October 30, 2008

Getting the Message Out

Justin Katz

I just passed a woman standing at the corner of Union and West Main in Portsmouth holding a home-made sign reading:

Try the REPUBLICANS for Change

Now, I don't know if she intended just to buck the national mantra or if she's referring to state and municipal elections, to which her message is more clearly applicable. But I love the idea that she had a thought and set about conveying it to hundreds of people, with no apparent direct personal benefit.

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Republicans for change... if you're referring to the size of future American paychecks maybe.

Posted by: Erik D. at October 30, 2008 5:36 PM

Maybe she was indicating Republican VP candidate Gov.Sara Palin who has been hailed as someone who has fought against corruption needs to change! 1st Troopergate found her guilty and 2nd Troopergate is ongoing now she has Travelgate. It’s reported Clothinggate charges are under review.
Latest story:

“Palin faces new ethics complaint over kids' travel
30 October 2008
By RACHEL D'ORO – 18 hours ago

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new ethics complaint has been filed against Sarah Palin, accusing the Alaska governor of abusing her power by charging the state when her children traveled with her.

The complaint alleges that the Republican vice presidential nominee used her official position as governor for personal gain, violating a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. It follows a report by The Associated Press last week that Palin charged the state more than $21,000 for her three daughters' commercial flights, including events where they weren't invited, and later ordered their expense forms amended to specify official state business.

In some cases, Palin also has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

The complaint released Wednesday says Palin charged the travel costs for events her children were not invited to and where they served in no legitimate state purpose or business.

"Governor Palin intentionally secured unwarranted benefits for family members, improperly used state property to benefit her personal and financial interests, and illegally altered documents that were the subject of a Public Records request," the complaint states.

Earlier this month, a legislative report found Palin violated state ethics laws when she fired her public safety commissioner. The state's Personnel Board also has hired an independent counsel for a similar investigation.

Under Alaska law, it is up to the Personnel Board to decide whether Palin violated state law. The attorney general's office didn't return messages seeking comment Wednesday, but has previously said the possible penalties in the first Personnel Board investigation could carry a possible fine of up to $5,000.

The latest complaint was filed by Frank Gwartney, an Anchorage Democrat who supports Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Gwartney, 60, said he is fed up with "all the corruption" among Alaska's elected officials, including Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who was convicted this week on federal corruption charges.

"Sarah ran on this very self righteous campaign on ethics and anti-corruption," Gwartney told the AP. "She is no different from the others."

Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said he was not aware of the complaint and could not comment.

Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said she can't comment specifically on the complaint because it is confidential. But she said generally the first family is expected to participate in community activities across Alaska and represents the state on travels.

"We receive hundreds of invitations for the governor each month, and a majority of them request the first family participate," Leighow said. "The Palin children can only participate in a fraction of the events."

Responding to the travel issue, Palin told Fox News last week that every Alaska governor has traveled with family when it's a first family function. "And it's always been charged to the state," she said. "That's part of the job."

The state already is reviewing nearly $17,000 in per diem payments to Palin for 312 nights she slept at her home in Wasilla, about an hour's drive from her satellite office in Anchorage.

In the complaint, Gwartney asks that the matter be investigated by the Alaska Personnel Board — a three-member panel is appointed by the governor.

The ethics travel grievance was first reported by CBS News.”

Posted by: Ken at October 30, 2008 6:04 PM

Ken-I didn't realize palin was running for president

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 30, 2008 6:13 PM

She is not running for president but maybe starting to be a drag on McCain and the party.

As I indicated above:
"Republican VP candidate Gov.Sara Palin"

Posted by: Ken at October 30, 2008 7:10 PM

The only way to promote change in RI is to elect members of the opposition party. That means the Republican Party here in RI. Now i know people around here have to wear garlic around their neck and sprinkle holy water on their ears if you utter the word "Republican". But if you truly want to change things you need to elect the person with the R next to their name. Vote Republican in RI on Tuesday, November 4th.

Posted by: Andrew at October 30, 2008 7:24 PM


You want me to blindly vote for every (R) without question for “Change”!

Sara Palin (R) in a speech was trying to make a case linking Senator Obama (D) to a PLO spokesman named Rashid Khalidi trying to cast doubt on Senator Obama loyalty to America.

Guess what according to an article at Abcnews.com, ties exist between Rashid Khalidi, who has been identified as a "PLO spokesman" by the McCain-Palin campaign, with the International Republican Institute (IRI), where Senator McCain (R) is chairman, having served in the position since 1993, providing funding to the organization, Center for Palestine Research and Studies, which was co-founded by Professor Khalidi.

In 1993, McCain became chairman of the International Republican Institute. He still chairs that respected organization. According to tax returns, the McCain-chaired IRI funded the organization Khalidi founded and served on to the tune of $448,873 in 1998 The IRI continued to give money to the CPRS after Khalidi left the group as well.

Rhode Island might have lost its title as the smallest and most corrupt state in the nation because Alaska may be the second youngest state in the country, but it's also one of the most corrupt. The state's entire congressional delegation -- Sens. Ted Stevens (R) (GUILTY) and Lisa Murkowski (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) -- is now embroiled in a series of scandals and criminal investigations that threaten to topple Alaska's oil industry-friendly political leadership. Much of the corruption involves Alaska's largest oil-field engineering firm, Veco Corp., which is entwined in a broad federal investigation that has led to the indictment of four current and former Alaska politicians and ensnared former Alaska Senate President Ben Stevens, son of Ted Stevens.

There are 4 current ethics violations filed against Gov. Sara Palin. 1 has found her (GUILTY). 2 are under investigation and 1 is against both RNC and Gov. Palin is under investigation.

I will not blindly pull (R) but take a close look at each candidate and their record for “Change” advising all family members and friends to do the same.

Posted by: Ken at October 30, 2008 10:35 PM

Damn. We need to beatify her. Or at least take her picture and post it.

Go, woman!

Posted by: Monique at October 30, 2008 10:39 PM


Do you prefer milk, cream, lemon, or none in your tea during afternoon high tea?

Posted by: Ken at October 30, 2008 11:05 PM


The woman in question is most likely deranged. Your duty as a passerby should have been to stop and engage her in enough conversation to determine if she was aware of her surroundings, if she was coherent, if she knew the date, who was president etc.. In short you should have tried to see if she was a danger to herself or anyone else in the area and then called 911.

Posted by: Phil at October 31, 2008 6:36 AM

It constantly amazes me how when people think of politics, they get tunnel vision and only think of the national stage. There's more to politics than Washington. As Tip O'Neill famously said, "All politics is local". I'm pretty sure the woman was referring to local politics. I've been trying to tell people the same thing. I hear all the Obama supporters in RI talking about "Hope" and "Change", but then they also want to vote Democrat in RI. That's not hope or change, that's hopeless and more of the same. If you truly want change, go ahead and vote for Obama, but in RI, vote Republican. Our problems in RI are not because of the Republicans, as we have so few in office. Vote out the Democratic incumbents. They're the ones who have gotten us into this mess. They're the ones causing the problems in RI. If you truly want local change, then yes, try the Republicans.

Posted by: James L. at October 31, 2008 8:42 AM

Phil-Biden is change?And change is overrated if it's the wrong kind of change.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 31, 2008 8:51 AM

This is off topic, but I just visited RIFuture.org for the first time since I-can't-remember-when.

I am posting here because in order to have my thoughts posted over there requires a registration card, and I frankly don't want any of my personal information to wind up in the ether.

That being said, after scrolling around for a bit, I quickly remembered why I haven't visited the site for so long: It's because I can't. It's negative, biting and ripe with personal attacks.

What's more frightening -- on this All Hallow's Eve, no less -- is that despite their obvious bias and unabashed propagandist tactics, they are positioning themselves as reporters.

I noticed Ian over at Not For Nothing has a similar post up at the moment wondering if blogs will represent a golden age in journalism.

With sites like RIFuture and DailyKos representing the blogosphere, I for one, frankly hope not.

Let me also say that I also hope Anchor Rising does not become our state's "paper of record" either.

It's one thing to make fun of the news. It's another to dissect and discuss it. But to act as a de facto media outlet of a particular ideology on one hand and then turn around and somehow hold yourself above legitimate news organizations is disturbing and goes to illustrate just how close we are to obliterating the line between news and propaganda.

It is a shame what is happening to our Providence paper. Perhaps if they were doing a better job providing more comprehensive local coverage, ideological bloggers wouldn't be on the verge of claiming the mantle of "reporters."

Do blogs take out libel insurance? Do they protect themselves from suit the same way as news organizations need to? Are there any measures to ensure that they are not simply engaging in slander?

If they want the same recognition and status as newspapers or media groups, then they indeed should. My guess is that most do not.

Maybe blogs will herald a golden age in journalism. Or maybe they will just continue to contribute to our downward spiral into a nation rife with political division, anonymous personal attacks and outright partisanship packaged as "news."

I don't know, maybe my sensibilities are staid, or maybe I just like to be able to trust my news sources.

The credibility -- not just the freedom of our press -- is paramount to the health of our country and our democratic process.

That's why I'm not willing to drop my newspaper subscriptions just yet, nor am I willing to embrace the blogosphere as my primary news source.

So in this age of spin, hype and calculated distractions, here's one vote for a return of detached, suspicious, cynical, unyielding and non-partisan journalism.

Posted by: Anonymous at October 31, 2008 11:11 AM

Well said, Anon.
As much as we all love to hammer newspaper and the rest of the MSM, what would bloggers have to chew on without them?
As that plaque on Patrick Lynch's desk says, "With great power comes great responsibility." Bloggers, talk radio hosts and callers, etc., love to wield the power, but is it acceptable to shirk the responsibility?
Do we want a nation without libel and slander laws?

Posted by: rhody at October 31, 2008 12:14 PM
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