Before the RNC- Palin Was Using Alaska State Funds to Pay her Lawyer

By Reid Wilson

The RNC has sent more than $129K to an Anchorage law firm to cover legal bills incurred during former Gov. Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) run for vice president, a senior party official tells Hotline On Call.

The party cut the check on Sept. 1 to Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein, Tiemessen & Thorsness LLC, an Anchorage law firm that defended Palin from myriad ethics charges following her campaign. Political opponents in Alaska filed complaints against Palin surrounding her travel during and after the campaign.

“The disbursement relates to legal fees incurred during the summer and fall of 2008, when Democrats engaged in a partisan witch hunt against Gov. Palin. Based on conversations in 2008, the RNC decided to step in to help,” said Doug Heye, the RNC’s communications director. 

An email to SarahPAC seeking comment went unreturned. Read More

From Newsweek in 2009: One of the main reasons that Palin cited for stepping down as the most unethical and incompetent governor,  besides say media and associates, is her large, unpaid legal bill. Her successor, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, says she is worried about “the cost of all the ethics investigations and the like.” But is that really the reason? John Coale, a Washington lawyer (Greta Van Susteren’s husband) who helped Palin set up a legal-defense fund and PAC, said the fund is “well on its way” to paying off $500,000 in legal debt from the campaign and another $100,000 in bills incurred later, leaving questions about how big a part money woes played in her decision to resign.

One thing is clear: Palin was fuming at the McCain camp, which she believes saddled her with all that debt. At the time John McCain tapped Palin, she was using Alaska state funds to pay the lawyer she hired to defend her against ethics charges. McCain aides, had worried that could raise ethical questions, put an end to the payments.

Here’s where things get testy: Coale says the McCain campaign, and later the Republican National Committee, led Palin to believe that they would pay her bills, but never did, causing Palin’s debt to pile up. But two former senior McCain officials, who asked for anonymity to keep political peace, say there was no such promise (online finance records show no payments to Palin’s lawyer).

Why are we surprised?

RNC Has spent over $150,000 On Palin’s Clothes (SLIDESHOW)

G.O.P. Paid Almost $55,000 for Palin Fashion Stylist


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nswfm
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 17:48:17

    Time for an investigation by CREW? AK Dept of Law?


    • Syrin
      Sep 22, 2010 @ 07:45:07

      What kind of man googled for a candidate and goes for the one who is highly unethical, lacking real family values and is being investigated for ABUSE OF POWER. Check out…
      This was one of the only Palin websites that could be found at that time. THEY Didn’t even blink…CREW better get up here soon.


  2. Syrin
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 18:03:43

    From Kate …..who I happened to agree with..
    Palin makes $100k for a 30 minute speech and the RNC is paying her bills for $129k??? Did anyone ever realize that many of those complaints were valid and the only reason they were dismissed by the personnel board is because she appointed everyone on the personnel board? She did fly her kids to events at which they were not only uninvited but she billed the state for them, repeatedly. She billed the state for staying in her own house. She paid back $6k out of a $50k bill for her kids airfare and then promptly said that the complaint had no merit. This woman has had her 15 minutes in the spotlight. Send her sorry butt back to Alaska and take care of that special needs child you talk about in all your speeches. I hope he still recognizes you.


    • AKRNC
      Sep 21, 2010 @ 19:04:47

      Thanks, Syrin. I wrote that last night. I am furious that this woman has played everyone for a fool, especially her followers, some of whom are proudly proclaiming that they will happily eat nothing but rice for a week in order to help pay her debt. I’ve been looking online for a list of the complaints and who filed which one but have been unable to find it. Any idea where I could find it. I am so tired of the nonsense of how allegedly President Obama and George Soros were so afraid of this woman that they tried to take her down. I have to wonder at the intelligence level of people who seriously believe that Obama spends all his time worrying about Palin. There was even a comment on C4P about how the WH contacted ABC and manipulated the results of Dancing with the Stars to keep Bristol on TV until a couple weeks before the election and then they were going to manufacture a fight between Bristol and Brandy to bring in the black vote. These people are delusional that are following her and some of these other Tea Party candidates. If there was anyone else, from the GOP or from the Democratic party who had ignored FEC laws the way O’Donnell has, they would be screaming but suddenly it’s OK to pay your rent with campaign money when you’re NOT campaigning! Save us from these idiots.


      • Syrin
        Sep 21, 2010 @ 20:07:31

        Welcome to my blog.. Thank you for bringing this out into the light of day, again. If you have not seen this doc. It gives some background in articles and statutes that were violated by Palin.
        Please consider this ethics complaint charging Governor Sarah Palin for violations of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. The charges are that she hasn’t claimed all gifts received in a timely manner, if at all.
        Sec. 39.52.130. Improper gifts.
        Unclaimed and undisclosed gift: John Coale professional services starting in 2008
        On March 29th, 2009 Greta Van Susteren penned a piece for her GretaWire website titled Huh? (attached)
        ( That website has since been changed and the article has
        been deleted. But, a copy of the original article is attached to the complaint. Here is an excerpt of Ms. Susteren
        speaking about her husband John Coale providing free professional consulting and legal advice to Governor
        Sarah Palin on how to deal with lawsuits, ethics complaints and unfair attacks by the media:
        Yes, he advised her – after the election – how to set up a PAC (big deal – it is common – routine – for politicians
        to set up a PAC – virtually every politician has one set up and there is nothing wrong with them.. and
        incidentally, the PAC was created to pay travel bills she had accumulated and would accumulate in the future
        and to contribute to other candidates …and the Pac was not to be her chief political advisers which is what
        the article accuses.) And yes, he thought it wrong the way she was attacked in the media. As a matter of fact,
        so did I think she was treated unfairly by the media (I don’t like gratuitous attacks…issues, yes….but not
        gratuitous attacks) and I am not the only one who thought that in the media. My husband helped with the PAC –
        I did not – AFTER the election when she was not running for office but trying to dig herself out from
        lawsuits, ethics complaints and unfair attacks by the media. Big deal. So he was nice to her and wanted to
        help her and did help her.

        Here is a sample from the article: “….Another former Palin ally still in touch with the governor was blunt
        when asked to explain Palin’s missteps since the election: “Taking advice from Greta and her husband,”
        said this source….”
        FACTS: Sarah Palin has failed to disclose gifts of significant value received by her and her family as defined in
        the Ethics Act.
        Unclaimed gift: White hand-crafted beaded vest received in 2007
        In response to my January 22, 2009 public record request for a copy of a
        completed and signed gift disclosure form claiming receipt of a white
        hand-crafted beaded vest Sarah Palin received while attending the
        September 2007 Institute of the North Alaska Dialogue conference in
        Talkeetna, the office of the governor replied on February 20, 2009 that
        they were working on generating an estimate of its value. I have yet to
        receive a completed and signed disclosure form that claims Palin’s receipt
        of a white hand-crafted beaded vest. Final Report on the 2007 Alaska
        Dialogue (pg 8) 2007 Alaska Dialogue Photo Gallery (PowerPoint Slide Show in pdf format)
        Unclaimed and undisclosed gifts: Palin/Heath family travel received in 2008
        Documents show Sarah Palin and her immediate family have claimed gifts of free travel between the end of
        August and the beginning of November of 2008. However, other members of the Palin/Heath family.

        Great source …

  3. tallimat
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 18:07:21

    Ignoring subpoenas is expensive.
    Our Alaskan lawmakers voted Sept 12, 2008 to issue subpoenas to those being investigated with abuse of power involving troopergate.

    By this Sept. date and by all intensive purposes, Sarah and Todd were on the run. Or shall I say, on the campaign trail with McCain. And if you recall, a top McCain campaign aide stated that Sarah and Todd seemed preoccupied with what was going on back in Alaska.

    McCain harbored criminals.

    Syrin, I know your a conservative, I am just the opposite.
    We have two things in common. We love our prayer and believe Sarah is about is the most unethical human Alaska has ever seen.

    So McCain advises Palin to remove the state $$$ from paying her legal bills. Sarah does, but now she has got to pay them herself. Meanwhile subpoenas are being ignored. Perhaps the ignoring was advise from the McCain campaign as well. Who knows.

    Bottom line, ignoring subpoenas is expensive. Nobody wanted to pay for Sarah’s defense when she ignored subpoenas. Subpoenas issued for abuse of power before she was googled, er I mean vetted and picked for McCain’s running mate.

    I understand that this legal debt is probably not all derived from ignoring subpoenas, but it must be a good chuck of it.
    Now the RNC will? Seems shady.


  4. tallimat
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 18:17:17

    Lol.. My comment is missing a few sentences and a few words here and there… Sorry.. I’m hoping you get my drift about subpoenas… And how it appears shady that the RNC is now paying It That Quit’s legal bills.


  5. WakeUpAmerica
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 18:26:00

    It’s past time for some entity outside of Alaska to investigate Palin.


  6. gsb
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 03:28:11

    So, when is she going to jail? or at the very least, answering for her illegal activities?
    Then i must remember, she is “Queen Easter” and Queen’s do not need to play by the same rules as all of the poor fodder, of this world.


  7. Diane
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 04:35:02

    Why was the pac set up for palin?
    Those people were led to believe that palin was in dire straights for bills that were incurred when she was governor.
    So what was that money suppose to be for?


    • Syrin
      Sep 22, 2010 @ 15:33:40

      Sarah has found a way to profit politically from the self-inflicted drama that surrounds her. Palin’s political action committee starting running an ad and fundraising drive in the wake of her announcement that she’s quitting until now….

      I read that Google said that SarahPAC has been purchasing ads through its search engine in effort to benefit from the spike in people searching for her name.

      The political action committee has tailored its strategy since Palin announced her intentions to leave office. Initially Google users who typed “Sarah Palin” into the search bar were directed to a link to SarahPAC with the subhead: “Join Governor Sarah Palin’s Team. Sign Up Now To Be Part Of Sarah Palin’s Official PAC.”

      The message was changed to: “Help Gov. Palin Rebuild The GOP. Donate Today.”

      Only problem she’s NOT a governor! However, she’s benefiting personally from her brief stint as the most UNETHICAL political figure that the state of Alaska has ever seen…


  8. aview999
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 06:48:52

    I’m KNOW you saw this. I’m just pasting my comment everywhere this morn…

    OT – but you guys have got to see this NEW VIDEO about Palin’s Faked Pregnancy!!

    Sarah Palin’s “Wild Ride” on April 17, 2008 – The ultimate video, in Sarah’s own words – PLUS: Sondra Tompkins, an Alaskan, speaks out

    It’s a BOMBSHELL!

    Also, please vote PalinGates Best Political Blog here. If anyone deserves it, they do!


  9. SME131
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 14:46:51

    It’s pretty obvious everyone except Palin is paying for her screw ups. After I saw the article about the RNC paying more of her legal bills I do a look at her Legal Dense fund page and it now says the fund is set up to pay Sarah Palin, her family and staff’s legal bills. I wonder if that covers custody cases too. The question lingers, if everyone else is paying her legal bills exactly what is her defense fund for?


  10. Attorney Bobbie Meacham
    Oct 08, 2010 @ 21:37:18

    This blog is impressively practical. You are a very thought provoking author.


  11. SME131
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 10:02:54

    It seems that 129K was just part of what the RNC is paying towards her legal fees.

    The RNC said it would end up paying a the first payment of $128,518.85 and then another check for the same amount would follow. For a total of $257,037.70. Here’s the quote:
    “The initial payment was for Palin to do several different fundraising events and sign fundraising letters for the RNC,” Mr. Pullen said. He said the RNC has committed to sending the Anchorage law firm a second check of an equal amount, which would bring the total to $257,037.70.

    Since John Coale has stated the legal defense fund he set up paid all of her legal bills – including money she had to repay to the state then what legal bills are left for the RNC to pay?


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