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Rejoice, Palin newshounds: Interviews prompt ethics complaint

Zane Henning, the Wasilla man who made a public records request for thousands of e-mails from Palin aides, has filed a new ethics complaint against the governor.

His charge: That Palin is breaking state ethics rules by talking about her campaign and promoting her political career from her state office. He’s focusing largely on this recent interview with Greta Van Susteren in the Atwood building, but also cites her Nov. 7 interview with reporters in the lobby of the governor’s office.

“These video reports show Sarah Palin speaking to numerous reporters in her Republican vice-presidential candidate capacity defending and still promoting herself and not as the governor of Alaska representing Alaskans,” Henning writes.

Henning says he had a courier deliver the complaint to Attorney General Talis Colberg Tuesday morning. He’s looking for a Personnel Board investigation into the accusations.

With Palin a national figure and potential presidential candidate, the sooner the rules are clarified, the better. What can Palin talk about in her state office, and where’s the line between state business and campaigning?

Henning said he worked for Conoco Phillips until 2005 and now works on the North Slope as an environmental coordinator for Pioneer Natural Resources. He is a member of a Valley conservative group called the Last Frontier Foundation –- tax hawk and property rights activist Penny Nixon is the chairman, he said -- but filed the complaint on his own behalf.

As for his original records request for e-mails from Palin aides Ivy Frye and Frank Bailey, Henning said he was looking for e-mails about Republican Party business – specifically any attempt to oust Randy Ruedrich as chairman. The idea originally came from the now-defunct Voice of the Times, he said.

Palin spokesman Bill McAllister had this to say in an e-mail: "The consideration of complaints under the executive branch ethics act is a confidential process, by law. The governor will respect that legal requirement for confidentiality, even if others do not."

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