Cash for Palin
Alaskan governor and 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's most ardent supporters are embarking on a weeklong fundraising drive to retire her $500,000 in legal debts incurred from defending herself from ethical complaints.
Mrs. Palin says she racked up $500,000 in fees from more than a dozen ethical complaints filed against her, which includes challenges about an Arctic Cat ski jacket she wore, travel for her children to state events, and television interviews conducted in the governor's office, among others. Despite numerous complaints, the state has not found any of her actions to be in violation of state ethics rules.
Yet, she still has to pay the bills, and her online allies want to help. Bloggers at the Web site www.conservatives4palin.com have volunteered to create an independent Web-a-thon unaffiliated with the governor to encourage people to donate to her legal defense fund, the Alaska Fund Trust.
"She was treated unfairly as an honest public servant," said Conservatives4Palin.com blogger Rebecca Mansour, a writer from Los Angeles. "If we are going to encourage ordinary citizens to run for public office who aren't millionaires and come from an average background like the Palins, we have to step up and say this is not appropriate to target politicians with frivolous complaints."
The Victims of Communism Foundation is unveiling an online gallery Tuesday, targeted toward educating people around the world about the "bad guys" who have murdered millions throughout history while following the teachings of Karl Marx.
The Global Museum of Communism, available at www.museumoncommunism.org, will feature a "Hall of Infamy" detailing heinous acts committed by Lenin, Pol Pot, Stalin and others as well as a "Gallery of Heroes" for those who fought against these regimes.
Every nation that has suffered under communism will have a dedicated exhibit as well. Lectures and speeches will be broadcast on the Web site in a way accessible to visitors in countries where outlets critical of communism are often prohibited by the government.
"We really think we can pierce those firewalls of tyranny which has been enacted in places like China and Cuba," said Lee Edwards, chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
The online museum represents the second phase of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation's efforts. Two years ago, President George W. Bush dedicated a memorial in downtown Washington. Organizers hope to one day build a bricks-and-mortar museum in the nation's capital as well.
Gay activists are fuming over a legal brief filed last week by the Justice Department in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, saying it represents a break in President Obama's campaign promise to repeal the 1996 legislation.
The Justice brief upholding DOMA was filed to Smelt v. United States, a California lawsuit brought by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer asking the federal government to give them the same benefits as heterosexual couples.
The Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the ACLU and other gay rights groups issued a statement that said they were "very surprised and deeply disappointed" in the filing, and they unflatteringly compared it to actions taken by the former Bush Administration.
Obama officials say gay rights groups are remiss to interpret the brief as a blow to their efforts and that the president is obligated to uphold current law.
Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, the highest-ranking openly-gay official in the Obama Administration, told the Advocate, a gay publication, that activists need to channel their anger away from the president and toward Capitol Hill.
"He's doing his job," Mr. Berry said. "He has made clear that he stands for the repeal of DOMA. It will be part of this administration's agenda to accomplish that act. We ought not waste energy and angst attacking him when we should be focusing the energy and effort on getting 218 votes in the House and 60 votes in the Senate. ...That's where we ought to target the energy and the strength of this community, and this president is with us; this is our agenda, and it's his agenda."
• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com.