Politician wardrobe criticism stems from cost, not fashion

Ms. Martinez’s ploy of offense at a perceived slight is insulting to both the group she’s supposedly defending (women politicians) and the intelligence of her intended audience.

To sum up the flap over Gov. Sarah Palin’s Republican National Committee-funded wardrobe as somehow sexist or demeaning to women indicates that she doesn’t really understand what all the fuss is about.

Sen. Obama wears $1,500 suits, John Edwards likes $400 haircuts, Sen. McCain has been spotted wearing $500 Italian loafers – why is Palin’s wardrobe any different?

The difference is the former pay for their wardrobe and tonsorial services out of their personal funds, not with campaign funds.

No, the issue is not what Palin is wearing, nor where it came from, but who paid for it. Palin’s wardrobe (and that of her family, including husband Todd and baby Trig) was paid for by Joe Six Pack when he donated to the Republican National Committee – a move which is possibly illegal under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform laws.

“Ironic” may not be a strong enough word to describe that eventuality. The deeper issue here is that Palin beats the fiscal conservative drum while lavishly spending campaign donations and taxpayer money on herself and her family.

In her first 19 months in office, she charged the taxpayers of Alaska for spending 300 nights at home and working out of a satellite office in Anchorage instead of moving into the governor’s mansion and working from her official offices in Juneau. Note that the Governor’s mansion and the offices in Juneau must still be maintained, in addition to the costs to run the offices elsewhere.

That’s like Gov. Perry deciding that he doesn’t like Austin and moving his whole staff to El Paso, then collecting per diem for “official travel.”

This isn’t just temporary travel, it’s how she has conducted day-to-day business because she prefers it that way. I’ve always thought that fiscal conservatives took pains to eliminate unnecessary and excess spending, but Palin has demonstrated that she’s willing to take advantage of every perk and allowance she’s entitled to. It may be legal, but it is hardly the behavior of a “maverick.”

Pete Wann is a TCU Apple server administrator from Fort Worth. His is an individual opinion and does not represent the views of TCU.