Thursday, 24 June 2010

Alaska judge rules that Todd Palin could have acted as an advisor to the Governor Sarah Palin - it's "common sense!" - UPDATE!

News reaches us today that Andrée McLeod lost her appeal regarding the question whether emails of the Palin administration that Todd has received do not fall under "executive privilege" and should be disclosed.

It is my view that this judgement contains poor reasoning, and the judge strikes me as very biased. I don't usually wade in regarding the legal issues, but in this case, the judgement is so poor that I cannot hold back.

Download the judgement HERE.

Let's have a look at some parts of the judgement.

For example:

Andree McLeod - screenshot judgement 1

I think this is a very good argument by Andrée, and why this "ignores reality and common sense" is not apparent to me, nor explained in any depth by the judge. Very convenient reasoning!

Let's also have a look at this passage:

Andree McLeod - screenshot judgement 3
Andree McLeod - screenshot judgement 2

The judge didn't even pick up on the acknowledged fact that government can indeed choose private citizens as consultants - but only based on their "undisputed experience and qualifications."

The judge himself acknowledges that an external consultant can be considered as an employee with the possible consequence of executive privilege if he advises the government in an area in which the "government lacks expertise."

But as we all know, Todd Palin, who has never finished College, has no experience whatsoever which could qualify him to give advice to a State government. He only has experience as a fisherman and oil production worker, and these are hardly areas in which the Alaskan government lacks expertise - with legions of qualified state employees working on these issues.

The whole reasoning of the judge comes down in the end to that supposed fact that it's "custom and the right of heads of state" to "rely upon her husband for advice", ignoring all the other factors which have been named. The judge doesn't even make a citation for this supposed "fact!" Case closed.

No, not entirely. The judge then takes aim for his final important reasoning:

Andree McLeod - screenshot judgement 4

"Absent any Alaska law to the contrary, common sense and Federal Law require finding that Todd Palin could properly have acted as an advisor to the Governor, thereby rendering the six emails at questions in this appeal subject to the deliberative process privilege."

Common Sense! Wow, that's a striking judicial argument! Where have we heard that before?

Federal Law! Why does it apply to Alaska in this case, even though the Alaska Legislature has not formally recognized the role of the Governor's spouse? Doesn't matter, it just applies! Probably also through "common sense."

The name of the judge also sounds familar. Where have we heard about judge Patrick McKay before?

Anchorage judge is charged with 2nd DUI

MCKAY: Superior Court judge removed from criminal cases.


Published: August 29th, 2009 02:01 PM
Last Modified: August 30th, 2009 10:32 PM

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Patrick McKay has been charged with drunk driving.

An Anchorage police officer pulled over McKay's Toyota Camry Thursday at 9:30 p.m. for a traffic infraction on the outbound Glenn Highway, police said. When the officer made contact with him, McKay was found to be under the influence, according to police Lt. Dave Parker.

The officer put the 56-year-old judge under arrest and took him to the Anchorage Jail where he was later released on $500 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 14.

McKay has been removed from handling criminal cases, his supervisor said Saturday.


The Palins, as usual, get away with everything in Alaska. It's a done deal.


Please watch this excellent video in which Andree McLeod talks about Sarah Palin's use of her private yahoo email accounts for state business and the role of Todd Palin:



We weren't the only ones who felt compelled to write about this judgement - Thomas Van Flein has also addressed this issue today, on Sarah's facebook!

Thomas and his cash cow Sarah are happy:

"In a well reasoned opinion, the judge explored state law, federal law (including an historical discussion on First Lady Sarah Polk, wife of President James K. Polk), and invoked a too rarely used legal principle – common sense – to throw out this lawsuit. In so doing, the court concluded that Todd Palin, as the First Gentleman, though unpaid, was in essence a privileged consultant to the Office of the Governor, and the court compared Todd Palin’s privileged consultations to First Lady Hillary Clinton, in which a federal court determined that the chief executive’s spouse “acts as the functional equivalent of an assistant to the President.” And, with state government employees assisting the first spouse, Todd Palin had a clear and obvious privileged consultative function and is analogous to a de facto state officer."

I should point out that Thomas Van Flein also specifically highlights the "common sense" remarks of the judge. This is Sarah Palin's "brave new common sense world" in action - no reasons necessary, it just "feels right" - "common sense!"

The federal judgement in question, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. v. Hillary Clinton, decided by the US Court of Appeals in 1999 can be found here.

At the end of his facebook post, Thomas Van Flein has a curious political message:

"There are, of course, some remaining issues to address. The attacks against Sarah Palin will continue. They are distractions meant to keep her off message. There will be times when Sarah Palin will have to take one for the team in order to continue on with her message to the country and simply resolve matters without having to incur crushing personal debt. That is the cost, unfortunately, of public life today. When that happens, read the details closely – like the details in this court opinion. Every time you do you will see that Sarah Palin has always acted with honest intent. You will see that again soon. Today’s ruling is a positive step not just for Sarah and Todd Palin, but for all female chief executives currently in office – and waiting to take office in November."

She has "always acted with honest intent?"

Well, Mr Van Flein - that remains to be seen! And your client Sarah Palin surely will be a joy for you and your law firm for many years to come.



Sarah Palin and "common sense" - that apparently means that the law is interpreted JUST in the way which is beneficial for Queen Sarah.

As our reader BluedogAK pointed out, the only reason why the Petumenos report "overturned" the hard-hitting Branchflower report in the Troopergate affair was that Sarah Palin was not held liable for the potentially incriminating actions of Todd Palin - because he was acting as a private citizen, as the Petumenos report stated over and over again!

In addition, it is repeatedly mentioned in the Petumenos report that Sarah Palin had no knowledge of Todd's actions!

But now Thomas Van Flein claims in the facebook post that Todd Palin had in fact

"a clear and obvious privileged consultative function and is analogous to a de facto state officer."

How can this be reconciled with each other?


Download the Branchflower report HERE and the Petumenos report HERE.

Screenshots from the Petumenos report:

Todd Palin - Private Citizen 1

Todd Palin - Private Citizen 3

Todd Palin - Private Citizen 4

Todd Palin - Private Citizen 5

Todd Palin - Private Citizen 6



Another update, and this time it's a particularly pleasant one!

Geoffrey Dunn just published great news on Huffington Post!

"It doesn't sound like good news for the Thrilla from Wasilla to me. Van Flein and Palin have obviously been warned that another legal storm is on the horizon.

And what might that be? Sources of mine in both Anchorage and Juneau involved with Alaska's Department of Law and the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) are speculating that an ethics act complaint filed last year against Palin and the establishment of her Alaska Fund Trust is about to be settled--against Palin."

So there we have it. The Alaska Fund Trust ethics complaint is, as we explained in detail in a post from March 2010, the big elephant in the room, and it doesn't look that Palin is going to get rid of it.

And by an unbelievable coincidence Geoffrey Dunn also mentions a name which we have just dropped here a few hours earlier - Petumenos.

Geoffrey writes:

"According to legal sources in Anchorage, there also have been rumors that attorney Tim Petumenos -- who issued the infamous Troopergate finding in 2008 and who also handled the first ethics complaint filed by McLeod against Palin and found that a key member of Palin's staff, Frank Bailey, get "training and counseling" on the Alaska Personnel Act to "prevent the potential for future violations of the act" --has been brought into the case. What the role of Petumenos would be given that Daniel handled the original finding remains uncertain. And there has never been an explanation as to why this complaint has taken more than a year to be resolved. So much for political transparency in the Last Frontier."

Things are going to get REALLY interesting! We will keep you updated.

I agree with our valued reader EyeOnYou that Petumenos was most likely brought in to get a second opinion. Tim Petumenos would have been the perfect choice, as he let Sarah off the hook in Troopergate. However, it seems possible that Petumenos has NOT let Sarah off the hook this time.

Please go over to Huffington Post and vote Geoffrey Dun's article up, share it and comment on it so that they will put it on the front page!


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