Not mine but rather Sarah Palin's seeming desperation. Remember this is an independent, ad-free and unpaid blog -- thus I have no financial gain or benefits to disclose for writing what I write. It is my personal opinion covered by my right to freedom of speech. Period. Nobody is slipping me money under the table nor paying me either directly or indirectly, in fact it costs me over $600 a year for my broadband access. I have never even asked for any donations to support this blog, myself or my writing! Lastly, Google provides the blogspace for free. So there you have it. That is MY disclosure statement, so please indulge my whims again for a moment by allowing me to relate the following bits of recent Palin related information with those thoughts in mind.
There are two items of recent note about our ex-governor, the perpetual second runner up, that I now discuss -- first, she announced yet another PAC yesterday. Why? According to Fred Malek, apparently one of the few former McCain campaign staffers still willing to talk about her, "She wants to continue to be in a position to help causes dear to her heart and help people close to her". Hmm... does that not sounds exactly like what she herself said on the day she quit her job as governor of Alaska? Perhaps Fred helped her write her July third abdication speech? So basically then it is the announcement of a new PAC funding Sarah and her aparent megalomaniacal personal ambitions, right Fred? At this point you may be wondering as much as I am just what exactly is wrong with the old SarahPAC which would cause the need for an announcement of an entirely new PAC? Incidnetly, even after this announcement the old SarahPAC is still functioning online and continues to beg for more money from her supporters. So really -- why a second PAC?
Allow me to take a stab at explaining this from the perspective of a non-lawyer but as someone who has done extensive research concerning her troubles with personal finance and her various online fund raising efforts. At face value this new PAC appears to be exactly the same thing as SarahPAC, which again immediatly begs the question as to why she needs yet another PAC? Why Sarah, WHY? Is it because the hammer of justice is about to drop hard on SarahPAC due to its original thinly veiled charter that essentially makes it a slush fund to pay her friends, family, cronies and the monthly fees of spokes-model Meg "The Mouth" Stapeltongue rather than actually supporting political candidates and causes other than Team Sarah itself? My short answer is yes I believe so, yes precisely. Here comes the hammer, Sarah and lovers of Sarah. Better brace yourself.
As a PAC, the FEC has already officially grumbled about SarahPAC's legality based upon its original charter, pretty much alleging hers is NOT truly legal under the rules, regulations and laws governing what qualifies as a tax exempt 527 group. It has also been suggested by some at the FEC that there are glaring legal difficulties with the original charter of SarahPAC in claiming it to be a 501(c)3 which would allow her donors to write their contributions off on their taxes. Since Sarah is not currently running for political office how can she and her team continue to ethically claim tax exempt status? It's not a campaign fund. Add to that the fact that the limited amount of FEC disclosures available also show only small portions, indeed a minor percentage of the donations to SarahPAC have actually been passed along to support other political campaigns and causes of interest to her and her team. A comparatively miniscule amount, even. Essentially it seems thus far that the money mostly goes towards furthering her personal ambitions which presently appear to be a nothing less than a personal money making venture for Sarah and her team. No pun intended but the cash cow seems to be Sarah herself as is the direct majority beneficiary of the PAC amply demonstrated by FEC disclosures of the percentage of total monies doled out from the PAC towards other legitimate political causes and concerns. So unless she has declared herself PERSONALLY to be a non-profit entity, a candidate or a registered lobbiest concern and is willing to back it up with public disclosures to both the FEC and IRS, she seems to be dancing around with the truth in a murky gray area both legally and ethically about the usage of funds donated by her supporters to her original PAC.
Her recent FEC disclosures show a limited amount of actual "political actions" or "causes", mostly in the form of donations to a select few of her fellow Republicans and their campaign funds (John McCain and Michelle Bachman amongst them). In addition, the few times she and team Sarah even bothered to actually spend PAC donations on something recognizably political OTHER than her or team Sarah, they over donated above the legally permitted per annum amount which in turn then had to be reimbursed back to her PAC just to keep everything within the law. Fair enough. A simple mistake for which I will not cruxify them. These things happen. Those campaigns returned the excess amounts when directed to do so by the FEC because of excess per anum dollar amount violations, so no problems there other than the seeming perpetual stupidity of her PAC administrators. But as has often been the case in the recent past with so many of her legally required public personal financial disclosures, she and her team may have been playing fast and loose with the truth, the rules and their adherance to actual law. The FEC disclosures I have read show that she has been just as lax at reporting SarahPAC expenditures to the FEC as she has been in declaring (within a legally mandated set period of time) the financial value of gifts given to her while serving as governor of the state of Alaska. I cease to be surprised and -- surprise! -- she has been just as late complying with FEC rules as well. Sarah and team Sarah always seem to be late with their legally mandated "homework", having to erase the smiley faces and hearts and replace them with properly dotted i's and properly crossed t's.
Most interesting to me however is that her team's actions appear to be a literal demonstration of an acting and actual confederacy of dunces! You bet'cha! She has hired herself her very own circular firing squad! From my perspective it is obvious that perhaps she is getting somewhat less than what she is paying for from her employees who continue to act as some sort of perpetual newsmaking gaffe machine. It would almost be funny if it weren't so damn sad. It makes it hard to decide if I should feel cynical or maybe even sorry for her. In most cases I'm going to choose cynical because often it seems intentional and almost orchestrated rather than accidental. On top of all of this it appears, again through the limited disclosuers team Sarah HAS actually made to the FEC and in both the main stream media and as reported on various partisan or non-partisan political blogs, that many of these very same dunces may be directly paid out of her SarahPAC slush fund. Which of course only further compounds her potential problems with the FEC and IRS and their rules. Team Sarah will probably claim otherwise but though their own initial and perhaps accidental uncoordinated press releases and in words taken directly from her spokesperson Meg "The Mouth" Stapletongue, it was originally disclosed that this was actually the case before someone had a cow (Sarah, doing damage control C.Y.A. work as undoubtedly advised to do by her more politically savvy hired gun mercernary attorney, I'd wager) and quickly tried to claw those statements back by asserting that Sarah was actually paying for all these employees personally. Sorry folks. You already said it was paying for Meg and the Team Sarah folks at first. Once you hit the 'SEND' button it it nigh well impossible to 'UNSEND'. In my opinion all of this crazy sideshow freak circus amounts to the appearance of her and her team wilfully skirting the bounds of what is both legal AND ethical and serves only to confirm the hapless antics of her confederacy of dunces perhaps even in a craven effort to only get her still more press merely to keep her name in the headlines. Sad to contemplate that possibility but how esle is one to explain the veritable Keyston Cops nature of her and her team and their crazy press release circus? It's almost like the Three Stooges, only without the funny parts! Oh wait... never mind. Anyhow, the news and press releases are out there in the wilds of the untamed internet and I don't feel the need to provide citations. I've seen them, I've read them and I have now reported them. If you are truly interested in unraveling all this crap (and I pray for the sake of your sanity) then I encourage you all to go look for it yourself. Again, I have nothing to gain from retelling all of this other than amusement at the total and continued ineptitude of her team plus the personal satisfaction of reminding everyone of their possible lies concerning her, her ambitions and the somewhat shadowy financial details of her and her political machine. It totally boggles the mind just how badly one could possibly screw up what supposedly started out as a bright political career and yet from all appearances that seems to be the case.
Whatever the causes or reasons it does appear to help keep her name in the news which is probably the most important issue for Sarah and team Sarah. Especially considering the other item of note today: her popularity. According to a newly published Gallup poll, her popularity numbers nationally are still on the wane as they have been since the end of the McCain campaign. Don't even get me started on how low they have dropped for her within her own state! I'd go as far as to say that even the majority of Alaskan Republicans no longer favor or support her. Most Alaskans don't like quitters. Especially ones that quit on Alaska. Ask former governor Hickel. The latest numbers show fourty percent overall average favorable opinion nationwide, with sixty-nine percent of polled Republicans still seeing her favorably. So nationally many Republicans who didn't have to live with her as their governor still seem to have the wool pulled over their eyes. Perhaps more telling is that twenty-five percent of Republicans nationally see her unfavorably with just six percent registering no opinion. Still even more telling is the approval rating of those valuable "swing voter" independents: a full fourty-eight percent register as unfavorable, with eleven percent registering no opinion and only fourty-one percent registering approval. It goes without saying that the vast majority of Democrats both nationally and locally register as unfavorable.
All of these factors lead me to believe that her announcement of another new PAC is precisely because they already have an inkling that the old one is about to be shut down for both FEC and IRS violations. But as has been the case for her sketchy and incomplete (not to mention LATE) personal gift disclosures while the governor of Alaska, we have yet to have an official declaration of any legal violations and any subsequent penalties or remedies, so this story isn't over yet. Not by a long shot, unfortunately. As an Alaskan I am comfortable with the idea that many of us would prefer that her and the questionable antics of her political machine just go away forever. She has become an utter embarassment for many, many Alaskans and with every hapless gaffe continues to reflect negatively on both the state and it's inhabitants. As far as I am concerned we Alaskans need only be patient a little while longer until the she and the whole shebang implodes on her, her employees and her supporters at NewsCorp (including but not limited to Fox News, Harpers, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal who continue to promote her as Rupert Murdoch's (mostly undisclosed to those NOT in the know) pet project). May we all collectively offer a deep and loud sigh of relief when this impending implosion occurs and she fades into personal and political obscurity as a sad Alaskan hisorical footnote. May we also cheer at her and her hapless minions repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot (as they still continue to do), thus liberating us and the rest of America from any further news about her, her causes and her political ambitions (whatever the hell those may be now she's been branded a quitter and hasn't yet announced for any office) now and forever. Then and only then we will ALL be able to breathe that collective sigh of releif and we Alaskans can return to rebuilding our now sullied reputation as hardy and THINKING rugged individualists. From my fingertips to your eyeballs to her ears. Amen.