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November 28, 2023


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Friday, January 28, 2022

Thomas Van Flein Exits Stage Right – Farewell, Snidely…

This blog post comes with musical accompaniment to enhance your reading pleasure.

Yes, it’s true. One of our most favorite villains in the never ending Palin drama is leaving the Great Land. And I have to admit, as much as I’d like to tell him not to let the door hit him on the way out of the state, the dramatist in me is just a little sad to see him go. *sniffle*

So, grab your li’l white hankies and join with me by the train tracks as we bid a not-so-fond farewell to Thomas Van Flein, who has been playing the recurring part of Snidely Whiplash in our little Palin melodrama for lo these many years. Unlike many of those on the other end of the Palin legal apparatus, he isn’t tied to the train tracks, but is snuggled up in the posh car with his feet up, smoking a stogie. As the locomotive chugs away from Anchorage and on to Washington, D.C. he touches his fingertips together and blows smoke rings.

And what has lured our archetypal villain away from our little story?

According to The Ear, he’s taken a year long leave of absence from his law firm, and is headed to the nation’s capital to continue his Snidely ways working for a new congressman from one of the only states that can give Alaska a run for its wingnut money – Arizona.  He’ll be the legislative director and Deputy Chief of Staff for Palin endorsed Arizona congressman Paul Gosar.

Paul stands firmly behind Governor Jan Brewer’s efforts to protect Arizonans, and the rest of us for that matter, by securing the border. He’s endorsed by three of Arizona’s leading sheriffs because they know America needs Dr. Paul Gosar to hold Washington accountable on this imperative national security issue.

“Mr. Gosar, build up that wall!”  With like minded souls like Jan Brewer, Sherrif Arpaio, and Sarah Palin on the philosophical team, sounds like Mr. Whiplash will have a grand old time.

“I look forward to working with him in Washington and ensuring that we listen to the American people and work to uphold the principles that make this country great,” Gosar said.

Yeah, right. Listen to the American people. Uphold principles. Whatever.

It’s likely that Mr. Van Flein having done his due diligence for the half-ex-governor is ready to flee the coop. He’s already reaped the rich rewards of his altruism to serve the American people and Alaska, and has walked away with something that has only served to strengthen his dedicated and selfless resolve to serve from the heart, for the good of his nation.  It’s a collection of paper renditions of U.S. presidents and founding fathers. Come on! If that’s not patriotic, I don’t know what is.

For those of you who want a sentimenal refresher about Mr. Van Flein, you may remember his fine Snidely Whiplash performance after Todd Palin and seven state employees were found guilty of contempt of the legislature for ignoring subpoenas to testify in the Branchflower Troopergate inquiry. Click HERE.

And who could forget his appearance at the press conference where we learned that Palin’s legal defense fund…. wasn’t. Click HERE.

Ah, the memories. (dabs eyes with hanky)

As for those he leaves behind, no word yet on who will replace him in his coveted role as the Palins’ personal attorney and confidant. Although, I do understand that her old friend Joe Miller may be available for service shortly.



95 Responses to “Thomas Van Flein Exits Stage Right – Farewell, Snidely…”
  1. Just Me says:

    AKM, you just crack me up. “Thanks for the Memories” was just too much. Where do you find all this stuff? It’s always right on point. You are one very smart cookie. How about running for office? We could sure use more people with the brains you have. Think about it, please.

  2. Bretta says:

    I posted the link to this article on the Anchorage Daily News yesterday and got kicked off.

    Sure seems strange to me.

    Is ADN in bed with Van Flein?

  3. MO Inkslinger says:

    Perhaps a payback to AK for not turning out in droves to the Costco booksigning and waiting to kiss her skeletal hand. I had hoped she would move to Arkansas and run for President of Arkansas. She could then build her Presidential Library down the road from Bill Clinton’s library (in Hope, Arkansas) in the town of HopeNot.

  4. Califpat says:

    Hey!! That is way too close to California!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. JUST A THOUGHT says:


    • Baker's Dozen says:

      Here in CA the only thing she could get elected to is “plank walker.”

      If she moves to AZ, will she take her concrete slab, her favorite place to write and research–at least since it was put in last summer?

      I can see Sarah moving down and being really happy. Todd? Not so much. Yes, there’s hunting and fishing, but no iron dog. Todd would find himself having no skills that others admire so he could hold his own against his wife’s popularity. He wouldn’t have the pursuits he’s had that seem to be important to him. And Track? If he’s smart, he’ll stay away from them all and try to lead a normal like actually learning how to fish.

      What reason will she give? Better care for Trigg? Hmmmm. As governor and an important citizen, she could have worked for those things in AK. Better schools? Like that would cross her mind. Be closer to McCain? Watch Cindy. So she can load up her pea shooter, wear her camo and go defend the border? Youbetcha.

  6. Moose Pucky says:

    We don’t need no dang walls on our borders. It’s bad for critters of all kinds.

    Enjoy DC and don’t let the door……

  7. dogrowdi says:

    carpet bager attny. on a “scouting mission”..soon the palin/peeper/debacle just might take the carpet-ride themselves!.. to AZ. PL-E-E-E-ZE!

    • dreamgirl says:

      Attention AZ paparazzi and real estate peeps…. time to make some $. Click… spill…. moola baby.

      (why hasn’t anyone written a book of gates yet? hmmmm… publishing world corrupt too also?)

  8. Simple Mind says:

    Sorry, Arizona. We here in Alaska have long been leading exporters of oil and fish. Since both seem to be in dwindling supply, we thought we’d branch out and try the Right Wingnut market. We certainly have a surplus. Of course, the competition is pretty tough. Take for example we heard that Tennessee is in the market, trying to deal away Judson Phillips, the head of the Tea Party Convention who recently announced that Palin ought to become Republican National Chairperson. Of course, he also just announced his support for a constitutional amendment that only property owners could vote and that the Methodist Church is the “religious arm of socialism”. I won’t even get started on California. I don’t know. Maybe we ought to just go back to Governor Hickel’s idea and lay an undersea pipeline from the Yukon to the Mojave Desert and sell you guys our water. Of course, after Pebble contaminates the Bristol Bay watershed, we might need our water back. Oh well, back to the drawing board……..

  9. TX SMR says:

    Odd that there are now reports in tabloids that bristol is heading for AZ. And there were reports a while back that said that the grifters were looking for land in AZ. And now snidely goes to AZ. Curiouser and curiouser.

    I remain convinced that the shooting changed his personality dramatically. No, I didn’t know him before, but he just seems too unethical and evil to be true. It sort of falls under the heading of the “smart evil vs stupid evil” conversation that I was having the other day. He’s smart evil. The grifter is stupid evil.

    • PollyinAK says:

      Is Palin and Van Flea, trying to get out of Dodge, because of impeding criminal/corruption charges coming down on Palin – none of her governor-ship’s emails have yet to be released. The emails probably shed some misbehavior regarding Matanuska Maid, Troopergate, etc.

  10. teutonic13 says:

    Very nice piece AKM. I especially enjoyed your vision of Snidely blowing smoke rings with his fingertips together.

  11. Jim keating says:

    I am from Arizona and we have enough villains intent on destroying the 14 amendment; of course this state loves villains, he will fell right at home with all of the other
    bad lawyers

  12. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    His wings got tired. It’s hard work being a flying monkey for Palin.

  13. Skagwaykid says:

    It appears the rats are leaving the ship. The SS palin has hit some rocks. The chief navigator Miller has seen his lifeboat sink (with name plate and all). Perhaps this is a subterfuge, getting behind the meanest republican elected, adds bags of dirty tricks for Palin. In the old west the bad guys would slither to dissappear into the sunset, not anymore these bottom feeders only find new carrion. This group hopes to keep dumbing down american, like the last election, misinformed everyday folk will vote against their own interest every time.

  14. Lacy Lady says:

    Loved the big band music! I remember Dorthy Lamour in movies—–way back when. Yes–I am old enought to remember.

  15. Bob Benner says:

    Well one thing is clearly obvious… Thomas Van Flein doesn’t think Sarah Palin has a snowballs chance in hell of being President in 2012… Otherwise he would stick around and wait for her to appoint him U.S.Attorney General…

    • dreamgirl says:

      Maybe, but I’ll wager the Powers That Be- our Corporate Titans and overlords like: KochBro-Murdoch-FedReserve: secretOwners of the world controllers, have a say in their pawns moves.

      pawns: Palin, Flea and a plethora of GOP losers.

      Flea will go down like Liddy.

  16. BeeJay says:

    Great, the Flea has landed. Not quite in my backyard, but at least in my state. Yeesh. Methinks Van Flea is going solo on this mission, now that he’s had a taste of the lower 48. Power, yeah, that’s the drug.

    If this is part of a Palin invasion, worse luck for us. I’m not sure SP would actually have that great a reception from her fellow Republicans as a resident and not as a fund raising visitor, given her propensity to attempt to control everyone and everything. The term “carpetbagger” comes to mind certainly, and she surely fits the description. She also doesn’t have the goods on anyone here, and only the smallest amount of political quid pro quo. A winter getaway home is more like it, and that’s bad enough.

  17. curiouser says:

    Does anyone know what Van Flein did for Sarah before Troopergate?

    “Van Flein, who also previously represented the Palin family in another matter, said there was no conflict of interest in the dual representation arrangement. Van Flein is permitted to bill the state up to $95,000 for work in the current case.

    “Van Flein saw no problem with the arrangement. “Our representation is dual but the billing is not,” Van Flein said before Palin’s legal filing was disclosed Tuesday evening. “Matters involving a personal issue will not – and have not – been billed in the government contract.””

  18. Van Flein clearly has some high political aspirations. He has just gotten closer to them and he will work his way closer over the next two years. He just jumped the Palin sinking ship like a rat. The lower 48 will most likely have a grudge against Alaska for unleashing yet another sociopathic political whore on them.

    • sallyngarland,tx says:

      He’ll fit in in AZ–He looks like a Miller Dropzone guy.

    • And when he decides to run for some office, most people won’t associate him with Sarah Palin, especially if he has spent recent time far away from Alask. He may be even sneakier than we think.

    • Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

      Anyone holding a grudge against an entire state because of a few nut jobs isn’t very bright. Every state, every town, every neighborhood has them in one form or another. I’m really tired of people looking for something to blame what they don’t like on, instead of getting active and doing something about it. That’s so much a Republican shortcoming that I have no respect for for people looking for an easy way out of personal responsibility and action.

    • Millie says:

      I’m not so sure he has jumped the Palin ship! I so think there are ALWAYS alterior motives when it comes to Palin that I think he ‘could’ be doing pre-work for her in D.C. and her possible ambition in running against President Obama.

      Isn’t it awful that we have become so ‘circumspect’ when it comes to politics – whether it be in AK or AZ. I hope the AZ population is ready for the Palin clan….we in AK would be very happy if the move was permanet! Remember, we don’t like her up here and her approval rating in our red state is lower than that of President Obama.

  19. ks sunflower says:

    AKM – thanks for the button: Arizona – It’s a Dry Hate.

    I still haven’t figured out what the Native Peoples of the area (the Navajo, Hope and others) have ever done that was bad enough to have all these angry, ignorant, fearful white folks descend upon their land.

    I am doubtful there is a Blessing Way ceremony strong enough to get rid of the negativity that has built up in that state.

    BTW, if the rumors are true that the Palins are decamping south – tell everyone to get Grandpa and Granny out of there state because once the grifters move in, they will be easy marks.

    • Mag the Mick says:

      What our Native tribal people and our large Hispanic population HAVEN’T done in large numbers is vote. We had very decent Democratic party candidates for governor, secretary or state, and attorney general this last election, and most of our minority voters just didn’t turn out to vote. When people don’t stand up for their own best interests, they become further disenfranchised. I’d love to send some of our tribal advocates up to Alaska to train with your Native stakeholders in community organizing and in getting out the vote.

    • Zyxomma says:

      ks sunflower, I’m burning sage even as I type.

  20. Renee99503 says:

    My guess is that he’ll still be working for Palin as well. Note he only took a years leave from his local law firm. Lots of attorneys do the bulk of their work for certain clients by email and fax. My sincerest hope is the the Alaska Bar is in the process of removing Miller’s right to practice making him unavailable. But hey…there’s always Wayne Anthony Ross to protect the little lady.

    • InJuneau says:

      Yeah, but she couldn’t manage to make him the AG, so he may not like her much anymore.

  21. Let’s not indulge in conspiracies. Isn’t the likelier theory that van Flein picked up a case of Potomac Fever from hanging around his political and political wannabe clients? Lord knows the disease is contagious.

    Van Flein is a smart guy and, except to a propensity to try his cases in the media, a decent lawyer. My guess is he’s a bit bored with law – it can happen, believe me – and wants a taste of power.

  22. Leota2 says:

    C’mon. Sarah and Thomas can’t quit each other. Arizona is just another name for they’ll plot in the warmth instead of the cold.

  23. fromthediagonal says:

    The Puppeteers are busy, aren’t they? Does anyone still believe that this is a disorganized operation by some backwater (blackwater?) demagogue with the initials SP? This is a long term operation by some very shadowy organizations and we will not know what has hit us until it is too late.
    May be wrong! On this, the Winter Solstice, the last day of the old Solar Year, it is my fervent wish that this new Turn around the Sun will bring some clarity to their web of deception. May the lengthening of the days bring an increase of light into all of this.

    • fromthediagonal says:

      Correction: “May I be wrong”!

    • mustang says:

      My feelings also. Erik Prince(BW) has not retired, he may have moved but he has not gone fishin. BoA has not gotten the Blackwater sale deal finished and BoA is being sued by Madoff’s estate.
      I can smell ErikPrince in many situations of late. SP and her ‘little group’ of helpers….Ha! Anyone who buys that is naive.

      No one wants to fly to AK; aryanzona yes. Snidley to AZ, of course.
      Dont think the Clampetts can make all these plans on their own.
      All she does is pageant walk.

    • MinNJ says:

      May the lengthening of the days bring an increase of light into all of this.

      I, personally, can’t wait!

  24. Mag the Mick says:

    I am a native Arizonan, and retired down here 4 years ago after my 26 years in Alaska. When I left AZ for the frozen north in 1980, we still had Goldwater and Udall, and Arizona’s conservatism was reasonable, pragmatic, and sensible. When I came back in 2006 it was to a state infested with paranoid, hateful right-wingers and an increasingly lunatic John McCain. I hate to say it, but this would be a natural haven for La Palin and her ilk. I wonder if I should put the house on the market and head towards greener (or Blue-er) pastures?

    • sallyngarland,tx says:

      I used to live in AZ close to Goldwater. We had grapefruit trees in our backyard, so I decided at 5 that I would go into business. I loaded up my red wagon and went down the street and rang the Goldwater’s doorbell. He answered and actually bought a couple for 5 cents each. Actually, he was just being kind because his yard was full of grapefruit trees, too! My parents were so embarrassed when I told them–my older sister had been watching me and I snuck off with my fruit business.

      Anyway, I’ve always thought if was kind of funny. It was long ago because I am a senior–but I can still see Goldwater at the door chuckling with his grapefruit.

      • That’s a great story. I just remember when Goldwater was running for president and it caused all kinds of political “discussions” between my mom and my older cousin, who thought Goldwater was the best thing ever. I later came to realize that cousin was going to vote for anyone the republicans put out there – and sadly, he still does.

      • Mag the Mick says:

        That is a classic Goldwater story! He was like that – kind and very approachable. He used to fly his own plane into the little airstrip in my town, then he’d borrow my uncle’s pickup truck to drive around and do his business. On one visit, I organized my cousins and sibs into sitting in the back of the truck and demanding that he take us to the Dairy Queen. My mother, aunt and uncle were appalled and ordered us out, but Uncle Barry told us he’d negotiate: if we let him use the truck, he’d take us all out when he was done. He was as good as his word, and my memory of Goldwater is of him ordering five cones for us and one for himself, and us all sitting at a picnic table under the store awning, eating them. He was a good man and a good politician – back then, the two weren’t mutually exclusive.

        • sallyngarland,tx says:

          He really was nice. I’m glad you liked the story. My dad used to tell everyone that story way into old age. I guess that is one of my fondest memories because it is so clearly etched in my mind.

        • dreamgirl says:

          What a wonderful story.

  25. Gosar…..wasn’t that the bad ghost in Ghostbusters? I thought he was the really evil spirit that had Sigourney Weaver floating above her bed. I’m probably wrong. Anyway I think Arizona has been hornswoggled by god by the Queen into an attempted annexation of Alaska so more Tea-baggers can live and enjoy the dry hate. If you can’t save Arctic ice in the desert,well then your just not very good Arizonans,to my way of thinking. In case you missed the eclipse,so did I. I had overcast skies until they cleared off around 4:30 Central time. Moon was exceptionally lovely with out all that black stuff around it.

    • BuffaloGal says:

      Gozer the Destructor – An ancient, ultra-powerful, malignant entity from another dimension who was summoned to destroy the world –

      Might not fit Paul but I think $P makes a fabulous Gozer the Gozerian. Whatever we do – don’t cross the streams !!

      Dang – now the Ghostbusters theme is going to be stuck in my head all day….

    • Bretta says:

      It was a fabulous view in Anchorage until the full shadow, then it was occluded so I didn’t get to see the red part.

  26. Lainey says:

    awww…at first glance, I thought he’d had enough of palin and was going to start spilling the dirt…I mean truth. those evil-doers really stick together, don’t they? I guess they have no place else to go. I know a place! 😀

  27. I See Villages from my House says:

    I agree, as much as these outfitters appear to operate in a rag-tag, disorganized manner, I think there is something to the building of a Sarah Palin’s Arizona.

    She’s gonna gun for John McCain’s seat in six years or upon his untimely retirement/passing. With his blessing also, too. That is, if she reads the tea-leaves enough to know a Presidential run would be sensational, but a humiliating epic fail.

    Arizona, Team Palin are flinging seeds on that furtile hard-pack soil of hate.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Well, remember, the Sheriff who gave her underwear is there. Maybe . . . .

      Anyway, Senator Kyle is up for reelection before McCain right?

      I think Van Flein may be using his new employer to get the feel of DC for Sarah. He can make contacts, strew a little money here and there to pave the way, all using the cover for working for a new Congressman. Convenient, eh?

      Sarah isn’t giving up and she is giving in. She is going to build her own network, one nasty step at a time.

      AZ is ripe for the picking now, thanks to people like Gov. Brewer – who, I might add, really ought to be watching her back if the rumors of a Palin invasion are correct. Brewer’s ego is just strong enough to keep her from realizing her turn for being thrust under the bus is coming up sooner rather than later.

    • dowl says:

      You are right!

  28. yukonark says:

    Snidley Whiplash is okay, but I always preferred Dishonest John from “Beany & Cecil.”

  29. CGinWI says:

    Call me cynical, but I’m sure he will still be working for Palin. Too much cash still to be extracted to pass up. He just may have a slightly different role, and it might be slightly more undercover. The “consulting services” category is broad and her FEC reporting is less than detailed. And there’s still that Alaska Fund Trust, no reporting at all required. Lots of opportunity for him to set up a shell corporation or two to recieve payment.

    Well, Alaska is rid of him. Good for you. Too bad for the rest of the country.

  30. overthemoon says:

    What’s with the rumor that Palin recently bought a house/headquarters in AZ….and this guy working with AZ politicians? Is AZ about to be annexed by the AIP???

    • A Fan From Chicago says:

      I think the next reality show is going to be “Sarah Palin’s Arizona.” After it airs the Wasillbillies will pack up, hop in their RV and head to another state. Maybe “Sarah Palin’s Mississippi.” They’ll repeat this in all 50 states and several territories. Think of the money.

      If they really do move to Arizona, Mark Burnett and the folks at The Learning Channel are going to realize really fast that they’ve been burned by a master grifter. How embarassing will that be. It’ll be hard to show re-runs.

      • Reba in Va says:

        If Miss Quitty PantsOnFire had any smarts, she’d pack up the grifters and move to the most southern of the “Southern Strategy” state that would take them in…bigots all.

        • Maybe she can meet up with Haley Barber in Mississippi, who doesn’t think the 60s were all that terrible.

          • jojobo1 says:

            I know,Some person agreed with him and said the slaves back when had it good. I asked him if beatings and using their women in all manner of ways ,being uneducated and not allowed to be educated or vote meant they were treated well.Or living in shacks ect

      • benlomond2 says:

        I’d LOVE to see her try her schtick here in California !! I’d be happy to chum the water while she tries to show how she can surf !! Mama Gizzilies are no match for a Great White !

        • chris says:

          After Meg invested her money and lost her bid I don’t think there will be the likes of a carpetbagger name Palin in sunny Cal. I think Cal was a flyover for her book tour.

    • BeeJay says:

      I think only as a ‘visitor’ and not a full time resident: there’s an actual income tax here and sales tax, so she’d better be ready to start contributing to the state coffers…which is something she seems to be allergic to.

    • LibertyLover says:

      We don’t want her here in Arizona. But then again. She’d fit in with the wacko politicians that we have here now.

  31. Diane says:

    Miller didn’t really endorse her for the presidency did he?
    No job for you!!!!

    • Bretta says:

      I think you’re right – after his non-endorsement, then the blowback from Todd, there was some sorta half-hearted weasly nod given from Joe’s throne.

  32. Gramiam says:

    Thank you, Alaska Pi!!!! May I have a moment of silence for those of us here in sunny Arizona who will have to put up with this blowhard! AARRGGHH!

    • Alaska Pi says:

      I’m just sad that the most equal opportunity in America is endless exposure to blowhards, fruitloops, and ne’er do wells.
      We all share that… dang.

    • He obviously has high abitions for himself and has finally realized that SP won’t get him there. Hopefully, Gosar won’t either. Since Sarah’s star is no longer rising, it stand to reason that Van Flea needs to find someone whose is – or at least, so he thinks.

    • merrycricket says:

      It makes me very sad to know that Arizona is becoming even more polluted with right-wing BS. I was in Arizona on a road trip back in 2000 and just fell in love with the state. I am positively frightened that it will become the mecca of haters every where.

  33. kejia says:

    He knows that sooner or later he will do something to offend the Sarah, so he wants to get out before he’s kicked out.

  34. OzMud says:

    Oh please oh please oh plEEEase let it be Joe Miller who takes charge of the Palin legal defense *smicker* That would make me soOOooooOOooo happy!

  35. Alaska Pi says:

    Mr Gosar-

    I’ve been sending this to a whole lot of politicos lately…

    i would suggest you and your staff familiarize yourself with it thoroughly…

    “Unfortunately, our actual political debate is nothing like that model of deliberation. The various ways of assessing the American people’s desires, whether through opinion polls or elections, produce contradictory and confusing results that look nothing like a real agenda. Few politicians will say so, of course; they’re more likely to pretend that “the American people” are perfect in their wisdom and specific in their beliefs, and all we need do is consult them and the proper course of action will become clear. The truth, however, is that once you get power and have to begin governing, all the rhetoric about what the American people want isn’t much help.”

    THIS American person is oh-so-weary of the “ensuring that we listen to the American people ” crap that I can hardly hold my head up…
    Tell the truth Mr Gosar and ask your staff to do the same. The vast critter you call the American-people is a myth which gets yarded out everytime you want to make some point and shovelled back in the closet when you get your nasty lil way.
    We have enough problems without pretending the American-people is a flesh and blood single minded entity instead of the amorphous amalgamation of 300 million souls it really is…
    We have too much work to do to keep yarding that cardbord cut-out notion of what we are out and propping it up all over the halls of Congress.
    Get your act together , sir. Drop the stupid stuff…
    non-cordially and sure this will fly right over your silly head yours,

  36. DF says:

    Isn’t that special!

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