Responding to criticism from Democrats, campaign aides to Gov. Sarah Palin on Tuesday defended her practice of billing Alaska taxpayers for more than 300 nights she spent at home in her first year-and-a-half in office.
Ms. Palin received a "per diem" expense allowance for 312 nights she spent at her home in Wasilla, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The $60-a-day allowance is available for state employees when traveling on official state business to cover meals and other sundry expenses. Ms. Palin's per diems, which included some charges for partial days, totaled $17,059, from Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office, through June 30, 2008, the most recent data available, according to Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for the governor's office. Ms. Palin's salary is $125,000 a year.