Those were the words of voting rights expert Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog, in his preface to a long segment interviewing AK Muckraker on the radio last night. Friedman is filling in for Mike Malloy at Air America.
Friedman asked AKM to describe the history of The Mudflats, and walked her through her "outing" last winter by Alaska Rep. Mike Doogan, a subject that has yet to be honestly and fully dealt with by Alaska's mainstream media. AKM pointed out - as Alaska bloggers have observed since the "outing," Doogan used State of Alaska resources to wreak vengeance on a private citizen.
Friedman and AKM went on to discuss the ramifications, so far, of the leaking of the Daniel Report. They also discussed soon-to-be-ex Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's attorney Thomas van Flein's careless threats toward Shannyn Moore, back on the 4th of July, and van Flein's even more careless characterizations of the complainant whose actions resulted in the Daniel Report. It is excellent radio.
You can listen to the entire hour HERE.
Alaska blogger and independent commentator Shannyn Moore (who can also be heard regularly on Saturday evenings, on Anchorage's KBYR Radio, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.), has been on national media also these past few days. This morning, Shannyn was on CBC (no podcast available yet). Shannyn has posted a new article on the Alaska Fund Trust at Huffington Post, called, Palin Caught in Naughty Monkey Trap.
This morning Linda Kellen posted a guest column at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, titled, The Alaska Fund Trust... an Analysis by One of those Dreaded East Coast Lawyers. The thoroughness with which this attorney, familiar with trusts, dissects the controlling documents of his scam beg the question, "If bloggers can get this detailed, why can't our vaunted Anchorage Daily News and other MSM Alaska outlets do likewise?"
Here's a bit from the article:
This is the most important clause in the AFT document (or any trust document). It is the reason for the trust's existence and necessity. In fact, the purpose of the trust is for any expense at all incurred by Sarah Palin "as a result of the fact that she is Governor . . . or as a result of the performance of her duties as Governor."
Both the ADN and the Fairbanks News-Miner tiptoed around this issue in this morning's editions. The News-Miner editorial stated:
So, without a state-paid defense, any executive officer could be driven deep into debt by ethics complaints simply by showing up to work. Who would run for governor or take a top state job when faced with this very real personal risk?
Daniel, the investigator, said it seems unfair for state government to refuse to defend its officers while also prohibiting them from raising money for their defense. If nothing else, he said, the ethics act should be amended to require reimbursement when an official is exonerated.
The ADN editorial, fairly assertive on the subject of the trust, stated:
In Alaska, legal defense funds, if permitted, would be essentially unregulated. That would open the door to widespread fundraising abuse.
Gov. Palin insists she has done nothing wrong so far with the legal defense fund because she has not taken any of the legal defense fund money. Nonetheless, she is poised to benefit from a legal defense fund created specifically to help her. Merely lending her name to the effort to raise legal defense money for her own benefit is a "probable" violation, the investigator said. And if she does take any of the money, the investigator says it would violate Alaska ethics law.
It's an embarrassing turn for a governor who rose to power as a crusader for higher ethical standards.
Lucky for her, there's a relatively easy way out of this ethics jam, given that she is leaving office Sunday.
She can refuse to take any of the money raised so far, while encouraging this supposedly independent fund to return the money to donors.
But neither newspaper, nor Alaska's other MSM have so far looked into the details of the trust's controlling documents as closely as Moore, Kellen's attorney guest writer, or AKM:
Now, of course, despite all this mess, Tom Daniel has given the governor a nice way out of the sticky web. Give the money back, and withdraw her authorization for the trust to be considered the “official legal defense fund.” It’s sort of like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, except it’s also got a “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $600,000″ stipulation attached.
But not only is the governor not giving the money back after well over a week, she’s still collecting it! You can imagine Kristan Cole sitting in a darkened office with a roll-top desk and one of those little adding machines with the cranky-handle, and stacks of $5 checks and $10 money orders saying “451,505….451,510…..451,520…” deep into the night.
So, what now? Will the governor skip town with the loot and say “I’m not the Governor any more, catch me if you can?” Will she shut down the trust and have to reimburse all those $5 donors? Will the Personnel Board throw their last shred of credibility to the wind and dismiss the complaint? Will Tom Daniel and every other person whose been thrown under the bus by Sarah Palin get together and form some sort of Super Secret Sarah Survivor Support System? Will I ever in my life spontaneously come up with a stunning piece of alliteration like that again?
Andrew Halcro continues to question the level of contact between fund trustee Kristan Cole and Palin or Palin's close associates, either in the administration, or at SarahPAC:
The political flash of the week continues to be the emerging questions about what the governor knew about her defense fund trust and when did she know it?
This week a report was made public that showed special investigator Tom Daniels had found probable cause that Governor Sarah Palin's legal defense fund trust represented a violation of state ethics rules. Daniels ruled that Palin would have directly financially benefited (i.e. getting her personal legal bills paid) which violated the prohibition against executives using their position to enrichment themselves.
As soon as the story broke, Palin's fund, the Alaska Fund Trust responded by saying the report was wrong because the governor was as never informed about the trust.
"The governor is not, was not and has not been involved in this trust," Kristan Cole of Wasilla said Wednesday in an Anchorage Daily News article.
Cole, a Palin friend and trusted appointee to state boards, told the press she had never talked about the trust fund with Palin until Tuesday, when a copy of Daniels report made it into the hands of the Associated Press.
Tuesday? That would mean the first time Kristan Cole spoke to Governor Sarah Palin about the legal defense fund was on July 21, 2009.
However when the creation of the fund was announced and written up in the press three months ago, Palin's closest advisor, Meg Stapleton, made it a point to talk about the active role the governor took with Cole during the initial development of the fund.
On April 24, 2009, Stapleton established the fact that Palin was well aware of what was going on with the fund from day one.
"When the Governor gave Kristan Cole permission to launch a legal expense fund, she had one request: keep it in Alaska," said Stapleton in the United Press International story. (link below)
"When the governor gave Kristan Cole Permission to launch a legal expense fund"?
This quote was given in April of 2009, three months ago. But yet today Cole is trying to sell the press that the governor didn't have a clue about the fund she granted permission for Cole to launch?
Meanwhile commenters at the ADN coverage of this, and at right-wing pro-Palin blogs, are writing that the many "thank you" letters from Palin to trust donors, have been photoshopped.
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