Palin Kept Donations From Corrupt Politicians

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. JUNEAU, Alaska — Sarah Palin felt so strongly about the public corruption indictment of a Republican state senator this summer that she urged him to resign _ but not strongly enough to return the $1,000 he gave to help elect her governor.

    The donation from John Cowdery was one of two from Alaska legislators who contributed to Palin's 2006 campaign weeks after the FBI raided their offices. The sprawling public corruption scandal that followed became a rallying point for candidate Palin, who was swept into office after promising voters she would rid Alaska's capital of dirty politics.

    One of the donors is awaiting trial and Cowdery was indicted in July on two federal bribery counts. Palin, now GOP presidential nominee John McCain's running mate, has not returned their donations, according to campaign finance disclosures reviewed Thursday.

    Over the years, both McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama have returned campaign donations tied to corruption, expressing regret in both cases. Obama's campaign says he's given to charity $159,000 tied to convicted Chicago real estate developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko. In the early 1990s, McCain returned $112,000 from Charles Keating, a central figure in the savings and loan crisis, after a Senate ethics inquiry.

    The contributions to the Palin-Sean Parnell campaign fund do not suggest any wrongdoing _ lawmakers typically spread donations around to other candidates, and none had any obvious connection to the rising Republican star before she took office.

    Palin's campaign said it was looking into the matter Thursday in response to an inquiry from The Associated Press.

    The federal investigation revolves around an oil field services firm once known as VECO Corp., whose executives remain at the center of the trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens that began this week in Washington.

    Prosecutors say Stevens lied on his financial disclosure forms about more than $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts he received from VECO. In Alaska, the federal government has leveled more serious charges: That the company and its bosses systematically tried to corrupt lawmakers by plying them with money or gifts in exchange for their votes.

    On Aug. 31, 2006, FBI agents searched the offices of six state lawmakers, including Cowdery and state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch.

    The government had secretly taped Cowdery in a conversation that prosecutors say proved they conspired with VECO officials to bribe legislators to support changes in Alaska's oil tax structure. Weyhrauch allegedly promised to support VECO's position in exchange for consideration for future work as a lawyer.

    VECO quickly came to symbolize outsized corruption in Alaska and Palin was able to capitalize: As the GOP nominee for governor, she campaigned as an outsider and made a public point of saying she didn't want money from the company or its employees.

    The same did not apply to lawmakers snagged in the federal investigation: By October 2006, Palin's campaign had received one donation from both men, $30 from Weyhrauch in addition to Cowdery's $1,000. Separately, Cowdery's wife, Juanita, contributed $1,000; she is not accused of any wrongdoing.

    The fact that Palin has kept Cowdery's donation is notable, given that on July 10, the day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury, the governor issued a statement asking him to "step down, for the good of the state."

    Cowdery, who is not running for re-election, has denied wrongdoing. Weyhrauch, who no longer holds office, has pleaded not guilty and his trial is pending. Messages left for both men Thursday were not returned.

    Earlier this month, the McCain campaign dismissed as meaningless media reports that Palin had received at least $4,500 from VECO employees during her unsuccessful 2002 run for lieutenant governor. At that time, VECO was untainted and still a powerful force in state politics.

    Palin has $49,540 in her gubernatorial campaign fund, according to the latest disclosures filed with the state.

    ___

    Pritchard reported from Anchorage, Alaska. Sharon Theimer contributed from Washington.
     
  2. sg20

    sg20

    Obama, the waffle salesman.
     
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  5. Lucrum

    Lucrum

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  6. Amazing, you feel better...

     
  7. The pure, innocent, corruption-fighting, moose-killing, expert on Russia (because it's next to Alaska) - say it ain't so!!

    She knowingly had money from those she accused of being corrupt, knowing the source of the fund...

    What a dizzy ass broad this redneck is.
     
  8. JUNEAU, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin, touted by Republican presidential nominee John McCain as a reformer when he picked her to be his running mate, says she will donate to charity more than $1,000 in campaign contributions from two Alaska politicians implicated in a federal corruption probe.

    Palin said Thursday she also is giving back $1,000 from the wife of one of the men. The move came a few hours after The Associated Press reported that Palin had accepted the money during her successful 2006 run for governor. Palin was elected easily after she promised to rid Alaska's capital of dirty politics.

    "Gov. Palin has made a career of holding herself to the highest standards of ethics. As soon as the governor learned of the donations today, she immediately decided to donate them to charity," campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said.

    Palin took aim at gift-giving to state officials as part of her ethics agenda but has kept more than $25,000 in gifts in the 20 months she has been governor, The Washington Post reported in a story in its Friday editions. A review of state records shows that gifts came from industry executives, municipalities and a cultural center whose board includes officials from some of the largest mining interests in Alaska, according to the newspaper.

    The Post reported that the 41 gifts Palin accepted included artwork, free travel, a gold-nugget pin valued at $1,200, a $2,200 ivory puffin mask, a woven grass fan worth $300 and a $150 ivory necklace. A spokeswoman for McCain's campaign said the gifts had no undue influence on Palin, according to the newspaper.

    Over the years, McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama have both returned campaign donations tied to corruption.

    Obama's campaign says he's given to charity $159,000 tied to convicted Chicago real estate developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko. In the early 1990s, McCain returned $112,000 from Charles Keating, a central figure in the savings-and-loan crisis, after a Senate ethics inquiry.

    The two politicians in this case were snagged in a federal investigation revolving around an oil field services company once known as VECO Corp. Executives from the company are at the center of the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, that began this week in Washington.