Palin Was a Director of Embattled Sen. Stevens's 527 Group
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was for Sen. Ted Stevens before she was against him.
ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group
Though her name was removed from the group in 2005, in its initial founding, questions were raised.
At the time Stevens revealed the existence of the 527 group -- a type of independent political corporation named for its the section of the tax code -- ethics experts questioned whether it was appropriate.
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.
Palin's connection with Sevens continued up until his indictment last July on seven counts of corruption.
Palin, an anti-corruption crusader in Alaska, had called on Stevens to be open about the issues behind the investigation. But she also held a joint news conference with him in July, before he was indicted, to make clear she had not abandoned him politically.
Stevens had been helpful to Palin during her run for governor, swooping in with a last moment endorsement. And the two filmed a campaign commercial together to highlight Stevens's endorsement of Palin during the 2006 race.
Shortly after Palin was announced as McCain's vice presidential pick, the ad was removed from her gubernatorial campaign web site. It remains available on YouTube.
A Palin spokeswoman had no immediate response.
The Fairbanks News-Miner reported on that July news conference.
Alaska's Sen. Stevens denies rift with Palin, lays out energy relief plan
Dan Joling/The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, July 2, 2008
ANCHORAGE — U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens sought to minimize reports of friction between him and Gov. Sarah Palin as she joined him Wednesday at a press conference laying out Stevens’ proposals for relief from high energy prices.
“We’re each free to make comments about what the other does and every once in while she’ll say I’m stupid,” said the 84-year-old Stevens, drawing laughter. “She may be right.”
Palin quickly jumped in to say she had never called the longest serving Republican in Senate history “stupid.” There has been a great difference, she said, between perception and reality when it comes to their relationship.
“I have great respect for the senator,” she said. “He needs to be heard across America. His voice, his experience, his passion needs to be heard across America so Alaska can contribute more.”
Palin made openness in politics a cornerstone of her campaign and took aim at congressional earmarks, or direct appropriations, that send money to states outside bureaucratic review. Stevens as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee has masterfully directed billions to Alaska and makes no apology for it, citing the state’s dearth of infrastructure.
Palin in September called on Stevens to explain why the FBI is investigating the remodel of his home in Girdwood and his ties to former VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen, who has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska state legislators.
As for the investigation, “I do think the governor had every right to say what she did. I didn’t entertain any umbrage about it. I never talked to her about it at all. I wish I had her freedom to speak about it, but I don’t. It’s there, it’s continuing and that’s all there is to it.”