The e-mail to Dave Worrell in the State of Alaska Film Office, Division of Economic Development, was sent over one week ago, and no response has been sent. I am tired of waiting for an indication that he cares, or that he is looking into the matter. The following e-mail and letter was sent this a.m. to John Burns, the Alaska Attorney General. If any response is made I will report it.
Mr. John J. Burns
PO Box 110300
Juneau, AK 99811-0300
Re: Unlawful $1.2 Million Dollar Tax Credit
April 28, 2011
Dear Mr. Burns:
As Alaska’s “chief law enforcement officer” and “leading over 550 attorneys and staff I bring to your attention the payment of an unlawful Tax Credit of almost 1.2 Million Dollars paid by the State of Alaska to Jean Worldwide as a result of the TLC show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Over one week ago this matter was brought to the attention of Mr. Dave Worrell and no response has been forthcoming. The following information was brought to his attention. Silence was the only response.
The TLC Show,Sarah Palin’s Alaska, was produced by Jean Worldwide. They applied for, and received a $1.2 million dollar tax credit pursuant to AS 44.33.236. That law expressly tax credit from being allowed if the film in question is (a) a current event, (b) a political advertisement, or (c) detrimental to the people of the state of Alaska. Of course Sarah Palin is a “current event”. Sarah Palin has herself admitted, on Fox News, that the film was political in nature. In case you don’t believe Sarah Palin, I have prepared a list of 23 specific references to the political comments made in the TLC show which was funded by the Alaskan tax-payers.
As the Attorney General, charged with the obligation to bring suit on behalf of the Alaskan tax payers, I would assume you would be most concerned about the inappropriate payment of a tax credit to a company that made a film that was “detrimental to the people of Alaska.” In case you don’t have time today to educate yourself about the problems facing many Alaskans, let me share with you a few quick facts that I learned from my home in Dallas:
1. TEEN PREGNANCY
Bristol Palin made national headlines when it was disclosed that she was the unwed pregnant teenage daughter of Sarah Palin. She and her Son, Tripp were featured on the TLC show demonstrating an extremely comfortable life style, complete with travel in a luxury RV, and Bristol going on adventures without the challenge of caring for a young child. As early as January of 2009 the Center for Disease Prevention reported that teen births increased by 3 percent nationally in 2006, reversing a 15-year decline. Alaska was the number one state in increase in teen births with a 19 percent increase in the teenage birthrate from the previous year.
• Teen pregnancy accounts for more than $9 billion per year in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.4
• Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school drop out rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, versus nearly 90% of women who had not given birth during adolescence.5
• The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.6
Alaskans should be particularly concerned about the increasing rise in teen pregnancy rates as Alaska has had increases in teen pregnancy rate in each year since 2006.
In Alaska, the public cost associated with teen childbearing is conservatively estimated to be $32 million in 2004, half paid by the federal government and half by the state. This
estimate captures net costs – those costs over and above what would have been incurred if a person with similar characteristics to the teen mother delayed childbearing until
age 20 or 21.
In several episodes of the TLC show Sarah Palin attacked the notion that kids should be allowed to eat unhealthy foods. Sarah Palin has publicly attacked the Let’s Move Campaign. She has said that the government should “get off our back” and that Americans have the “God Given Right” to be fat. While birthday cakes and baking cupcakes were included in the show, and one might argue that this was not intended to be a commentary on people’s right to be fat, the scene regarding the s’mores was clearly targeted to be both a political commentary and detrimental to the people of Alaska. When the ingredients for the s’mores were being taken out of the cabinet, a comment was made that this was being done “in honor of Michele Obama”. In case the audio was not clear those words appeared at the bottom of the screen.
In case there might still be any question in your mind as to how this negatively affects kids in Alaska you should know that 11% of Alaskan high school students are obese, 36% of K-12th grade students in the Anchorage School District (ASD) are above a normal weight. In the state of Alaska, 27% of high school students are overweight or obese and one-third (33%) of children entering kindergarten in Alaska’s largest school district are above a normal weight. Obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults and to develop chronic diseases. Almost 40% of obese children already have at least two cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol. In most cases, as these children age,their health risks will increase in number and severity. Childhood obesity is a public health problem in Alaska. Any film that promotes unhealthy eating for children, or that is a direct attack on the Let’s Move campaign would be per se detrimental to the people of Alaska.
3. CAR SEATS
Accidents are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents. Automobile accidents account for the largest number of these accidents. Use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts use are critical to limiting these deaths. State Farm is the largest insurer of autos in Alaska and in the nation. State Farm has raised its car insurance rates in Alaska due to an increase in automobile accidents. State Farm explains that “car crashes are the leading cause of death and injury to children, but using car-seats appropriately can greatly reduce the risk.
As the Attorney General of Alaska I’m sure you know that Alaska law prohibits a driver from transporting children under age 16 in a motor vehicle unless the child is properly secured according to child passenger safety law. Alaskan law provides specific guidelines for children based upon their weight and age. The Palin family repeatedly appeared in the TLC show with children riding in a motor vehicle who were unrestrained by seat belts or car seats. Sarah Palin even appeared in the passenger front seat without wearing a seat belt.
As you can imagine, people who have learned about these facts are outraged. At a time when state and federal funding has been cut for so many programs, and Sarah Palin promotes the notion that the government should “Get Out of The Way” people of Alaska, and the country, are incredulous that this inappropriate use of tax payer funds has occurred. I implore you to act will all haste and correct this outrageous use of Alaska tax payer resources.
Sincerely, Malia Litman