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August 23, 2014

Palin’s Millllions – Take 2. A Closer Look.

As we all know, one of Sarah Palin’s reasons for stepping down had to do with, as Palin said, ”that huge waste that we have seen with the countless, countless hours that state staff is spending on these frivolous ethics violations and the millions of dollars that Alaskans are spending, that money not going to things that are very important, like troopers and roads and teachers and fish research.”

When pressured to explain exactly where this “million of dollars” came from, Palin’s office released a .pdf file of the breakdown of it’s claim of $1.9 million that should have been going elsewhere.  (insert sound effect of someone pedaling backwards really fast)

Most of it is a per-hour accounting of the time state employees, such as state attorneys, have spent working on public records requests, lawsuits, ethics complaints, and issues surrounding the Legislature’s ”Troopergate” investigation last summer of Palin.

”Is it a check that we wrote, no, but is it staff hours, yes,” Sharon Leighow, spokeswoman for Palin, said of the expenses related to state employee work. Those state employees would have been paid regardless.

Ahhh.   So it’s not an actual check.  It’s “staff hours.”

First of all, just to be clear, unlike The White House, the state of Alaska does indeed have a “Department of Law.” And in order to understand how truly outlandish Palin’s claims are, we’re going to need to take a mental field trip into that very Department of Law, pull back the curtain and take a peek at how that all works.  So everyone stick together and follow me.

If something comes up that requires attention it is billed to various departments and state agencies by the Department of Law, depending on what the matter is all about. Attorneys, then, are funded by different departments or agencies. Each attorney in the civil section is responsible for billing his or her time, so that a bill goes to the client agency each month. The funds are essentially transferred between agencies and the Department of Law. One of the clients on the client list is the Governor’s Office. So, if the Governor’s Office has received a larger-than-normal legal bill, the work that the attorneys would otherwise be billing another agency or Department is instead being billed to the Governor’s Office.

The biggest chunk of that, more than $600,000, represents hours state lawyers spent reviewing requested information. They decide how much to release. Records can be withheld for reasons like an individual’s privacy or for “deliberative process” — an executive privilege generally limited to the governor and close advisers, covering internal deliberations before a decision is made.

That’s how the governor’s office explained it to the Anchorage Daily News.  It’s all those hours of reviewing information from records requests that really added up.

From what I hear from those in the know, no attorney was pulled off another matter in order to do public records requests. There is one attorney named Dave Jones who is running the request issues, and then whatever attorneys are sifting through the emails respond to those requests. The sifting in the case of ethics complaints was handled on a volunteer basis by attorneys from various sections within the Department of Law, who were otherwise slow. In other words, the attorneys who were doing the public records requests would have been paid the same amount of money to sit around looking for stuff to do, had they not been working on the records requests. The only difference is that instead of the amount being billed to another department, it was billed to the Governor’s Office.  So far there have been no indications that any attorney stayed late or worked a weekend because of the public records requests, or where something else wasn’t properly handled because of the public records requests.  Presumably, if the sifters had anything more important to be doing, they wouldn’t have volunteered.

And interestingly,  page 2 of the .pdf document lists the time and costs for Assistant Attorneys General Bockmon and Jones.  Judy Bockmon is the state’s ethics attorney. Handling ethics inquiries is her JOB.  So, by working on these ethics issues, she was not doing anything outside of her normal job description, and again, she would have been paid the SAME amount regardless of whether there were 15 complaints filed, or if there were none. Dave Jones represents the Governor’s Office as part (if not all) of his job. Here again, he would be paid the same amount regardless of how many ethics complaints there were, or if there were none. By listing their time on this cost breakdown, the Governor’s Office is implying that they were doing something unusual or special that required all these extra funds that could have been spent elsewhere, which is flatly untrue.  They were simply doing their assigned job, much like an attorney in the environmental section would represent the DEC if something happened that caused a flood of litigation against it, and therefore “increased” bills.

So, if the “millions of dollars” is given as a reason, then debunked, then spun by the administration and then debunked again, we are left with the same question we had while we stared slackjawed last week watching the governor announce she was going to quit her job.

Why really?

[Please post off-topic comments on the last open thread.  Thanks!]

Comments

comments

Comments
87 Responses to “Palin’s Millllions – Take 2. A Closer Look.”
  1. rylly says:

    Welll, if you’re losing weight and your hair is falling out, just jump on a plane and go down to the lower 48 and start making more waves, that’ll prove how astute ( plumb dumb) you are. But, make sure there are NO REPORTERS allowed at your speech…which will likely ensure that a digital recorder will be smuggled in and used appropriately, we should hope.
    That spelunking comment sounded the most apt in describing the “no light at the end of the tunnel” kind of mind Scarah has…just fumbling along choosing door after door after door and finding behind them only more debris to rail against. Damn!
    If you look at her eyes, they don’t both track in the same direction, which might account for her mental dyslexia where her left brain doesn’t know what her right brain is doing. It cobbles up her speech in the same way, a bit of this and a bit of that, each veering off in a different direction.
    She is in such deep doo doo now, a nervous breakdown is about her only face-saving device left…she could have used that excuse to take some months off and as a reason for resigning, instead she lied.
    Her days as a national political player are so numbered.
    We all know she can stir up hatred and violence, she might just do that to see if she still counts. When she does, we’ll be watching.

  2. Barbara Spencer says:

    Because narcissists bore easily and it’s not as much fun as it used to be.

    Peggy Noonen over at WSJ/Huffington Post deconstructed Sarah Palin.

  3. Pacificnwgal says:

    Sometimes I listen to FOX News. (I always have to keep up with the enemy.) One commentator said that what the reason why most “women” hate Palin is that we are suffering from “Palin-derangement syndrome”! Now I have heard it all. How sexist. Just because some women are smart enough to not want an incompetent, devious, egomaniac running our lives, we accused of having some diabolical hatred toward Sarah. The fact is that she is just plain WRONG to be in the kind of position she is in. She needs to go into entertainment where she can entertain people, not have such an important role in people’s lives. I am really thankful to bloggers like AKM who have brought all this our over the past 9 months. Great investigative journalism! You should be working for the networks, but then maybe NOT since they can’t seem to get things straight.

  4. Zuzu says:

    Did they say how many “staff hours” were spent gathering this information for Ms. Palin?

    Just wondering.

  5. samper says:

    BTW: Do we have detail on the EB’s accounting, also too?

    They threw a bunch of numbers out there without backup as well, didn’t they?

    There isn’t a reputable accountant roaming God’s green earth that would submit this crap as actual documentation.

  6. samper says:

    Bad editing alert:

    There is a full 2 month period that are actually in both 2008 and 2009 FY labels. These would be July and August 2008.

    Should read:

    There is a full 2 month period that IS actually in both 2008 and 2009 FY labels. THIS would be July THROUGH August 2008.

  7. samper says:

    On that “open and transparent” checkbook, linked above by schlock and flaws:

    Did anyone notice the dates of purported Fiscal years?

    There is a full 2 month period that are actually in both 2008 and 2009 FY labels. These would be July and August 2008.

    Accounting gurus: Is it common practice to arbitrarily determine FY’s and to overlap this way?

    That spreadsheet she published is garbage. Piper probably did it while simultaneously feeding Trig and cooking dinner for the rest of them while sarah was tweeting and whining.

    Where is the back up? How about a time sheet or two? Maybe an invoice? Maybe a report generated by the computer system showing the searches (when they were done, how long it took, etc.).

    There was a time when I felt it very necessary to document all the overtime I was putting in. However, being on salary, time sheets weren’t used and I thought that just putting together MY version of time wouldn’t fly in court. What I did was send myself an email at the start and end of each day and the VERY rare lunch time I was away from work. At the end of each week, I just printed the email log of the folder I stored them in. The emails were all date/time stamped, so there couldn’t be a challenge in a court as to the actual hours I was in the office. It was EASY to document my time with just a subject line: Time in/Time out.

    I guess in offering up this information, I’m wondering if email date/time stamps might be telling of actual time spent on any given project?

    For instance, an email at the beginning of the day saying “I’m just getting started on Arctic Cat research. Will let you know when I find something.” followed by (at the end of the day) “I’ve been at this since my last email. Wow! You really WERE a head-to-toe, neon, flashing billboard for Arctic Cat! We’ll have to make something up. For now, let’s just say you wore a jacket because it was cold out and it happened to have a logo on it.”

    Then, we could determine that some yahoo spent X hours discovering SP was wrongfully advertising for Arctic Cat. And those “billable hours” would be accounted for in the spreadsheet.

    Of course, getting our hands on the emails would be impossible with the delay/cost tactics they use to keep information secret. It was just a theory I’m throwing out there. Kind of a “what if” they were all SP guaranteed… “open and transparent”?

    Where does the $286,000 figure fit into that number salad?

    I hope to heck that the new complaints move forward, even with her out of office. I also hope that the ethics board is brought under scrutiny for their mindless decisions.

  8. zyggy says:

    curiouser, no nothing at all like that. lol If I was, I wouldn’t haven even mentioned it in the first place. Nothing intriguing at all.

  9. LiladyNY says:

    @Country Girl Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    Written by our Beloved Bloggers and their family of comment writers, each of whom, like a dog with a bone,
    will…….not…….give…..up.
    ———————————————————————
    (((Country Girl)))

  10. Marnie says:

    Does Sarah open herself up to another ethics complaint for lying about how her office uses it money? Or how she used her position to “influence” memberrs of her staff to knowllingly release false and or misleading information about the Governor’s Office’s budget usage?

  11. curiouser says:

    schlock and flaws….thanks for the link. Looks like they’re only making public their administrative expenses. It would be nice if they showed the date.

    zyggy, ‘sort of an investigator’ is intriguing…FBI, IRS?

    The online schedule is a check book and one of many reports that can be run from a computerized accounting system. I would hope they would be able to run a report for the ethics related costs that looks like the PDF pg 2. If they have one, they’re sure not sharing it.

    PDF page 1 is bogus. Page 2 at least has detail. Both look like typed excel files but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that pg 2 is a special computer-generated report…except the row heights are weird and I’ve never seen a computer-generated report do that.

  12. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Thank you Country Girl!

  13. zyggy says:

    check out the site schlock and flaws posted, and click on any of the pdf files, they don’t look like the one the public has access to, the one AKM posted. That pdf is crooked and sort of looks like an excel file that was tampered with, then photocopied and put into a pdf . Why would anyone do that?

  14. curiouser says:

    Great letter. Keep us posted Country Girl.

  15. curiouser says:

    I think someone commented on an earlier thread that some of the record request costs were related to her running for VP. I remember the news organizations complaining how much they were being charged and a lot of them backed away. If they ever took anyone off a pressing assignment to work on record requests, it was probably during the campaign.

    Rob could be close with the $100K. Even if it’s $500K or $2M it’s a drop in the budget bucket and not a valid excuse to quit. There’s something bigger and she thinks there’s a chance she can keep it under wraps like she has everything else. She’s probably known about it since she set up the AFT.

  16. Country Girl says:

    I took you up on the suggestion to write to Maureen Orth. Here’s what I said:

    “You are revered by many, and your name keeps coming up as someone who could do an intelligent search and then report on all the facts/fiction swirling around Sarah Palin.

    “My father was Russ Stewart, executive vice president of The Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Daily News for Field Enterprises back along the way, so I grew up in Chicago and in the newspaper world. I am well acquainted with the ramifications of political machines and cronyism.

    “As a journalist myself, I observe that several Alaska bloggers (named below) have integrity and intelligence – and a certain determination that the truth not be obfuscated by Sarah Palin’s charisma and power over her employees.

    “How would you go about gathering material, provable facts, to help set the record straight – on website and in a book presumably?

    “I am gathering as much information as I can and have it on file. I would invite you, if you have not been there already, to explore what these top-notch writers have to say. The comments are a goldmine. The book is actually already written!

    “I am in my seventies and have a bum leg and family obligations, or I would be up there doing the research myself.

    “I suggest these sites. The writers are all a very closely knit community of course.

    “Thank you for your time. We all admire you so much.”

    Then I listed the 6 blogs I read without fail several times a day (talk about addiction!) and also pointed her to Dennis Zaki and the story of the villages last winter on Mudflats.

    It’s true, The book is already written. Written by our Beloved Bloggers and their family of comment writers, each of whom, like a dog with a bone,
    will…….not…….give…..up.

  17. zyggy says:

    no curiouser, I’m not an accountant, but sort of an investigator. For the Alaskan govt to send out that pdf is asinine. Makes Alaskan’s look like knuckleheads.

  18. girl du jour says:

    Why did she do it? For the money. And the attention. Damn that Michael Jackson! The nerve of him! And Farrah Fawcett!

    http://girldujour.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/she-did-it-for-the-money-really-doh/

  19. Rob in Ca says:

    HuffPo has a story up about Sarah’s call-in to the gun rights talk show…and once again the 1.9 million dollar lie showed up in the story…so here is my comment:

    “Ethics complaints cost about 286,000. Why is this 1.9 million lie repeated over and over? The 1.9 million includes the cost of records requests – many by the media as part of their natural investigation into a political candidate – and does NOT include the money received by the state as payment for those requests!! The 1.9 million also includes salaries for state attorneys who were being paid ANYWAY!

    Sarah’s own ethics complaint against herself, plus the valid travel complaint (which resulted in Sarah paying the state back) plus the per diem complaint (which resulted in Sarah having to claim per diem as taxable income) added up to over 2 thirds of this.

    In sum, the ethics complaints come to around 100,000. Cry me a river.”

  20. curiouser says:

    the – should be ‘they’

  21. curiouser says:

    Zyggy, I agree. Every Page 1 item should have a backup schedule. It looks like the compiled enough costs to cover P’s arse. I hope someone asks to see the schedules they’ve been using to track costs all along. Surely, Palin has been reviewing monthly operating costs.

    Could AK Water be the complaint or lawsuit about the mining ballot initiative? Bottom line: Palin does not want to be questioned.

    Are you an accountant?

  22. schlock and flaws says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand–this link:

    http://fin.admin.state.ak.us/dof/checkbook_online/reports.jsp

    takes you to the fiscal spreadsheet for the state’s expenditures for fiscal 2009 or 2010. All state departments are listed in a very detailed breakdown, including expenditure category, sub-category, etc.

    This material is freely available and well-formatted–so why didn’t the governor’s office use it, instead of the slapped together piece of crap they released?

  23. zyggy says:

    I looked at the pdf and the 2nd page seems about right, 41,000.00. Page 1 makes no sense, what is AK Water? Seems to me page 1 is just payroll charges.

  24. curiouser says:

    Congrats, AKM, on your investigative reporting and breaking a piece of the puzzle. Any chance your source will go public with it or to the legislature. Palin lied and it looks like members of her staff lied. Any chance for a legislative executive oversight committee getting involved to find out the actual costs and what’s going on and hold Palin accountable? Oh…probably not. I hope Alaskans will contact their legislators, anyway, to complain about their lack of oversight.

    The spreadsheet heading “Department of Law” instead of something like “Cost of Ethics Complaints, DOL” was a tip-off even before looking at the numbers that something probably wasn’t right. From what AKM said about the way the DOL bills it’s services, a schedule could have been prepared through the accounting/operating computer system or at least with computerized schedules to back up each amount so it could be audited.

    Sean Cockerham has done a great job so far. I hope he will keep investigating until the true cost of the complaints are known….or, at least, to the point it is crystal clear the cost accumulation was bogus.

    #3 overthemoon…..awesome questions. I would also propose asking:
    Why are you listing the ethics act as one of your accomplishments when you’re saying it’s ineffective enough to make you quit?
    Why don’t you stay on and fix the problems with the ethics act and ethics complaint processing instead of quitting?

  25. Martha says:

    I found this comment on the Huff Po and thought I would share the chuckle:

    Whitley

    Wasilla Mathematics

    $500 @ hour x 60 lawyers equals…..No, $1000 x 30 lawyers equals….Oh, Fudge, $2000 @ hour x 15 lawyers equals…..divide by…carry two…drop three…..John McCain did not tell me how to figure this. Tooodddddd? What did you say it was? $30,000? You sure? O.K. I’ll just say $30,000 an hour for the shysters, give or take $500.00. Who’ll know the difference? You bet’cha

  26. zyggy says:

    redwood, it doesn’t make any sense for anyone to submit such a piece of crap, none at all, if an accountant submitted that, they would have to be so far up $arah’s ass they couldn’t see anything and just made up crap.

    It’s crazy anyone would submit that to the public, and think it would pass review.

    something isn’t right.

  27. Pat in MA says:

    Arrogance, stupidity or both I guess with Sarah. She is always reacting either to clarify reclarify or refute. She doesn’t hear the word salad everyone else does and is amazed that her statements and spreadsheets aren’t accepted without analysis.

  28. Redwoodmuse says:

    zyggy Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    I really don’t think this accounting oversight is newsworthy to msm, and I don’t think it will go anywhere. =(
    ——
    zyggy – this is not an ‘accounting oversight’. This is ‘cooking the books’. After lots of murder and mayhem, Al Capone went to jail for this.

    redwoodmuse

  29. clydedog says:

    Anybody with a basic understanding of business spreadsheets would spot this as a phony right away. They count on the fact that very few are interested enough to find it and study it.

    It all fits with a plan where she does not have to change anybodies mind (as you need to get elected), just keep the “followers” interested enough to fleece for money. A big part of that is continuing the illusion that she is a viable candidate (at least to the followers).

  30. Martha says:

    This accounting fiasco and everything leading up to it, reminds of Nixon.

    “I am NOT a crook! ”

    I find that there are MANY similarities between Palin and Nixon.

    Watch the Frost Nixon movie if you are a youngster and you will be amazed.

    The paranoid, self grandiose attributes are just for starters.

    Overreacting to minor and perceived slights, with a agenda of vengeance is another.

    The idea that because they hold the office they do, means that whatever they do is not illegal.

    Self deluded and bitter , because, as Peggy Noonan pointed out:

    In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool.

    She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them.

    She couldn’t say what she read because she didn’t read anything.

    She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity.

    She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it.

    She wasn’t thoughtful enough to know she wasn’t thoughtful enough.

    Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. “I’m not wired that way,” “I’m not a quitter,” “I’m standing up for our values.” I’m, I’m, I’m.

    The base barely knew who she was. It was the elites, from party operatives to public intellectuals, who advanced her and attacked those who said she lacked heft.

    She is a complete elite confection.

    She might as well have been a bonbon.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124716984620819351.html

  31. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    What should be news worthy is the fact she is a pathological liar. They really do exist! ask any psychiatrist. She is ill. It wouldn’t be that hard to prove her lies and not truth. This should be fascinating to someone. But they are afraid of what looking like they are picking on her, she’s set in place a perfect cover.

    As to the fuzzy math, think about it, how can someone come up with figures to match Scarah’s b*llsh*t if the figures are not there. I imagine someone just threw up their hands and said “whatever!”, you want a report released to the media, okeedokee. Someone knew this report would stink like sh*t and wouldn’t fly. what do you do when your boss asks you to produce a rabbit from a hat? and you don’t do magic, lol.

    Epic fail for Scarah. She is unbelievable. Please someone save the innocents from her.

  32. Cammie says:

    I was a government employee for 15 years. Unfortunately, but true, this is how any government agency and/or large corp. define how much any given project/report cost.
    They do a cost analysis involving the time that each employees spends on that given project. You do not see the ADN claiming that this method is incorrect because they know it is the way to report how much an report/project cost. I regret that so many of the liberal blogs seem to be claiming that this is not a true and accurate way to arrive at the costs involved in these complaints, however, no matter how you want to spin it, it is the way it is done and has been done for years.

  33. zyggy says:

    Questions about the spreadsheet..
    Where did it come from?
    Did someone from the State actually hand it out?
    Next, why would they just present that spreadsheet with all the crazy numbers on it that are bogus?
    Did $arah pull it out of her a$$?
    Why would state employees lie?
    Was the state employee that put that spreadsheet together just incompetent?
    Has anyone asked for a new spreadsheet, an accurate one?

  34. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    Seems to me if Bockman is head of the ethics dept. she should be ethical and clear this “misunderstanding” up otherwise she’s risking HER career reputation.
    Eh?

  35. Say NO to Palin in Politics says:

    So now Kritzer has just ruined her career reputation by lying for for Scarah, wow. Little lies become bigger lies until confessions make them go away.

    No one needs to cover for Scarah anymore. Please stop. Everyone will understand she made them do it or they’d lose their job. Most people are not in a financial position to stand up to the bullies of this world.

    The guilt must not feel very good.

  36. zyggy says:

    I really don’t think this accounting oversight is newsworthy to msm, and I don’t think it will go anywhere. =(

  37. Obamanos! says:

    Oh my word. I’ve finally lost it.

    Emailed Maureen Orth (she wrote all the Michael Jackson stuff for Vanity Fair)—the woman has no fear and takes no prisoners. She’s the wife of Tim Russert and mother of Luke.

    Anyway, you can write to her and ask her to cover Palin in the interest of good journalism…visit her website and click on contact.

    http://www.maureenorth.com

  38. No Fan says:

    Why?
    My theory is that Sarah Palin wants to become a professional Beauty Queen. She has no interest in the daily work of being Governor. What she craves are the On-Stage moments and adulation from her fans that public speaking events offer her.
    “….Wow! People are cheering! They’re listening to me! And I don’t have to have a conversation, or back up my thoughts and opinions with fact! >And< I can deduct the expense of all those cute shoes!!!….”

    Good luck with that. I wonder if she has any idea that many of the people attending her events to date have been there out of curiosity rather than support. It’s the “train wreck” concept. You just have to watch.

  39. Obamanos! says:

    austintx…Michael Moore…haaaa. Perfect.

    Here’s the deal with media, I think. They don’t want to appear on a witch hunt. Okay, fine. But I hope that somebody in some serious journalism shoes is pounding the pavement in Alaska.

    I wish Maureen Orth would get a hold of the Palin story. Spend the rest of the summer and fall up there. Digging, scratching, listening…

    Her story is begging for truth.

    A Matt Taibbi or Michael Moore would be an easy target for conservatives and Palin to brush off.

    But Time, 20/20, Newsweek, Washington Post…somebody.

    When a Governor up and quits the REASON why matters.

    We elect our public officials to represent us and then you quit? You just quit?

    Okay. Great. We deserve the truth.

    I’m counting on some journalist somewhere hoping to become the leader in all things Palin.

    Katie Couric literally saved her image at CBS with Palin.

    Anybody? Anybody out there?

  40. LIsabeth says:

    Join twitter, it’s free and easy. Every time she twieets a lie you press reply and write stop lying or stop lying to your supporters who give you their hard warned money or debunk the lie by answering and saying something like “it isn’t frivilous”. “it does NOT cost the state millions.”

    Her name on there is AKGovSarahPalin

    you will feel better and if everytime she tweeted a lie and 1000 people wrote back “stop lying Sarah Paliin” maybe she would realize many do not buy her lies. Wishful thinking I know but I can try!

    One person suggested her new name as QuitterSarahPalin. I vote for LyingSarahPalin because lying nonstop is a horrible despicable trait.

  41. Bystander says:

    Sarah’s $500,000 legal bill scam is the legal equivalent of the person soliciting donations for a child they claim has cancer, who is healthy- someone in my state just went to jail for 3 years for doing that.

    We don’t know and will never know if such a bill exists, whether any work was done and what it was for, because the bills are all withheld under a false claim of privilege.
    (Can you imagine a lawyer representing GM in the bankruptcy presenting a bill for $500,000 to the judge, without any detail as to the services performed? If the lawyer were lucky, the judge would laugh at them rather than file a grievance.)

    Since the bills are concealed, and since most of the ethics complaints would have required litte or no time by a private lawyer, it is logical to assume the bill is totally false, wildly overstated, and/or relates to other matters.

    This presents an ethical dilemma to an honest lawyer, as if he knows his client is soliciting donations based on misrepresentations as to the amount and nature of his services, he has an affimative obligation not only to not support the fraud, but to expose it. You in AK might consider an inquiry to the lawyer disciplinary panel.

    Also, the presentation of knowingly legally frivolous claims, like the threat of a defamation suit against Shannyn Moore to try to shut her up, is an ethical violation in most states.

    Maybe it is time to turn the heat up on Van Flea.

  42. greatgrammy1 says:

    So, if the Office of Governor was designated for some of the charges, why does she keep insisting she and Todd owe $500-600,000? There has been no proof that she was personally billed but if she was, why? Did an attorney double bill the government and her for the same charges? I understand that the Sarahpac paid for the kid’s travel reimbursement and the Trust Fund paid other personal bills so where do her personal legal bills come from?

  43. GA Peach a/k/a Lance the Boil aka Crust Scramble says:

    sarah – still repeating the lie

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/07/10/palins-post-governor-game-plan-fight/?test=latestnews

  44. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    @ Pat in Branson

    Open thread! Have you emailed CD your question?

  45. Bystander says:

    Interesting how Sarah treats any public records request as a personal assault on her. In the real world, those requests are revenue neutral, as the requestor has to pay the normal costs. However, an effort to stonewall every request becomes expensive.

    Responding to Celtic Diva’s modest records request would cost maybe $100 and take 5 working days. Delaying it forever, and never responding- priceless to Palin!

  46. What is happening with the email’s that Celtic Diva is supposed to get???? Is there any news when/if she filed for them???

  47. anon blogger says:

    The bogus spreadsheet was generated to substantiate Palin’s lies. Even an eighth grade math student would notice the “fuzzy math” (thanks, bucfan @23). Palin keeps harping on the alleged costs of the ethics violation complaints to cast resentment and disgust upon those Alaskan citizens who have exercised their civic duty to hold a politician accountable. Palin fails to acknowledge any wrong doing even though she tried to stiff the good folks of Alaska for over $8K in traveling expenses for Palin’s children. And it was surprising that only a portion of the travel expenses were even examined.

    If Palin was really quitting because of some book deal with millions of dollars being placed in her hands, I don’t think the well seasoned public speaker would be gasping for breath between words or have neck veins popping out while reading a written statement. To the contrary, a person who is resolve in their decision usually has a calm, confident demeanor.

    Another ethics violation complaint was filed Friday (Gryphen’s blog), one more is expected and there is still a federal investigation yet to be uncovered. Gasp, gasp.

  48. tigerwine says:

    Talk about “cookin’ the books”!!! I brought this up several posts ago – that that’s what staff does – look things up. Unless there was overtime, no extra state $$ were spent. But. . . .then again, when one lawyer was charging $30,000/hour. . . . .

  49. Lee323 says:

    “And interestingly, page 2 of the .pdf document lists the time and costs for Assistant Attorneys General Bockmon and Jones. Judy Bockmon is the state’s ethics attorney. Handling ethics inquiries is her JOB. ”
    ——————————————————–
    Hmmm…..so Palin is quitting because state employees are doing the jobs they were hired to do.

    The people of Alaska should be scandalized that their public servants are actually doing their jobs.

    Sarah said she’s just “not wired” for that….ya know, actually working and completing the job for which she was elected and hired.

    Whoa! That’s it! Sarah quit…..because of faulty wiring.

    I always suspected something wasn’t quite right in that junction box between her ears.

  50. ValleyIndependent says:

    Good Lord. The head P nut is now saying she has debunked the debunking of the $1.9M of supposed costs. There is some brave soul by the name of Diane P trying to reason with them and, as you know, the P nuts can’t be reasoned with. I thought I’d jump in to help, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to register over there. Sorry, Diane P. You are right, but you’ll have to keep tackling them on your own.

  51. Lisabeth says:

    She is tweeting away on Twitter about more frivilous complaints and how much money it is costing Alaska. Shebis a psycopath because shevrepeats the same lies over and over without a conscience. You can reply to her on Twitter but I am sure she doesn’t read those. I told her to stop lying to her supporters who are giving her hars earned money. And I asked her if todays cost the state another million and is she going to hand out more fake spreadsheets!! It is fun to call her on her bs and I highly recommend signing up for Twitter and following her and others.
    I highly recommend the tweets of the fake $Arah going by the name ExGovSarahPalin

  52. drew from lil ol texas says:

    it’s MINIONS!!

    Trigs Grandmother Sarah will be telling us that it has cost her and the great state of AK, Minions, not millions.

    Geesh, your not listening to me, gosh darn it!

    Pallin/Joe da Plumber 2012

  53. Inpeach_Palin says:

    It amazes and confounds me that this unintelligent woman, possibly a pathological liar, has had even myriad influence on anything at all, let alone the USA. I am similarly amazed and confounded that this idiot, this moron, this no-mind, Sarah Palin, could have the slightest influence on anything – let alone American politics.

  54. Quiblet says:

    Why? I think it’s a two-parter.

    1. If she has accepted a cash advance for her book, she’s likely committed to forking over chapters at regular intervals – usually 30 to 45 days. Chapters, properly formatted, etc. Her ghost writer has to be going bananas trying to cipher her garbled material.

    2. What if someone told her point blank that if she sought a second term that she would be impeached for perjury in the troopergate case?

    Not necessarily in that order. I think she just buckled under the pressure and invented these hair-brained excuses and they’re backfiring on her sorry butt.

    JMHO.

  55. mlaiuppa says:

    And apparently one of those lawyers is billing out at $30,000 an hour.

    0.3 hours at $10,000.00

    I’m sure Palin told the Dept. of Law what outcome she wanted and the accounting was adjusted to match.

  56. Lisabeth says:

    I am also furious how many reporters bought her story without really investigating.and she complains about the media! What a joke!

    I have been sending articles about her LYING to as many people in the media as I can. I know others are doing it too and the more information they get the better.

    Her followers are blind and naive and don’t question. It is pathetic. Any person who lies as much and as easily as Sarah is a sociopath. I really am starting to think she has no awareness or conscience about her LIES. Isn’t that what a sociopath is?

    We have to keep correcting her lies with the facts. Most of her LIEs can easily be proven with facts. Isn’t it pathetic that these clueless people are either blind to or make excuses for her lying and give her more money!! $arah is a con artist and an opprtunist. The best thing we can do is keep exposing her lies. She won’t stop because she has gotten away with it for a long time. Her lying is pathological and there is someting wrong. We can’t stop even with her not being gov. I will continue to expose the lies of all of these corrupt politicians,especially Sarah!

  57. AKMFan says:

    Laz

    I thought the second page was (at least more) legit than page 1 as well for the same reasons. I posted several times on Mel’s blog about various aspects of the spreadsheet.

    There is at least one error on page 2, though, which now makes me somewhat suspicious about the level of it’s validity too.

    The travelgate line item is for 2.9 hours for Bockmon/Jones and is listed at $98.

    Since they bill at a flat $121.98/hour rate for each attorney (which Linda Perez verified in the ADN article), that amount can’t be right since $98 isn’t even 1 full hour.

    If it was indeed 2.9 hours it should be more like $353.74 for travelgate.

    That being said, I still find it REALLY hard to believe that for a complaint that wasn’t dismissed and had some level of investigation done based on the settlement and the statement by the the attorney (Petsomethingorother), that less than 3 hours was devoted to it.

  58. Lee323 says:

    It seems apparent that Palin issued the order to her minions to come up with a spreadsheet that would support her contention that state costs from ethics investigations is the reason she’s quitting.

    What amazes me is that this document is so lame. Was that really by design or simply ineptitude? Were “wiggle room” and “fogginess” deliberately built into the document just for this scenario of confusing people? Ms. Leighow who has been the voice publicly defending the document has reportedly worked for several Alaskan governors since the 1980′s. Is this the quality of work she has been doing all these years? Did Palin really think that nobody would analyze this document?

    Any state employee who has knowingly participated in a deliberate process of obfuscation needs to be held accountable…..just like the nine Palin minions who were cited for contempt by the Senate for ignoring the Troopergate subpoenas. Since when did serving the governor’s interests supercede one’s obligations to serve the public’s interests?

    Palin always thinks she’s being so clever with these sorts of silly maneuvers but she just comes out looking like an unethical dope….at least to everyone but her blinded fans who seem to care nothing for accountability, ethical conduct, and honesty.

  59. tm68 says:

    I think she counts on the average Alaskan citizen not having a clue as to how that all works and would therefore take her at her word that she is telling them the truth- because, after all, she SHOULD know how it works.

  60. lazarhat says:

    The cake is a lie. The cake being the first page of Sarah’s disclosure. Page two is accurate as it appears to be time stamped by the “Department of Law” but page 1 of that .pdf document is a big effen lie and Sarah KNOWS it. J’accuse, Sarah, j’accuse! Must we, as the people who purportedly are the arbiters of state law and your accountability or lack thereof roll out the frikkin’ guillotine to decapitate your self importance to strike the blow that awakens you to you own self-centered stupidity? I think so.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/310/story/71675.html

    -Laz

  61. seattlefan says:

    Obamanos:

    So true what you say! Where is the scrutiny and why are the Alaskan elected officials so silent about this? There seems to be no opposition or outrage on the political stage. It seem the only people who are standing up and doing any investigating are the bloggers.

    I posted last night that if something like this were going on in my state, everyone would be up in arms. The Dems, the press and even the Republicans would be pushing for facts and the truth.

  62. Seagull Junker Palin says:

    It’s a flipping joke. That she passed this to the media and they swallowed it, hook, line & sinker is the pitiful part. But NOW they are catching on and trying to correct…..blah blah blah. I’m with AntiAnti/Dr. Patiois etc. it just doesn’t matter – it’s a bunch of BS.

    Yeah, 60 Minutes – remember when………Doesn’t ANYONE want a Pulitizer??

  63. austintx says:

    Bea –

    Saw it and responded !!

  64. austintx says:

    Obamanos! -

    Michael Moore

  65. bucfan says:

    He, he, he, I think Sarah is doing some of that so called, Fuzzy Math. Or to take a line from Bush the first, Voodoo Economics, which kind of fits her since that one tapes shows some voodoo going on in her church.

  66. Bea says:

    Well, slap me silly with a salmon! All these years, I’ve apparently been making MILLIONS of dollars and here I thought I was just a middle-class working stiff. I’m a Palinaire!

    austintx, psssst…..

    I left you a present on the end of the Open thread.

  67. Obamanos! says:

    In a perfect world, a team of producers from 60 Minutes will land in Juneau and sip lots of coffee, talk to lots of people, pour over a mountain of paperwork, spend a month or so researching, copying, scanning documents and then booking the hotel room for Katie Couric. The Trailblazing Quitter won’t talk to her, of course, but I’m sure others will. Wouldn’t it be great for 60 Minutes or the NY Times or Newsweek…somebody to dig, dig, dig, dig and match her lies to her mouth.

    Here’s the rub.

    Everybody knows she’s going for money.

    Fine.

    Her supporters back her regardless.

    So, why isn’t this lame presser her “Clinton” moment?

    Because Democrats are not mean enough.

    We let things go.

    Who could forget the Rs outrage and 24/7 disgust over Clinton and Monica and the definition of sex thing?

    SOMEBODY needs to orchestrate a direct and succinct LIAR campaign against Palin and never let up.

    Okay…yes, I’m bitter.

    But where is the true outrage?

    Where?

    Sure, Dems aren’t scared of her…but that’s what happens when you let her loose and believe people aren’t stupid enough to support her.

    They are.

  68. antiAnti says:

    Until this “accounting” reflects the payments made by the requestors of public records, there is simply no reason to bother discussing it’s validity (IMO).

  69. austintx says:

    califpat -

    Yup. Sure seems to be a lot of money unaccounted for. Big ass blocks on line items with no breakdown. I mean , seriously. It reads like a statement for a world tour from a rock band. The “party & puddy” account. This is a state for chrissakes……..what EXACTLY did the money go for ??

  70. Dr. Patois says:

    If you go through the breakdown it is pretty much all bogus. It is everyone’s salaries and then some. The IT charges are bogus. All that nonsense they put out about having to update equipment. #1 that should not be part of the ethics complaints costs. #2 It isn’t true if you read the posts that CD had regarding her records request the SOA IT guys told her what equipment they were using and CD’s IT guys said it was outdated so they haven’t updated. I am guessing the court action and appeal is because Talis Colberg told all of the employees they could ignore their subpoenas. We all know all about records requests.
    If anything cost the SOA a lot of money it was $arah accepting McCains offer.

  71. mae lewis says:

    Levi said that the reason for $arah’s resignation is the money. Yes, it makes sense. But, why the rushed press conference? If it’s the money, no need to throw that thing together at the last minute and issue a garbled breathless speech.

    So, the hurried nature of the press conference has fueled the rumors of an impending investigation. One thing is for sure. The reasons that she gave in that tossed word salad have no connection with her true reason for leaving. She is not going to work to “progress” America or good values candidates (they don’t want her). If she is on the book tour or TV realty show, the good news is that they will know where to serve the subpeona.

  72. marcus2 says:

    I don’t think a straight answer will ever be possible from Sarah Palin. However, I like what Peggy Noonan has said about her, because It’s right on the money.

  73. Star says:

    austintx.. ummm nice..thx…

  74. califpat says:

    It is amazes and confounds me that this unintelligent woman has this much power to get people to lie for her and cover her tracks. Nut-Meg (Meg-Nut), Leighow, Bockman and others must all feel like they are in Twigh Light Zone on a daily basis when they get to work, since they never know what lie they are going to have to pretend is truth or if they have to have a rushed shredding session or if they are going have to hide incriminating evidence due to Buttercup’s indiscretions and blatant lies. (I know long run on sentence-believe me I’m breathless. Whew! LOL!!) Maybe all this extra lying and covering up is the extra expediture to keep them quiet. Could get into the millions.

  75. anadventurer says:

    I also think you should write a book, really. You had a ride, and unlike SP you will be really writing the book.

  76. strangelet says:

    So does this mean that there is a HUGE double-count in the records request area of the “spreadsheet”?

    There is a line item of $468,947 under records requests, with no attribution or attorney hours. There are two other line line items totalling $425,549, for “Office of the Governor”. Do these overlap? This would actually make more sense than the explanation that the Office of Gov expenses represented 4000 some hours of work spread among 49 people. I mean, how many employees are there in the Office of the Governor?

    Also, too, I had forgotten that Bockmon was the Ethics Attorney — she was also the designated Talis when he went into hiding, if I recall. Although it’s kinda stupid for XGINO to act like there was something unusual about Bockman being paid to do her job (and then to double count it), it’s fairly small potatoes compared to the big blocks of unexplained “expenses”.

  77. LibertyLover says:

    So Palin’s a liar. I find that hard to believe. /snark off

  78. seattlefan says:

    Oh…this just keeps getting murkier and murkier. Check this out at Huffpo. It is related:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/10/palin-report-overstates-c_n_229903.html

  79. I See Villages from my House says:

    It’s Sarah-math. It sounds sexier to make it appear millionish. Her core has successfully latched onto that – her not willing to waste away all those public dollars against those frivolous and silly gosh darn ethics complaints that sought to destroy progressing the evolution of Alaskan successes.

    It doesn’t matter how much you dispel her abuse of facts, she’ll continue to spin away her interpretation of DOL spending, the same way she’ll spin how the “millions” of Alaskans love her.

    p.s. As an Alaskan, I am relieved she quit, she should have done so when she went on the campaign trail with John. Read Don C. Mitchell’s piece in Alaska Dispatch, if Alaskans would have read something like that during Palin’s bid for Frank’s seat, we would have had better sense and saved the nation the trouble. What do we do with a problem like Sarah?

    I’m mystified that people give her credit for shrewd maneuvering, I think she falls assbackwards into star-alignment and it invariably works for her. Charmed, I think. But not charming.

    Peggy Noonan’s summation of Palin’s post-mortem is one of the most excellent (but she’s getting pounded in the comment section. Curious, that is how many of the critical articles are being responded to – check out the realclearpolitics.com site – it’s Palinpalooza analysis!

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/09/_sarah_palin_gulp_still_could_become_gop_2012_nominee_97368.html.)

  80. Village Reader says:

    Thank you for further clarifying the ‘millions’ of dollars which apparently only exist in Palin Land.

    I really think you should write a book with all your information on Palin. The way you describe events, clarify the ‘muck’ of AK politics is fun, informative and easy to read/follow. Ooops. I think I went off topic. BUT, i really think you should.

    Thanks for the information.

  81. rocket says:

    The truly remarkable thing is that nearly everything Palin says is not the truth. She has zero credibility – just like Bush.

  82. BigPete says:

    “Follow the money”

    Maybe Levi is right- the Grifter followed the path of least resistance.

  83. BigSlick says:

    Is this an accounting “iceberg”?

  84. austintx says:

    I put this on the open thread…….belongs here now.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/310/story/71675.html

  85. overthemoon says:

    Why is it that the ethics review, which I believe Gov. Palin championed as one of the star points of her administration, cost so much? Should this not have been considered in the crafting of the ethics bill? This leads to the big question as to whether her ‘change the way gov’t works’ campaign was ever checked against procedure and that nasty phenom called reality. Did she actually create a bigger gov’t when pushing for accountability of same gov’t???

  86. Lori in Los Angeles says:

    WHY indeed. Because, as someone pointed out on last thread, her full-time job will be screeching venom about President Obama. And she will be paid well for doing so. I am disgusted (even more than usual).

  87. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    It surprised me how many people had never heard of Judy Bockmon. Maybe she keeps her head down a lot. ;)

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