A May 7 post on the Anchorage Daily News political blog notes that Gov. Palin's new legislative director, Kelly Goode, has been dating Juneau lobbyist Kim Hutchinson for years:
"My loyalty is always with my boss and I joined the governor's team with a complete and clear understanding that her priorities are my priorities. Nothing is going to change that," Goode said.
Goode said she and Hutchinson do not share residences. "We have no joint financial anything," Goode said. "We date, but everything financial or anything like that is all separate. I pay for myself...I try to go above and beyond and make sure things are very separate."
While there is no reason not to take Ms. Goode at her word, she is not the only one who has a connection with Hutchinson. Alaska Public Offices Commission documents indicate Sarah Palin received $1,800 in campaign contributions from Hutchinson during her gubernatorial campaign. Hutchinson made three contributions of $500 and one of $300, according to the records.
Hutchinson's clients, according to Commission records, include Alaska Airlines, ACS Media, Alaska Communications Systems, American Insurance Association, and Corrections Corporation of America.
Hutchinson was not the only lobbyist to put money into the Palin campaign, according to an article just posted on the Washington Times website:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose independence was touted when she was named Sen. John McCain´s vice-presidential pick Friday, collected at least $24,000 from registered state lobbyists in her gubernatorial campaign, records show.
The lobbyists who donated to her campaign represent a range of industries, including oil and gas, tobacco, education and the Native Alaskan community.
"She's fought oil companies and party bosses and do-nothing bureaucrats and anyone who puts their interests before the interests of the people she swore an oath to serve," Mr. McCain said Friday at an Ohio rally to introduce her as his running mate.
But since Mrs. Palin leads a major oil-producing state, that industry is one of her top donors.
She collected nearly $13,000 from lobbyists who represent oil and gas industries in her primary and general campaigns, according a review of her campaign donations and 2006 registered state lobbyists.
Her campaign also collected donations from lobbyist employees of most of the major oil companies, including BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chevron USA Inc., ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. and Shell Oil Co.