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Archive for the ‘Randy Evans’ Category

Attorney Randy Evans: The harassment of Sarah Palin

Posted by Dr. Fay on July 7, 2010

Governor Palin’s new legal defense fund was greeted enthusiastically by her supporters.  We see it as an opportunity to help defray the expenses she and her family incurred as the result of unethical ethics complaints while she served as Governor of Alaska.   It is our belief that Governor Palin should not have to personally bear the burden of legal bills that accumulated as the result of harrassment by her political enemies.

As we reported here, Attorney Randy Evans spoke out about a year ago, attesting to the legality of the Alaska Fund Trust, which he actually created for Governor Palin.  Attorney Evans is an expert on ethics in government and politics, about which he frequently speaks and writes.

Attorney Evans posted another op-ed today on NeighborNewspapers.com, in which he discusses the considerations that went into setting the Alaska Fund Trust up.  He also talks about the ethics complaint process and findings and calls the whole thing as it truly was:  “just more harassment.”

The harassment of Sarah Palin

By Randy Evans

 

It took one year, two independent counsels, and tens of thousands of Alaska taxpayer dollars to conclude that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did nothing wrong in connection with a legal defense fund created to pay legal fees resulting from allegations related to her service as governor. Indeed, the story of the endless harassment of Sarah Palin is incredible.

As background, in August 2008, GOP Presidential nominee Senator John McCain shocked the political world when he selected then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. Her selection triggered an avalanche of meritless “ethics complaints.” Unfortunately, the choices for dealing with such politically motivated distractions were limited.

Gov. Palin could have legally made a private appeal for cash from undisclosed donors to be sent to her home address. She did not. She could have asked for a special appropriation of Alaska tax dollars to pay for expenses incurred as a consequence of her service to Alaska. She did not. Instead, she opted for the most transparent, limited, and restrictive option available — the creation of a legal defense fund, following the precedent set by both Democratic and Republican national leaders before.

Yet, because she is who she is, everyone knew that any trust fund associated with her would be subject to unprecedented attack. For this reason, the language of the proposed trust fund was drafted to directly mirror the language and provisions used by the John Kerry Trust fund.

Indeed, former Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Kerry’s trust was drafted by Perkins Coie, President Barack Obama’s law firm.

On cue, within minutes of the announcement of Governor Palin’s trust, a complaint was filed. And, the first “independent counsel” selected to investigate the trust was none other than the Alaska office of Perkins Coie.

Apparently before realizing that Governor Palin’s trust was nearly identical to the trust Perkins Coie prepared for John Kerry, the Perkins Coie “independent counsel” found in a detailed nine page “CONFIDENTIAL” letter — that was promptly leaked to the media — that Gov. Palin’s trust was illegal.

Ridicule ensued. In addition, once the conflict of interest between representing President Obama and investigating Gov. Sarah Palin became public, the Perkins Coie “independent counsel” resigned. And so, a new second “independent counsel” (with no background or expertise in the area of legal expense funds) began the investigation anew.

In an unprecedented move of total transparency, Governor Sarah Palin waived her attorney-client privilege so that she and her lawyers could answer every question regarding the creation and formation of her legal expense fund trust. After months of flyspecking every document, e-mail, and statement, the second independent counsel issued a new nine page detailed report citing two new supposed violations of the Alaska Ethics Act that were, interestingly enough, not even mentioned in the Perkins Coie report.

First, the new report challenges the use of the word “official” to distinguish Gov. Palin’s legal expense fund from all other funds, including fraudulent funds. In fairness, as word leaked out that a legal expense fund was being created for Gov. Palin, numerous unauthorized funds started to pop up on the internet, with at least one collecting thousands of dollars. The question was how to protect innocent donors from sending money to internet scammers. The answer was to identify the official trust as the “official” (not “Official”) legal expense fund.

Importantly, there were no references to anything “Official” on the website or in the trust. So, the website did not include the Alaska flag, the Official portrait (picture), the Alaska seal, and so on and so on. Absolutely nothing “Official” was included. Within this context, the accusation regarding the use of the word “official” became just silly.

Second, the new report questioned whether trustee Kristan Cole, who serves on various boards in Alaska, could serve also as the trustee.

Importantly, the independent counsel’s report noted specifically “that the investigation did not uncover any hint that the trustee was motivated by an actual attempt to influence Gov. Palin or that any undue influence or advantage was actually ever obtained or sought as a result of the services of Ms. Cole as trustee.”

So, if the original complaint never complained about Kristen Cole as the trustee, and the Perkins Coie specialists never raised the issue, and there was never any hint of impropriety, what is the problem? Well, basically, the new counsel thinks that “as a matter of policy and good government,” public officials “should” not be allowed to serve as trustees. Enough said.

The fact is that as this process continued, a clear picture emerged.

This whole thing was never about the trust at all. It was just more harassment. All Gov. Palin wanted to do was get it right and that is what the independent counsel found. At least, he got that part right.

Randy Evans is an Atlanta attorney with McKenna Long & Aldrige LLP. He is the former General Counsel of the Georgia Republican Party and remains active in the party on both the state and national level. He can be reached at http://www.mckennalong.com or McKenna Long & Aldrige LLP, Suite 5300, 303 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308.

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Posted in Alaska Trust Fund, Attorney Randy Evans, ethics complaint, Governor Sarah Palin, harassment, Randy Evans, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Randy Evans: Palin’s Trust Fund Does Not Violate “Any Law – State, IRS, or Federal”

Posted by Dr. Fay on July 31, 2009

Ethics expert Randy Evans attested to the legality of Sarah Palin’s legal defense fund, which he created, in an op-ed published yesterday in the Fayette County News. Attorney Evans disclosed that “the Alaska Fund Trust, was drafted and created to mirror the language used by the John Kerry Trust fund,” and he says “the Alaska Perkins Coie attorney found that the trust fund document (which it had drafted for John Kerry) was in fact ILLEGAL. In Attorney Evans’s opinion, “the only illegality in the matters surrounding the Alaska Fund Trust is the illegal leak of the ‘CONFIDENTIAL REPORT” in direct violation of Alaska law.”

Randy Evans also wrote an op-ed about Sarah Palin on The Political Vine during the 2008 election. In it he discussed the obstacles women have faced in politics and the criticisms that have been (and continue to be) leveled at Sarah Palin. A memorable quote from his article is this: “Barriers are built over time and they do not fall easily. Sometimes, it takes a political earthquake. Hurricane Hillary meet Earthquake Palin – it is a new day in American politics.” A new day indeed!

A blogger at the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that at breakfast at the state GOP convention in Savannah yesterday morning, the GOP chairman announced that Attorney Evans would no longer serve as legal counsel for the Georgia GOP Party. As Jim Galloway reports, “Evans was leaving her for Sarah Palin, she said.” According to Galloway, Evans acknowledged that he is “now doing legal work for Palin” but declined to state in what capacity.

This led to a lot of speculation in the blogosphere about the role that Attorney Evans will play. However, Sean Cockerham at the Alaska Daily News, which habitually publishes slanted headlines and articles critical of Sarah Palin, reported that he had questioned Meg Stapleton, who said that Attorney Evans was one of several attorneys consulted to make certain that the Alaska Trust Fund met legal standards but that he was not working for Sarah Palin.

Celtic Diva, who runs the Blue Oasis blog and is a bitter opponent of Sarah Palin, is up in the air about Attorney Evans’s involvement. She blogged, “Sarah Palin has hired the biggest gun YET” and called Evans “the equivalent of a legal bazooka.” It appears the anklebiters are afraid their little game is just about to be over.

Whatever his role will be, Governor Palin couldn’t have asked for a more qualified attorney to be involved. Attorney Evans has a formidable resume and is a prolific writer and frequent speaker on ethics in government and politics. Evans has been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America.” If he does indeed serve as legal counsel for Sarah Palin, as he has for many other political figures, including Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert, her cause, and ultimately, that of the country she loves, will be well-served.

 

The Palin trust fund: the rest of the story

Fayette County News
2009-07-30

By Randy Evans

Having created The Alaska Fund Trust, I can tell you that the suggestions of illegality referenced in various Associated Press stories (which were then repeated on various cable news stories) are absolutely untrue. The truth of the matter is that the trust, which was created to help pay and defray the legal expenses associated with endless frivolous attacks against former Gov. Sarah Palin, was specifically patterned after a number of well recognized legal expense fund trusts of prior Presidential candidates as well as other high profile public servants – both Democratic and Republican.

As with the other trusts (which were subject to intense media scrutiny as well as scrutiny by well-financed political opponents and experienced lawyers of both parties), there is and was no impropriety in the creation or operation of the trust and any suggestion to the contrary is candidly absurd.

So, as Paul Harvey would have put it – here is the rest of the story.

The Alaska Fund Trust, was drafted and created to mirror the language used by the John Kerry Trust fund (named the “Fund for Truth and Honor”). This was by design (although the name “The Alaska Fund Trust” was not as clever). The idea was that if it was good enough for the leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States, then it should be good enough for the Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

Here is what the media does not report. The John Kerry Trust Fund was drafted and created by a very well respected international law firm named Perkins Coie, a huge presence in Washington, D.C. Indeed, Perkins Coie is the lead counsel for the Democratic National Committee, President Obama, and many other national Democratic leaders. Its website touts its reach and expertise in political law matters on behalf of a virtual who’s who of Democratic politics.

Given its expertise, when an outside firm was selected to spearhead the investigation of The Alaska Fund Trust, it was not surprising that Perkins Coie’s Alaska office would be selected. Aside from the political implications of having President Obama’s and the Democratic National Committee’s law firm review a trust aimed at helping with the legal expenses associated with defending the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, the Perkins Coie firm seemed like a reasonable choice. (Of course, this is like saying, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?)

Then came the surprise. On July 14, 2009, eleven (11) days after Palin announced that she would resign, the Alaska Perkins Coie attorney submitted his conclusions about the Alaska Fund Trust. In a “CONFIDENTIAL” report (that was promptly leaked to the media in violation of Alaska law), the Alaska Perkins Coie attorney found that the trust fund document (which it had drafted for John Kerry) was in fact ILLEGAL.

Make no mistake, the Alaska Fund Trust is the exact same structure and fund created for and used by President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State and former Presidential candidate (then Senator) Hillary Clinton, former Presidential candidate (then House Minority Leader) Richard Gephardt (also represented by Perkins Coie), Senator Ted Stephens, and many, many others – from both political parties. (At the time of its creation, the Alaska Fund Trust posted all of these trust fund documents on the Alaska Fund Trust website for easy comparison and validation.)

So how could President Obama’s law firm conclude that the trust fund it drafted was illegal? Well, the gist of the “CONFIDENTIAL REPORT” is that any payment of legal fees incurred defending against frivolous complaints necessarily involved an illegal personal benefit. Of course, no explanation is given why such funds were not illegal for John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Richard Gephardt, Ted Stephens (from Alaska), and so on.

Significantly, NO ONE with any experience in legal expense trust funds (including the Perkins Coie attorneys experienced in this area) has ever contended (or even suggested) that the trust fund as set up (following the Perkins Coie model for legal expense fund trusts – indeed the gold standard for legal expense trust funds) violates any law – Alaska, IRS, or federal.

The fact is that, as evidenced by the detailed legal memorandum released by the trust, the numerous trust agreements (including those prepared by Perkins Coie itself), the legal writings on the subject, and the positions of every governmental agency to consider such trusts, the Alaska Fund Trust is not only legal, but it is the most restrictive and transparent trust of any well-known public servant in history.

In the end, the only illegality in the matters surrounding the Alaska Fund Trust is the illegal leak of the ‘CONFIDENTIAL REPORT” in direct violation of Alaska law, not anything to do with the trust itself.

But then, no one reports on that. Welcome to the world of Sarah Palin.

(Evans is a columnist for this paper and a longtime Georgia attorney with strong ties to the Republican Party)

http://www.fayettedailynews.com/article.php?id_news=4001

See also:

A new lawyer for Gov. Palin? (Updated with Palin saying it’s not true) http://community.adn.com/alaska/node/141180
 
Atlantan Created Palin’s Defense Fund http://www.11alive.com/news/national/story.aspx?storyid=132865&catid=166

From the state GOP convention: Sarah Palin’s new lawyer http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2009/05/16/from-the-state-gop-convention-sarah-palins-new-lawyer/

The Palin trust fund: the rest of the story http://www.fayettedailynews.com/article.php?id_news=4001

Randy Evans http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Randy_Evans

Randy Evans http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Evans

Randy Evans: The man behind Palin’s legal defense fund http://www.gop12.com/2009/07/randy-evans-man-behind-palins-legal.html

Report: Can Sarah Palin Defend Herself With Defense Fund? http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/palin_defense_fund/2009/07/22/238900.html

“Sarah Palin is a nice enough person, but…” http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/political-boxers/sarah-palin-is-a-nice-enough-person-but/

Posted in Alaska, Alaska Fund Trust, Attorney Randy Evans, ethics, legal defense fund, Randy Evans, Republican, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Atlanta Attorney Who Set Up Palin’s Legal Fund Is Ethics Expert

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on July 23, 2009

Atlanta attorney Randy Evans has stepped forward to vouch for the legality of Governor Sarah Palin’s legal defense fund, which he created.  Attorney Evans is an expert in the field of ethics in government and politics and, as stated here, “has lectured on attorney ethics in over thirty states and has published hundreds of papers and articles regarding professional ethics and malpractice”. What an excellent choice of attorney to set up a legal defense fund to defend Governor Palin against ethics complaints by her political opponents!

 

Atlantan Created Palin’s Defense Fund

 

Posted By: Jaye Watson
11Alive.com
Updated 7/22/2009 8:08:44 PM

ATLANTA — Atlantan Randy Evans created the legal defense fund for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Evans is former general counsel for Georgia’s Republican party and a senior partner at McKenna, Long, and Aldridge.

He said, “There were some folks who reached out to me who knew I had some experience preparing legal defense funds.” Evans stepped forward, revealing it was he who prepared the fund, just days the release of a report that found Palin should not be able to use the money.

Thomas Daniel, an investigator for the state personnel board writes in the report, “That the fund was trading on Ms. Palin’s status as a public official to solicit donations and that contributions to it could amount to improper gifts under Alaska Law.”

Evans calls the report “absolutely ridiculous.”

“This is the gold standard in legal defense funds. It parallels the funds created by John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Senator Ted Stevens who’s from Alaska. It meets every provision for both the IRS, federal election laws and the laws of the state of Alaska,” Evans said.

Evans says Palin’s decision to resign has nothing to do with the report and her announcement came more than a week and a half before the report was even released.

“The governor cares deeply and loves the state of Alaska and that all of the things associated with her became a distraction. It became a distraction in terms of being able to get anything done,” he said. Evans is in Washington, D.C. for the next few days to make the cable news rounds.

http://www.11alive.com/news/national/story.aspx?storyid=132865&catid=166

See also:

Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP Just Lost Their Entire Political Law Practice…
http://www.politicalvine.com/news/newsview8963.html

Randy Evans
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Evans

Posted in Alaska, Alaska Fund Trust, Attorney Randy Evans, ethics, ethics complaint, Governor Sarah Palin, legal defense fund, Randy Evans, Republican, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »