Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is it legal to have a legal defense fund? Yes.

As you probably recall from the overly ecstatic way some news sources trumpeted it as the biggest story of the week (or, at least, a much bigger story than the eroding support for President Obama's health care takeover), the allegation was made that the Alaska Trust Fund (the legal defense fund to support Sarah Palin, who was inundated with frivolous ethics complaints during her last months in office) was itself in violation of ethics laws.

(And if you were under a rock last week, here's the story again, courtesy the NYTimes.)

Previously, Kristan Cole, the trustee of the fund, issued a statement about the legality of the fund. In it, she states:

This Trust was created by a team of expert lawyers from around the country. It was thoroughly vetted for compliance with federal and state law and trust law...Every aspect of the Alaska Fund Trust follows the law.

Now, today, the lawyer who actually created the fund, Randy Evans, wrote this column about the legality of the fund, in an attempt to tell "the rest of the story". Interesting information abounds:

As with the other trusts (which were subject to intense media scrutiny as well as scrutiny by well-financed political opponents and experienced lawyers of both parties), there is and was no impropriety in the creation or operation of the trust and any suggestion to the contrary is candidly absurd...

The Alaska Fund Trust was drafted and created to mirror the language used by the John Kerry Trust fund (named the "Fund for Truth and Honor")...

The John Kerry Trust Fund was drafted and created by a very well respected international law firm named Perkins Coie, a huge presence in Washington, D.C. Indeed, Perkins Coie is the lead counsel for the Democratic National Committee, President Obama, and many other national Democratic leaders. Its website touts its reach and expertise in political law matters on behalf of a virtual who's who of Democratic politics.

Given its expertise, when an outside firm was selected to spearhead the investigation of The Alaska Fund Trust, it was not surprising that Perkins Coie's Alaska office would be selected...

Make no mistake, the Alaska Fund Trust is the exact same structure and fund created for and used by President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State and former Presidential candidate (then Senator) Hillary Clinton, former Presidential candidate (then House Minority Leader) Richard Gephardt (also represented by Perkins Coie), Senator Ted Stephens, and many, many others - from both political parties.

I'd love to quote more, but I'm guessing I'm about to run afoul of "fair use" rules if I do.

Anyway, it sure seems as if everything is on the level with this legal defense fund, and yet Sarah Palin's name is being dragged through the mud, yet again. But I suppose that doesn't matter to the many, many people who have disregarded facts in order to keep their present mindset about her. I'll have more to say about those later. In the meantime, please check out the links above, and keep an open mind.