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Archive for November, 2011

PA man to plead guilty to phone harassment involving Palin lawyer

Posted by Jackie Siciliano on November 23, 2011

From the Washington Post:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of making harassing phone calls in a case involving Sarah Palin’s lawyers.

Shawn Christy filed notice Monday in U.S. District Court that he intends to plead guilty in an expected plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Christy plans to plead guilty and be sentenced Dec. 1, according to the document filed by Mary Geddes, assistant federal defender.

Federal prosecutors were not immediately reachable by phone late Monday. Earlier, Assistant U.S. Attorney Retta-Rae Randall said the harassing telephone calls charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Christy and his father, Craig Christy, both of McAdoo, Pa., face accusations of placing harassing interstate phone calls to the former Alaska governor’s lawyers in early August. Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, had been granted state restraining orders against them.  More

Cross posted at Sarah Palin Blog

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Congressional Corruption: As Old as the Republic

Posted by Ron Devito on November 22, 2011



Any Palinista worth his or her salt knows that one of Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s missions is rooting out crony capitalism and corporate welfare in Washington, D.C. Throw them All Out, by Peter Scheweizer – Gov. Palin’s foreign policy adviser – focuses on Congressional insider trading, a practice that is illegal for the rest of us. Recall that a perjury conviction related to insider trading infamously earned home-making guru Martha Stewart time in the federal pen. Congressional insider trading is only one of numerous Congressional sins. In 1988, as the Reagan administration drew to a close, the Heritage Foundation undertook a five-year study of Congress, resulting the publication of The Ruling Class: Inside the Imperial Congress by Eric Felten in 1993. The Ruling Class is an expose on the inner workings of Congress and also suggests several ways to reform our legislative branch – all of which have been discussed, but none of which left the dream stage.

How Crony Capitalism Works

Gov. Palin has spoken numerous times about the federal debt ceiling. Ruling Class, Chapter One, which is titled “Sleight of Hand” explains precisely how the debt ceiling is raised automatically: House Rule XLIX (59). As Felten pointed out, the need to raise the debt ceiling is rather embarrassing. Not wanting to be held accountable for voting in favor of raising the debt ceiling, this piece of stealth legislation lets Congress do it without actually being voted on. Remember “deemed to have been voted on” – the trick some Democrats wanted to use to pass ObamaCare? Same principle here.


When the $787 billion stimulus was passed, Gov. Palin noted that many in both houses of Congress never read the bill. Many conservatives were likewise shocked when Nancy Pelosi declared about ObamaCare, “we’re not going to know what’s in it until we pass it.” Actually, it’s not shocking at all. This is routine practice in Congress. Our Senators and Representatives don’t write legislation. Their staffs do it for them. Our legislators do not even read what was written for them either.


Ruling Class also outlined how Congressional hearings amount to little more than bullying to benefit a special interest group that successfully lobbied a Senator or Representative. Felten referred to these proceedings as a “Barnumocracy,” and history is replete with them.


Another Congressional abuse is “regulation negotiation” or “reg neg,” where lobbyists are directly involved with law-making. In a typical reg neg, the interested parties agree with a federal agency not to challenge a regulation in court. Felten described how Marriott Hotels strongly favored the Americans with Disabilities Act and worked to influence its passage. Marriott had already been designing its properties to be accessible for the prior 10 years. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act cost Marriott nothing, but cost its competitors many millions of dollars. Thus, passage of the ADA worked to Marriott’s advantage. Reg neg is one of the underpinnings of crony capitalism.

The Commons, Spending, Debts, and Deficits

According to Felten, our current woes with national debt and deficit spending are rooted in how both parties conduct business in both houses of Congress. Federal budgeting works in a manner similar to pasturing cattle on public commons. Eventually, too many cattle over-burden and deplete the commons. Because constituents and special interest groups have grown addicted to legislative pork without paying their fair share, the demand for services only increases. The result is more federal bloat, over-spending, debt, and deficits.


Felten also revealed that spending “cuts” are little more than a Congressional shell game, in which the “current services baseline” is raised, then “cut.” This practice is akin to a store normally selling an item for $100, raising the price to $150, then offering a special sale promotion of $125.


Felten also asserted that re-election has become a machine-driven process in both Houses. Felten even wrote about crony capitalism, only he referred to it as “the favor factory.”

As Old as the Republic…

Congressional corruption is as old as our Republic and “…has no party, no ideology and no gender,” says Constitutional Scholar Alan Baker. “It’s bipartisan and soaked in history and tradition. It also often defies logic.”


While it is theoretically possible to throw the entire House of Representatives out every two years, only one third of the Senate is subject to election in any given cycle. Incumbents enjoy a strong re-election advantage. “Throwing out” often becomes a case of “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

“We’re talking about a culture of ‘I’m better than everyone else’ and ‘I don’t have to answer to anyone,'” says Baker. “It is pervasive and it has been part of the Congressional culture for a long time. You may hear a lot of talk about accountability and reform, but it simply is not happening.”


Even when a new member of Congress arrives in Washington, full of idealism about doing a good job, he or she is soon sucked into the system.

This could explain why at least two of Gov. Palin’s endorsees who ran on a Reagan-Conservative platform are backing Mitt Romney. They got sucked into the GOP establishment. Why else would they back a candidate who has been running for over six years, consistently polls at around 22%, and does not appeal to the party’s base?


Political Corruption in America: An Encyclopedia of Scandals, Power and Greed, by Mark Grossman covers all of it since there was a Congress, but at nearly $200, the book is not likely to land on many shelves. An abridged version is available as a free Google eBook.


The Almanac of Political Corruption, Scandals, and Dirty Politics, by Kim Long also claims to cover 300 years worth of skullduggery and at $14 is more within the average person’s reach. Inside Congress: The Shocking Scandals, Corruption and Abuse of Power Behind the Scenes on Capitol Hill, by Ronald Kessler focuses heavily on sex scandals, before addressing other malfeasance. This is also an expensive read coming in at nearly $125.


Of course, crony capitalism, patronage, corruption, and scandals have infected the executive and legislative branches at federal, state and local governments since time immemorial. Tammany Hall ruled New York for over 100 years. I remember when Queens Borough President – Donald Manes – committed suicide while his huge corruption scandal involving the Parking Violations Bureau erupted. And, two generations of Daleys treated Chicago to a tour de force of graft and corruption.

Reforming Congress Requires an Act Of Congress, and More

Felten’s proposed reforms for Congress included: term limits, the line item veto, session limits, spending limits, removing Congressional exceptions to laws passed, subject Congress to Freedom of Information Act, “end the Constituent Service Racket,” establish fair and open procedures, and cut committees.


These are all lofty reforms. Unfortunately, reforming Congress in many cases requires – well – an act of Congress. Reforms such as term limits, the line item veto and subjecting Congress to its own laws likely require a Constitutional Amendment. President Reagan repeatedly called for a line item veto throughout his administration, but it never materialized. When Sarah Palin was Alaska’s governor, she did have the line item veto and used it with telling effect. Subjecting Congress to its own laws would resolve the entire issue of Congressional insider trading which is what Schweizer delineated in Throw them All Out.

Gov. Palin’s Role in Reform

Since the founding of our republic, no one from inside the political establishment of either party has been able to root out any of these abuses in the federal Congress. Will Gov. Palin be able to do it as an outsider private citizen? Only time will tell and history will be the judge over the many election cycles this could play out. Gov. Palin, of course has a proven record as a reformer throughout her entire political career. If she cannot do it, most likely nobody can.


The future, how Gov. Palin will pursue ending political abuses, and her very destiny remain uncertain. Conservatives – not just Palinistas – are yearning for today’s Ronald Reagan.


Today’s Reagan very much exists, but she is not pursuing a formal title.

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Palin’s Grit, Tenacity and Fortitude

Posted by Jackie Siciliano on November 21, 2011

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Bannon, speaking with him and listening to him discuss the making of “The Undefeated”.  Someone unfamiliar with the making of “The Undefeated” would, most likely, assume that Sarah Palin was heavily involved in the making of the film and influencing its outcome.  She was not.  In fact, you’ll notice in Bannon’s “Grit, Tenacity, and Fortitude” article he specifically mentions filming and observing from a distance but not meeting Palin.  For a documentary film, this might, at first glance, seem odd to some.  I say it lends for a more objective weaving of the story Bannon tells in “The Undefeated”, one of “Grit Tenacity, and Fortitude”.

From Human Events:

I repeatedly get asked: “Why would you make a movie about Sarah Palin​–what could we possibly not already know about her?”

The answer is quite simply, “everything that’s important.”

Sarah Palin is what I describe as a “McLuhanesque” figure—one of the most media-saturated people in the world, relentlessly covered by the 24/7 news cycle, yet her real story is there hiding in plain sight, never having been told.

And what story exactly is that? The rise of a woman from complete obscurity to national prominence through her own force of will and sense of justice.

When The Undefeated starts in the late 80s, Sarah Palin is working on a small commercial fishing vessel she co-owns with her husband Todd, who is a blue-collar union member, working on the North Slope. The daughter of a school teacher, she is not part of the social, political, or cultural elite in the remote Mat-Su Valley, 40 miles northeast of Anchorage. In fact, Alaska at that time, was still a wilderness with the rough-hewen culture of a frontier state.

She is essentially out of the loop in a state that is out of the loop.  More

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Going Rogue Signed: Two Years On

Posted by Ron Devito on November 21, 2011

Signed two years ago today at the seventeenth hour and the fortieth minute Eastern Standard Time.

“Governor Palin…Sarah….it’s nice to see you again.” We locked eyes…she shook my hand, said “Hi, what’s your name.” “I’m Ron Devito, from Staten Island. You signed my heart in Pennsylvania.” She smiled…I could tell she remembered. “I like your buttons,” she said. But…I saw her looking at the Palin Power button, I had been selling. Pointing to the button, I said, “Today, I prototyped this one. And I will be giving it to you in the gift box. It is yours.” “Thank you,” Governor Palin said. It was time to leave….I turned back….”It was nice to see you again” — followed by a pregnant pause — “my President.” She ended the conversation with a final thank you and I took my signed books.

That day, I got to meet: Chuck and Sally Heath, Trig Paxson Van Palin, Jason Recher, and two of my authors: Adrienne Ross and Kristina Lazzaro, among several other friends and colleagues. Many things changed over these past two years, but my final two words to Gov. Palin this day are not among what’s changed.

Enjoy the complete journey:

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

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The Undefeated to Screen in Palmer & Wasilla AK Sunday and Monday

Posted by Ron Devito on November 18, 2011

The Valley Women’s Republican Club is sponsoring a screening of The Undefeated this Sunday November 20 from 1600 / 4 PM till 1800 / 6 PM AKST at the Colony Inn in Palmer, AK. Tickets for a special VIP meet-and-greet event with Stephen K. Bannon, the movie’s creator and producer sell for $50 per person or $75 per couple, and include a light dinner.

The movie will play at the Wasilla Alaska Club Theater on Monday, November 21 at 1800 / 6 PM AKST. This is a screening only with seating limited to 150 and a suggested donation of $5.

For more information, to reserve a seat or to purchase a ticket to the meet-and-greet, contact Harmony Shields at informedgirl@gmail.com or 907-315-5038.

H/T Ian Lazaran, Conservatives4Palin for story lead.

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Bannon Takes “The Undefeated” to Wasilla

Posted by Jackie Siciliano on November 18, 2011

From The Frontiersman:

WASILLA — Folks in Alaska have their first opportunity to see the movie “The Undefeated” on the big screen Monday.

Sponsored by the Valley Republican Women’s Club, the Alaska screening also includes a meet-and-greet event with the movie’s creator and producer, Stephen Bannon, from 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday at Colony Inn in Palmer. Tickets are $50 each or $75 per couple and include a light meal and a chance to speak one-on-one with Bannon.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Alaska,” he said Thursday by phone from“I’m looking forward to coming to Alaska,” he said Thursday by phone from Washington, D.C.  Alaska will be a relatively quick since he is planning to spend Thanksgiving at Fort Campbell, Ky., with his daughter, a recent West Point graduate.  More

Cross posted to Sarah Palin Blog

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Todd Palin to Race in 2012 Iron Dog

Posted by Ron Devito on November 18, 2011



File Photo by Rick Small, Anchorage, Alaska. 2011 Iron Dog: “And he’s off…Todd is officially on the Iron Dog trail.” As published in Sights & Sounds from Iron Dog 2011 Starting Line, by Missy Stewart.


Four-time Iron Dog Champion Todd Palin will partner with Eric Quam, forming Team 11 in the 2012 Iron Dog, according to Alaska News. Palin and Quam came in second place for this year’s Iron Dog, when Palin’s snow machine sustained damage during the final leg of the race. He bungee corded the damaged left ski back to the machine and came in second by only 6:51. The first five places are considered wins with first being the champion. Todd Palin has raced in 21 Iron Dogs. Racers over the 2,000-mile course reach speeds of 80 mph or more in temperatures that drop to -70 Fahrenheit, and often in whiteout blizzard conditions.

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Palin: How Congress Occupied Wall Street

Posted by Jackie Siciliano on November 18, 2011

Since Sunday night’s 60 Minutes Episode (clips here, here, and here), the news world has been set on fire with revelations from the book “Throw Them All Out”.  Written by Palin’s foreign policy adviser Peter Schweizer, the explosive “Throw Them All Out” provides documented evidence of our elected officials (AKA permanent political class) enriching themselves at the expense of their constituents. Think about it.  Acting on a stock market trade with insider information would send you or I to jail (think Martha Stewart), yet our members of Congress have a different set of laws that apply to them.  Isn’t that convenient?  These elected officials are privy to all sorts of information allowing them to buy or sell thus giving them the added edge.  In today’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, Sarah Palin again calls for “sudden and relentless reform”.  Governor Palin, I agree.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Politicians who arrive in Washington as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires. Why?

By SARAH PALIN

Mark Twain famously wrote, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Throw Them All Out,” reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)

Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians’ stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.  More

H/T Team Sarah member Sherrie

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Gov. Palin on Hannity: No Regrets, No Endorsements

Posted by Ron Devito on November 17, 2011

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tonight said she has “no regrets” about not seeking the 2012 GOP nomination and “can shake it up better from outside with Peter Schweizer and my PAC” in a two-segment interview on Sean Hannity’s TV show from her home in Wasilla, Alaska. Gov. Palin would not endorse a particular candidate, however, she said the GOP nomination will be “Romney versus the non-Romney,” with various candidates shifting front-runner position as the “non-Romney.” Gov. Palin was seated by her fireplace which was operating, giving the feeling of a Fireside Chat.


Gov. Palin said it is very important that all the candidates be vetted so that the mistake that led to Obama’s election would not be repeated. She also said voters should not be distracted with minor issues and gaffes that may reflect the idiosyncrasies of candidates running for office.


When asked about Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls, Gov. Palin said she was not surprised since “he’s done so well in debates and balanced budgets during the Clinton Administration,” but advised that Gingrich and all the other candidates should read Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out. About Romney, Gov. Palin said he has six years of experience as a candidate and has held steady with his numbers, which rest at 22%. She cautioned that the GOP nominee will have have a formidable foe with Obama who will have a $1 billion war chest and 90% of the lamestream media on his side.


Gov. Palin expressed her outrage at the violence being committed by Occupy protesters and the support of these protesters by Obama, Biden, and Pelosi. “These folks are ill-informed…misguided. I think it’s atrocious what’s going on,” she said. Gov. Palin agreed with Hannity that Obama has inspired the protesters. “The Office of the Presidency has the power of word. This is getting out of control, this Occupy Wall Street, these shenanigans,” Gov. Palin said. “He’ll lecture us on words we should use. This is actual violence!”


Occupy “could become a campaign issue. The hypocrisy is glaring. Obama is perpetuating class warfare.” Gov. Palin said the protesters should be angry about things like Solyndra, and crony capitalism. They should be directing their anger to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., she said. “For shame they are not angry at what is going on. Peter Schweizer is revealing graft, corruption. We cannot afford afford to continue this…our country is going bankrupt,” she said.


“2012 is important not just for the Presidency, but the House and 33 Senate seats, and not just American Exceptionalism, but ethics,” Gov. Palin said.




Video retrieved from SarahNET.

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Gov Palin in WSJ: How Congress Occupied Wall Street

Posted by Ron Devito on November 17, 2011



by Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Reprinted in its entirety and retrieved from Wall Street Journal: How Congress Occupied Wall street

Mark Twain famously wrote, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Throw Them All Out,” reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)


Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians’ stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.


The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad, and Mr. Schweizer details the most lucrative methods: accepting sweetheart gifts of IPO stock from companies seeking to influence legislation, practicing insider trading with nonpublic government information, earmarking projects that benefit personal real estate holdings, and even subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavorable to an industry. The list goes on and on, and it’s sickening.


Astonishingly, none of this is technically illegal, at least not for Congress. Members of Congress exempt themselves from the laws they apply to the rest of us. That includes laws that protect whistleblowers (nothing prevents members of Congress from retaliating against staffers who shine light on corruption) and Freedom of Information Act requests (it’s easier to get classified documents from the CIA than from a congressional office).


The corruption isn’t confined to one political party or just a few bad apples. It’s an endemic problem encompassing leadership on both sides of the aisle. It’s an entire system of public servants feathering their own nests.


None of this surprises me. I’ve been fighting this type of corruption and cronyism my entire political career. For years Alaskans suspected that our lawmakers and state administrators were in the pockets of the big oil companies to the detriment of ordinary Alaskans. We knew we were being taken for a ride, but it took FBI wiretaps to finally capture lawmakers in the act of selling their votes. In the wake of politicos being carted off to prison, my administration enacted reforms based on transparency and accountability to prevent this from happening again.


We were successful because we had the righteous indignation of Alaskan citizens on our side. Our good ol’ boy political class in Juneau was definitely not with us. Business was good for them, so why would they want to end “business as usual”?


The moment you threaten to strip politicians of their legal graft, they’ll moan that they can’t govern effectively without it. Perhaps they’ll gravitate toward reform, but often their idea of reform is to limit the right of “We the people” to exercise our freedom of speech in the political process.


I’ve learned from local, state and national political experience that the only solution to entrenched corruption is sudden and relentless reform. Sudden because our permanent political class is adept at changing the subject to divert the public’s attention—and we can no longer afford to be indifferent to this system of graft when our country is going bankrupt. Reform must be relentless because fighting corruption is like a game of whack-a-mole. You knock it down in one area only to see it pop up in another.


What are the solutions? We need reform that provides real transparency. Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act like everyone else. We need more detailed financial disclosure reports, and members should submit reports much more often than once a year. All stock transactions above $5,000 should be disclosed within five days.


We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress, including whistleblower, conflict-of-interest and insider-trading laws. Trading on nonpublic government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it. (This should close the loophole of the blind trusts that aren’t really blind because they’re managed by family members or friends.)


No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors. No gifts of IPO shares. No trading of stocks related to committee assignments. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.


This call for real reform must transcend political parties. The grass-roots movements of the right and the left should embrace this. The tea party’s mission has always been opposition to waste and crony capitalism, and the Occupy protesters must realize that Washington politicians have been “Occupying Wall Street” long before anyone pitched a tent in Zuccotti Park.


Ms. Palin, a former governor of Alaska, was the Republican nominee for vice president in 2008.


H/T Ian Lazaran, Conservatives4Palin for story lead.

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