From the legal team of: Palin Hollers & I Jump


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Please let me preface my post with this humble acknowledgement: Math is not my strong suit. I struggled through the basics at every level. My high school geometry teacher, normally sweet and patient with her students was so addled by my energetically inept interpretation of her beloved subject she actually asked me to drop her class and promise to never put another unsuspecting maths teacher through her agony.

When asked by others why I dropped geometry, I would explain, “To me, geometry is like standing in front of an ancient column adorned with Greek inscriptions and attempting to use the Hebrew alphabet to translate them into Russian so an Arab could read them and my mind just isn’t agile enough to make that many leaps all at once.

I say this so you will have great pity for me and perhaps understand why I’m quite literally agonizing over the mathematical side of Sarah Palin’s quitting arguement regarding ethics violations complaints and how much they’ve cost Joe the Alaska Guy.

“These frivilous lawsuits and ethics complaints have cost Alaska thousands of hours and millions of dollars – and have so bogged down our system of government I have to quit in order to get anything done – blah blah blah…” Ok that’s probably not a direct quote but certainly it’s close enough for moose shoes.

It is my understanding, from asking folks in this previous post, (special hattip to EyeOnYou & not that sarah) that there are three members of the Alaska State Personnel Board. They are all volunteers and not on the state payroll. It is their job to review complaints against state employees and either dismiss or press forward. When they cannot decide amongst themselves if a complaint has merit or not, they turn the complaint over to a solicitor for advice. Said solicitor now makes the actual assessment of the complaint, determines if it has validity and either recommends to the board to dismiss the complaint flat out, or to proceed with a full investigation.

Please note that more than a dozen of these ethics violations complaints have been summarily dismissed, thereby not creating any cost other than the hours put in by the legal team (and since I am not privy to the actual name of the legal team I fondly refer to it as the legal team of Palin Hollers & I Jump). Granted legal costs can be substantial, but none of the complaints dismissed included court or litigation fees, and none played out in front of a jury. So reasonably, one would assume the actual review costs would have only reflected research and investigation.

Get comfy. the maths part is next. Try looking out of only one eye.

There are 52 weeks in a year with 40 hours in each full-time work week. Subtracting an average of five holidays per year, plus one week’s vacation, plus five sick days, the average full-time employee works approximately 1,952 hours a year. That’s not counting coffeebreaks, personal telephone calls, coming in late, leaving early, chatting with co-workers, daydreaming, family emergencies, inter-office parties for showers or birthdays, running errands or reading non-work-related emails, twitters and blogs. So let’s be fair and call it an even 1,900 hours of actual labour per full-time position per year.

To meet Sarah’s claim of she and her Personnel Board staffers spending ‘thousands of hours’ on frivilous ethics violations complaints, at least two of the members would have had to devote a minimum of twenty-five weeks – each – of full-time hours devoted solely and exclusively to reviewing ethics violations complaints. That’s non-stop, constant scrutiny of a complaint and doing nothing else five solid days a week for at least six months. How long does it take to read a few pages of text times 15-18 before realizing it’s over your head and you need a solicitor to make the decision? And once that step has been taken what’s left to do that takes up thousands of hours of state time?

For the $2,000,000 claim to be valid, the volunteer staffers would have had to bill the state for those hours worked.

But wait – can a person bill hours against a volunteer position? And if they turn the complaints over to a legal staff for review because ‘they’ are not comfortable making the calls themselves, where do the legal costs fall? Why are the Personnel Board members, whose job it is to review ethics violations complaints, not capable of making these decisions? Or to be more succinct: What the heck are they doing in positions (even volunteer posts) when they obviously can’t fulfill the job description? If all they did was take papers from one source (the complainant) and turn it over to another (the solicitor) they’re no more than a messenger service.

What is it, exactly, in their review which caused such a massive amount of work hours? How can this statement possibly be justified and why is no one in the media as perplexed as I am?

And why, pray tell, was the governor’s office involved? Why did these complaints cause the governor’s office to grind to a complete halt?

Maybe what Alaska legislators should review in their next session is how complaints are reviewed in the first place. My apologies if I’m speaking out of turn. It’s not my fault though, my brain is fried from having had to duel with a calculator tonight.

Other bloggers have put beauifully constructed graphs and charts together to show the lunacy of Sarah’s claim that her gathered complaints and lawsuits have cost Joe the Alaska Guy more than two million dollars. In fact, here’s a link (courtesy of Progressive Alaska) I highly recommend.

Now if someone would just address the fact that there’s no physical way 15-18 ethics violations complaints, issued over the course of one year, to a volunteer staff of three, with each complaint turned over to a solicitor for review and the majority dismissed outright, could have cost Alaska thousands of hours in wasted state time and/or resources, because my math is crap and even I can figure out that none of this adds up.

I am so tired of the press never holding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accountable for the barrage of inaccuracies that fall out of her mouth, I could spit. They were all over President Clinton when he said he never smoked marajuana even though he almost sort of maybe tried it in college – but they give Sarah a free pass when she tells the world $300,000 is really $2,000,000.

I’m not even going near the fact that two-thirds of that 3k were the costs of a suit she filed against herself . I’ve already taken a hammer to the calculator.

The brick wall I keep banging into is that it feels like no journo with a brain in the lower 48 is taking her seriously. The danger with that, of course, is there are far too many brainless people in the lower 48 who do.

To comment on this post scroll back to the title: The $2 Million Campaign slogan: When the Going Gets Tuff, the Tuff Go Fishing and click on the word comments just beneath – thanks, OzMud

To the Law Firm: Palin Hollers & I Jump
From: United Bloggers Everywhere

The television station most biased in favour of Sarah Palin is finally catching on?!?!

Liz Trotta refers to a New York  Times piece written by Maureen Dowd and published the day after Sarah’s resignation speel. It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant! Please take the time to read it in full – I promise you won’t be sorry.

Here’s a highlight:

Palin’s speech is classic casuistry.

After girlish burbling about how “progressing our state” and serving Alaska “is the greatest honor that I could imagine,” and raving about how much she loves her job, she abruptly announced that she was making the ultimate sacrifice: dumping the state on her lieutenant.

Why “milk it,” as she put it, when you can quit it? “Only dead fish go with the flow,” she said, while cold fish can blow out of town. Leaving Alaska in the lurch is best for Alaska. She can better “effect change” in government from outside government. She can fulfill her promise of “efficiencies and effectiveness” by deserting Juneau midway through her term — and taking her tanning bed with her.

To Mr. Van Something – Good luck with your venture to silence every one of the hundreds of thousands of people who are now reporting on and talking about your client’s bizarre, public behaviour.

And as you dance in the spotlight of your newfound fame, taking your act on the road with the rest of the Palin Travelling Circus, always remember the name Shannyn Moore. Because sir, it may have been the Palin camp who hired you but it was the unjustifiable attack on a girl from Homer that put you on the map 🙂

To comment on this post scroll back to the title: Fox News Might Be Getting A Clue and click on the word comments just beneath – Thanks, OzMud

From the desk of Palin Hollers & I Jump
Memo to all bloggers:

STOP PHOTO-SHOPPING!!!!!!!

Something Van Something

Ok Ok – but what do I do with this?

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To comment on this post please scroll back to the above title (from the desk of) Palin Hollers & I Jump and click the word comments just beneath – Thanks, OzMud

I don’t twitter. But if I did, the first thing I’d twit would be just that.  Future ex-Governor Sarah doesn’t seem to know when to just shut up. We’ve all touched on this before. Knowing when to keep quiet is an essential communication skill. It mark’s maturity. It’s smart.

Just under a year ago Sarah Palin was launched into all of our lives. John McCain proffered her as the Darling of the Republican Party. Smart. Witty. Progressive. Hard-working. Dedicated. A small part of the population embraced her straight away. It only took a bare few weeks for the rest of us to realize we were watching the birth of a train wreck.

When Sarah Palin, at a public rally, called for John Q. Public to get behind McCain and the Republican Party, claiming Barack Obama to be anti_American and that he palled around with terrorists, we have on video the ignorant response of ‘kill him’ coming from the crowd. A normal person would have taken a mental step back and reworded her next sentence to quell the building hostility.  Sarah Palin instead lowered her head, smirked, then raised her head and loudly repeated her unsubstantiated, racist cries, deliberately fuelling a dangerous fire.

When Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin questions she could not immediately answer, (hard questions like ‘what newspapers do you read?’) a mature person would have just named any paper, made a quick blonde joke out of not being able to recall a title off the top and let the subject naturally change. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, dismissed the question as unfair, then ridiculed, belittled and besmirched Ms. Couric for months after, accusing her of conducting unethical journalistic practices, and sabotaging her campaign. To this day, almost a year and a hundred other reporters later, Ms.Couric continues to be the lead target in Sarah Palin’s war on the media.

When Andre McCleod lodged the first ethics complaint against the Alaska governor, instead of just giving her the documents requested – documents which, according to statements made by the Governor herself would completely exonerate her office of any wrong-doing – and letting the complaint run it’s course, Sarah Palin hemmed and hawed, demanding one continuation after another making various public statements discrediting the former employee. Another politician would have bent over backwards to handle the affair as quickly and quietly as possible.

I could write twelve more pages of examples without stopping to think and still have stacks more in the bin, but for the moment I’ve had enough. Her Facebook letter explaining her actions on Friday last has made front page news here in Australia and it sickens me that the only version going to print is her own personal fairy-tale, not the actual events as they occurred or any version even close to the truth.

Shannyn Moore, an Alaskan blogger, radio talk-show host and frequent guest on television news shows like MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, is the governor’s newest stepping stone on her path to the White House using the strategy of who do I need to make wrong to make me look right. Through her top-gun solicitor, Mr. Something Van Flein, Sarah Palin made the erroneous claim that Ms. Moore, over the weekend, on a televised news program and in her personal blog presented local speculation  as to the reasons behind the Governor’s recent resignation as ‘fact’. She’s sicked her over-paid, under-informed legal team on Ms. Moore in an effort to silence the political journo. (Click on any blog link to the right for full details.)

Shannyn Moore, along with dozens of other citizens both in Alaska and the lower 48, spent much of the 24 hours following Sarah Palin’s resignation announcement talking with each other in a quest to make sense of what appears to be the weirdest move of Palin’s political career. Rumours flew in every direction. Alaskan bloggers email boxes were packed with inquiries. Servers crashed over at The Mudflats from the sudden and intense amount of traffic. Everyone outside Alaska assumed that anyone inside Alaska would have a better persepctive and a clue.

The problem the legal team of Palin Hollers & I Jump is going to have, though, is really rather fatal to rising star attorneys. Their call to cease and desist is based upon an erroneous claim that, well, to be blunt… is erroneous. And they’re making these preliminary accusations at the top of their lungs so there won’t be any wiggle room for do-overs or claims of misunderstanding.

Oops.

Shannyn Moore has written and video-taped proof positive (along with many thousands of eye-witnesses) that she never claimed her report of local rumours and conjecture was anything but – a report on local rumours and conjecture. Oh and she added her own personal opinion. Which, by the way, was clearly prefaced with “and this is my opinion…”

So it would seem the same First Amendment Right which has allowed Sarah Palin to entertain us all with her unique brand of truth-twisting nonsensical gibberish about her life and how the greatest nation on the planet should operate… is not extended by the Palin Party to Shannyn Moore because… why again? Oh yes I remember. Shannyn didn’t embrace her Governor’s latest public display of mega-amentia.

Were a twitterer, Sarah’d be getting this from me right about now –

Sarah Palin: Shut The Fuck Up

To comment on this post please scroll back to the above title SP: STFU and click the word comments just beneath – Thanks, OzMud