Monday, 19 April 2010

The secrets of the SarahPAC payroll: What services did "Krobar" provide for $ 51,405?

Guest post by EyeOnYou - Standupforournation Blogspot

From the end of the year SarahPAC report which was filed with the FEC for 2009 we discovered many questionable payments.

Please note that all filed SarahPAC reports can be accessed HERE. The end of year report for 2009 can be downloaded HERE.

The payment to Krobar Studios of Anchorage AK is just one of many items that should be looked at.


Krobar - SarahPAC payment August 24 - 2009

Krobar - SarahPAC payment August 28 - 2009

Krobar - SarahPAC payment September 30 - 2009

Krobar Studios: "Website Development" and "New Website Development"

Payments received from SarahPAC:

08/24/2009 $17565.00
08/28/2009 $18900.00
09/30/2009 $14940.00

Total: $51,405.00

We've all heard the rumors that Sarah was starting a website called Stand Up For Your Nation (I even took that blog name for myself when I first heard the rumors just to keep the palinbots from getting it, since the domain names were already taken), but so far we have seen nothing. When you google “" or "” you’ll find that it is a parked domain, which just means that someone owns that domain but it does not yet point to any IP. They are more or less a domain that is “put on hold”.

Krobar "officially"designed the very simple "Alaska Fund Trust" website, as Palingates reported in January 2010.

Krobar Alaska Fund Trust - screenshot

Apart from that, we can only take guesses. We don't know whether Krobar also designed the SarahPAC website, but in any case, there has been nothing updated on either the SarahPAC website, nor has there been anything new on the Alaska Fund Trust site either.

Nothing has changed, they are both exactly as they were when they were originally started. In looking into what Mr. Kurt Robar, the owner of "Krobar Studios" has done, I've discovered that his own website is and has been "under construction" for at least since the last report for Sarah PAC came out.

No new website for the PAC or any political move that Sarah might have planned has been unveiled up until now. If the development of a new website was being paid for by PAC money, then it should be related to the PAC or Palin as a politician, yet nothing is available.

So, 6 & 1/2 months after the last payment was made to Krobar Studios there are no improvements made to either SarahPAC or the Alaska Fund Trust websites. The website for the Alaska Fund Trust should not be paid for out of PAC money anyhow considering it is a fund for Sarah Palin's personal not political use! In addition, no new website has been unveiled, and yet Mr. Kurt Robar was paid over $50,000.00 for 5 weeks of work? For what?

In looking into website design and development, I’ve found a couple of places which give some estimates as to what it would cost for that to be done for you.

From we are given these numbers:

Average Hourly Rates
Student/Offshore $15 - $30/hour

Freelancer/Company $25 - $75

Expert Consultant $50 - $250

Professional Firm $75 - $200

Then, on top of that, they offer an average cost guide:

Average Cost Guide

Logo Design:
$100 - $250+ (Student or Offshore)
$250 - $1000+ (Professional Designer)

Basic Brochure Website:
$500 - $1000+ (Student / Offshore)
$1500 - $5000+ (Professional Designer)

E-Commerce Website:
$1000 - $5,000+ (Outsourced Offshore)
$2000 - $10,000+ (Experienced Developer)

Custom Database / Interactive Website:
$1500 - $15,000+ (Offshore)
$2500 - $25,000+ (Experienced Developer)

Another example is given from 720Media:

What is the average cost to design, develop, maintain a small business website?


Small – $500 – $1,500 (about 5 – 10 pages)
Medium – $1,500 – $2,500 (about 10 – 25 pages)
Large – $3,500+ (usually 35 or more pages)

We serve clients throughout the country, and we have been voted best web design in Colorado Springs. From small to large projects, you’ll receive a web solution tailored to meet your needs.


So as you can see the price range is very different depending on whom you go to, and what your needs are going to be but it seems that Mr. Kurt Robar of Krobar Studios charges quite a bit more then even the highest estimates I could find. In addition, neither the Alaska Fund Trust website nor the SarahPAC website is what you could call a high end website design. They are very simple and basic.

I next looked into how long it normally takes to design a website, and after some searching found that there are a number of things to take into consideration when asking that question, but the ezinearticles website gave the most easily understood and basic answer:

* The template design

The main work for a website designer comes upfront with the template design. That's when they produce design ideas for the look and shape of your whole website. This part of the process can become costly in time, money and patience reserves if you haven't really thought through what you want in advance. But if you can offer examples of your preferred style and page layout, this will speed things up tremendously. As will your willingness to provide immediate feedback on the latest template version.

A template design that runs smoothly is perfectly achievable in a day or two. But only when all your preparation has been done in advance and communication lines are constantly open between you and your designer. This also assumes that your designer is focusing on your website and your website only. In my experience, template designs tend to take something more like a week to 10 days.

* The roll-out

Once the template design is in place, it's a question of rolling out all the pages of your website. This is the point at which your copy needs to be done and dusted. Depending on the level of simplicity or intricacy of your template design, and the number of pages that need to be rolled out, this will generally take between a couple of days and a couple of weeks to complete.
So what is the answer to the question: how long does it really take to design a website? Of course the answer has to be: it depends! But if you are well prepared and your planned website consists of only a few pages, it is entirely achievable to design and build a website within a couple of weeks.


So another question came to mind when looking at the payments made to Krobar Studios. How are website designs usually billed? We see that there were three payments made within a months time, and yet we have seen nothing that warrants those kinds of payments.

I found the best answer again at Ezinearticles:

How will I be billed?

There are a couple of common ways to bill; one is to require half up front and half on delivery of the project. Let's say that the grand total of your project is $2000.00 before any work could be initiated you would be required to put down 50%. The other 50% is due after the agreed upon scope of work is completed. Other variations can be a 50% upfront, 25% on first set of deliverables, and the final 25% on project completion.

Another way is to be billed hourly. Being billed hourly seems to be the less popular way when getting a website developed. Most of the time billing hourly comes into play when providing advice or after a project runs longer than expected. Monthly fees usually occur with web hosting packages or if you agree to some type of maintenance plan.

So let’s just assume that the normal billing for a website design is as suggested that 50% is paid upfront, with follow up payments of 25% for the first set of deliverables and the final 25% paid out on completion of the project. That would suggest that the website design was completed by Mr K. Robar on September 30, 2009 as that is when the final payment was made (and that is giving leeway by suggesting that they made the final payment on the day of completion rather than paying the bill after completion was done and being billed after the fact).

Another thing to pay attention to with the idea that payments are made in 3 installments of 50%, 25%, & 25%, is that the payments do not reflect that kind of a breakdown at all. In actuality the payments made are broken down into more of a 33% 33% 33% payments, as $51,405.00 divided by 3 = $17,135.00, so that is more in tune with a payment broken down into three parts.

Now if instead Krobar Studios was charging by the hour to design a website, and lets say was charging $200 hourly in order to do so (that is on the high end of the scale) that comes to 257 and one quarter hours. That translates to 40 hours a week for 6.43 weeks. That seems unlikely as that would suggest that Mr Robar dedicated himself to this sole project for a month and a half, working 9 to 5 every single day for 6 and ½ weeks dedicating himself to this lone project. Again, it seems unlikely.

So where is this $50,000.00 website? It must be stunningly fantastic because even the high end of pricing I found only offered an estimate of $25,000.00 for a custom database with an interactive website, done by an experienced developer, and Mr Robar was paid more than double that.

Yet here we are as I said previously 6 and a half months later and nothing to show for it.

So in doing some searching on Mr. Robar, I found some history on him, which gives a better understanding of his work history, among other things.

Krobar Studios
1717 Talkeetna StAnchorage, AK 99508-3244
(907) xxx-xxxx


(has been and continues to be under construction since the last PAC report was filed and I initially looked up the site)

Kurt Robar’s Experience:

• Creative Guru
krobar (Sole Proprietorship)
(Sole Proprietorship; Animation industry)
September 2002 — Present (7 years 8 months)

• Owner
krobar (Sole Proprietorship)
(Sole Proprietorship; Media Production industry)
September 2002 — Present (7 years 8 months)

• Editor/Videographer/Graphic Artist
(Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Broadcast Media industry)
1996 — September 2002 (6 years )

• Editor/Videographer/Graphic Artist
KTBY Broadcasting
(Media Production industry)
1996 — 2002 (6 years )

• Production Assistant/MCO
(Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Broadcast Media industry)
1994 — 1996 (2 years )

• Production Assistant
(Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Broadcast Media industry)
1993 — 1994 (1 year )

• Graphic Artist/Production/MCO
(Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Broadcast Media industry)
1987 — 1990 (3 years )

He is also on Facebook.

He has a twitter account but has not used it in 6 months.

Kurt's "About Me" on Kissageek:

(it is not dated so I don't know when this was put up and whether is out of date information)

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).

This is rough, I know. I’ll update it soon, or more likely ask my incredibly talented writer-fiancé to “help” me.


One theory I have been tossing around is that Sarah is planning on running for office again and that this website has been set up for that purpose, and they are waiting to unveil it when she announces that she is indeed planning on running for the job as President of the United States. That is the most logical conclusion I can come up with that doesn’t involve dirty dealings with Mr Kurt Robar who is to the best of my knowledge an “innocent” if you will, in all of this.

Now I could be wrong, but there is something very seriously wrong with a political action committee paying out that kind of money with nothing to show for it.

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