The Shotgun Blog
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sarah Palin troopergate report: Palin abused power (with video)
ABC News is reporting that "Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her Public Safety Commissioner this July, a state investigation has concluded."
You can read the 263-page report here (PDF).
ABC News summarizes what has come to be called the "troopergate scandal" like this: "The scandal centered around her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan and others believed Palin fired him because he refused to take action against Mike Wooten, a state trooper under him who had been involved in a messy divorce with Palin's sister, Molly."
Stephen Branchflower, the investigator in this case, has found that Palin violated the state Ethics Act.
The Bismarck Tribune reports:
Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded Friday. The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket.
Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report by a bipartisan panel that investigated the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain.
UPDATE: "I feel vindicated," Monegan said. "It sounds like they've validated my belief and opinions. And that tells me I'm not totally out in left field."
UPDATE2: Here are the findings on page eight of the report:
UPDATE3: Here's CNN's Election Center on the Troopergate findings (Palin abused her power, but broke no laws):
UPDATE4: The McCain-Palin camp issued this "pre-emptive" 21-page response (Word doc) to the Troopergate report. Here is the conclusion on pp. 20-21:
The Palins make no apologies for wanting to protect their family and wanting to bring attention to the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge and abusing the workers’ compensation system.
The Palins are right to be concerned about the fairness of the Legislative Council investigation. The Governor has consistently demonstrated, in statements and through documents she has made available, that she reassigned Mr. Monegan because of legitimate policy differences and disputes over the budget.
It is tragic that a false story hatched by a blogger after drinks with Trooper Wooten led the legislature to allocate over $100,000 of public money to be spent in what has become a politically driven investigation.
UPDATE5: Associated Press report:
This story is developing...
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Ah yes, I can see it all now. A left-wing version of the American Spectator will be resurrected. An expose will demolish her credibilty. The media will ignore it and fawn all over Palin and some journalists will offer to have sex with her if she keeps anti-abortion groups legal.
Later, we'll learn that she exposed herself and solicited sex from state employees. She will accuse these whistle blowers of being "trailer park trash".
Palin's hubby will go on TV and blame a "left-wing conspiracy".
David Brock will go back into the closet.
Gimme a break. The only time the left acknowledges an understanding that history exists is when they attempt to repeat it as a club over their opponents head in an attempted gotcha.
Bob Packwood...call your office.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-10-10 7:24:08 PM
Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...
"Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's contention that a tape recording was doctored to implicate him in a bribery scandal involving the late MP Chuck Cadman was contradicted Friday by the very specialist Harper hired to analyze the tape."
Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-10-10 7:41:26 PM
"Today, former Anchorage prosecutor Steve Branchflower was appointed to conduct an investigation into Gov. Palin's dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. While I join Gov. Palin in welcoming this investigation, I also share her concern that it may not be unbiased. In fact, I see numerous reasons to question why Mr. Branchflower was even considered for this post, let alone hired.
Don't get me wrong, he seems like a stand-up guy from what I'm reading, but his resume (posted by the Anchorage Daily News) casts serious doubt on whether the legislators who hired him really wanted a fair investigation. Branchflower, who served as an Assistant District Attorney in Anchorage from 1974-1998, held numerous positions which required him to work extremely closely with the Anchorage Police Department, where Walt Monegan would become chief in 2001. He provided legal advice to APD officers, trained APD officers, and was even a co-founder of the APD's Homicide Response Team. His wife also worked as a detective for the APD, not retiring until 2002, meaning that she worked under Walt Monegan. In short, it seems impossible to believe that Branchflower, whose entire career was wrapped up in his relationships with the APD, and his detective wife did not have at least some professional relationship with Walt Monegan, who was obviously one of the city's top cops. Mrs. Branchflower also briefly came out of retirement to work as a cold case detective for the Alaska State Troopers."
Posted by: DJ | 2008-10-10 7:44:36 PM
All I have to say is God please Bless America, we need you Lord more now than ever. The hate and disrespect is terrible. It's a shame that in 2008 people still have 1960 or earlier feelings. If Obama had left Michelle for another woman, had a child out of wedlock or one of his girls. The church leaders that support Palin and Mc Cain would call for his head. But the embrace it like it's ok. Lord have mercy on us...
Posted by: Just Valerie | 2008-10-10 7:46:04 PM
Fact Check said
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...
"Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's contention that a tape recording was doctored to implicate him in a bribery scandal involving the late MP Chuck Cadman was contradicted Friday by the very specialist Harper hired to analyze the tape.""
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, h2o returned the topic to the allegations against Palin and how they represent the usual left-wing echo in a desperate attempt to play gotcha.
FC, please start another thread for your misdirection so I can dismiss it properly.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-10-10 7:49:38 PM
"... h2o returned the topic to the allegations against Palin..."
Didn't you read the post? They are the conclusions of an official investigation, not mere "allegations". Big difference.
"... and how they represent the usual left-wing echo in a desperate attempt to play gotcha."
She abused her power. An official State investigation determined this. The Republican majority Alaska legislature released the report. How is this left-wing gotcha? I suppose you also think forcing Nixon to resign was left-wing gotcha, too?
Poor h2o. Your worldview is crumbling. There there (pats hto's head). It's ok (pops pacifier into h2o's mouth). Never mind.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-10-10 8:06:51 PM
"Didn't you read the post? They are the conclusions of an official investigation, not mere "allegations". Big difference."
The official investigations say Oswald did it, 911 was the result of Muslim hijackers, Donald Marshall, Steven Truscott, and Guy Paul Morin were guilty while OJ Simpson was innocent.
Oh, yeah. The offical CIA investigation said Saddam and Iraq WMDs were slam dunks.
So, what's your pathetically weak point again?
Now, back to the allegations again before FC misdirects the discussion for a third time...
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-10-10 8:29:25 PM
That's an interesting article FC. Thanks for posting it. :)
Posted by: JC | 2008-10-10 9:04:48 PM
"It's a shame that in 2008 people still have 1960 or earlier feelings. If Obama had left Michelle for another woman, had a child out of wedlock or one of his girls. The church leaders that support Palin and Mc Cain would call for his head. "
It's a shame that in 2008, people still have 1960 or earlier feelings of superiority over people who have feelings derived from an earlier time.
Why do you think people who think in ideological lock-step holding perceived current opinion are superior? Who's the real bigot here?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-10-10 9:21:27 PM
I dissagree with the report, granted I haven't read all of it, but the guy doesn't seem like someone that should be a state employee especially in law enforcement to me and if the state were a company and the CEO knew an employee wasn't fit for their job then it would be his responsibility to do something. But not apparently in politics. Or at-least when a republican is being investigated by Democrats who want her job…
Posted by: Pete | 2008-10-10 9:32:25 PM
Let's not miss the point:
Look closely at the file in UPDATE 2: The firing was a proper exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority.
Now consider that Mr. Branchflower, after all that investigation, says that the man was fired. He wasn't. He was transferred elsewhere.
The Palin-haters in the media and on the left might be able to turn it into something it's not, but the fact remains:
There's no there there.
Posted by: Ampontan | 2008-10-10 10:40:36 PM
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