+++Follow-up, June 14, 2012: "LA heckler" Stephen Hanks uses revelations from this post to substantiate his lawsuit against Bristol Palin+++
We have had many scoops before, here at Politicalgates and at at Palingates, and it's always a good feeling for us when we can present to our readers a new scoop or something that hasn't been reported before anywhere. In general, the story is virtually always the same:
Sarah and Todd Palin have a little secret.
Bristol Palin has a little secret.
Anyone who is familiar with the Palin family knows that they keep tight an abundance of secrets - and lies, as it often turns out.
Just a few days ago, Bristol Palin made headlines again: She has returned to Alaska. For good, apparently. Bye bye, fame, as Gawker saw it: "Bristol Palin Finally Gives Up on Fame."
However, Bristol Palin still felt famous enough to announce her "return to Alaska" a few days ago in one of her favourite media outlets, the gossip-magazine "In Touch Weekly" - in an exclusive four-page magazine story, titled by a quote by Bristol, which says: "We belong in Alaska."
Bristol's "collaboration" with In Touch Magazine already had a precedent - exactly two years ago, in January 2010, In Touch Magazine published the "first" Bristol-Tripp birthday cover story, with the heart warming and politically charged title "We are glad we chose life."
In Touch Weekly, January 2010
Now, in 2012, it's highly unlikely that Bristol talked to In Touch Weekly for free. Rejecteing fame certainly pays very well these days! As does campaigning for abstinence after not being abstinent
($262,000 in 2009 alone).
So why did Bristol really leave Hollywood? Luckily for her fans and other interested parties, she exclusively told In Touch Weekly:
Bristol Palin had an amazing, life-changing experience on Dancing With The Stars, but not long after the show ended, she realized life in the spotlight wasn't all glitz and glamour. The turning point, Bristol says, came last September, when - in a much-reported episode - she was accosted at the Saddle Ranch in LA by a man who hurled nasty insults at her about her famous family. After footage of the altercation went viral, Bristol, 21, realized she was done with showbiz - and that she'd never felt totally at home in the Lower 48. "I wasn't really into the Hollywood thing," she tells In Touch in an exclusive interview. "After that, I realized that I was over it. I was ready to come home."
In Touch Weekly, January 2012
So Bristol, the perpetual victim, decided to leave Hollywood with a bang. (for extended information on Bristol's heartbreaking tales of victimhood, please read her biography "Not Afraid of Life", which is readily available to buy second-hand for a few dollars).
Could the reason be that Bristol's planned reality show wasn't selling? Noooo! It's the "hater" Stephen Hanks whose encounter with Bristol Palin in September 2011 which made her "reconsider", so to speak.
That's at least Bristol Palin's version of the story.
It's doesn't pass the "smell-test." But that's not proof.
However, the more important question is: Does it pass the "fact-check?"
Fact-checks have always been one of my favourite activities. Since I started blogging, I haven't only fact check the Palin family, but also others, like Sarah Palin's "friend" Carrie Prejean (remember her?).
Often we received invaluable help from readers. This time, is no different. We have yet again received invaluable help from one of our readers for this story - many thanks! :-)
In order to start the fact-check, we first need to take a look back into the past. When Bristol Palin bought her condo in Anchorage in 2010, I wrote a post about it with the title "Hello Stranger" at Palingates in June 2010. This post is now less exciting to read, as most pictures which I included belonged to my old flickr-account which flickr chose to delete, but one piece of information remains very relevant: With the help of our readers, we found out that Bristol Palin owned a company called "SM Properties LLC", which she used to buy her condo in Anchorage. However, her ownership was concealed, and only after a lot of digging did we find a crucial document that proved that she was the owner, a "Special Liability Warranty Deed" (from 2010, for her condo in Anchorage) - which can be publicly viewed HERE, if you click on "See Image."
At the end of the document, there is Bristol's signature - she signed as the "Managing Member":
So, what is "SM Properties LLC" doing these days?
Well, buying property, naturally!
Bristol is not shy about the fact that she bought a new house in Alaska at Lake Lucille, and opened up her heart - to In Touch Magazine. Bristol Palin "still gets zero help from Levi Johnston", as Levi is "not using his visitation, and not paying his child support." Bristol is therefore forced to work as a receptionist at a dermatologist office "to make ends meet", as In Touch Magazine explains to their (hopefully disgusted) readers, but she"has lots of goals":
One of those goals includes gut-renovating the new, 1950s-era house she bought just across the lake from her parents. (Bristol says that she can make the journey by paddle-boat in about an hour, but it takes only minutes when her father, Todd, flies them over in his puddle-jumper!) "It's a huge project," she says of the three bedroom, two-bathroom fixer upper. "The kitchen flooded, so we decided to just start from scratch. But it's going to be awesome. I'll definitely be raising Tripp there!"
In Touch Weekly, January 2012
So according to In Touch Magazine, Bristol Palin in true "frontier spirit", has bought a modest house in the middle of nowhere to raise her son. How - touching!
As we also know from In Touch Magazine, the final decision to return to Alaska was made in September 2011.
Well, then the question might be allowed: WHEN did Bristol actually buy the house - and WHAT did she buy? (Sarah, you know, just like in journalism school).
Shortly after the unpleasant encounter with Stephen Hanks in a bar in Los Angeles, therefore after September 2011, am I correct?
Thankfully we can make the fact-check, as we know from the past that Bristol Palin owns "SM Properties LLC."
What do we find?
Let's make it quick and dirty. :-)
SM Properties, LLC bought in Feb 2010 Bristols's old condo, using a special warranty deed. In November 2010, SM Properties deeded it to HEDBERG ARTHUR J, and he took out a mortgage, so Bristol apparently sold it then.
Then Bristol bought her new “fixer-upper” on July 29, 2011: On July 29 2011, SPARKS JEANINE B and FONGEMIE JACQUELINE A deeded a property to SM PROPERTIES LLC. Bristol lists her address as 313 W Lakeview Ave, Wasilla AK. A google map view of this address shows a property on the SE shore of Lake Lucille. This is, indeed, around the lake from Sarah and Todd’s house on the Parks Highway, as she stated in the In Touch article.
However, according to Zillow, the house has 3 bedrooms and 4 baths, is 3,155 square feet, and was built in 1994. Bristol Palin said it in the magazine article is a 1950s era 3-bedroom, 2 bath fixer-upper, which was apparently intended to show that Bristol is thrifty and not pretentious.
In addition, Bristol is quoted in the article by In Touch Magazine that it takes her an hour to get there by paddle boat, but her dad can fly her over there really fast.
However, Bristol did not mention that (per Google Maps) it takes only 4 minutes to DRIVE there! Anyone using cars in Alaska these days...?
Here’s the history on the listing and price:
The listing was removed a few days before the property was bought - listed for $ 399,000 (which is apparently the amount a receptionist at a dermatologists office in Alaska can afford these days):
The deed can be found here:
The tax records for Bristol's new house can be found here. For taxation, that property is assessed with the amount of $326,100 in 2011.
Therefore we can already conclude:
Bristol Palin, who according to her own statements decided to leave Hollywood after the encounter in September 2011, bought her expensive new house in Alaska already in July 2011. Therefore it is not believable and defies all reason and logic that she made the decision to leave Hollywood because of the encounter with Stephen Hanks in September 2011. From the evidence, we can conclude that she made this decision several months earlier.
Bristol, I think you weren't completely truthful when you spoke to In Touch Magazine. We are shocked, shocked, I say.
Bristol Palin She also made her new house in the article appear much more modest as well as smaller as it actually is.
I think Alaska is the place to go! Just take a look at what a "1950s fixer-upper" looks like which a receptionist for a dermatologists office, a single-parent who is struggling in life "to make ends meet" can afford. Thankfully, the real estate agent provides plenty of nice pictures - as well as a really beautiful slide-show.
Click on pictures to enlarge:
So, life is good in Alaska! With or without Levi! ;-)
Our story continues:
On July 29 2011 at 10:58 AM SM deeded the property to MAT-SU TITLE INSURANCE AGENCY INC and IRON INVESTMENTS LLC, who carries the mortgage of $188,000 (no picture of the deed available).
"Iron Investments LLC?" What have we got there?
Doesn't it sound quite like - "Iron Dog?"
We couldn’t find Iron Investments LLC in a business entity search in AK.
We also checked Delaware (where Sarah Palin's "Safari Investments LLC" is located, the company with which she tried to buy her large mansion in Scottsdale, Arizona, in secret - without success, however, as the local media quickly got wind of the $ 1,695 million deal (click here for lots of pictures of Palin's mansion and additional information)
But we could find nothing in Delaware either.
However, using property tax records, it was soon discovered that Iron Investments is registered in the state of Washington. The registered agent is Melani Joyal, 31620 23rd Ave S #218, Federal Way, WA 98003. She is a CPA at Rhodes & Associates, PLLC. The LLC was formed on 04/26/2011. Records show that Todd and Sarah Palin are the only two members.
Again, this information has never been reported anywhere so far, no media outlet has discovered "Iron Investements LLC" up until today. Time to let the secret out!
But there is even more:
Iron Investments shows via property tax records, that it also owns 325 W LAKE VIEW AVE, which it purchased on 8/25/11. That property is next door to 313 W Lake View Ave (there are two apparently empty lots in between.)
Zillow has only basic info on that property. We wonder who lives here? Or plans to? Or if they are going to raze it and just make it a bigger lot?
Therefore, the question remains: Why do the Palin's need two houses just next to each other?
Who is supposed to live in the second house...?
It's apparent that the Palins did not believe that anyone would discover these hidden dealings, as neither Bristol's nor Sarah's or Todd's name appear anywhere on the documents. Only the fact that we had discovered SM Properties LLC already in 2010 and can prove that the company belongs to Bristol Palin allowed us to find all these details. I guess the Palins have forgotten that the old "Palingaters" are still active. ;-)
However that's not the last of the Palin property dealings in Wasilla in 2011.
Iron Investments LLC also owns a property at 4643 W Yundt Dr. Wasilla, AK 99654, which it purchased on 8/31/11.
They may own more properties in Alaska, but we only looked in the Mat-Su Borough.
But hey, if the Palins are in the mood for shopping for properties, why stop in Alaska?
What about - Arizona?
Another surprise: Iron Investments also bought a property at 8641 W Andrea Dr in Peoria, AZ! Peoria is a western suburb of Phoenix, this property is way north, where it would be pretty private. They bought it in November 2011. It appears to be a 71,874 sq ft vacant lot in a new, very remote subdivision, and sold for $69,900.
So it appears that the Palins continue to have a keen interest to extend their already significant range of properties in Alaska and Arizona - and we don't even know whether we have found all the properties they own. Maybe readers with more time can continue the search.
Safari Investments LLC (registered in Delaware) bought the Scottsdale mansion on May 11, 2011, so Iron Investments was also buying properties at or around the same time, which no media reported at the time, to our knowledge.
We also looked at Bristol’s property in Maricopa, AZ, and it appears she still owns it. So, it appears that Bristol no longer owns the condo, and only owned it for about 9 months, probably about the time she moved to AZ. Todd and Sarah Palin loaned her money for the new property in Wasilla, though it would seem that Bristol also paid a good chunk of cash. And they are all still hiding documents under multiple LLCs, in multiple states.
The combined worth of the properties of the Palin family easily amounts to several million dollars. And it appears that they have no great desire to let the public know about it. The "hockey mom", the "former oil field production operator" and the "receptionist" apparently feel much more comfortable with portraying themselves as the "ordinary, little Americans" - and with playing victims, as it appears.
Bristol, Sarah, Todd: You made millions of dollars through the marketing of yourself and your family. Stop playing the victim, and stop accusing Levi of not properly supporting you. Levi was ostracised by your family and was never given a chance. He was also not in the position to make hundreds of thousands of dollars through marketing his son Tripp, in magazines, abstinence adverts, and on TV reality shows - like Bristol did, without any shame. Stop making up stupid stories about how tough and hard-working you all are, when none of this is true. How thrifty and modest you are. Try to be honest, and try to take responsibility for your actions, for a change.
Our reader More_Cowbell has discovered the following purchase by Iron Investments LLC. She comments:
Iron Investments LLC also has a 6-seater Cessna airplane registered to them
http://aircraft-registration.f... using the Parks Highway address, not the address in Washington where the LLC is incorporated. So they weren't trying to hide THAT.
Other readers have pondered whether Todd now has a license to fly passengers given that the plane is a six seater.
Reader Enigmaplanner tells us that Todd does not need a special licence to carry private passengers --- he only needs a license if he is flying people on a commercial basis. Thanks for the Information, Enigmaplanner.