Sarah Fights Back Over Latest Ethics Charge

@anniepa (27238)
United States
July 24, 2009 5:26pm CST
You may have heard that the Associated Press leaked the news on Tuesday that an independent investigator has found evidence Sarah Palin may have violated Alaska's ethics laws with her legal defense fund. Ironically, this fund had been set up to help Palin pay her legal fees stemming from the long list of previous ethics charges. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE56L3SQ20090722 According to the above article where you can read her entire statement and more details of this report, "Palin immediately called the AP report an "inaccurate story" on her Twitter feed, and released a statement later calling any allegation that the defense fund accepted any inappropriate donations "misguided and factually in error."" According to things I've heard and read the violation is that she used her position of Governor of Alaska to solicit funds for her legal defense. There seems to be some dispute over whether it's a violation if she hasn't yet taken or used any of the money raised. Apparently the rules regarding this matter vary from state to state. What do YOU think? How will the Personnel Board rule and how do you think they SHOULD rule? Annie
2 people like this
6 responses
• United States
24 Jul 09
I think that it will end as those other 17 or 18 have ended...with nothing. People need to let it go. This is a large part of why she resigned, because it is costing the people of Alaska money! As she said in the Today show interview, the ethics committee is paid for by Alaskans, and it has been expensive, and she has personally racked up a bill of about 500k...and for what. So far they have all been unfounded charges. What should we learn from this...that Sarah Palin is *gasp* ethical?? How odd in a politician!
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
24 Jul 09
I really wish she could sue these people for court costs or that the court would by default force them to pay court costs for frivolous complaints.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jul 09
"Ethical" is like "beautiful": "In the eye of the beholder". It would be difficult to blame the people making the accusations when it was Palin that co-sponsored the very law these people are accused of abusing. It seems this is just another case of a politician that pushed something through that she thought she could use against her opponents but it cameback to bite her. At least ten of these allegations against her ARE insanely spurious, but she has shaken off the legitimate accusations a little too casually. She doesn't find any problem with promoting a specific company during a public gubantorial appearance, using her position to avenge a wrong she felt was done to her family or blurring the lines between elected official and private fisherman: all of which alot of people should have a problem with because if it was the other party doing it, they'd be all over it. If she really cared about how much these allegations were costing Alaskan citizens she would never have created such an easy to manipulate law, or if she couldn't foresee this problem, she isn't that good of a politician anyway. People should, indeed, "let it go" AND let her go. She is currently out of politics and it sure looks she needs to stay out. CONSTANT VIGIL
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
25 Jul 09
The ironic thing about this most recent charge is that it wouldn't have existed had it not been for the ones that preceded it. I understand many of the charges, including this one, have been filed by the same woman. Is there some kind of bad blood between the two women or is she just someone seeking her 15 minutes? At any rate, it doesn't look like it's going to stop just because Palin is no longer governor, does it? I'm still confused by the claim that all this is costing Alaskans money. I understand the attorneys who have worked in these cases would have been getting paid anyway so how much "extra" is it really costing taxpayers? Also, I'm a bit unclear as to why Palin has such high legal bills of her own. If the state's attorneys are fighting the charges wouldn't that mean they're defending Palin, at least as long as she's still governor? Annie
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
24 Jul 09
Well she didn't start the fund, nor has she received a single penny from it. If there is a violation, then as far as I can tell the person at fault would be the person operating it, Kristan Cole. According to the press release from Kristan Cole. "This Trust was created by a team of expert lawyers from around the country. It was thoroughly vetted for compliance with federal and state law and trust law. So far Mr. Daniel is the only lawyer in the country who has questioned a legal defense fund despite the fact that his firm has set up legal defense funds for other office holders." She also said "I want to be clear on a point that has been misrepresented: The Governor is not and was not involved with the Trust. The Governor has never worked on or with the Trust. The Governor has not even accepted or requested one penny from the Trust or quite frankly anything of me. And I have never expected anything from her. Really it’s quite the contrary; as I, and many other caring folks across the country have only sought to help with this legal burden. The first and only time I have spoken with the Governor about the Trust was yesterday to alert her that I was responding to this violation of the law and leak of preliminary and confidential materials from the complainant." http://www.conservatives4palin.com/2009/07/trustee-kristan-cole-on-ethics.html So far I have yet to see evidence of any actions Palin has taken regarding this fund at all, much less actions that would be unethical. This really looks like another frivolous complaint which will be dismissed just like the rest.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Jul 09
Another infomative post, bravo, and thank you for showing proof of where you are coming from!
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
25 Jul 09
As you say, she hasn't accessed the fund so even if they decide she can't raise funds on a website with her picture on it that also mentions she's the governor of Alaska, I say "no harm, no foul". If they rule against her, they should just return the donations. She was never in charge of it and her attorneys set it up. As far as she knew it was all perfectly legal. Lots of people, including politicians set up such defense funds. The problem is a new law in Alaska that could prohibit this, other states don't have that law. If the ethics laws prohibit her from raising funds using her image and title, then they do and the fund can't be used. As for intent, I don't think there was intent to commit an unethical act so I don't think any fines should be imposed.
2 people like this
@jerzgirl (8030)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
25 Jul 09
My understanding of this is that she played no part in the setting up of the fund nor did she authorize it, but others did it to help her out as did Hilary and others in the political limelight. It's not a violation of Federal ethics, but apparently Alaska law doesn't allow for it, which is where the problem comes in. The people setting it up apparently didn't check local laws before doing it. I don't think she can be charged if she never made use of the money and if she didn't set up the fund. I don't recall that she ever went out soliciting for it, either. And, I'm definitely NOT a Palin fan, but I don't see this one having a lot of validity if she didn't authorize it, didn't make direct requests for it and never made use of it.
@ShellyB (5244)
• United States
25 Jul 09
So they are not planning in letting this woman rest at all, are they? And I would like to know what's so different than any other politicians out there? And yes, please put the money that they are spending in prosecuting this woman on something else already.
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
25 Jul 09
This charge was filed by the woman who has filed 6 of the last 8 charges against the Gov. According to an ABC Report the investigator met with the lady, who filed the complaint, before the charges have been filed. "It is a clear violation of Alaska law that Mr. Daniel explicitly reviewed with Ms. Chatman prior to her illegal actions. (My words the lady is suspected of leaking the confidential report) We will be contacting the appropriate authorities for review and action," Van Flein said. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=8141347&page=2 According to the AP story posted on Yahoo News http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090721/world/us_palin_ethics_complaint_6 It appears that setting up a legal defence fund, which was done by an attorney for a friend of the Governor's, because a private citizen can do that. The question is does the governors position give her an advantage that the private citizen does not have. As pointed out in the article Alaska has no lawyer for the governor to defend her/him in their official actions. Most states have such provisions. Ms. Chatman succeed in what the lawyer, who set up the defence fund, is concerned about. That is you can run a person out of office by filing false ethics charges and the Governor has to pay out of pocket to defend him/her. You can be driven out of office because you can not afford to defend yourself. Just think no messy elections, no cost to you and you can control who stays in office.