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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I did on my vacation

I went out west to Wyoming and visited Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.

Friday I drove up to the Twin Cities, spent the night at the Park Plaza Hotel in Bloomington and took advantage of their Park and Ride to I could get to the airport.  Flew out of Minneapolis to Cody, changed planes in Salt Lake City.

Spent the night at the Ponderosa Campground.  Also went and had supper and watched a country music show at The Cody Cattle Company.

Sunday drove into Yellowstone Park, did some hiking on the Pelican Trail near Yellowstone Lake, took in a Scenicruise on the lake, visited the West Thumb Geyser Basin and set up camp at Grant Village.

Monday headed west drove to West Yellowstone Montana, had breakfast at the Running Bear restaurant, drove down into Idaho crossed back into Wyoming and stopped in Jackson for lunch.  Spent rest of day hiking and poking around Teton National Park.

Tuesday drove down to the Tetons again, this time through the Yellowstone South Entrance, hiked a few trails and did a lot of picture taking.

Wednesday went and explored the Old Faithful area, saw the big Faithful Geyser and several smaller ones. Drove to the Norris Area.  Had dinner in the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room.

Thursday pulled up stakes and left Grant Village.  Drove up to Mammoth to see the geyers and explore that area.  on the way stopped and took a short hike to the Lower and Upper Falls, lunch at the Mammoth Dining Room, then saw the Geyers and then drove up to Gardiner MT and back to the Canyon Campground and set up camp.

Friday hiked up Mount Washburn, had lunch at the Roosevelt lodge then another hike to Lost Lake, then a wagon ride at the Roosevelt Lodge. Took part in a cookout. On the way back to my campground I saw a grizzly bear, saw three bears total on my trip

Mount Washburn
Saturday left the park had breakfast at Roosevelt Lodge then drove the Beartooth Scenic Bi-way to Red Lodge MT, stayed at Ponderosa again in Cody and watched the nightly cowboy shootout at the Irma Hotel.

Dead Indian Pass, Chief Joseph Highway

Sunday-flew home

During my vacation I saw alot of wildlife:




I also saw two bald eagles, and osprey, deer, and a moose I was unable to get a picture of. I'll post the bird and deer pictures on another thread.

I dedicate my vacation to Piper Palin. The poor girl had her vacation ruined thanks to her overzealous mother. I'm sure Piper would have enjoyed hiking, boat rides, seeing nature at it's finest.

From the Cutting Room Floor of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin – Obsessive Perfection and Anger Mismanagement

From Mudflats

Frank Bailey was one of the earliest volunteers on the Sarah Palin for Governor campaign and rose from toilet-scrubbing gofer to holding the powerful position of Director of Boards and Commissions in the Palin administration. His journey from naïve idealistic devotee to disillusioned outsider is the subject of his memoir, Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin (with Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon).

From the earliest months of his association with Sarah Palin, Frank Bailey had witnessed and been on the receiving end of her unpredictable temper. As a glass half full guy and loyal foot soldier, he told himself that passion—even if unjustly directed at underlings—was simply a normal response to the abnormal and highly stressful pressures of a hotly contested gubernatorial campaign. He also believed Sarah when she insisted that she was under constant assaults from “evil forces” and “evil-doers.” How, under these circumstances, could someone not buckle under from time to time? He even convinced himself that temper could sometimes be an asset in a political race.

To help staff manage these tantrums, husband Todd Palin often made morning calls to Frank, giving him a heads-up on Sarah’s mood so that staff would be prepared for which Sarah to expect that day. Todd, more than anyone else, was in a position to gauge her shifting moods, himself frequently the target of Sarah’s powder keg temper.

But Todd, as well as long-time personal friends, understood all too well that Sarah’s temperamental outbursts had more sinister roots. When Sarah said to her staff, “I hate being wrong,” others speculated she feared being perceived as anything less than physically, or intellectually perfect.

Sarah, as Frank noted in his book, seemed to live off coffee in the form of a drink called a Skinny White Chocolate Mocha. Around the time Frank first noticed Sarah’s dramatic weight drop, the candidate was staying with friends while Todd was away. These individuals said they grew concerned about Sarah; one going so far as to offer, “I don’t think she ate once. All she drinks is coffee.” When pressed further, the individual went on, “It’s terrible. She is in a hole. She’s completely blank.”

A long-time acquaintance who visited the Palin home gave additional insight into the problem with her fixation on weight: “I’ve seen boxes of diet pills on her bathroom counter, in the bedroom.” For many of these pills, the common listed side effects are irritability, mania, depression, and insomnia. While writing Blind Allegiance, the only one of these behaviors we did not document thoroughly was insomnia.

Todd, alarmed and frustrated, confirmed that his wife was taking these diet aids when heard to say, “She’s taking all those damn diet pills, keeping her wired out. Makes her a monster, she’s a bitch.”

That savage temper Todd referred to, whether or not a result of the pills, often went uncontrolled, even in the presence of their own children, and guests. One visitor sadly said, “We saw Sarah throw cans across the kitchen at Todd, denting the refrigerator. One time we saw her slap Todd hard across the face after he’d been drinking too much, saying ‘Do you know how bad that would be for me if anyone saw you like that?’ She was mayor at the time.”

Their household was reportedly a cauldron of verbal abuse and warfare. Beyond what was revealed directly to us, independent accounts confirmed this bitter family dynamic—including those made public by ex-son-in-law and father of Bristol Palin’s son Levi Johnston. Bristol later called Johnston a “gnat” and indirectly suggested in her recently published book, that he was guilty of statutory rape. The following comments from Vanity Fair (Michael Joseph Gross, October, 2010) were confirmed and repeated to us first-hand with additional detail:

One friend of the Palins’ remembers an argument between Sarah and Todd: “They took all the canned goods out of the pantry, then proceeded to throw them at each other. By the time they got done, the stainless-steel fridge looked like it had got shot up with a shotgun. Todd said, ‘I don’t know why I even waste my time trying to get nice things for you if you’re just going to ruin them.’ ” This friend adds, “As soon as she enters her property and the door closes, even the insects in that house cringe. She has a horrible temper, but she has gotten away with it because she is a pretty woman.”

When the then-governor was considering the possibility of having a reality show filmed in the Palin home, Bristol Palin said directly to Frank Bailey in Sarah’s presence (reported in Blind Allegiance), “They’d see some shit, that’s for sure.” Sarah responded with a confirming giggle. While at the time Frank had no idea what Bristol might be referencing, those we interviewed knew exactly. Anyone, at any time, might find themselves front and center of a battle royal.

Observers described fights that began most mornings. Sarah, who often went to bed as early as five o’clock in the afternoon, awoke early. Todd usually slept on the old, red-leather sofa in the living room because the younger girls habitually slept with Sarah in her bed, or Sarah went to bed furious with him. The running joke with overnight guests was, “Hey, Todd! Got your bed ready on the couch, do you?”

As Sarah often shuffled from her bedroom pre-dawn, it was impossible for the couple to avoid each other, and it typically did not take long for their shouting matches to begin.

“The fights became so frequent that the kids seemed almost immune to them,” said a person who’d seen this scenario play out too many times. In describing how these outbursts degenerated, an observer noted, “Sarah and Todd said everything you can think of. There was cussing, swearing, and arguing in front of the kids all the time: ‘F*** you,’ ‘shit,’ ‘damn,’ ‘I hate you,’ ‘I’m leaving you,’ ‘no, I’m leaving you first.’” Todd admitted to at least one person that if Sarah had lost the governorship, he would have divorced her. Did he mean what he said? The couple’s actions would seem to indicate yes. Relationships are by their nature complex, so who knows, but more on Sarah’s supposed affair with Todd’s ex-business partner in a later post.


The claim that Sarah was never actually pregnant with her special needs child Trig—a widely circulated rumor that became known as “Babygate”—was partially based on Sarah shocking the world by announcing her pregnancy at seven months. Prior to that, nobody had suspected a thing. The revelation was even a surprise to staff, Frank Bailey, and the media. Even State Senator (and, according to Sarah and staff an evil-doer) Lyda Greene incredulously said, “It’s wonderful. She’s very well disguised. When I was five months pregnant, there was absolutely no question that I was with child.”

How did Sarah manage to hide that pregnancy for so long? That question seemed to defy explanation to all except a small number of personal insiders who expressed alarming speculation. During her pregnancy with Piper (and it was suggested later with Trig), Todd asked a friend whom he thought knew about such matters, “As unhealthy as her eating is, what can those diet pills do to the baby?”

The friend explained to him, “I’m not sure, but I’d be concerned about having a failure-to-thrive child.” (Failure to thrive is where there is a significant interruption in the expected growth rate during early childhood and can result from malnutrition). Was Sarah so vain as to try and hide her pregnancy and prolong her petite, almost perfect figure through drastic means? It’s a proposition that shocked everyone, including, reportedly, her husband.

When the newly revealed pregnant governor went into labor, she was in Texas at an energy conference. It was more than a month before her due date with a high risk pregnancy. She chose to continue delivering a speech, and then flew from Texas to Washington to Alaska in a commercial aircraft after her water broke, bypassing several excellent hospitals in order to return home to Alaska to deliver the child. She described the final stages of labor, as she drove out of Anchorage, past two major hospitals and headed toward the Mat-Su Valley.

Landed in, uh, in Anchorage at about 10:30. Got out to the valley at 11:30 and [my doctor] met us at the hospital, checked me out and said, ‘Um, Yea you look, you may have it um tonight or in the morning.’ And it was smooth, it was relatively easy, in fact it was very easy, the easiest of all of them because he was so tiny.

The official story of Palin’s can only be described as a demonstration of what is universally regarded as poor judgment. Even if taken at face value, her story demonstrates a wanton disregard for her own health and safety, and that of her unborn baby. The story speaks to the truthfulness of what these concerned people are saying.

It was also suggested that this problems went beyond dieting. Todd spoke to a couple visiting their home concerning what he regarded as his wife’s increasingly dangerous behavior. Sarah, he once said, had not eaten in two days. Then, to break her fast, she’d “suddenly eat four packages of Oreos and a loaf of bread and butter,” only to follow up by buying and eating “those damn big honey buns.”

One of their guests reported, “I told Todd, ‘She’s binging and purging.’ It wasn’t something he didn’t know, but I wanted to make sure, so I watched, and then one day she did come into the house in the afternoon with honey buns and a couple of fast-food bags, and disappeared into the bedroom.”

At times, Sarah reportedly would retire in the late afternoon and not come out of her bedroom until morning. After these gorging sessions, when she occasionally came downstairs for a drink, “she had a red, glassy-eyed stare and reddened knuckles, as if she’d rubbed them against her teeth.” When confronted by friends who told Sarah these were classic symptoms of bulimia and that she needed help, Sarah simply scowled and walked away. In a pattern she repeated on matters large and small, she did not want to hear the negatives. In this instance, assuming Todd had requested this confrontation she directed her considerable anger at him.

Partially as a result of her irregular presence, she was, to be generous, a lax housekeeper and sometimes disinterested parent; in many ways this mirrored her dealings with perceived political enemies, a fixation that often precluded her from attending to state business. In Frank’s mind, this is where Todd Palin did his best to compensate.

While Frank Bailey eventually came to know Todd Palin as someone whose demands would lead to personal anxiety and crisis (including his tragic involvement in Troopergate), he was not alone in seeing the man’s love for his children. In the words of someone who saw the Palin children grow up: “Todd was a good dad. He would sit and braid his daughters’ hair in the morning before breakfast. He would make his little girls pretty before they went to school. He’d put bows in their hair, and he did well with those girls.

“And Sarah might be awake when he did this, drinking coffee and staring at her BlackBerry. And his little girls would have their hair braided by their dad because she was too off on another planet to make sure it was done. Sarah was too busy for ‘Time to brush your teeth’ or ‘Get your homework done.’ Todd put in a very nice set of washer and dryer, the really big ones. And laundry wouldn’t be done. One time I went to do laundry for them because everything was stained, and socks were terrible and nothing matched. I remember trying to put bleach in the bleach hole. Obviously someone had put soap in it and just left it, because it was a big, caked, molded mess.”

When Todd was gone from home for work on the North Slope for British Petroleum, “Everything was just nasty: Wal-Mart bins of used cotton balls; forty-eight bottles of half-used shampoo thrown on shelves. There’s a half-bath right off the kitchen, and it was disgusting. Clothes were kept in piles on the floor. But it was so funny because Todd would run home from the slope . . . and within ten minutes of being home, was using a Swiffer Duster in the main foyer of the house. Seriously. Or he would be running the vacuum cleaner in the front entranceway before he’d done anything else.”

Frank directly observed in Blind Allegiance that when Todd was home from his shift on the North Slope, he seemed both mother and father. Further confirming this picture, an occasional guest said, “First thing Todd does when he gets home is stop at Costco and buy fruit cups, tuna cups, all the groceries, because there would be none or very little at the house.”


Sarah’s desperate need to manage her weight was only part of a greater desire to appear glamorous. When in the presence of people like arch conservative supporter Bill Kristol, she understood that her beauty was disarming, helping to deflect shortcomings. Rarely was a discussion of her not prefaced with the identifier “Former beauty queen.” Once a flattering image was then flashed on the television screen or on the cover of a magazine, it was hard not to think she was also a current beauty queen.

Rush Limbaugh, in an early 2008 radio broadcast, said of Sarah: “Governor Sarah Palin’s a babe. By the way, I’m not diminishing any of her accomplishments by pointing out that she’s a babe; the babe aspect is just icing on the cake.” Without any self-consciousness, the comment and the word babe were circulated as sources of pride to the entire campaign staff, including Todd Palin. On local conservative talk radio in Alaska, she was often referred to as the “babalicious” governor.

In a quest to maintain physical perfection, she became, in the words of someone who spent weeks at a time in close contact with her, “addicted to Botox.” Reportedly a family member, an aesthetician, was on call to perform the treatments as an easy and convenient confidante. Many women in the public eye seek to maintain their youth with treatment, even surgery, so Sarah wasn’t alone. But her seeming compulsion to maintain cover girl glamor above all else—including family duties and state obligations—disturbed many who regularly witnessed these behaviors. If there was an unflattering picture of her, such as the October 2008 Newsweek cover that showed unwanted facial hair, pores, and wrinkles, that became an unfair attack; people in her circle complained that printing an un-retouched photo was an example of biased journalism. When Michelle Obama was placed on Maxim magazine’s Hot Top 100 list in 2009, and Sarah was not, aide Ivy Frye, knowing this would upset the governor, said, “I wish there were some way we could point out the stupidity of this without having to say, ‘Sarah is waaaaaay hotter than Michelle Obama.’”

Her focus on looks and tin ear for appropriate decorum became, at times, puzzling if not bizarre. But guests to their Wasilla home saw even more startling evidence of a woman almost wholly self-absorbed with looks.

When, as an infant, Piper was photographed as the poster child for the Alaska Right to Life campaign, Sarah had the photographer take shots of her in what one visitor described as almost softly pornographic photos.

“You have to check this shit out,” Todd said, leading one guest to the bedroom where, for a time, the photos hung on a wall above the bed. In three similar photos, Sarah was seen in white women’s underwear and a thin white men’s cotton shirt that was unbuttoned and teasingly open enough to expose ample cleavage. Sarah was perched seductively on her knees, her shoulders twisted to one side in a classic come-hither pose.

In what qualified as a second shock, Sarah had her girls, Willow and Bristol, dressed similarly and posed at her side with infant Piper in the foreground also wearing white.

“It’s hard to imagine those hanging outside her office at the White House,” one person quipped. “It was really weird. A lot of us were not surprised she spent so much money on clothes during the campaign. Even when she and Todd were younger and on a budget, she’d loved shopping, and they’d get in huge fights about all the money she was spending.”

When McCain’s staff complained after the campaign that Sarah was a “diva,” she became agitated and swore she wasn’t. For those who knew her well, including Frank, saying so didn’t make it true.

In an incident from the original text of Blind Allegiance, she grew surly and nasty when a cold sore appeared on her lip ahead of a campaign event and lashed out at family and staff.

But her fragile image-making went beyond looks. Sarah felt the need to manage her intellectual persona as much as her physical one. To add intellectual heft to her resume, she had staff pen op-eds that she didn’t always read or understand. She also (now famously thanks to Blind Allegiance) penned her own letters to the editor praising herself and had others sign, insisting they lie when asked by editors if they wrote the pieces. The image-building was a permanent crusade, and all that mattered was what people saw on the surface.


While there is always room in this world for misinterpreting observations or motives (maybe especially someone as controversial as Sarah Palin), what we heard in these interviews—coupled with our own exhaustive two year journey in writing a book—leaves us with the conclusion that Sarah’s judgment in all these matters was, at best, poor. Is this, rhetorically, someone we want near the red button at 3:00 a.m.?

We will explore more evidence uncovered in these interviews later.

I believe it

Sarah Palin and the ghost of George Washington

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Karl Rove predicts Sarah will jump into the race, will she however?

Personally I do not think she will run. For once I agree with Karl, she is too thin skinned. And you don't fuck with Karl Rove. Ever. That and too much dirt is going to hit the fan in Sept. (Joe's book)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Today is Sarah and Todd's anniversary

They were married on August 29, 1988.  Eight months later Track was born.  That means Sarah had a bun in the oven when they got married.

Who knows Sarah and Todd might be divorced and no one knows it.  Gryphen from Immoral Minority posted that they were Splitsville two years ago, Levi said all they did was fight, the Globe reported in June they worked out a secret divorce deal.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

If you are living in the path that Hurricane Irene is heading in, stay safe. And if you have any property damage, do not feel ashamed in asking FEMA for help. YOUR tax dollars fund them so you are entitled to help.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sarah tries to give the POTUS advice again

From Facebook no doubt.

We join the Libyan people in gratefulness as we hear of Col. Gaddafi’s defeat. The fall of a tyrant and sponsor of terrorism is a great day for freedom-loving people around the world. But the path to democracy in Libya is not complete, and we must make wise choices to ensure that our national interests are protected.

First, the White House needs to avoid triumphalism. Gaddafi may be gone, but the fighting may not be complete. As we’ve seen in Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we must not celebrate too quickly. There are now mounting concerns that we will see tribal and sectarian fighting in Libya like we saw in Iraq. Let’s hope that is not the case, but it must be prepared for.

Second, we must be very concerned about the future government that will emerge to take Gaddafi’s place. History teaches that those with the guns usually prevail when a coalition overthrows a tyrant. We must remember that military power ultimately resides with the rebel commanders. This should be a source of some concern. The armed opposition to Gaddafi is an outgrowth of a group called Islamic Libya Fighting Group, and some rebel commanders admit that they have Al Qaeda links. The rebel fighters are from different tribes, and they have a variety of political views. Some are Islamists, some appear to favor some sort of western democracy. We should work through diplomatic means to help those who want democracy to come out on top.

That said, we should not commit U.S. troops or military assets to serve as peacekeepers or perform humanitarian missions or nation-building in Libya. Our military is already over-committed and strained, and a vaguely designed mission can be the first step toward a quagmire. The internal situation does not seem stable enough for U.S. forces to operate in a purely humanitarian manner without the possibility of coming under attack. Troop deployment to Libya would mean placing America’s finest in a potentially hostile zone that is not in our vital national security interest.

Finally, we must make sure that terrorist groups don’t try to co-opt the revolution, as Al Qaeda is trying to do in Syria. We should continue to use our intelligence assets to monitor the situation in Libya to ensure that potentially dangerous weapons are secured, and that terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda don’t gain a foothold in Libya.

People of Libya, be vigilant. May this opportunity be used to build a free and peaceful country.

- Sarah Palin

Yes Sarah I'm sure the people of Libya are reading your post right now when they have more important things on their mind.

I know President Obama is not going to triumph this thing you idiot. If I recall the last time a POTUS did that it blew up in his face:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Palin stalker Shawn Christy arrested for harassing Palin lawyer

From Reuters

The arrest of Craig Christy, 47, and his son Shawn Christy, 19, of McAdoo, Pennsylvania, came a day after they were charged in a federal indictment filed in Alaska with making the harassing phone calls from August 1 to August 9.

The calls were placed after Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and her attorney John Tiemessen obtained restraining orders against the two men over what they said was harassment.

Craig and Shawn Christy made an initial appearance on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Allentown, Pennsylvania, following their arrest, Assistant U.S. Attorney Retta-Rae Randall said.

No bail was set during the hearing and the two men will be transported to Anchorage, Alaska, for further proceedings, Randall said.

In the federal indictment filed on Wednesday, the two men are each charged with making harassing interstate phone calls.

An Alaska state court had issued a restraining order against Shawn Christy in September 2010, ordering him to have no contact with Palin. In May, a court renewed that and issued a similar order against his father, Craig.

At the same time, the court issued a protective order for Tiemessen against Shawn and Craig Christy, according to an affidavit filed in connection with the indictment.

The affidavit says Tiemessen reported receiving hundreds of calls and many expletive-laced messages from the Christys in early August, and that in one message the Christys said they knew they were violating the protective order.

According to the affidavit, Tiemessen said that in one August 4 call, Craig Christy made a death threat when he said on a message, "I'll (expletive) kill you." The attorney's sister and uncle were also contacted by Craig Christy that day, the court papers said.

An unidentified female attorney in Tiemessen's law firm also received harassing phone calls from the Christys, the affidavit said.

FBI spokesman Frank Burton had earlier said the pair were accused of harassing Palin's family as well as the attorneys.

But the affidavit unsealed on Thursday afternoon did not say that Craig and Shawn Christy called Palin's family during the August 1 to August 9 time frame given in the indictment.

Shawn Christy has previously admitted in court to having threatened to rape Palin, sending her numerous e-mails and gifts, and traveling to Anchorage earlier this year.

Craig Christy admitted to making more than two dozen early morning phone calls to Palin's parents over a two-day period in March. State Superior Court magistrate Jonathon Lack said earlier this year that he found the telephone calls to Palin's parents, some of which were recorded, to be "very disturbing."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sarah Palin review while I was gone

Sarah shows up at the Iowa Straw Poll and flicks her tongue

Todd gets into it with a fellow Alaskan

Sarah goes on Greta and shoves her foot in her mouth as usual:

And she does the same thing with Megyn Kelly:

And Lou Dobbs:

Sarah really needs to clean herself up Stringy hair, trashy clothes and the tongue flicking thing. She needs an intervention

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back from vacation!

Just letting you all know I got back early Monday morning (12:41 am) to be exact from my trip...due to some technical difficulty on my flight home. I hope to be back and blogging within the next few days. I will also post pictures from my vacation as well.

John calls Sarah

Monday, August 22, 2011

Reason #81 not to vote for Sarah Palin for anything

She endorsed Scott Brown for Senate.

Scott ran for the late Ted Kennedy's senate seat in Massachusetts. Sarah's endorsement of him won the election. However Scott is a Teabagger favorite.

Scott votes with the Republicans 95% of the time.

Scott also hates women

He also refused to participate in the "It Gets Better" Campaign which is designed to fight bullying, especially bullying against gay teens. Every single member of the MA Congressional Delegation participated.

He also preaches family values yet he posed nude:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All of Sarah's ethics complaints

From Hypocrite and Heffalump Traps

Sarah Palin has so many ethics complaints that major news outlets can't keep track anymore! Huffington Post reprinted an AP story by Rachel D'Oro yesterday claming the current number is 18 instead of what appears to be 21 22. In order to keep the record straight, we need a list!

# Date Filer Description Results
1 7/28/08 Alaska Legislature
Abuse of Power re: firing Walt Monegan (aka Troopergate)
10/10/08 Sarah Palin found guilty of abuse of power for permitting husband and staff to harangue Monegan about the trooper

2 8/06/08 Andree McLeod (AK resident)
Undue influence exerted by Palin and staff exerted to get a job for a Palin supporter
Palin staff member advised to take ethics training

3 8/20/08 Brian Kraft (AK resident)
Breaking election law by taking public position on ballot initiative concerning Pebble Mine
05/08/09 Complaint rejected by APOC (Alaska Public Offices Commission)

4 9/02/08 Sarah Palin (AK resident)
Self-disclosure filing with AK Personnel Board (re: Troopergate)
11/03/08 Personnel Board found no abuse of power for Sarah Palin letting aides and husband hassle Monegan, but also, no investigation of who committed perjury in their contradictory sworn statements, Palin or Monegan

5 9/03/08 PSEA (AK Public Safety Employees Association)
Improper disclosure of the trooper's personnel records and amended to include allegation of harassment (bundled with charge #4)
11/03/08 Dismissed together with #4 by AK Personnel Board

6 10/13/08 Walt Monegan (AK resident) Request by filer for a hearing to clear his name (it had been sullied by Palin and staff)
11/03/08 AK Personnel Board said there was no legal basis or jurisdiction for a hearing on this matter

7 10/23/08 CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics) Expensive wardrobe purchased for Sarah Palin with donor money violates FEC regulations 05/19/09 FEC ruled "party money" is not covered in ban

8 10/24/08 unnamed filer
Abuse of power for charging AK for children's travel
02/23/09 AK Personnel Board negotiated settlement wherein Sarah Palin paid ~$8,000 to reimburse for costs

9 11/14/08 Zane Henning (AK resident)
Alleged abuse of office by doing "post-election damage control" in interviews from Governor's office
03/23/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

10 12/02/08 Anthony Martin (AK resident)
Sarah Palin violated ethics by campaigning for Saxby Chambliss of Georgia 03/23/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

11 12/18/08 unnamed filer
Alleged misuse of funds by allowing her picture to be used to promote Alaska seafood in national publications while also promoting her national political ambitions 01/12/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

12 01/12/09 Edna Birch
Interference in job hiring 02/20/09
Dismissed by AK Personnel Board because filer failed to use a real name

13 01/26/09 Andree McLeod (AK resident)
Palin aide Bill McAllister worked on state time to benefit Palin's extra-AK political interests PENDING

14 01/26/09 Andree McLeod (AK resident)
Palin aide Kris Perry worked on state time to benefit Palin's extra-AK political interests
06/05/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

15 03/18/09 Andree McLeod (AK resident)
Improper use of state resources for partisan political purposes
05/27/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

16 03/24/09 Linda Kellen Biegel (AK resident)
Conflict of interest by advertising for husband's sponsor by wearing Arctic Cat gear during official duties
06/02/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

17 04/22/09 Sondra Tompkins (AK resident)
SarahPAC constitutes ethics violation by misusing official position and accepting outside employment
05/08/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board

18 04/27/09 Kim Chatman (AK resident)
Alaska Fund Trust (AFT) violates ethics rules by funneling improper gifts to Sarah Palin
06/24/2010 PALIN SETTLES - has to return $386,000 because AFT declared illegal.

19 07/06/09 Zane Henning (AK resident)
Illegal continuation of per diem collection when Sarah Palin's home is less than 50 miles from Anchorage office PENDING

20 07/10/09 Ray Ward (AK resident)
Illegal compensation collected by Sarah Palin for giving radio and television interviews since '08 campaign ended
07/15/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board (in part for not being properly notarized)

21 07/14/09 Andree McCleod (AK resident)
Failure to transfer power to Lt. Gov during '08 campaign, while collecting salary during "off duty" status
07/24/09 Dismissed by AK Personnel Board as legally flawed

22 07/20/09 Andree McCleod (AK resident)
Failure to disclose gifts within 30 days of receipt PENDING

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tucson shooting

Tucson is not a gate but it did permanent damage to Sarah's image.

Sarah Palin may or may not have influenced Jared Loughner to go on that deadly shooting spree, but her anti-Obama and pro-gun rhetoric have fostered hatred and division in this great land of ours.

Even Gabby Giffords voiced concern about Palin:

January 8, 2011 was the day Sarah Palin's political career died, along with six other innocent people.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Alaska Fund Trust

From Palingates:

$arah Palin is protesting that neither she nor her attorney, Thomas Van Flein, have received any money from the Alaska Fund Trust.

I find the notion that I have taken any action pertaining to the legal defense trust fund misguided and factually in error. I am informed that this fund was created by experienced attorneys in DC and was modeled after other similar funds established for senators and others. The fund itself was not created by me nor is it controlled by me.

(The examples of other legal funds given on the AFT's website are all for federal officials and are all regulated according to federal laws. $arah's legal fund appears to fall outside the scope of any laws...)

Neither I nor my lawyer has received a penny from this fund, and I am informed the Trustee was withholding any action or payment pending final resolution with the Personnel Board. This is the hallmark of legal compliance and prudent conduct.

The "transparent" trust, run by Palin's long time friend Kristan Cole, aims at raising an undisclosed amount of money to pay $arah Palin's legal bills. Nobody really knows the total amount of these bills:

Palin's lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, would not give a case-by-case accounting of how Palin has incurred so much legal debt, saying "that type of breakdown is protected by the attorney-client privilege."

The first listing of donors and the amounts given are due in August, although it's not a legal requirement to disclose anything, according to the Newsminer:

Palin's friends and supporters created the legal defense fund in April. It's not known how much it has raised. The trust has no oversight from the state or federal political watchdog agencies.

The Federal Election Commission said the defense fund is a state matter. The Alaska Public Offices Commission, which oversees campaign spending and financial disclosures of state elected officials, has no plan to get involved in regulating it, officials said.

Cole said there are no legal requirements for the trust to register with either agency or to disclose donors. However, Cole said she will list names of all donors and the amounts they gave on the legal defense fund's public Web site four times a year, with the first posting likely in early August.

Without any oversight, are we supposed to take Kristan Cole's word for the total raised to date?

I find the wording of the AFT agreement a bit confusing. Here are the passages I find puzzling:

This Trust Agreement is made in Wasilla, Alaska, as of the22nd day of April, 2009, by and between KRISTAN CHERYL COLE, as Settlor, and KRISTAN CHERYL COLE, as Trustee, establishes THE ALASKA FUND TRUST, a trust for the payment of expenses or amounts incurred, undertaken or paid in connection with claims, allegations, investigations, accusations, complaints, legal inquiries, requests, and proceedings, including the response and defense thereof, arising out of or by virtue of the activities of or performance of duties as, or on Governor Sarah Palin, in her capacity as (or as a result of her being) the Governor of Alaska. Alaska Trust Company shall serve as administrative and custodial manager of the Fund as provided herein below.

Trust Purpose

The sole and exclusive purpose of this Trust is to provide a proper means for the acceptance of money, property, and services, including, if necessary, pro bono legal services, to provide for all reasonable, necessary, and appropriate fees or charges incurred by (i) SARAH PALIN as a result of the fact that she is Governor of the State of Alaska or as a result of the performance of her duties as Governor of the State of Alaska; and (ii) Covered Individuals, that may be selected or designated by the Trustee as provided herein, as a result of or arising out of their association or relationship with or employment by SARAH PALIN, in her capacity as Governor of the State of Alaska.

Rights of Withdrawal

Each of the beneficiaries of this trust, shall, in each calendar year, have an absolute and unrestricted power to withdraw from this Trust up to the lesser of the total additions made to this Trust during each calendar year or an amount in cash or other property equal the lesser of the total additions made to this Trust during each calendar year, divided equally among such beneficiaries, or an amount in cash or other property equal to the maximum amount which qualifies for the Federal Gift Tax exclusion allowed by Section 2503(b) of the Code (currently $13,000 per donor, but such amount shall be adjusted to provide the maximum amount excludable). Except as otherwise provided herein, said power of withdrawal shall not be cumulative from year to year, must be exercised separately for each calendar year in which any such addition or additions are made, and shall be exercisable only by written notice to Trustee of the amount Donee wishes to withdraw, but no purpose for said withdrawal need be shown.

OK, the sole purpose of the fund is to provide for the payment of fees incurred by the governor, her family and other covered individuals, blah blah.

How come the beneficiaries can withdraw up to the maximum amount excludable from the Federal Gift Tax without stating the purpose for the withdrawals?

$arah Palin also protests that she doesn't have anything to do with the running of the trust, so how does she explain this:

Successor Trustees

In the event that the original named Trustee herein shall desire at any time to be relieved of his duties herein, said Trustee may resign by written notice to SARAH PALIN, who may appoint a successor Trustee with the qualifications set forth in paragraph 4 above. In addition, SARAH PALIN shall have the same power to appoint a substitute Trustee in the event of the death, incapacity, or failure to act in accordance with the terms of this instrument of any Trustee. In the event of SARAH PALIN's inability to act as a result of incapacity or other reasonable cause, the proper legal representative of SARAH PALIN shall have the right and authority to seek the appointment of a substitute Trustee.

Another interesting bit:

Trustee's Accounts

The Trustee shall keep (or, in the Trustee's sole and absolute discretion, shall cause others to keep) accurate written records and books of account of the Trustee Estate, showing the manner in which the Trust Estate is invested and all receipts, disbursements, and other transactions involving the Trust Estate. All such records and books of account shall be the property of the Trustee during the duration of this Trust and they, together with the Trust property and all reasonable evidence thereof, plus any accounts, shall not be made available during the Trust term except as hereinabove provided or as may be required by applicable law. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, in no event shall any Trustee at any time acting hereunder be required to make any current or final reports, inventories or accountings to any court.

It's quite obvious that I'm not a lawyer, but I can read English. The terms of this trust always seemed contradictory to me. Maybe a lawyer could guide us through the wording of this agreement and tell us how it makes sense? What are the applicable laws for disclosure of the accounts? The last sentence is particularly interesting: Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, in no event shall any Trustee at any time acting hereunder be required to make any current or final reports, inventories or accountings to any court.

All these points may be moot if the trust is deemed unethical as it may serve no purpose at all. What would happen to the money then? Do they have to give the money back to all the donors? Will they give it to charity? What's the legal status of the trust after July 26?

One more question: even though $arah Palin stated that she has not received any money from the trust, if the trustee made any disbursements for whatever reason, wouldn't it be a no-no? How is the Alaska Trust Company being paid to administer the trust? Are they a charity? If they're not being paid, is the money coming in without anybody keeping a log of the donations?

We know only of $130,000 collected so far, according to the totals published by the people who ran the legal fund begathon. If there's more money in the pot, as John Coale indicated, I would be very curious to know what the total really is and if there were any disbursements since the trust's inception, considering what $arah Palin said: "...and I am informed the Trustee was withholding any action or payment pending final resolution with the Personnel Board."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yesterday classes started in the Mat-Su school district

Does anyone know if Willow and Piper are enrolled?

Willow was kicked out of Colony High School last year for misbehavior and was going to be home schooled. Not sure if that panned out or not. Rumor has it that Willow was sent to a clinic in New York State for anger management.

Willow would be a senior this year but I believe she was held back in Jr. High. During the campaign Todd was concerned about one of the kids flunking, it was probably Willow.

As we all know Piper's school attendance has been abysmal at best. She could have been tutored while on all those trips with Sarah but I highly doubt it. Last I knew she was attending Cottonwood Elementary.

I feel sorry for those girls.

Babygate Summary

All I'm going to do with the Babygate summary is post the letter that Dr. Cathy Baldwin Johnson wrote:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sarah Palin and history

Prisongate summary

From Palingates

Last week I wrote about children in the care of the state in Alaska. Children grow up and may find themselves in the care of the state later in life. One example of this is prison.

Joe Schmidt was appointed by Sarah Palin to head the Department of Corrections and continues to fill the position under Parnell. Schmidt was third in line for the position of governor and would have become lieutenant governor automatically when Sarah Palin quit her job. He declined the offer and Lieutenant General Craig Campbell assumed that role instead.

The Alaska Correctional Officers Association gave the state corrections commissioner Joe Schmidt a “no confidence” censure vote on Tue, April 22, 2008. ACOA union members voted 514 to 19 against Schmidt.

Here's a link to a recent video about the state of the prisons in Alaska, so you can acquaint yourself with Joe Schmidt and some of the problems his department faces.

Alaska Prison Population Profile

Schmidt's department has "corrections" in its heading. What are they trying to correct? Primarily, prisons exist to isolate individuals from the rest of society when their behaviour is deemed inappropriate. Secondarily, prisons may pusnish and/or rehabilitate such individuals. Are prisons working as far as the "correcting" goes?

The United States as a whole leads the world in the number of its citizens living in incarceration.

The cost of incarceration per inmate in Alaska range from approximately 44 to 49 thousand dollars per year (depending on the source) as opposed to an approximate average of 28 thousand dollars per inmate per year in the US.

The number of prisoners with mental health problems both in the US and in Alaska is also disturbing and add to the running costs of the prisons. One could argue that this is money well spent if it "cures" people and they may returned to society safely.

I found a case that appears to conflict with this argument:

Etta Bavilla was first subjected to forced psychiatric drugging in 1997 when she was 17. She killed her one year old son in July of 1998, while psychotic. It seems probable that if she hadn't been forced to take psychiatric drugs her son would still be alive. She entered a plea agreement for a 60 year sentence with 20 years suspended with the court to decide whether she was guilty but mentally Ill. The court did find her guilty but mentally ill and she was sentenced on August 14, 2000, to 60 years in prison with 20 years suspended.

This looks like a case from the previous post spilling into this one. Will 40 or 60 years in prison "correct" Etta's problems? The way her mental health issues were managed before Etta found herself in prison for life not only did not correct any problems she had, but very likely contributed to her subsequent incarceration. The treatment Etta was receiving in 2007 didn't seem adequate for correcting anything in the long term.

Etta's story is not unique. It repeats itself in men's prisons and some stories are horrific.

The powers-that-be in Alaska appear to be on top of things, working towards reducing the prison population through prevention programs and the reassigning of prisoners with mental health issues to other departments. It looks very good on paper, but previous research into the various state departments and other bodies involved in this project, including the Law Courts, makes me a bit skeptical, to say the least.

Regardless of the situation in Alaska, the chart showing the US as the top incarcerator in he world led me to a few questions.

Sarah Palin quoted Victor Hugo in her 2008 State of the State address: "He who opens a school door, closes a prison."

The size of the prison population in the US (a very large, modern democracy) reflects badly on the US education system, if Victor Hugo's quote is anything to go by. Is it because different states have different ways of addressing the same issues and the disparity in approach to education contributes to the appalling statistics?

The prospect of going to prison should act as a deterrent, so something is not working, as the prison population keeps on growing...

The high percentage of prisoners with mental health issues seems to indicate a defficiency in other departments and this creates a vicious circle. How can an organized, modern society fail so many?

Another factor that may contribute to the present state of affairs is the proliferation of private prison facilities with a focus on profits. The employment of prisoner labour, in conditions very akin to slave labour, has created a whole economy where output is guaranteed and the costs of maintaining such a workforce are absorbed by state governments that have to pay to house the inmates.

It may be argued that providing opportunities for work and for learning new skills assist prisoners in readjusting to life outside bars when they are released. A great number of prisoners serve sentences disproportionate to the seriousness of their crimes, so by the time they're released, they're hopelessly institutionalized or have little time left to contribute to society.

Margaret Thatcher famously said the there is no such thing as society. I beg to differ. In my opinion, government exists to see that in society we interact in accordance to certain principles and values. Government provides services that can't be left to individuals. Government organizes, much in the same way a community organizer does, only on a larger scale. Without society, there would be no need for government. Unless government existed only for the purpose of defending the borders and attacking other countries to force democracy down their throats. Oh, and according to Sarah Palin, to stay out of people's lives, in particular the lives of the people running the big corporations. In the world where Sarah Palin's is president, all that is needed is a vast army, huge prisons, a womb police to make sure every woman chooses life and society would look after itself, each person surviving according to their own work ethic in the middle of a chaotic free-for-all. No taxes and no services. The big corporations would get richer and if the little people really need help, they could turn to Sarah's good mate's Samaritan Purse and all would be fine.

If Alaska is, as Sarah Palin told Katie Couric, "a microcosm of America," the messy prison system, where mental health issues are mixed with crime, the problems of alcoholism, sexual and domestic violence, substance abuse and other factors may be (conservatively) extrapolated to the rest of the country. The percentages in Alaska for all these are much higher than elsewhere in the US. But in Alaska as in the rest of the country, services appear to be largely uncoordinated.

There are plans for prison reform in Alaska and the US and one of its proponents is none other than Newt Gingrich! Some of the proponents focus on costs, others on the welfare of the prisoners. If they come together in a fruitful meeting of minds, look at the prison system as part of a whole and strive to implement programs to prevent crime rather than simply "correct" the behaviour of prisoners, if they arrive at some answers on how to offer real opportunities for prisoners to readjust to life in their communities while retaining their dignity, maybe there is some hope not only for society, but for a civilized society.

If there is to be a civilized society in the US (or anywhere), those who lack vision and the will to serve all sectors of society should not pursue an office in goverment. Those who have a heart to serve only the interests of a very narrow section of this civilized society as well as their very own interests have no place in government at all. They should go home and remain silent. Now.

Please read all Prisongate posts on Palingates. (This post will appear at the top when you click on the link. Scroll down for previous posts)

This is a good video that shows the problems involving private prisons. (h/t to Say No to Palin in Politics)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Troopergate Summary

From Pro Publica

Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska and John McCain's vice presidential running mate, has been embroiled in a controversy -- dubbed ‘Troopergate' -- over the ouster of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan.

Gov. Palin, her family and aides allegedly pressured Monegan to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who went through a rancorous divorce and child-custody battle with Palin's younger sister in 2005. Monegan refused and was abruptly fired [1] on July 11.

Six days later, Andrew Halco, a former state representative who lost to Palin in the gubernatorial election, was the first to allege that Monegan was fired in retaliation [2] for refusing to fire Wooten. That same day, Palin called those allegations "outrageous [3]."

The next day, Monegan told the press that he was indeed pressured [4] by the Palin administration to fire Wooten, but he did not go so far as to say that it was the reason why he was fired. Monegan has since said that both Palin and her husband personally pushed the Wooten issue [5] with him.

Palin initially denied [3] that she or anyone on her staff pressured Monegan about Wooten, but she was forced to change her story after evidence emerged from an investigation by the attorney general that she requested [6] in early August.

On August 13, she held a press conference announcing that the investigation had uncovered a tape [7] (MP3) of one of her aides pressuring a state trooper [8] on Wooten. On the tape, a Palin aide asked the trooper, "Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, 'Why on earth hasn't this, why is this guy still representing the department?'" Palin also admitted [8] that members of her staff had contacted public safety officials two dozen times about the issue, but she maintains that many of these inquiries were entirely appropriate and denied all involvement. She said Monegan was fired because he wasn't doing enough to fill state trooper vacancies and control alcohol abuse. She later said that Monegan was insubordinate [9].

A bipartisan panel in Alaska's legislature voted to hire an independent investigator [10], Steve Branchflower, to probe the matter on July 28. He faced an onslaught of opposition [11] from the McCain and Palin camps but finally released his report [12] (PDF) on October 10. It concluded that Palin was within her rights to fire Monegan but had indeed abused her power [13] by pressuring him on Wooten.

The Alaska Personnel Board is also investigating Troopergate, and has even widened its scope to include other ethics complaints [14] against Palin. Palin had asked [15] the Personnel Board to investigate the matter in September and refused to cooperate [16] with Branchflower's probe, which her lawyers said had become politicized.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dairygate Summary

From The Moderate Voice

In December of 2006, the historic Matanuska Maid dairy closes its doors after years of financial troubles. Operating since the 1930′s, it was taken over by the state to keep it solvent during the 80′s but remained a money sink for most of its operating life.

Spring of 2007. The government has moved again to use state funds to keep the struggling dairy afloat. More financial woes ensue, and in June of 2007 Sarah Palin swoops in to the rescue, declaring that the dairy situation is “a mess” and the she is “going to clean it up.”

August, 2007. The previously discussed Franci Havemeister is appointed to the position of Director of Agriculture at a salary of roughly $100K, considerably more than she made in her real estate business. (Remember the real estate connection for later.) Her appointment comes despite her previously noted “thin” credentials for the position. She is the daughter-in-law of local dairy farmer Bob Havemeister. (We’ll be getting back to Bob in a bit… keep reading.)

Nov. 19, 2007. Franci Havemeister issues a gag order, saying that nobody other than fellow political appointee Ray Nix, of the Dept. of Agriculture, is allowed to speak to the press about the situation with Mat Maid.

Dec. 20, 2007. Troubles continue at the dairy, and four local dairy farmers, including Bob Havemeister, are worried that they will have to begin dumping their milk on the ground, spurring concerns from environmentalists. An offer comes in from Kyle Beus (remember that name for later also. we’ll be getting back to him) to purchase some of the milk for a dairy coop he’s starting up to produce cheese and other creamery goods.

Dec. 24, 2007. Good news comes just in time for Christmas for the four previously mentioned dairy farmers. A $600,000 grant has been made available by the state government to cover costs related to Mat Maid and the farmers will be able to tap into that for cash payments of $40,000 each to “cover their losses.” State Senate President Lyda Green (R-Wasilla) initially objects to the cash payouts, saying the money was appropriated to cover the state’s debt, but later relents, saying, it was an appropriate use of the funds.

March 21, 2008. Reports surface that Kyle Beus (remember him?) has landed himself a sweetheart of a deal, gutting and leasing dairy equipment from the now effectively defunct Mat Maid facility for his new creamery coop. Both Beus and Ray Nix (see above) brush off the reports, saying that the discount prices are “nothing unusual” in these types of situations.

May 15, 2008. State auditors say that the government went against the law in handing out the $40K payments to the farmers, including Franci Havemeister’s father-in-law. State senate president Lyda Green (R-Wasilla) reiterates her feelings that the payments were made “with good intentions” and that she “didn’t view it quite as harshly” as the auditors.

May 31, 2008. Kyle Beus has a ribbon cutting ceremony, opening his new creamery. Reporters find him looking “deceptively at ease for a guy who is currently propping up the state’s dairy business.” And he probably should look that way. In addition to the discount equipment rentals, he’s recently received a $643,000 grant from the Alaska Dept. of Agriculture under the direction of… Franci Havemeister.

Kyle Beus turns out to be an exceptionally fortunate fellow in the dairy game. His background bio indicates that he moved to Alaska in 2000, and since then received $116,967 in dairy related government subsidy payments from the Dept. of Agriculture between 2002 and 2005. This is a very fortunate situation for somebody who has been under investigation by the state’s labor board for years over charges that he failed to provide workman’s compensation insurance to his employees, among other “oversights.”

Aug. 23, 2008. The former Mat Maid plant is unloaded off the state books. The state’s only other dairy interest looks into purchasing it, but somehow can’t get a bid qualified. The only qualified bid received comes from Franci Havemeister’s real estate colleague, Matt Bobbich, and the facility is sold for the minimum bid acceptable by the state, $1.5M. It’s termed a “break even” deal for Alaska.

Interesting enough, Matt Bobbich previously had delinquent tax charges against him dismissed when the plaintiff failed to appear at the appeal hearing. He was also a popular political donor on the local scene.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Housegate Summary

From The Daily News

The prosecution just rested in the Ted Stevens trial, in which he is accused of accepting $250,000 worth of free renovations to his house from VECO, an oil pipeline company. VECO workers labored for months remodeling Stevens' home at the company's expense.

The Palin's two-story, four bedroom, four bath home on Lake Lucille is worth $552,000. "Todd Palin built the house with friends who were contractors, he said in a recent television interview."

At the same time the mighty Todd was building the house, the Wasilla Sports Complex was under construction right down the road. Just who were these "friends who were contractors" who did such a huge favor for the Palins by building their house for them? Was it payback for the sports complex contracts? Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice asks the question, below the fold.

I posted this question last week but I believe it deserves a second look in light of the corruption uncovered in Troopergate and the Stevens trial. Todd's explanation, I built the house with the help of a few buddies, defies belief. Todd! You're a fisherman, a snomobile champion, an oil worker, a caribou hunter, a government operative, AND a plumber, electrician, mason, carpenter? Wow! You are one Super Dude.

Wayne Barrett reports that after the $12.5 million Wasilla Sports Complex was approved, the design contract went to architect Blase Burkhart, "son of Roy Burkhart, who is frequently described as a "mentor" of Palin and was head of the local Republican Party." Roy Burkhart was also a Palin campaign contributor. Palin then appointed Blase Burkhart to the builder-selection committee, which awarded the construction contract to "Howdie Inc., a mostly residential contractor owned at the time by Howard Nugent." Nugent was a Palin campaign contributor, also.

What happened next is rather curious. Here's Barrett:
A list of subcontractors on the [sports complex] job, obtained by the Voice, includes many with Palin ties. One was Spenard Builders Supply, the state's leading supplier of wood, floor, roof, and other "pre-engineered components." In addition to being a sponsor of Todd Palin's snow-machine team that has earned tens of thousands for the Palin family, Spenard hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004. When the Palins began building a new family home off Lake Lucille in 2002—at the same time that Palin was running for lieutenant governor and in her final months as mayor—Spenard supplied the materials, according to Antoine Bricks, who works in its Wasilla office. Spenard actually filed a notice "of its right to assert a lien" on the deed for the Palin property after contracting for labor and materials for the site. Spenard's name has popped up in the trial of Senator Stevens—it worked on the house that is at the center of the VECO scandal as well.
Todd Palin told Fox News that he built the two-story, 3,450-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath, wood house himself, with the help of contractors he described as "buddies." As mayor, Sarah Palin blocked an effort to require the filing of building permits in the wide-open city, and there is no public record of who the "buddies" were. The house was built very near the complex, on a site whose city purchase led to years of unsuccessful litigation and, now, $1.3 million in additional costs, with a law firm that's also donated to Palin collecting costly fees from the city.
Dorwin and Joanne Smith, the principals of complex subcontractor DJ Excavation & Development, have donated $7,100 to Palin and her allied candidate Charlie Fannon (Joanne is a Palin appointee on the state Board of Nursing). Sheldon Ewing, who owns another complex subcontractor, Weld Air, has donated $1,300, and PN&D, an engineering firm on the complex, has contributed $699.
Ewing was one of the few sports-complex contractors, aside from Spenard, willing to address the question of whether he worked on the house as well, but he had little to say: "I doubt that it occurred, but if it did indirectly, how would I know anyhow?" The odd timing of Palin's house construction—it was completed two months before she left City Hall and while she and Todd Palin were campaigning statewide for the first time—raises questions, especially considering its synergy with the complex.
What an unusual situation. Giant construction contracts are being awarded to campaign contributors at the same time that "buddies" who just happen to be contractors are "helping" Todd build their two-story house.

At the same time Sarah ensures there will be no public record of building permits. WTF? How is this different from the Stevens situation?

We need to know:

Who Built Sarah Palin's House?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travelgate summary

While Governor of Alaska Sarah charged the state 40 times for travel expenses for her children. 

From Mudflats

Governor Sarah Palin yesterday agreed to pay an estimated $6800 for what she charged the state for her children’s travel expenses and related costs since assuming her role as governor.

This all came about as the result of an ethics complaint filed against Palin by Frank Gwartney, a retired electrical lineman who had had enough of Palin’s hypocrisy regarding cleaning up government, and stopping abuses. The complaint, which was filed in October after new information came out about her state paid family travel, was sent to the Personnel Board and investigator…..(wait for it)…..Tim Petumenos. You remember him. He’s the one that said (despite the Legislative Investigation into the Troopergate ethics scandal, and their finding that Palin was guilty of abuse of power under the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act) that Palin was innocent of any wrongdoing. And the fact that there was contradictory testimony from Palin and Walt Monegan? Well….that just wasn’t worth pursuing in his humble opinion.

So now, after looking at FORTY examples of the state paying for Palin’s children to travel with her, he’s come up with 9 instances where he found the personal benefit outweighed the benefit to the state, and Palin has agreed to pay for these 9 occasions in exchange for getting to say “I did nothing wrong!” and for Petumenos agreeing  not to file a formal accusation or take the case to a hearing. Not a bad deal.  Palin get’s to pay a small amount in order to stop an investigation, and also gets to claim, according to her attorney that she was “exhonorated.”
The charges at issue include the cost of airfare and one meal when daughter Bristol to accompanied Palin to New York City in 2007 for a women’s leadership conference, according to the settlement agreement. State travel forms put that cost at about $1,400.
There’s also airfare and hotel costs for daughters Bristol and Piper to travel with their mother to the National Governors Association meeting in Philadelphia last July. State travel forms say the flights and hotel room at the Ritz Carlton cost more than $2,500.
Other questioned trips were in Alaska, including one last year to the start of the Tesoro Iron Dog snowmachine race, in which Palin’s husband, Todd, was one of the contenders.
So, what were the other 31 trips, where the presence of the Palin children had more benefit to the state than to them, or the governor personally?  I’d like to hear what compelling reasons Mr. Petumenos found, that would make me feel good enough about the benefit to the state of Alaska that I’ll pony up money to send her kids along on the trip.

And what did Palin have to say about this?  What is her justification?
“This is a big state, and I am obligated to — and intend to — keep Alaskans informed and meet with them as much as I can, from Barrow to Marshall to Ketchikan,” Palin said in a written statement. “At the same time, I am blessed to have a large and loving family, and the discharge of my duties should not prevent me from spending time with them.”
So, she thinks that her job as governor shouldn’t prevent her from spending time with her family.  And it shouldn’t keep her from living in Wasilla, rather than the state capital, Juneau. And it shouldn’t prevent her from taking per diem payments to live there and work in Anchorage.   And it shouldn’t mean she has to pay taxes on that per diem, and her state vehicle, and on and on.

Nothing works out like it should for the governor, does it?

The policy found on the official state web site says that travel expenses by a state employee’s spouse, children or companions “are not reimbursable.”  But somehow when applied to the governor, the rules become “dizzying and circular” according to Petumenos.  And the other side agrees as well that things need to be “clarified”.

Palin keeps saying she did nothing wrong.  But when one governor’s actions constantly tiptoe over the line, meaning that ethics rules need to be “clarified” and reevaluated at every turn, and when public opinion sees the obvious lack of ethics that went into the decision making process, then it means they did do something wrong.  Whatever leads a governor to say “It’s OK to charge the state to live and eat in my own home” and

“Sure, the state should pay for my huge family to travel with me everywhere because I shouldn’t have to give anything up like other people do”  shows a basic disconnect, hubris, and a sense that the person feels that they are owed something.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Going away for a little while

Starting today I will be on vacation.  I will post pics when I get back.  While I'm gone I have posts that will summarize each of the "Gates" that Sarah has been involved in. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Five days since her granddaughter's birth Sarah has yet to announce it

Is it because Track produced a girl instead of a boy? Does that make him less manly Sarah?

Or is it because Track and Britta got pregnant out of wedlock and that gives the abstinence only mantra less credibility?

Britta's mom made an annoucement. She's not ashamed and she is a pastor's wife!

Or is it because she is so distracted by Mercede telling the truth about the Palins?

From The National Enquirer

IN her biggest meltdown EVER, an irate SARAH PALIN went ballistic over a trash-talking interview by LEVI JONSTON’s sister MERCEDE!

Mercede Johnston opened fire in a vicious attack – telling a men’s maga?zine that the former Alaska governor would suffer a “mental breakdown” if elected president.

Sources say “Mama Grizzly” Sarah be?came so enraged she vowed the Johnston clan would never again see baby Tripp, the out-of-wedlock son of Levi and her daughter Bristol.

But acid-tongued Mer?cede – who posed nude in “Playboy” – charged that Bristol’s pregnancy “wasn’t an accident. She and Levi planned it. They were trying to con?ceive for months.”

Protective Palin reacted in a fury – denouncing Mercede as “a little whore,” her entire family as “trailer trash” and Mercede’s mother as “a drug dealer,” say sources.

The former Gov. was referring to Levi and Mercede’s mom Sherry Johnston who’s still serving 3 years house arrest following her 2009 conviction for selling “hillbilly heroin” Oxycontin.

Sarah Palin and Keith Johnston

A while back I wrote a post about the possibility that Sherry Johnston was the mother of Trig Palin. You can read it here. Anyway the reason I wondered that is because Mercede has referred to Trig as her baby brother which is odd because Trig would be the son of her brother's girlfriend's mother.

I'm also wondering if Trig could be Keith Johnston's son, which would be another reason that Mercede Johnston referred to Trig as her baby brother. If Keith is the father of Trig, who is the mother?

Sarah possibly. She has been known to cheat on Todd in the past. Someone commented on Mercede's blog that her dad and Sarah would be going down.

Of course there is always Bristol, which would be statutory rape. Sickening I know.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Jon Hunstman would make a crappy president

In my opinion Jon is the most palatable of the GOP candidates as he can work with Democrats. However Sarah Palin was able to work with Democrats while governor of AK and now she has swung to the hard core right. I do not trust Huntsman in that regard. Calvin Coolidge was a moderate while Governor of Massachusetts but once he got to the Oval Office he favored Big Business too.

This is my last article on the who would make a crappy president series.

An article from Sarah's Scandals you should all read

You can read the article at Sarah's Scandals

One thing is for certain here, she did not indicate she was pregnant

Sarah Palin's college girlfriend

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Michele Bachmann would make a crappy president

Good Lord where do I begin?

She rails against government spending but took farm subsidies and her husband Marcus took Medicare and Medicaid payments for his clinic.

Michele has a history of making incorrect statements.

She is very anti gay and is so anti gay I have to wonder if she is a secret lesbian.

She suffers from migraines which could hinder her ability to make critical decisions.

Michele has alleged two lesbians tried to abduct her. I'm sure those lesbians have better taste. Major paranoia there Shelly!