The proof: Sarah Palin can see Santa Claus from her house! (picture from 2008)
What can you say! What a big surprise on a Saturday night! From time to time, I like to search youtube for the latest clips of ex-Governor "Granny Grifter" Sarah Palin - well, "just because", you never know! One might find a clip which has been overlooked so far, ideally containing ridiculous quotes in a situation riddled with hypocrisy - and today, I found exactly what I was looking for! It feels like I have received an early Christmas present!
As we have already pretty much forgotten, Sarah Palin made a screech in June at an event of the "Faith and Freedom Coalition." The dubious background of these self-appointed super-Christians got barely noticed back then. However, this is going to change right now!
These "Christians" were so incredibly proud of Sarah Palin being at their event that they posted a short interview with her on youtube a few days ago. Sarah is being interviewed by none other than Ralph E. Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. One of the original moral majority. And he and Sarah have a lot in common as he himself is in the same top-ranking grifter category as the Quitter from Alaska, as we can see below!
This interview is noteworthy for another "epic" quote by Sarah Palin. As expected she delivers and her jumbled thoughts go astray yet again. This time in a weird, disjointed and disastrous botched attempt to appear humorous (that is at least what I think, and which really is the best one can say in her favor in this case).
Watch the interview:
Where to start?
The hair!!! OMG...no more needs to be said.
Anyway - here is the quote, starting from 1:05, when Palin discusses her new book about Christmas::
"Oh it's gonna be a great Christmas book, lots of nice festive joyful things within the book, like recipes and traditions of our family that are probably pretty unique, because we are from Alaska, and live near the North Pole, so we have access to Santa Claus and all the good things that come with Christmas."
I mean, come on! You couldn't make up such a Palin-quote! It's a gift! Sarah Palin invokes close proximity to Santa in her bid to prove that Christ is the center of Christmas. Much in the same way as proximity to Russia makes her a defense expert, Sarah seems to imply that proximity to Santa means that she is an expert on the traditions of Christmas. Or something!
However, this interview also provides us with an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at one of Sarah Palin's new "associations" - namely Ralph E. Reed, who founded the Faith and Freedom Coalition in 2009 and asks the questions in the interview.
Well, let's start with another quote by Sarah Palin, in an interview with Bill O'Reilly from 2010:
"Well, I believe that it is not negative campaigning or off-based to call someone out on their associations."
So let's take a quick look at Sarah Palin's new friend, Ralph E. Reed!
Wikipedia reveals a lot of very, very interesting information regarding Ralph E. Reed. He was, for example, in the past a close business associate of infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and supported some of Jack Abramoff's shady deals, for which Abramoff and several others were then later sent to prison.
Reed was named in the scandal arising from lobbying work performed by Jack Abramoff on behalf of Indian gambling tribes. E-mails released by federal investigators in June 2005 revealed that Reed secretly accepted payments from Abramoff to lobby against Indian casino gambling and oppose an Alabama education lottery. Additional e-mails released in November 2005 show that Reed also worked for another Abramoff client seeking to block a congressional ban on Internet gambling. These cases are being investigated by multiple federal and state grand juries and by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Abramoff pleaded guilty to three felony counts in federal court, raising the prospects of Abramoff testifying against others.
Those e-mails and other evidence revealed the participation of the Christian Coalition in the alleged fraud, particularly the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, which received large amounts of donations from the casino money. It is alleged that Abramoff engaged Reed to set up an anti-gambling campaign to include the U.S. Family Network, the Christian Coalition, and Focus on the Family in order to frighten the tribes into spending as much as $82 million for Abramoff to lobby on their behalf. To represent him in connection with the scandal, Reed retained defense attorney W. Neil Eggleston of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Eggleston served as White House associate counsel during the administration of President Bill Clinton.
In December 2005, three Texas public interest groups filed a complaint with Travis County Attorney David Escamilla on December 1, 2005, alleging that Reed failed to register as a lobbyist in 2001 or 2002 when he was working for Abramoff. Escamilla said on March 27, 2006 "his office had concluded its investigation -- but that a two-year statute of limitations on misdemeanors from 2001 and 2002 had expired."
On June 22, 2006 the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs released its final report on the scandal.
The report states that under the guidance of the Mississippi Choctaw tribe's planner, Nell Rogers, the tribe agreed to launder money because "Ralph Reed did not want to be paid directly by a tribe with gaming interests." It also states that Reed used non-profits, like Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, as pass-throughs to disguise the origin of the funds, and that "the structure was recommended by Jack Abramoff to accommodate Mr. Reed’s political concerns."
The "Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal", one of the main reasons why Jack Abramoff was ultimately convicted and sent to prison for six years, has its own, very detailed page at Wikipedia. The introduction reads like this:
The Jack Abramoff Native American lobbying scandal is a United States political scandal relating to the work performed by political lobbyists Jack Abramoff, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Grover Norquist and Michael Scanlon on Native American casino gambling interests for an estimated $85 million in fees. Abramoff and Scanlon grossly overbilled their clients, secretly splitting the multimillion-dollar profits. In one case, they were secretly orchestrating lobbying against their own clients in order to force them to pay for lobbying services.
More from the excellent Wikipedia page about the scandal:
Abramoff and his partner Scanlon are alleged to have engaged in a series of corrupt practices in connection to their lobbying work for various Indian gaming tribes. The fees paid to Abramoff and Scanlon for this work are believed to exceed $85 million.
In particular, Abramoff and Scanlon were alleged to have conspired with Washington power broker Grover Norquist and Christian activist Ralph Reed to coordinate lobbying against his own clients and prospective clients with the objective of forcing them to engage Abramoff and Scanlon to lobby against their own covert operations. Reed was paid to campaign against gambling interests that competed with Abramoff clients. Norquist served as a go-between by funneling money to Reed.
Allegation of double dealing
On June 22, 2000, Susan Ralston e-mailed Abramoff, "I have 3 checks from elot: (1) 2 checks for $80K payable to ATR and (2) 1 check to TVC for $25K," [...] "Let me know exactly what to do next. Send to Grover? Send to Rev. Lou?"
Thus eLottery money went through Norquist's foundation, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the Faith and Family Alliance, and Reed's company, Century Strategies, while the last check was sent to Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition (TVC).
In 2000, Abramoff forced the Choctaws to give the Alabama Christian Coalition of America $1.15 million in installments. Norquist agreed to pass the money on to the Coalition and another Alabama antigambling group, both of which Reed was mobilizing for the fight against a proposed Alabama state lottery.
In 2002, after Abramoff worked with Reed to close the casino of the Tigua tribe, he persuaded the tribe to hire him to lobby Congress to reopen the casino.
Of the $7.7 million Abramoff and Scanlon charged the Choctaw for projects in 2001, they spent $1.2 million on their behalf and split the rest in a scheme they called "gimme five."
The 2006 report by the U.S. Senate Committee about this scandal reveals more - and Ralph E. Reed is given a very prominent role in the report.
The "contents" of the 2006 report explain some of the main facts and make it abundantly clear that Ralph E. Reed played a very prominent role in the "Abramoff-scandals":
Excerpt from the report:
Substantial Fees and Conduits – Setting the Stage for Scanlon
As the Tribe’s trust and confidence in Abramoff grew, Rogers would often discuss with Abramoff issues affecting the Tribe, both at a local and national level. In 1999, Rogers and Abramoff discussed various legislative proposals in Mississippi and elsewhere that threatened the market share of the Choctaw’s casino operations, and which the Tribe wanted to somehow counter. It just so happened that a few months earlier, Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition and one of Abramoff’s long-time friends, had reached out to Abramoff: “Hey, now that I’m done with electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts.” Abramoff saw an opportunity: he suggested a grassroots effort and recommended the Choctaw hire Reed to orchestrate an anti- gaming effort.
The Tribe agreed to hire Reed to mobilize grassroots opposition to various legislative proposals throughout the Gulf Coast that would have increased gaming, thereby diminishing the Choctaw casino’s market share. No one from the Choctaw had any direct contact with Reed; rather, Abramoff served as the liaison with Reed and his firm, which eventually became a subcontractor to Preston Gates.
In March 1999, Abramoff and his associate, Shawn Vasell, spoke with Reed about the Choctaw’s grassroots needs. According to a draft engagement letter from Reed to Abramoff, Reed was hired to defeat a bill that had passed the Alabama House of Representatives “authorizing dog tracks in the state to install video poker and other casino-style games on their sites.” Reed promised to “build a strong grassroots network across the state against the extension of video poker and [REDACTION].” He claimed that no firm had better relationships than his with the grassroots conservatives in Alabama, including the Alabama Christian Coalition, the Alabama Family Alliance, the Alabama Eagle Forum, the Christian Family Association, and “leading evangelical pastors such as Frank Barker of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.” Reed boasted that “Century Strategies has on file over 3,000 pastors and 90,000 religious conservative households in Alabama that can be accessed in this effort.”
So Ralph E. Reed was selling his "believers" as his own private "Christian" PR-army to Jack Abramoff in order to support his criminal dealings.
He did not do this for free, of course, but received a handsome fee. Ralph E. Reed is obviously a very talented grifter, just like Queen Sarah from Alaska. It should come as no surprise that they both like each other!
More from the 2006 report:
On April 6, 1999, Abramoff informed Reed that he “spoke with our managing partner [at Preston Gates] and he has approved the subcontractor arrangement” and instructed Reed to “get me invoices as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks asap.” When Abramoff believed he could not get money quickly enough to Reed, Abramoff suggested that the Choctaw pay Reed directly: “Ralph, I am not sure that I can get this wire moving fast enough today. Give me your wire info and I’ll do what I can.” Abramoff then asked, “Any chance that a wire from Choctaw directly would be OK?” Reed’s response is unknown; however, the Committee has seen no evidence that the Choctaw paid Reed or his firms.
By mid-April, things were moving. In an e-mail entitled “Disbursement on behalf of Choctaw Indians,” Abramoff assured Reed that the money was on its way. Using the Choctaw’s money, Reed paid for grassroots activities including, telemarketing (patch-through, tape-recorded messages and call-to-action phone calls), targeted mail, legislative counsel and local management, rallies, petitions, “voter contact, television and radio production, the remainder of phones, the statewide fly-around, the pastor’s and activist rally, the church bulletin inserts, and other items.”
Reed also claimed that he was leveraging his contacts within the Christian community for the Choctaw’s benefit. Reed reported to Abramoff that there would be “a saturation statewide radio buy with a new ad by Jim Dobson that he will record tomorrow.” Reed assured Abramoff, “We are opening the bomb bay doors and holding nothing back. If victory is possible, we will achieve it,” and, one day later, again promised, “All systems are go on our end and nothing is being held back.”
By May 10, 1999, the Choctaw had paid Reed $1,300,000 through Preston Gates, with another $50,000 outstanding. For reasons unclear to the Committee, in late 1999 the Tribe discontinued paying Reed through Preston Gates. Rogers recalled that there came a time when either Reed or Preston Gates (or both) became uneasy about money being passed through Preston Gates to Reed. Abramoff thus searched for another conduit.
In the exhibits to the report, extensive email-correspondence between Abramoff and Reed can be found - examples (click to enlarge):
In 2010, a feature film starring Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff was released. The movie is based on the real events and has the title "Casino Jack."
Also in 2010, a documentary film about the Abramoff scandals was released. It is called "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and is available in full on youtube - where it only got little attention so far.
Here it is - this is a brilliant, devastating documentary, an absolute must-see - and it not only prominently features Ralph E. Reed, but also for example the corrupt scumbag Grover Norquist, who is still around:
So this is the caliber of Sarah Palin's latest "association!" Just wonderful, isn't it?
Still, we can be comforted in the knowledge that at the very least Sarah Palin will ensure that Santa Claus and Christ won't be taken out of Christmas! That surely is a real relief, and a great service for humanity. Please give Governor PayMe a medal or something, and let her give another speech, for her $ 90,000 standard fee, pretty please! She has a lot of Christmas presents to buy (and names lists from Mr Reed do not come cheap) so she needs the money, the poor woman!
Our reader "Got a life" was inspired and created this wonderful photo montage, which is just perfect for the content of our post:
Bill Moyers summarized the disgraceful "Mariana Islands episode" in an article at Huffington Post from 2012. This Mariana Islands PR-scandal is also explained in great detail in the excellent documentary film I posted above.
Excerpt from Bill Moyer's article:
As head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Reed boasts he's building a political dynamo of five million members with a massive database, an annual budget of $100 million and full-time lobbyists in all fifty state capitals, a colossal effort aimed at putting in place a right-wing social agenda and identifying and establishing contact with what it estimates as 27 million conservative voters in America. As you can imagine, with clout like that, Reed and his coalition were in high cotton at the Tampa convention.
Which brings us to that curious Mariana Islands minimum wage plank in the Republican platform. Some years ago, our government made an effort to clean up sweatshops on the islands -- including Saipan -- that have been under the control of the United States since the end of World War II.
Chinese women were brought over to the islands to work under awful conditions -- subject to forced abortions and prostitution and paid pennies for producing garments labeled "Made in the USA."
Corrupt local officials hired the firm of infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- for more than four million dollars -- to try to stop the reforms proposed back in Washington. Abramoff, in turn, hired Ralph Reed and his political direct mail company, Millennium Marketing, to conduct a phony grass roots campaign urging Alabama Christians to write their local congressman to oppose the reforms.
Of course, Reed didn't tell those Christians he was being paid to help keep running sweatshops that exploited women. Instead, he told them the reforms were a trick orchestrated by the left and organized labor. Limits on Chinese workers would keep them from being "exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ." His company explained it was just trying to encourage "grass roots citizens to promote the propagation of the Gospel" and that many of the workers were "converted to the Christian faith and return to China with Bibles in hand."