to be used. If it was just a family vacation, then she shouldnt be entitled to any special treatment beyond what the average American family would receive," he said.
Palin did not respond to request for comment nor did SarahPAC, her fundraising operation which financed the trip.
Shut up, Earl.
So, I guess he will next be demanding that all politicians, including our idiotic President, pay up for extra expenses occurred during trips, such as holding up traffic for hours costing private businesses revenue and people to miss work and using Air Force 1 and 2 for carting around relatives?
All the left has is pettiness in their soul. Obama and his group spend millions of taxpayer dollars on vacations and trips but a retired governor is what they complain about.
And yet another example of why the Dem logo is a jackass.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer got himself a serious case of butt hurt, I’d say.
As if we needed proof that it is apt. ;-)
As a tax payer I would like to know how much extra expense it cost to produce the accounting of Park Services resources requested by Blumenauer in his political based attack on Palin's bus tour.. They are a government agency it could substantial.
These Red Diaper Doper Babies REALLY have their knickers in a knot now, don’t they?
Go Mama Grizzly!
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) another geek who wears bow ties and rides a bike to work. Wonder about his twitter messages?
Hey asshole (Blumenauer), the country is going to hell. Try doing something to stop it!
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said Friday that he’ll soon be reintroducing legislation to provide Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to physicians who conduct voluntary consultations with patients about end of life care.
Politifact named Palin’s claim their “Lie of the Year.”
Wonder why he hate Sarah?
This guy gets an attack of morality on the budget when Dems haven’t passed a budget in 750days...
Reporters weren’t forced to follow her, tie up traffic, pee on the roadside; they chose to follow her like dogs in heat...
I would like the Obama’s to reimburse the American people for the photo shoot over NY and for flying their dog on a separate plane to Hawaii.
And while they are at wasting more money on this lame investigation tally up how many extra visitors came as a result of her being there and paid fees for the privilege.
Also, how about figuring out how much the advertising would have cost the Park Service for the publicity it received for free. I said there was a net gain in value for the Park Service for her visit!
I don’t see the problem here. It’s about keeping a celebrity “honest” and accounting for government resources.