Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Palin directed 527 group for Sen. Stevens

While the McCain campaign works to present Sarah Palin as an anti-corruption reformer who cleaned up Alaskan politics and hates earmarks, the Washington Post reports on her close relationship with Ted Stevens, the longtime senator from her home state who is known as the king of pork barrel spending:

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 that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.

Stevens is currently under indictment on seven felony corruption charges for taking favors from oil companies doing business in Alaska. And their relationship doesn’t stop there:

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’ 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.

It seems a lot of things suddenly got scrubbed from websites when she was named VP candidate, including from the official website of the Alaskan state government. Several documents that might be politically troublesome for her were recovered through Google caches after being removed from the state website.