Monday, February 21, 2011

UK: Palin's embarrassing admissions

Daily Mail

PJ: More head scratching about Sarah Palin as she admits that in order to offer insight into the complexities of the US economy, she needed her twenty-year-old daughter (who has no background in business or economics) to Google information for her speech to business leaders.

'Bristol Googled the economy for me': Sarah Palin asks daughter to trawl internet before speech

Sarah Palin asked her daughter Bristol to search the internet for information on the American economy the night before a rare public speech, it has been reported.

Mrs Palin let slip that her daughter Bristol was part of her 'entourage' and that she had asked her to 'Google the economy' before the event in Long Island last Thursday.

The news comes after it emerged a reality show about Sarah Palin’s life in Alaska is to receive $1.2million in tax credits, thanks to a law created by the governor herself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the embarrassing admission came during a speech she gave to businessmen in Long Island last week.

At a question and answer session held after the main event, the paper reported that she had asked Bristol, in their hotel room Wednesday night, to Google information about the economy in preparation for the appearance on Thursday.

It has also emerged that when she was governor of Alaska in 2008, Ms Palin signed into law a tax incentive for television and movie producers who film in Alaska, allowing them to recover up to 44 per cent of their spending.

While hit documentaries shot in Alaska have benefited from the subsidy, Ms Palin’s show has profited the most.

The figures make interesting reading given the former vice-presidential candidate’s outspoken views on government spending.

Without the funding she approved, the tax revenue of programmes like Sarah Palin’s Alaska or The Deadliest Catch would have bolstered the state’s coffers.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the legislation allows film and TV producers who spend at least $100,000 in Alaska to sell transferable tax credits to companies that have a more significant tax liability in the state.

The subsidy is intended to encourage out-of-state firms to shoot in Alaska as they can recoup their filming costs and create a boost to the Alaskan economy through creating temporary production jobs.

But Ms Palin’s critics will argue the taxpayer-financed subsidy seems to have benefitted her greatly, to the detriment of her home state.

The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch received around $600,000 in tax credits after spending $1.7million in the state, according to the Alaska Film Office.

Ice Road Truckers, a History Channel documentary, took advantage of the subsidy to the tune of $900,000 after spending $2.7million on filming in Alaska.

But Ms Palin’s critically-panned TV show makers, TLC, have benefitted the most, recouping $1.2million of its $3.6million production costs.

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Ms Palin has made millions since she resigned as Alaskan governor in 2009, with high-profile book deals, regular appearances on Fox News and a rumoured salary of $250,000 to $1million per episode for her eight-part reality series.

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