Monday, July 6, 2009

Saradise Lost - Book 3 - Chapter 10 -- Wayne Barrett's Response to van Flein

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's attorney, Thomas van Flein issued a long document on Saturday, naming two principal persons of concern. One was Alaska's most metoric independent commentator, Shannyn Moore. The other person, named in a footnote, is New York City-based writer, Wayne Barrett.

Barrett (pictured above left) wrote a Village Voice article about the Palins, their new Wasilla house, and the building of the Wasilla Sports Complex, last fall.

Here is the article.

Here is an article about van Flein's threat.

Barrett has issued a response to van Flein's threat:

Monday, Jul. 6 2009 @ 4:43PM

Sarah Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein spent his July 4 in Fairbanks, Alaska, issuing a four-page statement warning news organizations not to investigate allegations printed by the Voice last October.

Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull.

===snip, in which Barrett suggests the lawyer's letter just made everyone curiouser, notes that Van Flein did not challenge a single fact in Barrett's story, points out that building permits aren't required in Wasilla making it impossible to determine who did work on the house, and that it was an odd time for the Palins to build, just two months before her term as mayor would end - or was it? ==

Greta Van Susteren asked Todd during the campaign last year if he had built the house and he replied: "Myself and some buddies that were contractors helped me put it together." Yet Palin's campaign manager in the 2002 race told her authorized biographer Kaylene Johnson: "Todd would make a lap around the state in 24 hours just to put up signs." Sarah explained her narrow loss to Johnson by saying "I was working full time as mayor, I'd just had Piper, we were building a house, and Todd was working on the slope." All of that makes it a curious time to build, and a hell of a workload for Todd, unless the family wanted to build it while Sarah Palin was still mayor, and still pushing the controversial complex (voters approved funding it that May by a narrow 20-vote margin despite Palin's support).

Van Flein also tries to soft-pedal Palin's role in the hockey complex, though just about every biographical piece on her six-year tenure as mayor -- including the pro-Palin Wall Street Journal -- concluded that it was "the biggest project Palin undertook as mayor." Van Flein even goes so far as to cite a story in the Wasilla paper that criticized her at the time for not pushing it hard enough, as if it were not her baby.

The lawyer acknowledges that she appointed the seven-member steering committee that oversaw the project and picked the contractors. Van Flein insists she wasn't the chair of the committee, a charge we never made. He does say that Curtis Menard did chair it -- a dentist whose son was the godfather of Palin's son and whose family has been called "a second family" to Sarah Palin. He doesn't acknowledge that three other members of the committee were her employees -- her public works director, her city engineer and the man she appointed as the project manager for the complex. Nor does he mention that another member of the committee was the architect selected to do the complex who also happened to be the son of the GOP boss who helped get Sarah into politics in the first place and was described as her political mentor.

Van Flein dismisses this web of connections -- to say nothing of the donations from contractors that he ignores -- by saying that "people in a small town appear to know one another, support one another, and take on big projects together." He says "apparently that's uncommon in New York." Actually, it's quite common here, and journalists here write about these incestuous networks whenever we discover them, just like Alaskan journalists do. And there's that nothing that lawyers who threaten lawsuits without uncovering any substantive errors can do about it.

Here's a DailyKos diary about the issue.


Anonymous said...

Out in the 49th State of Alaska
(with apologies to Marty Robbins)

Out in the 49th State of Alaska
There was a beautiful basketball player
Young Sarah Palin was called “Barracuda”
Hunted for caribou, liberals, and bear

She led the basketball team from her village
Juneau to Nome was the scope of her quest
People soon trembled when they faced Wasilla
In all Alaska her team was the best

Soon Sarah went off to earn her degree
Just like a tumbleweed blows
5 schools in 6 years
Were graced with her presence
She studied real hard learning what I don’t know

Soon Sarah Palin returned to Wasilla
Married her sweetheart, the dashing young Todd
She had five children, whose names weren’t vanilla
Trig, Piper, Willow, Track, Bristol, that’s odd

Sarah ran hard to be on city council
Soon she moved up to the office of mayor
She sacked the police chief who didn’t much like her
Gave the library a book banning scare

She was a maverick and kept moving up
Till she was governor, oh oh oh oh oh
Back in Wasilla, she racked up per diem
Except when she travelled
With children in tow

One day the phone rang and Sarah came quickly
John McCain desperately needed her aid
George Bush and Laura were trapped in the White House
Obama’s gang was about to invade

Riding through swing states she started campaigning
Her far right posse was hot on the trail
But the Obama gang kept them from gaining
On toward the White House their horses did sail

Firing commercials like six shooter guns
Palin put up a good fight
Till she was ambushed
By Gibson and Couric
Wounded she rode off in desperate flight

Out in the 49th State of Alaska
Sarah rode home after shopping at Saks
Barack Obama’s gang lives in the White House
I hope the Palin gang never comes back

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 4:37


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Phil, for sharing Mr. Barrett's response!

Keep up the good work!!

Anonymous said...

The FBI says that there is not an ongoing investigation. Maybe they should start one now.

AKPetMom said...

She is soooo dirty, just like the other "politics as usual" politicians that she likes to slam.

Politics is a dirty business where many engage in the activity merely to pad their own nests.

Sarah is just a guilty as those that she maligns; perhaps more guilty.

We Alaskans are much better off after having seen the "door slam her in the ass".

Doors are closing Sarah, you've said "thanks but no thanks" to serving us as Governor. Hopefully the rest of the country will have the smarts to say "thanks but no thanks" as well.

Lazarhat said...

Nobody asked if there was a justice department or IRS investigation pending or...

...yet another ethics complaint that may have teeth and be even MORE personally painful for the Governor publicity-wise.


Anonymous said...

Lazarhart -

What is it about "no wiggle room" that you don't get ?

Anonymous said...

No more "politics as usual" as she said in her infamous swansong - right? What a joke this woman has become.

By making absurd and idle threats against our first amendment rights, Van Flein and Palin are bringing on the wrath of every civil liberties group in this country.

Someone needs to remind Van Flein about the illegality of attempting to intimidate and muzzle her own employees by having them sign resignation contracts as a pre-condition of employment. The civil liberties groups should be all over that one.

Now when you hear people speaking about the Quitter from Alaska, they do so with the most disgusting looks on their faces. I've overheard words like 'quitter' 'fraud from the start' 'hypocrite' and the negativity goes on.

What is one called who cannot resist the stirring of the already putrified pot? My term would be 'total fool'.

The more she stirs and elongates her "fight", the more we recognize the pathology - that Sarah Palin has been fighting everyone who has ever questioned her or crossed her in any way. She's fighting the people who elected her in Alaska right now and as the MSM covers this dog fight, it's spreading nationwide.

Whatever reputation she once may have had with republicans has eroded even further now.

She never put one over on any democrat or independent because we know a 'shill' when we see one.

Her star rose like a meteor in less than one year and crashed to the garbage dump just as quickly and with a splash.

Sarah Palin is many things as we all know but the most significant thing right now is that she's 'persona non grata' with the american people. In other words, 'burnt toast'.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she'll go into "turkey slaying" as we saw on her Thanksgiving photo shoot?

That'd be more her speed.

Lazarhat said...

Van Flein isn't the boss of me. Nor is Gonzales at the FBI. Neither one can intimidate me or prevent me from exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. I personally have never said anything about any rumors, so you're barking up the wrong tree.

Sure "no wiggle room" from the FBI, great. No one ever said the rumors were about a pending FBI investigation.

Give up and quit, just as your idol Sarah has done.


Anonymous said...

Laz -

Kind of presumptuous on your part isn't it ?

Why would you presume that I'm a Palinbot ?

I'm not, didn't vote for and never would.

I am critical however of the AK Bloggers and their handling of the iceberg rumor.

Amateur and unprofessional is where I'd start, I'll let you take it from there.

Anonymous said...

Saradise Lost - Book 3 - Chapter 10 -- Wayne Barrett's Response to van Flein,..

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