Friday, August 19, 2016
Flashback Friday: Lynn Gattis and her party throwing
From NY Times
Sarah and the Pit Bulls. Although this Civic Festival is ostensibly nonpartisan, it is billed on the Web as a “victory celebration.”
At the same hour in Washington — 7 p.m., East Coast time — the doors to the New Bethel Baptist Church will be flung open for what the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, a former aide to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., calls a “watch-night service,” also replete with food and televisions (but minus the alcohol).
“I am cautiously optimistic that before the night is out,” said Mr. Fauntroy, the church’s pastor, “I will experience what I do at weddings: someone singing, ‘This is the moment.’ ”
On the evening of Nov. 4, true believers from each party will gather at churches, meetings halls, block parties, bars and parks between Wasilla and Washington, anticipating a communal exaltation of historic dimension.
But for millions of others, it will be a night infused with body-quaking fear on a seismic scale, about the economy, employment, war. Conversations last week with quotidian voters — as well as not-so-quotidian ones — suggest that many people may want to gather less for a party than for a huddle, a support group. Republicans are hedging their bets. Democrats say they are wary, skeptical, superstitious even. Judging by them, and not the polls that favor Senator Barack Obama, if there’s a donkey braying in the land, that would be Eeyore.
“I don’t know anyone who is planning to whoop it up,” said Diane Asadorian Masters, an Obama supporter from West Lafayette, Ind.
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Kyle T. Smoke, chairman of the College Republicans at the University of Texas at Dallas, said that his group will not attend the student government’s bipartisan party. Instead, members will watch with the grown-ups at the Dallas County Republican Party’s gathering. “Tensions are high,” he said. “We think it’s in the best interest to be with our own people so we can either celebrate or sulk together.
”By contrast, the ebullience of organizers of Tuesday night’s events in Wasilla and Washington seemed unassailable. Perhaps that was because they will be celebrating themselves as much as their candidates.
In Wasilla, Mr. McCain and the Republican Party seem like afterthoughts, wafting after what is essentially a love-fest for Sarah Palin and small-town Alaska.
Typically on an election night, said Lynn Gattis, an organizer of the Wasilla event, “We go to a local bar or watch on our own TVs, but this one is a big hoo-hah.”
The festival will feature gun-safety sessions, a flag ceremony from the Boy Scouts and vendors hawking Palin memorabilia, including wineglass charms — trinkets to identify one’s glass at an event — in shapes like lipstick and high-heeled shoes. The Colony High School Marching Band from nearby Palmer will perform what Mrs. Gattis contended would be a special preview.
“The band is going to the inaugural parade!” Mrs. Gattis said. “We bought their uniforms on eBay, and they’ve been practicing. I’ve got my inaugural ball gown, tan-spray can and all.”
Since 2008 Sarah has slid into obscurity, and Lynn Gattis has been voted out of office:
"Washington, D.C.—Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called on Alaska’s U.S. attorney and attorney general to investigate Alaska state Rep. Lynn Gattis (R-Wasilla) and her husband, Richard Gattis, for taking $65,225 of taxpayer funds in exchange for an easement on their land that they had no right to grant.
After the Gattises were caught, the easement was released but the couple declined to return the money."
"CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan asked, “How is it that a public servant gets away with pocketing $65,225 in taxpayer dollars in exchange for absolutely nothing? Lynn Gattis didn’t sell the Brooklyn Bridge, but the deal she made isn’t far off. She sold an easement she had no right to sell and then kept the taxpayers’ money when she got caught. This is exactly the sort of self-serving conduct Alaskans have seen far too much of in recent years.”
The Gattises purchased land from the state of Alaska at a reduced rate because its use was restricted to agricultural purposes. Later, the couple took out loans from an Alaska agricultural fund. A term of one the loans was that they could not transfer any interest in the land that contravened the farming only covenants. Despite the restrictions, in September 2011, the Gattises sold the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough an easement to build a temporary road on the land for $65,225, in violation of the loan provision and the farming only covenant.
Rep. and Mr. Gattis insisted the easement agreement include a provision holding them harmless if anyone came after them for violating the restrictions. After Alaska’s State Division of Agriculture discovered the easement in the spring of 2012, it asked the Attorney General’s office to enforce the restrictions, which resulted in the Gattises being warned to remove the easement or repay the loans within 30 days. The Mat-Su Borough released the easement and the road was never built, but the Gattises kept the money."
More on the easement:
"Gattis, a freshman lawmaker running for a second term, issued an angry statement Monday calling the request a politically motivated attack and "old hash served up warm again."
"My family did not 'decline' to return the money that the borough paid us. The Borough is honoring a business contract and we were never asked to give the money back," the statement said. "I have great distain [sic] for Washington DC getting involved in Alaskan projects, especially in such a baseless and inflammatory manner.""