Libel is a term that many liberals in the press or blogosphere feel doesn’t apply to them, and they are at it again.  One of the speculations out there about Governor Sarah Palin’s resignation is because there is a federal indictment coming on embezzlement charges from when she was mayor of Wasilla while the Wasilla Sports Complex was being built.  I’ve found this reported here, and blogged about here, here, and here.

Now if there was really anything to this, don’t you think it would have been dug up since the DNC and MSM sent an army up there after she was tapped?  I mean really?  Carl Cameron of Fox News had said numerous times he hasn’t heard a word about scandal from his Alaska sources, unlike Mark Sanford where there were rumors floating around before his press conference.

Governor Palin’s lawyer is nipping this in the bud, as she tweeted about tonight pointing those who follower her to a letter her attorney, Thomas V. Van Flein, wrote that has been posted on GretaWire, but for some reason she didn’t have the full letter.  I found it here at

July 4, 2009

On July 3rd, 2009, Governor Sarah Palin announced her intent to resign her gubernatorial duties and transfer the powers of Governor to Lt. Governor Sean Parnell.

Almost immediately afterwards, several unscrupulous people have asserted false and defamatory allegations that the “real” reasons for Governor Palin’s resignation stem from an alleged criminal investigation pertaining to the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex. This canard was first floated by Democrat operatives in September 2008 during the national campaign and followed up by sympathetic Democratic writers.1. It was easily rebutted then as one of many fabrications about Sarah Palin. Just as power abhors a vacuum, modern journalism apparently abhors any type of due diligence and fact checking before scurrilous allegations are repeated as fact.

The history of the Wasilla Sports Complex is publicly known. Contrary to the insinuation that as Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin “personally” oversaw bidding, construction, funding and accounting for the project (and thus, the allegation goes, “embezzled” from the project), the truth is far more mundane, and publicly available:

Curtis D. Menard was instrumental in spearheading the effort from conception to realization of the Wasilla Sports Complex. He directed the steering committee that was responsible for placing the issue before the voters of Wasilla and subsequently passed. He remained chairman of that committee through the design and construction of the facility. He was an ardent supporter and leader of civic, educational and athletic endeavors within the community as well as an advocate of the continued success of the Sports Center. Thus, as any basic fact checker would learn, the Mayor of Wasilla is not listed as “chair” of the Steering Committee. As Mayor, Governor Palin did appoint the committee, another fact readily verifiable, and she was publicly on record supporting the need for such a facility—as was most of Wasilla. “Wasilla weighs sports facility” published December 6, 2001 and available at While her public support of this project was deemed pivotal by many, the actual construction, bidding, financing and other day-to-day management of the project was not in her scope of authority as Mayor.

In addition, Sarah Palin was then criticized by some of not showing enough interest in the project. The Frontiersman reported that at a public meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, an opponent of the project “accused Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin of staying quiet about the arena because of her campaign for Lieutenant Governor.” “Sports Arena Campaign gets Rolling” (February 22, 2002).

Further, this was a highly public project, approved by the voters, and subject to public bid requirements. As described by the City of Wasilla itself:

The city uses competitive means for the purchase of all goods and services as required by Wasilla Municipal Code 5.08. The city also utilizes contracts and price agreements established by the State of Alaska, the Western States Contracting Alliance and other cooperatives or agencies when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the City. The city believes in open, fair competition and strives to ensure that all vendors have equal opportunity to compete for city business.

The City of Wasilla operates under a decentralized purchasing system. This means purchasing decision up to $5,000 is made independently by the departments in the city (with the exception of Management Information System purchases). When the estimated amount for goods or services is between $5,000 and $9,999, departments are required to obtain three quotes prior to purchase. The departments may utilize the services of the Purchasing/Contracting Officer (PCO) for this process or may do it themselves; however, when this processed is selected, the PCO must sign off on the final product prior to purchasing or contracting.

For purchases beyond $10,000, the city requires all departments to contact the PCO who will utilize the city’s bid process according to Wasilla Municipal Code 5.08. The bid process is initiated through either an Invitation to Bid (ITB), utilized when the city knows the specifications for the purchase; or a Request for Proposal (RFP), utilized when the exact specifications or process is unknown. Accordingly, the Sports Complex was publicly bid, in accordance with City and state law, and was accounted for in the time and manner all public projects are handled. The Mayor of Wasilla, be it Sarah Palin, or her successor, did not handle the funds, or the materials, for this project. To thus suggest she “embezzled” is as false as it is impossible.

The additional claim of “proof” of wrongdoing is the allegation that the Palins purchased building materials from Spenard Builders Supply—and that this company may have provided supplies for the Sports Complex. Prior to the construction of Lowe’s and Home Depot within the last few years in Wasilla, Spenard Builders Supply was the primary building supply company in Wasilla. It can hardly come as a surprise that it would sell materials to small homeowners or that it would also bid to supply commercial contracts. One would be hard pressed to find a home, cabin or outbuilding in the Mat-Su Valley in which Spenard Builders Supply did not sell at least some of the materials.
The Palins built their Lake Lucille house using Todd as the general contractor. Todd’s family owns a hardware and building supply business in Dillingham. He is no stranger to construction, or to rolling up his sleeves and doing work. The Palins used a combination of personal savings, equity from the sale of their prior home, and conventional bank financing to build the house—like millions of American families. The deeds of trust are recordable public records. Basic journalism and fact checking would confirm this.

The Sports Complex was built in 2002. It is now 2009. While the Federal Government has a process to follow, and that process sometimes takes time, we can categorically state that we are not aware of any “federal investigation” that has been “pending” for the last seven years. We are aware of no subpoenas on SBS regarding the Palins. We are aware that the Federal Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been helpful, responsive and diligent in prosecuting the email hacker and in cleaning up Alaska’s corrupt legislators. To be blunt—this “story” was alleged during the campaign, evaluated then by national media and deemed meritless. Nothing has changed.

To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those “responsible for the abuse of that right.” Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable.

Thomas Van Flein, for
Governor Sarah Palin

1. Wayne Barrett, a writer for the left wing Village Voice, published these insinuations, on October 7, 2008 in a story entitled “The Book of Sarah” available at This was written in the style of one pretending to be amazed that so many people in a small town like Wasilla appear to know one another, support one another, and take on big projects together. Apparently that is uncommon in New York. Rather than recognize that leaders of a community often mobilize to accomplish projects, the writer offered this up as an unusual and questionable association of special interests.

Update (7/5/09): From the L.A. Times:

Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor’s surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI’s Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

"There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we’re investigating her or getting ready to indict her," Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. "It’s just not true." He added that there was "no wiggle room" in his comments for any kind of inquiry.

The FBI has been active in mounting corruption investigations in Alaska, some to see whether local, state and federal lawmakers illegally received favors, money or free construction work from businesses or people seeking favors.

HT: Rebecca Mansour at

2nd Update (7/6/09):

Regarding the FBI statement, Stuber wrote:

The FBI confirmed this.

Do readers know how unusual it is for the bureau to make such a statement?

Subscribe For Latest Updates

Sign up to receive stimulating conservative Christian commentary in your inbox.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
  1. Yes, I agree the Embezzlment is libel, but don't you think the left feels it will be able to get away with this junk at least until the millisecond Parnell is sworn in as Govoner? I wish they could do it now!!! If they continue with the embezzalment rumor/ect after she is out of office can they nail the perpetrators to the wall?

  2. Nope, but this is the first time they've been threatened with legal action. It'll be interesting to see if this line accusations continue. Maybe they'll have to learn the hard way when the first one loses a lawsuit.

  3. Is Google included in a potential libel suit? Can Google be sued? Just Google “Sarah Palin Federal Indictment” and you will find a lot of information. Is Google reliable information?

  4. Google is a search engine that will just bring articles, blogs, & web items that have particular search terms. So no, and with anything on the internet, check your facts.

  5. It's a RUMOR, dipshit. Ya gonna strip the constitution because your golden girl is crooked?

  6. Wah! The press was really, really mean to me! I'm going to pick up my toys and go home! When I'm president, I won't let any of those big, bad world leaders say mean things to me. I'll just QUIT! That will show them.

  7. Mmmm, except there's no LEGAL BASIS FOR A LAWSUIT. It's all smoke and mirrors. They can file, of course. But they will lose and then have to pay more money for the other side's attorneys. So I say BRING IT ON!

  8. Nope, airtight if printed again. They have proof it is false. You can't make up stuff and say it's true.

    Libel cases are hard easier to prove than slander. If you are stupid enough to print or publish it, you'll lose.

    If sued and the person loses are you going to be so smug then? The law is on their side in this instance.

  9. Do you know anything about the so-called “embezzlement”? Were you aware that Van Flein's letter was not so much about embezzling from the Wasilla Sports Complex but about what is more tenderly called political corruption in that the “rumor” that's been going around those parts is that the Palin house was built free in exchange for granting the contract to build the $13 million WSC?

    So much for your “proof.” The quote from the FBI, btw, is not “proof.”

    btw – the embezzlement thing is “rumored” to involve a trust fund which has one or more of the Palin's as trustee. At least try to get the facts correct before you go on an politically biased anti-liberal rant.

  10. My anti-liberal rant? Libel is libel and rumors are not proof. Checked out your blog and you are exactly not biased.

    The Palin's listed what was paid for their house (materials), Todd Palin with help of friends built it. The “trust fund” rumor was around in 2008, much to do about nothing.

    Again publishing rumors as though they are fact is still libel.

  11. I agree with you, but let's be honest about it … libel is what feeds the blogosphere and much of political talk over the past two decades!

    Calling Bill Clinton a draft-dodger was no less libelous. He, of course, was deferred in much the same way that many others were. Might he have gone to Canada otherwise? Sure. But he didn't.

    George W. Bush was accused of killing someone in a DWI accident, using cocaine, skipping out on his ANG commitment (rather than being released early, which is a legitimate — though much less severe — issue), etc..

    Barack Obama is called an agent of foreign powers, there's the whole accusation regarding his birth certificate, and so on.

    I'm not defending any of it … I'm just hoping that some of the indignation that I'm reading about this kind of rhetoric will actually be rooted in principle, not just circling the wagons around Gov. Palin.

    To be honest, Gov. Palin shouldn't be threatening to sue bloggers. Tactically, it's a mistake. She was falsely accused of trying to ban books in Wasilla, but suing bloggers is going to make such charges look more credible. Yes, she's within her rights to do it — but she'd be better off simply putting forward facts to rebut the Left. In much the same way that Pres. Obama isn't suing Michael Savage for slander, Gov. Palin should let facts speak for themselves and then stop there.

    On the other hand, all bloggers should practice some restraint.

  12. Methinks the lady doth protest too much ……

    If thin-skinned Sarah “Quittercuda” wants to spread rumors, the most effective method she could choose, short of public confession, is to have her lawyer write threatening letters to the media with an unconvincing point by point analysis.

  13. If you truly believe that Todd Palin built that 3500 square foot house with all the detailed millwork “with help of friends,” then you probably own ocean-front property in New Mexico. As for a listing of “what was paid for their house,” no one has seen such a list.

    btw – did you see Van Flein's statement in which he stated there are no plans to sue anyone? He threatened as a way to keep the critics silent; when Moore held her own news conference and told Palin to “suck it up, Buttercup” Van Flein found himself without a backbone.

  14. Don't forget “Swift Boat Veterans for UnTruth” deployed against the Kerry campaign, and practically anything managed by Karl Rove (and earlier by Lee Atwater).

    McCain got creamed in the 2000 S. Carolina primaries with the help of a whisper compaign about his adopted daughter (Karl Rove again).

    Slander is *not* patented by any party.

  15. “Detailed millwork” I guess I'm not as “educated” as you are exactly everything that is in their home. I've seen pictures and video of outside and inside the home and haven't seen anything that would necessarily make it stand out in that regard. It is a nice home, but I've been in homes that are far more elaborate than that one.

    It is entirely believable to me because my wife has an uncle who built a very nice home with more square footage himself with the help of friends. Done all of the time. Now I personally couldn't do that because I'm not handy that way.

    The letter was a cease and desist letter. That was pretty clear. If it continues I would suspect a lawsuit. That is pretty routine that law firms will send letters first.

  16. I agree with you there. Notice there are a number of stories floating around about President Obama that I don't blog on here because of that very reason.

  17. I guess, I don't know what I would do if I were in her shoes. It is easier to say that do. The problem starts in the blogs, but then gets magnified when MSM starts reporting it as fact.

    It's just sloppy journalism.

  18. You don't appear to know what libel means. Stating opinion, speculating and asking questions does not constitute libel. If you watch Rush Limbaugh you should know that.

  19. I know very much what libel is, and Ms. Moore wasn't just expressing it as an opinion. She is presenting it as fact. That's the difference.

    Who watches Rush? He hasn't had a TV show for a long time. I don't listen to him either.

  20. Now, that I'll agree with.

    The press has given up on real investigative journalism and has, more and more, simply begun reporting press releases and then having people bicker over them.

    Once upon a time, the news was supposed to present facts. Instead of “someone said this, and now we'll have two people yell at each other over it” we should be getting, “Our reporter found out this information.”

    I'm not holding my breath.

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like

Grassley: “It’s Time to Vote, I’ll Be Voting to Confirm Judge Kavanaugh”

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that the supplemental FBI background investigation is complete and it is time to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

QE3 And Why It Won’t Work

QE3 is now a fact. The Federal Reserve will be printing up money – $40 billion a month – to buy mortgage-backed securities and it is destined to fail.

Scott Brown, the 41st Vote

You may not be aware, but there is a crucial election that…

Why We Need Kitchen Table Environmentalism

Kelvey Vander Hart: If we want any sort of positive environmental change, we can’t just focus on the issues where we’re divided.