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Congressman Asks If National Park Service Went Too Far to Accommodate Citizen Palin


Did the National Park Service bend over too far to accommodate Sarah Palin and her family during their East Coast tour, which had more than a few political overtones? That's what at least one congressman wants to know, and he's asked Park Service Director Jon Jarvis for an explanation.

In his letter Tuesday to the Park Service director, Rep. Earl Blumenauer asked how much the agency spent to accommodate the former Alaskan governor and Republican vice presidential nominee during her "'One Nation' partisan political tour,'" which included stops at the National Archives, Gettsyburg National Military Park, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

"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 Oregon Democrat wrote (see attached).

According to news reports, the Palins received early access to the National Archives, a building that often draws long lines of visitors waiting to enter, and a private escort of the Statue of Liberty.

In the letter, Rep. Blumenauer asked Director Jarvis for 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."

"For cases in which the Park Service did not have additional personnel on duty as a result of the tour, was manpower diverted from regularly-scheduled services to accommodate the Palin family's visits  and is this a routine practice for visiting celebrities?"

Contacted by Politico, Park Service spokesman Jeff Olson said the Palins received pretty much standard treatment for celebrities.

“We see celebrities on a regular basis, it’s something that we’re used to,” he said. “We give them a tour but we also try to not make it a big hoo-ha for all the other visitors. So it’s kind of standard fare if there’s a celebrity or two that show up, we do a special program for them.”

Park Service spokesman David Barna told the Washington Post that, “The Palin visit was a very minor issue. We reached out and contacted her first. They assured us that this was a small family visit, and it was.”

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Good Lord, do these congressman have anything else better to do? Do they know the economy is starting to tank again?

Seriously, isn't it time for these idiots in Congress to get back to the things that actually matter to their constituents?

why do you do a special show for them,if i saked would you accomdate me???i am just a regualr tax paying citizen...

I very much dislike having our National Park System used for political purposes, particularly those politicians who have little knowlege or interest in our history.  And it's particularly repulsive having the Gettysburg National Military Park used for a cheap political shill.  GNMP stands for so much more.  "Sacred soil" can be a cliche, but in this case it's appropriate.

"The politicians are coming!!! The politicians are coming!!!"

This is pure political theatre and irrational Palin hatred at work here.

Maybe the congressmen would have a point if we weren't on the precipice of a double dip recession, rising unemployment, under an avalanche of overwhelming government debt, a failing Medicare and Social Secruity system, a third war in Libya, and a failing public school system. If all these problems were solved, then I would agree that we should allow are elected officials to engage in trivial matters. 

Irrational Palin hatred?

How about very rational Palin disgust.

Nothing irrational about that.

Love her or hate her, you have to admit every politician is playing politics every minute they're in public. Obama's done the same thing in National Parks.  It sounds like the Congressman spent about 60 seconds telling his aid to write a letter, and it appears Palin got the same treatment Peyton Manning or Charlie Sheen would have (though I imagine Sheen's visit would have been more rhetorically entertaining.) I'm sure the country's business continued to be tended to while this letter crossed town.

Sounds like plain old pure jealousy.  I love that Sarah can push people's thin-skinned buttons so easily.

Much ado about zippo. As distasteful as this is to some, if not many, NPS routinely "accommodates" VIP visitors. When you've got a news media entourage and fans trailing behind you, you're a VIP. NPS was correct to reach out ahead of time, proactively, to accommodate the potential ruckus. As Olson said, standard treatment for celebs, no big deal.

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