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The House That Todd Palin’s ‘Buddies’ Built

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

First Dude Todd Palin has said he and some “buddies” built his lakefront home in Wasilla, Alaska, but an investigation by the Village Voice connects the home’s construction, if circumstantially, to the beneficiaries of a local boondoggle championed by his wife.

(h/t: DailyKos / Stef)

Village Voice:

THE $12.5 MILLION sports complex and hockey rink that is the lasting monument to Palin’s two terms as Wasilla mayor is also a monument to the kind of insider politics that dismays Americans of both parties. Six months before Palin stepped down as mayor in October 2002, the city awarded nearly a half-million-dollar contract to design the biggest project in Wasilla history to Kumin Associates. Blase Burkhart was the Kumin architect on the job—the son of Roy Burkhart, who is frequently described as a “mentor” of Palin and was head of the local Republican Party (his wife, June, who also advised Palin, is the national committeewoman). Asked if the contract was a favor, Roy Burkhart, who contributed to her campaign in the same time frame that his son got the contract, said: “I really don’t know.” Palin then named Blase Burkhart to a seven-member builder-selection committee that picked Howdie Inc., a mostly residential contractor owned at the time by Howard Nugent. Formally awarded the contract a couple of weeks after Palin left office, Nugent has donated $4,000 to Palin campaigns. Two competitors protested the process that led to Nugent’s contract. Burkhart and Nugent had done at least one project together before the complex—and have done several since.

A list of subcontractors on the job, obtained by the Voice, includes many with Palin ties. One was Spenard Builders Supply, the state’s leading supplier of wood, floor, roof, and other “pre-engineered components.” In addition to being a sponsor of Todd Palin’s snow-machine team that has earned tens of thousands for the Palin family, Spenard hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004. When the Palins began building a new family home off Lake Lucille in 2002—at the same time that Palin was running for lieutenant governor and in her final months as mayor—Spenard supplied the materials, according to Antoine Bricks, who works in its Wasilla office. Spenard actually filed a notice “of its right to assert a lien” on the deed for the Palin property after contracting for labor and materials for the site. Spenard’s name has popped up in the trial of Senator Stevens—it worked on the house that is at the center of the VECO scandal as well.

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By Alex Cavity, December 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

It would not be hard to assume that in politics, deals can be made outside the public’s eye that benefits multiple parties. When in politics, you are bound to know people in high places, and evidently, some benefits come with the people you know. We need to expose more of such scandals to bring light to the dirty politics in America.

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By marta80, December 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

you know that it is a dream for all of us to own a house. but not all of us can have this. i can hardly afford a Cabinet Refacing for my small apartment.

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By RJ Crane, October 17, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most everyone seems to be missing the point of this issue. If the Palins helped approve any of the $12.5 mil that went into these contracts to build that sports arena by receiving kickbacks in terms of cheap or free labor in building their home, this would be a serious felony in most states. This would have been easier to pull off AFTER Sarah Palin as mayor made sure no one needed to take out building permits for this kind of work in Wasilla. As for those who object to others questioning the Palins on this issue, why would any of you not want to have licensed approved contractors have to pull building permits for their work and get necessary inspections that go with this? How can you even sleep at night knowing the person who did your electrical work might have done something to cause a fire? Used cheap unapproved products or cut other corners to save money knowing his work wouldn’t be inspected because he didn’t have to pull a permit?

You people in Alaska who believe government should get off your backs don’t even understand the consequences of why this is so often a bad idea.

RJ Crane,

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By David Webster, October 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Excuse me, but this is Alaska… and a small town in Alaska for all that.  The population can’t support a whole bunch of building supply companies.  There’s Home Depot now, but I’ve dealt with them and I’d rather deal with a local company where there’s a real person across the desk I can grab by the neck and shake a little when my order doesn’t come in.  Get real.. Get a grip… and don’t talk about stuff you know nothing about.

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By JNagarya, October 14, 2008 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“By the-real-truth, October 14 at 8:59 am #

Good to know that you consider this corrupt.”

It is corrupt according to LAW, fool.  But you only think in terms of Republican-party-before-country/LAW and personal attacks.  You couldn’t care less about morality or ethics or rule of law becaue you reject all three when CONVENIENT to your corrupt ends—

“However, this is not a single article here on Obama’s currupt activities. Rezco anyone?

“The Rezco deal was clearly corrupt . . . .”

Merely saying it’s so doesn’t make it so.  The REASON your wingnut efforts to make an issue of this hasn’t succeeded is because THERE IS NOTHING BEHIND YOUR LYING ABOUT IT EXCEPT AMERICA-HATING MALICE.

Clue, jerk: lying and hate are IMMORAL.  You cannot pretend to be moral while lying except by lying—which is additionally immoral.

As your America-hating ilk was once wont to say:

Love it or LEAVE it, America-hating THUG.

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By Cazador, October 14, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to the tax returns released by the Palins, they paid $10,203 in mortgage interest in 2007. Based on the average interest rates for 30-yr and 15-yr fixed-rate mortgages in 2002 (, the principle at its origination would have been approximately $165,000 and $220,000, respectively. As their house is now worth $552,000, the Palins sure have “built” a lot of equity in 5 years.

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By Purple Girl, October 14, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

I actually feel a little sorry for Sarah, she has NO idea who she granted her ‘Dime a Dance’ to…the Devils known as Neo Cons.
she’d have been fine remaining a bumpkin in AK, But now she is complicit in Crimes that occured when she was still popping Zits.
Her Two bit corruption charges will be a Walk in the park, when we go after her Bosses!
She need only ask Powell just how bad the Bus Hurts your career, your reputation and very likely Your Future Freedoms.Because they Will throw her under it Too.

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By hippy pam, October 14, 2008 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

WHY IS THERE NO COMPETITION BETWEEN BUSINESS????There should be MORE THAN ONE COMPANY….SOUNDS LIKE A “MONOPOLY” TO ME….and when you have those[a monopoly] You Can Be Sure PRICES ON GOODS-SERVICES-PERMITS-will be set by the FAVOR GIVERS/RECEIVERS[i.e. palins/lumber company]

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By beingajoe, October 14, 2008 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

It is crazy how much underhanded stuff they have done.  Imagine if she had been in politics longer.  Some are even crazy enough to talk about her as President some day.

By the way, here is a website that shares all the Sarah Palin dirt to support Barack Obama!

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By wildflower, October 14, 2008 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Interesting, I thought all cities required building permits.  Too bad . . . Wasilla could have used the money earned from the permit fees to pay for the rape kits:

“. . . As mayor, Sarah Palin blocked an effort to require the filing of building permits in the wide-open city, and there is no public record of who the “buddies” were.”

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By Matthew, October 13, 2008 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it will take some time to get to the bottom of this. It sounds very much like Ted Stevens.
Palin and her first dude are an embarrassment.

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By Todd, October 13, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe we can get Walt Monegan to investigate this.

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By David Webster, October 13, 2008 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m no Palin supporter, but to link her personal home to a Hockey rink by saying Spenard Builders Supply provided materials for both is a huge stretch.  SBS is the largest building supply business in the state. If you want to build anything, you’re going to do business with them.  I’m a builder in Homer,Alaska and when I want to start a project, they put a lien on the property until the materials are paid for… standard practice.  Go after Palin for real stuff. I’m sure there’s plenty there.  But don’t pretend that using the same building supply store, when there is really very little competition in this market, is a smoking gun.

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By Opening Eyes, October 13, 2008 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Can the story of abuse of power get any worse for the Palin pair?  I bet their house in undervalued so the taxes are lower.

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