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April 23, 2014

New Ethics Complaint Filed Against Gov. Palin – Per Diem for Personal Gain

Wasilla resident Zane Henning will be filing an ethics complaint today against soon-to-be-ex-governor Sarah Palin for continuing to collect per diem expenses from the State of Alaska while still living in, and commuting from her own home.

One of the things that will still be getting some attention from government watchdogs, and legislators are possible changes that need to be addressed in the Ethics Act and/or State Law. Sarah Palin may be heading for the exit doors, but Alaska residents will have many governors to come. Like George Bush, who left the door wide open for potential abuses by his successors, we find ourselves looking for the holes in the system that will need to be plugged.

Now, back to Palin’s parting gift.

“I am charging that the Governor has given herself a raise for personal gain by using the per diem process, which is in direct conflict with Section 39.52.120. (a) of the Alaska Executive Ethics Act,” Henning said. “The State of Alaska provides housing in the state’s capital of Juneau for our Governor, so there should be no extra expense if she desires to stay in her own home. More than a thousand state employees commute from the Mat-Su Valley daily and none of them get to pocket free money.”

The reasons why I am filing this complaint are as follows:

· State travel regulations specify per diem can’t be claimed when travel is less than 50 miles from a state employee’s workplace. Palin works out of her Anchorage office in the Atwood Building which is a scant 45- mile commute from her Wasilla home.

· Palin is exempt from personnel and travel rules which means she does NOT HAVE to collect any per diem ever when working out of her Anchorage office.

· And most importantly, State Statute 39.20.010 distinctly stipulates that the governor’s salary is $125,000. Period. By pocketing this free money, Palin violates Alaska law by giving herself a raise that totals to thousands of dollars.

Attached documents provide proof that Governor Sarah Palin continues to collect per diem as of May 2009.

“The Governor is quitting her job and now more than ever the State of Alaska along with its residents need to be reimbursed for the per diem charges including interest and a fine. Governor Palin is setting precedent for future governors. My hope was that one of our lemming legislators would take a stand and hold Palin accountable for this act, but since that has not happened, it is up to private citizens, like myself, to hold our Governor accountable”, stated Henning.

The ethics complaint and supporting document is below.

palin-per-deim-complaint-7-6-09

palin-ta-may-2009

*********WARNING TO JUNEAU RESIDENTS*******
>BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEP!<

Included in the supporting documents is an email from the governor written to Meg Stapleton back in March of 2007 which includes the following:

“Fyi he’s really going to hit the roof when he gets the message that come end of legislative session i’m joining YOU, and the majority of the people of AK by conducting the state’s business where the people are – where I can access them, and they can access me. (I’ll talk to you and Sharon about this outside of email.)  our gasline team, our commerce and revenue people, and so many others, are obviously needed in Anchorage once this session ends…

We’re going to have to fundamentally change some perceptions of WHERE the admin needs to conduct its business in order to stay connected w/ the world outside of Juneau.”

Comments

comments

Comments
170 Responses to “New Ethics Complaint Filed Against Gov. Palin – Per Diem for Personal Gain”
  1. katiebegood says:

    The first thing that needs to be changed is who hears ethics complaints against a governor. Having the people the governor appoints and can fire at will is the biggest conflict-of-interest I have ever seen.

    I also wonder about the $500,000 in legal bills. What is it for? When all Sarah has to do is call the people on the Personnel board and tell them to quash the complaint, that doesn’t take a lot of lawyer time.

  2. sauerkraut says:

    Having thought about the per diems for some time, I am still of the opinion that there is a two-prong violation of law in the simple act of staying home and collecting, and not reporting those per diems on tax returns.

  3. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    I’m sorry to keep referring back to this, but remember AKM’s post about 1 week ago re: AKReport? AKReport said possible 3 more ethics complaints to be filed and “long simmering IRS/embezzlement” issues/problems. I don’t know how to look up past posts.
    *iceberg*

  4. lazarhat says:

    As a resident of Anchorage and someone who has voted at least a couple of times for moving the state capitol CLOSER and MORE ACCESSIBLE to the majority of Alaskans, I have NO problem with her assessment of where business is conducted and rightly should be conducted in Alaska. (Whut up SouthCentral?!? Big ups SC! Woot!) The capitol move is way past overdue. Seriously. It wasn’t her idea however… no original ideas are. ;)

    -Laz

  5. Kris says:

    People really need to get a life.

  6. Bretta says:

    JHop,
    Here is the link to the Todd Palin’s page on the State of Alaska website. When I first looked for it this morning, thinking that it would be tastefully removed by now, it appeared to be missing but noooooooo, it was just buried a few links down.
    http://www.gov.state.ak.us/bio_firstgent.php
    The links on the bottom of the page include the Tesoro Irondog.

  7. Bretta says:

    For JHop @ #97 July 6th, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    I absolutely agree with you – that’s why I have to vent then go back and write the facts. Your advice is correct. I do regulatory work investigating complaints so I have to be very careful what I publish to not have my feelings/opinions injected, even if the regulation is imprecise or inadvertently not what was intended.

    I am mad at the governor for taking the per diem, when a state employee, even if she has traveled all day, more than eight hours, gets home before the dinner bell, cannot have the full day’s per diem. I kid you not. But Her Quittership is allowed per diem for attending a personal event (daughter’s graduation)? A state employee is not allowed travel prepayment of transportation, etc., if personal activities are included in the trip; pay up front out of personal funds, then hope to be reimbursed when you get home. If the state employee has to travel all day on an airplane, per diem is not paid if you don’t do any state work while traveling. Like email or memos, I guess.

    And bottom line, I wouldn’t begrudge Gov Buttercup the money if it actually appeared she had accomplished work. The fact is, recently pointed out by Halcro and others, the Governor’s calendar is mostly bare. She doesn’t meet with advisors, commissioners, legislators – anything that is actual work, not tititular facebrag.

  8. Baker's Dozen says:

    <>
    My name is, like, so outdated, now!

  9. JHop says:

    i am down for the chatroom tomorrow night. i actually have to pull another all nighter, so it works for me. i am a late person by nature anyway.

    i am officially moving to “the voice speaks” thread. just for consistency. i hope we can all congregate!

  10. justafarmer says:

    see??? I couldn’t even spell my name correctly in the last post…
    zzzzzzzz

  11. justafarmer says:

    justafaremer is now zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. justafarmer says:

    JHop, most of us will be around for the liveblogging Anchorage Assembly meeting thread on Tuesday night…I think the good parts start around 11 pm our time (that’s the public testimony and liveblogging) and it can go to 2 or 3 am our time and then the parsing of testimony can go to 4 am our time… :)

    Seriously, though, I’m thinking a lot of this ethics discussion should be a thread over in the forum. Easy to keep track of and everything in one place. If someone doesn’t open a thread in the forum tonight, I’ll do it sometime tomorrow (but I hope some mudpup doesn’t wait on me because I have a really full day on Tuesday).

  13. Nan says:

    AKM – me too (what justafarmer said)

  14. justafarmer says:

    AKM, sorry for the OT there for a bit!

  15. Nan says:

    JHop – how ’bout the newest thread?

  16. Nan says:

    g’nite justafarmer!

  17. Nan says:

    Oh! I’m going to have to read it properly – I only skimmed (but saved to puter lol)

    about that complaint of ours, at one time, I had the complete Missouri law (real estate law, that is) saved to the computer – that was about 5 computers ago, so you have an idea of how puny it was.

    One thing that helped me enormously was that I’d taken a – an “tough” English class – can’t remember the name of the course, but “arguing on paper” was the gist of it. Goofy prof – LOVED the class. Thank heavens I took that class. It was logic, ad hominem, straw man, slippery slope etc. Fun, too.

  18. JHop says:

    i hate flipping between threads. where is everyone going to camp out and i will stay there too. the discussions are too similar…

  19. justafarmer says:

    oh, and I’m fine for chatroom in the evening Eastern Time!
    Send me a PM via the forum to let me know when any of you are there and ready to chat.
    Off to bed with me now…

  20. JHop says:

    where can i get a copy of these other complaints? do you guys know?

    rubber room – really good post! it seems like an alternate universe to me. alaska is blood red and new york is SO blue. not to say that we don’t have our own ethics problems (see, e.g. spitzer, eliot; guiliani, rudolf; the entire state senate right this second). but some of this sh1t would never be put up with.

    grandma68 – my family lives in wilmington, NC (im curious, where are you?). it would be like the NC governor choosing, on her own accord, to live in wilmington and commute to raleigh every day, but then charge the state for travel/expenses, even though she would be fully accommodated if she just lived where she was supposed to in raleigh.

  21. JHop says:

    Nan: In Missouri, it’s supposed to be something that Joe Blow or Jane Doe can do without requiring an atty. (Yeah, right) The hardest part for me was having to figure out just which law(s) or regulation(s) were relevant.

    everywhere, they make it out to be a process that goldfish could follow. it is never like that. they essentially put the onus on the public, usually lacking a legal education, to know how to support their complaint with law. i mean, you should genuinely be proud of yourself. these things are rarely successful, unless there is clear irrefutable wrongdoing. but i think about your process – that you wrote and researched and drafted and redrafted and redrafted again and talked to people – and then remember that most people aren’t as intelligent or disciplined as you were. it makes me wonder how much gets swept under the rug solely because of a poorly drafted or overly emotional complaint. i think that many people go about it like they are calling airline customer service to rant about missing luggage. and that is not the purpose or the intent of an ethics board. i dont mean to be harsh or overemphasize a point i made earlier, but today’s complaint – a legitimate claim based on appropriate law – would have been much better if he had just left out the last few paragraphs.

  22. justafarmer says:

    this week I’m on coon hunting duty….raccoons have been in our barn and decapitating chickens for the past two weeks…I hate shooting them but since Sunday night, they have killed a dozen chickens. Got a new trick tonight….took of this dog hair that has been piling up in the house because the dogs are shedding and spread it all around the doors to the barn. Going on 12:30 am now and all is quiet….

  23. kiksadi50 says:

    Palin’s entitlement to change the rules in breathtaking. Alaskans have repeatedly voted to keep state business in Juneau. palin knew this full well when she ran for gov. After elected, she chooses to ‘rule’ from anchorage any way & has the gall to charge the state for a per diem. This woman’s behavior is not only unethical but borders on sociopathic. She blithely does whatever she wants & like a child plays victim when some one tries to hold her accoutable. Has any one ever heard Palin take responsibility for any kind of mistake & apologize? I’m not surprised she called Cheney before resigning. She acts & thinks like Cheney more every day.

  24. Nan says:

    Grandma68
    Most people that run for the top spot in a state tend to understand that the job includes living in the state’s capital!

    I think she has lived off and on (mostly off) in Juneau over the last couple of years, but – it was more off than on.

    I don’t live there, but those that do could fill you in better probably.

    (new thread, y’all)
    Nan

  25. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Jhop……please look at the ArcticCat walking billboard ethics complaint, to me it is HUGE, she knew exactly what she was doing, Toad, AC also knew, Sarah and Toad managed to deliver SO much free advertising just because of Sarah’s political standing, and they sure did it. it went viral, forever. you can’t tell me she or Toad did not know how that would work out. THEY knew, just imagine if he’d won.

    Arctic Cat was thrilled with what they got, for free. Unless it can be proven there was an arrangement or that Toad and Scarah really did benefit. But the bad gov recently asked those “contract” records of Toads cannot be made public because it would reveal AC ? can’t remember how it was worded, their discovery or developmental costs.

  26. justafarmer says:

    oh, and dogs are always dogs when it comes to racing…
    as to to the chatroom, I mostly work from home so am pretty flexible. Best days for me are generally afternoons Eastern Time. (got farmers market three/five mornings a week…rest of the time I’m on hangover duty, Wednesday mornings after Anchorage Assembly meetings in particular…lol!)

  27. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    OK so cought up with this thread….

    So many great thinkers.

    JHop..

    There is a…a… a… well I am not sure what you call it an attitude among some Alaskans that some of our lawmakers here can do no wrong (as long as it is your party and your party’s colors are red). They will vote for someone convicted of crimes in Federal Court, but you see that is the Feds and well they are from outside and don’t know nothing about Alaska and should get there nose out of our business. Alaska Independence party members are more respected buy the “Reds” than the “Blue Party” and way for sure more than the “Green Party”..
    But along with that can be some really bad behavior that can be directed at people who dare to speak up.. retribution for perceived wrongs, So a whistle blower or someone who files an ethics complaint can face serious backlash.
    Not just them but there families and it can even effect there jobs or employment.
    There is a reason mudflatters tend to be wary of new posters for a while.
    A very good example is the treatment our own AKM received at the hands of a local representative because he was called out for some very bad behavior.
    I think if you read through some of the archives you may get a better Idea.
    (Just search Outing AKM)
    Even the major news sources seem to be afraid to ask the tough questions or give the straight answers.

    I will say this it take tremendous courage and fortitude to take on some of our lawmakers.

  28. Grandma68 says:

    Did Palin ever live in Juneau? Did she ever get out of her comfort zone (Wasilla) for very long (except to run for VP, of course). How many other governors have lived in their own homes instead of Juneau? I don’t think I’ve ever seen Palin broadcast anywhere except Wasilla (except for her VP disaster-run).

    I’m from NC and our govs always live in the mansion in Raleigh; I know Juneau is upstate from Wasilla, but it is the capital of AK, right? And don’t governors of every state live in their capitol and maybe commute on weekends to their homes if they’re inclined?

  29. Nan says:

    Hey, I’m game! When is good for you all? I gave up on the other two threads – will check them later. sheesh

  30. Nan says:

    JHop
    Ohhh, thank you! That means something coming from you (digging toe in dirt…) thank you!

    In Missouri, it’s supposed to be something that Joe Blow or Jane Doe can do without requiring an atty. (Yeah, right) The hardest part for me was having to figure out just which law(s) or regulation(s) were relevant.

    It also didn’t hurt that the seller of the property in question *also* put in a complaint on the same transaction. We actually became pretty good friends; it was the agent and the broker we had the beef with. :-D

    They have reworked the form a little bit since then, but I’m not sure quite how. (I’ve kind of avoided it since then. ROFL)

    I agree though, there are some (most) things you really have to have a lawyer for. (If they’ll take the case!)

    Have you seen more of the ethics complaints? Besides the Alaska Fund Trust one, I mean. They’re interesting to read. And interesting reading.

    Nan

  31. JHop says:

    i would too – it would be easier than this. i refresh every 5 seconds! and flip between 3 threads (which drives me crazy)

    we should figure out a time/day and spread it around.

  32. justafarmer says:

    JHop, there are dogsled races, but then there are snowmobile/machine races.
    Two entirely different animals, so to speak…
    Here in Kentucky, we call them snowmobiles…snowmachines make snow for ski slopes or they are Zambonies for the hockey rinks.

  33. justafarmer says:

    Nan, JHop and anyone else interested…
    I’d love to get together in the chatroom sometime!
    Every time I’ve been there, I’ve been all by my lonesome!

  34. justafarmer says:

    I’ve got a REALLLY long day tomorrow….
    PJ telecommuter journalist from Kentucky to Illinois….picking veg in the field that is exploding (several bushels of squash & zucchini and now Roma green beans need picking….okra is still another week away).
    Got loads of green beans & cucumbers still in the kitchen that STILL need freezing and/or pickling…
    My DirecTV has been psychotic for more than a year and they are FINALLY sending out a techie in the afternoon (he should have been here on Monday but his truck broke down in Ohio Monday morning….sigh…BTW, DirecTV techies use their own vehicles and DirecTV does NOT pay them anything additional for that, last time I heard (about 5 years ago or so), they got $150 a day and had to pay their assistant out of that in addition to their vehicle expense.
    and then be awake for the Anchorage Assembly meeting live blogging…..

    justafarmer lives for the Assembly liveblogging, even if it goes until 3 am my time….

  35. JHop says:

    lol i thought it was a dogsled race – too funny….

  36. JHop says:

    Nan: That is amazing! You should be really proud of yourself, genuinely.

    I am clearly bias, but in my experience, any pro se individual (representing themselves, without an attorney) is automatically treated differently by an adjudicator. sometimes, if clients dont want to pay my office for representation at a DHS interview (the step before an asylum applicant is sent to court), they will go on their own. and they always lose. all of them. pro se claims are doubted on their face – often unfairly. in any “real” legal matter, or anything where the outcome will truly affect a person’s life, they should hire an attorney or they are doing themselves a disservice.

    it’s hard not to think the same about some of these complaints. granted, they weren’t life or death situations and i am not suggesting that someone should hire an attorney for a mere ethics complaint. but if the complaints had been further supported by law and precedent, and additional documentary evidence (even just articles printed from the internet or specific statements made by the governor in public record), they would have had a much much better chance to succeed. so it sucks to think about just how much she has gotten away with….

  37. Nan says:

    JHop,
    IronDog is a snowmobile race. Except they will hurt you if you call it a “snowmobile.” In AK, it’s a “snowmachine.”

    Hey, it’s Alaska.

  38. JHop says:

    cassie – i didn’t click on the specific link until now. it directly links to the official site of Tesoro Iron Dog. Is that a private company? Or, does Todd Palin financially benefit from it in any way? That is the real question.

    I am a huge sports buff, but they (unfortunately) didn’t have a dogsled team at my high school, so I don’t know much about it. Are there overarching irondog organizations? Or is this irondog race purely for profit (other than the prize money allotted) and commercial benefit?

  39. Nan says:

    Oops. “Repeat” should be above “Took me 5 wks” (sorry about that)

    JHop
    There is a chat room, but the last time I *know* someone was in there was for the Inauguration. There’s no reason not to use it, just that somehow, folks haven’t been, at least that I’ve been aware of.

    Kinda hard to find, little teensy letters… lol
    Nan

  40. Nan says:

    One thing about any paperwork with a bureaucracy, is to pare it down. And just the facts, ma’am (channeling Sgt Friday there).

    When I did our real estate complaint, I wrote it all out, then went through and got rid of the worst of the snark (ha), rewrote.

    Second go-round, got rid of the worst of the emotion, rewrote.

    Third rewrite – reword the facts to take up less room, strip the rest of the emotion and the snark, change “She lied to us” to “Her statement was inaccurate.” Rewrite.

    Took me five weeks. But we won. Eventually.

    Repeat.

  41. JHop says:

    Nan – thanks for answering the forum question. so there is never a time where people congregate and chat there, like we are now? it isn’t like a chat room or anything, i assume.

    Samper: “Can Ethics Complaints be filed for her behavior while IN office after she has LEFT office?”

    I am wondering the same exact thing. I want to know if any pending complaints are automatically dismissed once the individual leaves office. And you make a good point, which I would also like to know – can FURTHER complaints be filed even after she has left? I don’t know. I mean, it seems crazy to think, for example, that if we discovered Palin had been embezzling cash from the treasury and funneling it to Todd’s business for the past 2 years, that the state wouldn’t prosecute her and hold her fully liable. But I don’t know about “non-essential” ethics complaints, meaning those that don’t affect the state at large – like holding a press conference in her office, or linking to todd’s company on her website. Those issues, while legitimate, become moot once she leaves office, and whatever damage that occurred has already been completed and cannot be remedied.

    As for some other random points:

    Anyone who lives in Alaska has standing to bring a suit against Palin or the Ethics Board.

    I do not even think it would be necessary to refile every complaint (although it would be the icing on the cake) – we would just use palin’s words against her to force the issue. All she has talked about for the past few months are her problems with legal issues and complaints and investigations and how unfair it is and how much it sucks and how people should “backlash” against those filing complaints. It would be nearly impossible for her attorney to now argue that our claim is meritless or that they support the ethics board procedure as it is. we would be presenting a compromise from the start – one to benefit both her and the public. she couldn’t argue against reforming the confidentiality and secrecy of the personnel board, but then in support of sanctions for frivolous complaints (which she would love, because it would act like a total deterrent to baseless claims she has had to defend).

  42. Physicsmom says:

    #118 @ Cassie – go for Letterman. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show is on vacation this week, so it will be a re-run.

    Thanks to Zane for finally taking the initiative to file this ethics complaint. It’s a sorry situation that the Legislature hasn’t dealt with it before now, but it’s not too late to be investigated, especially since we don’t know if Parnell plans to move to Juneau or not.

  43. samper says:

    Done for the day… ‘night pups!

    Tomorrow will be a whole new day of analysis.

    OH! THIS JUST IN!

    MJ is STILL dead! FTLOG, when will this whole MJ thing be OVER?

  44. samper says:

    Sorry… listening to KO’s rerun of tonite’s show.

    “In what respect, Charlie?” just NEVER gets old!!!!

    LOL! :-)

    Bush Doctrine = World View! LMAO!

  45. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    JHop…we need you on this!

  46. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    …even though there are ads on it….

  47. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    JHop–

    But he Iron dog page appears to be a dot org. Indicating a non-profit to my own weak knowledge of the “tubes”.

  48. sally says:

    Let her go!

  49. JHop says:

    as far as the “first gent’s” page on the official state website, i think it is unethical that he is linking to any particular company, PARTICULARLY his own. what really bothers me is that it is unnecessary and disingenuous. For example, these are his links of interest under their appropriate sub-heading:

    Vocational Education Opportunities
    Alaska Vocational Technical Center
    Alaska Works Partnership
    Alaska Apprenticeship Training Coordinators Association

    Outdoor Activities
    Tesoro Iron Dog
    Alaska Sport Fishing
    Alaska Hunting and Trapping

    Job Training and Employment
    Oil & Gas Employment and Training Opportunities
    Apprenticeship Opportunities in Alaska

    every single link is a public, not for profit organization or website, OTHER THAN “Tesoro Iron Dog.” there is no reason, nor basis, for linking to any specific, private, commercial company – let alone his own! he easily could have listed “Iron Dog Competitions” and linked to a general organizational site, just as he did with Alaska Sports Fishing and Alaska Hunting and Fishing. For those two sources, he did not direct people to go to a specific fishing equipment company or anything. In essense, they are giving an official endorsement by the state of alaska, as well as free advertising, to a commercial entity that they financially and personally benefit from; it is using her position as a state official for personal gain, which is unlawful. It is sleazy and underhanded.

  50. samper says:

    Can Ethics Complaints be filed for her behavior while IN office after she has LEFT office?

    If so, I say we all pitch in to cover expenses for JHOP to re-do every last one of them, hoping some stick!

    Can you IMAGINE! She’d be bombarded with, what is up to now? 16 Complaints all at once, composed by a real live attorney who knows how to form the best argument.

    Her head would absolutely explode!
    :-)

  51. Nan says:

    JHop,
    sounds pretty reasonable to me. But I don’t live in Alaska.

    And I’m not sure who would be the proper person/s to get something like that in the works.

    I’m just no help at all!

    Oh! I don’t know if anyone ever answered your question re the forum. (link at top or to the right). It’s kind of like a “bulletin board,” where you put up your comment, and eventually someone will totter out there with their morning coffee and decide to answer it. Different topics, you check in as you can, or when you want.

    Dunno if that helped or not.

    Nan

  52. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Justafarmer–I grew up on a farm. No pond, had to pump the well water into two old bathtubs ( a la the erectile medication!) for the cows and horses to drink from.

    I loved your comment about a “new” NCIS (to him)! It’s about the same here at our house!

    Checking out soon to see Jon Dailey’s take on all this. I’m torn….Dailey Show or Letterman! and no Tivo!

    See you all tomorrow! ( And don’t ask for my CAF number—I left it in the office when I retired last year, but it’s still active!)

  53. Forever Annonymous says:

    JHop- I have given my reasons and I have spoken thruthfuly, and candidly it is just like I’m giving an audible before passing the ball. A magnet on parents fridge says……….

    In all seriousness, thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  54. Bernice says:

    I think it is great, but more residents of Alaska need to file the same complaint, but indiviually. Let the state deal with more than they can handle by addressing each one almost daily.They will realize too much time and money is REALLY being spent on this one issue, thus they will be more apt to do something about it as opposed to taking on and knocking down one or two at a time. There’s enough people in Alaska to keep the courts tied up!

    Sounds like a good reason for a rally! If you guys let her get away with this, expect it to be an open, ongoing practice from the rest in the future.

    I agree with those that said don’t add more to the complaints than need be.

  55. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    We’re trying, Sally!

  56. sally says:

    dairy gate, baby gate, house gate, irs, travel gate…it’s coming down soon!

  57. JHop says:

    I think a better case is to file a complaint in court challenging the overall ethics board process as unconstitutional – that it doesn’t offer fair or due process to anyone, including the governor. this cuts both ways, so i don’t think that it would be dismissed on its face. hypothetically (and this is completely off the cuff, without research): we would present both sides:

    a) the governor should not be so inundated with complaints that she cannot perform her official duties (unless she is just a bastard and deserves it; but in a lawsuit our personal feelings don’t matter anyway); that there should be clear threshold guidelines to outline what a sufficient complaint must entail before it will be explored by the board. there should be sanctions for clearly frivolous complaints, with the right to appeal to a judge if sanctioned; AND

    b) the ethics procedure is so shrouded in secrecy that the public is denied due process in having their legitimate claims investigated and heard by an impartial adjudicating body; it is inherently unlawful if claims are being dismissed out of loyalty to the governor (who appointed them) or state; the governor is afforded automatic confidentiality, and the law does not even give the filer of the complaint to learn how a decision was made; the fact that a complaint is normally forwarded to the ethics panel by the AG does not coincide with the fact that a complaint filed specifically against the governor is forwarded to the personnel board, who she appointed; on its face, it offers an unfair and unexplained advantage to the governor.

    and we would respectfully request the court to remand this procedure to the legislature in order to clarify the law. thought?

  58. JHop says:

    akgrrl: very interesting, thanks!

    but i think that based on this, an ethics complaint against palin would be weak. for example, she can appoint members – BUT they are subject to approval by the legislature. they are appointed to fixed terms, so it isn’t like she can hire and fire at will, like nixon during watergate. and she can only fire them for cause – so control really isn’t in her hands.

    i am interested in the make-up of the board. is there any way to see a description of the current members? that would say a lot more. the statute says that they do not have to be employees of the state – so where do these people work? did palin appoint someone that has unknown connections to todd’s business or any of her religious right interests, etc? the statute says they must be from different political parties – well are they registered in name only, or are they legitimate? Exploring those option could raise an ethics complaint.

  59. M. Bergert says:

    I hope this one goes through and she has to repay the State. Wouldn’t her salary for the next three weeks about take care of her per diem, with maybe still some out of pocket change? Of course, that’s if she works at all her next three weeks.

  60. frostvixen says:

    This is an unrelated point…
    What I don’t get, and what I haven’t seen addressed, is the line of succession. If Frostvixen Quitterface appointed Joe Schmidt, Wasilla buddy and alleged ex-bf of FQ, as third in line for the governor’s office, why is that he’s not ascending to lieutenant governor? Could it be that he’s involved in the scandal-to-be?

    He decided he didn’t want the job. Your guess is as good as mine! AKM

  61. justafarmer says:

    JHop, Bretta was mentioning thta Todd has a first dude page at the official Alaska website and he has links to his sponsors’ website, FROM the official SoA website!

  62. JHop says:

    thanks Cassie. I mean, obviously putting anything on the internet is never fool-proof; but I genuinely think this is a good group of people with shared interests (as opposed to putting my email on DailyKos or Huffpo or some other huge site, where there is really no moderation or community. Which is why I made the comment that apparently made Foreveranon “on guard.” I still don’t understand, in all honesty. I meant it as a compliment.

  63. akgrrl says:

    JHop Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    i am not sure how the tenures of the ethics board members are decided. but if they “serve at the pleasure of the governor” as opposed to the state, then we would have a stronger claim.

    —————-

    AS 39.25.060. Personnel Board.

    (a) The personnel board is composed of three members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature meeting in joint session. The term of office of a member is six years. A vacancy in an unexpired term shall be filled by appointment by the governor for the remainder of the term. The appointment is subject to confirmation in the same manner as a full-term appointment.

    (b) Members of the board may not be employees of the state. Not more than two members of the board may be members of the same political party.

    (c) A board member may be removed by the governor only for cause.

    (d) A member of the board may receive a per diem allowance and transportation expenses incurred in carrying out the member’s duties.

  64. justafarmer says:

    JHop, I’ve been an internet & library sleuth for years!!!!
    Shannyn coming up now on KO’s repeat (I missed the first one ’cause DH was watching a new-to him NCIS)….

  65. justafarmer says:

    hmmm, OTOH, Cassie…I’m prolly over-qualified because I’m actually a farmer WITH livestock!

  66. JHop says:

    justafarmer – I am not only a former IRS auditor, I am also a journalist for almost 30 years. And no, I did NOT sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night…

    you need to put your journalism sleuthing skills and your IRS connections together and solve the mystery of a rumored embezzlement investigation! and i think it’s really cool that you were in journalism for so long; if i didn’t genuinely love being a lawyer and my clients, i would go back to school for a masters and pursue journalism. this is off topic, so i will stop for now, but i am curious about your experience…

  67. justafarmer says:

    casssie, yes, I do like cows! (I particularly love a very nicely marbled ribeye or porterhouse).
    I can be Alaska’s Ag Commissioner!

  68. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    JHOP–

    here’s the link from the Alaska home page about 2/3 down the page…

    http://www.gov.state.ak.us/bio_firstgent.php

  69. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    JHOP—

    While posters at Mudflats need to sign in, folks who just want to look over the site can do so with no restrictions. Given Buttercup’s penchant for twits, tweets, bloggers, etc., we can always assume that some readers are not friendlies.

    …and we NEVER, never feed trolls (TeeHee) unless they’re just too good to pass up!

  70. JHop says:

    Bretta – i think you have a really good point about the website though. Can you send me the link, where it is on the state site?

    That is like the government of alaska officially endorsing a private company/employer…that just HAPPENS to be the governor’s husband. that is ridiculous.

  71. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    justafarmer, I noticed there was no attribution, which was what got me curious.

    I guess if you called up someone and asked them to confirm x, and they responded that they could confirm x, it wouldn’t leave you with much to write about – except that you’d confirmed x.

    OTOH it would have been Monday by the time he read my email, which would give him plenty of time to make a quick call. ;)

  72. PepperzMom (GA) says:

    A bit OT, but pertinent to SP.

    A post from HP re: SP/Russia & Obama… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/06/alaskans-palin-had-gone-f_n_226157.html

    LooktotheLeft (Posted 09:10 PM on 07/06/2009)

    First thing Russian leader Medvedev said to Obama when he got off the plane was, “Dude, will you tell that chick in Alaska to stop staring at us…it’s creeping me out”.
    :) ;)

  73. JHop says:

    Bretta – I dont know what you are disagreeing with. Your point that “per diem rules for state employees seem to be very strict – except for the governor” is absolutely right, but I wasn’t commenting on the substance of his complaint at all.

    I was talking about the form that he took in presenting his argument. He does NOT personally “know that thousands of valley residents commute into Anchorage for work every day” and he doesn’t know that no one else is being paid to commute to work (and he does not specify state employees). Many people are reimbursed for travel, etc. by their private employers. Regardless, my point was that he shouldn’t make a sweeping statement (interjecting his personal opinions and beliefs for that of known, documented fact) unless he has some way to back it up – an article or state document that showed this. Then I would have no problem with his statement. I am sure there is a way for him to get the same argument across but have it seem much stronger than the way he presented it. That was all I was saying.

  74. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Justafarmer–

    Cows? Do you like them?

    If so, call Buttercup and you could be the next head of the Department of Agriculture for Alaska—if her friend from high school resigns in time!

  75. Bretta says:

    #32, July 6th, 2009 at 4:00 PM, JHop Says: “”If anyone has any plans to write an ethics complaint, I will be more than happy to use the legal databases in my office to find law to support your claim. Hell, I will draft it for free.”"

    What about the link on the State website linking the First Gentleman Biography to the Tesoro Iron Dog website?

    IMHO that is unethical.

  76. anadventurer says:

    A heart felt THANK YOU to the men and women who have time to pay attention. If I can do ANYTHING to help please ask. I don’t have time to be a watchdog, but I can help if you have a flat time or anything.

  77. Illlinois Gibster says:

    Hey, nothing wrong with the governor living “with the people”. Our former governor worked out of Chicago instead of living in the capital….oh, wait…..probably not at good example…

    Carry on.

  78. justafarmer says:

    so, Aussie, I supposed we can surmise that Sean Cockerham doesn’t have any original journalistic instincts…he just confirmed dthe LA Times story and WHILE HAVING THE FBI GUY ON THE PHONE…couldn’t come up with a SINGLE additional question or two or three to make his story different or *gasp* UPDATED with MORE INFORMATION for ADN readers….
    I am not only a former IRS auditor, I am also a journalist for almost 30 years.
    And no, I did NOT sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night…. :)

  79. Bretta says:

    #47, July 6th, 2009 at 4:17 PM, JHop Says: “”"[my comments are in brackets]:
    …I know that thousands of valley residents commute into Anchorage for work every day. …They don’t receive checks from their employers for sleeping at home [How does he know this? It is a sweeping generalization].”"”

    I have to disagree. The per diem rules for state employees seem to be very strict – except for the governor. If a state employee (duty station Anchorage) drives to Palmer to do an inspection, no per diem is paid.

  80. JHop says:

    Cassie Jeep Pike Palin – good post. she seems to milk the public for whatever money that she can squeeze, no matter how ridiculous or petty her actions are.

    Forever Anon – I am confused, I dont know what you are implying. I didn’t know what the protocol was for email. And I was just stating that I generally trust this community.

  81. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    justafarmer Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 5:24 PM
    Aussie, Sean Cockerham may have confirmed with the FBI guy, but what he wrote in ADN was almost word for word what was in the LA Times and everywhere else.
    ———————————————————-
    That’s exactly why I asked him. ;)

  82. justafarmer says:

    typo penance….are=area

  83. Forever Annonymous says:

    JHop says:” you all are smart and witty and have the best intentions always.”

    and it makes me be on guard.

  84. justafarmer says:

    Cassie, I’ve also lived in small towns, and my current ENTIRE county (fourth largest in land are in Kentucky) has a smaller population than Wasilla. My closest “town” has a population of about 800 (we are SERIOUSLY outnumbered by cows, goats and chickens).
    No way Wasilla is a “small town” (except perhaps in terms of “the good old boys & girls club”)

  85. Ennealogic says:

    I’m beginning to think that Palin’s parting words about how she’s not about “politics as usual” is code for “I’m not gonna follow your stupid ethics rules.”

  86. Ennealogic says:

    @AussieBlueSky “Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily Snooze says that he confirmed himself with the FBI that there was nothing going on (I asked him).”

    I did too. He told me he called Erik on Erik’s cell. Must be nice knowing the FBI guys so well that you have their cell numbers (which are not published on the FBI site).

  87. BooBooBear says:

    Well, Kristan Cole (Trustee of the Fund) stated that Palin just couldn’t stand the State having to spend the millions (right…how does $296,000 turn into millions?) You know she is a fiscal conservative and all that…blah…blah…blah. If she is so worried about money being spent on her, surely she would not expect the State to pay her every day to live in her own house. SHE is the one who brazenly decided not to live in the Governor’s Mansion (plumbing problems, remember?) Since this was her choice, she should have to return all that money. She just did not have enough adoring fans in Juneau. Sheesh……

  88. justafarmer says:

    Aussie, Sean Cockerham may have confirmed with the FBI guy, but what he wrote in ADN was almost word for word what was in the LA Times and everywhere else.

  89. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Re: Zane’s ethics complaint but from the larger perspective:

    My concern is “personal ethics” specifically those of Buttercup. State of Alaska regulations will be what they are until Alaskans choose to strengthen them and thereby enjoy cleaner politicians. The same can be said of many of our lower 48′s as well. Our former gov. in NC is under investigation, so I know this.

    But personal ethics ALWAYS trump written regulations.

    I would think that Buttercup would have been at Bristol’s and Willow’s graduations whether she was the governor, the Queen of England, or the cleaning lady for either of them. Whatever “title” she held, these were her daughters celebrations, not the State of Alaska’s.

    You would think that for these two celebrations—just these two—a sense of personal ethics would have kicked in and that “little voice” would have said “ahhhh, it’s just not right to collect a check from the good people of Alaska for this.”

    I’ve never been to Wasilla, but I’ve always lived in small towns and I know that every parent at this kind of event is enormously proud. Some of them haven’t the extra bucks to take the graduate out for hamburgers, but their pride is priceless and given freely.

    I am personally offended that SP collected her per diem on those two days for those two events. While it may have been chump change for her, that 60 bucks might have made some other child’s memory of graduation day a little more special.

    Alaskans, you are well rid of her.

  90. tewise says:

    Thank you Mr. Henning for sticking up to what you believe.

  91. Lee323 says:

    A final ethics violation should be filed against self-described “true patriot” Palin for leaving her post without due cause!!

    Palin, who felt she should “liberate” herself from her elected responsibilities just because she wants a “different oyster,” needs to read the following from a post by David Fiderer. Further, the families of soldiers who are pressed into deployment after deployment should be especially disgusted by Gov. Palin who didn’t have the guts to serve even the one “deployment” she was elected to by the people of Alaska. Real patriot, my arse!!

    “The irony is that Palin, Gingrich, Hastert, Lott, Baker and Scarborough were all big fans of Bush administration’s military strategy, which exploits a different one-way option at the expense of our troops and their families. An enlistee’s commitment to serve can be extended indefinitely, so long as the president deems his service is necessary during a time of war. Palin, Gingrich, Hastert, Lott, Baker and Scarborough have never entertained the notion that the Iraq surge might be curtailed because continued deployments place an unconscionable burden on the men and women who signed up serve. They never gave serious thought to the idea that our troops, like Scarborough, might want to spend more time with their kids.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/palin-follows-gop-members_b_226025.html

  92. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    tamara Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 4:21 PM
    I’m still not comfortable with the Gonzales FBI thing. Someone behing de scene there. Curious to know who.
    ————————————–
    Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily Snooze says that he confirmed himself with the FBI that there was nothing going on (I asked him).

  93. JHop says:

    SondraTompkins and whoever else wants/needs it –

    my email is: hopman21 (at) gmail (dot) com

    i am more than happy to help, however i can

  94. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    JHOP–

    you need to do it without punctuation—type at and dot.

  95. JHop says:

    i am moving to the countdown thread…

  96. KaJo says:

    I lost count of how many times the Republican/conservative “guests” on the Hardball segment this afternoon — hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell, not Chris Matthews — noted that “15 of the 16 ethics complaints have been dismissed”.

    And not one of them mentioned that the appointed-by-the-Governor-herself Personnel Board made the decisions to dismiss…

  97. JHop says:

    can i just give my email here? or is that a no-no? because i dont mind any of you having it – you all are smart and witty and have the best intentions always.

  98. tamara says:

    Comment on the Geoffry Dunne post re latest ethics complaint

    “Uh oh. She’s going to get mad and resign again!”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-dunn/palin-hit-with-more-ethic_b_226667.html

  99. JHop says:

    akgrrl: Someone should write an ethics complaint regarding the governor of Alaska’s ability to hire and fire the State Personnel Board, which hears complaints of Ethics Act violations against the Governor.

    you have a point – that there is something inherently unethical about being able to appoint the body that ultimately judges the legality of your actions. it seems to impede upon a citizen’s right to fair process and substantial due process. but if i was palin, i would rebut our argument by saying that the president of the united states selects supreme court justices, who share the same position as the personnel board. and that the personnel board is overseen by the attorney general, who then implements their recommendations.

    i am not sure how the tenures of the ethics board members are decided. but if they “serve at the pleasure of the governor” as opposed to the state, then we would have a stronger claim.

  100. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    justafarmer # 59———————-

    You betcha!

  101. Ben says:

    What about Don Young “encouraging” Sarah, so he won’t have to worry about Lt. Gov. Parnell in a Republican primary?

  102. SondraTompkins says:

    JHOP

    Perhaps you could email me when you have the time: tompkins at gci dot net

  103. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    This is the right thing to do…….she does not “have to” collect per deim and she shouldn’t. Yet she has to go and “brag” how she and the lt. gov, “gave up” their salary increases.

    swift Scarah, very swift, and nice backfire.

    Thank you for doing the right thing Mr. Henning.

    And YES, the Legislature should have. Amongst other abuses that should be adjusted like state funded family travel. Real transparency. Hiring practices. The AG and ethics personnel board should not be governor appointed. There’s more I’m sure.

  104. justafarmer says:

    ooops, Linda/CD as well on the dream team!
    What the heck…Phil & Gryphyn as honorary kickass women also, too!

  105. justafarmer says:

    Martha UYS said “Cool! We have lawyers, auditors, accountants and a fourth grader! We are SET to rock her boat, big time!”
    ~~~~
    hmmmm. looking at that list of experts (including the fourth grader!), could it possibly be that the “expert team” (and I would include Shannyn & AKM on the team) is SP’s worst nightmare….all kickass women?

  106. akgrrl says:

    Someone should write an ethics complaint regarding the governor of Alaska’s ability to hire and fire the State Personnel Board, which hears complaints of Ethics Act violations against the Governor.

  107. JHop says:

    tamara – celtic diva has done a great job analyzing that theory. i agree whole-heartedly. yesterday in one of the threads, we discussed it for a long time. i think it has a lot of merit. i think the fund, on its face, violates alaskan law. and that is not even considering how she is using the fund.

  108. honestyinGov says:

    I just got an email alert in my Inbox. Hufffpo says Geoffrey Dunn has posted a story about this latest Ethics complaint being filed. Haven’t read the story… hence no link. On the Huffpo though.

  109. JHop says:

    I just looked up what federal jurisdiction Alaska falls into – the 9th circuit (i.e. California). Easily the most liberal, non-Republican circuit court that exists in the nation. There would be a lot of case law to back up any of these claims of unethical behavior by a public official.

    And I really would help anyone, if you guys ever need it.

  110. justafarmer says:

    @JHop:
    Nice analysis of Zane’s complaint and how it could be more bullet-proof.

  111. justafarmer says:

    Sondra, you and JHop should get together via email or phone or whatever. Maybe she can sort out how to put more “teeth” into your complaint.

  112. tamara says:

    I love it. Even though she announced her “stepping down”, new ethics complaints are being filed.

    Was the “juneteenth” thing an ethics complaint or did it go through another legal channel ? Anyone know about it ? What’s the status on that one ?

    Re the money in the legal defense fund complaint being one of the reasons SP resigned, I think that it has merit. I first read about the theory on Celtic Diva’s blog. JHop may want to go see.

    Posted on the ADN : “will the quitter Queen qualify for the lifetime benefits given to outgoing Governors? ” Anybody know about this ?

    I’m still not comfortable with the Gonzales FBI thing. Someone behing de scene there. Curious to know who.

    As for Andrea Mitchell, though I don’t like her style as commentator, (she always seems ready to collapse, today she was wasillating hehehe), she was making a very good point but with too much sugar coating, that as long as SP lets the idea floating that she will be running in 2012, she could collect big and better $$$, and couln’t decently announce to the AK people that she was quitting for the $$$.

  113. austintx says:

    Good job Zane !! Keep kickn’ sarah’s ass………

  114. JHop says:

    But I think it is amazing that he submitted it and stood up to her actions. I genuinely respect and appreciate him for that. And the premise, including the facts and ethics statutes, give him a really solid basis to prevail.

  115. justafarmer says:

    laffing at Martha UYS!

  116. SondraTompkins says:

    JHop Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 4:00 PM

    If anyone has any plans to write an ethics complaint, I will be more than happy to use the legal databases in my office to find law to support your claim. Hell, I will draft it for free.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    I sure could have used your help a couple of months ago when I filed an ethics complaint claiming SarahPAC to be unethical (I still believe it is since she directly benefits from the PAC). Unfortunately I don’t believe there was a previous case in the courts to compare this to.

    Of course it was dismissed. Oddly enough, I found out about the dismissal from an ADN reporter. The investigator “forgot” to attach the denial letter on his email to me and therefore I was technically not notified properly.

    I firmly believe the complaint process in and of itself is flawed….or corrupt.

  117. JHop says:

    Zyggy, he has every right to be pissed off. But in this legal document, his personal opinion has no bearing. As for this complaint, and I don’t mean to pick it apart, but it starts great. He has supporting evidence and documentary proof of her wrongdoing. Which makes his claim much stronger.

    But then he ends with [my comments are in brackets]:

    As a Wasilla resident I know that thousands of valley residents commute into Anchorage for work every day. [A blanket statement based on personal knowledge with no relevance to the law]. They don’t receive checks from their employers for sleeping at home [How does he know this? It is a sweeping generalization]. Governor Palin does. And it’s wrong [why? This is not a black or white issue. Any claim must be based on being unlawful, not "wrong"] not to mention unethical [This is fine; it is unethical, as based on the ethics law] for her to even submit these per diem claims. To me this is a roundabout way for Palin to give herself a raise ["To me" or his opinion has no bearing on this complaint; what he meant was: in consideration of the law that clearly cites the governor's salary as $150K, she is thus receiving an unearned and undeserved monetary supplement to her wages].

    In summary, I have a problem with the governor of Alaska giving herself a raise by collecting per diem to sleep in her own home [it doesn't matter what his problem is; it matters that her actions violated the applicable law]…How can you help me stop this unethical behavior and abuse of power? [this is not his problem to solve; he should respectfully request the assistance of the Attorney General in finding an equitable remedy to this clear violation of the law]. She is stealing from state coffers and it’s wrong [stealing is an entirely separate claim; to accuse her of larceny is much different than saying she is abusing her office.] What kind of public steward is she? [it doesn't matter here]. You start by directing Governor Sarah Palin to reimburse the State of Alaska for all the free money she’s pocketed over the years since being elected into office along with the additional interest [you should never order an adjudicating body to do anything; you ask and explain why you deserve your remedy].

    I’m sorry, I am not trying to harp or be a b1tch. It is just that he gives them so many opportunities to disregard his otherwise very legitimate claim.

  118. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Cool! We have lawyers, auditors, accountants and a fourth grader! We are SET to rock her boat, big time!

  119. the problem child says:

    I too wish that the wording of the complaint was a titch less titchy, but I think also, too, that the meat is there. And thank you Mr. Henning, for going out on a limb for Alaska, once again.

  120. justafarmer says:

    CG, if WIllow started kindergarten at age 6, then it works out because she’ll be going into 9th grade. Middle school here in Kentucky is grades 7-9, so if she just graduated middle school, and Alaska middle school is the same, she’s be going into 10th grade this fall, which works out to age 5 for kindergarten.
    Is that convoluted enough logic? :)

  121. InJuneau says:

    oops, “have”

  122. InJuneau says:

    CG–yes, she is, and yes, she is. Doesn’t seem so to me either, but some people just need a bit more time in school than others (and I think she may hsve just turned 15).

  123. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Aussie # 34—————–

    Ready and waiting! Bring it on!

  124. justafarmer says:

    yes, Aussie, I was an IRS auditor back during the Regan years. Lot has been changed to the tax code, but I can usually find my way around it with only a little difficulty.

  125. CG says:

    Willow’s turning 15 and just in 8th grade? That can’t be right!

  126. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    justafarmer, are you not a former IRS auditor? Cassie Jeep is an accountant. I hope we’re going to need you both in the very near future. IMO there is a whole world of tax evasion to explore. ;)

  127. justafarmer says:

    quite correct, Aussie. I was just trying to help Rob refresh his memory.

  128. John says:

    You won’t find much Alaska case law on the state Ethics Act. But there is some.

  129. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    justafarmer Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 4:01 PM
    @Rob: yes, Zane did the per diem complaint before. Someone posted a link to Mother Jones about this in the open thread:
    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/07/latest-palin-ethics-complaint
    ——————————————————
    That’s the complaint that resulted in the State admitting that the fraudulent per diem travel allowance wasn’t really a travel allowance – and therefore taxable free money from the State.

    Personal benefit. For the governor only.

  130. Pat S. says:

    Sorry, that should read “did not mean that Palin was innocent.” Oops.

  131. Pat S. says:

    It really bugged me that neither Mrs. Greenspan or Lawrence O’Donnell could point out that all those ethics complaints were dismissed by a board made up entirely of Palin appointees. Especially since Mrs. Greenspan went out of her to try to make it look like all the ethics complaints were filed by Palin hating crazies making things up.

    Seriously, there is no way anyone can look at the makeup of the the personnel board and not realize that those dismissals mean that Palin was innocent. There is too much conflict of interest there for their rulings to be taken seriously.

    The Personnel Board is made up of 3 people. All were appointed by Republican Governor Frank Murkowski. Palin re-upped one of them. The issue of whether they could only be dismissed “with cause” or whether they could be dismissed without cause is murky. AKM

  132. justafarmer says:

    @Rob: yes, Zane did the per diem complaint before. Someone posted a link to Mother Jones about this in the open thread:
    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/07/latest-palin-ethics-complaint

  133. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    InJuneau Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 3:57 PM
    Cassie Jeep Pike Palin–Willow graduated from middle school this year; presumably from whatever the one is in Wasilla.
    —————————————-
    It was on the governor’s schedule for May. Wasilla, naturally – that will be $60, thank you, Alaska. ;)

  134. JHop says:

    EyeonYou – I agree to a certain extent. I just looked over the list of complaints and many were dismissed on technicalities (like the filer not having an address in alaska; or minor action being taken like ordering a training program for a staffer). But some of the others are solid complaints but unprovable or lacking legal foundation – like saying that palin was doing “post election damage control” by giving an interview in her office (Zane’s previous complaint). it is nearly impossible to prove a claim that she was doing “post election damage control.” The claim itself sounds partisan and how could you definitively prove what her state of mind was? The complaint would have been much more effective if it had just said she was using her state office for political and personal gain. Some of the complaints have given the board room to maneuver and find a compromise solution or an outright dismissal.

    But I think the ATF complaint is different; it is airtight, based on the law, supported by the facts. There is no angle to rebut it. Also, I think many of these complaints, based on the Executive Branch Ethics Act, would have presented much stronger arguments if they had been backed up with Alaskan case law. The personnel board could not overrule precedent set by the Alaskan Supreme Court. They would be bound to follow the law; otherwise, you could challenge it in court and have it easily reversed.

    If anyone has any plans to write an ethics complaint, I will be more than happy to use the legal databases in my office to find law to support your claim. Hell, I will draft it for free.

  135. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    Sorry, I meant TAXABLE income. Have tax on the brain today. My 2005 return, in fact. [blush]

  136. Phil says:

    So according to her reasoning the governor of Oregon should move from Salem to Portland or South Dakota’s governor from Pierre to Sioux Falls so they are closer to the main population. The governor doesn’t have to be in Anchorage. That is why she has staff that makes the face to face contact and then reports to her. Thank you for filing the ethics complaint and bringing this back into the spot light. Her reasoning for working from home makes almost as much sense as her lame duck excuse for leaving office. By her reasoning anyone who is re-elected to be governor of Alaska should resign the day after they are re-elected because they are a lame duck. She’s not MAVERICKY she’s just plain loony.

  137. InJuneau says:

    Cassie Jeep Pike Palin–Willow graduated from middle school this year; presumably from whatever the one is in Wasilla.

  138. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    In acknowledging that Palin’s per diems for overnighting in Wasilla cannot legitimately be claimed as travel allowance and are therefore tax deductible (which is what they did in response to a previous ethics complaint), the State has admitted that the $60 per day it pays Mrs Palin is ordinary tax-deductible income – a de facto raise.

    I heartily approve of this complaint, although I imagine the Personnel Board will find a way to squeeze out of this one in record time.

    Also too I hope – now that the IRS knows it should be collecting back taxes for two years of per diem grifting – that the IRS is also too getting ready for a full audit of the Palins’ tax history.

  139. Alaska Pi says:

    Thank you Mr Henning.

    AKM- We already knew about the capitol attitude.
    Is why we never got comfortable with her presence,
    when she was present.

    Which wasn’t very often…

  140. Rob in Ca says:

    All I know is this: Alaska Governor must be the only job in these United States where you can collect per diem for being at home, get caught doing it publicly, and get to not only keep you job, but keep the money!

  141. Rob in Ca says:

    Wasn’t there an earlier filing about the per diem? Or was it just a media firestorm…

  142. Rob in Ca says:

    JHop you are right. The way this is written just makes it too easy for the Palin supporters to claim that Henning has an axe to grind. The Personnel Board will be tempted to come at this from the viewpoint of ‘how can we knock this one down?” instead of “is there any validity to this complaint?”.

    Nice catch on Wayne Barrett defending his article on Housegate. Wish Andrea MItchell or Chuck Todd or some other MSM big name would do a little research and start asking some more insightful questions, and interview people like Wayne…

  143. Nebraska Native says:

    (Martha… I want whatever you are taking today :) LOL)

  144. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    PERFECT! This will make her quit even earlier than the quitter is quitting in order to avoid the other two RUMORED ethics complaints filing! Thanks ethics complaint filers – you rock!

  145. zyggy says:

    JHop, the person who wrote it is very conservative, I suspect he’s hopping mad, and couldn’t help himself.

  146. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    I’m so glad that it’s the BLOGOSPHERE which Palin credits her demise in local politics. I say, GOOD JOB everyone!

  147. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Bleep Bleep Bleep Palin! Up your nose with the capital move – so THERE!

    Quitter. Twit. Liar. Selfish prima donna. Did I say LIAR???

  148. EyeOnYou says:

    JHop~ We felt the same way with regards to other ethics complaints. The laws and statutes were referenced and shown to be in violation, yet they were dismissed.

  149. JHop says:

    I think the ethics complaint is really solid; but i wish it had been written with a little less snark and derision. don’t get me wrong, i feel the same exact way. i just think his argument would be even stronger if he had just presented the facts and the law – they make his point for him on their own – without the commentary at the end. nevertheless, i think it is meritorious. i am not sure how they could just dismiss it and let the governor double dip from the treasury – collecting her base salary AND these unnecessary reimbursements.

  150. lauren sd says:

    Thank God!

    I am just watching MSNBC and they are talking as if she is still a viable political person/entity. Or ever was.

    WTF?

    Can you imagine her as a teacher in any given classroom? That will never happen as she does not have that pedigree (ahem)/degree …. even as a classroom assistant.

    Or… oops… community organizer. But then, she would never be in that situation with my Native people in my state or hers. She is not qualified. And never will be.

    Pardon me.
    How the MSM can still view her as anything-approaching normal- is way beyond me? It tells me that journalism is now relegated to the entitlement generation.

    (“I will get my scoop and run to the bank. Simply put”)

    Horse shit.

  151. womanwithsardinecan says:

    I love it.

  152. QuiltAK says:

    ds55 – I think most of the people that want the capitol moved want it moved to Wasilla. That’s the gist that I always got.

  153. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Didn’t Bristol Graduate this year from Wasilla High School—so Buttercup put in for ME & I for attending her daughter’s graduation on May 14?

    Did Piper graduate from Wasilla Middle school? Or was that one really an “official” appearance?

  154. Chi-Town says:

    Greetings from the Windy City!

    Gov. Blago, aka Gov. Dead Meat, was also provided a house in Springfield in which to live while he did his governor thing. Nice house, by all accounts. His wife, the television star, decided that she did not want to move from the city of Chicago and all it’s celebrity to the cornfields of Springfield.

    So, we the hardworking taxpayers of Illinois got stuck with the tab to operate a plane to shuttle Dead Meat back and forth between Springfield and his happy homestead on the north side of Chicago, sometimes 5 days per week. There are no official numbers on what that cost, but I do recall reading somewhere that it was something like $70K over a single 3 week period so Dead Meat could negotiate a new state budget. And all the time he did that it sounded like a huge sacrifice on HIS part to make OUR lives better. What a load of cowpie!

    The reason why I mention it is that perhaps this behavior is an early indicator of a potential prison term.

  155. califpat says:

    Gosh she is just so teflon that nothing seems to stick. What really makes me fume is that the very “gotcha” media that Buttercup is always complaining about seems to be feeling sympathetic to this creature without doing any research on her. The bloggers are more in the know about all her underhanded antics than the media who is suppose to be the ones that keep us inform. They’re doing a lousy job on this one. Sheesh!!

  156. Cam2 says:

    I suppose we paid for her flight out at Bristol Bay to pick fish today also….from Juneau

  157. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Nice job Zane!

    Parting gift….teehee…

    Thanks AKM!

  158. EyeOnYou says:

    I have to wonder if Palin has plans to work towards moving the capitol to anchorage after she gets out of office.

  159. ds55 says:

    “Where the people are”?? What’s the biggest city in Alaska? Anchorage? It’s not Wasilla.

  160. QuiltAK says:

    Thank you Zane, I sure hope it sticks.

  161. JHop says:

    alright, im staying on this thread.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/6/750605/-Wayne-Barrett-of-the-Village-Voice-Responds-to-Palins-Lawyer

    wayne barrett responded to van flein’s charges about the village voice article!

  162. Sue says:

    Hardball (-Chris) had a very long segment about Palin’s resignation, but there was no mention of Shannyn Moore. Hardball also seems to consider the Housegate rumor to be dead; they quoted the FBI statement to that effect. I hope Shannyn will get plenty of coverage on KO

  163. Isabella says:

    Alright so when she absconds from the Govs seat will she still be made held accountable? Will she hide behind the curtains and pretend she is not home?

    This is terrific Zane, nice parting gift.

  164. Cassie Jeep Pike Palin says:

    Good for Zane!

    Changing the state capitol, though? Not so much.

  165. califpat says:

    Maybe this will stick!! Can hope? Am I first?

  166. zyggy says:

    Icing on the cake, hope it’s a buttercream cake for her. Nice job!

  167. Greytdog Δ says:

    So basically Palin was engineering a coup d’etat?

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