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By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2009 2:45pm PT  

Wayne Barret, the Village Voice reporter who wrote the original investigative report on questions surrounding the contracting of Sarah Palin's house on Lake Lucille and the concurrently contracted Wasilla Sports Complex, responds to the weekend legal threats issued by Palin's attorney Thomas Van Flein...

Sarah Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein spent his July 4 in Fairbanks, Alaska, issuing a four-page statement warning news organizations not to investigate allegations printed by the Voice last October.

Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Van Flein's famous client had announced her upcoming resignation as Alaska's governor the day before, and the attorney wanted everyone to know that Palin's sudden and unexpected withdrawal had nothing to do with our story, 'The Book of Sarah' [October 7, 2008] which, of course, made many wonder just the opposite.

Barret goes on to offer point-by-point rebuttal to Van Flein's legal jujitsu, which the Voice reporter says, "does not challenge a single fact actually presented in our story"...

Recently related at The BRAD BLOG...
7/3/09: Is Palin's Resignation Due to a Federal Investigation?
7/4/09: Palin Responds, Takes Offensive, Issues Legal Threats
7/5/09: AK Bloggers Push Back, Scoff at Outgoing Gov's Threats
7/6/09: Fox Discusses 'HouseGate'; Will Palin Sue Them?




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"]




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!... ---




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!... ---




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!... ---




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!... ---




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!... ---




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!... ---




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...





By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2008 9:04pm PT  

Too hilarious... This is not an Onion headline! From AP, within the last hour...

Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe

Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing.
...
Lawmakers are expected to release their own findings Friday.

UPDATE: 10/10/08: Oops. The official bi-partisan state report has now been released, and Palin has been found to have illegally abused the power of her office. MSNBC's coverage here...




Listen to the Debate LIVE at 6p PT (9p ET) Followed by a LIVE 'Bloggers Roundtable' from 7:30p-9p PT (10:30p-Midnight ET)!
Now UPDATED With Audio Archives...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2008 1:37pm PT  

I'll be Guest Hosting a special "VP Debate" edition of the The Mike Malloy Show tonight. We'll carry the debate LIVE at 6pm PT (9pm ET), followed by an in-studio "Bloggers Roundtable" until 9pm PT (Midnight ET), featuring world class bloggers:

Plus your calls if we can fit 'em in, at 800-989-1480. To hell with Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer and their professional spinners! Join us for the real scoop! Live from Los Angeles!

Malloy's show is nationally syndicated on a number of air affiliates around the country, on Sirus Ch. 146, XM Ch. 167 and streaming live online at NovaMRadio.com.

As always, "Agent 99" will be your rascible hostess here in our live Open Thread during the show. Hit comments below and give us your two-cents tonight! Maybe we'll read it on air!


POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a very lively roundtable, with a lot of disagreements (the Rightwinger, Patrick Frey thought Palin dropped the ball, while the Progressives tended to think Palin did well, except for Danziger, and lord only knows what he is. My thanks to all of them, as well as the callers, including my father who offered an "Edward R. Murrow-esque" field report, live from St. Louis! Unfortunately, Pamela Leavy was not able to join us at the last second.

We ended the spirited discussion --- audio archive below --- with my request for a quick McClaughlin-style response to the following question: "Between now and the next debate on Tuesday, after tonight's debate, do the polls go up, down, or no change for Obama and McCain?" The answers from the bloggers...

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




By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2008 11:33am PT  

Expectations for Sarah Palin continue to plummet in advance of the Veep Debate Thursday night. From NYTimes today...

"I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States," David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview.

You can add the comments of Frum, the man credited with coining the phrase "Axis of Evil", to previous Republican defections from Palin, including Kathleen Parker's call for her to leave the ticket, Laura Bush's admission that she lacks experience to be President, and Fox "News'" sad attempt at hiding an article detailing a number of conservatives jumping off the ship. All coming on the heels of the disastrous CBS interviews with Couric, which made her look like a Rhodes Scholar in her initial disastrous outing on ABC with Gibson.

At this rate, all Palin should have to do on Thursday is show up, and not pass out in the middle of the debate, and she'll be declared "the winner". For more background, please see Quayle '88, Bush '00 and Bush '04.

[Note: We'll be Guest Hosting The Mike Malloy Show this week, Wed - Fri, including during the debate on Thursday night. We'll be carrying it in full, starting at 6pm PT (9pm ET) followed by a world-class "Bloggers Roundtable". To hell with Chris Matthews and the professional spinners! We'll be talking with the folks who have been right, instead, for years! Scheduled to be with us so far: Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel, David "dday" Dayen of Hullabaloo and Calitics and more to be announced soon. Hope you'll tune in!]




By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2008 2:12pm PT  

The only thing America really cares about...


As of this posting, despite her latest disastrous interviews, calls from conservatives for her to drop out, Laura Bush's admission she's unqualified, and damage control from Fox "News", Palin is still on the ticket for some reason. The above video may explain why.




AP Article Detailing a Number of Criticisms of the Republican Veep Nominee Was 'Top Story' at FNC Website, Only to be Suddenly Disappeared
Copy of the Story, as Killed by the 'Fair and Balanced' Propagandists, Reposted as BRAD BLOG Courtesy, in Full, Below...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2008 1:46pm PT  

We were surprised as anyone to see this listed today at Google News...

We were somewhat less surprised when we clicked on it to find the page it linked to was now an error page at the Fox "News" website, reading...

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




CNN's Cafferty: 'If That Doesn't Scare the Hell Out of You, It Should'
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2008 11:06am PT  

Wow. These CBS/Katie Couric interviews on the economy with Sarah Palin are breathtaking. Cafferty's response afterwards is, on the other hand, a breath of fresh air in the corporate media.

If any serious John McCain supporter can claim, with a straight face, to actually have no problem voting for this woman for President, as that's what she's ostensibly running for, I'd sure like to hear it.

As it seems very few saw these when they originally aired (during the bailout panic last week), perhaps they need a bit more play. My god. Seriously, take a look at these...


Little wonder, then, that even rightwingers, after looking at this stuff, are starting to face reality, and call for Palin to be dropped from the ticket.

On CNN, Jack Cafferty was at least as alarmed by the interview as I was, noting on air that "If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should." Take a look at his reaction...

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




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