Dem needles Park Service over Palin tour

A Democratic member of Congress said Tuesday that former governor Sarah Palin (R) may have received preferential treatment from the National Park Service during her bus tour of the East Coast. 

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) wrote a letter toNational Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis expressing concern that in its dealings with Palin, the agency's resources "were made available to the extent beyond that which an average American family would receive," especially considering that the stops at historical sites on the tour provided her with "personal and political benefits."

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"I am writing with serious concerns about the use of federal resources in conjunction with the 'One Nation' partisan political tour conducted by former Gov. Sarah Palin through SarahPAC," he wrote. 

Blumenauer is one of the first members of Congress to officially raise questions about the propriety of Palin's bus tour, which took her to sites like the National Archives, the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty over the past couple of weeks. 

The congressman noted Palin's private tours at the Archives and at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate in Northern Virginia and cited reports that the Park Service had to "spend additional time" preparing for Palin's visits at other sites.

"I respectfully request that you provide 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," he wrote. 

The congressman previously jabbed at Palin on Twitter for using a Park Ranger escort during her visit to the Statue of Liberty.

At the outset of her tour, Palin said that she was not about boosting her prospects should she decide to run for president. 

"I've said from the beginning this isn't a campaign tour, except to campaign on our Constitution," she told Fox News last week. "It's not about me. It's not a publicity-seeking tour; it's about highlighting the great things about America."

But during a stop in New Hampshire, Palin did take a shot at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), who announced his presidential candidacy the same day.

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