Friday, 30 April 2010

Sarah Palin and the Scientologists

Guest post by micmac

Much speculation abounds regarding the nature and extent of Sarah Palin’s relationship with two high profile Scientologists, John Coale -- who abandoned his usual Democrat sensibilities to support the McCain-Palin ticket when Hillary Clinton lost the nomination -- and his wife, Greta Van Susteren, of Fox News fame. Both Left and Right Wing blog sites have expressed anxiety over the specter of Scientology influencing the political process, most notably among Palin’s Fundamentalist Christian fan base.

Since this story first broke on the pages of the Washington Post, Coale has mostly downplayed his relationship with Palin, characterizing it as just ‘friendly.’ However, he openly admitted a deeper involvement in Palin’s affairs in a May 24, 2009 article by Brian Stelter in The New York Times: “I started the PAC for her over the next month or two, and helped start a legal defense fund for her. That’s about it.” (See also the recent report in New York Magazine HERE.)

Indeed. A closer examination of SarahPAC financial disbursements indicate a May 5, 2009 payment of $4060 to a Diane E. Cooley, 4401 Q St NW, Washington, DC for “legal services.” A search through Washington DC assessor’s records identifies Alexander Pires, Ms. Cooley’s husband, as owner. Pires and Cooley recently sold another house right across the street, at 1579 44th St NW. Their ocean front home in Delaware has commanded glossy magazine coverage.

The name Diane E. Cooley bears looking into. Although it appears that she may now be self-employed, she was once Coale’s partner in the law firm of Coale Cooley Lietz McInerney (HERE and HERE) – at his side slogging through an anti-pharmaceutical and anti-tobacco law suits, among others (a law firm at which the mother of Scientology boss David Miscavige also worked as an accountant) .

But more importantly, she is the daughter of one Earle Cooley, an openly identified, highly distinguished head attorney for all things Scientology, now deceased. (Note the entry for “Diane Pires, Washington, DC in the list of survivors.) See for more details about him HERE.

Although no record could be found for either Diane Cooley nor Diane Pires in the Scientology internet databases, this is curious, indeed. After all, is Palin not sufficiently well greased, legally? Amply covered by the Baker & Hostetler of campaign compliance fame, in concert with Kim Daniels of the ultra-right wing Thomas More Group, bolstered by the more pedestrian talents of Van Flein, et al. How many attorneys does one gal need?

And what special legal talent could Diane E. Cooley provide, considering her close relationship with powerful Scientologists, that none of the above might offer?



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