On the eve of a report on a legislative panel's abuse-of-power investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report clearing her of any wrongdoing.
Palin, running mate to Republican presidential nominee John McCain, is the subject of two inquiries into whether she abused her power by firing her public safety commissioner. The commissioner says he was dismissed for resisting pressure to fire Palin's former brother-in-law, a state trooper.
Lawmakers are expected to release their findings today. Thursday, the state Supreme Court refused to halt an ethics investigation into Palin.
Palin wrong, there's no ban on oil exports
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, touted by GOP presidential candidate John McCain as his expert on energy, seemed to have problems Thursday explaining whether the government bans oil exports – especially from her state's North Slope fields.
A questioner at a town hall-style meeting in Wisconsin said he had heard that at least 75 percent of the oil drilled in Alaska was being sold to China and said, if true, he would like to know why.
“No. It's not 75 percent of our oil being exported,” Palin said, suggesting some of Alaska's oil, in fact, may be going abroad but not that much. “In fact,” she added, “Congress is pretty strict on, um, export bans of oil and gas especially.”
No Alaska oil has been exported since 2004, and little if any since 2000, according to the Energy Information Administration and the Congressional Research Service.
And Congress has never imposed outright bans on oil exports. Congress prohibited exports of Alaska oil in 1973 when the Alaska oil pipeline was built. But that ban was lifted in 1996 when there were large volumes of Alaskan oil coming down from the North Slope and U.S. demand was soft.
The Alaska ban has never been reinstated.
Paying for prime time?
But wait, there's more
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama plans to spend what likely will amount to millions of dollars to air a half-hour in prime time on CBS, NBC and possibly other major networks a week before Election Day.
Obama bought the time on the CBS and NBC for Oct. 29, according to campaign adviser Linda Douglass. Obama will appear on Fox that evening as long as there's no World Series game, she said. The campaign also is in talks to buy air time on ABC, said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers declined to comment on Obama's TV plans or whether the Republican candidate will pursue a similar strategy.
NRA endorses McCain, despite differences
The National Rifle Association on Thursday endorsed Republican presidential nominee John McCain despite differences with the Arizona senator on gun-show rules and campaign finance restrictions. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the two agree on many issues important to the group.