The Audacity of Hype! Palin Signs Book Deal. But is it Legal?
Reports are now out that Sarah Palin has signed a deal with HarperCollins.
“There have been so many things written and said through mainstream media that have not been accurate, and it will be nice through an unfiltered forum to get to speak truthfully about who we are and what we stand for and what Alaska is all about,” Palin said in an interview today in which she announced the deal.
I guess that means when we go to Barnes & Noble, we’ll be findng it in the fiction section. Or humor, perhaps.
So, how much is she getting? We’d heard rumors of $11 million when chatter of a book deal was first bandied about months ago. Then she laughed that off. Then we heard $7 million. So what is it? Palin’s not saying.
“The idea is to focus on the content of the book and what’s coming in terms of me being able to tell my story unrestrained and unfiltered,” Palin said.
So the amount of the deal (which she’ll have to disclose anyway next March on her financial disclosure forms), would distract from the content of the book which hasn’t been written yet? Apparently so, according to Palin.
And what about those of you who are saying, “Hey, wait a minute now. What about that clause in the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act that says:
‘The head of a principal executive department (the governor) of the state (Alaska) may not accept employment (being an author under contract) for compensation (money) outside the agency that the executive head serves (being the governor of the state of Alaska)?'”
If you followed the parenthetical explanation, you’ll see that basically, that’s supposed to mean that the governor can’t have another job. Fear not. They’ve already thought that through. According to Palin’s legal counsel, Thomas Van Flein, who is now a regular celebrity guest on The Eddie Burke Show, the state has preapprovedall of this. You know….legal schmegal and all that.
Palin said the book won’t interfere with her duties as governor, and others have written books while in leadership positions. She said she won’t work on the book during state time and will be jotting down her thoughts “after hours.”
Here’s a little 60 second dramatization to clarify that for those of you who are still confused.
Alaskans: But Governor, you’re not supposed to have another paying job while you’re the governor. See? (we hold up the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act and point)
SP: But the paying job won’t interfere with my duties.
Alaskans: But you’re not supposed to HAVE another paying job.
SP: But other people have done it in other states, and in other positions.
Alaskans: But our ethics act says your not supposed to have another paying job while you’re governor of Alaska!
SP: But I’m only going to work at my other paying job after hours. You know, like moonlighting!
Alaskans: But you’re not supposed to have ANY other paying job while you’re the governor!
SP: I’ll just be jotting thoughts in my own words… And you don’t even have to know how much I’m making.
Alaskans: But you’re NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE ANY OTH…. Does anyone have any whiskey?
Back in February, Bill McAllister, Palin’s communications director pointed out to us that the governor is the governor all the time. That’s why she does such a great job.
“In fact she works 24/7, on call 24/7 constantly monitoring what’s going on in all of state government and isn’t hesitant to make course corrections any old time, and I can tell you personally that I have often responded to her emails late at night or early in the morning. She is on top of it.”
That was supposed to make us feel better. No distractions, no taking her eye off the ball. She’s on top of it. So….now she’s going to be writing a book in less than a year.
The governor said she wants to do a lot of the writing herself, and that it will be her story and her words.
“It will be nice to put my journalism degree to work on this and get to tell my story, Alaska’s story.
Somehow I don’t think Alaskans are going to be thrilled with the governor “putting her journalism degree to work” when she’s supposed to be…you know…governing. I can only imagine what the legislative session will be like next year. And then there’s the book tour.
And all this will be happening in an election year. Which means that either the governor is hoping that the media attention and publicity from the book tour will escalate her approval rating enough to topple Lisa Murkowski from her seat in the Senate or get her reelected, or she’s not planning on running again for governor, but will just fly out of town at the end of her term and become the darling of the religious right, touring the nation, hosting fundraisers and signing copies of the book. There’s no way of knowing.
Will she beat Joe the Plumber to the bookstands? How many ghost writers collaborators will she go through? Will they quit or be fired? How about editors? Will she begin the book tour three days before the end of the legislative session? And what about the title?
I invite your thoughts below.