funding their agenda on the backs of Alaskan citizens
10: Dec. 2, 2008: A charge that Sarah violated ethics laws by campaigning for GA Republican Senator, Saxby Chambliss, and filed by Alaskan resident, Anthony Martin of Talkeetna.
The expenses for both Palin and her staff employee, Kris Perry, were paid for by the Chambliss campaign. Additionally, it was the first stop to a second destination for a Governor’s meeting with then PEBO Obama.
As a result of the ethics investigation by the Board’s investigator, Michael Geraghty, stated:
The Act does not prohibit a public official from engaging in political pursuits independent of their position as a public officer and the campaign efforts undertaken by Governor Palin are not prohibited by the Act.
That wasn’t enough, as there was also lip flap about Kris Perry receiving per diem while with Sarah in GA. Now I’m pretty sure that Ms. Perry’s per diem was pennies on the C-note when compared to the price of investigating this BS, but that aside… Geraghty agreed with the nature of the trip have benefit to Alaskan issues. Most specifically Perry’s assigned task as liaison to the Alaskan State government officials… plus Alaska’s vested interest in seeing ANWR developed. However Geraghty also stated that, even if he disregarded the Alaskan benefit to campaign for ANWR support, the complaint validity didn’t measure up. On Perry’s per diem, he stated:
[The] trip to Georgia was undertaken to further an issue impacting the state of Alaska. Thus, the conduct alleged does not support a violation of the Ethics Act and the facts do not otherwise support an independent violation by Ms. Perry.
He further stated:
“To constitute a violation of the ethics act, the facts alleged would have to support a finding that Governor Palin coerced Perry to benefit her own personal and/or financial interests. The Martin complaint does not allege facts suggesting coercive conduct by Governor Palin.”
Watch for Ms. Perry to come under assault again by Andree McLeod in late January.
As for Mr. Martin, the man who filed the complaint. He’s relatively low profile on the Internet. Even the pro and con Sarah Alaskan blogs don’t give much detail on him. What we do know is he certainly doesn’t appear to be a Palin fan.
There are a couple of comments by an Anthony Martin that may be tied to the same individual, as they relate to Palin and MudRacker… er, Mudflats.
The first comment by an “Anthony Martin” was Feb 4th on a post by MudFlat having his/her knickers in a twist about Palin endorsing Rick Perry for Texas Governor. Mudflats then referenced Chambliss, expressing his thanks and stating that Palin’s support was key to his victory via a Huffpo piece.
This, of course, had one of the Mudflats echo chamber devotees pondering if this endorsement may have constituted another ethics violation…. i.e. “was it on State stationary?” The “Anthony Martin”, the same name as the man who filed an ethics charge INRE Chambliss just a couple months earlier, responded:
Unless Governor Palin dictated her letter to a state employee or or wrote it it on the ‘actual’ Governor’s desk or used a state owned computer to print it (on piece of paper with the state seal) or used a state bought envelope and stamp to send it, then there’s no ethical problem in Mrs. Palin, on her own time with her own money, engaging in ‘partisan politics’ ( did she sign the letter Sarah Palin or Governor Palin?) . And , her newly formed PAC (independent slush fund) inserts a layer of murkiness into all her political actions. It’s the ‘on the state’s time’ and ‘with the state’s dime’ that don’t mix with ‘partisan politics’.
I’d lay a strong bet it’s the same “Anthony Martin”, which would mean… unsurprisingly… that he hangs on Mudflats’ site for info.
One month later, another “Anthony Martin” posted a comment on a the March 17th Washington Examiner piece by Noemie Emery titled, “Palinphones and the audacity of type”. Summarized, it’s a satire on the leftist hysteria over Palin’s experience and judgment… which looks inordinately foolish when compared to the Community Organizer in Chief’s actual record of faux pas and ineptitude during his first three months (i.e. treasury openings not filled, a stock market plunging 2000 points six weeks into office, DVDs to the British PM that can’t even be played, etal).
To which, this “Anthony Martin” commented:
“Check out the March issue of Portfolio & http://www.themudflats.net/ to get an in depth scope of Governor Palin’s accomplishment (or lack thereof).”
The same guy? If not, it’s another Anthony Martin with the same attitude.
11: Dec. 18, 2008: Oddly enough, none of my resources I’ve used seem to know who filed a complaint that accused Sarah – who’s image was used in advertisements by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute last year in National Fisherman – of using the funds and ads to promote her political Veep ambitions. Of course, the problem is that Palin’s only involvement was to give them permission to use her image, and that was done long before she was named as running mate to McCain.
Yep… another one dismissed. This one on Jan 12th.
12: Jan. 12, 2009: This one may be my favorite… there was a complaint alleging that Sarah had interfered in hiring for a position. Problem is, it was filed by someone who wouldn’t use their real name, and insisted on using Edna Birch…. a fictional character in a British soap opera, Emmerdale.
Edna is the hard-faced, plain-speaking type. She is in her seventies, very religious and easily outraged. She would never dream of drawing attention to herself with powder or paint and her femininity is not something that she would ever dream of flaunting. Her top button is always done up and she would never touch a mascara brush.
Edna is somebody who, speaks her mind and doesn’t care what the consequences are. Her age and experience somehow lend her an air of (spurious) authority and she knows it. She is a fast talker (snappy and strident in equal measure) and is forever commenting on the behaviour of others in the Woolpack.
Complaint dismissed Feb 20th… buh bye.
13. and 14. Jan. 26, 2009: Ah yes… we’re back to Andree McLeod. And I hope that you caught my correction on Part II, because I just realized McLeod, herself and alone, is reponsible for four of the 15 complaints that aren’t related to Troopergate. (originally said three). See also complaint #15 below. But back to #13 and #14.
Once again McLeod goes after some staffers. This time she names Kris Perry, director of Palin’s Anchorage office. (Remember she was also named in the Chambliss complaint by Anthony Martin). And another complaint filed simultaneously against Bill McAllister, the (then) Press Secretary. Again just as before, Ms. McLeod is accusing the Palin staffers of misusing their positions to promote the governor’s political ambitions.
INRE Perry, McLeod concentrated on Perry’s travels with the Governor on the campaign trail. This actually tag teamed Anthony Martin’s complaint charge above INRE Kris Perry’s stay in GA while Palin was campaigning for Chambliss. Ms. Perry’s complaint was sent on to the AG’s office because it was against a state employee, and not a Governor or Lt. Governor.
Palin’s office stated that Perry’s position was as the liaison with State officials, and was instrumental in making sure she was staying abreast of her gubernatorial duties and responsibilities.
Makes sense… and apparently the attorney for the AG’s office, Julia Bockman, agreed when she sent a letter and a report to Kris Perry, informing her they were dismissing McLeod’s complaint on June 17th, and finally making the ADN news on the 23rd.
McLeod’s not taking the news well, calling it an in-house “whitewash”… especially when told she couldn’t appeal.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt this dismissal demonstrates a breakdown in the complaint process. All the evidentiary documents I have point to Kris Perry campaigning on the public’s dime and time.”
McLeod’s beef with McAllister is her accusation he was doing “partisan work” on State time… suggesting “…”an ongoing collaboration with Republican National Committee convention staff.” To prove this, she cited an email to Palin on Aug. 27, shortly before the Republican Nat’l Convention, and two days before she was picked as McCain’s running mate. Per a Jan 27th ADN article, one day after the complaint filing, the email text to Sarah is:
“The convention itself is requesting you [Palin] to act as a surrogate for McCain for national media. Available blocs of time, daily, are 5-9 a.m., 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Within those, they ask when you might be available for this purpose,” McAllister wrote in the e-mail, which he copied to Perry and other staffers.
As McAllister pointed out, he was not working for the RNC, the McCain Campaign or any partisan organization. He was, as Press Secretary, fielding and passing on requests to Sarah.
McLeod also zero’d in on an interview McAllister did with a local Alaskan TV station, KTUU, at the Convention site in St. Paul.
“The McCain folks definitely know what they want. They’re working with her all day long on various aspects of how this is going to go,” McAllister said in the television interview.
McLeod charges this proves McAllister was involving himself in partisan convention politics, and also cites his criticism of statements made by Bob Poe, a Democrat who is running for governor, after the conclusion of the McCain/Palin campaign. McAllister states the only items he responded to were the Democrat’s criticisms of Palin’s job performance… as is his job as Press Secretary.
Wow… wonder if McLeod knows Robert Gibbs? Imagine holding him to the same standards she demands of McAllister? LOL
This one I’m going to label still pending… as is one other (#18). I haven’t heard any news since the dismissal of the complaints against Perry, filed the same day, so perhaps word will come soon.
Worthy of repeating is McAllister’s comments about McLeod’s personal motivation when he had heard about the charges…
McAllister said the claims are just part of an ongoing vendetta by McLeod, a former state employee.
“This is a person who I think was disgruntled because she wasn’t considered for a (Palin administration) job, has some time on her hands, apparently, and wants to wreak havoc with people’s lives and reputations,” McAllister said.
This, BTW, is Andree “The Cleavage Queen” McLeod’s “Custer’s last stand”… meaning it is the last of her personally filed complaints remaining… at least, for now. So far, she’s 0 for 4.
15: March 18, 2009: Another complaint that Palin was misusing State staffers, property, time and equipment for partisan political purposes. Filed by… say it all together now… Andree McLeod. One of her grievances this time? Sarah posted notice of her VP candidacy on the Governor’s website.
The Board found the complaint “without merit”, and dismissed it May 27th.
16: March 24, 2009: Self-described progressive blogger, Celtic Diva – aka Linda Kellen Biegel – comes in with the #2 brain fart of a complaint. Sarah demonstrated conflict of interest when she wore a jacket to the Iron Dog Snow Machine Race that bore “Team Arctic” on the back… One of Todd Palin’s largest sponsors, Arctic Cat.
The wannabe “diva” certainly lives up to her name with her own post about her complaint, insisting Palin was there, acting in the capacity of Governor, as starter of the race.
Not only was she well aware that there would be extensive Alaska media coverage, the Palins also knew that international magazine Sports Illustrated was coming to do a story on Todd.
Biegel [Mata note: don't you love how people write about themselves in the 3rd person?] provides links to the Palins’ APOC Financial Disclosure Statements for the last two years, which reveal the thousands of dollars Todd Palin receives in sponsorship benefits from Arctic Cat. While there is nothing illegal in actually receiving sponsorship money, this makes the Governor’s wearing of Arctic Cat gear while representing Alaska the equivalent of a walking billboard, providing benefits to a private company from whom she and her family derive income.
Here’s the “scene of the crime”…
Palin, of course, has no agreement to advertise and market Arctic Cat. Her comment upon hearing the wannabe “diva’s” complaint filing back on March 24th? And BTW, notice the recurring theme of the costs of this stuff to the State….
Yes, I wore Arctic Cat snow gear at an outdoor event, because it was cold outside, and by the way, today, I am wearing clothes bearing the names of Alaska artists, and a Glennallen Panthers basketball hoodie,” Palin said in the release. “I am a walking billboard for the team’s fundraiser! Should I expect to see an ethics charge for wearing these, or the Carhartts I wear to many public events? How much will this blogger’s asinine political grandstanding cost all of us in time and money?
Are Alaskans outraged, or at least tired of this yet — another frivolous ethics charge by a political blogger? This would be hilarious if it weren’t so expensive for the state to process these accusations and for me to defend against these bogus harassments.
When the complaint was dismissed June 2nd, the “diva” deferred much of her own commentary to Robert Wechsler of City-Ethics.org. (no, not an Alaskan…). She took great pleasure in passing on he didn’t consider the complaint “frivolous”… but forgot to mention he considered it “minor”.
In fact, his main thrust of the column was aimed at Sarah for what he considered *her* harassment of a blogger. Personally, I don’t consider labeling this bloggers “minor” complaint “asinine political grandstanding” personal harassment.
Mr. Wechsler, like most of the Lower 48, was unaware of just how many of these… yes, asinine… complaints were flooding in over a period of months, and the Personnel Board costs that were adding up to a third of a mil in that short time span. Nor was Mr. Wechsler aware of this same political grandstanding blogger’s venomous demeanor and her assistance and support for Andree McLeod – she of the FOUR complaints.
Quite in fact, Mr. Wechsler doesn’t admit to reading thru the complainants blog to “get to know the rabbit”, and was only aware of what he read in the complaint. This means he was a far cry shy of full facts which Palin was addressing.
And if he considers asinine political grandstanding as “harassment”, he should keep his eyes peeled for the real thing now. The slander, libel, and general attempts to destroy a family based on rumors, harassment and lies, will be met with legal response.
17: April 22, 2009 Another short lived complaint filed by Anchorage resident, Sondra Tompkins. Tompkins says Sarah’s role in her SarahPAC is a conflict of interest with her gubernatorial duties.
The complaint was brought by Anchorage resident Sondra Tompkins, who describes herself an advocate for children with disabilities and mother of a special-needs child. Her son has autism.
The complaint says the governor abdicated her governor duties at a critical time — the end of the legislative session, when she went to Indiana for two events, a Right to Life banquet and a breakfast for families with Down syndrome children.
“The recent partisan trip to Indiana by the Governor was purely to benefit personal interests, had no benefit for the State of Alaska and was in direct conflict with her official duties,” the complaint said.
It could be that it’s just late, and I have one more dang complaint to go… but aren’t they are starting to sound repetitive? If the Governor’s office response is correct, this is all about 36 hours that Palin spent out of the State.
But is it about that at all?
From the April 22nd ADN article:
McAllister said Palin left Alaska during the legislative session for just two trips — a total of four days — and conducted state business both times. For instance, he said she stopped in Chicago on a leg of the Indiana trip to meet with officials from TransCanada, which has a state license to build a natural gas pipeline.
But the new [Tompkins] complaint noted that during Palin’s trip to Indiana, the Legislature voted down her nomination for attorney general, Wayne Anthony Ross, and other critical business was left unfinished, including whether Alaska will accept all the federal stimulus money.
Mudflats seemed to do some live blogging of a radio interview with Tomkins on KUDO back on April 22nd. But something has me scratching my head…
Mudflats’ cyber scribbles:
CC notes that Tompkins has a special needs child, and that Palin had attended the SMILE breakfast for special needs kids. Tompkins responded that she’d like to be paid a state salary to go advocate for special needs children. Advocacy is good, but what can you do at home with our own children with challenges? She is not supportive of stimulus money for special needs children.
Let’s see… on her blog, Celtic Blue emphasizes Tompkins is a “child disability advocate”, but Mudflats reports this woman doesn’t want stimulus money for special needs kids??
Well that’s a first.
There’s an avenue I’d like to see explored. Tomkins was pretty up front about her dissatisfaction with Palin and the stimulus cash. Considering that Palin was “refusing” it (at least at first), wouldn’t that fit in with Tompkin’s attitude towards the “no” stimulus for special needs bit… at least in the world of Mudflats?
And speaking of… the radio station turned into an old home week of usual suspects. Celtic Diva calling in and welcoming Mr. Tomkins to the “ankle biters” club. (formerly comprised of the “diva” and the every busybody, McLeod) Mudflats then ponders why they don’t refer to any of the others complainants like that.
Hint, Mudflats… because between McLeod, and her cheerleader/verbal body guard, Celtic Diva, they are responsible for 1/3 of the total complaints that didn’t evolve from Troopergate… 5 out of 15. Ankle biters is kind… “unsightly warts” is what comes to my mind.
In fact, for all those who are thinking this is in-house, love Sarah slam dunk stuff, the Board’s investigator, Thomas Daniel, did have some pointed opinions about the complaint…
“The recent partisan trip to Indiana by the Governor was purely to benefit personal interests, had no benefit for the State of Alaska and was in direct conflict with her official duties,” the complaint said.
Daniel, an Anchorage attorney, said that’s a political issue, not an ethical one.
“The governor’s decision to leave the state at the end of the legislative session, may have been unwise. But the voters should express their opinion on that subject at the ballot box – not in an ethics complaint,” he wrote.
Daniel also wrote that “the fact that the Governor traveled to Indiana to attend a dinner (and a breakfast meeting the next morning) did not take significant time, if any, away from the Governor’s duties…the Governor has staff members who interface with the Legislature, and the Governor herself can communicate with members of the Legislature by phone or email, even when she is in another state.”
He also noted that the SarahPAC was lawfully set up, rejected Tompkins assertation that Palin was an “employee” of the PAC, and noted that Tompkins has no reasonable explanation as to why this PAC relationship was in conflict with the Governorship.
And now for the finale…
18: April 27, 2009: Eagle River resident, Kim Chatman, accuses Sarah of “…misusing the governor’s office for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust.”
Governor Palin is using her official position for personal gain and to intentionally secure unwarranted benefits to state workers who are poised to derive benefits from the Alaska Trust Fund; a newly formed group whose primary purpose is to collect huge amounts of money from people in Alaska and the Lower 48 for the Palin’s and selected state officials’ personal use for a time in perpetuity, under Alaska law.
Governor Palin is perched to improperly receive an enormous amount of money for herself and her family and position a pool of pre-paid defense lawyers organized to deflect consequences of wrongdoings, among other things. This fund corrupts the integrity of the Governor’s Office, the governmental and public process. It corrupts the people’s right to hold their governor and administration officials accountable. It increases Palin’s conflicts of interests and erodes the faith and confidence of Alaskans in their public officers. This fund violates
the intent, purpose and spirit of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.
Ms. Chatman is objecting to is the official site of the Palin legal defense fund. Following the above, Ms. Chatman then launches into a diatribe and personal assault, stating Palin’s legal bills were brought upon herself for “misconduct” by the Governor, her husband and her staffers…
…. serious chutzpah considering all the complaints up to hers, save McAllister’s, have been dismissed (and one settled – the Palin travel expense reimbursement). Most often, in the civil litigation world, the prevailing party can sue for attorney expenses. In lieu of the defense fund, where citizens from all over the nation can donate, perhaps Ms. Chatman would prefer Palin lodge a lawsuit against her, McLeod and ilk?
What’s most notable about the site is the Alaska Fund Trust has a dedicated webpage to compare it to other fund trusts. Those linked, and offered for comparison belong to Hillary, hubby, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Stevens, and Dick Gephardt.
Ms. Chatman’s lengthy tirade in her complaint exposes her core belief that Palin is guilty, despite the findings of the Board and various investigations (including the FEC INRE “the wardrobe), and thereby deserves no opportunity to engage in what other politicans do.
Instead she insists “…this fund interferes with Alaskans’ right to address the wrongdoings of their public officials.”
Really? Just what does she think these investigations and reports were about except the “right to address the wrongdoings”. However, there is no guarantee you will be finding the “wrongdoing” of your dreams.
That’s it for the ethics complaints for now. Enough typing, surfing, linking and reading to make my eyes both glaze and roll. I have not yet located a single source for all complaints plus their final reports, but Alaska Pride’s got a May 9th post with some, and a link to at least one story or blog on each. The ADN has some, and not others. It’s a hit and miss right now. If any of you find some in your travels, do feel free to contribute with links in the comments below.
Once you’ve piled thru all this, you should have a fair idea of what Palin and her admin were up against on a daily level, the costs, and the nature of the “complaints”. Personally, it’s amazing that got anything done in the Governor’s office in between it all.
And obviously whatever anyone “wore”, emailed or said the next day was going to be material for the next day’s complaint from the Palin attack machine.
Now that we who the players are… and how some of them have most certainly been interacting for a common cause… you have to wonder if this is really a “me, too!” event by random Alaskans. Or… is there some cooperative collusion behind the scenes to keep this complaints coming at a breakneck speeds? … and organized by whom?