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Justin Rood/ABC News misleads about Sarah Palin divestment from Sudan

Followers of the MSM's attempt to destroy Sarah Palin have probably noticed a trend: the MSM reports something that's false or misleading and uses the "recollections" of a Democratic politician from Alaska as their authority on the matter. That's then picked up by the blogs and amplified, until such time as a new smear is ready.

Thus it is that Justin Rood of ABC News offers "Record Refutes Palin's Sudan Claim/Palin Administration Against Sudan Divestment Before It Was For It, Documents Show" (link). The main quote source in the article is Alaskan Democratic politician Les Gara, who's also the "validator" for a highly misleading "fact check" from the Barack Obama campaign: factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/10/02/debate_reality_check_palin_wro_1.php

That BHO page says "Palin's administration was complicit in killing Darfur divestment bill" and provides a few quotes in support of that claim. However, the BHO campaign "forgets" to point out that Palin later supported the bill when it was reintroduced in the next session.

Taking his cues from the BHO campaign, ABC's Rood says:
In Thursday's debate, Palin said she had advocated the state divest from Sudan. "When I and others in the legislature found out that we had some millions of dollars [of Permanent Fund investments] in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars," Palin said.

But a search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska's investments tied to the ruling regime. Moreover, Palin's administration openly opposed the bill, and stated its opposition in a public hearing on the measure.
Rood himself and the subhead both admit that the most that can be said is that she (i.e., her administration) were against it to begin with for one reason or other. There are only two angles for an honest reporter: why was her administration was against it initially, and does her statement above imply some sort of immediate action rather than allowing for initial opposition. Rood is trying to give the impression that she was outright lying about supporting divestment, something that this April 03, 2008 article shows to be false (link):
Gov. Sarah Palin's administration signaled support Tuesday for the Legislature to order the divestment of Alaska's public funds from Sudan, where thousands of people have died in the Darfur region.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Patrick Galvin endorsed a bill promoting divestment in Sudan at a hearing before the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Also, the bill that ABC discusses was sponsored by Democrat Les Gara and Republican Bob Lynn. The latter couldn't be reached, but Gara is quite eager to pin blame on Palin and lays it on thick:
"At the last minute they showed up" and supported the divestment effort, Gara said. But by then the legislative session was almost over, and there wasn't enough time to get it passed.
Rood's timeline appears to place that "early this year". Yet, the Alaskan legislature began its session on January 15 (link), and according to this, state senator Hollis French was to co-sponsor a new version of the bill. Rood's timeline is obviously off.

For the details, one possibility would be to contact "Save Darfur Anchorage"; if she were the sticking point I'm sure they would have covered it (link). When a Chinese company that invests in the Sudan (Sinopec) wanted a major state contract (link,link) and was rejected for one reason or other, they took her to task for not publicly rejecting that company over Darfur (link); they also met with her over divestment in December 2007 (link).

And, concerning Sinopec, this December 7, 2007 report says:
Alaska Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin said concerns about either exports or alleged human-rights violations could be valid considerations during the months-long review process of the gas project proposals.
Galvin is also quoted at some of the previous links as a representative of the Palin administration dealing with divestment.

~ Who's pushing the smear ~
* Needless to say, someone else is buying it and trying to resell it: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-odd-lies--2.html. He calls that a "lie", when in fact Sully is the liar.
* Martin Kaste of NPR fails to point out that she later supported divestment: npr.org/blogs/politics/2008/10/palins_budget.html
* Americablog does the same: americablog.com/2008/10/sarah-palins-18-lies-tonight.html That same list was posted by Lowell (raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=16416), this site (yestodemocracy.com/yes_to_democracy_no_to_pu/2008/10/sarah-palins-18.html), and a large number of other blogs and forums. Some don't have a link back, and the ones that do link back to Americablog. However, the list screams "sent from the BHO campaign".
* Americablog again, with John Aravosis quoting only the "good parts" of the ABC piece, the ones that don't mention that the Palin administration later came out in support of divestiture: americablog.com/2008/10/abc-palin-lied-last-night-about.html

Politics · Fri, 10/03/2008 - 12:03 · Importance: 9

Fri, 10/03/2008 - 23:19
Maassive
swingstateofmind.com/?p=663

Sorry man, I broke the story well before ABC News... Members of Congress (including Sens Brownback and Durbin)asked Palin, in writing, to support divestment in Nov 2006, while she was still gov-elect. She didn't publicly announce her support until 16 months later. http://swingstateofmind.com/?p=663

Sat, 10/11/2008 - 05:24
Maassive
swingstateofmind.com/?p=663

You write: "For the details, one possibility would be to contact "Save Darfur Anchorage"; if she were the sticking point I'm sure they would have covered it." Well, here you go: http://savedarfur-ak.blogspot.com/2008/10/facts-about-governor-palins-support-of.html "Governor Palin was aware of the divestment legislation as early as December 2007. We know. We met with her staff at the Governor's Anchorage Office to discuss Sinopec's role in the Alaska Gas Pipeline and to request her support for targeted divestment from Sudan. As late as mid-March 2008, the governor was not on board with the divestment legislation. Again, we know. A group member who wrote the Governor asking her to support divestment received a letter dated March 11, 2008, wherein the Governor again declined on the opportunity to support divestment. Most importantly, however, in April 2008, Governor Palin publicly announced her support of targeted divestment legislation."