"It's vetting gone haywire," said Gov. Sarah Palin's beleaguered press secretary, Bill McAllister, as he dealt with a new round of questions about the governor -- this time about a tanning bed installed in the governor's mansion in Juneau.
In the 2½ weeks since Palin was named to the GOP ticket, McAllister's phone has been ringing off the hook from national reporters who have descended on the state to look into the background of the governor.
Monday, US Weekly and a blog, NarcoNews, reported that "the former beauty queen's penchant for a bronzed body" led to the installation of a "private tanning bed" shortly after she took office.
"She paid for it herself," said McAllister from his Anchorage office. He told ABC News he had "no idea" why she had installed the machine but confirmed it was installed in the mansion.
An online search showed tanning beds for sale at a wide range of prices, starting at around $1,000 and going as high as $35,000. McAllister said he did not know what Palin had paid for her tanning bed.
Later in the day, McAllister was dealing with the continued fallout from a Alaska state legislative investigation into what has been called "troopergate."
After first volunteering to testify before a bipartisan committee investigating whether she abused her power by demanding that her former brother-in-law be fired from the state police, Palin now says she is "unlikely" to appear.
The investigation began after she fired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan said he was fired after resisting pressure to fire the brother-in-law who was going through a messy divorce with Palin's sister.
McAllister has apparently been cut out of the loop by McCain campaign aides who have taken charge of the "troopergate" issue while leaving the tanning bed questions to him.
"There's some press conference going on somewhere right now, but I don't know where or with whom," McAllister said Monday.