The house on Lake Lucille
Palin Family Values
[Two months before Palin's tenure as mayor ended in 2002, she asked Wasilla planning officials to forgive zoning violations so she could sell her house.]
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 9-28-08, By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE
``AP Investigation: Palin got zoning aid, gifts
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) -- Though Sarah Palin depicts herself as a pit bull fighting good-old-boy politics, in her years as mayor she and her friends received special benefits more typical of small-town politics as usual, an Associated Press investigation shows.
When Palin needed to sell her house during her last year as Wasilla mayor, she got the city to sign off on a special zoning exception and did so without keeping a promise to remove a potential fire hazard.
She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free "awesome facial" she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The "absolutely gorgeous flowers" she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home ...
Some of her first actions after being elected mayor in 1996 raised possible ethical red flags: She cast the tie-breaking vote to propose a tax exemption on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one, and backed the city's repeal of all taxes a year later on planes, snow machines and other personal property. She also asked the council to consider looser rules for snow machine races. Palin and her husband, Todd, a champion racer, co-owned a snow machine store at the time ...
She took an active role on issues that directly affected and sometimes benefited her. Her efforts to clear the way for the $327,000 sale of the Palin family home on Lake Wasilla is an example.
Two months before Palin's tenure as mayor ended in 2002, she asked city planning officials to forgive zoning violations so she could sell her house. Palin had a buyer, but he wouldn't close the deal unless she persuaded the city to waive the violations with a code variance.
The Palins, who were finishing work on a new waterfront house on Lake Lucille about two miles away, asked the city for the variance. The request was opposed by one planning official and some neighbors ...
The Palins' house was built ... too close to the shoreline and too close to adjacent properties on each side, including a carport that stretched so far over it nearly connected the two houses ...
In August 2002, Wasilla Planner Tim Krug approved a "shoreline setback exception" for the Palins' house being built too closely to the water. He sent an e-mail to the mayor saying he was drafting another variance for the side of the house built too close to the property line, but that he understood from her that the other side "will be corrected and the carport will be removed."
Krug asked Palin to let him know if he was wrong in his impression that the carport would be removed. A few minutes later, the mayor e-mailed back: "Sounds good."
On September 10, 2002, the seven-member Wasilla Planning Commission unanimously approved a variance for both sides of the property, with language covering "all existing structures." Less than a week later, the Palins signed a deed to sell the house to Henry Nosek.
The carport was never removed ...
James Svara, professor of public affairs at Arizona State University and author of "The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations," suggested such behavior is part of small-town politics ...''
[Is what we have here a small-town crooked politician?]
BLOG ENTRY on DailyKos, 10-11-08, by stef
``Did Sports Complex Contractors Build Palin's House for Free?
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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." [end Barrett]
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. How is this different from the Stevens situation?
We need to know: Who Built Sarah Palin's House?''
CNN ELECTION CENTER
``Sarah Palin Unplugged
Aired September 16, 2008 - 20:00 ET
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody. Big breaking news tonight to tell you about: another federal bailout in the financial crisis. Just minutes ago, CNN has confirmed that the Federal Reserve is negotiating to rescue insurance giant AIG. The negotiations could include an $85 billion temporary loan to stave off AIG's imminent collapse. This is a blockbuster, folks, and this affects almost everyone out there who has a 401(k) ...
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST:
... David Brooks ... wrote this in the New York Times: "Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared. [Palin] has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness." ...''
COLUMN from The Washington Post, 10-3-08, By E. J. Dionne Jr.
``Early in last night's [10-2-08] vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin said that she might not answer the questions as moderator Gwen Ifill posed them. This was the Alaska governor's way of saying she was going to stick to the talking points she had stuffed into her head, no matter what the subject.
When Palin described John McCain's health-care plan, she talked about his offer of a $5,000 tax credit so families could buy insurance. She failed to mention that McCain would pay for the credit by taxing existing insurance benefits. Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden -- politely -- pounced on her omission, warning that McCain's plan could lead millions to lose their insurance coverage. Palin didn't come back to defend her running mate.
Nor did she come back when Biden challenged her false claims about how many times Barack Obama had voted for tax increases. Palin just plowed forward, piling one attack on top of another, with leavening references to "Joe Six-Pack" and "hockey moms."
Oh, yes, she did correct Biden on one thing. When he said the Republican energy slogan is "drill, drill, drill," she quickly reminded him that "the chant is drill, baby, drill." ...
[As McCain well knows, with 70% of US oil coming from abroad, the only to get off foreign oil is to stop using oil for transportation, as proposed by T. Boone Pickens. "Drill baby drill" is a cynical attempt to get votes by misleading the American people.]
Palin has also brought out the very worst in McCain, forcing him to -- and I do not use this word lightly -- lie about her. In an interview broadcast Wednesday, National Public Radio's Steve Inskeep asked McCain if there would be "an occasion where you could imagine turning to Governor Palin for advice in a foreign policy crisis?"
McCain replied: "I've turned to her advice many times in the past ...
"Many times in the past?" McCain met Palin only twice before he selected her. What McCain said could not be true. And would anyone who listened to her last night really consult Palin on foreign policy? ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-2-08, By MARCY GORDON
``SEC extends short-selling ban for financial stocks
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators on Wednesday extended an unprecedented ban against all short-selling in the shares of more than 800 financial companies, keeping it in place at least until after Congress enacts a massive financial bailout plan ...
Sarah Palin owes voters an explanation about charging rape victims for rape kits ...
Aren't you glad all those big progressive women's groups jumped on this issue? Oh wait, they didn't. We did (with the help of a lot of other blogs). From the NYT:
Even in tough budget times, there are lines that cannot be crossed. So I was startled by this tidbit reported recently by The Associated Press: When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the small town began billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams.
Ms. Palin owes voters an explanation. What was the thinking behind cutting the measly few thousand dollars needed to cover the yearly cost of swabs, specimen containers and medical tests? Whose dumb idea was it to make assault victims and their insurance companies pay instead? Unfortunately, her campaign is shielding the candidate from the press, so Americans may still be waiting for answers on Election Day.
The rape-kit controversy is a troubling matter. The insult to rape victims is obvious. So is the sexism inherent in singling them out to foot the bill for investigating their own case. And the main result of billing rape victims is to protect their attackers by discouraging women from reporting sexual assaults ...''
AP lets Sarah Palin hang herself. Why does this matter? Because John McCain is 72 years old, has had 4 bouts of recent and very serious melanoma, has suffered repeated bouts of confusion over the past year, and if he dies in office the bumbling novice ... will become our next president and be in charge of the bailout and the war in Iraq:
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin defended her remark that the close proximity of Russia to her home state of Alaska gives her foreign policy experience, explaining in a CBS interview airing Thursday that "we have trade missions back and forth."
Palin has never visited Russia and until last year the 44-year-old Alaska governor had never traveled outside North America. She also had never met a foreign leader until her trip this week to New York. In the CBS interview, she did not offer any examples of having been involved in any negotiations with the Russians.
Palin's foreign policy experience came up when she gave her first major interview, on 9-11-08 to ABC News. Asked what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia, she said: "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska." ...
When Couric asked how Alaska's closeness to Russia enhanced her foreign policy experience, Palin said, "Well, it certainly does because our -- our next-door neighbors are foreign countries." Alaska shares a border with Canada.
Palin didn't answer directly when Couric inquired about whether she had been involved in any negotiations with the Russians.
"We have trade missions back and forth," she replied. As she continued, Palin brought up Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
"It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where -- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is -- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to -- to our state," she said. ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Boston Globe, 10-12-08
``Anti-zoning key to Palin's early record
WASILLA, Alaska -- Days after Sarah Palin became Mayor John Stein's only serious challenger in 1996, the 32-year-old city councilwoman stood and cast a proud, dissenting vote against one of Stein's greatest achievements: the first zoning plan in Wasilla's history ...
Over the next two months, Palin surprised and excited many in Wasilla by introducing social issues such as abortion and guns to the city's nonpartisan elections on the way to defeating the incumbent. But the centerpiece of her campaign was opposition to Stein's effort to bring zoning to the community.
Wasilla today reflects the results of her free-market approach to development. Running for a second mayoral term in 1999, Palin cited as one of her greatest successes luring a Fred Meyer mega-supermarket to Wasilla. The zoning plan, adopted over then-councilwoman Palin's opposition, proved no impediment for the store, which went up just a few feet from the banks of bucolic Lake Wasilla ...
Councilwoman Dianne Woodruff says "[Wasilla] looks like a big ugly strip mall from one end to the other." ...
As a vice presidential candidate, Palin has suggested that a similar attitude toward growth would prevail nationally if she were elected ...
When Wal-Mart expressed interest in building a store in the Wasilla area, the company faced few restrictions. Residents, who had a smattering of small, locally owned stores but were used to driving into Anchorage for other purchases, appeared to be uninterested in dictating the terms of the development.
"I think Wal-Mart won: They weren't asked to do much," said Stein, then mayor ... [Sarah Palin beat Mayor John Stein in 1996]
In her first year as mayor, Palin repeatedly signed ordinances to rezone lots for denser uses, often turning plots of land from "rural residential," the most restrictive category, to the looser "commercial."
Fearing that substandard construction on these new lots would undercut their members' work, the Mat-Su Homebuilders Association pushed the city to adopt building codes. In February 2007, Palin broke a 3-to-3 tie to defeat a proposed building-code ordinance in the council ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-12-08
``Congressman says McCain 'sowing seeds of hatred'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and veteran of the civil rights movement, says the negative tone of the Republican presidential campaign reminds him of the hateful atmosphere that segregationist Gov. George Wallace fostered in Alabama in the 1960s ...
In a statement issued Saturday, Lewis said McCain and running mate Sarah Palin were "sowing the seeds of hatred and division ..."
Lewis' comments follow widely reported examples of anger at McCain rallies that has been aimed at Obama, the first black man to be a major party's nominee for president. During some rallies featuring McCain and Palin, supporters have shouted "traitor," "terrorist," "treason," "liar" and even "off with his head."
The outbursts came amid a harshly personal line of attack against Obama by the GOP campaign ...
In August , while appearing at a forum on faith, McCain was asked to name three "wise people" he would listen to. He cited Lewis as well as Gen. David Petreaus, head of U.S. troops in Iraq, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a top adviser to his campaign.''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-11-08, by Matt Apuzzo
``Ethics probe hits hardest at Todd Palin
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A month after she became governor, Sarah Palin's staff ushered Alaska's public safety commissioner into her private office.
But Palin wasn't there. Her husband, Todd, had called the meeting. He was frustrated that his former brother-in-law remained on the job as a state trooper, and he prevailed upon the commissioner to get rid of him.
"I thought that was odd and made me a little uncomfortable," said Walter Monegan, the commissioner, who later was fired by Gov. Palin. "We're having it in the governor's office, and he's not the governor ..."
The January 2007 meeting was part of a long pattern of pressure that she and her husband applied on state officials to try to get the trooper fired, according to an Alaska legislative report released Friday. The report said those contacts amounted to an abuse of power and a violation of the state's ethics laws, which prohibit using public office for personal benefit.
But while the condemnation of now-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was the conclusion, the nearly 300-page report by investigator Stephen Branchflower was more about her husband. Todd Palin, the self-described "first dude" of Alaska, had extraordinary access to his wife's office, her staff and her power.
Todd Palin spent about 50 percent of his time in the governor's office, making phone calls, participating in meetings or just hanging out, said Gary Wheeler, a member of Gov. Palin's security detail ...
His efforts to get Mike Wooten, Sarah Palin's sister's ex-husband, fired were extensive. Todd Palin held dozens of meetings and phone calls with state officials ...
The legislative probe began as an investigation into whether Palin improperly fired Monegan for resisting efforts to fire Wooten. The report concluded that Monegan's firing was legal, because Palin had the right to choose her top administrators, but that the pressure Palin and her husband exerted to try to get Wooten fired was improper ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-10-08, by Matt Apuzzo
``A committee found that Sarah Palin abused her powers when she fired Walter Monegan.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded Friday [10-10-09]. The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket.
Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report by a bipartisan panel that investigated the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain. The 14 member panel is made up of 10 Republicans and four Democrats. Two of the Republicans were absent for Friday's vote.
The inquiry looked into her dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, who said he lost his job because he resisted pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.
The report found that Palin let the family grudge influence her decision-making even if it was not the sole reason Monegan was dismissed. "I feel vindicated," Monegan said. "It sounds like they've validated my belief and opinions. And that tells me I'm not totally out in left field."
Branchflower said Palin violated a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act ... The statute says "any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that (public) trust." ...
The investigation revealed that Palin's husband, Todd, has extraordinary access to the governor's office and her closest advisers. He used that access to try to get trooper Mike Wooten fired, the report found ...''
Posted by Bedford2 on 10/10/08
Okay, let me get this straight. She has been shown to abuse her authority as governor. During the debate with Biden, she indicated that the authority of the VP over the Senate (I think) could be increased according to the Constitution. This lady is not only dumb, she's dangerous. Somebody, "talk me down."
Posted by DONNAANDSTAN on 10/11/08
Body Politics: Sarah Palin's Body Language And Why It Should Worry You
Since our last post, we've been asked many times to comment on Sarah Palin's mannerisms. Her Body-Talk is not as blatant as her running mate, probably because she has a background as a performer in beauty pageants and television. She has learned to conceal the smirks and clenches that play so openly across the countenance of John McCain.
In our work we call body language the Five Flags, because there are five major ways human beings react when they're not speaking the authentic truth. Twitches and jaw-clenches are examples of Flag #1, Body-Flags.
To understand Sarah Palin, though, you need to understand Flags #2 and #3, Voice-Flags and Attitude-Flags ...
Attitude-Flag 1: The Aggressive Confidence Of The Con-Person
Sarah Palin has mastered one fundamental requirement of a Republican president: she can smile and look you directly in the eye while telling an outrageous lie.
At least when John McCain lies, his body screams his discomfort by putting on an eye-catching display of twitches, phony smiles and robot moves. McCain's body language is so strange that it's easily observable; he appears to be operated by a puppeteer who is a couple of triple-espressos over the line ...
Voice-Flag 1: The Exaggerated Folksiness Of The Huckster
... we cringed when we heard Sarah Palin start using more of those pseudo-folksy expressions such as "You betcha" and "doggone-it." She was droppin' so many g's on-stage at last week's debate that the janitorial staff may have had to work over-time pickin' 'em up, by gum.
The last eight years have taught us all a sobering lesson: you don't have to be smart to be the President of the United States. However, we hope that America is smart enough to see Palin's exaggerated folksiness for what it is, a cheap trick to cozy up to us so they can sell us four more years of Bush Lite ...
Voice-Flag 2: The Metallic Shriek Of The Fear-Monger
To emphasize certain points, Sarah Palin takes her voice up the tone scale to a metallic shriek ...
It's designed to scare you, to rake fingernails across your inner chalkboard. She often uses this voice when she first takes the stage at a rally. It works quite well there, because it cuts like a knife and jolts any of the faithful who might be dozing to sit up in their seats. We hope Americans are not so sleepy as to vote in favor of hearing this tone of voice for four years.
Here's the bottom line: The McCain/Palin campaign strategy is based entirely on stirring up fear. It's a classic way to distract people from thinking about real issues and to cover up the lack of any real solutions ...
Posted by trent1280 on 10/11/08 at 1:43AM
Mrs Palin has been found guilty, by fellow Republicans, of abuse of office in Alaska. She has kept busy dodging subpoenas. Until months ago, her own husband belonged to a group of separatists who want to destroy our Union, and remove Alaska from it. Three years ago, a witch diviner prayed for her, laid on hands, and Mrs Palin kept smiling and winking throughout ...
Mrs Palin is, quite simply, a dunce. Now, she is a dunce with a proven record of abuse of office.
For Republicans, what's not to like?
For Americans? It's George Bush in a dress. And we know where THAT got us ...''
COLUMN from The Washington Post, 10-15-08, By E. J. Dionne Jr.
``Are we witnessing the reemergence of the far right as a power in American politics? Has John McCain, inadvertently perhaps, become the midwife of a new movement built around fear, xenophobia, racism and anger? ...
McCain's ... campaign is playing with powerful extremist themes to denigrate Obama. When his running mate, Sarah Palin, first brought up Obama's association with 1960s radical Bill Ayers, who has become a centerpiece of McCain's attacks, she accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists." What other "terrorists" was she thinking about?
Since Obama was a child when Ayers was part of the Weather Underground, and since even Republicans have served on boards with Ayers, this is classic guilt by association ...
What we are witnessing is the mainstreaming of the far right, a phenomenon that began to take shape with some of the earliest attacks on Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
False claims that Obama is Muslim, that he trained to overthrow the government and that he was educated in Wahhabi schools are a standard part of the political discussion. These fake stories come from voices on the ultra right that have dabbled in other forms of conspiracy, including classic anti-Semitism ...
The angry McCain-Palin crowds, and particularly those who threaten violence or shout racist epithets, should be a wake-up call to McCain ...
When Christopher Buckley, a novelist and former speechwriter for George H.W. Bush, announced last week that he would vote for Obama (his first vote ever for a Democrat), he referred to words once spoken to him by his late father. "You know," the conservative hero William F. Buckley Jr. said, "I've spent my entire lifetime separating the right from the kooks."
McCain has an obligation, to his own legacy and the country he has served, to separate himself and his campaign from the kooks. Extremism in defense of liberty may be no vice, but extremism in pursuit of the presidency is as dysfunctional as it is degrading.''
EDITORIAL from The Washington Post, 10-13-08
``In the scheme of things -- that is to say, in the larger context of a financial meltdown -- the special counsel's report concluding that Sarah Palin engaged in an unethical abuse of power in trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as an Alaska state trooper is a relatively minor event.
But the report nonetheless offers a revealing and relevant portrait of the governor. It shows her and her husband pursuing a personal vendetta against the trooper, Mike Wooten, despite repeated warnings that they were impermissibly intruding into internal -- and already concluded -- disciplinary issues.
Likewise, Ms. Palin's decision to repudiate her earlier pledge to cooperate fully with the inquiry does not offer assurance about how she would conduct herself as vice president ...
The amount of attention that the newly elected governor, her husband and her subordinates -- her personnel director, attorney general and chief of staff, among others -- devoted to getting Mr. Wooten fired was extraordinary.
Within a few weeks of Ms. Palin's inauguration, her newly installed public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, was summoned to a meeting with the governor's husband, Todd Palin, at which the "First Gentleman" pressed Mr. Monegan to reexamine the already concluded disciplinary case against Mr. Wooten. The governor herself called Mr. Monegan, e-mailed him and met with him in person to discuss her unhappiness with Mr. Wooten's continuation on the force ...
Ms. Palin's refusal to cooperate with investigator Stephen Branchflower reflects poorly on her ... Mr. Branchflower concluded that Ms. Palin "knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-20-08, by Matt Apuzzo
``Palin's town a window into her environmentalism
WASILLA, Alaska -- Long before John McCain made Alaska Governor Palin his running mate and before her views on global warming became a campaign issue, Palin's environmental priorities were crystallized in a city where she was mayor and where development long has trumped conservation.
Palin declared Wasilla "open for business," and business rushed in: Dozens of strip malls sprung up along the city's two glacial lakes.
The costs of such fast -- and sometimes haphazard -- growth can be seen even from Palin's lakefront home. Once-pristine Lake Lucille is plagued by high levels of phosphorous, which chokes off oxygen from the salmon and trout. Scientists put the blame on nearby development.
Palin refined her pro-business attitudes after becoming governor in 2006. Faced with choosing between development and the environment, she has sided more often than not with business interests:
In a state where oil, gas, mining and fishing are among the biggest industries, her pro-business mind-set often puts her at odds with environmentalists ...
Early in her term, Palin invited environmental groups to her office. But Kate Troll, an adviser to the climate change committee, has been disappointed. Palin brought the pro-business mind-set with her from Wasilla to the governor's office, Troll said.
If Palin makes energy an issue in the White House, like Vice President Dick Cheney has, Troll expects that mind-set to continue.
"She errs on the side of development," Troll said. "Would she carry that forward to being vice president? Yes, more than likely. She is who she is."''
NEWS ARTICLE from The PLAIN DEALER, 10-21-08, by Brett J. Blackledge, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo /
``Palin children traveled on Alaska taxpayers' dime
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.
The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.
In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.
Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.
As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters -- Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 -- by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor's schedule.
But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend ...
After Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate and reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters' travel.
In the amended reports, Palin added phrases such as "First Family attending" and "First Family invited" to explain the girls' attendance.
"The governor said, 'I want the purpose and the reason for this travel to be clear,'" said Linda Perez, state director of administrative services.
When Palin released her family's tax records as part of her vice presidential campaign, some tax experts questioned why she did not report the children's state travel reimbursements as income ...
The state is already reviewing nearly $17,000 in per diem payments to Palin for more than 300 nights she slept at her own home, 40 miles from her satellite office in Anchorage.
Tony Knowles, a Democratic former governor of Alaska who lost to Palin in a 2006 bid to reclaim the job, said he never charged the state for his three children's commercial flights or claimed their travel as official state business ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-26-08, by Justin Pritchard and Garance Burke
``Palin pipeline terms curbed bids
ANCHORAGE -- Gov. Sarah Palin's signature accomplishment "a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows.
Beginning at the Republican National Convention in August , the McCain-Palin ticket has touted the pipeline as an example of how it would help America achieve energy independence.
Despite Palin's boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP found that her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited the winner, TransCanada Corp.
And contrary to the ballyhoo, there's no guarantee the pipeline will ever be built; at a minimum, any project is years away, as TransCanada must first overcome major financial and regulatory hurdles.
In interviews and a review of records, the AP found:
Palin's team was led by Marty Rutherford, a widely respected energy specialist ... What the Palin administration neglected to mention in its announcement of Rutherford's appointment was that in 2003, Rutherford left public service and worked for 10 months at the Anchorage-based Jade North lobbying firm. There she did $40,200 worth of work for Foothills Pipe Lines Alaska, Inc., a subsidiary of TransCanada.
Foothills Pipe Lines Alaska Inc. paid Rutherford for expertise on topics including state legislation and funding related to gas commercialization, according to her 2003 lobbyist registration statement ...
Patricia Bielawski, Rutherford's former partner at Jade North, spent last summer in Juneau, the state capital, serving as TransCanada's lead private lobbyist. While the Legislature debated -- and ultimately approved -- the TransCanada deal, Bielawski met with lawmakers and sat in on the public proceedings, several legislators said ...
In January 2007, Palin spoke the first of at least two times to Vice President Dick Cheney, the Bush administration's point person on energy issues, according to calendars obtained by the AP. Cheney's staff pressed the Palin administration to draw in the energy companies, said current and former state officials involved in those discussions ...
By the Nov. 30  submission deadline, there were five applications. But the state disqualified four for failing to satisfy the bill's requirements.
That left TransCanada.
The Canadian giant had been pursuing an Alaska pipeline since at least 2004, when the company negotiated a deal with Rutherford that the state ended up shelving. While the details remain confidential, six people familiar with the terms told the AP that TransCanada was willing to do the work then without the large state subsidy ...
"Most definitely TransCanada got a sweetheart deal this time," said Republican Senator Bert Stedman, who voted against the TransCanada license. "Where else could you get a $500 million reimbursement when you don't even have the financing to build the pipeline?"''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-27-08, by Matt Apuzzo and Jesse J. Holland
``Senator Ted Stevens found guilty in corruption case
WASHINGTON -- Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that threatened to end the 40-year career of Alaska's political patriarch in disgrace ...
Stevens, 84, was convicted of all the felony charges he faced of lying about free home renovations and other gifts from a wealthy oil contractor. Jurors began deliberating last week ...''
Posted by parmaperogie on 10/27/08 at 5:38PM
When are they going to investigate Palin and the contractors who built her house. Todd Palin declared on Fox News that he built their $500,000 with the help of contractor buddies.
ARTICLE from Borderfire Report. 10-24-08, by Former Congressman John LeBoutillier
``BorderFire Report is an independent new media publication providing Illegal Immigration news ...
COMING SOON: THE PALIN VS. MCCAIN BLAME GAME
As the McCain-Palin ticket heads for what looks like a blow-out defeat of historic proportions - the polling now shows even Republicans defecting from the GOP ticket and thus a double-digit lead for Barack Obama and huge, unprecedented early voting numbers - here is a prediction: the biggest fireworks of this campaign are going to come after the election.
And the two sides going after each other will be John McCain and his (few remaining) supporters, especially his alter ego/surrogate son/ Chief of Staff Mark Salter - versus Sarah Palin and her husband and any GOP leaders who remain allied with her in hopes of a 2012 candidacy.
At the heart of this conflict will be The Blame Game - who will get tarred with running one of the worst campaigns in modern political history.
Will the blame attach to McCain himself - for his herky-jerky, back-and-forth, inconsistent campaign strategies'
Or will McCain and Salter be able to sell the notion that Palin was a total disaster - and that they had no clue how bad she was until long after they picked her'
JFK once said, "Success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan."
In the case of this impending GOP Debacle on November 4th, several factors come into play:
Palin has a different agenda:
McCain will be shunned forever within the GOP. They never liked him - and after he is routed, they won't even pay attention to him ...
And Palin will be judged by next year to have so much baggage that she will not be able to run for national office again, and instead she will be trying to score a show on Fox like Mike Huckabee did ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from Newsweek, 11-6-08
``NEWSWEEK has ... learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy.
One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband.
Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books ...
McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night [11-4-08], but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.
Posted By: washchadblip on 11/06/2008
She is another spend and borrow Republican, or, in Palin's case, a spend on someone else's credit card Republican ...''
BLOG ENTRY from Victoria Kos, 9-17-08, Posted by No Surrender
``Palin's daughter pot smoking, boyfriend on harder stuff, son Track addicted to drugs
The NATIONAL ENQUIRER'S exclusive ongoing investigation of GOP VP Nom Sarah 'Barracuda' Palin's goes far beyond a mere teen pregnancy crisis this week!
The Enquirer's team of reporters has combed the Alaskan wilderness to discover the hidden truth about Gov. Palin's family, which has become a central part of her political identity.
The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively that Sarah's oldest son, Track, was addicted to the power drug OxyContin for nearly the past two years, snorting it, eating it, smoking it and even injecting it. And as Track, 19, heads to Iraq as part of the U.S. armed forces ...
THE ENQUIRER also has exclusive details about Track's use of other drugs, including cocaine, and his involvement in a notorious local vandalism incident.
"I've partied with him (Track) for years," a source disclosed. 'I've seen him snort cocaine, snort and smoke OxyContin, drink booze and smoke weed."
The source also divulged the girls would do anything for Track and he'd use his local celebrity status to manipulate other guys "to get them to steal things he wanted."
"He finally did what a lot of troubled kids here do," the source divulged. "You join the military."
And as Gov. Palin has billed the state of Alaska for various expenses related to her children, as reported by The Washington Post, The ENQUIRER's investigation reveals that she was so incensed by 17-year-old Bristol's pregnancy that she banished her daughter from the house.
Another family friend revealed pre-prego Bristol was as much of a hard partier as Track was.
"Bristol was a huge stoner and drinker. I've seen her smoke pot and get drunk and make out with so many guys. All the guys would brag that the just made out with Bristol."
When Sarah found out the teen was pregnant by high schooler Levi Johnston, she was actually banished from the house. As part of the cover-up, Palin quickly transferred Bristol to another high school and made her move in with Sarah's sister Heather 25 miles away!
And the ENQUIRER also learned that Levi Johnston, the baby mamma's future wedded dada, who was glad handed by John McCain at the GOP Convention, isn't too happy about his impending shotgun nups either.
"Levi got dragged out of the house to go to Minnesota," Levi's friend told The ENQUIRER ... The friend also confided that both Bristol and Levi "broke up a few times and they definitely messed around with other people."
Meanwhile, as members of the Palin family's war viciously over "Trooper-Gate" and claims of Sarah's extramarital affair have turned the political race into a chaotic arena of threats, denials and vicious attacks by political black ops, The ENQUIRER has discovered shocking new details about the red-hot affair scandal ...''
BLOG ENTRY by Suzie-Q
9/24/08- NATIONAL ENQUIRER HAS NOW REPORTED WHO SARAH PALIN'S LOVER IS ...
65 Responses to 'National Enquirer Reporting Sarah Palin Adultery'
``27. on September 4, 2008 by Suzie-Q
Quote: John McCain's campaign threatened legal action against the National Enquirer today for running a story about McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, allegedly having an affair with her husband's business partner.
National Enquirer responds to McCain/Palin -- Quote:
The National Enquirer's coverage of a vicious war within Sarah Palin's extended family includes several newsworthy revelations, including the resulting incredible charge of an affair plus details of family strife when the Governor's daughter revealed her pregnancy.
Following our John Edwards' exclusives, our political reporting has obviously proven to be more detail-oriented than the McCain campaign's vetting process. Despite the McCain camp's attempts to control press coverage they find unfavorable, The Enquirer will continue to pursue news on both sides of the political spectrum.
33. on September 4, 2008 by miami native
Wow, an affair.. and John McCain was an adulterer. No wonder they get along!
My question is why it has been made off limits to ask for proof of Trigg's motherhood, as Sarah Palin is using this child to rev up the ultra right wing conservatives?! Her whole story does not make sense! And we all know when it does not make sense -- there is a reason!
If she DID (I for one am convinced that life does not hand you this many co-incidences and insane scenarios without truth behind it) go through all these gyrations and lies to cover up the fact that abstinence only education did not work for her own daughter; and to shore up her re-election for Governor of Alaska, I cannot be the only one who feels very sickened by what a devious personality it would take to start with, and continue with, this total lie to the American people.
I would love to hear the opinions of doctors of the facts in this case.
Let's just look at a few of those facts. No one, not her closest friends or her staff, had any idea that Sarah Palin was pregnant until she announced she was 7 months along. She had not worn different clothes and her own comment was 'I thought someone would notice my clothes were getting snug'. She has had 4 children before and let me tell you, you show earlier and get bigger with every subsequent child. There is a picture circulating of Sarah Palin late in an earlier pregnancy, and she is absolutely HUGE.
For the same time period, (co-incidence?) her oldest daughter was missing from school due to 'mononucleosis' for FIVE months. Mono is nasty but NO ONE EVER is too sick to work or go to school for more than a few weeks. If someone stayed ill that long, they should have been in the hospital for extensive tests because it must be something else much more serious. Where was her daughter LIVING for those five months? Seems to be no answer to that question from the Palins. Why DIDN'T she hospitalize her daughter?!
There is a picture circulating of the family noted as Feb. 2008 where Sarah is slim and trim. There were family pictures up from late 2007 where Bristol has the look of a teenage girl with a definite circular baby bump. NOT fat, pregnant. Many family pictures have been removed as well as others from the Governor's website. And when you go back to look at that particular picture NOW 'circa 2006' has been ADDED. Why?
Bristol received a traffic ticket during a minor accident in Feb  when she was supposed to be sick with terrible mono. Her name DID appear on the internet website (small state, they list all the traffic stops), but sometime after that her name was removed from the ticket posting on the internet. It now simply states the ticket was given to a '17 year old'. Why the coverup?
Sarah Palin was in Texas in April  when she told managers of the Governor's meeting that she was going to give her speech but needed an earlier flight back to Alaska because her amniotic fluid was 'leaking'. This is a red flag!
The baby was supposedly a month early (but weighed over 6 lbs at birth), she knew it had Downs; yet she gives her speech, is quoted as saying she was having some labor pains but it was not ACTIVE LABOR, and so felt it was perfectly good judgement to get on a plane (with a change of planes I believe in Seattle) for a 10-12 hour trip.
Instead of rushing to a hospital prepared to take care of a preemie, she drives a couple of hours more to get to her local Medical Center (no NICU unit).
WHY would any women with a brain in her head, in premature labor, and having experienced previous childbirth, get on a plane for a trip of 10 hours plus? By all accounts of the crew she did not even appear pregnant, certainly not distressed! She could have gone into very active labor 30 minutes into the flight! It makes NO sense, and that is a Big Red Flag!
What would make sense is that her daughter was in labor back in Alaska and she was going home to complete this coverup by taking the baby home from the Medical Center as hers.
Three days later Sarah is back at work, introducing this child to everyone as hers, perky, no complaints, totally normal. Supposedly she was breast feeding and using a breast pump ...
Knowing teenage girls in love, it is entirely possible that the first thing Bristol did when she had freedom after 5 months of staying out of sight was to go see the boyfriend - and proceeded to immediately get pregnant again (the most fertile time of a woman's life is soon after giving birth)!
Think about it! Trigg was born on April 18 but the medical center STILL has NO RECORD OF HIS BIRTH! WHY? Could someone be working to change that birth certificate'
So they say Bristol is pregnant, 5 months along. Maybe it is more like 4 months? Trigg is 4 1/2 months - VERY big co-incidence. We are only juggling 2 weeks one way or another here! Anyone out there with their 'logical' brain turned on?
This young couple is going to get married? Well, FIVE months pregnant and they [have] NOT GOTTEN MARRIED ALREADY ...
Sarah Palin had no idea she was picked for VP till last week [8-08]. SO WHAT WAS HOLDING UP THE MARRIAGE OF HER PREGNANT DAUGHTER' Maybe Bristol is not quite as far along as they are telling us or there is a family feud, or both?
So where IS Trigg's birth certificate? What is the holdup? All the other babies from that medical center are listed!
WHY didn't Sarah value her child's life and go to a hospital in Texas but chose to get on a very long plane trip!? When she went to the Conference she certainly knew she was 8 months along and having a fifth child, so it could be a very short labor at any time and she would be far away from home.
Any reasonable woman would have weighed that possibility before getting on the plane to go to the Conference. Doctors and airlines consider this very bad judgement and she compounded it by getting on a plane in labor. Once the membranes break that baby is in danger.
My problem with this woman is:
there is something VERY VERY WRONG WITH HER JUDGEMENT AND HER CHARACTER! and she is underestimating the intelligence of the American people!
This scenario, which makes so much MORE sense than HER scenario, shows that she is NOT the stable personality that this country needs in leadership.
Judgement also includes knowing one's own limits! And how she judges herself with all that is going on in her family and total lack of foreign policy knowledge and experience, 'ready' to be leader of the free world and implement treaties and protocol with leaders like Putin to keep us out of more war? VERY over confident, which is dangerous!
She also says Iraq is God's plan so perhaps more war is not a problem for her! Putting country FIRST? No, this is all hunger for power, and McCain's and HER ambition.
John McCain wrote in his second book that he did not run in 2000 for patriotic reasons, or to promote his agenda for the country's direction, but out of PURE AMBITION TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. (check it out) ...
Sarah Palin is not being honest with us, about a lot of things! Letters from her neighbors in her hometown have some pretty powerful warnings about her! 'She bites the hand that feeds her' is one way they put it!
Her husband was a 'shadow governor', sitting in on important meetings, even ones requested to be "private'. He got a good man fired because he dated his friend's ex-wife. He was cc'd on all official emails from the Governor's office.
We have reason to look very carefully and ask a lot of questions before we buy a pig in a poke. If we lose McCain (who might like war with Russia, but?) the mental image of Sarah vs. Putin regarding the missiles that will soon be heading back to Cuba gives me the chills.
So, is John McCain putting 'country first' by choosing Gov. Palin' Or, if he gets to fulfill his great ambition to be President and then leaves this Earthly plane, does he just figure 'what the he-ll'?.''
NEWS ARTICLE from The NATIONAL ENQUIRER, 9-26-08
``In a world exclusive The NATIONAL ENQUIRER names GOP VP Candidate Sarah Palin's secret lover!
No less than three members of the man's family including one by sworn affidavit have claimed that Sarah Palin engaged in an extramarital affair with husband Todd's former business partner, Brad Hanson.
These sources have named Hanson as Palin's secret love, and say their affair nearly wrecked both their marriages.
Hanson owned a snowmobile dealership with Palin's husband Todd, who immediately dissolved the partnership after he heard stories about the affair, which occurred around 1996, according to the sources. At the time, Palin was mayor of Wasilla ...
Hanson family insider, Jim Burdett, has gone on the record and passed a rigorous polygraph test, revealing details of the affair to The NATIONAL ENQUIRER in a world exclusive interview.
Burdett is a former brother-in-law of Hanson's estranged wife Carolyn's brother, Craig Batton, and still speaks with many family members.
"I've known about Brad having had an affair for a long time, but it wasn't until just recently that I learned his affair was with Sarah Palin," Burdett told The NATIONAL ENQUIRER ...''
EDITORIAL from The Plain Dealer, 10-19-08
``Obama for president - editorial
After eight years of George W. Bush, America needs a change in direction and a change in tone.
It needs a president who understands that, yes, the world can be dangerous, but it is also complex. That the United States cannot defend its freedom by abandoning its principles. That it cannot ignore its allies one day and demand their help the next.
It needs a president who knows that optimism, not fear, defines America. That tax cuts and deregulation alone are not an economic strategy. That Washington cannot sit idle when a great city is devastated by nature or when millions of hardworking Americans are devastated by losing their homes, their jobs, their health care.
It needs a president who will listen and learn, and not confuse loyalty with competence. Who will ask Americans to sacrifice in the service of their country, not their party or self-interest. Who will be the leader Bush promised eight years ago - a unifier, not a divider.
Barack Obama can be that leader ...
This fall has degenerated into a disappointing cacophony of attack ads ... [and] banality.
McCain has shamelessly exaggerated Obama's supposedly radical ties and tried to place him far outside the political mainstream ...
Obama will have to be tough enough to push back if Democrats on Capitol Hill try to draw him into the mindless partisanship he has often and rightly renounced ...
In their first debate, McCain haughtily said that Obama did not understand the difference between strategy and tactics. His campaign suggests that he doesn't, either.
Take his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. McCain seemed too caught up in the game-changing possibilities of teaming with a woman reformer to scratch the smiling surface. Had he, McCain might have realized that Palin is utterly unprepared for the job he offered - let alone the one that might fall to her. His trust in her undermines our trust in him ...''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press, 10-19-08, By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
``Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president Sunday, describing the Illinois senator as a "transformational figure." ...
Powell expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain's campaign, as well as in his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee.
"I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States," Powell said ...''
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