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By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2009 4:11pm PT  

Will Palin now have to threaten a lawsuit against Fox "News" too?! Oh, the tangled webs...


By way of reminder, Palin's private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, had issued a legal threat on the 4th of July to those in the media (seemingly only the perceived left-leaning media) who discussed questions about the Palin's contracting of their house in Wasilla, and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both built while the state's soon-to-be-former Governor was mayor of the small Alaskan town.

"This is to provide notice to [Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn] Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law," Van Flein wrote for Palin over the weekend.

Of the outlets named above, only MSNBC had actually discussed the controversy (video here), during a telephone interview with Moore following her Huffington Post blog item referencing a potential "iceberg scandal," and the further details we followed up with on that here.

When asked why the other outlets, which hadn't reported on the matter, had been targetted as well in the statement,"Van Flein said he believed they were asking questions," according to the Anchorage Daily News. "What I've been informed is that they've been interviewing people in Wasilla about this, and have tried to interview the governor's parents about it," Palin's attorney told the paper.

For her part, Moore quickly shot back in her own defense, against the Van Flein/Palin legal threats, assailing the outgoing Governor as "a coward and a bully."

So does Fox "News" now need to lawyer up too?

[Via HuffPo, hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "IDontGetIt"]

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Threatened by litigation from Palin camp, AK bloggers close ranks, scoff at intimidation effort by cutting-and-running Governor...
By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2009 2:24am PT  

Alaska blogger and radio host Shannyn Moore isn't taking the attempted strong-arming by soon-to-be-former Governor Sarah Palin lightly. Moore shot back quickly on her radio show and in the mainstream media on Saturday, in response to Palin's Fourth of July Declaration of Litigation.

Palin's legal threat, issued for her by her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, earlier in the day, was itself in response to Moore, and other Alaska constituents, who publicly detailed long-whispered local rumors of a federal investigation and/or impending indictments against the former Republican Veep nominee.

The BRAD BLOG broke details of those allegations, citing Moore as one of our sources, on Friday, following Palin's manic press conference in which she announced plans to cut and run from her elected position of public service, a year and a half early --- seemingly to become a community organizer.

Alaska bloggers quickly circled their wagons in defense of Moore, who spoke out herself over the weekend, describing Palin as a "coward and a bully" whose defamation lawsuit she would welcome, at a press conference in front of the Governor's Anchorage office...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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ALSO: LA Times rebuts 'rumored FBI investigation into...public corruption charges'
By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2009 1:53am PT  

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin marked the Independence Day holiday by firing back at "false and defamatory allegations" made over the past twenty-four hours; noting limits on the "right of free speech"; declaring herself a victim; and issuing threats of potential litigation against a number of journalists and media outlets.

Through her private attorney, Thomas Van Flein, Palin issued a statement on Saturday in response to stories concerning suggestions of a federal investigation into the contracting and building of her house on Lake Lucille in Wasilla and the Wasilla Sports Complex, both constructed during her tenure as Mayor of the small town.

The four page response [posted in full at the end of this article] rebuts allegations as discussed on this blog and other news sites on Friday following the former Republican Vice Presidential nominee's surprise announcement that she would be resigning from office with a year and a half still remaining in her first term as Governor.

The defiant statement includes a warning "to provide notice" to journalists and media outlets that she "will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation."

The statement opens by charging that following her stunning, and often beguiling, hastily called press conference at the beginning of the holiday weekend, "several unscrupulous people have asserted false and defamatory allegations that the 'real' reasons for Governor Palin's resignation stem from an alleged criminal investigation pertaining to the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex."

Also, late tonight, the Los Angeles Times has filed a short article featuring a response from an FBI spokesperson in Alaska who denies that the agency is investigating the Palins on those matters...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UPDATED: Alaskan reporter Shannyn Moore offers The BRAD BLOG hints about reasons for Alaska Gov's resignation
FURTHER UPDATE: Sources say embezzlement scandal, federal indictments may soon break concerning use of Wasilla Sport Complex building materials for Palin's home...
By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2009 1:53pm PT  

[See update below for exclusive source details from Alaska...FURTHER UPDATE now added below: AK sources say 'embezzlement' scandal related to Palin's house, federal indictments may be in offing. MUCH MORE now added below... UPDATE 7/4: Palin issues rebuttals, legal threats... ... UPDATE 7/5: Moore, local bloggers, push back at Palin threats]

Palin resigns. She was to have been in office until 2010. Something else is going on here above and beyond what she's saying, though I don't know what yet. Josh Marshall seems to agree, noting in his "first signs of what happened" coverage:

[T]his clearly happened so quickly that Palin hasn't even had a chance to come up with a coherent cover story for her resignation. ... Remember that based on the public record, Palin is a wildly unethical public official, guilty at a minimum of numerous instances of abusing her authority as governor. And a lot of very damaging information has come out about her in the last few days --- though mainly embarrassing information about her character rather than new evidence of bad acts. I would not be surprised if this latest round of revelations shook something else loose that we haven't heard about yet."

I'd expect another shoe to drop very soon here...Looking into it...More shortly...

UPDATE: Alaskan Sarah Palin authority (and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) Shannyn Moore, who broke the news at HuffPo today, tells me she believes, with good reason, that there is an "iceberg scandal that's about to break. She's doing damage control."

She says Palin is "resigning as part of damage control" due to a scandal that is "not of a family nature." ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Earlier Today: Felonious Senator Says Will Not Ask Bush for Pardon, Still Has 'Faith' He's Going to Win Re-Election
Final Update: Stevens Concedes to Begich...
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2008 5:01pm PT  

UPDATE: AP calls race for Begich...

Mark Begich, the Democratic Anchorage mayor, has defeated Sen. Ted Stevens in a closely contested, see-saw race for the United States Senate, according to Associated Press projections.

The Division of Elections has almost concluded an initial count of absentee, early in-person and questioned ballots Tuesday. That, coupled with the numbers culled from Election Day, gave Begich a 3,724-vote lead over Stevens, the 40-year Republican incumbent, with about 2,500 ballots left to count.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Only Three Out of the Last 45 Losing V.P. Nominees Have Gone on to Lead Tickets
Only One of Them Won the Presidency...
By Jon Ponder on 11/18/2008 12:50pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Within hours after Election Day 2008 was over, the punditocracy had moved on to speculation about 2012 and the political future of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, whom many conservatives consider to be the next GOP frontrunner.

If history is a guide, however, chances are next to nil that Palin will survive the primaries in four years, and even if she does, her odds of winning the presidency are even slimmer. In fact, based on past performances of losing vice presidential nominees over the last 180 years (see chart below), Sarah Palin's chances of becoming president at any point in the future are 45 to 1, at best.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Shannyn Moore on 11/18/2008 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

ANCHORAGE - If democracy were a religion, voting would be the sacrament.

I grew up in what I call “The First Free-Range Organic Christian Church of Homer.” Sundays brought a message, fellowship, and a line of repentant souls taking communion-a remembrance of sacrifice.

The first time I cast my vote, it struck me as similar. The blood shed for my right to stand at a flag draped table and make my choice part of the collective wasn’t lost on me. I had one of those “Come to Jesus” moments and in 20 years I haven’t missed an opportunity to vote. Unlike Christ, the idea of democracy has never shed a drop of blood; patriots did. The same cannot be said of the suffragettes. Unlike the sacrament celebrated in religious ritual, elections should not be faith-based. The framers never intended our government to be run on trust; hence the myriad of checks and balances. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Election integrity is not about restoring faith in the system. Checks and balances are...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UPDATE: Lead Widens for the Democrat over the Felon, With Remaining Votes Still to Come From Largely Democratic Districts...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2008 7:46pm PT  

As the counting continued of the 90,000 previously uncounted votes in Alaska today (a full third of the total votes cast had remained untabulated), Democratic Anchorage mayor Mark Begich has now taken a three vote lead over the convicted Republican felon Sen. Ted Stevens who had previously led by some 3,200 votes.

From Public Record:

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is dangerously close to losing his senate seat as Democratic challenger Mark Begich now leads the closely watched race by 3 votes with thousands more absentee ballots still to be counted.

The latest vote tally from the Alaska Division of Elections shows Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, leading Stevens with 125,019 votes to 125,016. If Begich prevails he would be the first Democrat in Alaska elected to the Senate since the 1970s.

As predicted, the previously-uncounted early and absentee ballots were likely to favor the Democrat. Looks like they have. RAW STORY has MSNBC's video coverage here...

Three U.S. Senate seats remain up for grabs still, in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia. Should all three go to the Democrats --- and at least two of them, AK and MN, are looking increasingly likely --- they would have the 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the next Congress (as long as you include Joe Lieberman) that we first discussed last week.

UPDATE 11/13/08, 10:10am PT: We're playing catchup on the numbers this morning, but as of late last night, Nate Silver reports at FiveThirtyEight.com, Begitch had opened up an 814 vote lead over Stevens with the remaining, uncounted ballots largely from Dem districts. Details...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Isn't It Time for the U.S. to Consider a Secretary of Election Integrity?
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2008 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

ANCHORAGE - It doesn't bother me to have fundamental differences with people. If it did, I'd never get out of bed. The person I most respected growing up, my Pop, was and is a conservative ideologue. I'm crazy about him. Disagreeing with facts is fair and healthy. Arguing from a place lacking intellectual curiosity is quite another as nothing is learned nor gained.

Since my first post questioning the voter turnout and other anomalies in Alaska's election, I've been accused of all sorts of things. I have been misquoted in the Anchorage Daily News. They claimed I wrote the election was "stolen." I wrote "Stolen Election in Alaska?" It wasn't the word, it was the punctuation.

But there is good reason to be concerned. A lawsuit filed in 2006 in State Superior Court to release the Diebold GEMS Software from 2004 revealed the database had been tampered with. Unfortunately, the user log-in and password were set to the default settings so it was impossible to tell who had edited the software numerous times post election, since all entries were made by "administrator" with password: "password". So it's not too outrageous for anybody to believe it's important, this time, to pay very close attention to the results of last Tuesday's election...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2008 4:27pm PT  

This just in from Alaska, where thousands of new ballots continue to be found each day, since it was first reported that turnout in 2008 was 11% lower than in 2004. Thousands of ballots, nearly a third of them, remain uncounted nearly a week after the election. Their numbers could explain the strange results so far in races --- such as those of the felonious Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and the under-investigation Rep. Don Young (R) --- for which pollsters had predicted decisive losses for the Republicans.

Even with the newly acknowledged ballots and even with Alaska's once-popular Gov. Sarah Palin and popular Sen. Barack Obama both on the Presidential ballot this year, turnout numbers still remain slightly below those from 2004. The Anchorage Daily News, with numbers somewhat out of date from those now posted below, called it all "puzzling" over the weekend, and pointed out much of what we've detailed here in previous posts.

The following updated numbers come from the DNC's Alaska Communications Director, Kay Brown late this afternoon [emphasis in the original]...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2008 9:40pm PT  

The election results being reported in Alaska still stink from top to bottom. While it may be true that fewer voters turned out to vote for Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Barack Obama on this year's Presidential tickets than turned out to vote for Bush and Kerry in 2004 --- even with Alaska's record increases in voter registration and voter participation during their primaries and unprecedented turnout during early voting --- it does strain credulity, as noted by Anchorage's Shannyn Moore, by poll analysist/expert Nate Silver and others.

There could be some reasonable explanation for poll-shattering upset victories by Republicans in Alaska's U.S. House and Senate contests, despite pre-election polls predicting near-certain defeat for convicted 7-time felon Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, who is currently under FBI investigation on corruption charges.

The state senator I spoke with --- who can't understand how it could be that polls predicted Democrats would gain 4 to 6 U.S. House seats in Alaska, but instead, according to Diebold and state election officials, currently seem to have lost 2 seats instead --- could simply be wrong in his belief that something strange is going on up there.

But, as always, rather than speculating on any of it, I suggest another way: Find out for certain who won and who lost, in such a way that no party or citizen would have reason to question the final results, by, among other things, counting the ballots --- all of them.

I've come to learn that's a nutty idea that only crazy people would advocate, but for all of you crazy people out there, here's what can be done to try and find out who really won or lost any particular race...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Still-Outstanding Races in AK, MN, & GA May Well Add Up to 60 Seats for Democrats IF The Elections Are Counted As Per the Voters' Intent...
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2008 3:54pm PT  

In case you haven't been able to keep up with the barrage of reporting here over the last 48 hours --- concerning serious election irregularities in various races around the country --- allow me to connect at least the dots that may well add up to a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.

Now that challenger Jeff Merkley (D) has been declared the winner (at least by the media) over incumbent Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in Oregon, the Democrats have currently been named the winners in enough elections U.S. Senate races that they will have at least 57 seats when President-elect Barack Obama takes office next January.

There remain, however, three U.S. Senate races still in serious contention, all of which, there is very good reason to believe, may end up going to the Democratic candidates if serious attention is given to issues of election integrity in each of those races. Setting aside whether or not a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is a good or bad thing, the undecided races at this hour --- in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia --- are quickly summarized below, along with links to more detailed coverage, for your convenience...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Turnout Rate Reported as Lowest Ever in State, Down 11% From '04 Even With Both Palin and Obama on the Ballot
Hanging in the Balance in the Diebold State: Felon Ted Stevens' U.S. Senate Race, Corrupt Don Young's House Race & Much More...
By Shannyn Moore on 11/6/2008 1:18pm PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

[Ed Note: Now updated. See details at end of article.]

ANCHORAGE - Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you’d blame on the dog. It smells like an infection. For me to plug my nose, I’d have to overlook some curious facts.

In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008.

In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren’t inspired enough to get out and vote for Barack Obama.

I would have to glance past the 1,700% increase in the Democratic caucus in February, the 20,991 newly registered voters, and the three largest political rallies in Alaska’s history.

I would also have to forget the people I stood in a long line with to early vote. It would be helpful not to know every other presidential election since Alaska began keeping records has had a larger turn out than the one we just had with our own Governor on the ticket. Try not to remember 12.4% more Alaskans showed up for the August primary as compared to four years ago, before the Palin nomination. Don’t think about the Lower 49’s record voter turn out this year either. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that 80% of us approved of Sarah Palin just two months ago.

And as if all of that doesn't stink enough, we still don't know who won the Ted Stevens U.S. Senate race, the Don Young U.S. House, or even the race for Mayor of Anchorage and most curiously, why turnout this year was down 11% from 2004, even with Alaska's own previously-popular Governor on the ticket, and passions for Obama here and everywhere else, extraordinarily high...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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PLUS: Details on 'What in the Hell Happened in Alaska' and Georgia and Oregon...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2008 7:56pm PT  

I'm exhausted, so forgive me if I make this quicker than it deserves. And if I haven't yet been able to jump into a myriad of other elections of serious concern around the country still today.

But just a few quick facts on the Al Franken (D) / Norm Coleman (R) U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, which we noted last night (with some updates today) stands at some 700 votes currently between them. More hopefully after I've figured out how to sneak in some rest.

Here are three quick, bullet-point facts that Franken may want to know, since his was the only show on Air America which never had me on as a guest, as he simply refused to discuss serious issues concerning Election Integrity, now-ironically enough.

(And see below these for some quick skinny on serious concerns about the outstanding Senate races in AK, OR and GA...)

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2008 11:55am PT  

Working on a number of troubling stories today, so for the moment, here's a much welcome :30 second comedy diversion for you and me both...


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