Tag Archives: Ted Stevens

Sarah Palin’s Real Estate Impropriety (Video)

By popular demand, I am reposting this story about Mayor Sarah Palin eliminating building permits before her personal home AND the Wasilla Sports Complex were constructed in Wasilla, Alaska.  The post originally appeared on the Sarah Palin Truth Squad back in October 14, 2008.

The original title was The Book of Sarah (Palin): Contractors Awarded Wasilla Sports Complex Contract Built New Palin Family Home.”

Although this is old news, it’s good to remember the personal ethics of Sarah Palin as she moves forward into her latest career.

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Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Wayne Barrett, investigative journalist and senior editor for the Village Voice, published a brilliantly illuminating exposé on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the building of her new Wasilla family home by the same contractors awarded the contract to build the new, multi-million dollar Wasilla sports complex. Also, throughout Sarah Palin’s political career, she has worked closely with lobbyists, promoting the interests of big business and oil corporations. Barrett was interviewed by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown as to the possible conflicts of interest these connections might have posed for Gov. Palin.

Along with the winks and folksy “doggone” moments early in her debate with Joe Biden last week, Sarah Palin repeated her familiar claim to the title of “maverick,” declaring that “as a governor and as a mayor,” she’s had a “track record of reform” and has now “joined a team of mavericks.”

Despite the free fall that her polling numbers went into after her disastrous interviews with Katie Couric, that branding as a “reformer” has been resilient. Introduced skillfully before tens of millions during an intense surge of interest six weeks ago, it’s been hammered home with repeated soundbites.

But the label doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny. From the controversy that catapulted her to the governorship, to her ties to the indicted patriarch of Alaska’s GOP, to the multilayered nexus of lobbyists and Big Oil interests around her, and, finally, to the Wasilla sports complex that capped her mayoral career, the myth of Sarah Palin, reformer, withers under inspection.

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

PALIN’S CLAIM to fame as an Alaska reformer-that she risked her career to expose the chairman of the state GOP-is revisionist. In fact, Palin supported the methane-drilling project that helped sink GOP boss Randy Ruedrich before she later decided she was against it-a mirror of her flip-flop on the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. And her reversal had more to do with seizing a political opportunity than following her conscience.

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It’s Not Sarah’s Fault…Just Ask Her!

Alaska Govenor Sarah Palin and "Joe the Plumber" aka Joe Wurzelbacher.

Alaska Govenor Sarah Palin and "Joe the Plumber" aka Joe Wurzelbacher.

When it comes to taking responsibility for her failures, Sarah Palin is completely unaccountable. Her finger is always pointed at the most convenient scapegoat. Last fall, I said she was George W. Bush with lipstick; nothing is ever her fault. With her resignation, she has set a new bar for blame.

A 10 Month Accounting of Blame…

Troopergate was her brother-in-law’s fault.

Walt Monegan was a rogue commissioner.

Neglecting a vetting of Palin’s appointed replacement of Commissioner Monegan wasn’t her fault, she didn’t know Chuck Kopp had a sexual harassment charge. His 14 day employment was rewarded with a $10,000 severance package.

Her public press conference, pro-Pebble Mine stance during a contentious election was the fault of a “Governor’s hat” wardrobe malfunction and possibly Tim Griffin.

The legislative investigation wasn’t her doing. It was a “Democratic driven, partisan witch hunt” voted on by 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats after Sarah Palin challenged them with Bush-like bravado “Bring it on!”

When her church was burned, Palin blamed it on the attention she was receiving from people who didn’t like her.

The Branchflower Report’s “guilty of abuse of power” findings weren’t her fault; she filed her own ethics complaint and would release those favorable findings the day before the election.

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Pallin’ Around With The Liberal Media

Exiting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Exiting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

On Monday, Eric Boehlert highlighted Time‘s upcoming cover story on Sarah Palin, titled, “The Outsider: Where is Sarah Palin Going Next?” While Palin has certainly received her share of bad press, a great deal of it has been the inevitable result of her own statements and actions. Interpretive articles like this one, however, are different and provide journalists with the chance to use their judgment to put past actions and ongoing trials in a broader context that will help readers better understand the subject at hand.

Which is why this article is so problematic. In it, Time‘s David Von Drehle and Jay Newton-Small go to immense lengths to create a story out of thin air. In this case, it’s “The Renegade,” a tale about an unconventional politician making waves with her unpredictable behavior. The piece is deeply flawed, advancing conservative narratives without challenge and ignoring obvious realities about Palin, her home state, and the problems she faces. It’s an account that flies in the face not just of progressive criticisms of the governor, but of a growing chorus of conservative ones as well.

And it is exactly the kind of ratings-driven journalism that is, ironically, making magazines like Time less and less authoritative at a time when serious journalism couldn’t be more needed.

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Former Sen. Ted Stevens’ Political Future Cloudy Despite Reversal

Alaska Republican Party chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Alaska Republican Party chairman Randy Ruedrich is calling for the resignation of U.S. Sen. Mark Begich after the Justice Department dropped charges against former U.S Sen. Ted Stevens who Begich defeated in last fall's election.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Former Sen. Ted Stevens may be clear of legal problems, but his future as an Alaska elected official could be over.

Department of Justice prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss an indictment against Stevens and toss out his October conviction on charges of failing to report home renovations and gifts from a wealthy campaign supporter.

However, the 85-year-old politician’s age and scars from the legal battle likely would be used against him in any future race, according to Alaska political observers.

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Ted Stevens Should Run Against Palin, Says Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young

Will Sarah Palin face a primary challenge from Ted Stevens in 2010?

Will Sarah Palin face a primary challenge from Ted Stevens in 2010?

WASHINGTON (CNN) Now that the corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens has been dropped, Alaska Rep. Don Young wants Stevens to run for governor – a move that would set up a Republican primary between the veteran lawmaker and Sarah Palin, if she decides to seek a second term in 2010.

“Personally I’d like to see him run for governor, and that’s my personal feeling,” Young told the Alaska Public Radio Network on Thursday. “So, we’ll see what happens down the line. He probably won’t, but I think that would be a great way to cap off a great career as being the governor of the state of Alaska.”

Stevens will be 87 years old by the time the next governor takes office in January 2011.

Other top Alaska Republicans, including Palin and Alaska GOP chairman Randy Ruedrich, said Thursday that Democratic Sen. Mark Begich should step aside so a new vote can be held now that the charges against Stevens have been dropped by the Justice Department.

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Gov. Sarah Palin Calls for Alaska Sen. Mark Begich’s Resignation

Gov. Palin wants a special election in the wake of the DOJ's decision to drop corruption charges against Stevens.

Gov. Palin wants a special election in the wake of the DOJ's decision to drop corruption charges against Stevens.

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) called on Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska ) Thursday to step down from his seat and run in a special election in the wake of the Justice Department’s decision to drop corruption charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Begich narrowly defeated Stevens in 2008, a contest overshadowed by Stevens’ October conviction.
Palin’s call came after a reporter at the Fairbanks News Miner emailed her a copy of a statement by Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich calling for Begich to step down.

Asked for her response, Palin simply wrote back: “I absolutely agree.”

When the reporter wrote back to confirm that Palin meant she’d like to see Begich resign in order to hold a special election, the governor responded: “Yes.”

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Palin Returns to a Changed Alaska

Homecoming Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, her office adorned with banners and balloons, went to work in Anchorage Nov. 7 for the first time since joining the GOP presidential ticket.

Homecoming Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, her office adorned with banners and balloons, went to work in Anchorage Nov. 7 for the first time since joining the GOP presidential ticket.

Alaska has changed while Governor Sarah Palin was gone on the presidential campaign trail over the past two months.  The state’s oil driven economy has been hurt by the global financial meltdown and many Alaskans have gotten to know another, darker side of their governor, in stark contrast to the “maverick” hockey mom turned politican who took on the “good old boys” and big oil companies.  The Christian Science Monitor presents an in-depth look at the new political landscape Gov. Palin now faces in Alaska.

When she left Alaska in August to run as the Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin was a much-loved governor with approval ratings near 90 percent; a record for pursuing centrist, bipartisan policies; and a reputation as a corruption-fighter.

Her home state was awash in money, thanks to record oil prices, and residents were set to get big checks in the form of dividends from the Alaska Permanent Fund and a state tax rebate. The economic future seemed secure, with Governor Palin advancing the case for a big, new, natural-gas pipeline.

What a difference a couple of months make.

Upon her return to Alaska Nov. 5, Palin’s nonpartisan reputation is in shreds, a side effect of her role as chief attacker of Democratic rival Barack Obama. Damaged, too, is her image as ethics reformer, with questions lingering over an abuse-of-power scandal involving a feud against her sister’s ex-husband, alleged circumvention of public-records laws, concerns about state payments for her children’s travel and nights spent in her own home, and even how she acquired the haute-couture wardrobe she sported on the campaign trail.

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