Monday, February 21, 2011

Cease and Desist

The Beverly Hills law firm, Bonfante Steinbeck, has issued a cease and desist order to author Joe McGinniss. McGinniss has been identified by numerous sources as the originator of copies of the manuscript to an unpublished draft of a book on Sarah Palin by her former confidante and state official, Frank Bailey. Bailey was Palin's Director of Boards and Commissions, an office more powerful than that of the Lieutenant Governor.

Representing Bailey and his collaborators on the book, Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon, Bonfante Steinbeck attorney Dean M. Steinbeck writes:
February 20, 2011
Ken Morris, Frank Bailey and Jeanne Devon

Joe McGinniss


Dear Sir:

I write on behalf of Ken Morris, Frank Bailey and Jeanne Devon (collectively, the “Copyright Owners”). The Copyright Owners are co-owners of the copyright in the unpublished manuscript entitled “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years” (the “Work”).

Between February 16, 2011 and February 18, 2011 you were the recipient of an unlawfully distributed version of the Work. Although you knew that the Work was (i) distributed to you in strict confidence, and (ii) an unpublished manuscript, you choose to unlawfully distribute the Work to multiple news outlets, bloggers, political activists, and any one else you felt might be interested.

As a result of your actions, hundreds of articles and blogs have been published detailing the Work. Some of the publications have summarized the Work in great detail, and others have reproduced the Work’s content verbatim. As an author, you are well aware that your actions have significantly impaired the Copyright Owners ability to market the book.

The Copyright Owners believe your actions were done with the single intent of destroying the marketability of the Work. It is no secret that you are writing your own “tell-all” book about Sarah Palin. By releasing the Work prior to publication, you have limited the actual interest in the Work and thereby salvaged the marketability of your own book. This matter appears to be no more than that of a jealous author sabotaging a competitor via unlawful and unscrupulous means.

The Copyright Owners are currently reviewing their legal options and I can assure this is not the last time you will hear from them. Besides showing an utter lack of professionalism, you have, at a minimum, willfully caused significant damages by engaging in unfair competition and violations of copyright law. In order to minimize the damages caused by your actions, the Copyright Owners hereby demand that you cease and desist from distributing any portion of the Work. Additionally, the Copyright Owners demand that you provide a full list of the parties to whom you distributed the Work.

Several bloggers and news sources received the manuscript from McGinniss very early Friday morning last week. Many of us have written to McGinniss, asking him why he sent the manuscript out. To my knowledge, he hasn't yet answered anyone. Some articles have been pulled or heavily modified since Bonfante Steinbeck issued a general cease and desist letter late last weekend to media outlets that were carrying extracts from what the authors claim to be a rough draft. Within the past few hours, Craig Medred's article at the Alaska Dispatch, Why did Palin name a pro-choice judge to the Alaska Supreme Court, has been pulled from the Alaska Dispatch Blog. Medred's article's subject was the same issue I tackled in my only post before this one on the manuscript's unauthorized release:
The item that caught my eye most, though, is this one, posted at Jesse Griffin's Immoral Minority:
"In BLIND ALLEGIANCE TO SARAH PALIN: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years, Bailey explores such key events as Palin’s gubernatorial victory, Troopergate, illegal coordination with the Republican Governor’s Association, never-before-revealed scandals such as a judicial appointment as payoff for a favorable child custody ruling for Palin’s sister."
That, I believe, is a serious felony in the State of Alaska. Could it be that the State, by holding onto Palin's emails for so long - they say the emails will be released in May - is covering up this crime and others by the Palin family until the statute of limitations makes prosecution improbable or impossible? If that is the case, then we need to see the emails the state has on why they're holding onto her emails.
McGinniss' release of the manuscript has been vexing to the Alaska bloggers who supported him while he stayed in Alaska last year. I'm not one of them, though. After setting up his security perimeter at the house he rented next to the Palin cult compound on Lake Lucille last May, he and I had a disagreement, resulting in no further contact. Jeanne Devon, one of the parties to the book, helped McGinniss extensively throughout his stay here, though, and is deeply hurt by the author's action.

McGinniss, it has been reported to me, has all but finished his book on Palin, as has author Geoffrey Dunn. Unlike Bailey et al, McGinniss and Dunn have publishers lined up. Supposedly the manuscript found its way to McGinniss, after it had been sent out to a number of publishers by the author, hoping to find a buyer.


Anonymous said...

This matter appears to be no more than that of a jealous author sabotaging a competitor via unlawful and unscrupulous means.

Interesting choice of words by a lawyer in a C&D letter. Usually it's all boiler plate.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Frank do what you are supposed to do when writing a book and send out a proposal to various publishers, showing his credentials and wait for a request for a couple of chapters?

Given how close he was to Palin, it would have been an easy sell. You do this before you write the whole book!

Ennealogic said...

I smell rotten fish. And I am usually supportive of Mudflats. I will wait to see the upshot before coming to a conclusion.

Celia Harrison said...

"Bailey was Palin's Director of Boards and Commissions, an office more powerful than that of the Lieutenant Governor."
Bailey hurt a lot of people with his appointments of sycophants and Palin protectors who were corrupt incompetents and I am one of them. The residuals of her half-governorship are still in place causing havock So, I for one am not real happy with him profiting from his experiences with Palin. Isn't it interesting how they can't come forward unless there is a profit? I am however glad more light will be shed on the evil half-governor. Is this a publicity stunt or is McGinnis really that small? It seems the manuscript may have been leaked by a publisher. It is hard for me to see Jeanne Devon involved with Bailey, but even harder to see her pulling a publicity stunt. Since passing around leaked manuscripts has become very common place was McGinnis just sort of doing what everyone else does and is now being demonized. Of course no one should be passing them around, but remember how thrilled we all were when it happened to Palin.

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

A Beverly Hills law firm,at the corner of liquor store and pet grooming, and is really a UPS Store.
Just sayin'....

AKjah said...

Havin read everyones blogs since this started i will make a stab at solving the big riddle. Not that i wish to spoil anything.
It was Miss Scarlet, in the library, With a lefthanded monkey wrench.
Timing is everything.

Anonymous said...

I'll buy all of these books if they ever get published. Publish them already!

Anonymous said...

@Ennealogic said...

Me too.

AKPetMom said...

Oh look, all the legal eagles are chiming in with their opinions! The lawfirm probably has a mailbox at a UPS Store at a strip mall beside a liquor store! I don't give a shit if Joe McG did this deed; he will have his comeuppance in due time. I am so, so, so sick of all these Johnny Come Latelys that are "Alaskans by Proxy" because they hate Sarah Palin.

I for one am pissed at her for brining down this bunch of Lower 48 commenters on our Alaskan blogs. A bunch of pantywaists that live down South and presume to comment knowledgeably having only visited once or twice (and maybe on a cruise at that!) and took a bus tour on the road system and now like to sit back and say "I know Alaska, and also too, better than you!"

I hate Sarah Palin for that most of all. A lot of us live here for a very good reason, and all this attention is ruining it for us, Alaskans, that love where we live, regardless of how abhorrent many of you commenters find it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, didn't realize there was an AK only sign here.

AKPetMom said...

Anon @ 9:01pm:

There is not an Alaskan Only sign here, but please, all of those that take liberties discussing what may or may not be "business as usual" in our neck of the woods, take a deep breath and perhaps give some thought to how much you would appreciate people commenting on whatever state or country that you reside in after having visited briefly on a tourist junket or not having visited at all and having only gleaned knowledge from writers and internet postings.

Philip Munger said...

Thanks, AKPetMom.

This is an Alaska blog, but not an "AK only" one. I'd never seen that written here in the comments before now. Usually the criticism is that PA isn't Alaskan enough, which is a judgement I sympathize with.

ginny said...

AKpetmom, alot of people "down south" as you put it, are pretty unhappy with the mess that Sarah Palin has made of things for the whole country. I have never been to AK and wouldn't presume to know alot about it, but I think we are all just flabberghasted and weary of wondering why in the heck so many secrets about this awful woman seem to be easily kept up there? It gets really frustrating when, for instance, your home state's most famous politician was taken down by misspelling the word "potato", yet SP gets away with mountains and mountains of nasty behavior! It's just really, really frustrating and baffling.

Anonymous said...

And lets face it, had Alaskans not voted her into office, the rest of us wouldn't be commenting on Alaska and Miss Qityy Pants, as she'd be at home, in her bedroom, eating crunch wraps.

Anonymous said...

"brining down this bunch of Lower 48 commenters on our Alaskan blogs"

please accept my personal apologies for my intrusion.

Anonymous said...

my first comment seems to have dissapeared into the ether. If not, sorry for the second post.

As a resident of Kansas, who has had to field questions about Westboro Baptist Church (no we don't like them either, but burning them out seems to be the teeniest bit illegal and most of us are hung up on technicalities like that), the murder of Dr. Tiller, Sam Brownback, etc, I can relate to AKPETMOMS frustration.

These are progressive and liberal blogs, they likely NEVER voted for Sarah Palin, but have a constant judgment and responsibility by proxy placed on them.

I live in a really red state, it may be that most Kansans are not so radically right, but the ones that vote are, so we are stuck with the results.

oh, and I don't know Dorothy, or own a dog named Toto, either...


Anonymous said...

Just take a long look at the "boards" of the Foraker Group and the Rasmuson Foundation if you want to find out who the "insiders" are.

Non-profit "support", my ass.

I wonder how Ed Rasmuson feels about his felonious buddies these days?

I saw he made an appearance out in the Valley at the Valley Performing Arts. A word to the wise to my fellow Valley residents: that guy is toxic and all he wants is money.

Anonymous said...

For fuck's sake, AKPetMom, you just always have to have an issue don't you? Seriously, whenever-wherever there you are provoking discord in a manner that could only inspire pride in a Palin. At least you haven't worn out your welcome with Phil... yet.

Anonymous said...

I think some of us feel like it is okay to participate in the AK blogs because Palin spends so much time in the lower 48 and seems to upset things wherever she goes. We "Southerners" aren't experts but we've had to deal with a lot of Palin's hatefulness just like everyone else. It is unfortunate, AKPetMom, that you feel blogs should have geographical boundaries. That is not the way it is supposed to be. Many people outside of AK support($) the AK blogs. I would think you might be appreciative. You seem to really enjoy posting at various ones.

I live in TX. I am not an expert on Alaska and don't want to be. The US would have been better off if Palin had remained a small town politician in AK. As it is, many of us feel like we are dealing with George Wallace in a skirt.

I have been visiting Phil's blog for a long time and will continue to do so. Why don't you think about keeping your thoughts about people from the South and "outsiders", to yourself? We get tired of all the "experts" who seem to define us by whack-job politicians, too. Phil has never acted like that to those of us not from AK. We don't come to this blog to read just about Palin but about the many other subjects.

As far as the leaked manuscript, I won't comment. All of the fussing just makes Palin and her minions happy.

clark said...

more like george w. bush in a skirt.

Anonymous said...

clark @10:45

I said George Wallace because he was such a hateful populist stirring up trouble all the time.

Comparisons of their comments/thinking are very much alike.