Friday, July 3, 2009

Possible Federal Indictments aganst Palin for Housegate? By Brad Friedman WHAT???????

UPDATED: Alaskan reporter Shannyn Moore offers The BRAD BLOG hints about reasons for Alaska Gov's resignation

FURTHER UPDATE: Sources say embezzlement scandal, federal indictments may soon break concerning use of Wasilla Sport Complex building materials for Palin's home...

[See update below for exclusive source details from Alaska...FURTHER UPDATE now added below: AK sources say 'embezzlement' scandal related to Palin's house, federal indictments may be in offing. MUCH MORE now added below...]

Palin resigns. She was to have been in office until 2010. Something else is going on here above and beyond what she's saying, though I don't know what yet. Josh Marshall seems to agree, noting in his "first signs of what happened" coverage:

[T]his clearly happened so quickly that Palin hasn't even had a chance to come up with a coherent cover story for her resignation. ... Remember that based on the public record, Palin is a wildly unethical public official, guilty at a minimum of numerous instances of abusing her authority as governor. And a lot of very damaging information has come out about her in the last few days --- though mainly embarrassing information about her character rather than new evidence of bad acts. I would not be surprised if this latest round of revelations shook something else loose that we haven't heard about yet."
I'd expect another shoe to drop very soon here...Looking into it...More shortly here...

UPDATE: Alaskan Sarah Palin authority (and occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) Shannyn Moore, who broke the news at HuffPo today, tells me she believes, with good reason, that there is an "iceberg scandal that's about to break. She's doing damage control."

She says Palin is "resigning as part of damage control" due to a scandal that is "not of a family nature." ...

"The governor would not be able to continue her job when it comes out," she told me on the phone just now, before adding: "Why would Mark Sanford not resign, but Sarah Palin did? Her family didn't even know about the resignation until they were standing with her by the lake" when she made her announcement.

Yes. It seems another shoe, apparently a big one, will indeed be dropping, likely within the next week or so. Perhaps earlier now that everyone will be poking around up there.

FURTHER UPDATE: Okay, I've now been able to get independent information from multiple sources that all of this precedes what are said to be possible federal indictments against Palin, concerning an embezzlement scandal related to the building of Palin's house and the Wasilla Sports Complex built during her tenure as Mayor. Both structures, it is said, feature the "same windows, same wood, same products." Federal investigators have been looking into this for some time, and indictments could be imminent, according to the Alaska sources.

The BRAD BLOG has not been able to receive confirm from any federal sources on this. Our information comes from local Alaskans who follow Palin, and who have been keeping an eye on this for some time, while keeping it quiet at the request of federal investigators.

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With all of the above in mind, her rather manic, rather rambling, rather bizarre announcement (as seen below, via RAW STORY, text transcript here), seems to make a bit more sense, I'd say...

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LATE UPDATE: It appears that the questions about Palin's house and the sports complex made their way through the media and blogosphere during the campaign last October. "Glic" over at DailyKos has collected some of the notable coverage from back then, including these details from the Village Voice on 10/8/08...

THE $12.5 MILLION sports complex and hockey rink that is the lasting monument to Palin's two terms as Wasilla mayor is also a monument to the kind of insider politics that dismays Americans of both parties. Six months before Palin stepped down as mayor in October 2002, the city awarded nearly a half-million-dollar contract to design the biggest project in Wasilla history to Kumin Associates. Blase Burkhart was the Kumin architect on the job-the son of Roy Burkhart, who is frequently described as a "mentor" of Palin and was head of the local Republican Party (his wife, June, who also advised Palin, is the national committeewoman). Asked if the contract was a favor, Roy Burkhart, who contributed to her campaign in the same time frame that his son got the contract, said: "I really don't know." Palin then named Blase Burkhart to a seven-member builder-selection committee that picked Howdie Inc., a mostly residential contractor owned at the time by Howard Nugent. Formally awarded the contract a couple of weeks after Palin left office, Nugent has donated $4,000 to Palin campaigns. Two competitors protested the process that led to Nugent's contract.
A list of subcontractors on the job, obtained by the Voice, includes many with Palin ties. One was Spenard Builders Supply, the state's leading supplier of wood, floor, roof, and other "pre-engineered components." In addition to being a sponsor of Todd Palin's snow-machine team that has earned tens of thousands for the Palin family, Spenard hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004. When the Palins began building a new family home off Lake Lucille in 2002—at the same time that Palin was running for lieutenant governor and in her final months as mayor—Spenard supplied the materials, according to Antoine Bricks, who works in its Wasilla office.
Todd Palin told Fox News that he built the two-story, 3,450-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath, wood house himself, with the help of contractors he described as "buddies." As mayor, Sarah Palin blocked an effort to require the filing of building permits in the wide-open city, and there is no public record of who the "buddies" were.
Also...Max Blumenthal at Daily Beast asks "Did a Scandal Sink the U.S.S. Palin?":

One logical place to start looking is the affair that has Alaska political circles buzzing: an alleged scandal centered around a building contractor, Spenard Building Supplies, with close ties to Palin and her husband, Todd.

Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002.

Blumenthal goes on to report that "Prior to her sudden announcement, Palin gave every indication that she intended to complete her tenure as governor," before detailing her recent activity suggesting exactly that.

Anderson Cooper on CNN just had Palin's top spokesperson, Meg Stapelton, on by phone. She was in New York tonight, while Palin was resigning in Alaska. We report, you decide...

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