troopergate investigation shows palin abused power in alaska

The investigation into whether or not Sarah Palin abused her power as Governor of Alaska in her dealings with public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, who was fired in July, was just concluded. The bipartisan findings (pdf) of the Alaska Legislature, released today, confirm that Palin did indeed abuse her power when she sought to pressure her underlings to fire her brother-in-law, a state trooper who was, at the time, going trough a messy divorce with the Governor’s sister.

Here’s a clip from the “New York Times“:

…In the report, the independent investigator, Stephen E. Branchflower, a former prosecutor in Anchorage, said that Ms. Palin wrongfully allowed her husband, Todd, to use state resources as part of the effort to have Trooper Wooten dismissed.

The report says she knowingly “permitted Todd Palin to use the governor’s office and the resources of the governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired.”

Further, it says, she “knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda”…

In an inspired public relations move, the McCain campaign, knowing this report was about to become public, cleared Palin of all charges in a report of their own earlier in the day.

It’s unclear as to whether the findings in this case, commonly referred to as Troopergate, will have any affect on the election, especially as no sanctions or criminal investigations were recommended.

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21 Comments

  1. Posted October 11, 2008 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    This certainly shows that she’s qualified to work in Washington.

  2. designated republican, ytown, publius, nammaroo
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    We’re gonna pretend we never saw this.

  3. mark
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    It just makes her extra mavericky in their eyes.

  4. designated republican, ytown, publius, nammaroo
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    We’ll have to check with Fox News on that and get back to you…

    …and yes, Mark, you are correct, that is how we see it.

  5. EoS
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow – this is like Deja Vu all over again! A relative of an elected official tried to fire a civil servant. Travelgate…Troopergate. Except Hilary fired the travel office to give economic rewards to campaign supporters and Palin’s husband merely tried to inform others that his former brother-in-law tasered his 10 year-old nephew and made death threats against family members and that it was probably not a good idea to give him police authority and let him carry a loaded weapon.

  6. The Historian
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    EoS — Your logic seems to be, if we grant that the Clintons’ “travelgate’ was wrongful conduct (and 16 years later, who cares that much?), that two wrongs make a right: The Clintons did wrong in firing someone, so it’s OK for a governor to wrongfully exert pressure to have someone fired? Remember, this state trooper in Alaska had been investigated and punished for some offenses (though not as much as the Palins wished), and some of their allegations against him were found to be unsubstantiated. What about due process, EofS? If all appropriate and established procedures had been followed, as they were, and the trooper was found worthy of keeping his job, why on earth should a governor and her husband have ANY say in the matter?

    Maybe EofS you forgot your basic American history lessons. Review them and you may recall a King George III, who the colonists thought violated their rights and as a result the colonists revolted and one of the results of that revolt (we call it The American Revolution) was a system of balanced government – 3 branches, each independent, none above the others – that is intended to protect the rights of citizens against arbitrary executive authority. Gov. Palin also seems to have forgotten these lessons of American history…..Conservatives as well as liberals in America should recall and honor these achievemetns, and seek to make them better, rather than forgetting about them and becoming apologists for tramping on the rights of the citizens.

    And besides, EoS, aren’t state troopers civil servants and White House staffers mere political appointees? Very different territory. Thank goodness that in most of the USA executive officials cannot on personal wishes alone fire police officers. George III could, but in a democracy we’re supposed to be beyond that kind of government by men, not law.

    Once upon a time, Republicans understood these principles and upheld them vigorously.

  7. EoS
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    O.K. – except the trooper wasn’t fired, he received due process and was found worthy of keeping his job. I wasn’t claiming two wrongs make a right, just pointing out the similarities in the two instances and the hypocrisy of those thinking Palin’s husband’s actions were totally wrong while they defended the actions taken in Travelgate.

    Law enforcement is part of the executive branch and as the governor, the buck stops at her desk. Imagine if the trooper’s anguish over his divorce caused him to go postal and kill innocents. Wouldn’t there be outrage that the governor was close to the situation, knew he had made threats and was unstable, yet told no one?

  8. Robert
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    If someone makes death threats or tasers some 10 year old, you file a criminal complaint. Was that done, EoS?

  9. Posted October 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Grounds for impeachment for Alaska gov.

  10. The Historian
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes, EoS, the state trooper was not fired and he got due process: but the governor and her husband pushed to fire him regardless of the due process outcome, hence they sought to VIOLATE due process. And then she did fire the state director of the state police – an act of clear retaliation, but since he was a political appointee, he served merely at the pleasure of the governor, so firing him was legal. And hey, those White House staffers who were fired by the Clintons – they too were political appointees and had no right to keep their jobs if the president wanted them out, for any reason. So I don’t get the analogy’s relevance, EOS.

    As for hypotheticals about this one state trooper maybe going postal and the governor having to act on that threat: No facts support that hypothetical. They just wanted him fired because they didn’t like him, and they thought they had the clout to get him fired. And on the face of it, having the governor’s spouse talk to the police director about it was clearly out of bounds. They pushed the issue many times, which is far more intrusive than if they’d just informed him of their concerns and let him act on his own in his best professional judgment.

  11. Bob
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    In the end, the issues boils down to someone who uses their political power to run rough shod over the system of checks and balances that were put in place to insure due process. Haven’t we had enough of this? Is this representative of the level of integrity and moral behavior we hold ourselves and our elected officials to?

  12. EoS
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Actually Bob, the level of integrity and moral behavior, that the majority hold their elected officials to, is much lower. We’ll vote for a candidate that promises lower taxes for 90% of Americans, even when his voting record shows he has voted for tax increases at every single opportunity. We’ll vote for the Harvard trained lawyer who defends ACORN, even after numerous convictions of voter fraud and as more indictments are forthcoming. We’ll vote for a guy who said he had no ties with Rezko, a businessman from Chicago who was recently convicted of 16 separate money laundering charges. Obama purchased his current home at below market price on the very same day Rezko purchased the adjoining property at above market price from the same owner. Rezko contributed $250,000 to Obama’s State Senate campaign and and as yet untold amount to his presidential bid. Rezko’s sentencing is postponed while he talks with Federal officials – maybe Obama will get an adjacent cell. And then again, maybe not, as Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan is hard at work convincing the Chicago jury pool that Obama is the next Messiah. Neither McCain nor Obama is a good candidate for president and we’re screwed no matter who gets elected.

  13. Mark H.
    Posted October 12, 2008 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    EoS — where do you get this crap — “Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan is hard at work convincing the Chicago jury pool that Obama is the next Messiah” — and do you really believe it? Whose Kool Aid do you drink?

  14. Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    EoS, have you ever stopped to think that Obama might, in fact, actually be the second coming of Christ?

  15. EoS
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OowxMcVTjTE

  16. Curt Waugh
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze me how some folks just can’t get over the Clinton years. No matter what happens. No matter what wrong is committed. No matter what foible they caught their little heroes in, somehow it pales in comparison to what happened during those horrible, dark, unbelievably prosperous 90’s. For some reason, mass-murder, economic ruin, loss of personal freedom, selling out to corporations is all OK as long as it’s not those dreaded Clintons.

    Wow. Can some psychoanalyst weight in here and explain what brain malfunction causes this? Why, oh why, are EoS’s of the world so… so… weird?

    Where does this end?

    “Hey EoS, John McCain has anger management problems.”

    “Well, so did that SOB, Chester A. Arthur. And I’m still painfully bitter about it. NEVER FORGET!”

  17. EoS
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’d like the psychoanalyst to weigh in on why people choose candidates to root for at the beginning of a campaign and then refuse to acknowledge any faults whatsoever for the duration of the campaign. How can people be so blinded by their affiliations that they can no longer recognize the truth. Both candidates are severely flawed and neither has a plan that will help our economy or benefit the vast majority. But the two sides throw mud back and forth and each claims moral superiority.

    McCain not only has anger management problems, but was involved in the Keating scandal, cheated on his wife, betrayed the president of his own party, and changed most of his views just prior to the presidential campaign. His record as a conservative sucks: McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, Gang of 14, and he supports embryonic stem cell research.

    Both McCain and Obama voted for the 800 billion dollar buyout for the failed banks, and both are promising more governmental programs in their first terms. Neither was willing to admit that they would have to revise their grandiose schemes due to the fact that there is an international monetary crisis. Our national debt is so great that we’re quickly approaching a level of taxation that won’t even be able to pay the interest on the debt, much less pay off the principal.

    What brain malfunction causes Americans to re-elect the very same politicians who created the mess we’re in, or even consider promoting them? When will we get mad enough to throw out all the incumbants?

  18. Robert
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    EoS, you making ME look sane to these people.

  19. babyeater
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Who’s “the psychoanalyst”?

    McCain is going to make a great president, if, for nothing else, he likes to kill babies. We have too many babies.

  20. babyeater
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    THAT WAS WEIRD. When I hit “send comment”, it took me to the Christian Science Monitor.

  21. Robert
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t know about any psychoanalyst that frequents this site, but I’m pretty sure PsychoTheRapist posts here regularly under a pseudonym.

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