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?
Stef quotes at length from a recent Village Voice article on this issue, by Wayne Barrett, which came out Wednesday, called The Book of Sarah (Palin). Barrett's article, which I had somehow missed, up to this point, is the most extensive de-bunking of the Palin myth I've yet read anywhere.
The Associated Press came out with an article this morning called, As governor, Palin at times bonds church and state, about Palin's penchant for billing us - the Alaska taxpayers - for trips to see her spiritual gurus, or commune with the religious right she sees as her base. I'd been waiting for an article on this to come out, as several of us had speculated that this sort of activity would fit what we're calling her "MO."
Here's an excerpt:
An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate's record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.
Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.
Palin was baptized Roman Catholic as a newborn and baptized again in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God church when she was a teenager. She has worshipped at a nondenominational Bible church since 2002, opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest and supports classroom discussions about creationism.
Since she was named as John McCain's running mate, Palin's deep faith and support for traditional moral values have rallied conservative voters who initially appeared reluctant to back his campaign.
On a weekend trip from the capital in June, a minister from the Wasilla Assembly of God blessed Palin and Lt. Gov Sean Parnell before a crowd gathered for the "One Lord Sunday" event at the town's hockey rink. Later in the day, she addressed the budding missionaries at her former church.
"As I'm doing my job, let's strike this deal. Your job is going be to be out there, reaching the people — (the) hurting people — throughout Alaska," she told students graduating from the church's Masters Commission program. "We can work together to make sure God's will be done here."
A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, Maria Comella, said the state paid for Palin's travel and meals on that trip, and for other meetings with Christian groups, because she and her family were invited in their official capacity as Alaska's first family. Parnell did not charge the state a per diem or ask to be reimbursed for travel expenses that day.
"I understand the per diem policy is, I can claim it if I am away from my residence for 12 hours or more. And Anchorage is where my residence is and I'm based from. And this trip took about four hours of driving time and time at the event, so I did not claim per diem for this one," Parnell told the AP.
These fascinating articles, tied with the findings of the Branchflower Investigation, make me wonder how soon we should start circulating a recall petition.