Tag Archives: Rolling Thunder

ABC News Allows Ted Shpak To Lie About Sarah Palin on Memorial Day, Again

By Gary P Jackson

I hate to bring this up on the day we honor our fallen troops, but this is the second Memorial Day in a row that Rolling Thunder’s “legislative director” Ted Shpak has found a willing reporter, this time Matt Negrin, at ABC News, who would allow him to smear Sarah Palin.

We had enough problems last year with Sarah Palin. She came out last year and said she’s speaking, and she’s bringing her bus and starting her tour, and that wasn’t happening. I went ballistic when I heard that. One of our members invited them who had no business to invite her.  She showed up. Don’t come in the way she came in. It was a sad site to see. If she had just came like everybody else, I’d say it was OK. That’s not the way it happened.

If you remember, Sarah Palin was invited to ride with the heroes from Rolling Thunder, a wonderful group who are dedicated to making sure no one ever forgets those who were held as prisoners of war, or are missing in action.

Sarah wasn’t invited to speak, and had no intention of speaking to the group. That’s not what Rolling Thunder is even about. It’s about the ride, and as this report shows, she was just another rider in the crowd.

In fact, when reporters crowded around Sarah and her family, as she spoke with veterans who were riding, some rather large bikers ran the reporters off! And they weren’t real nice about it!

This wasn’t a media event, it was about honoring the troops. Last year it was Ted Shpak and MSNBC that turned it into a circus. I guess Shpak is looking for another 15 minutes of fame.

Todd and Piper rode on one bike, while Sarah Palin rode with Petrina Herman, a professional models agent [and fiancée of Harley-Davidson dealer New York Myke] of San Diego.

As we reported at the time, Sarah and her family were not only invited, she was well received by the riders. For some reason Shpak, a man of questionable character and agenda, decided to go on the far left MSNBC “news” network and bash Sarah. A disgraceful act.

Also at the time, ABC News’ Sheila Marikar reported: “Rolling Thunder announced Thursday that Palin accepted an invitation to participate in its May 29 rally

The Washington Post reported that Nancy Regg, a spokeswoman for Rolling Thunder, had confirmed Sarah had been invited and was planning to ride. You can read more here.

In a follow-up article it was noted that the invitation came from a retired Rolling Thunder board member, Michael DiPaolo, who had connections in Alaska and got the Palins to agree to attend.

You can read more about that here.

On May 29th of last year, in response to a read I wrote:

I had never heard of Shpak before Friday, but did some digging. I have decided not to embarrass Rolling Thunder by publishing my findings, but it’s sufficient to say Shpak dishonors the group with his membership.

I still feel the same way. Rolling Thunder is a wonderful and patriotic group. We need more folks like them. That said, if anyone wants to do their own research on Shpak, they’ll understand what I said and why I said it.

Of course, we can’t excuse Matt Negrin of ABC News, a character who seems to have a habit of smearing Sarah Palin.

It’s sad that people like Shpak and Negrin soil the memories of our fallen heroes, with unnecessary lies, to push their own agenda. I guess every crowd has it’s share of weasels.

I’d much rather remind America what Rolling Thunder is really about. Here’s a moving video from last year’s ride. A solitary Marine holds vigil, at full attention, during the Rolling Thunder rally in tribute to fallen comrades:

God bless all of those who serve. And God bless those who keep the memories of those who have fallen alive.



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Sarah Palin: Memorial Day and Rolling Thunder

By Sarah Palin

Todd and I and our family would like to wish you all a happy Memorial Day weekend. We’d especially like to offer our best wishes to our friends in Rolling Thunder who will be taking part in their Ride for Freedom this weekend in D.C. as they do each year to honor our vets and specifically to bring awareness to POW/MIA issues. We were honored to join them last year.

We were both sad to learn that Preston “Jay” Fairlamb, Jr., one of the organizers of Rolling Thunder and someone who made us so welcome last year, tragically died in an accident last week. Jay was a Vietnam vet, a retired New Jersey State Trooper, and a great American who will be dearly missed.

Please keep his wife, his children, grandchildren and his innumerable friends in your prayers.

On this Memorial Day weekend, may God bless our brave men and women in uniform.

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Preview of 2012 GOP Ticket? Sarah Palin and Allen West at Rolling Thunder

By Gary P Jackson

Sarah Palin and Congressman Allen West met up on Sunday and Rolling Thunder. Sarah talks about meeting him here.  Of course, she was one of the very first to endorse the Lt Colonel for Congress.

When asked, if they had a say, many, if not most would chose Lt Colonel West to be Sarah’s running mate, myself included!

Below West talks with Todd and meets Piper.

You might also enjoy: The Difference Between Sarah Palin, Allen West, and Barack Obama, in Pictures.


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Sarah Palin: Roll On, Rolling Thunder!

From Sarah Palin:

There’s no better way to see D.C. than on the back of a Harley! My family may be used to snowmachines more so than motorcycles (though you couldn’t tell it with Todd driving a hog today with Piper on the back and with Bristol riding on the back of another bike). But whether you’re riding the open road or the frozen tundra, you’re celebrating a free spirit. What could be more American than that?

Today’s Rolling Thunder rally in DC is all about freedom. And it’s about duty and loyalty and service. The message heard loud and clear through the roar of tens of thousands of bike engines declared, “We will never forget our heroes left behind!” Truly, our POWs and MIAs honored today are America’s real heroes.

In addition to drawing special attention to POWs and MIAs, Rolling Thunder works to help all veterans, active duty service men and women, and military families in so many ways. Riding with these patriots today reinforced that we must do all we can to remind all Americans that we owe our freedom to our vets and to those missing and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to make this the greatest country on earth. They deserve our debt of gratitude. It’s not the politician or the reporter who makes us free; it is the veteran.

One man who clearly understands this is Rep. Allen West, who was there today to honor our military. I really appreciated meeting him. Thank you for spending your day with the troops, Lt. Colonel West!

Meeting with Blue Star and Gold Star mothers this afternoon puts much into perspective. These beautiful families sacrifice so much for our freedom. This is what Memorial Day weekend is all about. Many of us this weekend are firing up the grill and enjoying time with our loved ones. Remember that we’re able to do that because someone else’s loved one is willing to lay it all on the line to defend our freedom. Someone is willing to re-deploy again and again far from home. Someone is willing to endure the blistering heat of Iraq’s deserts or the brutal cold of Afghanistan’s mountains. Someone is willing to put his or her own life on hold to make sure we’re safe. We never hear them complain, do we? And we never hear their families complain either. That’s what duty and service means. And Rolling Thunder’s commitment to them is what loyalty means.

I’m thankful Rolling Thunder keeps the mission of honoring our vets alive! For in doing so, they remind us what is good and free and worthy in America. So roll on, Rolling Thunder! Like Martin Luther King, Jr. said about the great struggle for civil rights, “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream…

Let’s roll on to honor our vets, to secure our blessings of liberty, and to fundamentally restore our proud America!

~ Sarah Palin


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Video Sarah Palin’s Ride To The Pentagon

By Gary P Jackson

A little raw video of Sarah Palin and her family at Rolling Thunder. Sarah arrived aboard San Diego resident Petrina Herman’s bike. The bikers took very good care of Sarah and her family at the event.

Click on photo to watch.

Please take time to remember those who have given their last full measure of devotion in the name of Liberty and Freedom. And never forget those who were P.O.W.s our those still Missing In Action.

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Video: Sarah Palin Joins Rolling Thunder

By Gary P Jackson

A bit of video from Fox News of Sarah Palin at the Rolling Thunder rally in Washington, D.C. honoring P.O.W.s and those still Missing In Action.

I still can’t figure out Fox’s headline. “Stolen thunder“? Really Fox? Really?

Sarah Palin was invited to ride in the event as are many high profile leaders annually.

It never ceases to amaze me how the media, when there is no controversy, will go out of their way to create one. Anyone who questions Sarah Palin’s motivation to honor the military is insane. She’s the mother of an Iraq war vet, as well as a former Commander-in-Chief of two military forces. She speaks at events nationwide in support of our military men and women.

Here’s a photo of Sarah in the crowd:


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Rolling Thunder: A Marine’s Vigil

A solitary Marine holds vigil at full attention during the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in tribute to fallen comrades.

By Gary P Jackson

I’m continually in awe of the men and women who serve in our military. The sacrifices they make so the rest of us can enjoy our Freedom and Liberty must never, ever be forgotten.

God bless them all.


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Yes America, Sarah Palin Was Invited To Rolling Thunder

By Gary P Jackson

On Friday we published an article talking about patriot riders of Rolling Thunder praising Sarah and Todd Palin’s acceptance to ride in their event Sunday to raise awareness of former P.O.W.s and those still missing in action.

Rolling Thunder is a wonderful organization full of real patriots, and Sarah Palin, the mother of an Iraq War veteran, as well as a former Commander-in-Chief of two military forces supports the military, and military charities regularly.

Sadly, Rolling Thunder’s “legislative director,” Ted Shpak, instead of checking with others, ran to the nearest MSNBC cameras and started trash talking.

Long story short, Shpak created a real mess. Even as we reported Nancy Regg had confirmed days ago that Sarah and Todd had been invited, the damage to the organization, and Sarah Palin’s reputation was being done.

Now it seems Rolling Thunder’s media director, Christine Colborne, has set the record straight. Yes, Sarah and Todd were invited to ride. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air was able contact Colborne and set the record straight:

After I read this story last night, I got in contact with Christine Colborne, who handles the media for Rolling Thunder. She explained that Shpak didn’t know that Palin had been indeed invited to ride at the event. The invitation came from a retired board member, Michael DiPaolo, who had connections in Alaska and got Palin to agree to attend.

Requests for high-profile personalities to attend the event are not new. Colborne mentioned that actor Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) attended at least one of the Rolling Thunder events, as have other celebrities, usually just to ride with a lower profile. Most times, though, those requests don’t even get responses, let alone acceptances. That’s a shame, because the Rolling Thunder event highlights the issues surrounding American POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War and later conflicts, as well as providing support to their families, who really need the emotional support they get from this group of volunteer veterans.

Colborne spoke with me on the phone in the middle of an all-night car ride to Washington DC, and explained that the last-minute RSVP didn’t get communicated through the echelons of Rolling Thunder. Everyone is either in transit or already in DC, and internal communication broke down as often happens before a major event. Shpak (and Colborne) were taken by surprise by Palin’s announcement. Shpak does have the authority to speak for the organization, Colborne says, but he had no idea that Palin was invited by DiPaolo, and Shpak worried that Palin’s arrival might be a “big distraction” from the issues on which Rolling Thunder wants people to focus. Obviously, Shpak — a Vietnam veteran himself — feels passionate about defending the organization, but went on NBC with faulty information. Shpak, Colborne, and almost everyone else at Rolling Thunder are volunteers, just ordinary people doing extraordinary work, and that means they get the occasional hiccup.

Read more here.

Ed is too kind. Having worked events that need coordination, and a bit of media savvy, one thing I learned the hard way is to never go shooting one’s mouth off before one has all the facts.

Now I may be wrong, maybe Shpak made a good faith effort to contact someone…. anyone …. to see if the Palin’s had been invited, and got no answer, or even a faulty answer. What I don’t get though is why Shpak went directly to the most far left “news” organization on the planet to spout off. What purpose did it serve? Having a high profile leader attending your event is not a “big distraction.” The reason people like Sarah Palin are invited to these events is to help spotlight them. BTW, these events are open to any and all, and no invitation is needed.

Now we have an entire issue surrounding an event that is all about honoring our nation’s heroes.

The members who ride with Rolling Thunder are incredible. They do great work. That’s why this entire event makes me sad.

I could go on and on about speculating if Shpak has a political agenda.I could speculate why Shpak went to MSNBC, a company whose CEO is in bed with the Obama regime, and runs hit pieces on Sarah Palin daily. I could also go on and on about the amount of positive attention having a world leader like Sarah Palin in attendance brings. What I really want to know though is who does Sarah Palin need to see to get her reputation back?


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Rolling Thunder Riders Praise Sarah Palin’s Participation in Rally

By Gary P Jackson

Every Memorial Day a group of riders make the trip to Washington, D.C. to honor our military heroes. Rolling Thunder is dedicated to honoring American P.O.W.s and MIAs. We must never forget.

As part of her One Nation Tour Sarah Palin and her family will be joining in. Rumor has it she and Todd are trying to rent a couple of Harley-Davidsons so they can ride with all of these fine patriots.

From ABC News:

ABC News’ Sheila Marikar [@sheilaym] reports: For the riders of Rolling Thunder, the news that Sarah Palin will participate in their national rally on Sunday came as a surprise. A welcome surprise.

I think that’s wonderful,” said Gerri Tramel, president of one of Rolling Thunder’s Tennessee chapters. “Anybody that’s involved — Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever — if you’re involved with our veterans, I think that’s wonderful. Not just Sarah Palin — anyone that’s a politician.

For more than 20 years, as many as half a million motorcycle riders from across the country have descended on Washington, D.C., during Memorial Day weekend to raise awareness about prisoners of war and those missing in action. Rolling Thunder announced Thursday that Palin accepted an invitation to participate in its May 29 rally. She’ll kick off her One Nation Tour the same day, a bus trip along the northeast coast that aims “to educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles.

[ …. ]

If she wants to support the troops, we’re all for it,” said Greg Benson, president of Rhode Island’s Rolling Thunder chapter.

I certainly welcome any positive publicity surrounding our cause, anything to bring attention to POWs and MIAs,” said Jeffrey Stewart, who leads a Rolling Thunder chapter in New Hampshire, a state that will be crucial to Palin if she runs in 2012. “Whether it’s a celebrity or a politician-celebrity — I’m not exactly sure what she is right now — having Sarah Palin there means more people will be paying attention to our cause.


It seems someone is playing politics with the Rolling Thunder rally.

Nancy Regg, the group’s spokesman says Sarah Palin was invited by Rolling Thunder, but Ted Shpak, the group’s “legislative director” says no.

It’s most curious that Shpak sought out the left wing media as fast as he could. MSNBC, the “news” network that has hosts who call Conservative women “sluts,” gave the guy all the air time he wanted. No Conservative would do this.

Sarah Palin was never invited to speak at the event, only ride with the group. Anyone who knows or follows Sarah Palin knows the high regard she holds for the American Military, and as a former Commander-in-Chief, as well as the mother of an Iraq war veteran, knows the priorities are the honoring our military.

Some people would rather use their position to push their political agenda rather than honor the troops, and that isn’t Sarah Palin.

Palin supporters support the military and support Rolling Thunder and every group like them. Sarah Palin’s presence at the event is to honor the military especially former P.O.Ws and those Missing In Action. Obviously, it will bring attention to this important event.

Personally, as a rider myself, I am ashamed that someone like Shpak would rant in front of MSNBC’s cameras and dishonor so many good men and women with his political posturing on the eve of such an important event.

***Update II

More clarification from the Washington Post:

The former Alaska governor, who is the subject of a lot of overheated speculation about whether she will run for president in 2012, has accepted an invitation to participate in the annual Rolling Thunder memorial ride this Sunday, an official says.

As far as I know, she is trying to rent a motorcycle, so she can ride with her husband,” said Nancy Regg, a spokeswoman for Rolling Thunder.

Gregg says the tentative plan is for Palin to join up with the ride at the Pentagon at 7 a.m. The ride kicks off at noon, and hundreds of bikers will snake through D.C. to the event’s main stage, which will be between the Reflecting Pool and the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the Mall. The program is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m

This just reinforces our point: Ted Shpak is not only a liar, but a liar with an agenda.

Nice going loser. You’ve managed to make this honorable event about YOU instead of the heroes who gave their last full measure of devotion for our nation.

It seems Palin Derangement Syndrome trumps all, even honoring America’s greatest.


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Sarah Palin: Restoring the Good in America!

From Sarah Palin:

Our nation is at a critical turning point. As we look to the future, we are propelled by America’s past. It’s imperative that we connect with our founders, our patriots, our challenges and victories to clearly see our way forward. A good way to do this is to appreciate the significance of our nation’s historic sites, patriotic events and diverse cultures, which we’ll do in the coming weeks on our “One Nation” tour.

We’ll celebrate the good things that bring Americans together; those things that will give us the needed strength to meet the heady challenges ahead. I’ve said many times that America doesn’t need a “fundamental transformation,” instead we need a restoration of all that is good and strong and free in America! So, together let’s prepare ourselves for the days ahead by reminding ourselves who we are and what Americans stand for.

We’ll celebrate the meaning of our nation’s blueprints, our Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, which are the threads that weave our past into the fabric necessary for the survival of American exceptionalism. Our founders declared “we were born the heirs of freedom“, and despite our difficulties and disagreements, we remain one nation under God in freedom, indivisible. Through visits to historical sites and patriotic events, we’ll share the importance of America’s foundation.

We encourage you to support the pro-America events we’ll be privileged to participate in during these coming weeks. Discover the ties that bind Americans, our history, our traditions, and the exceptional nature of our country!

Follow the One Nation tour at www.SarahPAC.com

~ Sarah Palin

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