Tag Archives: U.S. Senate

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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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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What’s Ahead For Gov. Palin? Seven Challenges

Gov. Sarah Palin, back from the campaign trail, faces a changed landscape in Alaska.

Gov. Sarah Palin, back from the campaign trail, faces a changed landscape in Alaska.

It appears that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will probably be back on the national scene in two years campaigning as the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election.  We here at the Sarah Palin Truth Squad have decided to continue posting information about Governor Palin in anticipation of that race.  Today the Anchorage Daily News published the following article by Tom Kizzia on the political future of Gov. Palin.

For two months she basked — and sizzled — in the world’s hottest celebrity spotlight. Now Sarah Palin has come home to begin the last two years of her term as governor of Alaska.

Everything has changed: Palin’s personal horizon, her relations with the state’s other elected officials, the public’s sense of who she is.

Palin returned to her office Friday amid a brutal crossfire between detractors and defenders in the McCain camp. At the same time, however, a new national poll said 64 percent of Republicans consider her their top choice to run for president in 2012.

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The Little Known Truth of Barack Obama’s Legislative Record

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama

Commentator Robert J. Elisberg, writing for the Huffington Post, looks into accusations by the McCain-Palin campaign that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has no legislative experience and has not accomplished anything while serving in the Senate.

As we all know, Barack Obama hasn’t passed any major legislation. He’s inexperienced, never done anything. We know this. We know it because John McCain and Sarah Palin, bless her accomplished heart, have said so. And so, we know.

Far be it from me not to take their word for it, but I decided to check things out. And shockingly… it doesn’t turn out to be true! Really. So, take a guess on how much legislation Barack Obama has sponsored in the United States Senate, which has become law.

C’mon, take a guess.

Nope, sorry, take another guess.

Barack Obama has authored or co-sponsored 579 bills in Washington. And as a state senator, he sponsored 820 laws for Illinois.

That’s 1,399 bills in all. Not bad for someone who apparently had done zero — okay, according to his opponents.

I know, I know. Those 820 are just for a “state,” so they don’t really count. Except… well, wait, a “state” is what Sarah Palin is governor of. (At least for 21 months.) So if sponsoring pesky “state” laws doesn’t count, what in the world does she have on her resume then? Other than ethics violations.

Besides, y’know, Illinois is an awfully big state. If someone passes a law there, it does affect the lives of 26 million people.

And, yipes, it turns out that there is a wide-ranging record of bipartisan laws he’s co-sponsored, as well, working across the aisles with Republicans. Go figure, who knew?!

Okay, first, let’s look at Barack Obama’s 579 Senate bills. (To be fair, some of these are pending — the U.S. Senate works slooowly…)

But here are just a few highlights of the ones that have passed.

With Russ Feingold, Sen. Obama helped put together and co-sponsor the Obama/Feingold 2007 Ethics Reform Law, which curbed lobbying abuses. The bill was perhaps the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate.

Mr. Obama joined forces with Republican Richard Lugar as original co-sponsors of the landmark bill that improved the government’s ability to detect and destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction, keeping them from terrorists.

Working across the aisle again, this time, with Republican Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama authored a provision to secure vulnerable nuclear weapons and nuclear material around the world, protecting them from terrorists.

Sen. Obama also wrote the legislation for his Homes for Heroes Act and SAVE Act, that increased services for homeless veterans.

Shockingly, it turns out that John McCain is also wrong about Barack Obama not being willing to go against his party. You see, Mr. Obama sponsored an amendment that required lobbyist disclosures. And as the NY Timeswrote, “The disclosure idea’s lead sponsor, Senator Barack Obama… ‘has not been the most popular person in our caucus in the last couple of weeks,’ said a Democratic aide involved in deliberations over the bill.”

Gee. Apparently, it seems, Barack Obama has been willing to buck his own party. And work across the aisle. And sponsor and pass important legislation. And there are 574 other bills — some large, some smaller, but all can be found on State Surge.

Meanwhile, his record as a senator in Illinois has an impressive 820 bills that impacted the lives of countless millions, as well. By the way, for fact buffs: the 13th District he represented was alone comprised of 653,457 people — the same as the entire state of Alaska.

In Illinois, with its 26 million citizens, Barack Obama co-sponsored bipartisan campaign finance reforms, that the Chicago Tribune referred to as “the most sweeping good-government legislation in decades.” He co-sponsored a bipartisan, groundbreaking ethics reform law and was the main sponsor of the Health Care Justice Act. As co-chairman of a bipartisan committee, Sen. Obama also helped pass predatory mortgage lending reforms, which prevent foreclosures. (Hmm, that was forward thinking. Ya think? But, tosh, it was just a “state” law…) He sponsored laws that raised tax credits for low-income workers, that improved childcare subsidies for the KidCare Program (bringing health care to 70,000 uncovered children), and that reformed welfare. And he co-sponsored the Equal Pay Act for women.

Further, Mr. Obama sponsored bipartisan legislation that made Illinois the first state to require videotaping of capital cases, and bipartisan laws for monitoring racial profiling.

This list goes endlessly on. A total of 820 laws in all. FactCheck.org has detailed descriptions.

None of this is to place a value judgment on the 579 federal laws Barack Obama authored or co-sponsored. Nor is it to equate state laws with federal. It’s merely to address the false impression that the McCain campaign has tried to put forth that Sen. Obama has sponsored no important legislation in the U.S. Senate, never been able to work across the aisle and largely sat in the Illinois Senate voting “present.”

Put whatever value you wish on the 1,399 laws Barack Obama has helped sponsor. Decide for yourself what is a “major” law. From ethics reform to safeguarding WMD to child health care to home foreclosure protection, and much more, you have a great many laws to choose from.

It’s up to you to decide if passing laws in a state of 26 million people shows a person’s interests, initiative and abilities and helps set precedents. In truth, Illinois state laws do not cover a nation – they just cover 9% of the nation’s population.

In the end, there is only one simple point to this. Honesty. That anyone who suggests that Barack Obama has been ineffectual in his 12-year career as an elected representative, sponsoring no important legislation, unable to work across party lines, unwilling to go against his party, and avoiding taking stances by voting “present” — then that person doesn’t know what they are talking about. Or is lying.

The Little Known Truth of Barack Obama’s Legislative Record

The Book of Sarah (Palin): Contractors Awarded Wasilla Sports Complex Contract Built New Palin Family Home?!?! (Video)

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.

Continue reading