MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has looked into online claims that Bristol Palin, the 19-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, has launched a political PR and consultancy firm -- and has found the claims to be true.
But that doesn't mean the 19-year-old Bristol -- mother of Tripp, now the focus of a custody battle -- will be running her mother's 2012 presidential campaign, Maddow says.
Researchers on the Rachel Maddow Show have obtained documents showing that the younger Palin filed paperwork in September to launch a company that can provide lobbying, public relations and political consulting services.
Thomas Van Flein, Palin's lawyer, told Maddow that Bristol Palin incorporated herself as part of her work as "ambassador" for the Candie's Foundation, an abstinence-oriented youth group.
Bristol's firm "may just be a pretty smart financial decision by a very astute 19-year-old, or Bristol Palin is about to launch a lobbying and consultancy firm to run her mom's 2012 presidential campaign!" Maddow exclaimed. "Theoretically possible, but probably not."
That didn't sit well with Jesse Griffin of the Immoral Minority blog, whose reporting on the Palins got him banned from a recent Sarah Palin book-signing.
In a reaction to Maddow's column, Griffin wrote that the type of company Bristol Palin established is strictly a public relations firm, and Van Flein's explanation for its purpose doesn't add up.
Maddow "is famous for doggedly going after a story and staying on it until she reveals the facts and exposes the lies," Griffin wrote. "So how can ONE phone call from Thomas Van Flein discourage her from this potentially explosive story? I have to say I am a little disappointed."
The Palin-oriented And So It Goes blog suggests that Bristol's PR firm may be a way for the Palin family to siphon money away from SarahPAC, Sarah Palin's political fundraising group, and to the family's personal coffers.
"What better way to keep the $$$$ in the family than to have her daughter in the business of 'political consulting'??? You just pay the $$$$ for advice, and take or leave the advice, right?" the blog posits.
This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Jan. 4, 2010.