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Posts Tagged ‘ethics complaints’

Alaskans4Palin reviews “The Undefeated”

Posted by traceyporreca on August 4, 2011

Recently, Alaskans4Palin had the opportunity to view a copy of “The Undefeated.” While the film has been available for some time throughout the lower 48, it has not yet been released to Alaskan audiences. Three Alaskans4Palin bloggers traveled hundreds of miles each way to meet in a remote cabin on a dirt road anxious to see this film about our now famous former Governor.

While it is difficult for most Alaskans to remove the lens that makes them automatically suspicious of things coming from outside, we attempted to set it aside for the purposes of reviewing this film. What we found is a fair and accurate record of Governor Palin’s political history.

The film accomplishes what should have been done by the McCain camp in 2008 with the announcement of Governor Palin as his Vice Presidential pick – it details her record, accomplishments, and Alaska girl guts.

As Alaskans, we reminisced about the events of the film: Where we were living, who’s campaigns we were volunteering for, and how we reacted to the headlines at the time. Many of the faces and names are all too familiar to us. Many we have worked with, worked for, or lived down the street from. It paints an all too familiar picture of the establishment GOP versus the true conservative GOP in this state. At times we were reminded of the darker side of Alaskan politics, the “good ole’ boys” and the “CBC”, the backroom deals and the corruption that plagued our state, and in some ways still does. We were reminded of the battle and the headlines brought about by Governor Palin’s time on the Oil and Gas Commission. We were entertained by the personal video clips and photos that were contributed to the project of a much younger Governor Palin in office.

What the film does well is galvanize Governor Palin’s conservative principles with the viewer. The film outlines how these principles have not changed with any office she has held. She has a proven track record here in the state with her staunch conservative views, yet also has always been able to “reach across the aisle” and garner bipartisan support. There will certainly be some in the established Alaskan GOP who likely will not be fans of this film. Using Governor Palin’s book “Going Rogue” as a guide, the film calls out her political opponents on both sides of the aisle regarding the antics that stymied the State.

The film also attempts to explain the frivolous ethics complaints that paralyzed the Palin administration. Prior to leaving on the 2008 vice presidential campaign trail, the film accurately reports that Governor Palin enjoyed a more than 80% approval rating. But when she returned, the Democrats who had been so amiable to working with her, now could not be seen in the same room with her; and the Republicans who were never very fond of her for working against the establishment and winning, had not become any friendlier. Dozens of ethics complaints, filed by only a handful of individuals, kept her administration from accomplishing positive things for the state. Doors that were once open were slammed shut and much of it had to do with these unfounded complaints. Her staff became overwhelmed with the daily struggle to defend the Governor and meet the overwhelming FOIA requests.

With Alaskans at the heart of her decision, she stepped aside, allowing Governor Parnell to take over and complete the agenda items that she had laid forward. Governor Parnell was able to accomplish much in the last few months of what was originally Sarah Palin’s governorship, items we are confident Governor Palin would have been able to accomplish herself had her administration not been mired down by those complaints.

At the time she proclaimed, “Politically, If I die, I die.” She knew that stepping down was not the greatest move for her future political career. In what was one of the greatest displays of self sacrifice witnessed in recent politics, Governor Palin put us, the people of Alaska who had hired her, before herself and before the good of her career. She gave up a stable, well paying job and the security of safely moving up the political line in order to end the political games that were holding the State back from progress.

Though written and produced outside and despite its limited interviews and filming within the State, the Undefeated has presented Governor Palin in an honest light. It accurately depicts her time as Mayor of Wasilla, as Chairman of the Oil and Gas Commission, and as Governor of the State of Alaska. It accurately describes the political environment Governor Palin returned to following the failed 2008 campaign. Governor Palin is an Alaskan who believes that defeat is not an option. She was raised to believe that she is capable, strong, and able to handle anything that comes her way, whether it be a frigid blizzard, an angry grizzly, or an ordinary politician.

It seems that the future is wide open for Governor Palin. Alaskans4Palin is excited about the opportunities that lie on the horizon for Governor Palin and her family and we are thankful that she remains Undefeated.

Click here to see more from Alaskans4Palin

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Treatment of Governor Palin Sparks Change in Alaska’s Ethics Rules

Posted by Adrienne Ross on December 23, 2010

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com

After the 2008 election, Governor Palin returned to the state of Alaska and was greeted by a plethora of partisan, frivolous, bogus ethics complaints. This abuse of the ethics system cost the state of Alaska and the Palin family reams of money. These antics tied up the Governor’s office, forcing her administration to have to deal with this sick game instead of being free to fully focus on the business she was elected to perform. There was no end in sight; the complaints kept coming–for things as silly as the type of jacket Governor Palin wore.

Alaska law made it easy for people to get away with this nonsense. Those filing a complaint didn’t have to pay a dime, while the accused had to pay to defend him or herself. These ridiculous complaints against the Governor were consistently dismissed, as there was no substance to them. Still, much damage was done–and that was the plan. To disarm the haters, who purposely and maliciously abused the system with no regard for neither the Palins nor their state, Governor Palin sacrificially stepped down from a job she loved in a state that loved her, as evidenced by the incredible approval rating she enjoyed prior to the media malpractice of 2008.

As a result of what Governor Palin endured, the state of Alaska realized that their approach to ethics complaints had to be changed. They have now adopted new ethics rules, which took effect yesterday. The Associated Press “reported” on this. As usual, they did a backassward job filling in the people as to what triggered this change.

Stacy Drake writes about this anemic coverage:

The Associated Press published an article about the new rules back on December 8th. As usual, the AP dropped the ball when it came to performing their standard journalistic function of providing their readers with the “five W’s” of the story. This time, they completely omitted the “why” part. C4P readers understand the context and origin of the new rules, but unfortunately many people not familiar with our site, rely on one of the news outlets that release AP stories such as that one, as is. The AP is biased and lazy, but thankfully more Americans realize this than ever before.

In the end, it is good to know that no other governor in the state of Alaska will ever have to endure what Governor Palin and her family went through in those months following the 2008 presidential campaign. Given the conspicuous timing of the frivolous claims (after the 2008 campaign) and the sudden disinterest of the Democrat party machine in the comings and goings of Alaska’s Governor, I think it’s safe to say that use of the new rules will be minimal.

Also, read Stacy’s article, “Why Governor Palin Resigned.”

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Call to Action; Serial Bogus Ethics Filers Give Testimony on Ethics?

Posted by Adrienne Ross on February 9, 2010

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com

During the tenure of Governor Palin, a whirlwind of ethics complaints blew into the state of Alaska. Both Andree McLeod and Zane Henning were responsible for filing bogus complaints against her. These were an affront to tax paying Alaskans and illustrated a complete disregard for the ethics system.

It would only stand to reason now that the state Legislature would take a good look at the system, hear from those who can give insight into how it can be improved, and follow through. Obviously, it would make sense to talk to the administration that has been so adversely affected by those seeking to abuse the ethic rules. Instead, in their hearings, they actually chose to receive testimony from Andree McLeod and Zane Henning, chief abusers of the system.

Lisa Demer of the ADN reports:

A legislative committee on Monday took up ethics issues that erupted during the Palin administration, but it’s not clear whether the panel intends to take any action.

Attorney General Dan Sullivan has proposed state rules establishing when it’s appropriate for the state to pay for the travel of family members of the governor or lieutenant governor. Another proposal sets out when the state should pay legal bills for state officials defending against ethics complaints.

Former Gov. Sarah Palin was hit with numerous ethics complaints during her 2 1/2 years in office. She said she quit in part because of what she called frivolous ethics complaints and personal legal bills amounting to an estimated $600,000.

Most of the ethics complaints against Palin were dismissed. But she settled one by reimbursing the state more than $8,000 for her children’s air travel.

[…]

Oversight comes from the joint House-Senate Administrative Regulation Review Committee, which examines regulations to make sure they are allowed under state law.

The panel agreed to hold a public hearing on the ethics measures after being pushed by Palin critic Andree McLeod. House leaders also requested it, said state Rep. Wes Keller, R-Wasilla, who is the committee chairman.

Under the proposed rules, the state could cover the costs of defending a public official against ethics complaints if the official were exonerated, Assistant Attorney General Judy Bockmon told the committee.

[…]

McLeod, who filed a number of ethics complaints against Palin and her staff, urged the committee to reject the changes.

[…]

The Executive Branch Ethics Act is important, and the attorney general shouldn’t be trying to change the law, another Palin critic, Zane Henning, told the committee. The Legislature should make any needed changes, he said.

[…]

The Department of Law has solicited public comment and held a hearing on the ethics changes, Bockmon said. The period for comment has ended and the department must now decide what to do. It could adopt the provisions as is or with minor changes, or let the matter drop with no action.

The committee hasn’t yet decided how to proceed, Keller said.

Read the full article here.

So Andree McLeod and Zane Henning, serial complainants who cost the state thousands of tax payer dollars while they played out their hellish vendetta against Governor Palin, somehow are credible sources of information? These two Palin anklebiters, whose complaints were thrown out one after another, are taken seriously, but the legislature doesn’t want to hear from the administration itself regarding how these ethics abuses can be solved? What sense does that make?

Clearly, these two can’t spot a real ethics violation if it smacked them in the face, so how does their one-sided testimony equate to anything remotely helpful in bringing about true ethics reform? And why can’t the legislators see what is so apparent? Allowing these two characters to have a say in ethics rules is like allowing children to decide their own punishment. Don’t tell me the legislators don’t recognize this. They make it hard to take them or these hearings seriously. It seems, instead, to be more of the same Juneau dog and pony show.

Perhaps legislators’ approach has something to do with the fact that their own ethics laws protect them from frivolous complaints. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that if a complaint is leaked to the public in the legislative branch it is automatically dismissed. No wonder Jay Ramras, chair of House Judiciary, could so flippantly scold Governor Palin for wearing an Arctic Cat coat on a cold Alaska day though he ran multiple ads for his Pike’s Lodge while serving in the legislature and running for lieutenant governor. Could it not be argued that this was a political use of airtime? Could these ads not be deemed an improper in-kind contribution? Yet when the absurd Arctic Cat ethics complaint was filed, he chastised the governor for wearing a winter coat on a winter day! The hypocrisy is glaring.

We can look the other way, or we can implore legislators to do the right thing. They need to take up this issue, and we need to let them know how we feel about it. Governor Palin made the selfless decision to resign because she could no longer allow the politics of personal destruction being waged against her to continually cost the state thousands of dollars. And will legislators do nothing? Indeed, something needs to be done, and by “something” I don’t mean simply hearing one-sided testimony from the anklebiters themselves.

Governor Palin fought against business as usual in the state of Alaska. Failure to act in the best interests of the state she served is unacceptable. The boneheaded decision to hear testimony on ethics from unethical boneheads makes no sense at all.

I urge you all to call and/or email these legislators and respectfully insist that they take action. Your voice does matter. I’ve included the contact information for you. (All phone numbers: 907 area code)

* Chair: Rep. Wes Keller – Representative_Wes_Keller@legis.state.ak.us, 465-2186
* Vice-Chair: Sen. Donald Olson – Senator_Donald_Olson@legis.state.ak.us, 465-3707
* Rep. Carl Gatto – Representative_Carl_Gatto@legis.state.ak.us, 465-3743
* Rep David Guttenberg – Representative_David_Guttenberg@legis.state.ak.us, 465-4457
* Sen. Albert Kookeesh – Senator_Albert_Kookesh@legis.state.ak.us, 465-3473
* Sen. Kevin Meyer – Senator_Kevin_Meyer@legis.state.ak.us, 465-4945
* Senate Pres.: Sen. Gary Stevens – Senator_Gary_Stevens@legis.state.ak.us, 465-4925
* Speaker of the House: Rep. Mike Chenault Representative_Mike_Chenault@legis.state.ak.us, 465-3779

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