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Palin Ordered to Repay Almost $400K to Donors From Illegal Alaska Fund Trust

2:05 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I. A decision announced Thursday in Anchorage by The Alaska State Personnel Board was the most adverse ethics decision yet regarding former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: She is required to repay donors to her Alaska Fund Trust, set up in April 2009, almost a half million dollars:

Tim Petumenos, an Anchorage attorney hired by the state Personnel Board to investigate, said Thursday the legal defense fund violated state law because it "constituted using public office to obtain private benefit." He said the fund, which was set up while Palin was still governor, inappropriately said it was the "official website" of Palin, and made reference to her work in public office. Petumenos upheld an ethics complaint that was filed 15 months ago against the trust.

Interestingly, not much attention is being paid to this yet in the national, "liberal lamestream media," as the quitter is so fond of calling our press. The Alaska progressive blogging community has long been speculating about the importance of this long-left-unresolved ethics complaint and its possible relationship to her July 2008 resignation.

Essentially, Palin set up the legal defense fund in April 2009, mostly to pay her legal bills from the Troopergate fiasco. The part of the two investigations into how she mishandled her attempts to have her former brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers that stemmed from her having filed an ethics complaint against herself had been particularly expensive.

The two 2008 investigations came to different conclusions. The first, known as The Branchflower Investigation, and initiated by a Republican-dominated group of Alaska legislators known as the Legislative Council, found that Palin had acted unethically in the ways she had pressured public employees to fire her ex brother-in-law. The second investigation, initiated by Palin herself, by filing an action against herself, led to the Personnel Board hiring Anchorage attorney Tim Petumonos to scrutinize how the governor had dealt with her ex brother-in-law.

His report, released the evening before the 2008 presidential election, largely exonerated Palin, though it made specific recommendations about needed executive branch ethics reform. For his 2008 report, Petumonos was hailed by Palin supporters. That has now changed, with his June 24th 2010 ruling. As I observed Thursday:

Anchorage Attorney Tim Petumonos, who was, up until Thursday afternoon, one of the great holy men in the pantheon of people whose actions have elevated them to sainthood among the acolytes of Queen Esther of Wasilla, has now been consigned to an outer ring of Hell even Dante couldn’t have imagined.

The Palin shrine, Conservatives4Palin (which last week came up with a headline so ridiculous I almost wrote a diary about it – "Rahm Emanuel to Reportedly Quit in 6-8 Months Due to Pressure from Palin and Other Conservatives") is skewering Petumonos’ employers, the large law firm of Perkins Coie today, for his finding:

That brings us back to Perkins Coie, the official law firm for the DNC and Obama, both of whom instruct the ADP to “keep Sarah Palin out of public office” and mobilize their useful idiots like Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon, Linda Kellen-Biegle, and the anti-Semitic terrorist loving Phil Munger [that yours truly, Edward Teller]. Birds of a feather. How was it that Perkins Coie was selected in the first place? Why didn’t the DNC official law firm disclose to the Personnel Board the fact that it was counsel for the DNC, and by extension, the ADP and the many inane bloggers who filed frivolous ethics act complaints? Seeing as this supposedly “independent” law firm was supposed to make a ruling on “ethics” one can rightfully question that firm’s ethics for withholding key information from the public. Maybe they were busy that day, representing Osama bin Laden’s staff and all. (It’s nice to know that the FBI’s number one most wanted can get his staff the same lawyers that represent the President of the United States). What a country.

So there is, at least in the mind of Palinbot Ian Lazaran, a vast conspiracy tying Obama, Osama bin Laden, Alaska bloggers and the attorney who found the fund to be illegal? How could they have missed George Soros’ part in this enormous web of deceit?

Comments at the C4P post include some doozies:

Hopefully white indies will continue to defect from the warm embrace of the Messiah and let’s not forget about………


Her Church was set on fire. She has been stalked. She has been harassed. Her privacy has been invaded. Her email has been hacked and distributed. She has been threatened with rape and murder. She has been targetted for bankruptcy.

All those things are documented. This is reality. This is a partial list mind you.


Just donated to new Palin Legal Fund! Will send more $ when I get my refund from former legal fund. Onward to 2010 and 2012!

Which brings us to the NEW Palin defense fund, set up yesterday.

II. No sooner was Petumonos’ finding announced, than Palin’s people announced the setup of a new fund. At their faq page, the site states:

"Is this site officially sanctioned by Sarah Palin?

Yes, the legal defense fund is sactioned by Sarah Palin. However, this website and fund are not associated with SarahPAC or other entities. Governor Palin is not the trustee of the fund. She has sanctioned the use of her name and image for the website and trust to help raise funds for her legal defense."

Yet, as uncovered last night by the European blog, Palingates:

The new "Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund", which officially has absolutely nothing do to with SarahPAC, Sarah Palin’s political action committee, shares the same address and phone number with SarahPAC!

The old illegal legal defense fund had been set up mostly as a rather strange moneymaking tool. Not only was the chief trustee, Palin’s longtime friend Kristan Cole, a paid employee of the state, the fund was set up, as has long been noted by the progressive Alaska bloggers, as a slush fund for whatever her family and the trustees wanted to use them for. As observed last year at Linda Kellen Beigel’s blog:

There is NOTHING in the official purpose of the AFT related to legal defense or legal proceedings or ethics complaints. In fact, the purpose of the trust is for any expense at all incurred by Sarah Palin “as a result of the fact that she is Governor . . . or as a result of the performance of her duties as Governor.” Those are the only limitations instilled by the purpose clause.

So the purpose of the AFT is to collect money for…basically anything and everything, short of overt criminal activity. This includes legal expenses, of course, along with everything else under the sun. It also covers her family and staff, as well as “any other person determined by the Trustee.”

Well, the Palins tried, but, essentially, along with the complainant who filed the clarification request in the first place, the Alaska bloggers kept on this when the regular media outlets mostly ignored the importance of the story.

We’re going to stay on the links between Palin’s PAC and the new "legal defense fund" too.

Here is a list of the stories on this so far by Alaska bloggers and Palingates:

Palin’s Legal Defense Fund Isn’t (Updated) - The Mudflats

More Facts About the Palin Legal Defense Fund – The Mudflats

Palin must return $386,000 in donations received before she resigned as Governor of Alaska! Update: The Return of Meg Stapletongue! And another update! And yet another update! – The Immoral Minority

Sarah Palin launches NEW defense fund with uber aggressive e-mail. Do NOT let the venom get in your eyes! – The Immoral Minority

Time to Redouble Efforts to Put TLC on the Spot on Supporting Palin’s Program – Progressive Alaska

Investigator Tim Petumenos rules: Sarah Palin’s "Alaska Fund Trust" (Legal Defense Fund) was illegal – UPDATE: THE SCANDAL CONTINUES! – Palingates

Sarah Palin’s executive style did not serve the interests of Alaskans – New ethics complaint – Palingates

Jennifer Rubin Tries to Explain “Why Jews Hate Palin”

4:47 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

I don’t think she does a very good job, though. Even worse, though, is David Frum’s counter-essay, titled "Do Jews Hate Palin?" Even worse – by a good Cheechako mile (that’s 150 yards) – is the coverage of both articles at Conservatives4Palin.

Jennifer Rubin is a contributing editor at Commentary Magazine, one of the pillars of both neo-con and neo-lib Jewish polemical writing. I used to be a big fan, subscribing to the magazine for a while in the 1970s, because of the high quality of writing there. I lapsed, when my support for militant Zionism lapsed, during the Lebanon invasion of 1982.

Here’s Rubin’s short, one-paragraph essay
in its entirety:

For more than a year, Sarah Palin has been a national Rorschach test. The views expressed about her reveal the distinctions and conflicting perceptions of often antagonistic groups of Americans—the religious and the secular, the conservative and the liberal, the urban and the small town, the elitist and the populist. And now, with the publication of her autobiography, Going Rogue, and Matthew Continetti’s The Persecution of Sarah Palin, the Rorschach tests are being administered anew, and with increasing fervor. For her conservative admirers, she continues to exemplify independence, moxie, common sense, the superiority of the common American over the nation’s elites, and the embodiment of modern womanhood and Christian faith. For her detractors, both conservative and liberal, she is uncouth, unschooled, a hick, anti-science and anti-intellectual, an upstart, and a religious fanatic. There is no group so firmly in the latter camp as American Jews. And there is much to learn in their reaction to Palin, both about her and about the sociological makeup of American Jewry today. While Palin enjoys support from some prominent Jewish conservatives, it is not an exaggeration to say that, more so than any other major political figure in recent memory (with the possible exception of Patrick J. Buchanan), she rubs Jews the wrong way. In a September 2008 poll by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Jews disapproved of Palin as the pick for McCain’s vice-presidential running mate by a 54 to 37 percent margin. (By contrast, 73 percent approved of the selection of Joseph Biden as Obama’s.) Ask an average American Jew about Palin and you are likely to get a nonverbal response—a shiver, a shudder, a roll of the eyes, or a guffaw. Naomi Wolf, the feminist writer, sputtered that Palin was the “FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal,” articulating the mixture of contempt and fear that seemed to grip many Jewish women. The disdain is palpable and largely emotional. While 78 percent of American Jews voted for the Obama-Biden ticket, it is fair to say that most did not harbor animosity toward or contempt for Senator John McCain; the same cannot be said of their view of Palin. Prominent Jews like Reagan-era arms-control official Kenneth Adelman, who expressed great admiration for McCain, proclaimed that the selection of Palin was beyond reason: “Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office, I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency.”

David Frum, in his reply, seems to misdirect some of the straightforward terminology used by Rubin. He never specifically addresses Rubin’s concerns about Palin’s "anti-science" record, nor some other important issues. Frum reformulates Rubin’s list into four categories:

First, says Rubin, Jews greatly value (and possibly over-value) formal credentials.

Second, Rubin continues, Jews under-value traditional American folkways: hunting, fishing, the frontier, military enlistment.

Third, Jews disdain working class occupations like those in which Palin labored.

Fourth and last, Jews hate Palin because Jews disapprove of large families – and especially because Jews quietly favor the abortion of disabled children.

That’s not quite what I got out of Ms. Rubin’s exposition of reasons. Apparently, David likes lists.

He does finish his essay on a strong point, though:

If American Jews have a problem with Palin, Rubin is right that problem 1 is that they – we – doubt her intellectual capacity for the job. But that’s only the start of the list of problems.

Ignorance is bad. But we all start ignorant. Jews – again like other people, only more so – expect their leaders to start early and to work hard to remedy their ignorance, by learning things. People who don’t, won’t or can’t learn – whose followers disparage the value or need to learn – are going to forfeit Jewish support, and not only Jewish support.

But even this is not the worst of it. Just guessing, but I think the real and most fundamental problem Jews have with Palin is not her gleeful ignorance, but her willful divisiveness. More than any politician in memory, Palin seems to divide her fellow-Americans into first class and second class citizens, real Americans and not-so-real Americans. To do her justice, she has never said anything to suggest that Jews as Jews fall into the second, less-real, class. But Jews do tend to have an intuition that when this sort of line-drawing is done, we are likely to find ourselves on the wrong side.

Over at the C4P, the commenters are glomping onto Frum as a traitor – he was a GWB speech writer (and perhaps Bush’s best, though that isn’t saying much). Here’s a taste of the C4P babble:

We adore Mark Steyn because he’s Reagan-like in his beliefs.


Frum is an idiot, he and Rubin got it all worng. Jews for the most "LIKE" Palin. She stands for everything they stand for. Sure some progressive jews don’t like her but in the same way any typical liberal progressive.


Frum and his wife Danille Crittenden can be counted among the liberal Jews who don’t like Palin. You can add to that Debbie whatshername, the woman who threatened to turn me into the FBI along with the Muslims who are harassing her if I continue to post on her website, David Axelrod, and David Brooks (who sleeps with 0bama’s pants under his pillow.)


Who’s David Frum…..or an even better question, why would any person with am IQ greater than their age ever consider listening to him?

Ah, the Sea of Peeeee………

Frum is getting some more prescient comments at his article, than you’ll find at C4P (though they’re just getting started at the sea). Here’s from Frum’s blog’s commenters:

Plus, Sarah Palin appears to be catering to the Religious Right part of the GOP. That’s the part that thinks that America is a “Christian nation.” Jews know that historically, they didn’t do well in nations whose governments considered themselves duty bound to enforce Christianity. Jews believe, with some justification, that they did well in America precisely because the Constitution does not enforce an official religion.


That whole rooting for the Rapture and the destruction of Israel by the Anti-Christ probably doesn’t endear her to them too much.


Truth is, Palin polls best in parts of the country with the worst school systems and the lowest numbers of residents with college degrees. Take that however you want it, but that’s the way it is.


Willful divisiveness is what turned me permanently 100% off. Engaging the willful divisiveness strategy was chilling and I’m not Jewish. Pitching patriotism with a wink and smile while stirring the vicious pot is a sales tactic the GOP should not revisit


In Alaska, I’ve had a lot of discussions with Jewish politicians, writers, bloggers and relatives about Sarah Palin. I can’t think of one who continues to trust her. It is interesting that neither Rubin nor Frum makes much of a strong suit over the plain fact that Palin is the most pathetically congenital liar of 21st century politics.

Among Alaska politicians, I can think of three prominent Jews who initially were warm about some of her governing policies, but eventually regarded her as the junk thinker she is:

Ethan Berkowitz enthusiastically worked with Wev Shea to create a Palin-directed "White Paper" on legislative ethics reform. He’s related to me, though, that he was shocked at the divisiveness Palin seemed to relish in the fall of 2008. Earlier in 2008, he was becoming disappointed, as were many of us, in the way the Palin administration was becoming secretive, especially regarding the case of Rick Steiner’s request for scientific correspondence on Polar bears from state agencies.

Les Gara, during Troopergate, went from having been a sometime Palin ally in the 2008 legislative session, to a fiercely articulate critic.

Both Ethan and Les are Democrats. Republican Jay Ramras (who, like Berkowitz and Gara, considers himself part of the Alaska "Yamacaucus," or "frozen chosen"), was lambasted by Palin during the food-and-fuel crisis on the lower Yukon last winter, in a totally foolish press release (that has since disappeared):

The governor also expressed concern about inaccurate comments made to the media by Representative Jay Ramras that the state has failed to make state assets available to deliver supplies to communities.

“We are working cooperatively with the communities, many legislators, Native corporations, and other entities to address the needs in these areas,” Governor Palin said. “I am disappointed that Representative Ramras failed to express his concerns to my office before issuing a press release with incomplete and misleading information. This is particularly concerning since he knew I would be attending a meeting with his entire caucus that evening. Representative Ramras did not mention the specific issue of using state assets to me personally at the meeting. Instead, I read about it later in the press release. Truly Alaskans deserve better than that kind of ‘politics as usual’ (God she loves this phrase!). It is unfortunate that the representative sees this as an opportunity to play politics rather than help in the response."

Jay shot right back:

"I am shocked and appalled that Governor Palin would stoop to making derogatory statements about me," Ramras said. "My question to her during our caucus last night was ‘where is the food?’ In my interactions with her own administration I have spoken with Lieutenant General Craig Campbell from the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs; Commissioner Joe Masters from the Department of Public Safety; Commissioner Emil Notti from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development; her Deputy Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro, and numerous others since we first learned of the hardships in Emmonak and Western Alaska. In my press release, I acknowledged that DPS, after much pleading, provided a small plane for transport from Bethel to Kotlik.

"That the governor would accuse me of politicizing the current economic situation in the Lower Yukon strikes me as fool-hardy and Clinton-esque," Ramras added. "I introduced House Bill 114 yesterday. That was the subject of the press release. And I am offended that the governor would call my service into question. I have been organizing food and supply drives for needy Alaska communities and groups for years, and spoke on the House Floor yesterday about the success we’ve seen thanks to the many groups that have come together over the last few weeks to help. I pointed to her lack of leadership on this issue; I didn’t do it politically, I did it because it’s true: she has been too silent and her administration has taken too long to help in relief efforts. We are already weeks late."

These legislators’ or former legislator’s reactions to Palin’s evolution into an intensely divisive figure, here and nationwide, were reactions to a wide array of shortcomings of this political hack. They had little to do with the issues brought forth either by Jennifer Rubin or David Frum. And they serve to illustrate that Palin had already lost the trust of politicians, Jews and Gentiles alike, from both sides of the aisle before she quit her sworn job, to pursue more selfish and lucrative interests.