Some, including Amanda Marcotte, were concerned that Palin supporters had infiltrated NOW. A money trail is beginning to show that this may actually have been the case.A detailed investigation into aspects of members of the LA chapter of NOW's financial dealings around the time of the 9-vote victory by McCain-Palin supporter Terry O'Neill over Obama supporter Latifa Lyles is revealing payments from Sarah Palin's political action committee to close O'Neill allies around the time of the election.
The blog Palingates, with help from several sources, including Alaskan researcher Barb Dwyer, has posted information about Glebe Inc, which ties it to payments from Palin's PAC:
According to Palingates, Palin's PAC paid Mandell over $12,000 for her efforts to swing the election.
Shelly Mandell, past LA President of NOW, a Clinton PUMA who had, quite shockingly to some, campaigned for and publicly endorsed Sarah Palin for VP in Carson, CA and Henderson, NV in October 2008. Much was made of this by both Left and Right Wing media and bloggers during the election, proclaiming that NOW leadership was supporting Palin and abandoning Obama.
In regard to the June 2009 NOW election, Shelly Mandell appeared as the ringleader of this embittered Old Guard, intent on wresting power from the “Obama hacks” and putting the Good Old Girls back in the driver’s seat. Our federal election ended in November 4, 2008. But not so, apparently, the virulent hatred that certain NOW PUMAS held for the “Usurper” who had stolen the throne from Hillary. It was alive and dangerous and apparently keen to have at least one election go in its favor.
But hatred strong enough for PUMA Mandell to hire herself out to Conservative, Pro-Life SarahPAC, for real cash money, to help swing this election to an anti-Obama NOW President?
The blog also claims it will be printing more information soon, tying Mandel, past Ms. and MORE Magazine editor (and 2008 McCain campaign communications director) Ellen Lafferty, and Greta van Susteren to SarahPAC, and to the 2009 NOW election coup.
Firedoglake has long been critical of NARAL and some NOW stances - since the 2006 Connecticut U.S. Senate race, or earlier. Not just NOW, but many progressive and moderate environmental and women's rights coalitions and non-profits are periodically endangered with hostile takeover, so as more information comes out on this election of ten months ago, not many are overwhelmed by surprise. As Amanda Marcotte wrote right after the June election:
When will liberals stop letting conservatives guilt trip us into self-destruction? If a bunch of anti-choicers claim to be feminists, that means, "We are trying to infiltrate your organization and movement to make it irrelevant. We're pretending to be your friends to stab you in the back." "Pro-life" is misogyny, and has no place in any feminist organization.
image - DZ
Update - Friday 12:30 p.m: I have been informed that "the post on Palingates you reference makes a claim that SarahPAC paid Mandell, a claim that cannot be proven."
I take that to mean that Ms. Mandell is claiming the information published at Palingates and which is linked to and quoted here, is inaccurate. Progressive Alaska is not vouching for the accuracy of the information published at Palingates on this. Should the Palingates authors or Ms. Mandell wish to further clarify this issue, you are welcome to a guest post at Progressive Alaska.
Update - Sunday 4:15 p.m: Palingates has indeed sought to clarify this issue in a post there titled Shelly Mandell - Did she or did she not receive the $ 12,368 from SarahPAC? - UPDATE! Elaine Lafferty reappears!
I'll be writing more about this after I get some information from friends.