Thomas Van Flein, Palin’s Consigliere, Goes to Washington

When is a Hole not a Hole?  When It’s in Arizona!  Various sources have reported that a “Key aide departs Palin world”.  CNN reports that lawyer Tom Van Flein is “departing Palin’s world to work for incoming Arizona Rep. PaulGosar.  Van Flein is among only a “handful” of advisers with regular access to Palin.  He has served as a legal, political, and media adviser to Palin .  His departure will reportedly leave a “big hole” in Palin’s circle.

“The mid-term elections represent a tectonic shift,” said Van Flein. “I want to work with Rep. Gosar because he is committed to Arizona, and he is committed to making government more efficient, and our country more independent from its reliance on foreign energy and natural resources.”


Consider the possibility that this is part of a master-plan, and we are just putting the pieces together.  “Facebook Luker”, one of our readers, reported that the Palin bought a house in Arizona back in early November.  Palin reportedly told a friend that she was worried that she may have to move there but wasn’t sure.  Now that Bristol has bought her own house in Arizona it is beginning to seem clear that the entire Palin family will be moving soon.


However the revelation that Thomas Van Flien would be moving to Washington D.C. to represent a House Representative from Arizona, Paul Gosar, was a clue to the grand strategy that is frightening.  Of course I knew the name Thomas Van Flien, and recognized him as Palin’s attorney.  Of course I knew he was on retainer for the SaraPac, and that he received $10,000 per month from the Sarah Pac.  Of course he was the attorney who represented Sarah in the Troopergate matter.  He has represented Bristol in her custody matters with Levi. .  Van Flein was Palin’s spokesperson in the David Kernell matter even though Palin was only a witness.  He represented Palin in multiple ethics complaints, and gave statements to many people when Palin would not.  He has been known to “parse” words in order to misrepresent the truth to the world.  He has been known to “craft a statement intended to shield Palin from the consequences of her actions in the realm of public opinion.  Of course records of what Palin has paid her lawyer are private, but the we can assume he has been paid quite well by Palin.


Given all that we know about VanFlein’s relationship to Sarah Palin, the name “Consigliere” comes to mind.  A “Consigliere” means a counselor.  The word was popularized by Mario Puzo‘s novel The Godfather (1969), and its film adaptation. In the novel, a consigliere is an adviser or counselor to a mafia boss, with the additional responsibility of representing the don in important meetings both within the don’s crime family and with other crime families. The consigliere is a close, trusted friend and confidant, the mob’s version of an elder statesman. A real-life Mafia consigliere is generally the number three person in a crime family, after don (boss-Sarah Palin) and underboss(Todd) in most cases.


It was thus surprising to learn that this attorney who has devoted the last two years of his career to Sarah Palin, her consigliere, was leaving her.  Make no mistake.  I understood why he might want to distance himself from her, but I know lawyers and they are usually motivated by money.  Van Flein seemed to have hit the pot-of-gold in his representation of Palin.  So why would he leave her?  Especially to represent a newly elected US House of Representative who does not appear to be wealthy?


Is Van Flein actually leaving a big “hole” in Palin’s circle?  You decide for yourself.  In my mind there is no hole.  This is part of the grand scheme of a very bright, savvy,  politically astute consigliere.  Consider these  facts:


1.  Van Flein is reporting for duty for Gasar in D.C. on  January 3, 2011.  VanFlein has recently been involved in the representation of Joe Miller.  As early as the beginning of December, it was unclear how long it would take for the Alaska Supreme Court to rule, or for the Federal Court to rule, so we would anticipate the Van Flien would need to stay in Alaska to represent Miller/Palin for the duration of that case, if none other.  Of course if he disclosed to his clients that he’d be moving to D.C. in November or before he accepted this assignment, it would be no violation of his ethical duty.  Even more likely, if Palin was actually the impetus for his representation of Miller, and if Palin was the real reason he was moving to help in D.C., then Palin would of course want him to be in D.C.

2.  If Van Flein has any other clients in Alaska, besides Palin, he would owe them an ethical duty to resolve their legal matters or ensure a smooth transition of their legal work, which would ordinarily take more than a month.

3.  Paul Gasar has never been involved in Politics, but was supported and endorsed by Palin, McCain and Jan Brewer.  In his celebratory party after the Republican primary, Gasar appeared with McCain and Brewer and repeatedly mentioned the importance of “team work.

4.  Although Van Flein attended the University of Alaska and received a BA in Political Science, his Law Degree came from the University of Arizona in 1989.  Having gotten his training at a big firm in California, in 1995 he moved to Alaska and for the last 15 years Mr. Van Flein has devoted himself to establishing himself as the premier attorney in Alaska.   His accomplishments in the legal field are numerous and diverse.  Working in both state and federal court, he has become a proficient trial and appellate attorney.  He has handled medical and business litigation.  He is a frequent lecturer in seminars. He has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts in trial and appellate matters.  He is well published in Alaska.  He is admitted to practice in Alaska, before the 9th Circuit Court (the Federal Court for Alaska) and is only an “inactive” member of the California bar.  Attorneys like Mr Van Flein recognize that building a client base is essential for the future of any successful attorney.  Thus, his motivation for leaving Alaska must be powerful and lucrative.


5.  Van Flein is smart and well-spoken.  Just one example of his eloquence is the interview given following Palin’s resignation speech.  Had he been the person resigning, people would have cried for the loss of such a “good” man.

6.  US4Palin reported on the move by Van Flein saying that:

“From the foregoing we see that Van Flein’s move to Representative Gosar’s district and Bristol Palin’s move to Maricopa are not coincidences, accidents or facts of happenstance. Instead, we see a well-planned sequence of chess moves executed by a certain woman who has nearly 20 years of political experience.”


It seems reasonable to assume that Thomas Van Flein, Palin’s trusted Consigliere, is not discontinuing his relationship with Palin. The perception of a “hole” is an illusion.  He may be simply positioning himself to help smooth the way to D.C. for Sarah Palin.


This revelation regarding Van Flein, and the Arizona connection, gave rise to an additional …frightening thought! We have been assuming all along that Palin was positioning herself to run for President.  As her poll numbers have dropped, we were beginning to feel more confident that she would remain far from the White House.  We may be deluding ourselves.  What if Palin were to run in the 2012 race as the Vice-President ???!!!  It would satisfy her need for continuing fame and fortune.  It would not require as much work as serving as the President.  She has perfected the art of criticizing the President, and that would be her primary role again as the Vice Presidential Candidate.  As the Vice Presidential candidate she could continue to maintain her distance from the media and simply give speeches.  She could raise significant money for whoever the Republican candidate might be.  Thus the move of Palin to Arizona puts her that much closer to D.C.  Her Consigliere is already there.  We can imagine that Palin might make the next Republican Candidate an “Offer He Can’t Refuse.”


15 thoughts on “Thomas Van Flein, Palin’s Consigliere, Goes to Washington

Add yours

    1. Karenkristin,
      After I watched the video of his interview following her resignation, I realized that he was the one telling Palin what to do. I have always been amazed that she could appear to be so ignorant, and yet make decisions that would result in such a lucrative life for she and her family. Now I realize that it is a clever attorney, and everything makes much more sense! Malia


  1. Malia

    I think you are spot on! My thought on hearing of Van Flein goes to DC was that it was (1) to give access to $P to her very own Congressman that she “owns”; and (2) to help pave the way to DC for her. This will help give her better “cred” with the likes of McConnell, Boehner and more mid-line Repubs. It would also allow for the arrangement of more “covert” contacts with foreign dignitaries to bolster her severely lacking understanding of the world, and an inside track to the military hawks and the contractors who benefit greatly. $P has made it very clear that she has no plans to lower the Dep’t of Defense budget — she called for the building of more war ships! In talking to a low-level contractor who greatly favors her, they are all drooling at the thought of how much will be made if $P goes to Washington!


    1. Bear Woman,
      Because it has been over a year since Palin resigned in Alaska, the ethics complaints and violations have been reduced and resolved. Now Van Flein is free to look forward, and I think he knows he must do something to bolster her credibility if the gravy train is to continue. It would sure be nice to know how much Palin had to pay him to do this???!!! Malia


      1. Gosh I bet he could really have her over a barrel. He knows where all the bodies are buried. LOL She can’t mess with him that is for sure.


  2. Malia, Palin has already said that she would run as VP, if it would help the ticket, take the white house. She know’s she won’t get the nomination for the top of the ticket.
    I look for Obama to pick Clinton as his VP, in 2012.
    Clinton would destroy Palin.


    1. pvaz,
      I know she said that but I always thought she dreamed of being President. I hope Clinton will consider running as VP as I agree..she would annihilate Palin! Malia


  3. I think Palin will run, regardless of what damage is done. I don’t think she cares if she destroys the Repub party. She’s into revenge and many have insulted her.

    I also think Palin has her eye on the “win”. She’s playing a basketball game with politics and she wants the win. Forget about the actual job of being the President–just win the game in her mind.


    1. sallyngarland,tx.
      I know you are right about Palin wanting to “win” but I think she felt that she “won” by being chosen by McCain,and as her numbers decline, I think Van Flein could convince her that running on the ticket as the vp could make her a winner as long as the “ticket” wins. That’s a very frightening thought. Malia


  4. Excellent article, as usual, Malia. I do disagree with you that Palin is setting herself up for another VP run. I highly doubt she would accept playing second fiddle again, especially as she’s been calling the shots for herself, with no one to answer to, since she quit as Governor. She hated it when the McCain campaign decided to drop their campaign in Michigan and wanted to “go rogue” and make a stop there anyway (promting McCain to order them to “shoot the tires out” if her bus tried to make the trip). She hated that the McCain campaign staff refused to let her talk with the press after her disastrous interviews with Katie & Charlie. She hates all the comments that have come from the former McCain campaign staff telling of her weaknesses and idiocies. She’s also blamed several of the inconsistencies in her political positions (TARP and cap & trade) on being forced to follow orders because she was not at the top of the ticket.

    I definitely agree that there is more to VanFlein’s move, and your points on his success and standing as an attorney in Alaska make it even more obvious. But I just don’t think $arah will accept the runner-up position with campaign staff who are not loyal to her. And I doubt that any of the other potential GOP presidential candidates would want her on the ticket, knowing the negative attention, drama, and alienation of moderates & independents she would bring.


  5. I’ve been concerned for a long time that she will take the VP slot. It would allow her to continue to throw insults at the president, but not have to do the work of the job of president. It would allow the Repub presidential candidate to harness her energy and popularity of the base. I shutter to think of this possibility.


    1. Dee Ann,
      I think that we should be even more concerned about that possibility! If she runs for President, with work, I am confident that she will be beaten. As the vp, I’m not so sure! Malia


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