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This is insane:

An independent investigator has found evidence that Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated ethics laws by trading on her position in seeking money for legal fees, in the latest legal distraction for the former vice presidential candidate as she prepares to leave office this week.

The report obtained by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.

An investigator for the state Personnel Board says in his July 14 report that there is probable cause to believe Palin used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain because she authorized the creation of the trust as the “official” legal defense fund.

The practical effect of the ruling on Palin will be more financial than anything else. The report recommends that Palin refuse to accept payment from the defense fund, and that the complaint be resolved without a formal hearing before the board.

The fund aims to help Palin pay off debts stemming from multiple ethics complaints against her, most of which have been dismissed. Palin says she owes more than $500,000 in legal fees, and she cited the mounting toll of the ethics probes as one of the reasons she is leaving office.

The investigator, Thomas Daniel, sided with Palin in her frustration with having to defend herself against a barrage of ethics complaints. He suggested that Alaska lawmakers may need to create a law that reimburses public officials for legal expenses to defend complaints that end up being unfounded.

Palin’s friends and supporters created the Alaska Fund Trust in April, limiting donations to $150 per person. Organizers declined to say how much it has raised, and had hoped to raise about $500,000. A Webathon last month brought in about $130,000 in pledges.

In his report, Daniel said his interpretation of the ethics act is consistent with common sense.

An ordinary citizen facing legal charges is not likely to be able to generate donations to a legal defense fund, he wrote. “In contrast, Governor Palin is able to generate donations because of the fact that she is a public official and a public figure. Were it not for the fact that she is governor and a national political figure, it is unlikely that many citizens would donate money to her legal defense fund.”

The ethics complaint was filed by Eagle River resident Kim Chatman shortly after the fund was created, alleging Palin was misusing her official position and accepting improper gifts.

“It’s an absolute shame that she would continue to keep the Alaska Fund Trust Web site up and running,” Chatman told the AP.

At least 19 ethics complaints have been filed against Palin, most of them after she was named the running mate for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. Most of those have been dismissed, and Palin’s office usually sends a news release with the announcement.

The multiple ethics complaints include an investigation by state lawmakers over Palin’s firing of her public safety commissioner in the so-called Troopergate scandal.

John Coale, a Washington lawyer who helped set up the fund, called the probable cause finding “crazy,” adding that if upheld, it would mean that no governor could ever defend themselves against frivolous ethics complaints.

“If this complaint is true, there’s no way to defend yourself” as governor, Coale said. “Anybody can keep filing ethics complaints and drive someone out of office even if you’re a nut.”

Coale said that unlike other states, Alaska’s governor has no legal counsel’s office to defend the governor from allegations brought against the governor in her official capacity.

Coale said he recommended creation of the legal defense fund, a common practice in Washington. The Web site for the Palin fund cites similar accounts created for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and other prominent politicians.

People take advantage of Alaska law to make bogus, petty ethics complaints. Sarah Palin runs up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills defending herself from those complaints. Her supporters donate money to help pay those bills. Someone complains that that is unethical.

It’s Kafkaesque.

93 Responses

  1. This is a crock. What a bunch of BS. How about those Politicians that run for office and use their money for legal bills? Tom DeLay anyone?

    • Everyone from Scooter Libby to a current Democratic Party chair in NJ has had a legal defense fund.

    • THis WOULD be legal under the federal framework. But Alaska law, whether you agree with it or not, was written to preclude the same on the state level. As such, you may consider it more a technical violation. In fact, in some readings of the law, it doesn’t REALLY become a violation of Alaska law until she accepts and uses the money for the legal defense expenses. That is debatable. The question in my mind is why did she NOT seek competent legal advice BEFORE setting it up. I’m convinced if she had a legal opinion either from counsel in her office, the ethics staff. or outside counsel she would have noted it during the investigation and now. Whether you like/dislike, agree/disagree with Governor Palin, seeking good legal advice is a minimal standard of competency for prominent officials….

      • My guess is that she is still trusting her staff to do the research and legal explorations before these things get to her desk. She needs a much better assistant, IMO.

        • Maybe true. But that just changes the nexus point for responsibility. If she doesn’t have a competent staff, it should not be a surprise two years in. And should be extra careful on such a complicated set of legal questions. Anyone with experience would be expected to have a memo in file to document that the proper vowels and consonants were dotted or crossed…. I worked for one elected official. She had one legal counsel who almost always found a way to say “yes – permissible and here’s why.” The other almost always found a way to say “no- stand down this is not permissible.” I finally figured out that he was assigning out the questions with an eye to the probability of getting the direction he preferred. “On the clear advice and consultation with legal counsel, we concluded….” That is a VERY useful statement to have in your back pocket…..

  2. That’s nuts. She’s in debt from defending proven bogus ethics complaints, and now she’s unethical because some people donate to help with that expense? Kafkaesque is right, myiq.

    I hope she writes her book, does the talk show circuit, and makes fucking millions.

    • Ah yes…that would be great. She could flip them all off. PDS is one serious mental illness. These people need to be fitted for straight jackets and secured in rubber rooms for all eternity.

  3. Good thing that there is no sexism left in America. Let’s just make ‘being a powerful person while female’ a felony and be done with it.

  4. myiq,

    “It happened that fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits, who believe it is a joke.”

    Soren Kierkegarrd “Either/Or”


  5. She’s expected to go bankrupt defending herself against frivolous charges? WTF? I thought we liberals were supposed to be about fairness?

    • I guess this justifies her resigning so she can play “show me the money”

      Mike Huckabee got paid over $50K to make campaign appearances for some doofus in Alabama

    • Keep up, we’re about Swiftboating now. Except we improved it, it used to just be about smearing to win, we’ve made it about smearing to destroy financially.

  6. No politician should be without a $2M Umbrella policy to protect themselves.

    The people have no right to ask someone to serve as their Governor and end up spending four times more to defend themselves against the people of their state than they earned on the job.

    I’m pretty sure the Clintons had help with the $1M+ legal debt they left office with.

  7. Here’s a question – once she is officially resigned can she accept the money?

  8. This is what Palin’s attorney Thomas Van Flein
    released on her Facebook page:

    “The resolution of the Trust Fund is not final. I have been working with the investigator regarding supplemental information. The matter is still pending. Whatever you have seen was released in violation of law. There has been no Board finding of an ethics violation and there is a detailed legal process to follow before there is a final resolution.”

    “All options are open in terms of legal remedies. It is a clear violation of Alaska law that Mr. Daniel explicitly reviewed with Ms. Chatman prior to her illegal actions. We will be contacting the appropriate authorities for review and action.”

    • I hope Sarah sues Ms. Chatman’s ASS OFF if releasing the info to the press was in violation.

      As a matter of fact, I think I’d donate to a fund to do just that.

  9. Face it, y’all. Sarah Palin is your basic, ignorant, wildlife slaughtering, rabble rousing, trailer dwelling, scum sucking slut. Let’s just burn her at the stake, live on MSNBO. Keith Boy can bring the marshmallows.

  10. Long time lurker, first time poster. 🙂

    Following are two updates made recently to Gov. Palin’s Facebook page.

    “The resolution of the Trust Fund is not final. I have been working with the investigator regarding supplemental information. The matter is still pending. Whatever you have seen was released in violation of law. There has been no Board finding of an ethics violation and there is a detailed legal process to follow before there is a final resolution.”

    Thomas Van Flein
    Private Attorney for Sarah Palin

    “All options are open in terms of legal remedies. It is a clear violation of Alaska law that Mr. Daniel explicitly reviewed with Ms. Chatman prior to her illegal actions. We will be contacting the appropriate authorities for review and action.”

    Thomas Van Flein
    Private Attorney for Sarah Palin

  11. What is coming next ,myiq, is that they try to say she can’t make any book deals, profit off of talk shows, etc, because she is technically owned by the state of Alaska and they are the reason for her fame, so they are entitled to a share of any profits she might make.

    There is often a very concerted effort made to keep money out of the hands of women. From reading comments on the internet, this is what it boils down to, there are a lot of Cheetoh eaters who really resent the fact that she might go on to be financially successful. I’ve read a lot of posts about what they could do to legally disrupt her plans. That’s just pure misogyny, because it isn’t even about derailing her political career, a lot of them just want her broke and living in car somewhere, as one person wrote, “because she thinks too highly of herself.”

    • Thinks too highly of herself, and must be punished? Uppity bitch, is what they mean. God, I cannot believe that I used to be a regular poster over at Cheetoland. *shudder*

      • Precisely, they actually said, “she needs to be humbled.” forget legal bills, they need a collection for therapy.

      • A woman with self-esteem! imagine?
        quick, take her down a peg!

        • Well, they don’t mind women with “self-esteem”, so long as that self-esteem is merely an extension of them, like a reward given for good behavior in supporting the agenda of their “man”. Women can certainly be proud, so long as they agree to bow their heads and be told what to be proud of by the men holding the strings.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I have spent a lot of my life around some of the most “backward”, blue-collar, country, redneck, conservative men you can imagine. And most of them, despite a sort of yuck-yuck cultural macho-act type sexism, treated me with a lot of respect once you called them on their bullshit. It’s like their “sexism” was mostly reflex posturing, not really serious once it came down to business or getting a job done. But I have never, EVER experienced the sheer contempt and woman-hate from that demographic that I have gotten from so-called enlightened Liberal men. EVER.

      • Evidently the boyz have self esteem issues. Heaven forbid a female be confident and assertive.

        Frankly, I hadn’t donated to Palin’s PAC at this point but I’d like to congratulate them because I will be making my first donation on behalf of them and the undersized penises they are attempting to compensate for.

      • Last year really opened my eyes to the depravity of many of my fellow “progressives”–that is, how many were actually “fauxgressive”. 😡

        • I honestly don’t understand where these people come from. They have no principles, no ethics, and want to emulate Rove in all things. All I can figure is the cowboy hats, unhipness factor, and possibly longer queue for jobs are keeping them out of the Republican party.

  12. Oops. Lyn got there first. My apologies for the repetitive posting. 🙂

  13. Wow. PDS is a virulent strain.

    • u got that right fif!

    • Maybe not exactly PDS, but certainly showing lack of respect, a headline at journalism.org reads:

      “Lipstick, White Gloves and Protests Divide the Attention of Social Media.”

      The lipstick symbolizing guess who, while the white gloves refer to Michael Jackson.

  14. The sheer viciousness of trying to destroy someone financially is breathtaking. I hope Palin ends up rich and spends ten seconds a day thumbing her nose at the haters.

    • Remember, this is from supposed “liberals” and “progressives.” The degree of delusion is frightening.

  15. Rachel Maddow Show – Gov. Palin’s next ethics challenge

    • And this is why Dems will lose it all sooner rather than later. Palin is everyman (or everywoman), she epitomizes outside of washington. And of course she has oodles of charisma. She connect to ordinary people regardless of politics. When these fauxgressives belittle Palin, they are belittling ordinary americans. They’re being bullies. They are being ugly, elite snobs. And again, it has nothing to do with politics or policy preferences. It’s more personal. And I don’t think they’ll notice until she or people she backs move into some offices in DC.

      And of course, what’s really pathetic as they focus on Palin and act like @sshole bullies, their beloved supermajority Dems are off greasing their palms with GS and others and not doing a damn thing for them. Pathetic.

      • ur right except for the blue dawgs

        I read they are breaking heavily against cap & trade, etc.

        I”m glad I became a proud “unaffiliated” last year! I don’t think I could hold my head up proper if I were either of the other two right now!!

        Tooo much dirt piling up. We’ll see how the primaries lineup for 2012 before I consider re-entering the D fold. Doubt it. Not until those bubble heads are replaced!

    • This says it all…. When they rebroadcast Maddow’s show at 11:00 PM EST they beeped out the accusations which was stated as fact in this video.

  16. Here’s something a bit OT but I thought you’d all like to read this:

    In the health debate, liberals sing Hari Krishnas to the “public option” — a new federal insurance program like Medicare — but if it’s good enough for the middle class, then surely it’s good enough for the political class too? As it happens, more than a few Democrats disagree.

    On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn that would require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan. Yet all Democrats — with the exceptions of acting chairman Chris Dodd, Barbara Mikulski and Ted Kennedy via proxy — voted nay.

    In other words, Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse won’t themselves join a plan that “will offer benefits that are as good as those available through private insurance plans — or better,” as the Ohio and Rhode Island liberals put it in a recent op-ed. And even a self-described socialist like Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, who supports a government-only system, wouldn’t sign himself up.

    Of course, they also qualify now for generous Congressional coverage. Most Americans won’t have the same choice. Some will be transferred to the new entitlement as it uses its taxpayer bankroll to dominate insurance markets. Others work for businesses that will find it easier to dump their policies and move employees to the federal rolls. Democrats also know that the public option will try to control health spending by squeezing payments made to doctors and hospitals, and by not paying for treatments that Washington decides are too expensive, which will result in inferior care.

    No doubt Mr. Dodd acceded to the Coburn amendment to blunt such objections, and in any case he’ll strip it out later in some backroom. Judd Gregg was the only GOP Senator to oppose it, on humanitarian grounds. As he told us in an interview, the public option “will be so bad that I don’t think anyone should be forced to join.”

    Seems the “Public Option” is good enough for “us” but not good enough for the people who are trying to shove it down our throats!

  17. Somebody perceives Sarah as a real threat. I can’t decide if it’s more political or social. Are they afraid of the political support she might generate or are they more concerned about putting her in place as a woman. Could be both but such intensely bad feelings towards her make me wonder.

  18. It should be noted that the last page of the report specifically stated that it was to be kept confidential unless the gov. waives confidentiality. Chatman released it to the AP (Anti-Palin), the Anchorage Daily News then posted the report on their website, and now it is all over the internet. I would think that there should be some legal action taken against Chatman, the AP and the ADN.

    It should also be noted that this is not the final report, it’s just the report being sent to the Personnel Board. The PB has final say, and I would think that they would want to investigate how it was leaked and by whom, just so that they don’t come out looking bad.

    In the end, Palin will prevail, and all of her enemies both left and right won’t even amount to speedbumps, they’ll just be roadkill on the Palin Highway to DC.

  19. http://texas4palin.blogspot.com/

    “So who is Thomas Daniel, and how “independent” an investigator is he?

    Daniel is a lawyer employed by the firm of Perkins Coie, LLP. He contributed $1,000 to Democrat John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Daniel has also donated to Alaska’s Democrat U.S. Senator Mark Begich.

    Perkins Coie, as it turns out, just happens to have Barack Obama as a client.”

  20. The best thing is that the lawyer who investigates this belongs to Perkins Coie, the same firm which Obama pays millions to keep his documents hidden from public eye. Everyone knows that this latest finding doesn’t hold water but it was leaked before the Gov. can resign, one last shot before she leaves office. Wanna bet that this whole ethics nonsense could have been orchestrated by the Obama goons to keep Palin pinned in Alaska and personally bankrupt her? Good thing the Gov got out before there was more damage to herself and the state of Alaska.

  21. Jeralyn Merritt is a criminal defense attorney/blogger who always takes a “innocent until proven guilty” approach to stories about people accused of crimes.

    Unless the person accused is Sarah Palin in which case Jeralyn’s approach is GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!


    Smoking Kool-aid through a crack pipe.

    • Oh, yeah. According to her, poor murdering Manson gal-pal Susan Atkins deserves sympathy, but Sarah Palin ought to be burned at the stake. Jeralyn disgusts me.

    • I think for Merritt, hate for Palin is some sort of drug. Obviously it’s some personal problem she has that has nothing to do with Palin. From what we all saw at the Dem convention she got close to fame and she snapped, she wants it bad. And Palin has it in spades and Merritt just can’t handle that. She’s like a drug addict that you can’t help. Nothing you say will get through. Sad.

    • Hah. I saw Jeralyn’s post and came over here because I figured myiq2xu already called her out for her PDS.

      Jeralyn’s hatred for Palin goes far beyond a normal Democrat’s hatred for Republicans. DandyTiger, I absolutely agree that so many of these bloggers crave fame and all of that became clear during the Dem convention. I really do think that a lot of women who might have more education or believe they are more intelligent than Palin are jealous of her success and fame. It’s the “why this stupid tart and not me” attitude that you’d expect from high school aged girls running for Prom Queen.

      • I always respected Jeralyn as an intelligent, level-headed attorney until last year when she dove head first into the Kool-aid punchbowl.

      • and that’s what MOST Of them who are on these blogs especially complaining about her

        young obot leg humping punks (is that too harsh?)

    • speaking of which:

      I basically asked her why she is covering a second rate story on Palin and not the story on the fired Inspector General (Walpin). TalkLeft has no stories on him that I can tell, no pro, no con, nothing. Her answer was this:

      If you want to pick the topic, you’ll need to start your own blog.

      Of course, I was not choosing topics, merely pointing out her hypocrisy as the proprietor of a legal and political blog. She decided to deflect it.

      • She banned me for less

      • The best part was that yours was only the second comment, and no more than 4 people have bothered to weigh in on her post! Those PDS posts of JM’s are becoming so pathetic that her own readers just back away slowly from participating. She’s lost her fire on the subject, and her idea that she’ll somehow single-handedly stop Palin from ever holding a national office is looking grim ~ HAHA.

        I think she really believed her fame was on the other side of the DNC Convention door this time…why else would she have dedicated herself to kissing b*tts and rubbing elbows instead of blogging? TalkLeft really exposed itself over the past year. BTD is a joke, as well.

        • Despite comparing Obama to FDR and backing his disastrous health care plan (see here where BTD gets testy with Alegre’s Corner regular Masslib: http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/7/20/16335/5271), BTD definitely has more sense than Jeralyn. He hides any PDS or underlying sexism he has well and is smart enough not to expose it in his blog posts. BTD is the only reason why TalkLeft hasn’t turned the way of Taylor Marsh as a big fail, tier 3 political blog. THe only reason why anyone would still read TChris and Jeralyn is to either catch up on the latest reality television news or laugh at their Palin posts.

          • BTD is not threatened by intelligent, or powerful women. He backed Obama and Sotomayor for the same reason, and “media darling” wasn’t it.

          • BTD is a decent guy. I often disagree with him, but he is still sane. Though not without his biases, he seems somewhat self-aware of them, and at least makes an EFFORT to be fair. More than I can say for most of the blogger boyz these days.

          • BTD will argue with you as long as you behave and use logic and evidence.

            He will even admit when he is wrong.

            Jeralyn will ban you for disagreeing.

            I have no problem arguing with people, as long as they don’t just spout talking points or try to convince me not to believe my lying eyes. I’m not gonna rehash stuff over and over either.

          • Heh, I don’t comment over there anymore, but I do go read on occasion. I only read BTD’s threads. I don’t even bother to click on Jeralyn’s.

          • meeee2, on July 22nd, 2009 at 11:59 am Said:
            BTD is not threatened by intelligent, or powerful women. He backed Obama and Sotomayor for the same reason, and “media darling” wasn’t it.


            BTD stated explicitely that his reason for backing Obama was the latter’s “media darling” status.

          • Sorry – bad wording on my part. He backed Obama for ethnic reasons, not for his meme “media darling”, and he backed Sotomayor for the very same (ethnic) reason. At least he admitted his bias toward hispanic; he wasn’t so honest with the reason he was backing Obama.

            But, he isn’t intimidated by strong, intelligent women.

            Sorry for the confusion.

  22. I apologize for the hotair link, but they have a pretty interesting point:

    “Update: Here’s the PDF of the report. It’s only nine pages long and worth reading in full because the gist of it is that legal defense funds simply aren’t permissible under the Alaska ethics act. It’s not that she’s doing anything underhanded or differently from the Clintons or John Kerry or any federal official; it’s just that Alaska doesn’t allow the governor to accept money that’s in any way connected with the performance of her duties as governor. In fact, on page 7, the investigator goes out of his way to say that Alaska’s system is FUBAR, especially with respect to not reimbursing the governor for defending herself against frivolous complaints, but since he can only apply the law as written, that’s what he has to do. His recommendation for “corrective action”: Having Palin seek reimbursement from Alaska.”


  23. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/republican-party/ap-claims-palin-misused-legal.html#more

    “Update, 10:15 p.m.: Randy Evans, the attorney who helped Palin set up the Alaska Trust Fund, released a statement moments ago dismissing the allegation that there was any impropriety in its founding as “absolutely untrue”. “

    • PUMA W00T!!!

    • Personally, I hope Palin sues everyone who brought false complaints against her, and every publication that helped those hateful frauds spread the allegations! Let those who created this nightmare for her, pay off her legal bills.

  24. This is the greatest story ever, for Palin. This is so stunningly over the top that it lays the insanity of Palin hate on the table for all to see. Well, they’ll see it eventually, after the drug induced Palin hate tribal stupor wears off.

  25. They’ll never, ever forgive her for telling the truth about Obama. Such courage!

    I would love to see her shake off her political baggage and be free. I don’t think I could bear a run for the presidency–I don’t want to witness the abuse again.

    Hi everyone! I keep my time mag cover right by the computer. Damn–she looked gorgeous!

  26. There’s a new thread for anyone who’s still awake

  27. If only obama would have been checked as closely as Palin…we would not have to put up with him.

  28. […] as opposed to her health care policy position, is worthy of some note.  So to is the ethics of investigating Sarah Palin’s ethics, Sonia Sotomayor’s “temperament,” and […]

  29. Sarah is getting “Martha Stewarted”.

    The boyz don’t like girls in the clubhouse.
    Remember…No Girls Allowed !

    BTW Having commented as Jo previously, I finally get a name that suits me. What I saw in the dem 08 primaries made me think I had gone bizarro, but I finally realized it was the Dems who had gone bizarro insane, not me.

  30. From Sarah Palin’s facebook page

    Appreciate Trustee Kristan Cole giving this statement
    in press conference today:
    Today at 4:46pm
    Press Release

    Kristan Cole, Trustee
    The Alaska Fund Trust
    July 22, 2009

    Thank you for being here today. My name is Kristan Cole, Trustee to the Alaska Fund Trust. And this is the Trust’s attorney in Alaska, Jon Givens.

    I am here to address the unusual letter that was leaked yesterday, the contents of which are unprecedented in the history of our country, suggesting that a legal defense fund could somehow be unethical. This is particularly notable, and concerning, in light of the fact that the Trust, on my instructions, has not paid even one penny to Gov. Palin or her lawyers. I issued that instruction because I was aware the Board was reviewing this matter.

    This Trust was created by a team of expert lawyers from around the country. It was thoroughly vetted for compliance with federal and state law and trust law. So far Mr. Daniel is the only lawyer in the country who has questioned a legal defense fund despite the fact that his firm has set up legal defense funds for other office holders. Because his initial review was unprecedented and contained factual errors it was my understanding that Gov. Palin’s legal team, including Mr. Van Flein, were in on-going discussions with Mr. Daniel. The matter was not final.

    I want to be clear on a point that has been misrepresented: The Governor is not and was not involved with the Trust. The Governor has never worked on or with the Trust. The Governor has not even accepted or requested one penny from the Trust or quite frankly anything of me. And I have never expected anything from her. Really it’s quite the contrary; as I, and many other caring folks across the country have only sought to help with this legal burden.

    The first and only time I have spoken with the Governor about the Trust was yesterday to alert her that I was responding to this violation of the law and leak of preliminary and confidential materials from the complainant.

    There is a loophole in Alaska law. Alaskans can file frivolous complaints against the Governor – violate the law and alert the media they are doing so, all the complaints can be dismissed and yet the Governor has to personally pay for representation. Legislators covered themselves with a law that warrants automatic dismissal of a complaint if it is leaked to the public.

    It has been quite obvious to me, and to other every day citizens like me, that over the last several months that something needed to be done to help the Palins with the overwhelming crush of frivolous ethics complaints.

    In their own humble way, the Palins never asked for help. The Governor never even asked anyone to contribute to this legal expense fund. This trust, and the thousands and thousands of dollars raised, were the results of hard working Americans and their outpouring of support. It is disgraceful that anyone would assume that the thousands of people who sent in $5, $10 or $50 intended to “influence” the governor’s official actions in Alaska! And this in a state where a half dozen legislators have been convicted of corruption as well as the previous governor’s chief of staff. Not one ethics complaint was filed against these individuals who were convicted, but this governor is harassed for having her picture taken with a fish, wearing a jacket, answering press questions and giving a speech.

    A few select people have abused our ethics act. The public release of a preliminary document in violation of state law follows that pattern. The people of this state are losing hope that the ethics act has any real purpose anymore and that’s incredibly sad as ethics are so important. Mr. Daniel’s preliminary assessment, unprecedented in history and harshly criticized by legal scholars, does nothing to restore credibility to this process.

    Numerous individuals thought to help the Palins – not just me. But when I was asked, I was doing research of my own and determined that I would put my name on a Trust already going through an intense legal process throughout the country to ensure that this one was airtight and complied with every possible law under the sun. And this one does. It is one of the most restrictive and transparent trusts of its kind. The validity of the Trust is strong. It is unprecedented in every way imaginable… all donations must be under $150, no donations from lobbyists, and nothing accepted from foreign nationals to name a few. No trust has ever been found to be a violation of ethical standards for any governor, former president, senator, or house member, or former member of Congress. But this Trust which has more severe donation and donor limits than any trust in the history of legal defense trusts might violate ethical rules?

    Some Trust funds are formed and accepted to defend politicians in true Courts of Law with regard to some very serious criminal charges. And yet, this Fund was created by others to help the Palins pay for their legal bills due to frivolous complaints – each of which has been dismissed thus far. I will let my attorney speak to the legal issues but I wanted to take this opportunity to speak to yesterday’s blatant violation of the law.

    You know, we have witnessed time and again the blatant abuse of process when it comes to people filing these complaints and illegally discussing them and leaking them to the press- but this latest move further crosses the line and we are all reviewing action for the reputational harm caused by Ms. Chatman based upon the leak of Tom Daniel’s preliminary thinking on the matter – a product that may have ultimately been remarkably different and perhaps even dismissed. Where is the accountability for those who blatantly disregard the requirement to keep the issue confidential?

    There are many questions which need to be asked following my read of what was leaked.

    And, if I may digress – this is how backwards our laws are – I had to go online and read the preliminary letter about the Trust and me because Mr. Daniel and Mr. Van Flein cannot violate the confidentiality of the Ethics Act (even though it appears the complainant has)and therefore cannot even forward the preliminary letter to me. Now that I have read it, I still hope to inform Mr. Daniel of the important information that Mr. Van Flein had requested from me to be shared with Mr. Daniel.

    What was the reason for my involvement? The preliminary letter suggests that perhaps I served as Trustee so I could get some job with the state. This is amazingly wrong and so incredibly hurtful. That is the last thing I want. I did this because it believed it was the right thing to do for our Governor. I love Alaska. I have lived here 40 years and I have always served the state when asked – and despite the fact that I am entitled to public monies in the form of expenses, per diem and wages – I have declined every single penny. I have served as a volunteer on others boards, and commissions (The Real Estate Commission and the Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund Board) under a previous Governor so volunteer work has been part of my life for a long time. I was approached to serve as Trustee for the legal defense fund. I did not seek out this position just as I have never sought out any other position but was willing to step up to the plate and serve when asked because that’s what we all do when asked to serve our country, our state and our communities isn’t it? We do it because it’s the right thing to do and by all of us serving where we can, we all benefit. My sons and my husband have served our country. I have served our state and our community here in the Mat Su Valley with the hope that we are making a difference where we can.

    So how unfair is it that the Governor can be told she was wrong for putting together the Fund, soliciting Funds, accepting the Funds and spending the Funds when she hasn’t been involved at all—-And no money has been spent on her legal defense?

    If the Governor only accrued the bills because she is a public figure then why is it wrong for a Trust to collect funds to defend her as a public figure? Alaska law specifically states that there is only a problem if there is “intent” to influence the Governor. How can there be intent to influence a Governor in Alaska with a $5 voluntary donation from Kansas? To date, approximately 90% of the contributions are from Outside Alaska and many are $5, $10 and $20 donations. Not one penny has been paid to any law firm or entity for the Governor’s financial gain. If the Governor has not solicited or accepted personal gain, how can she be in violation of soliciting and accepting monies for personal gain?

    Let’s review what has been deemed lawful. Creation of the PAC and fundraising was deemed lawful. Writing a book was deemed lawful. All other legal defense funds similar, but not as restrictive as this one, have been deemed to be lawful. The very firm who put together Senator Kerry’s legal defense fund which was deemed lawful was put together by the very law firm that Mr. Daniel is employed by. These are inconsistent conclusions and defy common sense. That is why this matter was not final and Mr. Daniel and Mr. Van Flein were discussing these issues.

    Potential future gain, based upon no active solicitations, in one of the most stringent legal expense funds in the country does not merit a situation much less a violation. Mr. Daniel says that because the Trust was an “official” Trust he felt it violated the law. This overlooks the necessity of having one “official” fund. The unofficial funds are the very ones that had the potential to harm the public by unscrupulous people.

    We knew that in fairness to Alaskans and Americans, this site needed to be official because of the potential scams that could arise. How ethical would it be for a pensioner in Iowa or a single mother in New Hampshire to have their donation diverted by someone who had no intention of helping the Governor and may keep the money for themselves or other equally harmful things?

    But let’s think through the same logic, if a foreigner wanted to set up his or her own fund, collect a handsome payoff, and accept $5 million donations from rogue groups even, as long as that person did not tell the Governor, that would be okay? That is the conclusion that is being reached here in Mr. Daniel letter and flies in the face of good logic, common sense, and the good necessity of protecting the public.

    Every aspect of the Alaska Fund Trust follows the law. Precedent allows for it. The Palins haven’t been involved with it. It is unfortunate that some in the media were so quick to point the finger at the Governor for something others are responsible for and have established to assist her in the fight against these outrageous attacks. And this acceptance that the law can be continually violated for pure political gain … is wrong.


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