The shady side of the Palin family

Riding the waves created by her 2008 political splashdown as the late John McCain's Republication running mate, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has carved out a career in the public eye and dragged her family along on her platform of right-wing, conservative values. Unfortunately, behind the shining public image that they work very hard to maintain, the Palin family casts some very long shadows.

What are we talking about, exactly? We don't even know where to begin, to be honest, but let's start with their family drama. Although Sarah Palin paints a nice picture on social media, her children have had their fair share of issues within and outside of the family. Some of the strife involves legal issues, all the way from arrests to paternity drama. Oy.

Then there's the topic of the Palin matriarch's political career, which bore a number of scandals. We're talking potential corruption, abuse of power, and other unsavory antics. It's enough to make anyone's head spin. So, have we piqued your interest yet? Brace yourself and let's take a deep dive into the shady side of the Palin family.

Sarah Palin and the price of justice

While serving as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin fired the well-respected and long-standing chief of police and hired a man named Charlie Fannon to replace him, according to HuffPost. When budget time came around, Fannon allegedly decided to eliminate rape kits from the budget with the aim of saving between $5,000 and $14,000 — a move that Palin made no effort to prevent. After the kits were cut from the budget, the department started charging rape victims up to $1,200 each time the kits were used. When a Democratic legislator passed a law making the practice illegal, the chief of police protested on the basis that the community would have to foot the bill instead. 

It's worth noting here that rape kits are in no way a waste of money as they're used by police to gather evidence of sexual assault and also include emergency contraception. It's unfortunate this even needs to be said.

In an ironic twist, it was later reported that Palin spent $50,000 to refurbish her office — enough to pay for four years' worth of rape kits.

Better the devil you know

When the time came for the newly minted Alaskan governor to appoint a new head of the State Division of Agriculture, Sarah Palin didn't have to look far. In fact, she only looked as far as her high school yearbook before she reportedly gave the $95,000 a year job to a classmate from high school, according to The Seattle Times. She supposedly gave other jobs to high school classmates with questionable qualifications, including one worth over $82,000 per year to a friend who opened the Alaska franchise of Mailboxes Etc. 

Interestingly enough, Palin's efforts to surround herself with allies is matched only by her efforts to rid herself of critics and fight personal feuds. Case in point: State legislators once investigated accusations that Sarah Palin tried to use her position as governor to get a state trooper fired. The state trooper was her sister's ex-husband and the two had been involved in a messy divorce and custody battle. The scandal became known as Troopergate. She was also accused of engineering the firing of a longtime city attorney in 1997, who blocked a construction project of one of her campaign contributors. Of course, these are all allegations.

A Palin family that fights together stays together

For a family that likes to claim the moral high ground, it doesn't take them long to get down and dirty. In 2014, it was reported by MSNBC that the entire Palin household was alleged to have been involved in a drunken brawl. 

Sarah Palin — with her husband Todd and children Bristol, Willow, Track, and Bristol's son Tripp — reportedly arrived at a party in a stretch Hummer. They had been celebrating Todd's 50th birthday and this was not their first stop. Unfortunately, however, things went south when Track allegedly got in a fight with his sister Willow's ex. The ex's dad stepped in to break it up, and at that point, witnesses report that Todd jumped in and began to choke the dad. The fight was eventually disbanded, but then Bristol, with Willow in tow, is reported to have approached the owner of the house and cold-cocked him — which kicked off round two. 

This time, Sarah wanted a piece of the action and was described as nearly crawling over people to get in on the fight, all while screaming profanities. After the Palins were asked to leave, Sarah supposedly yelled, "Do you know who I am?" Meanwhile, Track allegedly stood in front of the house bare chested and gave the remaining guests the finger. How charming.

Remember that Todd Palin sex scandal?

The Palins like to see themselves as champions of the traditional family and good old fashioned morals. But according to a book called Boys Will Be Boys, which was published in 2012, Todd Palin allegedly likes to promote an even older tradition. 

In the book, Shailey Tripp claims how she not only became sexually involved with Todd Palin, but eventually started working for him as a prostitute — for which she was arrested in 2010. It also includes intimate — albeit alleged — details of his anatomy, and implicates secret service agents and police in a cover-up of Todd's involvement.

Supporters of the allegations have made much of Todd's failure to deny the allegations, a chore he left to Sarah Palin and the Anchorage Police. According to Forbes, the former Governor of Alaska called the sex scandal hearsay, which initially began in 2011, "a big lie," "a waste of time," and "b.s." in an interview with The Bob And Mark Morning Show.

Even Sarah Palin's sister-in-law ran into trouble with the law

The Palin family's shadows stretch further than their own white picket fence. In 2009, the Anchorage Daily News reported that Sarah Palin's sister-in-law, Diana Palin, was arrested for allegedly breaking into a house (via the New York Daily News). She was reportedly caught by the homeowner and held at gunpoint until the police arrived. 

Of course, it wouldn't be a Palin story without a couple of twists. During the investigation, it came out that this was supposedly not the first time she had broken into this particular house. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Diana Palin had already found her way in a few days previously and apparently went back for seconds ... however, she reportedly left her four-year-old daughter waiting in the car outside for at least heist No. 2. 

Diana Palin, who's Todd's half-sister, was later "hit with felony burglary charges, along with misdemeanor theft and criminal trespass."

Taking one for Sarah Palin's team

Sarah Palin is allegedly ruthless when it comes to getting her way, and this attitude even extends to her furry constituents. On several occasions during her tenure as Wasilla mayor and governor of Alaska, she seemingly displayed a callous disregard for animal welfare. Hunting wolves from aircraft was already legal in Alaska when Palin came to power, but she oversaw a significant expansion of the program according to HuffPost. She even instituted a bounty of $150 per wolf to further encourage the practice, but that was struck down by the State Superior Court. 

Then, in 2007, she fought a push to have polar bears listed as an endangered species, on the basis that it could inhibit oil and gas exploration in the region. She even went so far as to sue the U.S. Government after the motion passed. During campaigning for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015, Palin was heard to say that if caribous' lives were threatened by the construction of the pipeline, then they should "take one for the team." Despite a Freedom of Information Request, no evidence has yet been presented that proves any caribou actually joined "the team."

Being irony's posterchild is a well-paid gig for Bristol Palin

In 2009, Bristol Palin became a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Advisor for the Candie's Foundation. According to Forbes, Bristol Palin was paid over $262,000 that year for her part in promoting abstinence, a staggering figure if you consider that in the same year the foundation only gave out $35,000 in grants to charities. 

But that's not the biggest problem. The most glaring issue with this situation is the fact that she was employed by Candie's Foundation despite becoming pregnant while unmarried at the age of 18. And if that was all, it would be no issue — because who better to advise on teen pregnancy than a formerly pregnant teen? But despite her efforts and expertise in preventing pregnancy, she announced in June 2015 that she was pregnant again — this time by her ex-fiancé who she split with in May of that same year. This is apparently a case of do as I say, not what I do.

Track and Todd Palin got into a physical fight over a truck

The public was shocked when Sarah Palin's eldest son, Track, allegedly assaulted his dad, Todd, in December 2017. NBC News reports that the two supposedly got into a fight about a truck Track wanted to use, as Todd had denied his request due to concerns about possible substance abuse. The eldest Palin sibling, who was 28 at the time, was reportedly upset and took matters into his own hands. "Track told him he was (going to) come anyway to beat his a**," Wasilla officer Adam LaPointe wrote in the police report, according to court docs obtained by the Anchorage Daily News

The father-son duo reportedly got into a physical altercation once Track arrived, with Track allegedly striking Todd on the head. Sarah Palin's husband suffered injuries to his face and head, but it's not clear how serious the wounds were. The report, however, did note that Todd was bleeding after the incident. Ouch. Track was ultimately charged with felony burglary, assault in the fourth degree, and criminal mischief for causing property damage in Wasilla, Alaska. But the military vet didn't go to jail for his alleged crimes, because he'd reached a plea agreement in which he was able to enter Alaska's Veterans Court, "a program intended to rehabilitate veterans" (via the Associated Press).

It goes without saying family drama is not cool, especially when it involves physical violence. 

The eldest Palin son was arrested for domestic violence

After getting in trouble for allegedly assaulting Todd Palin, son Track found himself in trouble with the law once again in September 2018. This time, he was accused of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, Jordan Loewe. The alleged incident occurred after Loewe dropped their son off for a visit and Track reportedly pestered his ex for a hug. Loewe finally gave in, which was when Track supposedly followed her outside, got on top of her, and began hitting her. After Loewe eventually got free and was able to call for help, Track stopped the alleged assault. It's unclear what kind of injuries Loewe sustained, but police officers observed "small scratches on her arm and noted that the back of her head and her neck were red," according to police docs obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The veteran reportedly appeared calm when authorities initially arrived at his house to follow up on the alleged incident. However, his demeanor quickly changed when they placed him under arrest. Not only did Track supposedly knock over a coffee table in the process, but he also reportedly tried to headbutt one of the arresting officers.

Track was arrested for fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest, which got him booted from Alaska's Veterans Court. Given that this wasn't his first arrest for domestic violence, the judge decided Track should spend one year in custody. However, he was later granted early release from a halfway house.

Bristol Palin skipped Willow's wedding for a dark reason

Bristol Palin and her younger sister, Willow, always seemed close. So, we were a bit surprised when Bristol seemingly skipped her sibling's wedding in September 2018, choosing to stay home in her new stomping grounds of Texas instead. Although we didn't immediately know the reason why, Bristol supposedly skipped out on the nuptials because Willow invited their older brother, Track, to the event. This was reportedly an issue because Bristol's ex-husband, Dakota Meyer, stipulated their kids can't be around the troubled sibling. 

"Bristol started a huge fight with Willow because her kids aren't supposed to be around Track," a source claimed to Radar Online. Although Bristol was supposed to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, the invite apparently left her steaming mad. "Bristol was supposed to give a speech at the wedding," the insider continued. "Instead she packed up her kids and left, leaving Willow behind." Yikes.

We're not going to judge Bristol for this alleged move, because we don't know the ins and outs of her relationship with Track, especially where it pertains to her kids. But what we do find shady? How Track was arrested for alleged domestic violence the night before the wedding, meaning he missed the nuptials anyway. Talk about a mess.

Levi Johnston had to fight for custody of son Tripp

It's no secret the Palin family doesn't think highly of Levi Johnston's parenting skills, as Sarah Palin once referred to Bristol Palin's ex as a "deadbeat dad" to her grandson, Tripp. Bristol has said equally negative things about Johnston, all of which he has denied. In fact, Johnston took to Facebook in February 2016 to set the record straight on his involvement in Tripp's life, seemingly insinuating his role as a parent had been mischaracterized. After winning joint custody of the couple's son, Johnston penned in a since-deleted post (via E! News): "I'm so happy to have my son in my life, and to put all of this back in forth in the courts behind me. It might have taken me 7 years and cost me around $100,000 in lawyer fees, spread out among 3 different lawyers, as well as a lot of patience, but it was all worth it."

He then addressed the misrepresentations of his character, stating, "Despite what some have heard I've always been there for him, and I go to almost every school event that I can and spend all of my free time with my kids. Right now life is really looking up for our family."

We can't say what really happened here, but it would be unfortunate if Bristol did misconstrue Johnston's involvement in her son's life.

Did Bristol Palin keep her ex away from their daughter's birth?

If you follow the Palin family, then you probably already know Bristol Palin has had her fair share of relationship drama. After splitting from Levi Johnston in August 2010, she moved on to veteran Dakota Meyer, with whom she shares two daughters. Bristol's relationship with Meyer has been consistently rocky, a sentiment that became evidently true when he accused her of a major parenting violation in October 2018. 

Per Meyer's account, Bristol allegedly prevented him from attending their eldest daughter's birth after they broke up in May 2015, shortly before their planned wedding. Bristol was pregnant at the time, and Meyer claimed he made it clear he would remain involved no matter what. "I spoke with her family every month and made it clear I would be the father of my child," he wrote on Instagram. "I reached out to her before Sailor was born and asked what the plan was to co parent. She told me to go through the courts to establish paternity."

Meyer went on to allege that the drama caused him to miss the birth, adding, "I wasn't invited to the birth and found out my child was born on Twitter — can you imagine being a dad and not being allowed to be at your child's birth?" We can't say whether Meyer's account is true, but we're glad he has a great relationship with his kids today.

Sarah Palin blamed Obama for what?!

As wild as it might seem, Sarah Palin seemingly blamed President Barack Obama for Track Palin's legal issues. Speaking at a rally for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in January 2016, Palin seemed to insinuate that Obama's supposed lack of "respect" and support for military vets contributed to her son's problems, stating (via Time), "My son like so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened, they come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country."

She continued, "It's a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder, if they have to question, if they're respected anymore. It starts from the top. The question though that comes from our own president where they have to look at him and wonder, do you know what we go through? Do you know what we're trying to do to secure America and to secure the freedoms that have been bequeathed us?"

After receiving backlash for her speech, Palin denied she ever "blamed" the former president. We can't help but find her comments a bit shady, however, especially since Obama has a long track record of supporting veterans.