It is beginning to appear that this relationship, though it may have benefitted the Palins at least $150,000 over that time, has been dealt with either in a lax or in a dishonest way by the Palins or their tax preparers, and that there is more going on behind the scenes here than her attorneys and advisors feel her political future can now disclose, if it is to survive.
Anchorage Daily News political reporter, Sean Cockerham, who has been at all of the summer meetings in Anchorage of APOC and the personnel board, that have touched upon these issues, has witnessed a lot of questionable activity in the meetings that hasn't yet made it into his writing, so I'll assume for now that they will tie in to a longer, more comprehensive article he is engaged in researching and writing. Sean finished one of the most recent versions of his slowly changing (uh, updated) ADN poliblog article on this, with:
Palin is requesting APOC allow an exemption from the disclosure. (UPDATE -- The APOC commissioners just directed agency staff to research Palin's response and report back to them so they can decide what to do.)
APOC asked Palin about the discount in an April 29 letter prompted by questions from Anchorage activist Andree McLeod.
APOC also asked the governor if she has any other gifts she hasn’t reported.
The response signed by Palin said she receives boxes of cards and letters, as well some gifts.
Palin's attorney's request for an exemption from disclosure has been covered by Linda Kellen, and by AK Muckraker, at The Mudflats.
First...let's talk about the secrecy regarding this entire Arctic Cat process...stuff I didn't want to discuss until after I sent off my response to the Personnel Board.
The Investigator on the Arctic Cat complaint, Mr. Thomas Daniel, asked Gov. Palin nine questions and was permitted (by Van Flein...those Legal Defense Fund dollars at work) to look at the Arctic Cat Contract as long as he "kept it confidential." Once Palin "waived her confidentiality" and they released the report, I asked for all of that information SINCE IT WAS WHAT HE BASED HIS DECISION UPON.
Mr. Daniel states that he is getting an Attorney General opinion because he believes that they need to...get this...keep that information "confidential" because it is the "product of attorneys."
So, what he seems to be saying is that his dealings with Mr. Van Flein are "confidential" because they are both attorneys...You know, as if he were an attorney working FOR THE PALINS instead of the Investigator working for the State of Alaska...the job he was contracted to do.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What part of "waiver of confidentiality" does Mr. Daniel not understand? Not to mention, almost EVERY legal document can be called a "product of lawyers!" The report itself is the product of a lawyer, yet he released it!
So, I'll let you know how THAT bit of attempted
Back to the Governor's response to the APOC letter...let's discuss those "Alaska Statutes" they are trying to use to justify keeping Todd's discounts confidential. They are...I kid you not...part of the Alaska Statutes establishing Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA)!!!
No...I'm NOT kidding!
Title 43. Revenue and Taxation
Chapter 90. Alaska Gasline Inducement Act
AS 43.90.150. Proprietary Information and Trade Secrets.
AS 43.90.220. Records, Reports, Conditions, and Audit Requirements.
If you read these, there is absolutely NOTHING that applies to anything other than AGIA.
To me, this looks like a "Hail Mary" pass by Mr. Van Flein and the Governor.
And AK Muckraker:
So, if Todd Palin is riding around on a $10,000 snowmachine in the Iron Dog Race, and he’s been training on another $10,000 snowmachine, and his entire family is decked out in Arctic Cat “wear” with their names on it, and he gets a 99% discount, that’s perfectly fine, according to the governor. We don’t need to know. We CAN’T know. Top secret stuff, that is.
And to continue the legal squirmings about why the public doesn’t have the right to know this, the Alaska statues that they say support this claim are part of the statutes written to support the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA).
Mr. Van Flein gets points for creativity, but will they get away with it? Stay tuned for another episode of “You Can’t Make This Up Theatre.”
And now, as if on cue, Alaska Rep. Bob Lynn is proposing legislation for the upcoming 2010 session, that will keep citizens who file requests for clarification of executive ethics statutes from publicly disclosing the nature of their concerns. The opposite of a "sunshine law," this might be called a "night and fog decree." It certainly would be a step in that direction.
I've heard this afternoon from two of my sources within the growing Palin machinery, that one of the possibilities being considered, to celebrate the end of the week-long fundraiser for Palin, could be to announce a hefty SLAPP lawsuit against Andree McLeod, Linda Kellen, both, or against them and other Alaskans who merely want to know what our laws actually mean, when it comes to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's burgeoning extra-curricular life, and that life's relationship to the stewardship she accepted when she took her oath of office.
To me, though, the biggest question on this is - Was the threat of a lawsuit over Lisa Demer's interest in obtaining documentation on Gov. Palin's recent birth delivery, and its relationship to the incomplete disclosure of the governor's medical records, the reason the Anchorage Daily News has decided to back off on the governor so markedly over the past six months?