Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vetting Sarah Palin: Other Palin Campaign Contributions

In 1998, she gave money to State Sen. Lyda Green (who today thinks she's unprepared to be governor, much less vice president or president) and one Robin Taylor, who lost to Tony Knowles

Vetting Sarah Palin: Victor Kohring, a project of the National Institute on Money in State Politics, reveals that presumptive Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave $100 to the campaign of Republican State Representative Victor Kohring.

Kohring, of course, is currently in prison for corruption-related activities.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Former Rep. Victor Kohring, who had been elected to represent Wasilla and the Mat-Su for 12 years, today became a convicted felon.

A jury handed down the verdict just after 1:30 p.m.. The panel found him guilty on three of four charges.

Kohring was convicted of conspiracy, bribery and attempted extortion, but found not guilty of extortion.

Of course, this doesn't necessary imply anything about Gov. Palin. However, given her surprising win that year over Mayor John Stein, it's likely she had some help.

Just how well did Sarah Palin know Victor Kohring? Was she involved? The McCain/Palin campaign will have to answer these questions.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Mother of the Wasilla Sales Tax

So not only did she want to raise the tax, but she played a central role in creating a new tax in Wasilla

Voters in Wasilla bucked tradition Tuesday and, by a slim margin, approved plans to start a police department financed by the city's first-ever sales tax. "I'd feel safer saying this if the margin was wider, but I think Wasilla finally sees the light. People see the need for change," said Sarah Palin, 28. Palin, a political newcomer, was one of two supporters of the police-sales tax plan elected to the city council Tuesday.

Granted, a police department would be common sense anywhere except Alaska. But still, she's a tax-hiker.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Pat Buchanan Supporter

Wow, she just gets scarier and scarier.

Sarah Palin seems to have been one of those people who intentionally voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000.

July 17, 1999, from the Associated Press State & Local Wire:

Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska.
"I'm hoping the people of Alaska will disagree that we need a candidate anointed by Washington, D.C.," he said to a group of three dozen supporters.

Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage.

What does this tell us? Among other things, she's almost certainly anti-Israel, given the centrality of "America First" (which for Buchanan is code for "get the country out of the hands of the Jewish elite") policy to the Buchanan campaign.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Supporter of Higher Taxes

Some conservative she is. She advocated and succeeded in raising the sales tax to pay for a sports arena.

Shouldn't that be in the purview of the private sector, Governor Palin?

From AP State & Local Wire, October 6, 2001:

The Wasilla City Council is considering a measure to raise the city sales tax to pay for a new multiuse sports arena that would include a hockey rink and basketball courts.
Supporters of the center, including Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and many sports buffs, say they need more places to play indoor sports. The area's sole indoor rink at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena is so booked there are no openings until March, said clerk Stephanie Duboc.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Co-Chaired Steve Forbes Campaign

Steve Forbes? Seriously? Not to mention that a certain John McCain was, in fact, running in the primary and was derailed only by the Karl Rove's fictional black baby story.

From the Associate Press State & Local Wire, August 7th, 1999.

State Sen. Mike Miller of Fairbanks will head the Alaska campaign chairman for Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, campaign officials said.

Joining the Fairbanks Republican on the leadership committee will be Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and former state GOP chairman Pete Hallgren, who will serve as co-chairs.

Vetting Sarah Palin: Irl Stambaugh, Walt Monegan and Cronyism

It seems that John McCain's vice presidential pick Sarah Palin is not squeaky clean. In fact, she may be as corrupt as pretty much every other still living Alaskan Republican to have held statewide office (the Murkowskis, Ted Stevens, Don Young pretty much covers it).

It seems that in 1997, she almost got recalled as mayor of Wasilla?

What led to this? Seems she fired the city police chief and library director.

Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin fired the city's police chief and the library director without warning Thursday, accusing them of not fully supporting her efforts to govern. Irl Stambaugh and Mary Ellen Emmons said letters signed by Palin were dropped on their desks Thursday afternoon telling them their jobs were over as of Feb. 13 and that they no longer needed to report to work.

"Not fully supporting her efforts to govern" seems to have meant, "supporting her opponent, John Stein, in the 1996 election"

This led Police Chief Stambaugh to sue for breach of contract.

Three years later (via March 2nd, 2000's AP State and Local Wire), a federal judge ruled in favor of Palin. Not that she fired him for an ethical reason, though.

No, his ruling was that Alaska state law allows mayors to fire the chief of police for whatever reason he or she wanted.

But Singleton said that under state law, police chiefs serve at the behest of the mayor unless otherwise specified by city ordinance. Stein, the former mayor, had worked out an agreement with Stambaugh forbidding termination without cause, but the city council never voted on it, Singleton ruled.

So, essentially, Sarah Palin put personal loyalty over the safety of the people of Wasilla, Alaska and got away with it.

Of course, we've heard about how she did the same thing recently with Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.

So for Sarah Palin, security does not come first. Like George Bush, it takes a backseat to personal loyalty and cronyism.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

John McCain Wants to Bring Back to the Draft

This is assuming that he does want to catch bin Laden.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, today, August 20th:

QUESTIONER: If we don’t reenact the draft, I don’t think we’ll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.


MCCAIN: Ma’am, let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back on Track in Los Angeles

Good news. The Los Angeles County Supervisors have had a change of heart. And it's conservative Republican Don Knabe, not short-sighted & petty Democratic Supervisor of Eastern LA County Gloria Molina, who blocked the measure the first time.

Don Knabe's office:

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has announced that at the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors, he will enter a motion to reconsider the Board’s previous vote on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) sales tax measure. Supervisor Knabe has also decided that at the time of the reconsideration he will change his vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes.’

Why, you might ask, did Supervisor Knabe have this change of heart. Was it because he realized that a far more solid rail transit system is critical for the Los Angeles area's future? Of course not. Here's the real reason:

This morning, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk informed the Board of Supervisors that the costs of a concurrent election, with the MTA sales tax appearing as a totally separate ballot in the November election, would cost taxpayers an additional $10.3 million.

The MTA had already justifiably planned to sue to get the measure on the ballot. And being a 'fiscal conservative,' Don Knabe just couldn't bear that.

Although I am against the sales tax plan, I cannot in good conscience burden County residents with over $10 million in higher election costs. The taxpayers will have to pay for these costs, and that is something I will not allow to happen. Additionally, the separate ballots, voter guides, and other resources needed to conduct a separate election on the same day as the Presidential Election could cause unnecessary confusion and challenges for voters. This upcoming election is the most important in many years, and voters deserve better than a potential disaster at their polling place.

Still, Supervisor Knabe deserves plaudits for allowing LA County to avoid the nonsensical additional expenses.

Of course, the supervisors approving putting it on the ballot is not enough, not by California's silly, silly standards. See, even though the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority covers LA County, and only LA County, and the proposed sales tax would affect only LA County, the entire state legislature in addition to the Board of Supervisors must approve the sales tax increase before it can even go on the ballot. And Assemblyman Mike Feuer(D-LA)'s not only still has to pass the Senate, it faces Governor Schwarzenegger's threat of blanket vetoes till the budget passes.

And after all that, the voters still have to approve it. Still, it's at least back on track.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Note to Skip Cramer, Rail Spurs Density

From Jacksonville, FL; a terribly, terribly sprawled city that probably makes Atlanta look good in comparison.

Executive Director Skip Cramer says one thing is clear; more roads will not be a major part of the solution.

"The key is we have got to provide people with easy access to choices other than their automobiles," Cramer said.

He says land management, meaning getting people to live more closely together, will makes trains, busses, trolleys and street cars more feasible.

"That we look for higher density development in Jacksonville so that we can support things like light rail, and support these extended rapid bus transit lanes," Cramer added.

Once there's a rail line in place (or better yet, several), density will start happening because it's livable and attractive.