Sunday, 19 July 2009

Paying $arah Palin's legal fees

Newsweek has an article where John Coale explains some of the figures involved in $arah Palin's legal expenses. He points out that $500,000 stem from the campaign and the remaining $100,000 came later. This next paragraph is interesting:

One thing is clear: Palin is fuming at the McCain camp, which she believes saddled her with all that debt. At the time John McCain tapped Palin, she was using Alaska state funds to pay the lawyer she hired to defend her against ethics charges. McCain aides, worried that that could raise ethical questions, put an end to the payments. Here's where things get testy: Coale says the McCain campaign, and later the Republican National Committee, led Palin to believe that they would pay her bills, but never did, causing Palin's debt to pile up. But two former senior McCain officials, who asked for anonymity to keep political peace, say there was no such promise (online finance records show no payments to Palin's lawyer). Palin's spokeswoman, her lawyer, and an RNC spokeswoman didn't respond to requests for comment.

On April 28 I posted something about $arah's legal fees. Here are some highlights:

Somebody must have advised Sarah Palin to move the investigation to the safer Personnel Board and to retain private legal counsel. Enter the $500,000 worth of legal fees in the shape of Thomas Van Flein. She hired a very expensive attorney to defend her against... herself, as the Personnel Board complaint was filed by none other than Sarah Palin.

What happened next is also typical of their tactics and disloyalty. The Republicans lost the election, Sarah Palin was of no further use to them, so she was left high and dry with a huge legal bill.

I agree with the Newsweek article on how the astronomical legal bill came about, but not the reason. She was using state lawyers, which placed the whole thing in the public records. The move to private counsel was made so she would benefit from client/attorney privilege and any dirt would remain confidential. The RNC concerns about ethical questions don't ring true.

The RNC and $arah Palin appear to have one thing in common: they don't allow ethics to interfere with their political or personal goals.


Anonymous said...

here's a whopping pile of palin pics.. including the rejects from her time and runner's world foto ops

Anonymous said...

Yes, it peeves me to no end that the MSM's reporting on SP's legal bills never points out that she chose to use private counsel - TVF - fortuitously circumventing the public record - instead of the Governor's counsel - and thus ran up her own personal legal bills.

HistoryGoddess said...

Very informative post. I do think that the gov is falling out of favor with both John and his lovely bridezilla Greta. The Gret was a no show on the Exclusive Fishing Boat Interview Marathon. Greta-wire allowed some less than adoring comments on Palin.

I hadn't thought about her hiring of private lawyer to avoid public disclosure. Does that mean a state lawyer only represents the state interests? No privledge?

Also- viewed some of the photographs of Sarah on previous comment. Her individual "natural" shots always look so fake and very posed.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that Van Flein only charges $185.00 hourly so that 500 large isn't just from him billing for his work.

I will go out on a limb and suggest that Ed O'Callaghan and his "truth squad" that went up to AK to hide the truth may have been a large part of those bills.

How else do you explain $500,000. in legal bills from the campaign?

Frank said...

Hey guys-

I am working on the humble beginnings of a book. The people here have always been honest and kind. Could you maybe visit my blog to check my writing style out, and be honest as to the book potential aspect of it?

ANY response would be deeply appreciated.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Does anyone know when Sarah put up that flag of Israel in her Juneau office? It appears in the Juneau Hike video at 8:54, it is the little flag on the left side of the window:
In the CBC video, the Israeli flag is not there.

basheert said...

SP would put up a KKK flag if someone gave her a dime to do it.

RE: the $500K worth of legal bills. Has that amount been proven accurate?

I'm still not clear how one can solicit funds to pay your bills and not have them considered a taxable "gift"? Anyone who knows the answer to this?

basheert said...

Frank - I responded to you on your blog...

teal said...

...thanks for the photo link

more hair weave photos from rummers world....

Virginia Voter said...

Looks like John Coale is going down with the sinking SS Palin. He's got to save some of his credibility at this point since Sarah has completely imploded

ProChoiceGrandma said...

I found a reference to where the Israeli flag came from here:
An Israeli-American documentary filmmaker who filmed Palin for several
days a few months ago [1]reports: "I was very surprised to see that
and when I asked her about it, she said that she loves Israel and the
she had friends who visited the country and brought her the flag."

Now, does anyone know who among Sarah’s friends went to Israel and when? It could help date the CBC video on PD. That’s why I’m asking.

Anonymous said...

Some questions for Regina (and everyone else, too):
With this being Sarah's final week in office-- and with this website's mission statement dedicated to Stopping Sarah, would you like to share some personal thoughts? Do you think that you might have, in some small way, nagged and prickled Sarah's thin skin enough to cause her to leave. Just because Sarah won't be governor any more doesn't mean that she'll be disbanding those money making websites of hers. In addition to her lucritive book deal, the PR tour that will accompany it, and more fluff-type articles to come in suck-up magazines, she must be counting heads, money, polls and anything else to see if she has a chance at running for the Presidency. She is not going to disappear, not yet.

So, the big question for you, Regina, is What's Next for You? I've really enjoyed your writing, and I hope that you find a way to expand it. When you research a subject, you do it with skill and style; you have an excellent way of expressing something that might otherwise be a difficult subject.
So, please continue your writing (and your photography, too). Will you be keeping an eye on Sarah for us and continue to provide a pleasant format for us to come together around common topics? I hope that you will, and in that regard, I just want to say THANKS!

regina said...


I started the blog to stop $arah Palin as a politician. If she leaves politics but remains influential, making waves and disrupting the work of the real politicians, I'll continue to write about her.

I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. If she hits that iceberg and leaves public life completely, I'll have to find another subject. Writing became a necessity, I don't think I can stop.

We'll see...

Thanks for your support and compliments on my research and writing.


Anonymous said...

Regina, has anyone else mentioned that has dropped "the iceberg" mention?

P.S. I love your writing and your blog. I'm glad you will continue! I still think you should write a book or two!

the problem child said...

I'll also chime in and say that 185/ hour is not that high. I have been practicing not nearly that long, and charge nearly that per hour. I probably live in a comparable-sized legal market.

That said, just because VF is the counsel of record doesn't mean that other lawyers at his firm, likely charging less, but still charging a 150+ hourly rate, aren't working on the file. Law firms also charge for paralegal time and disbursements related to preparing documents (copying etc), phone calls, and travel.

Do I think the numbers are inflated? Yes. But I would not be surprised if the bill is still in the 100s of thousands.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is - Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. (Sir Walter Scott said it first of course)

Anonymous said...

Basheert - Under U.S. tax law, recipients of gifts (i.e., the recipient doesn't perform any service or provide any goods in return for the funds) are not subject to tax. The givers can be subject to gift tax if the amount of the gifts to any one individual exceeds $13,000 per year.

Anonymous said...

Iceberg still @

lisabeth said...

The iceberg comment is still there. I refreshed the page 3 times

lisabeth said...

Now its gone? I am confused.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

I posted this on Immoral Minority earlier re: what is the significance of July 26 as Sarah’s last day as Governor:

This is the article about the trial in Tennessee of the young man who got into Palin’s personal Yahoo email account last fall:

“Shirley gave Davies a July 27 deadline to narrow his subpoena request or present proof of the records' relevance and admissibility.”

Did you notice JULY 27? Palin is resigning effective JULY 26, the day BEFORE the hearing in Tennessee. What is the significance of resigning on 7-26-09? It is not the last day of the month, it is probably not the last day of a pay period. It is an odd day and a Sunday at that. But when I read this article about the subpoena request being delayed until 7-27-09, IT JUMPED OUT AT ME WHY SHE PICKED THE ODD DATE OF 7-26-09 TO RESIGN.

Sarah sent these two tweets (twits?) on 6/29/09:
TN proceedings begin tomorrow re: democrat lawmaker's son's hacking my & my family's personal, private email then broadcasting them on net.
3:17 PM Jun 29th from TwitterBerry

Is it ok to hack emails? Go thru someone's mail & broadcast what you stole? Nope, not ok to most Americans.TN proceedings tomorrow to decide
3:21 PM Jun 29th from TwitterBerry

Her twits sounded pretty cocky. There was a hearing on Tues 6-30-09 in the Tennessee case and I feel that something turned out FAR different from what Sarah Palin expected. The next evening, Wed 7-1-09, she tells Lt. Gov. she is resigning, she has to call Todd to come back from his fishing and he has to leave his crew to fly back to Wasilla, and Friday morning 7-3-09 at 9:00am she sends out the message there will be a press conference at 11:00am. At the hastily arranged press conference in her yard with loons appropriately quacking/honking in the background on Lake Lucille, Palin announced her resignation on July 3 in a shaken, hyperventilating voice that EVERYONE noticed. We can’t tell yet if the shaken, hyperventilating voice was because she was scared or angry, but we should find out after the July 27th hearing in Tennessee.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

I am curious, has Palin made any further cocky tweets about the Tennessee case since 6/29/09?

Anonymous said...

To ProChoiceGrandma: Regarding the hacked emails, I notice that Sarah is up to her usual tactic of distraction. The email stopped being private and personal when it was used to conduct government business outside of the usual channels which are subject to public records, safe keeping and all that stuff. She also misused her government account when she copied Todd on a number of messages, and he should not be receiving government emails. To my knowledge, Sarah has never cooperated with the ethics charge filed against her by Andree McLeod to produce all of the emails where Todd is copied.

Sarah's tactic of playing victim reminds me of a trick of nature. If Mama Bird thinks a something is likely to attack her nest and chicks, she starts squawking loudly, sometimes even pretending to have a wounded wing to draw attention away from her babies. Sarah uses the diversion tactic very well. She is carping about privacy when she misused her private account. We should have a countdown clock and good bye party for her, but I don't think that this is the last that we'll see of Sarah.

basheert said...

anon@5:07: thanks for the info on the gift tax issue. I am aware of the IRS gift tax amounts - would be interested to know about fund raising to pay off legal bills. As a 501(c)3, we cannot legally raise funds for a specific individual according to our IRS designation.

basheert said...

IRS: Gift Tax rules

Please NOTE the last one.

What can be excluded from gifts?
The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts.

Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.
Tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone (the educational and medical exclusions).
Gifts to your spouse.
Gifts to a political organization for its use.

So ... what about SarahPAC (since it has the word POLITICAL in its name) - or the Trust thing?

Any thoughts???

basheert said...

I'm thinking IF she uses money from her begathon to pay a bill, that is paying for actual itemized services - does that still qualify as a true "gift"?

Anonymous said...

I really hope that the phrase "McCain TAPPED Palin" is retired soon. That is one image I do not want to keep revisiting . . .