Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Timeline of Sarah Palin's involvement with Convicted Senator Ted Stevens

To commemorate today's court ruling that found Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska guilty on all counts of corruption, I thought we might review Sarah Palin's connections with Sen Stevens. Here are some relevant excerpts from the Jotman's Palin Timeline. I have included a few other, non-Stevens related events to provide context.

In the process of doing careful source-checking for the timeline, I discovered a significant error in a widely circulated Washington Post report concerning Palin's involvement with Stevens. I refer to the error in the timeline.
  • life-transition/family/career/other (BLACK
  • federal earmarks, Sen. Stevens-related, etc. (MONEY GREEN)
  • bridge to nowhere (WATER BLUE)
  • Other Palin scandals, listed on the main timeline, not included on this timeline.
1992-6 - "Wasilla had received few if any earmarks before Palin became mayor. " (LAT)


1996-2000 - Wasilla benefited from $26.9 million in Federal earmarks.
1996 - sum - In the interest of preventing highway fatalities, the Wasilla council debated whether to mandate an earlier closing times for the bars.The police chief was among those calling for closing the taverns earlier. "Because bars in Anchorage closed earlier, some people drove to Wasilla to keep drinking, endangering themselves and others, Stambaugh argued." Palin sided with the bar owners.
1996 - Sep - ran for mayor of Wasilla, pop. 6,000


2000-2003 - Wasilla receives 11.9 million in federal earmarks (20 times per-capita average in other states)
2000 - Jan - writes glowing letter of reference for Wooten to become a state trooper. Palin called him "a fine role model."
2000 -
hired a Washington lobbyist to secure federal earmarks for her community (Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, an Anchorage-based law firm with close ties to Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens


2001 - McCain list of spending "that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla."
2001 - fee paid by Wasilla to Mr. Silver pf the lobby firm raised from $24,000 to $36,000.
2001 - piper born


2002 - leaves Assemblies of God church, an Evangelical church which she had attended since the age of four.
2002 - McCain objects to $1 million for Wasillla "in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town -- one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion."
2002 - "As Palin campaigned unsuccessfully in 2002 to become lieutenant governor, she received contributions from executives at VECO Corp., a powerful Alaska oil field services company.(IHT)"
2002 - unsuccessful in her campaign for lieutenant governor.
2002 - Oct - Palin's second term as mayor of Wasilla ends.


2003 - McCain criticized $450,000 for an "agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor."
2003 - Feb - Palin, although she did not have an oil and gas background, was named chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission "with the $125,000-a-year seat designated for a "public" member."
2003-4 - Chairwoman, AOGCC
2003 - Nov - Ruedrich resigned from the AOGCC. "Palin, acting as chairwoman and ethics supervisor, passed complaints up the ladder to the attorney general and the governor's office." Press accounts make Palin the hero.

2004 - Jan - Palin resigns AOGCC in protest "over what she called the 'lack of ethics' of fellow Republican members."
2004 - Mar 17 - founding of a mysterious 527political organization named "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service Inc." Palin one of the three founding directors of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc."This "527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors" is described as a "boot camp for Republican women" in Alaska.WaPo reports "The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported that several experts called the group an example of the fine legal line between a legal effort to conduct political activity and then-new prohibitions against raising unlimited soft-money." (WaPo article incorrectly states group was founded in 2003. Proof 03-17-2004 is actual founding date here and here).
2004 - Jun - Republican Ruedrich, who Palin had helped get fired, admits to breaking ethics laws, fined. Palin is vindicated in the media.

2005 - Jun - resigns from Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service Inc.
2005 - Nov 16 - Republicans in US Congress stipulate that $442 million does not have to be spent on Alaska's maligned "bridge to nowhere." However, Alaska would now get to keep the money "with no strings attached."

2006 - Feb - private meeting with McCain in a National Governors Association meeting

2006 - Sen. Stevens films campaign commercial with Palin. It is "a last moment endorsement."
2006 - Mar 1 -Grimes suspends trooper Mike Wooten for 3 days.
2006 - Sep - Gubernatorial election. "Palin campaigned on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them 'nowhere.' . . . said the bridge was essential for the town’s prosperity."
2006 - Oct 2 - interview with the KDN
"There needs to be a link between Ketchikan and its future and its future opportunities and progress, opening up land in this area," she said. ("Critics of the bridge projects pointed out that members of the Murkowski family own land on Gravina Island and business associates of Stevens and Young, as well as a member of Young's family, own land that would be accessed by the Knik Arm Bridge" TW (and this TPM post).
2006 - Fall - wins Republican primary, defeating Gov. Frank Murkowski

2006 - Dec - jobs go "to friends and appointed lobbyists to oversee industries they used to represent (Newsweek).
2006 - Dec - now governing a state with 2 international borders: Canada and Russia

2007 - Jun - signed into law a $6.6 billion operating budget—the largest in Alaska's history
2007 - Aug - I-35W bridge in Minnesote collapses, killing 13 people
2007 - Aug - McCain talked about I-35W and slammed the Ketchikan "bridge to nowhere"
2007 - Sep - Track enlisted in the U.S. Army
2007 - Sep 24 - canceled "Bridge to Nowhere" because of cost overruns (WaPo) and its "national notoriety. Canceling work on the bridge will free up about $36 million in federal funds that may be used on other Alaska transportation projects, the governor said" TW . A three-mile road on sparsely populated Gravina Island built with $25 million of the original bridge money -- integral to the original plan -- because otherwise "money would have had to be returned to the federal government."
2007 - Dec - posed for Vogue Magazine.

2008 - JAN

2008 - FEB
2008 - Feb - office sent Sen. Stevens outline for "$200 million worth of new funding requests for Alaska."

2008 - MAR
2008 - Mar 5 - staff and Alaska press, and family, told Palin 7 months pregnant (NY Times story).
2008 - Mar 31 - established "a $150 bounty to the state sanctioned airborne wolf hunters as an added incentive to increase their kills," soon overturned by the Alaska State Court.

2008 - APR
2008 - Apr 16 - 04:00 - Avalanches took out five transmission towers at the Snettisham hydroelectric power plant near Juneau that provides the primary source of electric power to the citizens of Juneau. Estimates indicated the hydroelectric power will not be restored for approximately three months.

2008 - MAY

2008 - JUN
2008 - June 7 - Palin flies to Juneau to Wasilla. The return trip plane ticket costs $519.50. It will be billed to the state.
2008 - June 9 - Palin flies from Wasilla to Juneau.
ADN reports "State records show that Palin submitted a travel authorization for a quick round-trip visit to attend the June 8 graduation of the Master's Commission program at the Wasilla Assembly." In addition to the plane ticket, she billed the state for expenses of $120.00

2008 - JUL

2008 - Jul 11 - relations between Palin and her mentor former Alaska Gov. Wally Hickel sour. Hickel insists on an “all-Alaska” pipeline (says "stand up to Canada!"), while Palin is pushing for a state license for TransCanada Corp.
2008 - Jul (late) - prior to Stevens indictment, Palin holds joint news conference with Stevens to make clear she had not abandoned him politically.
2008 - Jul 31 - Alaska Sen. Stevens indicted on seven counts of corruption (accepting illegal gifts). "A federal grand jury accused Stevens of concealing on financial disclosure statements lucrative gifts from the now-defunct oil company Veco and its top executives." The Wasilla account had been handled by the former chief of staff to Stevens, Steven W. Silver., -- a partner in Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, the firm Palin had hired (WaPo)

2008 - AUG
2008 - Aug 24 - McCain called Palin to discuss the VP.
2008 - Aug 27 - Palin visited McCain's vacation home near Sedona, Arizona, where she was offered VP. (no face-to-face discussion about it beforehand).
2008 - Aug 29 - Fri - ad showing Sen. Stevens endorsing Palin in 2006 removed from Gov's website (view ad).
2008 - Aug 29 - Fri
- McCain introduces Palin as running-mate to crowd. "McCain emphasized Palin's role as commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard."
2008 - Aug 29 - Fri - Palin told a cheering McCain crowd: "I've championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress thanks, but no thanks, on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we'd build it ourselves."

2008 - SEP
2008 - Sep 3 - Palin speech at RNC.
2008 - Sep 3 - McCain repeats
"contention that Governor Palin rejected the controversial Bridge to Nowhere" in an interview with ABC News.
Jotman's entire Palin Timeline is available, listing various possible scandals in Palin's career.

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