Writing on the Politico, Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Fellow Scott Lilly notes that “there has been little analysis of the simplest measure of performance,” attendance, with regards to Gov. Sarah Palin. Lilly notes that she has an abysmal attendance record in Alaska’s state capital:
The Washington Post recently reported that, in her first 19 months as governor, Palin billed the state of Alaska per diem charges for 312 days she spent at her home in Wasilla. Palin’s staff has explained that it was appropriate to bill the state for expenses related to Palin staying in her own house because her “official duty station” was at the state capital of Juneau, where the governor’s official office and mansion are located. But that argument raises a different question: How much time did that leave for her to spend at her “official duty station”?
Assuming Palin did not routinely bill the state for staying in her own home on weekends and holidays, she would have spent no more than 85 workdays in the state capital over the course of her 19 months in office, even if she traveled nowhere else in Alaska or outside of the state. That compares with 168 days that the Alaska Legislature was in session during the same period.
Some Alaska legislators became so frustrated with Palin’s absence that they took to wearing “Where’s Sarah?” pins.