Tuesday, August 11, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: Did Anti-Palin Blogger Get Paid For No-Show Job?

That is the question raised by Dan Riehl's newest discoveries about anti-Palin blogger Jesse Griffin, a/k/a "Gryphen," whose false "exclusive" report Aug. 1 began this investigation:
A business enterprise, Clinica Sierra Vista, Inc. (CSV), linked to [Catherine New and Eligio White] recently collected over $4 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars as part of an overall effort in support of community-based health care centers being touted by Barack and Michelle Obama. . . .
Former Alaska resident Catherine New is married to the head of CSV, Eligio G. White. New is also linked to the Puffin Heights Montessori School identified as Griffin's employer. . . .
It's a 2,400-word blockbuster, so read the whole thing and remember: Dan is just asking questions, the way Griffin/"Gryphen" has been doing for months.

UPDATE: Several of Dan's commenters seem unable to connect the dots in his very long article. It helps if you will print out the article and go over it with pen in hand, as I did. In Dan's comment field, I posted this summary for the benefit of anyone who didn't get the picture:
1. Jesse Griffin's "employer of record" is Puffin Heights Montessori school.
2. Employees of that school told Dan that they have never seen Griffin at the school.
3. Former Alaska resident Catherine New was once listed as "primary contact" for the Puffin Heights school.
4. The Puffin Heights school was apparently bankrupted by IRS tax judgments and reorganized circa 2002, with "Yolanda Baber" listed as head of the LLC.
5. Joseph Culligan has been unable to verify the existence of a "Yolanda Baber" in Anchorage.
6. Meanwhile, Catherine New and her husband, Eligio White, have prospered in the health-care industry and are "progressive" activists whose business recently received $4.3 million of stimulus money.
We could speculate about what all this means, but if this Puffin Heights Montessori was indeed paying Griffin for a "no-show job," the big question is: Why?


UPDATE II: People who aren't familiar with what Dan Riehl does may need to understand that (a) an amazing amount of data is available as public records; (b) there are research methods that don't involve Google; and (c) most people don't even know how to use Google very effectively.

While not at liberty to discuss Dan's methods, I can now tell you that he told me about this Montessori thing more than a week ago (late Aug. 2 or early Aug. 3) but at that time we had no idea what it meant.

Given the value of Griffin's home (more than $300,000) and his salary from his part-time public-school job at Trailside Elementary in Anchorage, it was obvious that the financial picture didn't add up. The way Puffin Heights Montessori was listed on the public records, it wasn't clear whether Griffin was working there simultaneously with the Trailside job, or if it was a previous employer.

Meanwhile, on his own "Immoral Minority" blog, Griffin was saying different things and it was hard to know what was true or not, as Griffin appears to be a compulsive liar. At one point, Griffin said that the Anchorage public-school gig -- which he resigned Aug. 4 -- was not his main employer.

Means, Motive, Opportunity
Griffin's money situation had intrigued me from the beginning. Why? Because in his big Aug. 1 "exclusive," he'd referenced a National Enquirer story, talked about one of his "best sources," and mentioned vaguely that Alaska newspapers were working on some kind of related Palin scandal story.

Hmmmm. Everybody in journalism knows that the National Enquirer is willing to pay for information. Had Griffin parlayed his status as an anti-Palin blogger into some sort of freelance work for the Enquirer? I mentioned that possibility to Dan Riehl -- just wild speculation on my part -- but Dan was so busy going over the public records that he laughed off that suggestion.

Still -- and hey, we're just asking questions -- who is Jesse's "best source"? Why was Jesse willing to risk a libel suit by passing along that source's gossip? And what is the source's motive for dishing dirt? This is where Dennis Zaki's confirmation by "multiple sources" raises more questions.

Zaki specified that one of his sources was a "former Palin staffer"; days later, Zaki reported that a former Palin staff was trying to sell a tell-all book. (Remember that it was Zaki who stupidly outed Griffin as an Alaska kindergarten teacher; if he has now idiotically put the finger on his "former Palin staffer" source, it just goes to show what a subnormal geek Dennis Zaki is.)

All of this goes to the "motive" part of the classic formula of "means, motive and opportunity" when detectives are trying to solve a crime. Some of my commenters have speculated that Levi Johnston -- the hockey goon/baby daddy who gave an interview to Radar Online today, dishing dirt on the Palins -- may be one of Jesse's sources.

A moron feeding tips to a liar? Hey, if I was threatened with a libel suit and "one of my best sources" was none other than Levi "Ricky Hollywood" Johnston, I'd retract in a New York heartbeat. (And if I was somebody who cared about Levi Johnston, I'd tell him to stay away from Alaska henceforth.)

Celebrities and Sell-By Dates
If you know anything about what Hollywood is like nowadays, every two-bit D-lister in L.A. will tell you his agent's trying to get him a reality-TV gig. Probably 90% of reality-show "development" deals go nowhere, so Levi Johnston's 15 minutes of fame are likely to end without him ever cashing any big checks. Ditto the ex-Palin staffer who is hustling a tell-all about Sarah.

Meanwhile, here is Jesse Griffin, one of the left-wing Alaska blogospheric myrmidons who've spent the past 11 months trashing Palin online for the amusement of PDS-affected "progressives" worldwide. Now that Palin's resigned as governor and the spotlight has shifted, the blog-o-bucks are harder to get for the Alaskasphere, and everybody -- ex-staffers, "Ricky Hollywood," Griffin, his blog buddies -- is trying to cash in before the sell-by date expires on this dirt-dishing bonanza.

Just a guess, but Griffin's evident belief that the Anchorage Daily News was about to publish its own "Palin scandal" story probably tells us something about who Griffin's sources are. And speaking of "just asking questions," if I was the editor of the Daily News, I'd be asking my reporters if any of them were hustling book deals or talking shop with "friends" outside the newsroom.

Unfamiliar with the methods of actual journalists, Griffin recklessly posted that idiotic "exclusive" Palin divorce rumor, without realizing how easily and completely it would be debunked. Nor did Griffin suspect that, by claiming to have such an "exclusive," he would attract the attention of a veteran journalist who didn't appreciate having his Saturday ruined by that bogus scoop.

And I guarantee you that when "Gryphen" hit the orange "publish post" button on his phony "exclusive," he didn't even know such a person as Dan Riehl existed. Say hello to the law of unintended consequences, Jesse.

Have a nice day! :D

P.S.: Thanks to all the readers who hit the tip jar today, and please keep hitting it. Depending on how this "Gryphen" story plays out, I may someday be able to sell a freelance article about it, but it would take weeks or months before I'd see a paycheck. The cell-phone company, the Internet service provider and especially the finance company on my car loan need to be paid sooner than that. So please hit the tip jar!

UPDATE III (11 a.m. 8/12): Edited to delete a minor error.



  1. Paid position?

    That I doubt. Let him claim employment so that his resume wouldn't show an unexplained gap? Sure.

    But he just a peon to them - cannon fodder. He's already proven just how low he'll go for so little. Why change the pattern now?

    (Anonymous because suddenly Typepad hates me)

  2. He's expendable. Looks like another Obamabot being thrown under the bus.

  3. Well, if this were Repub activists pulling the same shit, we would hear about it, from the two Andi's on down.

    The lefties are sick little monkeys.

  4. The dark cloud in this silver lining of oh-so-tasty moonbat overreach is that this is (apparently) taking you off your game vis a vis IG-Gate. We need to see more about that, it's so very potentially explosive. I say, let the douche go, Dan has more than a handle on it - and you've been (strong) support for his story all along, anyway.

    But, just because I don't know what you're doing doesn't mean you don't know what you're doing. Right?

  5. Most of the commenters who "can't connect the dots" would better be called Trolls. And there's a bundle of em over there. Almost like they're worried or something. The strategery seems to be to suggest that Dan's piece doesn't make sense, doesn't prove anything, and or they can't see any conspiracy. Its a "plant doubt/demoralize" strategy me thinks.

    Similiar to to what you wrote in your in your march 30th entry about Troll tactics...

    "Derogating as futile or self defeating the projects being planned in the discussions"

    But me thinks the trolls do protest too much.

  6. That was kind of you to provide the update. Especially for Proud Liberal, seemed very confused or as he/she indicated...just slow.

    Great work to you both!

  7. No show jobs. Chicago.

    Why does one remind me of the other?

    "The Chicago Way"



    John Kass is a good teacher. He knows "The Chicago Way."

    Would John Kass think that this story has a familiar ring?

    When I googled for John Kass, I found the BBC story. It just happens to involve familiar names.

    Is it also a story about Alaska?

  8. So much for integrity.... Why won't you post about Levi's interview?

  9. Just clicked over to read Dan's post. I have to say that the people who don't get it seem to be liberals. Like, "what are you trying to say, Dan?" Astroturf, much?

    And wow, Dan is getting the hits, too. 110 comments on the post when I left.

  10. Might I suggest that someone else, who lists their job as journalist, is writing the material for Jesse Griffen. Griffen is just a front for the attack dogs.

  11. RSM - a story like this every month and i'll be proud to be your first customer for a monthly membership. Great job!

  12. OK the problem I have with this is the facts are not connected.

    You have a document that shows Puffin Montessoru School as employer of record. What's the source? What's the date?

    You have the 2009 tax assessment on his house ($300,000) but that doesn't tell uswhat the purchase price and mortgage were.

    You have a connection to some individuals who have received stimulus money but haven't shown that they have paid Griffin in any way.

    Riehl asserts that prior to Palin being named as McCain's running mate he was positive towards her. That simply isn't true. I went thru all his blog archives from March '08 to the day she was named as McCain's running mate. The majority of them were negative to neutral. I counted 4 (maybe 5) that were positive. 2 were in regards to Trig (his birth and the announcement that he had Down's Syndrome where Griffin expressed sympathy) 1 was in regards to Palin agreeing with part of Obama's energy plan. I forget the other.

    Come on you guys really need to tie this stuff together. So far it is inferences from disconnected facts.

  13. @Chad,
    In the main, I think the blog-adelic duo are taking their time, and triple-checking their facts.

    It's kind of crucial not to over-play the hand.
    Sure, the internet breeds a certain taste for instant gratification.

    However, there is a higher level gratification in simply letting the story emerge at its pace.

  14. Gee a couple problems with your Super Sleuthing there McCain.

    FIRST, no one at the school is in any way obligated to answer YOUR or DAN's inquiry who they employee. In fact if they had the heads up of either of you loons they should & most likely told you they never heard of Gryphen to keep you and your crazy ass C4Per's as far away from their school & small children as possible.

    SECOND, Have you ever fcking read Gryphen's blog or cared to peek at how many responders he has to any given thread? Until YOU TWO GUYS got into a war he had damn near no contributers whatsoever. The only people that go to his forum are those who go to themudflats.net slumming until AKM sets up a new topic.

    You being gratified at this Gryph's measly bio along with your seriously flawed logic is sad for a man with your abilities to verbose.

    I am totally curious why you are devoting so much of YOUR LIFE to that ass clown when if polled who are the top Five most known, influentical AK Bloggers Gryph would not be in the top 10.

    Why are you not going after Shannyn Moore who has a radio show, a Huffington roost and again just now had Olberman exclusively talking about Palin's own AK Death Panel? Come one go after the BIG DOGS who are biting Palin's ass not this loser who only gets blog hits because you won't STFU!!!

  15. If they are trying to tie it together then great but in the meantime Riehl is posting teasers that are working his followers into a frenzy and none of this is in anyway conclusive. Plus Riehl is in error on at least some of his facts (specifically Griffin's attitude toward Palin pre nomination) which are kind of crucial to the case he is building.

  16. "Why was Jesse willing to risk a libel suit by passing along that source's gossip?"

    He didn't have to be willing to risk a libel suit, because he was never at risk for one.

  17. Now I can't wait to see how Stacy tracks down the Inspector General associated with this $4 million and inquires about Griffin's membership on a Chicago-style payroll.

  18. Just for fun--Could Jesse Griffin be related to the hideous troll comedian, Kathy Griffin, that had Levi Johnston escort her to the Teen Choice Awards the other day?


  19. For using myrmidons in a sentence = 50 points.

    It is a typical tactic, when one takes money from a source one cannot claim on one's tax return, to have another job (usually low pay, short hours that CAN be filed) as a "front" to cover how one affords the House payment, gas and food. they don't need to match as the IRS just looks to see if the business is paying THEIR taxes and doesn't start comparing the income to the outgo unless you get an audit. OOOOOOH DID I SAY IRS AUDIT?? Did you know that anyone "alerting" the IRS to potential tax fraud gets a percentage of any recovered back taxes? Yes, Yes indeedy do they do. Hey the Dems do that kind of stuff all the time, why not us?

    Meanwhile back here and on Dan's site, ISABELLA is squealing like a stuck pig about this and that and who knows(or cares)what. We're sorry dear is your pay packet gonna be late this month? (if it ever comes again).

    Got to transfer some money to my paypal account so I can hit the tip jar for you and dan. I don't mind paying for a good S&M show where people beat on themselves while they get whipped by others all the while some harpy is shrieking in the background.
    Will S. would be proud of this show. (he did write the dialog for this past few days you know. Way back when. Look up any of the farces).

  20. If this is going where it certainly looks to be going, WOW. Once I get past the amazing research here, I want to scream about this Catherine New getting stimulus money. Is there a legitimate health care organization in operation? I somehow doubt that there is.

  21. great job. the possible connection toanti-palin attacks esp her kids directly to the Obama machine is music to my ears. If this story plays out the way I think it will Obama's poll numbers will drop another 5% and Palin's will rise. I mean when you attack women and children what type of man are you really?

    If I was a DA I would be talking to Jesse and seeing if I couldn't roll him over for a bigger fish. there are alot of laws here that could have been broken.

    If I was Jesse I would be in hiding atm. the knowledge he knows has the potential to embrass the dems/Obama and he may be in danger from them. Of course they will most likely pay him off but if you can be bought by one side nothing says you can't be bought from the other.

  22. Bust 'em all, I say! Make them pay back the wasted Alaskans' taxes and include some hefty punitive damages.