Monday, 8 February 2010

Looking into Sarah Palin's finances - PART II

We had fun this weekend, looking at the Teabaggers Ball, Sarah Palin's hand and all that. But now it's time to got back to the serious business of the Palins' finances.

This post contains all the previous photos and information from the original post of February 6 with added information, now posted as a new thread. This way we don't have all 600+ comments repeated here, which makes it very difficult to navigate. To refer to the old comments, please click HERE.

We had a closer look at the Alaska Inaugural Committee. It uses the same contact address as Richter Investments Inc.

ak inaugural google

The Alaska Inaugural Committee provided a different address on their tax return.

alaska inaugural address

The statements at the end of the tax return are quite interesting.

ak inaugural statements 1 and 2

ak inaugural statement 3

The tax return doesn't show any contributions to their chosen charity, the only mention of it appears in the closing statements.

The Waterfall Committee is a Virginia charity which raises money primarily for breast cancer screening for women in rural Alaska. I have searched the Waterfall Committee but didn't get very far. There are some reports of dodgy business in an article from TPM, but it refers to fishing trips by congressmen, financed by Waterfall, during Murkowski's administration.

Using information from TPM's article, I found the following address for the Waterfall Committee: WATERFALL COMMITTEE 20809 CONFIDENCE CT, ASHBURN, VA 20147-3924, which is the same address as:

John H. Moseman
was appointed Director of Congressional Affairs of the Central Intelligence Agency on 12 February 1996.

Mr. Moseman has most recently served as Deputy Staff Director, Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community. In his eleven-year career in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Moseman served as Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Senator Frank Murkowski (Alaska); Minority Staff Director/Chief Counsel, Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs; and Minority Staff Director, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

A search of the database on guidestar yields only one result:

guidestar search

It looks like we came full circle, with no recent information regarding the Waterfall Committee. It doesn't appear to exist as a separate entity. The only related result was for a Warterfall Foundation in Fairbanks.

I would like to thank all the commenters who posted links and unearthed what information is available about both committees.

I performed a final search on Alaska Inaugural Committee to check something before publishing the post. All google results now lead to this:

I must point out that things have changed since writing the first "finances" post last Saturday, when I could access the website. That's how I made the screenshot you can see below, in Part 5 - The Richters.

Fascinating stuff...

I managed to obtain a screenshot of the Alaska Inaugural Committee sponsors, thanks to a link posted by Emily Peacock:

ak inaugural sponsors

We'll look into the Palins' real estate dealings in PART III, coming soon.


Here's a list of the Palins' properties and expensive toys, including several photos. Apart form the new chateau, all properties were acquired before Sarah Palin's book deal.

PART 1 - The properties

Palins' old house

Sarah_Palin's_house wasilla
Palin's present house, built at the same time as the sports complex

Palins' present house

The kitchen

The railings

Please note the railings reflection

Palins' cabin in Petersville, declared value: $0.00

palin properties with others
The Palins own property with Richter and the Hansons

palin property owned with others
The property owned with the Hansons

sp new house 1
Palins' new chateau, built after the book deal. Interesting windows...

PART 2 - The sports complex

PART 3 - The expensive toys

snow mach greta todd
Todd Palin shows off his snowmobile to Greta Van Susteren on Lake Lucille

snow mach todd
Todd Palin with one of his snowmobiles

Piper snow machine
Piper on her four-wheeler

snow machines willow
Cousins and their snowmobiles in Petersville. The person in Arctic Cat gear on the right is Willow

Palin snowmobiles
From "Going Rogue"

Sarah Palin and Piper having fun on another fancy toy

sp vogue aeroplane
Sarah Palin poses with Todd's Piper seaplane

aeroplane greta sp
Greta Van Susteren and Sarah Palin looking at Todd's Piper seaplane

The famous tanning bed

They also own various cars, but I couldn't find exactly which were their own and which were provided by the state. The only vehicle definitely owned by the Palins prior to the book deal is a black VW Jetta Diesel.

Some members of the family appear to have gym memberships and enjoy visiting tanning salons.

PART 4 - The income

palin gross income 2006

palin gross income 2007

PART 5 - The Richters

ak inaugural richter

Article from Bloomberg:

Shortly after she was elected governor, Palin's office signed off on hiring Deborah Richter -- who attended college for a year then worked in bookkeeping and finance jobs -- as director of a division that distributes dividends to Alaskans from the state's oil-wealth savings account. Richter, who said she's known Palin for 13 years, was Palin's gubernatorial campaign treasurer and ran her inaugural committee.

The Richters and Palins also shared an investment: 30 acres of rural property near a lake in Petersville, Alaska, worth $47,300, according to Matanuska-Susitna Borough data.

"It sounds like a patronage deal for someone who ran your campaign; that's pretty normal,'' said Bill Buzenberg, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington. "What's not normal is that they have business dealings together.''

Article from the Juneau Empire:

Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks barely made it out on time last year after a computer technician accidentally wiped out a data file containing hundreds of thousands of dividend applications.

Recovering from the Permanent Fund Division data loss involved calling in temporary workers to reconstruct lost data. Applications from the increasing number of applications filed online were able to be recovered; but paper applications had to be reconstructed by hand.

"Manually reconstructing" thousands of several hundred dollar payments from a state dividend fund? That sounds like it could be open to abuse.

Why did the Governor refuse to allow disclosure of the mandated state audit report on the computer failure?

Juneau freelance reporter Bob Tkacz was one of the reporters asking for the transition reports.

"No other governor in my experience has ever kept those reports confidential, and certainly never censored them in the way the Palin administration did," he said.


The Palins own property with Richter. These properties are listed by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough as owned by PALIN TODD M & SARAH H/ RICHTER SCOTT A and RICHTER INVESTMENTS INC/ PALIN TODD M & SARAH H

palin richter property

palin richter property 2

PART6 - The questions

We looked at the properties and expensive toys owned by the Palins until the book deal. Before that deal was signed, the total family income was fairly modest.

Does their lifestyle reflect their income prior to Sarah Palin's resignation as governor?

The Housegate questions resurface yet again. What's the real story behind the construction of the Palin's main residence and the large cabin in Petersville?

The Palins relationship with the Richters involves a committe that could dispose of surplus donations to the Alaska Inaugural Committe by making charitable contributions to organizations of the governor's choice.

What are the names of these charities and what was the total sum of money donated to them?

The relationship also involves a computer failure relating to the Permanent Fund Dividend.

Did any money go missing? Why wasn't the audit regarding the computer failure released for public inspection?

Does the cosy relationship between the Palins and the Richters seem a bit fishy?

PART 7 - Conclusion

Study the photos and documents carefully. If anybody uncovers any other information, please share it with us in the comments section, including links whenever possible.



We have to coordinate our efforts so we can achieve the best results. When a telephone number or an e-mail address is unearthed in the course of readers research, we would prefer to receive the information via e-mail rather than have it posted as a comment. The reason is quite simple: these contacts could turn out to provide valuable sources for further research. One tactful phone call or e-mail from Patrick or myself could have much better results than a flood of calls or e-mails from a number of people.

We believe that "calls to action" work very well in the case of contacting organizations like CREW, ACLU, IRS, FBI and tipsters lines for major media outlets. But they don't work so well when they involve individuals. We don't really know the person at the receiving end and a flood of sudden communications can make the person very defensive and all the potential information could be lost.

If you come across any information as described above, please contact

This is a good resource for further digging:

A big thank you for all your efforts, what a team!

Supporting documents and resources:
Tax return 2006
Tax return 2007
Financial disclosure
Alaska Inaugural Committe report
Mat-Su Borough property search

Gryphen's post about the cabin
Article from the ADN


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