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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ethics Complaints and the Power of Precognition

crystalball

The Daily News in an op-ed piece yesterday said something interesting.

Alaska citizens have a right to file ethics complaints against their elected representatives. State law guarantees it. But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right — and may put it at risk.

Score political points?  Abuse their rights as citizens?  Wow.  That’s a fairly strong accusation.  And it makes the assumption, of course, that the complaints are frivolous, and without merit.  It sounds like something we ought to know.  But how do we determine if the complaints are indeed frivolous?  Well, we could either take the word of the ADN editorial staff, or perhaps…there’s another way….

Guess what?  There is actually a procedure for making that determination.  And that procedure goes something like this:

The citizen who files the ethics complaint puts together their paperwork, and cites the specific part(s) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act that they believe have been violated.  Then that person brings their complaint to the Department of Law.

The Department of Law makes sure that all the basics are covered, then they stamp it, and take it in.  Then the complaint goes to the Personnel Board.  The Personnel Board then hires an investigator to investigate. They ask all kinds of questions, make phone calls, do research, and gather whatever new information that they need to make a determination about whether things should proceed to the next level.   That investigator will decide if the case does or does not have merit. That investigator will decide whether the investigation goes forward or not.  If the complaint is completely “bogus,” as the governor’s office is fond of saying, then the investigator can dismiss it outright.  If the complaint is the result of someone abusing their rights, or is without merit, it gets tossed out. Done.

If, however, the complaint is not “bogus,” and the investigator thinks that there’s something to it,  they write up a nice report, state their findings and recommend a hearing.  Then the Personnel Board reads the recommendation, holds the hearing and comes to a conclusion.

So that’s the story of how we find out if a complaint is being used “to score political points” or whether it’s actually got merit.

And right now, as you read this, there are investigators on the case who are making those determinations.  You can imagine them in their snazzy tweed overcoats and those Sherlock Holmes hats with the flaps over their ears, wielding giant magnifying glasses, and investigating their little hearts out.

So, unless somehow the editorial board of the Anchorage Daily News has not only permeated the thought process of all the investigators working on these ethics complaints, but has also acquired the power of precognition, they actually don’t know whether these complaints are frivolous or not.  And generally, if you don’t actually know the facts, it’s prudent not to act like you do, nevermind write a whole editorial about it.

And if they have acquired these superhuman skills, may I humbly suggest that they apply them to some loftier humanitarian purpose than writing op-ed pieces for the Anchorage Daily News.

Comments

comments

Comments
88 Responses to “Ethics Complaints and the Power of Precognition”
  1. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    Thank you INJUNEAU!!
    Keep us posted.

  2. InJuneau says:

    Andree McLeod (R) (May 4th, 2009 at 7:50 PM)–quite frankly, if those darn guns are being given in honor of 50 years of statehood, they ought to belong to the Alaska State Museum! Maybe I’ll get someone on to that…

  3. Soldotna Sue says:

    The ADN is 100% pro Palin as far as I can see. Anyone who comments against her antics get “thrown off” their Political Blog permenently. I am just one victim.

  4. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    honestyinGov: re: Arctic Cat…It appears someone else is on top of this one.
    sauerkraut: When I asked the gov’s office if she’s keeping the guns the response was that they didn’t know what she intended to do with them.
    I agree that these guns and the one she’s receiving from the NRA are the property of the State of Alaska.

  5. EyeOnYou says:

    Ennealogic Says:
    What on earth does the editorial writer suggest is going on here? How can it be seen that an individual who files an ethics complaint is trying to score political points? For whom? Certainly not the individual themselves. With whom? So far no individual filer I’ve read about is being paid by or holds a position within a formal political party structure that is challenging the accused for their office. Besides, ethics complaints can’t be filed against someone who is running for office during the campaign season.

    _________________________________

    You have to remember that a lot of Palin fans believe that this is just one HUGE conspiracy by Obama, Axelrod and the Democrats to take Palin down by any means possible. Heck they even believe that we anonymous bloggers are being paid to do this. They believe this is a vast conspiracy encompassing a wide majority of the “leftist blogs” and that we are so terrified of Palin and her abilities that we will make up anything and everything in an attempt to smear her good name and her solid reputation for bringing about change, and reforming government. Heck the other side has said that they can control ADN via tactics like complaining to the editors of ADN about comments being posted and getting changes made to that area, they have claimed that they are involved in changing the ethics laws in AK to better protect Palin from the frivolous charges being brought against her, and getting ADN to change their behavior simply by contacting advertisers on the ADN.
    I would say those comments on the ADN fall right in line with that way of thinking.

  6. Ennealogic says:

    It’s pretty unusual for an ordinary citizen to be accused of doing something to score political points. It isn’t like the citizen is running for office opposing the governor. It isn’t as if the citizen was part of a political committee or organization that was carrying out a campaign in which one tactic included filing a slew of ethics complaints.

    The ADN opinion says, … But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right — and may put it at risk.

    What on earth does the editorial writer suggest is going on here? How can it be seen that an individual who files an ethics complaint is trying to score political points? For whom? Certainly not the individual themselves. With whom? So far no individual filer I’ve read about is being paid by or holds a position within a formal political party structure that is challenging the accused for their office. Besides, ethics complaints can’t be filed against someone who is running for office during the campaign season.

    Maybe the ADN is thinking of the David vs Goliath story and realizing that every once in a while the little person wins one. It’s telling that the ADN, the “free press,” members of the once-revered 4th estate, would side with Goliath.

  7. sauerkraut says:

    60 Andree McLeod (R) Says: May 4th, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    So, even though these guns specify that they’re given in the spirit of the 50th Anniversary of Alaska’s Statehood….Palin is keeping these special edition guns that will only increase in value….along with the one given to her by the NRA.
    _______________

    Question about these weapons, Andree. Are they given to her personally or as governor of the State of Alaska? If the latter, then they should all remain the property of the State of Alaska and displayed as such under standard security measures.

    If Palin keeps them for herself, then there are valid grounds for an ethics complaint. Hell, I’d even file a theft charge.

  8. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Andree…….I totally disagree with Judy Bockmon’s statement “It’s not information that is useful to anybody,” It sure seems to me that records of complaints filed should be made available to citizens, doesn’t keep track? WTF? It should be a matter of record! And that record should be available to the public! Why hide this stuff?

    Besides, it’s kinda like Sullivan saying there is no “record” of any liquor license complaints, well yeah, lol, if no “record” is kept there is no record. Even if a complaint is reviewed and dismissed, it should be kept and the public should have access to those records.

    Does anybody know the rules on this? This seems very sloppy and vague.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22022.html
    “Judy Bockmon, who as the state ethics attorney at the Alaska Department of Law conducts the initial review of all complaints, said the state doesn’t keep track of how many are filed.

    “It’s not information that is useful to anybody,”

  9. sauerkraut says:

    36 Andree McLeod (R) Says: May 4th, 2009 at 6:50 PM

    The AG’s office has sent out yet another letter last week stating they need an extension in order to supply the emails. (It’s been seven months now.) I’m still waiting for the courts to schedule a date for the two McLeod vs. Palin active cases…one deals with using private unsecured email accounts for official state business and the other deals with Todd’s undisclosed emails that deal with official business.
    __________________

    Why not file a mandamus action and force the AG and Court to act on the specific matters before them? Or am I misunderstanding the part about waiting 7 months for the court to set a date? It certainly should not take the AG from a sparsely populated state to handle a matter. By comparison, I’ve been able to get the EPA to produce boxes of documents in a complicated matter in significantly less time. What is the problem there (other than that they do not want to produce the documents)?

  10. trisha says:

    I feel so bad for Alaskans. It’s pretty obvious that Palin runs a communist state up there and those who dare cross her are cut off at the knees. Her fear tactics are stunning. I wonder if justice will ever be played out, or if Palin will be allowed to continue in her “rule” of her kingdom.

    She is one mean spirited women—-in the name of Jesus, of course.

  11. Bonnie says:

    Have you alerted the editorial board? 🙂

  12. Palimonium says:

    Dr. Patois@66–
    Re: all the teeth-gnashing and deeming as baseless. . . I heartily agree. I wrote the guv to complain of her press release on the state website for just that reason. Let the complaints work their way through the process. All the guv is required to do is acknowledge that the complaints have been received and that suggest that they’ll be taken seriously. Let the complaints be heard by the Board before anyone decides whether or not they are frivolous.

    Lee323@71– you are so right on! How come the guv can file against herself in a political move, but citizens are abusing rights when they file complaints?! I was getting pretty discouraged at ADN’s lack of investigative reporting (let’s face it, they’ve given Sarah a pass thus far on every ethics issue raised or crisis facing the state. They don’t have to do a hatchet job–just give a little more intellectual depth to their political coverage is all we’re askin’.

  13. Dr. Patois says:

    Ratfish@69
    Thanks for the clarification! So, would the same process apply with the personnel board? Would they throw the complaint out if it did not ” contain allegations which, if true, would constitute conduct in violation of this chapter” or are they required to investigate all complaints? I don’t think that is made clear.

  14. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    Moose Pucky-http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22022.html
    “Judy Bockmon, who as the state ethics attorney at the Alaska Department of Law conducts the initial review of all complaints, said the state doesn’t keep track of how many are filed.

    “It’s not information that is useful to anybody,”

    she said, adding that the number of complaints seems “unusual.”

  15. Moose Pucky says:

    Maybe we need a little meter posted with #complaints filed, dates filed, #complaints dismissed as frivolous, #complaints under investigation (because they have not been dismissed as frivolous).

    Would the Alaska Department of Law be that department headed by Alaska’s AG?
    Does Alaska have an AG? Who is in charge currently of Alaska’s Department of Law?

  16. Lee323 says:

    ADN’s editorial is right for the wrong reasons and pathetic for the right reasons.

    They’re right that a complaint system against politicians can be abused. But to load this argument on the backs of citizens whose cases are still pending is a sanctimonious and presumptuous exhibition of preconceived notions of “frivolity.” As AKM said, it would require precognition.

    ADN went on to totally screw up their argument when they neglected some of the most egregious abuses of the complaint system: The most troubling “gadfly politics,” as ADN terms the complainants’ motivations, is Palin filing a complaint on herself last fall as a blatant end-run gadfly maneuver around her own Senate’s investigation into Troopergate. Throw in McCain’s lawyers and the Dobson-hired Texas guns who swooped into Alaska and tried to hijack the whole local investigative process for the purposes of their own political games and you have a scenario where the complaint system has truly been abused!!…..Abuse not by the citizens but by the politicians and their operatives for purely political designs. Yep, ADN is right that the complaint system can be abused but they preferred to drop their whole load of crap on citizens who are trying to use the minimal power allotted to them for addressing ethics violations by their elected officials.

    ADN is pathetic for the right reasons: Instead of an intelligent, investigative newspaper for the public, it has become The Palin Auxiliary for Excuses and Whine Trust. Pathetic because the many fine political blogs make ADN look like a high school rag. Pathetic because they conveniently neglected to mention the true abusers of the complaint system in the last year. Have they had a stroke in their collective hippocampus? We sure haven’t…..

    What can you expect of a rag of a newspaper that aided Doogan’s outing of a blogger and then had the temerity to defend their actions….with hollow and wrong-headed arguments just like this editorial.

  17. Snoskred says:

    Hey – Impeach_Palin – can you please contact me with your correct email address – the one at hotmail does not work.

    Use my contact form to send your email address to me –

    http://www.snoskred.org/contact

  18. Ratfish says:

    Dr. patois- for a complaint filed against the governor (or lt. governor) the AG does not participate

    Section (c) says: If a complaint alleges a violation of AS 39.52.110 – 39.52.190 by the governor, lieutenant governor, or the attorney general, the matter shall be referred to the personnel board. The personnel board shall return a complaint concerning the conduct of the governor or lieutenant governor who is a candidate for election to state office as provided in (j) of this section if the complaint is initiated during a campaign period. The personnel board shall retain independent counsel who shall act in the place of the attorney general under (d) – (i) of this section, AS 39.52.320 – 39.52.350, and 39.52.360(c) and (d). Notwithstanding AS 36.30.015 (d), the personnel board may contract for or hire independent counsel under this subsection without notifying or securing the approval of the Department of Law.

  19. curiouser says:

    With this op-ed, the ADN is fanning the flames of the governor’s hubris and facilitating continued intimidation of Alaskans who dare question her.

    Thanks for exposing the outrageous op-ed, AKM. I agree with the others who think your post should be a published response in the ADN.

    Great comments, mudpups!

  20. TX Lisa says:

    Dr. Patois @66–good find!

    It helps to read the “rules” doesn’t it? Seems like the ADN, along with SP and almost everyone else, like to rant before they actually know the applicable law. (But then what’s a little thing like the law to SP?)

    Now, if only this could be brought to the attention of the public.

  21. Dr. Patois says:

    Perhaps I am reading the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act wrong but isn’t this what the AG does before handing over a complaint regarding the governor to the personnel board?

    (d) The attorney general shall review each complaint filed, to determine whether it is properly completed and contains allegations which, if true, would constitute conduct in violation of this chapter. The attorney general may require the complainant to provide additional information before accepting the complaint. If the attorney general determines that the allegations in the complaint do not warrant an investigation, the attorney general shall dismiss the complaint with notice to the complainant and the subject of the complaint.

    If this is correct then wouldn’t all of the “bogus”, “frivolous”, “politically motivated” complaints against the Gino have been dismissed outright already? Gosh, I guess they all have merit. Kind of like a prima facie case.

    Thanks Andree for all of your hard work and perseverance . There are a lot of people sending out good wishes for you.

  22. mae lewis says:

    Just for fun– has anyone tallied the number of ethics complaints made against other state officials compared to the number filed against Sarah?? Previous governors? Were Alaska residents allowed to file ethics complaints against a US Senator, such as Ted Stevens?? And how did ADN react to filings against other government officials? Just asking.

  23. honestyinGov says:

    I have a question for Andree McLeod….?

    This is pertaining to Gifts and that OCC video interview that was posted. She stated that she gets “Todd’s leftovers” in the video. I had no idea what that meant ‘leftovers’, when I watched it until someone explained it as they were telling about a Sports Illustrated article on the Iron Dog. “Other people” have to buy a snowmachine to participate in the Race. Todd has a Sponsor who supplies them (snowmachines) to Him. Once he has raced them from the previous year…. GINO now has “leftovers”… HER words. (right on the tape… Ooops ?)

    If GINO is keeping these (originally ) FREE snowmachines for herself now…. How is this not now considered a ‘Gift for her’…?

    IF it ” IS ” a GIFT… is she listing it as such on Tax returns..?

    I thought I remembered someone saying anything of value over $150 or $250 has to be declared. I think FREE snowmachines are very expensive GIFTS.
    What is the value of a used snowmachine…..? How many GIFTS does she get to have…. or does she re-gift some of them to other Family members as well.(Bristol, Piper etc)

    Is this something to look into….?

  24. Impeach_Palin says:

    I went to the ADN online comments a few months back and saw that they were mostly biased toward Grifter Gino but at least there were a few comments questioning her depraved and entirely self-serving actions, bringing about what you might describe as lively discussions. If you call liberals, moderates, and intelligent conservatives partaking in a dialogue with the (uneducated and inbred?) no-minds who stand behind Gino because of her anti-choice platform, and how she looks in high heels and hooker boots, a “discussion”, I mean. Anyway it was always quite lively. Recently, I’ve noticed a lack of “discussion” on the ADN, all of the comments are biased toward Grifter Gino. I know newspapers are businesses above all, and editors and writers must acquiesce to the bottom line, but how is it that any media outlet, no matter how conservative it might be, cannot fathom and see ahead that within 2 years or less, Sarah Palin will be a political pariah, exposed for corruption, and despised by most of America for all her lies? Shouldn’t ADN want to have a fall-back readership of Alaskans – conservative and liberal – who see Palin for what she is: corrupt? To a hypothetical true conservative, she is worse than a socialist. It is common knowledge across the USA and perhaps worldwide that she is incompetent. The Republican party doesn’t want her. Why does the ADN like this corrupt politician so much? Do they have a meth lab in their basement? Get off the meth, ADN, and get a clue.

  25. LEE says:

    Alaska citizens have a right to file ethics complaints against their elected representatives. State law guarantees it. But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right — and may put it at risk.

    This is the op-ed fortune teller is wrong. Alaska will be put at risk if the peoples voice is silenced.

    Please everyone, get out and vote tomorrow. Make your voices heard loud and clear. I will hold good thoughts.

  26. KateinCanada says:

    Off topic, but I don’t know where to put this:

    Polar Bear Protection Deadline May 9
    From the Center for Biological Diversity :

    On March 11, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a bill giving Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar the authority — until May 9 — to rescind two rules passed in the final days of the Bush administration that weaken the Endangered Species Act. One exempts thousands of federal activities from review by expert scientists, and the other is a special rule for the polar bear that expressly bans federal agencies from examining the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the polar bear —

    On April 28 Secretary Salazar made good on President Obama’s pledge to restore science to government decision-making by overturning the regulation that exempted thousands of damaging activities from review under the Endangered Species Act’.

    But Salazar has not yet revoked the special polar bear rule. Secretary Salazar must act before May 9 to revoke the special polar bear extinction rule, or we’ll lose this precious opportunity to instantly remedy one of Bush’s worst environmental attacks. Please sign the petition to Salazar and tell him to finish the job and immediately rescind the Bush regulations harming the polar bear.
    http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2167/t/8257/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1878
    They also included Salazar’s phone number in their site.

  27. Karin in CT says:

    What in the hell does she need all these high-powered guns for? Oh, I forgot, Alaska needs to get ready for the end of time…

    Sincere thanks to you Andree. You are one strong woman!

  28. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    bws- That NRA gun is in addition to others Palin has received of late.
    According to Palin’s gift disclosure forms that I received a couple of weeks ago, the following has been received on March 6th:
    Ruger Firearms Company gave Sarah Palin a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44M, 50 yr Anneversary of Statehood Commemorative Diamond Grade/1 of 100 edition priced at $1,599.00;
    Tom Jokerst gave Sarah Palin a Marlin 1895 Cowboy 45/70 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commemorative , 1 of 300 edition priced at $1,499.00.
    I asked the gov’s office today if she will be keeping them for herself. The answer is that they didn’t know what she will do with them since these weren’t gifts from another government or from an official of another government. The Ethics Act requires the Governor’s Office to determine the appropriate disposition of gifts from another government or from an official of another government, but no similar requirement applies to gifts from other persons. Under the Ethics Act, a public officer may accept a gift unless it is given “under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift is intended to influence the performance of official duties, actions, or judgment.”

    So, even though these guns specify that they’re given in the spirit of the 50th Anniversary of Alaska’s Statehood….Palin is keeping these special edition guns that will only increase in value….along with the one given to her by the NRA.

  29. Maeve says:

    I think you should send your post to the ADN as a letter to the editor AKM, perhaps they aren’t familiar with the law and the processes of a democracy! LMAO!!!!!!

  30. Nan says:

    @ Debra Curtis
    Some years back, we filed a complaint on a real estate agent & her broker. So did the sellers, for the same transaction! We had overwhelming evidence – and found even more, after they responded to the complaint. It still took two years, but they were definitely disciplined! While both were eventually reinstated, neither one of ’em is even in real estate now. (this is a Good Thing!)

    OTOH, a local municipality recalled their mayor, and it took just a few months. Go figure.

  31. michigander says:

    Andree, Wishing you well, I’m impressed with your perserverance for the truth. Been following this for a long time – you have respect and prayers from us ‘outsiders’ too.

    Now I’m really going to bed ‘Night all (o:

  32. moseyon says:

    Yes! I got it right Politico also has an article on it.
    Sorry I went off subject.

  33. Hobos are Us says:

    If ADN can so easily determine which complaints (some of which are confidential) are frivolous or not, why can’t the Personnel Board do the same? It seems to me a complaint without merit would cost little in time and money to dismiss.

    The lions share of Palin legal bills stem from Troopergate and Travelgate which were not frivolous cases as the legislate found she abused her power in the first and the attorneys found she needed to reimburse the State in the second.

    Perhaps there is some confusion over what is and isn’t frivolous because Sarah has pretended all claims have been frivolous, even the ones that found her in violation of the public trust.

  34. Kris says:

    I find it humorous that anyone takes anything written in the ADN seriously. Talk about a biased and unprofessional news-(if you can call it that)-paper.

  35. EyeOnYou says:

    Andree, I understand completely and am glad that you have gotten some if not all of the emails requested. I will continue to send good thoughts your way and speak well of you to all who will listen for the great job you are doing in holding your elected officials to the standards they need to be held.

  36. Karin in CT says:

    As the secretary of my son’s HS booster club for four years, I can say that we kept better records than the state of AK. Pretty sad.

    Fight, fight, fight against her and her minions!

  37. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Andree – I bow to your persistence and full steam ahead attitude. If Palin had nothing to hide, which we all know is NOT the case, then of course you wouldn’t be her public enemy number one. You are my Alaska hero number one!

    She has made a laughing stock out of Alaska, ethics, politics, and parenting. She is a disgrace and a desperate con artist. I will take the longest, cleanest, sudsiest bath on the planet when we are done w/ her poor governorship. Scrub, rinse, repeat (a bunch!). Thanks for helping us clean up the mess before it got a whole lot worse!

  38. Lainey says:

    @deist
    If Personnel Board members are even thinking about levying fees against “frivolous complaints” then obviously they are biased and they will not objectively evaluate ethics complaints.
    ============
    A potential ‘gate’ in the making…another way to raise money for palin’s agenda. I wouldn’t put anything past her at this point.

  39. michigander says:

    Another OT but Maddow did the Bill Allen/Kentucky Derby story. Glad to see it. Eastern time here. Gotta get some sleep, almost midnight (o:

  40. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    Eye on you-
    I’m sure the state has their eye on me and since I’ve an active ethics complaint against Kris Perry as we speak, please let me to clarify my statement.
    Geverally speaking, and I repeat, generally speaking, the emails are interesting. When the state’s ethics person makes her final determination on the complaint, I will elaborate.

  41. Blooper says:

    Er, make that ‘shove’ her way in.

  42. Blooper says:

    OT, but had to respond to this:

    GINO tweeted: “Level Orange: Monitoring Redoubt for signs of activity.”

    It’s nice that GINO steals the spotlight from the REAL scientists who are doing the actual monitoring. But of course, Sarah has to show her way in (ala the Greta interview) and squawk to the world how she’s a monitorin’ and a protectin’ her grizzly cubs from that simmerin’ volcano.

    Of course, maybe she is on the same level of thinking with Bobby Jindal in that we have no need for competent scientists to monitor a very real threat. Who needs them when GINO can do it herself! After all, she can see Redoubt from her house! (No, really!).

  43. EyeOnYou says:

    Andree McLeod (R) Says
    Very interesting..
    _____________

    Can you share? Pretty Please? 🙂

  44. GRVoyeur says:

    To Anon Blogger @ 7:00 pm:

    I am a governmental auditor, and in our world we call “bogus” expense reports that need to be refunded “fraud”, AND if large enough, the perpetrator heads of to court and often jail!!

    Maybe the rules in AK are a little different?? How ’bout it ADN, how would you treat an employee that pulled what SP did? Maybe that’s why you’re in the financial toilet.

  45. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    I finally came in possession of Kris Perry’s emails for the time she spent alongside Palin on the campaign trail. Very interesting..

  46. Lainey says:

    wow…she owns and operates EVERYTHING up there in AK…like The Godmother (The Godfather)…rules the underground.
    I feel sorry for you guys! You need a really potent antibiotic to beat this virus!

  47. bws says:

    Maybe GINO’s new gun will solve all her problems, or will it lead to complaint #14

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/05/04/2009-05-04_aww_shoot_nra_makes_palin_top_gun.html

  48. anon blogger says:

    Oh, and Andree….I applaud you!. Great job!

  49. EyeOnYou says:

    Andree McLeod (R) Says:
    The AG’s office has sent out yet another letter last week stating they need an extension in order to supply the emails. (It’s been seven months now.)
    _____________________

    So much for the 10 days or a reasonable amount of time that is supposed to be the time frame correct?

    I would suggest that something that takes this long when it shouldn’t means that someone is hiding something and doing their best to bury that fact. Naturally I have no proof of this and it is just my opinion, but really good for you Andree for sticking to this!

  50. anon blogger says:

    Paying back monies for travel expenses, I wouldn’t call that frivolous.

    In the private sector, Palin would have been fired a long time ago. Sorry to hear that ADN took a stand against Alaskan constituents. Methinks ADN should change its’ name…to GINO’S DAILY NEWS. Yeah, might as well.

  51. Far from Fenway fan says:

    How about rewording ADN’s statement to read:

    When the governor misuses her position to score political or personal points, she abuses the right to office — and may put her job at risk.

  52. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    LORI in LA- The AG’s office has sent out yet another letter last week stating they need an extension in order to supply the emails. (It’s been seven months now.) I’m still waiting for the courts to schedule a date for the two McLeod vs. Palin active cases…one deals with using private unsecured email accounts for official state business and the other deals with Todd’s undisclosed emails that deal with official business.
    You’re right about the personnel board’s use of the term “frivolous complaints” as it appears it flows all too easily off the tongue of the Pers Bd. members. It’s quite alarming to see such a dysfunction articulated so clearly.

  53. Lainey says:

    yeah, she never went to the pizza party. she made them wait 4 days to answer their invite and then refused. she has no new ideas, so why would she showcase her ignorance and stupidity? she’s afraid of challenges, so she keeps to her adoring base. well, you know what?…she can run for prez of JUST her base…therefore, becoming a cult leader and the religious nut that she is!
    jmo

  54. Rob in Ca says:

    Andree…what you find in that Oct 31 board meeting is nothing but outrageous.

    I guess we will call this the ‘gadfly tax’ when they enact it.

    If you raise a question of ethics, according to the legal procedure, and some unknown person (perhaps even the Governor) determines that your question was frivolous enough to be able to term you a ‘gadfly’, then you will be required to pay the ‘gadfly tax’.

    Perhaps we should start the Alaska Fund Gadfly Trust right now, so that gadflies, like Governors, can act with impunity.

  55. Rob in Ca says:

    Moseyon, Sarah has just agreed to work with the new ‘committee on listening to the few remaining Republican Dinosaurs’…or whatever it is called.
    Don’t worry. First of all, she wasn’t really invited. Secondly, she isn’t really interested. Third, they aren’t really going anywhere, and they aren’t really listening anyway.
    They had to pretend that she was invited to participate.
    She had to pretend that she enthusiastically agreed to participate.

    And that is as far as it will ever go, trust me.

  56. deist says:

    If Personnel Board members are even thinking about levying fees against “frivolous complaints” then obviously they are biased and they will not objectively evaluate ethics complaints.

    This shouldn’t be a surprise; we already knew they’re biased. What a ridiculous, ineffective system. Their entire infrastructure is set up to cover Palin’s butt and make sure valid complaints get thrown out. That’s what they’re there to do.

    We need an Ethics Board, perhaps? 😉 AKM

  57. moseyon says:

    I just heard Sarah Palin has throwen her hat in the ring.
    She has been invited to join Rommney,Cantor and the rest.
    She has agreed. Hope I have got it right .
    Heard it on GVS.

  58. Lori in Los Angeles says:

    Andree -Thank you for keeping us informed. Can you tell me the status of the release of the e-mails as REQUIRED by FOIA? WHERE are the emails? I find it unprofessional and troubling that the Personnel Board used the term “frivolous,” don’t you? It is a word Palin and her followers often use.
    They could have used words that would indicate that the complaints were lacking in merit, not filed properly, or had no basis to prove legal wrong-doing. But, NO – they used “frivolous.” This does not bode well for Democracy in AK IMO.

  59. History repeats says:

    Is the ADN on some misguided fair and balanced kick? First the endorsement of Dan Sullivan (yuck) now this Palin ethics thing. A blip? A trend? I dunno.

  60. EyeOnYou says:

    **Alaska citizens have a right to file ethics complaints against their elected representatives. State law guarantees it. But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right — and may put it at risk.**

    My response on the ADN:

    Ethics laws are in place for a reason and when an elected official abuses those laws and the government refuses to hold that elected official accountable, and allows abuses to continue on with no response then those ethics laws are without “teeth” and serve no purpose.

    When elected officials are allowed to sidestep ethics violations with brokered deals as was done with the repayment of the travel costs charged to the state by the governor for her children then why should constituents feel that laws are being enforced as intended and not sidestepped in order to avoid actually enforcing the laws.

  61. Andree McLeod (R) says:

    I emailed the following to AK Division of Personnel Director and Personnel Board staffer Nikki Neal on April 30, 2009.
    Ms. Neal:.
    I found the highlighted portion below within the October 31, 2008 meeting minutes of the Personnel Board. How do I get provided a copy of Mr. Jones’ report back to Al Tamagni. And can you please provide me with a definition for “frivolous complaint” as used by Al Tamagni and the State of Alaska Personnel Board.
    Thank you.
    Andrée McLeod

    This is the highlighted portion:
    ALASKA STATE PERSONNEL BOARD MEETING October 31, 2008
    – Continued
    OTHER MATTERS
    Board Member Tamagni asked Assistant AG Dave Jones if the Board had the authority to assess fees for frivolous complaints. Mr. Jones stated he would research the question and report back to the Board.

    I have not received a response…yet…but I will let you all know when I do.
    I’m very curious as to what a “frivolous complaint” means to the three personnel board members who make very important final determinations about ethics complaints against the governor, lt. governor and others…very curious.

  62. Ratfish says:

    Let me get this one straight.

    Palin says: “”I got a preliminary opinion from Law (Department) just giving me a heads up that critics would certainly file an ethics charge against me if I were to sponsor an initiative.”

    I thought the Department of Law existed to provide advice about what the law is, and what the law says. So did the “preliminary opinion” say that for Palin to do what she did would violate the executive ethics act- and she chose to ignore the opinion by beginning a campaign in favor of the initiative- or did it sau what Palin claims?

    Let’s ask her to release it. After all, she is open and transparent.

    ps Palin only complains about publicity about ethics complaints when someone files one against her. When she filed one against herself in Troopergate, she and her entire staff had no qualms about publicizing it. She needs to make up her mind (oops, I forgot, she makes her own reality).

  63. Lainey says:

    @Rob in Ca #8

    Thanks, Rob…’good answer’ (clap clap clap – applause) I’m smiling now.
    It’s a lot of hard work exposing the corrupt and wretched, isn’t it? The frustrating part is that it takes so long and in the mean time (until they’re de-throned) ‘they’ keep getting a paycheck and sometimes never pay for their transgressions.

  64. antiAnti says:

    BBBBBBBBB.B..B…But when Palin filed a complaint (against herself) the Anchorage Daily News did NOT warn that she might be putting a right at risk. Just exactly _WHY_ is it ok for Palin to file but not for non-govenor type citizens? The ADN flunks logic, civics, ethics and law with this absurd op-ed. For some meager crumbs from the gov’s office, ADN is abandoning self-respect and integrity. BAD BARGAIN!

    Hoping to see your post gracing the ADN’s response page, AKM.

  65. sauerkraut says:

    16 zyggy Says: May 4th, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    If the writer of that piece didn’t have their head so far up Palin’s ass, s/he might wonder why she has 13 complaints. Where there is smoke there is fire, and someone’s pants are on fire.
    __________

    I’m with you on that one, and with Rob at #13.

    Strange that the ADN said nothing about Palin abusing her rights by filing a complaint against herself – knowing full well the outcome of that sham investigation.

    And why have we only heard the outcome of a few of those complaints? Why does it take them so long? These are not complicated filings!

  66. pvazwindy says:

    Anybody. Who might these investigators be? Where do they come from?

  67. wes_ben says:

    Is the “investigator” even doing any investigating?? Does he think if he waits long enough, they’ll just go away? You’d think there would be some time line where a response of some sort would be owed to the filer??

  68. justafarmer says:

    lol Cassie! I thought the same thing when I saw “Daily News”…

  69. Candy Knight says:

    “when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points…” Do they mean, like Palin filing a complaint against herself just so that her serfs can find her innocent right before the presidential election? Do they mean, like Palin filing an ethics complaint against a good ole boy for something she did herself (using public resources to run a campaign) just so that she can pose as an ethical reformer taking on the establishment?

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they meant.

  70. zyggy says:

    If the writer of that piece didn’t have their head so far up Palin’s ass, s/he might wonder why she has 13 complaints. Where there is smoke there is fire, and someone’s pants are on fire.

  71. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    This STUPID editorial pushed me over the edge w/ ADN yesterday. I have been patient, I have been understanding, I have known that their STUPID comment system is outdated and I gave them a break for not upgrading it since money is tight, and I have emailed staff several times w/ encouragement for standing up to Palin when she’s been more of a moron than usual.

    Nope – canceled my username, won’t ever email them again or participate in any way w/ the paper. If I’m in a good mood come next Iditarod and they’ve decided to be less stupid, I MAY buy a paper or two during the race since I send them on to Iditarod loving family in the states. Or I may not. I’m done with them!

    They are all over the map, they miss some of the most IMPORTANT things about local southcentral and statewide news as though it doesn’t exist (tanks at Drift River, Dan Sullivan complaint, and the list goes on), they had that STUPID Palin section on the front page for all these months – they stink. Sorry ADN – I was a stalwart supporter but you’ve lost me now.

    You are pushing folks to the bloggers w/ your incompetence – the bloggers who ARE spending money and time to present a lot more facts and context than ADN seems to think is necessary. The Juneau Empire is small, they are having money problems, too – but they have been able to make policy adjustments and to keep us informed of the direction they are headed as a newspaper. The Empire has been responsive and personal to its readership. The ADN has not.

    So on top of having a state full of political bullies and creeps, our biggest newspaper has turned into mush. Great.

  72. Debra Curtis says:

    I hope these investigators are truly independent. We filed a complaint in our town against a real estate broker. Three of the 5 members of the board are from the real estate industry. They protect their own.

  73. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    The Daily News? Are you kidding me?

    Lived in NY for too many years and what the Daily News reported was below contempt in most cases.

  74. Rob in Ca says:

    Basheert, the ADN has not always followed the path we would like, but let’s not be too hasty in hoping for their demise. Jobs lost…citizens without access to information…business without a way to advertise. There are consequences to losing a newspaper. And not just to those who disagree with their politics.
    I think it is okay for a newspaper to editorialize in opposition to my view. But I want my news straight up, just the facts. If the editorial position shows on the news page, I have a problem.

  75. otrplm says:

    I’m with you Rob in Ca, shining a light on mold will sure kill it.

  76. justafarmer says:

    McClatchy also owns the major newspaper in Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader. You betcha I’m firing something off to them here.

  77. BigSlick says:

    Time for a picket line boycott of the ADN?

  78. jojobo1 says:

    Lainey that was my thought on the ADN article if it hasn’t already been deleted..They are her people and they gave her a pass on troopergate even after both sides of thelegislature found her guilty of ethics violations.I would bet a lot of other Governors would like to have that in place especially some one like the Il. governor.Bet he would have loved to have a panel like she has to
    back her up and dismiss charges. JMO

  79. Rob in Ca says:

    Lainey, the Personnel Board is appointed by Palin, but two of the three were carryovers from the prior administration.

    But really, the key here is shining a light on corruption. It is the light of publicity…the light of access to public information…that will ultimately make the difference.

    Even if the Personnel Board wavers, due to fear of losing their jobs, the ethics complaints will ultimately bring Palin down if they have merit, because the electorate will see it, and we have to trust that there is a wisdom there. If we keep shining a bright light on corruption and unethical action, the right thing will happen.

    How do I know this? Obama got elected. ‘Nuff said.

  80. Lainey says:

    P.S. If the Personnel Board IS NOT on palin’s payroll…then weren’t they in her yearbook? something’s fishy up there in AK and I’m not talkin’ about salmon!

  81. Rob in Ca says:

    Seems like the Anchorage Daily News is under a lot of editorial pressure. I know the financial situation for papers is dire right now. I read that C4P is having their members email ADN advertisers with screenshots of ADN comments. I wonder, first, if that is even true…and then I wonder if the advertisers would really care since so many of the C4Pers are out of staters anyway. It would be interesting to know if the editor is getting pressure from the advertisers – we will probably never know…

  82. Lainey says:

    I may have a faded memory of Troopergate (since there have been so many ‘gates’ in between), but wasn’t the Personnel Board the problem? Aren’t they on palin’s payroll? Didn’t their ‘hired’ investigator find…no findings?
    What good is that procedure then? Please remind me…refresh my memory.

  83. Basheert says:

    I predict the total demise of the print media and with the ADN it could not come too soon.
    Citizens may file Ethics Complaints and they should be investigated upon their merits.

    I’d suggest everyone boycott their sponsors and let them (the ADN) know.

    For a “newspaper” to take sides in a political squabble is unethical and an infringement of an individual’s right to free speech.

    The ADN is on the way to the downhill slide. Too bad – they can’t save themselves. They are too far into the Swallow Sarah myth.

    This is why the print media is going down the tubes but for the ADN, it cannot happen quickly enough.

  84. Rob in Ca says:

    Great post, AKM. I made the same point at ADN today:

    1. It is outrageous to suggest that a citizen should be required to keep a complaint confidential. If a question has been raised about the Governors conduct, we deserve to know it. We also deserve the answer.
    2. It is also outrageous for you to term any complainant as a ‘gadfly’. You were not specific, so maybe you meant to denigrate all the complainants? I believe that the merit of a complaint is meant to be judged by the Personnel Board. How can you, or the Governor, presume to prejudge a complaint as frivolous? If that were valid, all we would have to do is route all complaints through you, or through the Governor, and avoid the whole messy process of investigating and evaluating them.
    3. It is indeed outrageous for the Governor to have a legal defense fund for ethics complaints. And we have absolutely no evidence that these complaints have cost Palin anything, other than Troopergate. That only cost her because she filed it for political reasons, for personal benefit.

  85. AlaskaDisasta says:

    “But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right”
    _____________________

    Here, on the “outside”, we’d call that statement mighty presumptive. A little too anticipatory. This inconsequential little op-ed writer seems to be in a ‘rush to judgement’ – could we have a little friend of the Palin-drone here? And, if so, wouldn’t it be more journalistically ethical to state the connection as a preface the article?

  86. Lori in Los Angeles says:

    AKM – I think you should send this “rebuttal” to the ADN – perhaps they will print it. It is an excellent piece.

  87. mainiac says:

    The end of their statement seems rather ominous…” they abuse that right — and may put it at risk.” May put it at risk?? Who is threatening to “put it at risk”? Big Mama gonna come after you and take away this right?
    So much for checks and balances. Shame on ADN.

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