Well, the dust-storm kicked up yesterday by the leaking of the investigator's findings regarding the Alaska Fund Trust is still raging. Presumably taken off-guard, the Palin administration and the Alaska Fund Trust have been scrambling.
A three-page, single-spaced, 10 pt. type press release just came from Kristan Cole, the Trustee of the Alaska Fund Trust. This is serious stuff.
The usual Palin melodrama is present in the first sentence of the release, citing "the unusual letter that was leaked yesterday, the contents of which are unprecedented in the history of our country." This unusual letter is an investigator's report regarding an ethics complaint filed by Alaska resident Kim Chatman. In the complaint, Chatman asks whether the Alaska Fund Trust is, in itself, legal.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. Did the governor's supporters create the fund independent of any actions on the part of the governor? Was she involved in this, or was it simply a bunch of friends getting together and creating it as a surprise. Was it sanctioned or not? That's actually a pretty important piece to this complicated puzzle. In the report from investigating attorney Tom Daniel, he stated:
If third parties created the legal defense fund completely on their own, free from any direction, influence, or guidance from the governor, it would not seem that the governor "used her position" in violation of the statute.
In Cole's press release today she states quite clearly:
I want to be clear on a point that has been misrepresented: The Governor is not and was not involved with the Trust. The Governor has never worked on or with the Trust. The Governor has not even accepted or requested one penny from the Trust or quite frankly anything of me. And I have never expected anything from her. Really, it's quite the contrary; as I, and many other caring folks across the country have only sought to help with this legal burden.
The first and only time I have spoken with the Governor about the Trust was yesterday to alert her that I was responding to this violation of the law and leak of preliminary and confidential materials from the complaint.
So, according to Kristan Cole, the Governor's long-time friend, she has never spoken to the Governor about the Alaska Fund Trust until yesterday. It was thought up, researched, created, launched, and was actively soliciting donations for Sarah Palin and she had never discussed it with her. And since the governor knew nothing about it, nobody can say that she "used her position" in violation of the statute. Remember that for later.
It becomes necessary here to take a little trip in the Mudflats time machine. Climb aboard and let's set the dial back to March of this year. At that time, there was much talk and speculation about Sarah Palin's then up-and-coming legal defense fund. It was quite a story for a few days, with some interesting twists and turns. The governor had been complaining profusely about the legal bills that were piling up from her personal attorney. Here's what she had to say then:
"Obviously we cannot afford to personally pay these bills — and really no future governor should feel the sense of financial vulnerability at the hands of those with a political vendetta bent on personal destruction," Palin wrote. "Some have suggested a legal fund to pay these bills. We'll have to pursue that."
We. We will have to pursue a legal fund. Hm.