Jesse Griffin: Just Asking Questions
The investigation into infamous, expletive-spewing, former assistant kindergarten instructor and anti-Palin blogger, who when not encouraging masturbation on a blog he provided a link to on his MySpace page that any student who knew him by name could have discovered, Jesse Griffin, continues to turn up interesting material. Upon contacting Griffin's listed employer he is totally unknown to employees there spanning back eight years. Given that fact, perhaps the better question right now may be, Jesse who?
Additional research uncovered some apparently questionable business practices, including large tax liens (I could not locate any document establishing whether all the liens have yet been paid), and the location of the school can also be connected to an influential politically active progressive married couple with a background that includes political campaigns, large organizations and millions of dollars often dispensed in large amounts, including for grassroots activism, or community organizing, as well as a family trust fund. That substantive report follows this brief introduction for background.
Saturday Griffin posted this and more (link not to Griffin), while instructing readers to stop visiting critical blogs:
My question is. who pays for this? Who sent money to the websites that attacked me to spend so much time trying to cut and paste bit and pieces of four year old posts together in an effort to "prove" I am a bad guy?
Trig is only around sixteen months old, yet Palin has no problem thrusting him into a discussion about elderly care. That is even less of an appropriate place for little Trig to be than when he was trotted out on stage, in front of bright lights and television cameras, during the McCain campaign.
Sarah Palin has used this heartrending diminutive prop with such careless abandon, that even people who once supported her are embarrassed at her apparent disregard for the well being of this baby.
Leaving behind all of the questions about Trig's parentage, the question we must now ask ourselves is how well is he currently being cared for?
I believe that many people have very powerful concerns for this child.
We see him trotted out when Sarah wants to make a political point, or create the warm motherly image for the cameras, but who cares for him while there are no cameras to record the event?
… But every time we see Trig and Sarah together, it is clear that Sarah is well aware of the photographers. She is usually all gussied up and ready for her close up. And even in those moments how warmly does she interact with this child?
More and more it appears that this little one is nothing more then(sic) a shield against criticism and a prop for the photographers. I wonder if she even picks him up without a photographer to capture the event?
Hey I am just asking.
Admittedly angered and aware of what the same blogger posted when Trig Palin was born, before Sarah Palin was nominated to oppose Obama/Biden, the decision was made to return to Jesse Griffin to ask some questions of my own. Immoral Minority, April 2008 prior to Palin's nomination the day Trig was born. Any typo's are his:
My Governor made a human being today. What did your Governor do? Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth Friday to her fifth child, a boy, about month before her due date. Trig Paxson Van Palin weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces. A news release from Palin's office says the 44-year-old governor and the baby are doing well and resting comfortably. Welcome to our world little man. We are trying to fix it just for you. And we dearly hope you mommy is going to help us.
What made him change?
Further investigation of high-profile and seemingly sexually-obsessed anti-Palin blogger Jesse Griffin led to the discovery of several curious facts, including a current employer of record for Griffin, the Puffin Heights Montessori School in Anchorage Alaska, whose current on site employees, as confirmed through multiple phone interviews, have no knowledge of him at the work location, claiming no individual named Jesse Griffin has been present at the site in any way for at least the past eight years.
The school, which appears to have unpaid tax liens over a long period of time, can also be linked to an influential couple in progressive Democrat politics and the ongoing national health care debate. Their political and business connections span several states and high-profile political organizations, as well as millions of dollars in lobbying, stimulus and even some purely political funds, including campaign contributions.
A business enterprise, Clinica Sierra Vista, Inc. (CSV), linked to the couple 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. That sum was high compared to taxpayer dollars distributed to several similar firms in an industry critical to Obama's make-or-break push for health care reform.
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.
Research documented and published at Joseph Culligan's Web of Deception cites Jesse Griffin's current employer as the Puffin Heights Montessori School, a pre-school not officially affiliated with the International Montessori chain. (Montessori HQ in NYC confirmed the lack of affiliation. The name is not copyrighted and while agreeing it might be deceptive, they said it was not an unheard of practice. The Puffin Heights school ceased being affiliated in 2003.)
A call to that school last week indicated an employee of Puffin Heights had no knowledge of Griffin. In a subsequent call the school's manager confirmed that Griffin has not been present, or presumed to work for the school at their physical location during the past eight years.
Name:JESSE RAY GRIFFIN
Company: PUFFIN HEIGHTS MONTESSORI SCHOOL
Address: 1000 W 20TH AVE, ANCHORAGE AK 99503-1715
According to public records, the school may have a troubled past with significant Federal and State tax liens over its run, which may have contributed to the original corporate entity being involuntarily dissolved on 10/31/03. It had initially become effective on 9/05/1995.
Tax issues, some resolved, some apparently not resolved, include, but are not limited to a $37,330 lien filed by the IRS on 4/14/2005 and another $23,578 lien filed by the IRS on 1/2/2007. Several State liens for a total of several thousand dollars have also been filed over the years. Based on public record filings, one known owner throughout its existence and its current operator, Leslie Barrera, and her husband are both consistently voting Democrats. Joe Culligan has documentation posted near the top at his site – scroll down.
Puffin Heights Montessori School, Inc. was involuntarily dissolved; however the school itself seems not to have missed a beat. A limited partnership, Puffin Heights, LLC, was organized by one Yolanda Baber seemingly to take the corporation's place. The school continued operations with the same name and location.
This was confirmed in conversation with an employee at the location. However, according to Web of Deception, it appears no such person as Yolanda Baber exists within the state of Alaska who could possibly be the Baber cited as the partnership's organizer. Contact with the partnership's registered agent, CSC, has so far not resolved any remaining questions.
A phone message requesting comment from the school's apparent owner, Leslie Barberra, has not been returned. Nor has blogger Jesse Griffin responded to a recent request for comment via email.
The Puffin Heights school in Anchorage appears to have been an official part of the Montessori chain at one point and the Montessori headquarters in New York confirmed that for 2001 and 2002, before the original corporation was involuntarily dissolved, possibly due to back tax issues.
Catherine New was once listed as primary contact for the school according to the Montessori Foundation. Given that Leslie Barrera has also been officially affiliated with the school as one owner during its entire period of operation, it would seem to indicate that New and Barrera should be acquainted.
Based upon their histories, activities and associations, Catherine New and her husband, Eligio G. White, both appear to be progressive political actors. Documents show that the couple resided in Alaska as far back as 1996, near the time the Puffin Heights school was launched. According to a comment posted on a website, New and White maintained a home in Alaska for some time after leaving the state:
Terrence, I do hope you realize how very much we appreciate your exemplary management of our home. I think you know that we have experience with less effective property managers outside of Alaska. It's satisfying to link up a friend and colleague with a pro like you. – Catherine New
Records indicate they also own homes in Utah and California. Catherine New is listed as a self-employed journalist and Obama personal contributor ($750) here. However, according to Joe Culligan of Web of Deception, at some point her employment was listed as a Director of Brian for Utah, supporting Brian Watkins, a progressive Democrat with a blog presence who has run for Congress in the past. A call to their California home seeking comment from New and White went unanswered; no machine picked up to leave a message. That is the only one of their known addresses for which a phone number was available for this report.
Catherine New's husband, Eligio G. White, has other influential titles beyond CSV. He plays other roles pertinent to the ongoing health care debate and the industry's potential future under substantive reform.
White is also the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Community Health Centers Association (NACHC), a large organization that spends large sums of money (see p 15 of this pdf) on lobbying and grassroots organizing. He's also listed here.
More on White hereand see Clinica Sierra Vista, where he has been CEO and Deputy CEO and according to this release from May, 2009, he is CSV's head. Some real estate, including a Salt Lake City home and presumably any wealth are now in a family protection trust. The community health concept is endorsed by Obama here via the NACHC, as well.
From humble beginnings in a storefront warehouse, Clinica Sierra Vista has grown to become one of the largest, private, non-profit, community based and governed agencies in California. We are a leader in the provision of primary health care and preventive health education services. We are also a multi-institutional model for rural health care delivery. Since 1971, Clinica Sierra Vista has grown to twenty-four sites, with over 900 employees. We are a testament to what can be accomplished when there is a sincere desire to serve.
White seems to turn up almost everywhere at the highest level of activism as regards health care reform.
Out of the $850 million Michelle Obama was pushing during a visit to a community health center last month, Clinica Sierra Vista made off with over $4.3 million in taxpayer dollars:
First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to a Washington, D.C., health center to underscore the critical role the national network of health centers play in health care. She visited Unity’s Upper Cardozo Health Center to announce the Obama Administration’s support for the renovation and modernization of health centers through the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act (ARRA), with the allocation $850 Million to construct or renovate health centers in urban and rural areas.
The sum received by CSV seems to have significantly exceeded the funds received by most similar firms.
There are now more questions in need of answering. But there's only so much one blogger with a keyboard and a cell phone can achieve. However, in the spirit of Jesse Griffin, why not briefly ask more pointed questions, too?
WHY DID JESSE CHANGE?
With the nomination of Sarah Palin as Republican Vice-Presidential candidate everything seemed to change for Jesse Griffin. Remember, just months earlier he had positive things to say about Sarah Palin, including the birth of son Trig. That's no longer the case.
Records indicate he has shared an address with a much younger man, possibly a step-son, Kyle Sisseck, age approximately 22, who according to public records may have multiple felony arrests between 2007 and 2009 for assault, multiple felony thefts and also shoplifting. There are also traffic tickets for no right-side mirror, proof of insurance and other offenses.
Griffin also seems to have an active mortgage of approximately $300k from 2005 when ex-wife Deann R. Griffin left. She seems to have remarried shortly thereafter. Though having her out of state address and phone number I've opted to not contact her at this time. The above facts and more have been known to me since early in the investigation but were withheld as they provided no additional pertinent context to the earlier postings on anti-Palin blogger Jesse Griffin. Now I believe they do.
What made Jesse Griffin change as regards Sarah Palin? Could it be a failed marriage and troubled family life in the face of a family that seems so contented, successful and genuinely loving and giving as the Palins do? Could it be the weight of a $300,000 mortgage loan taken out in November of 2005 coupled with additional expenses and the need for some cash particularly due to a departed spouse and assistance for some possible legal fees?
It's impossible to say, really. Having now observed Griffin over time, looking into him a bit, I can imagine any number of motivations for him to make a change. Perhaps one day we'll find out. But we're "just asking questions," right? Just like Jesse Griffin does.
Please also visit Stacy McCain at The Other McCain who contributed significantly to the early portions of the Jesse Griffin coverage. And please don't forget Joseph Culligan at Web of Deception, who contributed significantly to this phase.
(Ed. Note) – Two weeks ago RWV published a story on Harvard's Henry Louis Gates, Jr.that led to announcements and tax return adjustments by several Harvard employees due to misappropriated charity dollars. This blog has also broken other significant news, both political and not in nature over time. While RWV will never compare to such noble blog reporting efforts as self-supporting Michael Yonwho covers wars, RWV's primary interest has always been domestic news. If you'd care to support this small effort in Citizen Journalism and you haven't, please feel free to hit the Tip Jar in side bar top right. Thank you.)Dan Riehl