Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Current NOW President, Terry O’Neill, Bought and Paid For By SarahPAC? - PART I - UPDATE

Guest post by micmac

Please also read:

Nearly 50 years of women’s empowerment within the political process have passed since Betty Friedan wrote the acronym N O W on a lunch napkin, to the moment when Sarah Palin scribbled crib notes on her palm for a post-election speech after losing a shot at the Vice Presidency of the United States. In 1966 a woman at the same lunch table as Friedan threw down a $5 bill as a challenge, and a beginning, to the creation of the National Organization for Women, dedicated to “the full partnership” of women with men “in the mainstream of society, now” including but not limited to employment, civil and reproductive rights.

When the National Organization for Women held a recent plenary election in June 2009, there was grumbling afoot that President-elect Terry O’Neill had won, in part, by undue influence brought to bear by “Sarah Palin’s people.” For some dyed in the wool feminists, had a Sharpie been at hand, Friedan’s historic lunch napkin would have enjoyed the same fate as “McCain” written on Sarah Palin’s Hawaiian beach hat.

At first glance, any serious connection between Sarah Palin and NOW seems inconceivable, almost laughable, a skit straight out of SNL ... but as go many things Palin, that which appears insensible often turns out to be true.

This particular NOW election had run hot, a struggle between the Old Guard – viscerally bitter Clinton PUMAS like O’Neill, angry that NOW had helped elect Obama over Hillary – and the New Guard, candidate Latifa Lyles, a young, African American supporter of Barack Obama, as was also true of outgoing President Kim Gandy. The Old Guard accused the New Guard of being “dishonest Obama-enabling hacks” (whew!) and the New Guard accused the Old Guard of taking over the convention, and handing out inflammatory pamphlets containing sensitive NOW financial information embarrassing to Gandy and Lyles, thus throwing the election in O’Neill’s favor.

NG: “The Sarah Palin supporters swung this election... the Palin people out organized us, plain and simple.”

OG: “Actually, some of the people were Palin supporters: pro-choice NOW feminists who decided last year to support Palin, despite their differences over reproductive rights... The financials that were circulated at the conference revealed what (Gandy) didn’t want anyone to know.”

But just WHO were these “Palin People”?

One name came up repeatedly, like a field of potatoes turned by the plow:

Shelly Mandell

Shelly Mandell, past LA President of NOW, a Clinton PUMA who had, quite shockingly to some, campaigned for and publicly endorsed Sarah Palin for VP in Carson, CA and Henderson, NV in October 2008. Much was made of this by both Left and Right Wing media and bloggers during the election, proclaiming that NOW leadership was supporting Palin and abandoning Obama.

In regard to the June 2009 NOW election, Shelly Mandell appeared as the ringleader of this embittered Old Guard, intent on wresting power from the “Obama hacks” and putting the Good Old Girls back in the driver’s seat. Our federal election ended in November 4, 2008. But not so, apparently, the virulent hatred that certain NOW PUMAS held for the “Usurper” who had stolen the throne from Hillary. It was alive and dangerous and apparently keen to have at least one election go in its favor.

But hatred strong enough for PUMA Mandell to hire herself out to Conservative, Pro-Life SarahPAC, for real cash money, to help swing this election to an anti-Obama NOW President?

Mandell, and the Old Guard, have denied such a connection.

But what would Mandell’s supporters and detractors make of this:

The SarahPAC financial disclosure for 2009 reveals two curious entries, payments made in the specific amounts of $6325 and $6043 to a certain “Glebe Inc.” located in Culver City, CA in March and April 2009, just one month prior to the NOW election, described as “Press-Consulting.” There is no related entry for a “Glebe Inc.” to be found anywhere on the Web or in state corporation files.

However, the street address for Glebe Inc, 3906 Tilden Ave, Culver City, is Shelly Mandell’s address, the same address she used when she made a $500 campaign contribution to Hillary Clinton in March 2008.

But not the same address from which Mandell accepted a $2356.80 payment from the McCain Campaign on 12-02-2008, shown on the campaign year end amended financial disclosure. That check, earmarked “Travel” was sent directly to the same address for all “regular” McCain campaign staff: PO Box 16118, Arlington, VA.

BTW, as regards “Travel,” the distance between Carson, CA and downtown Los Angeles is a 20 minute car ride. The distance between Henderson, NV and LA is 230 miles. Hardly justifies $2356.80 unless you throw in a whole lotta $.80 PayDay bars consumed “on the road” as it were. But hey, maybe these PUMA contractors pad the bill, just like they do over at the Department of Defense.

Shelly’s “surprising” support of Sarah Palin was not unusual. There are many Hillary PUMAS out there still gnashing their teeth at Obama; who conflate the “raw deal” Clinton got from the media during the campaign that “gave” Obama the nomination with similarly perceived treatment of Palin. They are all over the pro-Palin websites, even today. It makes sense in a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of way, and is as righteous as any other political position. That’s how it works in this grand country of ours.

But there is only one PUMA who was paid $12,368 directly from SarahPAC, and who shortly thereafter, by all accounts, expended great effort to defeat the pro-Obama NOW presidential candidate by publishing and distributing damaging insider NOW information to which she was privy, exhorting her PUMA “fellas” to vote against The Pro-Obama Gal.

Only ONE who, in her own words, took a “personal” political stand, a seemingly courageous one, by publicly supporting Palin and making rousing speeches for her in CA and NV as a self-described private person, an independent thinking Democrat, who was simply voting her conscience. Who picked up a nice little check afterwards from the McCain campaign for being so conscientious.

No, hold the press, there are TWO.

It would seem that, in this case, behind every Conscientious Objector stands... a BFF.

Elaine Lafferty. Past editor of Ms. and MORE magazines, Paid PUMA Purveyor of Pro-Palin Phraseology for the McCain campaign (communications director), Old Guard NOW buddy of Mandell since the ‘80s and present good buddy of Greta Van Susteren.

Lafferty also made a $500 contribution to Hillary Clinton in March 2008 from the 3906 Tilden Avenue, Culver City, CA address. And she joined Mandell in actively campaigning for Palin during the federal election. And she wrote controversial and rousing “journalistic” articles in Palin’s defense during the election.

Stay tuned, and it shall be revealed just how busy these three little bees (Mandell, Lafferty and Van Susteren) have been, making honey-money for Sarah Palin’s hive, down at The Glebe. It will put that $5 dollar challenge back in 1966 to shame.

In fact, that $5 dollar challenge will have parlayed out to $50,000... and Change.


UPDATE (by Patrick):

There are several things I would like to add. First of all, we have already received a very positive response to this post, and it's apparent that the MSM will eventually pick this explosive story up.

I am a big fan of documenting the details, and therefore I would like to show exactly where the connections can be found:

The details of the payments to "Glebe Inc." can be found on pages 248 and 254 of THIS document - which is SarahPAC's amended mid-year report, published on September 23, 2009.

All the published reports and documents by SarahPAC can be accessed on THIS page.


Glebe Inc - Item Disbursement 1

Glebe Inc - Item Disbursement 2


The donation by Shelly Mandell for Hillary Clinton can be found HERE.


Shelly Mandell - Donation to Hillary Clinton


Information about the records regarding the property 3906 Tilden Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232 can for example be found HERE.


3906 Tilden Avenue - Culver City

3906 Tilden Avenue - Culver City - 2


Furthermore, in order to give full credit, I would like to mention that our valued friend from Alaska, Barb Dwyer, spotted the connection between Glebe Inc. and Shelly Mandell already two months ago and commented about it on Palingates.


Please have also a look at this highly informative article by Megan Carpentier on Jezebel about Elaine Lafferty and her support for Sarah Palin.

More updates will follow!


UPDATE 2 (by Patrick):

Have you seen what Elaine Lafferty wrote about Sarah Palin in the "Daily Beast" back in October 2008? Wow...I guess somebody is in love. Excerpts:

"Now by “smart,” I don't refer to a person who is wily or calculating or nimble in the way of certain talented athletes who we admire but suspect don't really have serious brains in their skulls. I mean, instead, a mind that is thoughtful, curious, with a discernable pattern of associative thinking and insight. Palin asks questions, and probes linkages and logic that bring to mind a quirky law professor I once had. Palin is more than a “quick study”; I'd heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts. What is often called her “confidence” is actually a rarity in national politics: I saw a woman who knows exactly who she is.

For all those old enough to remember Senator Sam Ervin, the brilliant strict constitutional constructionist and chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee whose patois included “I'm just a country lawyer"...Yup, Palin is that smart.

So no simple task then, this speech on women's rights. For the sin of being a Christian personally opposed to abortion, Palin is being pilloried by the inside-the-Beltway Democrat feminist establishment. (Yes, she is anti-abortion. And yes, instead of buying organic New Zealand lamb at Whole Foods, she joins other Alaskans in hunting for food. That's it. She is not a right-wing nut, and all the rest of the Internet drivel—the book banning at the Library, the rape kits decision—is nonsense. I digress.) Palin's role in this campaign was to energize “the Republican base,” which she has inarguably done. She also was expected to reach out to Hillary Clinton “moderates.” (Right. Only a woman would get both those jobs in either party.) Look, I am obviously personally pro-choice, and I disagree with McCain and Palin on that and a few other issues. But like many other Democrats, including Lynn Rothschild, I'm tired of the Democratic Party taking women for granted. I also happen to believe Sarah Palin supports women's rights, deeply and passionately."

What else do we know about Elaine Lafferty?

She donated $ 500 to Hillary Clinton on August 11, 2008 - and for the donation, she used Shelly Mandell's address "3906 Tilden Ave, Culver City":

Elaine Lafferty - donation Hillary Clinton - full

Why the heck did she use this address for the donation? So far, I have absolutely no idea.

There are more interesting facts:

She and and Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, the famous scientologist, are real chums!

It's a small world.


UPDATE 3 (by Patrick):

With permission we would like to publish a letter that Patty Bellasalma, President of NOW in California, today sent to our reader "krbmjb05" who wrote to Patty about this post by Palingates:

"Thank you for sending this to me, although I had already seen the piece, which accurately describes what has been happening over the last year or so. You can rest assured that I have been and will continue to stay true to the cause. I immediately responded to Shelly Mandell when she endorsed Sarah Palin by releasing a public statement and then proceeded to file an internal grievance against her. I just recently wrote in opposition to Terry O'Neil's statements regarding the healthcare bill and will continue to fight both publically and internally against any abandonment of NOW's core values.

I am heartened by the number of members and non-members who support progressive feminist principles and are equally offended by the events described in the blog piece. Please have as many people email me with their views on this matter, California NOW is having it's state conference and board meeting this weekend and I would very much want to energize what remains of our leadership to continue the fight for the soul of this organization.

For Equality,
Patty Bellasalma"

We are honored by this response, and we also learned that next weekend California NOW will have their annual membership meeting / state conference, where these issues undoubtedly will be discussed.

Patty Bellasalma was for example one of the "women of the year" 2002 in "Ms. Magazine", honored for a great achievement: "Patty Bellasalma filed a racial discrimination class-action suit in Los Angeles county on behalf of police officers who patrol hospitals and parks - and won. The predominantly Latino, Asian and African-American department alleged that it were paid less for doing the same work than the Sheriff's Department, which is largely Caucasian. The $100 million settlement was the largest single race discrimination settlement in that county."

In contrast, here are two clips of the "faux feminists" this post is dealing with:


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