Sarah Palin linked to Jack Abramoff group and campaign ethics questions

The media tells us that Sarah Palin is a woman of character. Her story is the true American story. We hear about the mother of 5, the sad but inspiring story of her baby who was born with Down Syndrome. They tell us that she is pro-gun, pro-death penalty, anti-gay, anti-abortion. Ralph Reed – Mr. Christian Coalition, former partner-in-crime with Jack Abramoff and John McCain fundraiser is orgasmic over the selection. (Orgasmic is probably a poor choice of word considering Reed is such an upstanding religious man.)

But what really makes up her character? Trooper-Gate was the first scandal that broke into the media. Quite probably because it was an easy story for them and the media are lazy. The investigation is in progress and the papers are covering it.

I wanted to see what kind of campaign she is likely to run. I found 2 main ethics issues with the RGA behind them both – and since Palin is being touted as the ethical candidate, this was highly enlightening.

In 2006, when Sarah Palin was running for governor of Alaska, the Washington-based Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) sent a mailer to voters, which is a clear violation of Alaska state law.

This article appeared in the Juneau Empire in 2006. [Click here to go to original story.]

Pro-Palin mailer breaks state law

Knowles says Palin is responsible despite card coming from Outside

A glossy postcard promoting Republican Sarah Palin’s candidacy for governor violates Alaska law, state officials say.

And even though it came from an Outside group, Palin’s Democratic rival, Tony Knowles, says she’s responsible for the violation.

The postcard, featuring a picture of a smiling Palin, was sent out by the Washington, D. C.,-based Republican Governors’ Association and has been arriving in mailboxes this week.

“Sarah Palin likes to cast herself as the most ethical candidate, yet she has repeatedly refused to tell RGA to butt out of her campaign, despite assurances from the Alaska Public Offices Commission that it’s OK for her to call them,” Knowles said in a statement released Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Palin campaign dismissed Knowles’ claim as simply politics.

“What would Tony Knowles have us do? Have everyone give it back?” said Curtis Smith, spokesman for the Palin campaign.

Smith said the Palin campaign had nothing to do with the Republican Governors’ Association or the postcard.

“As far as I know, they sent this mailer out on their own volition,” Smith said.

Knowles said he’s asked a similar Democratic group to stay out of Alaska politics, and it has done so.

The Democratic Governor’s Association has much less money available than its Republican counterpart, however.

The Republican Governors Association did not return calls to its East Coast office after business hours and has no known Alaska office.

Alaska state elections law bars Outside groups interfering in Alaska elections, and makes campaign efforts such as the RGA’s mailer illegal, said Brooke Miles, executive director of the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

It’s a completely prohibited ad,” Miles said.

The ban on Outside money doesn’t apply to advocacy of issues and doesn’t apply to ballot measures, but Miles said the RGA mailer was obviously intended to help Palin beat Knowles.

“There’s no way they could even pretend it’s issues advocacy,” Miles said.

Miles said the Democratic Party has been in contact with the commission staff seeking an investigation into the postcard, but Miles said she would probably group the mailing in with an existing Democratic Party complaint about TV commercials aired earlier.

The commission could levy a small fine against RGA if it finds a violation, or it could issue a cease-and-desist order to prevent further violations. Miles said that in preliminary discussions she’s had with the RGA’s lawyer she was told there are no more mailings planned.

“What are we supposed to do?” That is what her campaign asked.

If George Soros or MoveOn sent out a flier to every single American household attacking McCain or pushing Obama, the Republicans would demand action and punishment.

But Palin pulls ‘what are we supposed to do’ and McCain (on the Tennessee smear attacks) cries ‘oh please, stop’ – this tells you exactly what type of leaders they are.

Obama demanded that the DNC take the high road in their ads and MoveOn shut down their 527 in honor of Obama’s demand. That’s a leader.

Palin and McCain showed weak leadership, never accepting responsibility for their actions (we have tons of examples on McCain and they’re starting to come in on Palin too). I love the plausible deniability from Palin’s office – what do they want us to do? She’s running for governor and she doesn’t know how to handle this? Now she’s running for VP?

Give me a break.

* * * *

January 9, 2007

Alaska Public Offices Commission staff is recommending the commission fine the Republican Governors Association $2,350 for the ads it ran featuring Gov. Sarah Palin during the campaign.

That’s $50 a day for each of the 47 days of ads. The staff also suggests dismissing the accusation that the Palin campaign cooperated with the RGA, according to a Jan. 5 report from APOC director Brooke Miles.

Democrats filed the complaint against the RGA, saying that the group’s ads violated campaign finance rules. It’s one of several topics the commission will tackle in Anchorage this week – along with the complaints against outgoing Sen. Ben Stevens, filed by the Republican Moderate Party.

September 26, 2006

The Alaska Democratic Party says it plans to file an APOC complaint against the Republican Governors Association and against Palin. The Democrats say the RGA ads about Palin are not “issues” ads at all but can only be seen as a call for people to vote for her. They also say it appears the Palin campaign and the RGA coordinated on the ad, which isn’t allowed. The RGA says the complaint is a political stunt, that the Democrats know the ad is legal, and that there was no coordination involved.

In today’s story on third parties and campaign funding, Palin argues that it’s inconsistent for Knowles to blast her for tolerating soft-money ads on her behalf because he benefited from such ads in his 2004 U.S. Senate race. The Knowles campaign said that the national Senate race resonates outside the state – unlike the governor’s race – so you can’t compare the two elections. (They also say Knowles spoke out against soft-money ads in the 2004 race too.)

Palin argued that it is inconsistent for Knowles to blast her because he did it too? Really? Is that the argument?

Someone breaks the rule but because someone else did it 2 years before, it is okay for you to break the rule? Sounds just like the type of person I want to be one 72-year old heartbeat away from the presidency.

* * * *

PBS posted this story from September 26, 2006 – Alaska Gubernatorial Candidates Spar over Big Ad Money

Television ads have sparked a war of words between the campaigns of Democratic candidate Tony Knowles and Republican Sarah Palin this week, with each side accusing the other of hypocrisy and dishonesty.

The Washington-based Republican Governors Association spent more than $100,000 on advertising time for Sarah Palin over the next week, according to records from local TV stations, as reported in the Anchorage Daily News.

One 30-second ad begins with vistas of Alaskan landscape and then a montage of Palin talking with people. A male voice then says: “It couldn’t have happened at a better time for Alaska. Sarah Palin, a bright fresh face with new ideas to hold down taxes and improve education, while moving Alaska forward.”

In a campaign press release, Knowles spokeswoman Patty Ginsburg criticized the group’s involvement, saying the ads belie Palin’s claims that she is running a grassroots, politics-free campaign.

“Her TV is being paid for by big drug companies, the insurance industry, big oil and tobacco,” Ginsburg said. “Check out and see where the RGA gets its money from. They include companies such as Pfizer, Anheuser-Busch and MassMutual Life Insurance, to name a few. One of the leading contributors to RGA has been Capitol Campaign Strategies, Jack Abramoff’s group.”

Former GOP lobbyist Abramoff is tied to a federal investigation into alleged illegal exchanges of gifts and favors involving lawmakers, their staff and other Washington officials.

Palin’s campaign fired back. “That’s rich coming from the Knowles camp,” countered Palin spokesman Curtis Smith. He predicted that the Democratic Governors Association is about to jump in the race, too, and said Knowles has questionable affiliations of his own.

“If Tony is so worried about affiliations, why did he appoint Bill Allen of VECO to head up his transition team in 1994? Not only is his company under investigation by the FBI, But isn’t he the leader of the ‘good old boy’ network Tony’s camp is chirping about?” read the press release from Palin’s Web site.

The bickering comes as polls have registered a shift in Palin’s favor. She came out of the August primary with name recognition and momentum from her upset of incumbent Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Recent independent polls show Palin with leads of as much as 15 percent, according to Congressional Quarterly.

However, former two-term governor Knowles has proven campaign skills, and is hoping the strongest independent candidate, former Republican state Rep. Andrew Halcro will draw some votes away from Palin, according to CQ.

Tied to Abramoff’s interests and ads paid for by big corporations and 527 groups. Is that new politics? Does that make her a Washington outsider?

Her campaign’s response to these charges? “That’s rich coming from the Knowles camp.”

That’s leadership coming from the Palin camp. See the pattern in the response when Palin’s ethics are questioned? She’ll fit right in with the Bush – Cheney – McCain team.

To quote Joe Biden: “That’s not change. That’s more of the same.”

* * * *

Here is the text from this ad that was paid for by the RGA for $107,000. [Click here to see ad]

Script of “Alaska TV Ad Sept. 22” (TV)

ANNOUNCER [v/o]: It couldn’t have happened at a better time for Alaska.

Sarah Palin, a bright fresh face with new ideas to hold down taxes and improve education, while moving Alaska forward.

Sarah’s an experienced mayor, and she served as chairman of the Alaska oil and gas conservation commission.

Call Sarah Palin, for fresh ideas to hold down taxes and improve education.

(Text on screen: Paid For By The Republican Governors Association; 1747 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006)

She is already under investigation for Trooper-Gate. Add campaign ethics problems and we’re just getting revved up.

Not to mention that she was endorsed for governor by disgraced – corrupt – indicted – Senator Ted Stevens in a television ad. See ad here.

To best explain the Jack Abramoff / Ralph Reed / RGA connection, I have attached this chart.


34 responses to “Sarah Palin linked to Jack Abramoff group and campaign ethics questions

  1. GREAT!! Absolutely crucial post. Thank you for your considered, deliberate approach on this one. Hell yeah!

    btw, i’m sure they’ll make all these facts disappear soon enough

  2. Thanks for posting this! It’s nice to know some people are really doing their research.

  3. I wish the media would do their homework instead of just saying how wonderful she is.

  4. The more we hear the worse it gets on this woman. Or maybe the better it gets for Obama.

    Palin is a piece of work. But then again, so is McCain.

    Thanks for this great post.

    Go to Leave a comment and link to it.

  5. btw, that last graphic of follow the money is fascinating. a must see for everyone.

  6. Wow!!! Great work – this is the type of work the MSM should be doing.

    Incredible history of corruption.

    Thanks VERY much for informing us!!!

    She obviously was NOT vetted by McCain and his people.

  7. Vetting definitely was not a priority for McCain.

    Their reaction to this Bristol pregnancy is exactly how they reacted to the charges in this post. That annoying faux moral outrage.

  8. Ralph Reed and Sarah Palin loves JESUS so anything they do is morally pure, don’t you know that? And Laura Bush just told us we “better watch out” before criticizing a woman. But it’s OK if a woman like Bush attacks us, or it’s OK if the Republicans attacked Hillary Clinton when she was ahead.

    – Traitor Joe Lieberman

  9. Traitor Joe, that hits the nail on the head.

  10. Pingback: Interesting McCain chose Palin when she is under scrutiny and investigation « the bruce blog

  11. Good post. She is no outsider. She is just as dirty as McCain, Bush and the rest of the cartel.

  12. Sounds like Sarah has some ‘splainin’ to do.

  13. The trash is coming out on her and it has only been 3 days. And we’re all just getting started.

  14. frogcatcher912

    Sarah Palin gave birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome at the age of 44.

    Is anyone else appalled at this?

    The risk of giving birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome is extremely high in women over 40 (and even higher when the father is also over 40).

    Sarah Palin “opposes the use of birth control pills and condoms even among married couples”.

    I am disgusted by this irresponsible behaviour. To give birth at age 44 to a baby with Down’s because you refuse to use birth control inexcusable. Ignoring the dangers that you expose yourself and your baby to by refusing to use birth control after 40 is negligent and careless. To believe that a woman like this has the opportunity to become Vice President of the United States of America in 2008 makes me ill.

    Does anyone else share this opinion?

  15. Please do some better research, frogcatcher912. She is PRO-contraception.

  16. This is the longest stretch I have ever seen to tie Jack Abramoff to Palin. How about that diagram?

    Silly. reveals your total lack of cognitive thinking.

    And to frogcatcher912, I thought that liberals were supposed to be the inclusive, compassionate ones, yet you clearly hold a prejudice against people with Down’s Syndrome. Would you have been just as appalled if a 44 year old gave birth to an autistic child? Do you hate them too?

    Obviously you are pro-choice if the “choice” is to terminate (kill a baby), but Sarah Palin, in your world should not be allowed to exercise her choice if it is to bring a child with defects to term.

    Thank you, frogcatcher912, for your post, it announces your hypocrisy in a loud and profound way.

  17. Thanks for the oportunity to weigh in on this issue. I am Pro-Life. I am too old to care
    about Roe-Vs-Wade for my self but I care about the next generations Women.They
    must be allowed to choose. Ms. Palin sounds like someone who was too busy Fighting
    Corruption in Government to be concerned about the Corruption in her young family.
    I love Women in Politics but really now “Is she really a Champian of Family Values.”
    The Men Dems won’t be able to say much but, will the Women Dems stand up to
    Ms. Palin “McSame”? I am 68 yrs. Old and I officially charge you young juggling
    women to stand up and say “No Way, No How, No Palin and No McCain.”

  18. Gary,
    Obviously, you didn’t read this post or you would have understood that the connection wasn’t between Sarah Palin and Jack Abramoff, per se.
    You, my friendly troll, only wanted to insult me and the readers. Since this is a progressive blog, I have not banished your comment but approved it for all to see. I’ll even take the time to respond.

    Simply put, the connection is between the RGA (Republican Governors’ Association) and Sarah Palin.
    In this post, I show 2 examples of how the RGA campaigned for Palin in direct violation of Alaska state election law. (Through a mailer and a television ad). So far only the mailer is receiving coverage in the MSM. Without a doubt, the television ad that ran for 47 days that levied a fine from the Alaska Public Offices Commission was the more serious infraction.
    Both, bring into question Palin’s ethics.

    Then we examine the connection (and that diagram spells it out, even for you) between the RGA and Jack Abramoff and to Ralph Reed. And if you’ve done your reading, you know that Reed did a fundraiser for McCain which raised as many eyebrows as it did money. The Abramoff – RGA section supports the argument that the relationship in 2006 between the RGA and Palin was in fact unethical.

  19. conservatarian

    OMG – the Republican Governors Assoc bought a campaign ad for her! Those bastards. What? Jack Abramoff gave money to the RGA! Well, there you have it, guilt by association. I hope they all burn in hell.

    But that whole Obama-Ayers thing…blown way out of proportion. Obama only went to his house a couple times, took money from him, and chaired a commission that he founded. But thats all. Why, they barely knew each other. Obama couldn’t pick him out of a line-up of typical white people.

  20. Awesome! Thanks a lot for this post, it’s a great one.

  21. Awesome! Thanks a lot for this post, it’s a great one. I appreciate you making that diagram out for us. Definitely getting linked to.

  22. 5-Pillar Scribe

    Now if you link Jack Abramoff’s influence and money, with that of the RNC, neo-cons, Tom Delay, and make the connection to 9/11/2001, we would not be discussing how Muslims are to be hated; this country would be geared up for a true revolution against those who attacked our own, and furthermore killed hundreds of thousands innocent foreigners.

  23. Conservatarian,
    First of all, the RGA ad (mailer and TV ad) are in violation of Alaska election law and the RGA was levied a fine for the TV ad. So it is illegal and unethical. And of course, supplied with facts.

    On the other hand, your ‘Obama – Ayers thing’ is backed with nothing – except the racist comment in your last sentence. Also, there is nothing illegal or unethical about your Ayers ‘thing’. Your issue with Ayers occurred when Obama was 8 years old.

  24. 5-Pillar,
    Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay have long been linked.
    The rest of your comment made no sense. Are you suggesting that Abramoff is responsible for 9/11? Maybe you discuss that Muslims should be hated. I know people affiliated with both political parties and no one I know personally believes that crap.

  25. Pingback: We all knew there was something under the bed.. and in the closet « Marks in the Sand

  26. conservatarian

    “typical white people”

    Obama’s own words…

    Nice try at pegging me as a racist. And Obama’s association with Ayers is well documented. I’m not putting Obama in the domestic terrorist camp, but if you want to declare Palin guilty by association with Abramoff, which is clearly your intent, then to be consistent, you’d have to admit the same with Obama and Ayers. Actually, its even easier to admit this association, since Obama has eaten hors’ doeuvres in Ayers house, while Palin’s only appearance with Abramoff has been in your blog headline. Ayers is a confirmed unrepentant terrorist who has himself acknowledged his involvement in several bomb plots. Because he never did serious jail time does not diminish this fact.

  27. conservatarian

    First of all, I know the comment you linked to and it’s a nice Fox News talking point but your sentence was more than that.
    “Obama couldn’t pick him out of a line-up of typical white people.”
    That implies Obama thinks all white people look alike. So that would be a racist comment and nothing like his grandmother being a typical white woman.

    Clearly you didn’t read the post. Palin is linked to the Republican Governors’ Association. My intent was to provide more detail on the RGA. The RGA continues to operate even without Abramoff and are doing so unethically and broke Alaskan election law.

    My intent of this article was to inform people that Palin isn’t the ‘high ethical standards’ candidate she is leading us to believe. You, on the other hand, are trying to deflect the facts about Palin with your Ayers nonsense from 1970.

  28. conservatarian

    If your goal was to provide more detail on Palin’s association with the RGA, then your headline should have been…

    “Sarah Palin linked to Republican Governor’s Association and campaign ethics questions”

    I read your post. Your intention was quite clear: you attempted to besmirch her by associating her with Jack Abramoff, which is purely speculative on your part and not supported by any actual facts. It may well be at some point, I don’t know, but loose speculation like this is either a) irresponsible and sensationalistic, or b) blatantly intentional and partisan.

    And, just to fill you in, racism is the fundamental belief that one race is genetically superior to another. Apparently, Obama has some preconceived, stereotypical notion of what a typical white person is, or else he wouldn’t have made the remark. That doesn’t make him a racist, but its certainly impolitic. The context came from him, not me.

  29. Conservatairan:

    The Washington Post provided a direct link from Abramhoff to Palin. She claims to be a reformer yet supported the Bridge to Nowhere, worked for a group dedicated to Ted Stevens, the king of pork barrel politics, and raised taxes in her tiny little town. Are you defending her in the face of this evidence because she’s a Republican conservative? Because she’s the best that your party has to offer? Or are you just trying as hard as you can to turn the argument back to Obama? So far you are 0-for-3.


  30. This was part of the plan when they thought Hillary Clinton would win the nomination. From all I’ve heard, at the very top….she would run against Hillary…then Obama. This was all planned out I bet, a year ago. Cheney was mentioned in several blogs, calling her January 2008, before the Primary of the Dems. She was the alternative to get votes. I just feel it strongly. Please investigate this matter someone.

    I’m a voter, not an investigator. I’m also a very concerned voter so I spend hours on the blogs to find the truth and push those that can fact check do it. Please find the Cheney connection and date of first contact to Sarah Palin.

    Grateful to those that care about the truth for all of us……thankyou

  31. You do realize that the tenuous link and weak reasoning you use will only appeal to the most ardent Democratic supporters don’t you? I won’t bother to counter each of the minor points you bring up. However, these are blips on the political radar screen that go on in countless elections as evidenced by the fact the person feigning outrage had run the same ads in the previous election.

    It is quite obvious your boy in Alaska knew he was the proverbial salmon swimming upstream and threw anything and everything at Palin in a fruitless attempt to win the election. Showing this much fear that a single mailer would affect the outcome of the election?

    I know that’s not your point (however weak it is) but the fact of the matter is an outside source sent one (1) mailer out and that was the end of it. That’s supposed to call her character into question?

    Again, only someone predisposed to not vote for her would accept that as evidence of a character flaw. It also explains why the mainstream media doesn’t cover non issues like this. The general public wouldn’t view this as an issue but, if reported, would view it as a transparent attempt to sway opinion against her over nothing.

  32. The more you smear Sarah, the more you show just how frightened you are of her…….Typical bama party supporters, talk about being BITTER! ….ex-Hillary supporter for McCain/Palin’08.

  33. Pingback: Sarah Palin: Do you like my Flag Bikini? The perfect huntin’ attire! « the bruce blog

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