Thursday, June 18, 2009

Saradise Lost - Book 2 - Chapter 64 -- Some Questions on Palin's Disclosure Exemption Request

Linda Kellen's and Andree McLeod's separate requests for clarifications on how Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's job performance and statutory obligations fit in to a number of her extraneous activities have now come together, in the current situation now developing between the State of Alaska Personnel Board, and the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Her attorneys have requested that Palin be allowed to not disclose the actual value of the benefits she receives from her family's (joint tax returns from the adult Palins) 15-year professional relationship with a recreational equipment manufacturer.

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.

Kellen:

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 bullshit secrecy develops.


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?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Phil, inquiring minds want to know...

Anonymous said...

Attorney Work Product Privilege applies to work created by an attorney in anticipation of litigation. It DOES NOT apply to every freakin thing an attorney writes.

Nancy said...

Omg.

Would this be a "personal" lawsuit or the state of Alaska bringing suit? Or is it too early or too sensitive to go there?

Please, keep on blogging!

Nan

Aussie Blue Sky said...

If we're talking lawsuits, can we include the email scandals?

Anonymous said...

If any lawsuit like that happens towards the filers, can't they countersue for prosecutorial abuse?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Lynn will get anywhere. The democrats in the senate won't allow it.

Todd Palin in many ways seems like a State official. He has apparently been copied on internal executive branch State emails. He may have been involved in executive branch veto decisions in meetings with the governor and Karen Rehfeld.

Todd Palin may not be a private individual. He sure isn't a private individual like I am-- perhaps he's a State official-- and as much subject to State ethics laws as the governor.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

This is the most outrageous thing I have heard! No wonder the peelanders are Frantically trying to piss $ out their asses!
The FBI needs to SLAPP this corrupt GINO right in the face and lock her up! And Lisa D. Well, I'm sure she has more than enough info for a nice FAT book on WHO is the Mother of TRIG! I believe she was cajun Boy's source in Oct.
What about the petition to get the FBI in on corruption where is that?
I think EVERY Citizen of Alaska needs to RISE UP against this Blatant intimidatory, Lies, and Corrupt administration!!!!
Oh FBI what about her Slush fund???
Her Pac?? All bogus.

CelticDiva said...

Excellent take on this, Phil!

I'm also curious if the REAL reason for the "Web-duh-thon" has nothing to do with lawsuits, but that they are gearing up for some horrendous IRS action...i.e. audits of multiple years?

I'm just sayin'...

Philip Munger said...

CD,

the ineptness factor on this outweighs the grifter factor - at least, in my mind.

HistoryGoddess said...

Just watched a video for the Alaska Fund Trust on the C4P site. So sad. It is made up of a lot of Fox News clips. What is amazing to me is that these people truly believe she is what she claims to be.

I wish we could get a breakdown of the actual cost of each of the complaints. And by that I mean over and beyond what the state pays employees to do as part of their jobs.

Anonymous said...

So Lisa Demer or ADN was threatened with a lawsuit for asking questions about Trig's parentage? Who exactly was threatened with the suit? I always thought it was weird that the ADN editor wrote Palin that he didnt believe in the Trig conspiracy and wanted to do an article to prove Sarah was Trig's mother.
I already knew Sarah was not Trig's mother, now i am REALLY sure of it.
Sarah is such a fruitcake.

EyeOnYou said...

CelticDiva said...
Excellent take on this, Phil!

I'm also curious if the REAL reason for the "Web-duh-thon" has nothing to do with lawsuits, but that they are gearing up for some horrendous IRS action...i.e. audits of multiple years?
_______

Well RAM did mention that she "knew" that this webathon was NEEDED and when asked by her cohorts how she knew & asking if she had been "in contact", she just replied with an old "just trust me I know" it is needed.

Now that could mean nothing, or it could mean she had been in contact and found out that lots more money was going to be needed, or that there were really not that many donations at all coming in to the begger fund.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Eye,
They are in contact with megamouth!! The get all documents before anyone else! They are the ones who made up the lie about Willow being at the game and blowing up the letterman joke, the Lemonade stand...everything. They are joined at the hip with GINO.

justafarmer said...

I've just added a few posts over at Mudflats in the thread on the tax topic, so I won't repeat it all here, Phil. But information on the "gifts" IRS part can be found at
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=108139,00.html
The tax thing is extremely complicated, but I believe it's going to be what bites them in the end.
I suppose the Palins figured that what has worked for them in Alaska all these years will work in the overall USA.
Some folks in Cicero a while back thought the same thing.

Philip Munger said...

"Some folks in Cicero a while back thought the same thing."

That's part of what worries me about Obama. I was born in south-central Chicago.

justafarmer said...

I lived in the Greater Chicago area for almost 20 years (that was also during my stint as an IRS tax auditor in the Dirksen Building in Chicago and then in the South Suburbs).
Having said that, the only thing that worries me about Obama is that he's a Sox fan...I'm a proud and unrepentant Cubbie.

mlaiuppa said...

16 years. IRS audit.

If it hits the fan...I am so taping Letterman.

Helen said...

I have faith that when Scarapatra and crew try to do anything, especially take anything to a bigger level, it just always explodes in her face.

Even if it seems like the worst happens, and she sues everybody that filed an ethics complaint on her, it'll just go national and then ::kapow:: fizzle right back on her. Adopt my zen motto: "Trust in the idiocy of Palin" Let her get her steam up and threaten this, do that, whatever it is, she'll be the fool and everyone in the US will see it.

No one did anything wrong by filing ethics complaints. The more she threatens or retaliates, the worse she looks. Always.

Anonymous said...

Didn't her fabulous tax advisers also forget to tell her commuting use of the state vehicle was considered a taxable benefit? Am I remembering correctly?

I still want to know about the tax treatment of her excessive per diems for living at home both under the law, and what was reported on her tax returns.

Certainly whatever freebies she received related to her hubby's snow machine racing activities should have been reported as income and on APOC, too. I hope APOC doesn't cave on this one.

Valley Independent

dianedp said...

I still think a comment I read about Sean Cockerham article is the most relevant.
Her book contract has not been revealed. What is in that about personal appearances and travel to promote the book?
How will it conflict with her duties as Gov., since she is supposedly on 24/7?
Refusing to disclose how much her husband is compensated for snow machines and clothes for the family is peanuts compared to her book deal.
This women has no ethical boundaries, she ran on a platform as a reformer, but her actions are just a poor as her predecessors.

Anonymous said...

Van Flein's arguments invoking AGIA and Arctic Cat's "proprietary trade secrets" as reasons for the disclosure exemption are beyond absurd. If she has nothing to hide, why try to hide? How does he think this bullsh*t up? Throw a bunch of excuses in a hat and pick a couple out? Where's the bar association, for pete's sake?

Aussie Blue Sky said...

"Anonymous said...
Van Flein's arguments invoking AGIA and Arctic Cat's "proprietary trade secrets" as reasons for the disclosure exemption are beyond absurd. If she has nothing to hide, why try to hide? How does he think this bullsh*t up? Throw a bunch of excuses in a hat and pick a couple out? Where's the bar association, for pete's sake?"

I can hear scraping! Is that the sound of fingernails on the bottom of the barrel? Van Flea wouldn't be her lawyer if he wasn't prepared to venture there.

Invoking AGIA against APOC? That barrel is leaking by now .....

Anonymous said...

A SLAPP suit? Would not GINO have to slap such a suit on herself for her own supposedly "frivolous" ethics complaint against herself?
And the last thing in the world she and her minions want is to launch a lawsuit, because guess what happens then? Court-enforced civil discovery for the other side, with court sanctions available for discovery violations and destroyed documents, etc.--oh, and GINO wouldn't get to charge to redact emails....in fact, she'd be subject to court sanctions for not coughing up such essentials as the breakdown on costs for her own complaint against herself.

Anonymous said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I have this mind-boggling version of "public service" straight: are your sources seriously suggesting that the State of Alaska could file suit against selected private citizens for exercising precisely the same right Her GINness availed herself of, a request for ethical clarification? Does it strike you that this could have been leaked for no other reason than to try to intimidate Alaskan citizens from exercising those rights? Any of your prosecutors ever hear of the concept of witness intimidation?

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

AK FAKE TRUST web-a-thingy = EPIC FAIL. the peer'rs are patting thenselves on the back for raising $100K. yesteday they took in a whole $8k. How much is van flea charging per hour?

KaJo said...

"I still want to know about the tax treatment of her excessive per diems for living at home both under the law, and what was reported on her tax returns."

No kidding. She's got 4 days to pay up on the all-too-kindly-discounted $10,000 per-diem money owed the state. I hope interest is factored in.

Like I said on the other thread, I hope her critics, including the brave souls like Linda and Andree who are still soldiering on, just ignore these threats from Palin's legal lapdogs.

It's going to attract a LOT of attention if Palin tries to muzzle them. Out-of-state attention...federal attention...

Go, Linda! Go, Andree!

KaJo said...

BTW, I put my money where my mouth is, and I urge as many here as can afford it to join in -- even if you're out-of-state, as I am.

Getting crooks out of government and ethical conscientious leaders into government should be every voting citizen's highest priority.

onejrkitty said...

A SLAPP lawsuit is (should be) a violation of Freedom of Speech, which, as Palin apparently doe NOT know, protects citizens from the government infringing on the citizen's freedom of speech, not vice versa.

Palin and the California pagent ex-queen cannot seem to get this fact through their heads.

Palin came close ( she represents "government') to infringing on Letterman's freedom of speech ( he is a citizen) with her over the line protests.

Had there been a real protest and had that protest been linked to Palin AND caused Letterman damages, I think Missy Winkie could have been in trouble.

Letterman has the money to sue her, both as a governor and as a private citizen.

I DO think both Linda and Andee NEED LEGAL COUNSEL, NOT ONLY WHEN FILING, RESPONDING, UPDATING COMPLAINATS, BUT FOR PERSONAL PROTECTION.

I am wondering if ACLU would/ could get involved to help them?

OTHERS NEED TO DO MORE THAN "SUPPORT" LINDA AND ANDEE BY GIVING THEM "ATTA GIRLS"-- THAT DOESN'T "PAY THE RENT"

More people filing complaints would take some pressure off these two brave women !

Philip Munger said...

onejrkitty,

ACLU only gets involved in clear constitutional issues, and there don't appear to be any in these cases, at least at this time.

onejrkitty said...

Thanks for making my day ! ! How could I have not connected the dots ( after my own 6 yr of civil rights litigation) Guess early dementia is setting in LOL

PALIN WOULD NOT DARE SUE ANYBODY lol lol lol

"Court-enforced civil discovery for the other side, with court sanctions available for discovery violations and destroyed documents, etc.--oh, and GINO wouldn't get to charge to redact emails....in fact, she'd be subject to court sanctions for not coughing up such essentials as the breakdown on costs for her own complaint against herself."

onejrkitty said...

Phil: I was thinking "freedom of speech" violation due to possible SLAPP suit being what ACLU would get involved in.

After reading the person I quoted above, I hope Palin does file suit, but Van Flein would have to be really really stupid to do that.

Ahhhh, the sweet smell of "discovery" in the morning LOL