Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Any day now, your dog will be able to get a job with the State of Alaska--another episode of the "Alaska Hillbillies."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Any day now, your dog will be able to get a job with the State of Alaska--another episode of the "Alaska Hillbillies."

I listened to KUDO yesterday morning (while still in bed, of course) and heard an interview Cary Carrigan did with Andree McLeod, who filed an ethics complaint against Sarah Palin (the story is in the ADN).
A former state employee and political activist filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Sarah Palin and her staff Wednesday. The charge: The governor's office used its influence to get a Palin supporter a state job.

"Executive branch employee shouldn't be getting involved in the recruitment process unless it's based on merit," said Andree McLeod, who wrote the complaint based on a series of e-mails between members of Palin's team.

Palin said the state fixed a "glitch" that prevented a qualified candidate from moving through the hiring process. In this case a longtime surveyor couldn't apply for a job because of outdated job requirements, she said.

"There were no favors done for anybody."

Within the complaint, it mentions that "Tom and Kate Lamal hosted a fundraiser for Sarah Palin at the Pagoda Restaurant in North Pole on Tuesday, June 20, 2006."

It then lists a number of emails from a number of high-level positions within the Administration celebrating Tom Lamal's appointment to a Right-of-Way Agent II position. One particularly disturbing email was from Frank Bailey to Sarah Palin, Kristine Perry and "Unknown":
"This was a long battle but Kevin pushed it through the road blocks to get Tom Lamal hired into a classified position with FAI at DOT."

A classified position...not an appointee position. Also, it's a position that is at least partially paid-for by the Feds.

As has become much too familiar the last several months, here come the catty-little-attacks against the messenger by the Governor and Sharon Leighow:
"This is the same Andree McLeod that follows us around at public events and camps herself out in our waiting area and hounds us for a job, asking us if there's a way she can go around Workplace Alaska and not have to go through the system to get a job with this administration," Palin said.
She also called her that "falafel lady."

Andrew Halcro's blog shows a big chunk-o-emails that Ms. Palin sent to Andree..."that stalker"..."that falafel lady?"

That was a great letter to the ed. this week Andree. I haven't had time to call but wanted to tell you it was, again, insightful & educational & good writing.

I'm still disenchanted with the whole issue of RR and state politics and am not even very optimistic about the call for an independent investigation. We'll see. I guess I'll believe it when I see it.

Hope you're doing well, staying warm & staying on top of all these state issues I'm hearing about on the news!

He has many more quotes from Sarah to Andree listed. Is Sarah in the habit of regularly emailing and complimenting stalkers?

Andree's FOIA request targeted a specific time period, which is not surprising.
McLeod said she worked for the state off and on for decades, most recently as Alaska Workforce Investment Board manager. She was appointed to the job by former Gov. Frank Murkowski, she said.

It's a good bet that she knew something fishy was going on when she worked there. When she found out Lamal got the job in Feb of this year, she sent in the FOIA.

Having worked for the Feds for 15 years, I encountered a number of "issues" that were more-than-questionable but not provable without a ton of research. If I was pissed off enough to expend the time and energy on all of that research (i.e. if Sarah Palin had led me on with the promise of a job, like she did to SO MANY folks she got lots of free work out of, only to stiff them later on) does it really matter if that was the motivation?

Survey says?

Just as interesting was the information Kyle Hopkins posted on the ADN Blog last night:

Kevin Brooks, the deputy commissioner of Administration, just sent some paperwork related to yesterday's ethics complaint against the Palin administration.

Once again: Palin, some of her staffers and Brooks are accused in a complaint saying they helped Palin supporter Tom Lamal get a state job. The job was a right-of-way agent post in Fairbanks, and Palin says Lamal is a qualified surveyor who wasn't able to go through the hiring process because of outdated requirements for the job.

Those requirements were changed. Lamal was able to get the job.

HERE are the Right-of-Way requirement changes.

When I saw that Kevin Brooks put out this information, I thought that it would definitively show there was nothing to the charges. Then I started comparing.

The Right-of-Way Assistant position (currently hiring) and the Right-of-Way Agent I (ROWA I) are the ONLY right-of-way jobs that even MENTION college in the "updated" minimum requirements. I applied for a few jobs with the State while working for the Feds but I perused Workplace Alaska regularly. I can tell you I've NEVER seen high-level positions like that without college requirements.

And the ROWA II has a SIGNIFICANT drop in the minimum requirements--Lamal is a ROWA II:

Prior to December 2007:
Five years experience in governmental, public, or commercial acquisition or management of real property involving appraising, negotiation, title examining, land recordation, relocation, surveying, cartography and/or drafting, at least one year of which must have been at the level of Right-of-Way Agent I with the State of Alaska or the equivalent elsewhere.

College education in the fields of public land management, real estate, law, business administration, geology, forestry, geography, cartography, or engineering may be substituted for the required nonspecific experience on a year-for-year basis.

Post December 2007:
One year of trainee-professional experience learning to acquire land for construction of highways, airports, buildings or other public facilities through negotiation or eminent domain action; to provide relocation assistance to displaced persons; and to manage State owned right-of-way property. This experience is met by service as a Right of Way Agent I with the State of Alaska, or the equivalent elsewhere.


Two years of professional experience in any of the following: searching, analyzing, and evaluating real property titles; preparing legal land descriptions; appraising real property; acquiring, managing, or disposing of commercial real estate; as an agent for personal or commercial real property transactions, or in surveying or engineering.

Rumor has it that starting for a ROWA II is Range 16A--that equals $3,697.00. One year of trainee/professional experience acquiring land is worth $44,364.00 a year?? That means that an 20-year-old who worked in their parent's Real Estate business could get that job.

I can almost hear those banjos a-playin'!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So please tell us... are any supporters of Barack Obama going to get a job for the government once he is elected??
If so, please stop your stupid, idiotic and moronic comments. You people are so childish and petty.

8/08/2008 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diva - Your blog is now in my top 3 favorites.

You should be a reporter. Keep up the good work.

8/08/2008 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Ted said...

Regarding Gov Sarah Palin, Joe over at palinforvp.blogspot.com says:

Now that Palin has successfully maneuvered two tremendously difficult bills through the Alaskan legislature, each having to do with energy, she truly has stature on the entire energy issue, and has stature as a governor who can get things done in a political world where stalemate usually rules the day.

I now agree that McCain should make his move.

Imagine the ads...

1. "She is a young woman who ran against the Republican establishment, and has effectively moved Alaksa in the direction of reform, against all odds.

Don't just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin 2008."

2. "She is a governor who in 2 years of office passed a law that had been lanquishing for years; a law that will allow for the flow of natural gas resources from the great state of Alaska to the midwest, into energy hungry areas. Against all odds.

Don't just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008."

3. "She is a governor who insisted her state legistlature stay in session until a true energy plan could be put into place offering real and immediate relief to Alaska's citizens during this difficult energy crunch.

Don't just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008."

4. "She is a mother of 5. She is an avid hunter, fisher, one who loves and believes in the importance of the environment for us and for future generations. She also understands that energy resources can and should be tapped in ways that do not threaten our land. She believes it and is doing it.

Don't just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008."

5. John McCain. The Original Maverick. Sarah Palin. The New Maverick. Together they fought 'A Bridge to Nowhere' and knocked the establishment on its heals. Together, they will reform America.

Don't just hope for change, VOTE FOR IT. McCain/Palin, 2008."

Congratulations, Governor Palin. Senator McCain, please make your move.

8/09/2008 2:40 AM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Rah, rah, rah...

Oh wait, the Legislature is officially investigating her now.

Not gonna happen...

Regarding the job issue, this is not an "appointee" position...this is a "classified" job. It is ILLEGAL for there to be ANY INFLUENCE involved in a classified job.

That's why this ethics complaint actually has teeth.

8/09/2008 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone that thinks Ted is a fruitcake, raise your hand!

8/09/2008 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure some Obama supporters are going to get jobs if he's elected, but he's not going to be so bone-headed as to rewrite the job qualification to get them hired. That is so friggin back-water, it's begging to be uncovered. You can't preach about transparency and clean governing and then pull something like this.

9/07/2008 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Tom Lamal any relationship to Kate Lamal, who Palin appointed to the board of the Natural Gas Authority last Septemeber? http://www.gov.state.ak.us/boards/rosters/board212.html

9/07/2008 8:25 PM  

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