We have been going through the SarahPac disbursements (as have all the other bloggers) and certain items caught our eye.
Krobar Studios is one of them. Kurt Robar received a total of $51,405 to develop a "new website". The payments were made in August and September but... no new website to be seen. SarahPac website is very simple, so it definitely needs the touch of a creative genius. For that amount of money, we should expect an incredibly sophisticated new website. Kurt would have been working on it for 5 months now, it must be a state-of-the-art new site.
SarahPac must be very generous and have a lot of faith in Kurt. It looks like they paid him upfront...
We found out something else, quite interesting: Krobar designed the Alaska Fund Trust website. Yes, the very website that asks for money from gullible people, which can be used for any purpose by Sarah Palin and her family, at the discretion of the sole trustee, Kristan Cole.
From ADN, in April, 2009:
Stapleton said that Palin had one request when she agreed to allow Cole to launch a legal-expense fund: keep it in Alaska. To that end, they chose a company named Krobar.
It would make more sense to pay Kurt after seeing some results, but is SarahPac allowed to pay for the AFT's website or anything else connected to it? We don't have the financial reports for the "legal" fund, so we don't know when or how much Krobar was paid to develop a very simple, straightforward website like the Alaska Fund Trust's.
$51,405 is a lot of dollars for designing a website. Was Krobar paid all this money to design ONE website? According to his partner, Kurt Robar is very talented and we have no doubts regarding his abilities:
Kurt Robar is a kissable geek. Born and raised in Anchorage Alaska, and spent a stint in Texas. Worked for several broadcast television stations across the TV dial, including CBS 11 KTVA, Fox 6 KIDY, ABC 3 KIII, UPN 5 KYES, and Fox 4 KTBY. He now owns and operates krobar™, a motion graphics and design company based in Anchorage Alaska that handles a variety of projects including web design (X/HTML, Flash, PHP, MySQL, Perl), 3D animation (Maya, EIAS, Lightwave), motion graphics and visual effects (After Effects, Motion, Shake), and editing for film, video, and the web (Final Cut Pro, Avid, Media 100).
We don't believe Kurt Robar is a Palin fan. He's simply a web designer from Anchorage, selected by the AFT to keep it in Alaska. The questions we're raising are not related to Robar's abilities or political preferences. Our questions relate exclusively to SarahPac and how they operate. As with all things Palin, there are always a lot of questions. Here's a summary:
1) Why did SarahPac pay Krobar over $50,000 five months ago for a new website and said site is still old and quite primitive?
2) Did SarahPac pay for the AFT website? Is that allowed?
3) Whichever way we look at it, $50,000 is a lot of money to pay for web design of ONE site. What's going on?
Other items made us go googling. The following searches didn't produce relevant results:
NorthStar Strategies (paid $70,000+ from SarahPac) returns a firm in Illinois, quite unrelated to SarahPac. When we searched by address, the results were very peculiar. NorthStar also produces a result for a website under construction. Could this be the one?
Aries Petra Consulting LLC drew a complete blank. They received $6,000 in December, for Media Consulting.
Aries Petra Consulting LLC
12728 Directors Loop
Woodbridge, Virginia 22192
Callisto Consulting LLC was paid $4,000 on two occasions (October and November) for Internet/Website Communications and Internet Consulting. We actually found a person called Anthony Callisto, Chief and Director of Public Safety at Syracuse University, who does have a connection to a company called Callisto Consulting, but under a different address:
33 Regatta Row
Syracuse, New York 13209-1325
Callisto Consulting LLC
904 D Street
Millville, New Jersey 08332
They're vaguely close geographically, but are they the same?
Mr Anthony Callisto from Syracuse seems to be more concerned with law enforcement than internet consulting.
This is what we found so far. Three consulting companies that don't appear to exist as far as google is concerned or don't seem to correspond to anything connected to SarahPac. Together they were paid around $85,000.
SarahPac is full of little surprises...