Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Palin was a director of Senator Ted Stevens' 527 group

This Washington Post story came out on September 1, 2008, but I do have a couple of comments on it. From the Washington Post:

ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.

Palin's relationship with Alaska's senior senator may be one of the more complicated aspects of her new position as Sen. John McCain's running mate; Stevens was indicted in July 2008 on seven counts of corruption.

Palin, an anti-corruption crusader in Alaska, had called on Stevens to be open about the issues behind the investigation. But she also held a joint news conference with him in July, before he was indicted, to make clear she had not abandoned him politically.

Stevens had been helpful to Palin during her run for governor, swooping in with a last moment endorsement. And the two filmed a campaign commercial together to highlight Stevens's endorsement of Palin during the 2006 race.

Shortly after Palin was announced as McCain's vice presidential pick, the ad was removed from her gubernatorial campaign web site. It remains available on YouTube.

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has accused Stevens of concealing on financial disclosure statements lucrative gifts from the now-defunct oil company Veco and its top executives. At one point, Veco employees and contractors jacked up the senator's mountainside house on stilts and added a new first floor, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, the indictment says.

Stevens became the first sitting U.S. senator to face criminal charges in 15 years. He has adamantly denied the allegations.

At the time Stevens revealed the existence of the 527 group -- a type of independent political corporation named for its the section of the tax code -- ethics experts questioned whether it was appropriate.

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported that several experts called the group an example of the fine legal line between a legal effort to conduct political activity and then-new prohibitions against raising unlimited soft-money.

Board members of Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service were legally allowed to raise as much money as they wanted from corporations or unions or unlimited donations from individuals -- all of which would have been illegal for Stevens to do himself.

I can't say now whether Palin was corrupted when she was a director of this Stevens 527 group, but I will say that it raises questions on Palin's ethics. She was a director of a 527 group, organized by Senator Ted Stevens, for raising an unlimited amount of money to promote Stevens political agenda "to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state." Sarah Palin was involved in raising this unlimited amount of money for Stevens, right after she termed out of office as Wasilla's mayor. She was a director of Steven's 527 group from 2003, to June 2005--possibly up until she decided to make a run for the governorship. Ted Stevens endorsed Palin in her 2006 Alaska governor's campaign:

Sarah Palin defended Stevens after he was indicted for corruption.

There is something about Sarah Palin's lack of judgment and ethics that concerns me, if she is elected to the vice presidency. The scandals of Troopergate, her firing of employees who cross her, her lies on the Bridge to Nowhere, the congressional earmarks she secured for Alaska, her extremist conservative views, her ties to the Alaska Independence Party, her attempted firing of the Wasilla librarian for refusing to ban books--it all adds up to a woman that is vindictive, corrupt, extremist, and completely lacking of executive experience for the most powerful job in the United States. And she will be one heartbeat away from the Oval Office. I fear that a Sarah Palin administration will make the Bush administration seem like a tea party--how far will President Sarah Palin go in using the presidency to destroy her political enemies? How far will a President Sarah Palin go in systematically reversing civil rights and womens' rights? How far will President Sarah Palin go in destroying the wall between church and state? How far will President Sarah Palin go in lining the pockets of big corporations, big oil and energy interests? How far will Sarah Palin go in diminishing whatever standing the U.S. may have had with the world, in reopening a new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia? This woman is crazy, dangerous, and should not be place one heartbeat away from the presidency.

No comments: