Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The SarahPac Tries To Quash The "Unofficial" Legal Defense Fund

Oh My!

The people at SarahPac are now working hard to stop a private citizen and Sarah Palin supporter from raising money for her defense.

In just a few days the "official" Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund was to be unveiled. Or as a spokesperson told me on April 5, "A legal defense fund should be up and running soon so keep your eyes out. I don't have the details to reveal now. The fund is a grassroots effort led by Alaskans, and many Alaskans and Americans have contacted us to inquire how they can assist."

But a similar "grassroots effort" led by a Texan beat her to it.

Clayton Paslay, a Texas businessman, did everything right. He contacted Sarah Palin's attorney, he filed all of the proper papers with the federal government and he announced his Sarah Palin Defense Fund yesterday with a new website.

This is what a spokesperson from the SarahPac told me about the fund yesterday -

"It is legal. It's just not the official one. Please tell people that the official one is soon to come. Again, we do not know that donors will comply with our terms and guidelines which are very strict - we may end up needing to contact every single donor to ask the questions that we will be asking. However, we appreciate any and all assistance! Thank you."

Today that same spokesperson is telling the Associated Press and other media outlets that it is not a legal defense fund and Sarah Palin can't accept the money.

Here is the statement from Meghan Stapleton of SarahPac:

"The continuing generosity of Alaskans and Americans is overwhelming as many reach out to assist Governor Sarah Palin and her family with their legal bills.

However, the official legal defense fund for Governor Sarah Palin has not been formed and the Governor cannot accept monies for those obligations from any other entity than the one in formation. Numerous federal and state laws to need to be abided by and the official legal defense fund will have very strict donation guidelines.

We thank everyone interested in helping the Governor. The best way to assist her will be through this official fund which will launch later this month."

Meghan Stapleton
Palin Family Spokesperson

Poor Clayton Paslay, a good man who is just trying to do the right things and gets caught in a buzz saw. Clayton never intended to give the money to Sarah Palin. He wanted to pay the attorney directly, for tax reasons.

The thing that surprises Mr. Paslay the most is that no one from SarahPac ever contacted him. When he tried to contact someone from SarahPac, they wouldn't respond.

Paslay tells me he did get a call from an attorney who identified himself as being in the "Sarah Palin camp" who insisted he take the site down. But since there was no way of confirming that the attorney was really affiliated with Sarah Palin, Clayton said "thanks, but no thanks."

Sarah Palin's personal attorney, Thomas Van Flein, told Clayton Paslay today that a trust fund will be set up in Alaska for the "official" defense fund and Palsay said, "Fine. I'll just send the money I collect to the trust fund." The response was - "we'll get back to you on that."

So now Clayton Paslay is in limbo, but he is not taking his site down. "I will work things out with SarahPac." Paslay says. "But as of right now, no one has contacted me from that orginization."

It is starting to feel like the SarahPac wants to quash this poor guys efforts for for all of the wrong reasons.

I hope it all works out for Clayton Paslay, whose heart was in the right place, but when it comes to politics and money - that's not good enough sometimes.

Says Clayton, "I still support Sarah Palin though. I think she is getting a raw deal and want to help."

And now it looks like Clayton Paslay is getting a raw deal too.

*****UPDATE***** Meghan Stapleton and Clayton Paslay have finall talked but nothing really was resolved. Clayton is keeping his site up ad will be on MSNBC tomorrow at 9:15. In the meantime, Thomas Van Flein has sent an email to Paslay saying he can't use Sarah Palin's likeness for his site. Is this really happening?


Oh Crap said...

Directly from SarahPAC:

"Please note: There are many websites claiming to support Sarah Palin. is the ONLY political action committee authorized by Sarah Palin."

Why don't you guys even listen to Sarah?

Oh Crap said...

That what I posted above is directly from the front page of SarahPAC.

BTW, Ms. Palin has also made it abundantly clear that she does not respect "bloggers".

Why do rightwing bloggers think she would suddenly feel any different about them? Are you all trying to be John Ziegler, the exception that proves the rule?


Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is the Jessica Simpson of Alaska. Duh, I don't know what papers I read.

SCSoxFan said...

I see the back adn forth going on at C4P and wanted to post a comment here something similar to waht I posted there.

There is "legal" and there is "authorized." Meg Stapleton, to me, was clear. This fund is a legally established fund but it is not ours. If they don't know who is donating or how much, they open themselves up to all kinds of potentially embarassing things.

Also, no one associated with Palin really knows who this group is or what positions they hold. They could hold positions antithetical to what she believes and could end up being slammed for being "directly associated" with a group with "questionable" positons when she has absolutely no connection.

Finally, they may, indeed, have Palin's best interests at heart, but I have to be at least a little suspicious of a group creating a "Sarah Palin Defense Fund" without getting her express approval first. Could it be that a group senses it can get some free publicity by associating itself with her?

Perhaps Stapleton could have been more forceful about their not being associated with this fund, but she did nothing wrong.

Editor said...


I don't think Meghan Stapleton did anything "wrong." I just think SarahPac could have handled this better. I posted exactly what she said about the fund..that it was legal but not official. She also said she appreciated it. It wasn't until the next day they decided they were not going to accept the money.

The SarahPac should have contacted Clayton directly and worked it out with him. He is a good man who just wants to do the right thing.

The Sarah palin Blog

Greg said...

We have to remember that SarahPAC is relatively new, and is still on its shakedown cruise period. With everything Gov. Palin or anyone associated with her, does, doesn't do, says or doesn't say, is under a microscope, which isn't easy. We, as her suppporters, have to be very careful that we don't, out of our enthusiasm for her, do something that would cause some idiot to file yet another "ethics" complaint. I know the money raised by the unofficial defense fund will get into the official fund, so I'm not concerned about that.

I told the folks at C4P just to relax a bit, and things will work themselves out.

SCSoxFan said...

I understand, Editor, but is seems that you are, shall we say, a little bit annoyed with Palin's staff, specifically Meg Stapleton. To me, the original statement from Stapleton clearly indicated that this unofficial fund was problematic, but clarity is in the eye of the reader.

I hope you will give Stapleton a break here. With only four PAC employees and she being the only one in Alaska with Palin, I suspect she is a bit overwhelmed. The Governor will need to look at whether she can expand her PAC staff without making it seem to Alaskans that she is running for President and not concentrating on her job. Her balancing act (and those of her AK and DC staffs) would cause me air sickness.

Editor said...


Yes, that is fair to say. I am a little annoyed. But i am going to withhold further commnt until I think it ou a little bit.

I will tell you this - I have now had several conversations with Clayton Pasley. He is a good man who wants to help Sarah Palin. They should be trying to work WITH him not against him.

narciso said...

No she meant the anonymousbloggers who threw lie after lie at Kos, filtered into the Huff Po, and a hundred other outlets. And she didn't want to give any press to Andi Sullivan. There will be an official site soon,wait for it.

So the Crapster, have you made up your mind if she is Stilson like zealot, or someone who made gay rights a reality, and supports contraception, I know those are big ideas to wrap yourself around,
or is Levi Johnston you're knew go to source.

SCSoxFan said...

I'll take your word regarding Mr. Pasley's intentions, Editor. I would have hoped, though, that a politically astute person would have realized that setting up what is, in essence, a shadow fund apart from the authorized one could cause some problems. If he truly wants to help, I would have suggested that he wait until the fund was established by Palin's people and worked with it then, using any contacts he may have and his website. Freelancing, especially for someone who is as targeted by the left & MSM as Palin is, only ends up causing unintended consequences.

From his statements, it would appear that Mr. Pasley is interested in helping the Governor and bears no ill will towards her people. If your conversations with him bear this out, I hope you will let go of the annoyance you feel and chalk it up to the continual growing pains of the Palin proto-organization.

Anonymous said...

Poor Mr. Paslay, now he is a victim for jumping the gun and starting a defense fund that was not authorized by the individual we are all trying to support, Sarah Palin. There's a reason why the process is taking the Palin Camp longer to do, they want it done right so there's no monkey business.

I am sorry, but appearing on MSNBC to discuss this matter reveals more about this individual's true intentions...I don't call this helping, I callt his exploiting...

Sarah Palin does not need this kind of support, it takes away from her, not add...I hope you guys refund everyone's money back and let them know to donate it to the correct place, when it's set up...that would be supporting.

LindaW said...

Hmm...I find this strange. If I had wanted to set up a legal fund to help Sarah Palin, but then her PAC said that there are strict rules to it, then I'd take down that legal fund and wait for the official one to come up. I also wouldn't call it "official" as it was not endorsed by her people.

I know that Mr. Pasley's heart is in the right place, but he should also be respectful to Sarah Palin's people by taking down the site. He can use his energy to promote the real "official" fund that will be set up by her people instead of trying to create confusing and drive money into his.

Sorry, but just saying.

sarah palin rocks said...

Hopefully, things will go smoother between SarahPac and pro-Palin blogs and organizations from this point out. We all just want to help. It has been frustrating for us Sarah supporters because we don't have much communication with SarahPac yet. The many donations that are now flowing into SarahPac will help pay for additional staff which should help improve communications.

Keep up the good work on your blog!

Oh Crap said...

In my field we work by something called SPOC - single point of contact. It really does work. I believe that is what Stapleton is trying to say.

I remember something similar re: Wasilla Bible Church arson, with the unhinged right blogosphere telling people to send random (and unsolicited) checks to WBC because the f#%s burned it down.

Of course people ponied up. Whatever happened to that investigation, and whatever happened to that donated money?? Did anyone bother to ask, or is that too far back in historical memory to address, what with Obama coming for your guns and your daughters?

Later, a couple of dorks put up Palinit, some bogus Google mirror, and people flocked to it without thinking first, as if Sarah was somehow associated with it. She wasn't.

Why not just wait for Sarah's own lead instead of putting her in these awkward spots, associating her with single-issue sites like FAC?

Makes it look like the work of scam artists trying to ride her name for profit, though they may not be.

(Also makes the followers look like they don't really trust the person they are following to make their own decisions, on their own time.

Do they not think Sarah is capable of handling her own legal affairs??)

Oh Crap said...

Some unmedicated frother said:

So the Crapster, have you made up your mind if she is Stilson like zealot, or someone who made gay rights a reality, and supports contraception, I know those are big ideas to wrap yourself around,
or is Levi Johnston you're knew go to source.

None of that made any sense, given that as a conservative, you're likely a product of homeschooling or eight years of No Child Left Behind either of which leave its hapless victims completely unable to express yourselves in writing.

Or, you could be one of the older ones who despise the very idea of education and resent those of us who are fortunate enough to have one, dunno.

(Oh and BTW, Adam and Steve are indeed getting married. I believe the phrase goes, "whether you like it or not.")

Get over it and move on.

Marie Bender said...

Is she not capable of fighting with a teenage boy with her own money?

narciso said...

The church was rebuilt, one, the investigation is likely ongoing, two, Three, I was educated at private school on scholarship and university. Four, why do you dredge up youthless facts like the discounted allegations of the Johnstons, into your blog corner, at least half of that stuff is all garbage. Five, Clayton Paisley probably means well, but you have to dot every I and cross every T, because of the abuse of the ethics law. six, you really have no consideration for her, so just buzz off, We try to stay away from the Huffington Post and certainly the Kos blogs do the same, and don't come here

Dan said...

Sarah Palin just wants to make sure it is all 100% above board so the media doesnt attack her for it. Whats the big deal if we have to wait a few days/weels for the OFFICIAL fund to be set up before donating? I will donate the max to the official fund once it is set up. Do not freak out!

Anonymous said...

Is she trying to be like OctoMom?? Why would she think anyone should help her pay legal fees she incurred herself... How many Governors ask for donations for their bills ??? Get Real !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I could care less about what Sarah Palin or her little pit bull Meghan Stapleton have to say about anything. They both disgust me and I can NOT wait until people finally wake UP and see how inept Palin is! Palinbots are as vacuous as Palin herself. Palin "doesn't respect bloggers"? Who gives a crap what she thinks?

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