Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) wrote on Tuesday to National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis regarding “serious concerns about the use of federal resources in conjunction with the ‘One Nation’” bus tour.
“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,” Blumenauer wrote.
He cited media reports of Palin and her family receiving a private guided tour of Mount Vernon, early admission to the National Archives and a 10-person escort involving park rangers and New York City police officers at the Statue of Liberty.
National Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson said his understanding is that Palin received customary treatment for a visiting celebrity and that the costs of her visits were nominal at best.
“We see celebrities on a regular basis, it’s something that we’re used to,” Olson said. “We give them a tour but we also try to not make it a bug 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.”
That usually involves rangers and interpreters that are on the job regardless. “That’s why it’s not an extra cost for us,” Olson said. “We just try to make sure everybody has a good experience at a national park.”
So now we need to waste public resources investigating the Park Service for the unforgiveable crime of…doing their job. I’ve never heard of this Blumenauer clown, but his constituents must be proud. And it’s reassuring to know that the sleuths on Politico’s crack investigative team are covering this important story.
Update: (h/t T D Williams) Meet Earl Blumenauer.