The Collective
Friday, October 10, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via CNN: Panel: Palin abused power in trooper case

“Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda,” the report states.

Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten from the state police force was “likely a contributing factor” to Monegan’s July dismissal, but Palin had the authority as governor to fire him, the report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower states.

However, it states that her efforts to get Wooten fired broke a state ethics law that bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.

The legislative panel is question is bipartisan and unanimously adopted the report, although it would seem that there isn’t universal approbation of every jot and tiddle therein:

Rep. John Coghill, a Republican who criticized the handling of the investigation, said it was “well-done professionally.”

But he said some of the conclusions were judgment calls by Branchflower, and recommended readers should view them with a “jaundiced eye.”

Regardless, this isn’t what the McCain campaign needed at this point, as while there is no doubt that her ardent supporters will simply dismiss this as a the result of a political witch hunt, the bottom line is that this outcome does not help her image as a reformer who will help bring change to “business as usual” in Washington.

Really, the actions she undertook sound like petty small-town politics, which shouldn’t be a surprise given that most of her political career was spent in, well, small towns. 1

This further underscores the argument that I have made from the beginning: that she would ultimately be more likely to hurt McCain than help him and that McCain and his campaign did not vet her as well as they should have.2

The ABC write-up, which is more extensive than the CNN piece, is here: Troopergate Report: Palin Abused Power.

That story notes that the vote to release the report was unanimous, but that some members aren’t not considering that vote to be a vote of “total agreement”:

“I’m going to vote to release it, but it’s not a vote in total agreement,” said Republican Sen. Gary Stevens.

“There’s not a consensus for the conclusion,” said GOP Rep. Bill Stoltze. He said he expected there would be “robust and vigorous intellectual debate on that in other corners.”

More later, after I have digested the story.

Sphere: Related Content

  1. And that isn’t big city condescension talking, but rather coming from some personal experience with the way small towns function. []
  2. And those who argued with me on these points, surely none of you will now argue that this outcomes actually helps McCain, will you? []
Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.


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  • pt
    1. Interestingly, the first sentence in the ABC story that you link to is untrue. Monegan’s firing was not deemed as an abuse of power. What the report asserts is the ethical abuse was her failure to prevent her husband from complaining about Trooper Wooten, who has not been fired. It is also interesting that the report makes a finding of law, asserting that she violated AS 39.52.110(a). That seems a bit of a stretch and beyond the scope of his authority as a “consultant.” It is also interesting that Mr. Branchflower, who conducted the investigation, was a close friend of Sen French and both had a close working relationship with Mr. Monegan. Additionally, Mr. Branchflower moved to South Carolina in 2024 and volunteered to return to Alaska to conduct the investigation. Add to this that Sen French, a Democrat, had publicly commented on the investigation leading to impeachment before it had even begun, and it seems pretty clear the findings reflect the partisan flavor that the investigation took on. If you read through the testimony by Monegan, what is interesting in its absence is that nowhere does Branchflower question Monegan about the issues raised regarding his back dooring the Governor on budget issues and planning to travel to Washington to push his own priorities with the Alaskan legislative delegation. I think a reasonable person would have considered that to be germane, especially given the very public release of E-mails by the Governor’s office that outlined these problems with Monegan over a period of about 8 months.

      Of course, none of that will limit the political fall out.

      Comment by ts — Friday, October 10, 2024 @ 10:02 pm

    2. Palin came a little too late… she would have truly fit right in… in a Bush administration.

      Comment by Daniel — Friday, October 10, 2024 @ 11:53 pm

    3. The following are my views on the subject of VP candidate Palin. The Branchflower report is an indictment of Governor Palin with “Abuse of Power” while using her elected office to effectuate ruin to trooper Wooten whose chief “crime” was being married to Palin sister once. Extensive news reports have now surfaced stating that the Pallins left no stone unturned in their personal vendetta against their ex-brother-in-law, trooper Wooten. The DPS commissioner over Wooten saw no reason to fire him so he ended up being fired, this is no rocket science, folks. The bottom line is that Palin is a vindictive politician with full proclivity to harm anyone who she does not like. Furthermore, she appears to be a militant holy war monger, worse yet than the Honorable Dick Cheney. If you agree with secret wiretaps of US citizens without court orders, you can be rest assured that under Palin presidency, there will be more of all those unconstitutional schemes while acting like the bastions od democracy. She has qualified to be impeached for this abuse of power. What is worse, she is wicked. I call it Palin presidency because Mr. McCain is not going to last for very long at all, IMHO.

      Comment by M. Kothari, M.D. — Saturday, October 11, 2024 @ 12:20 am

    4. Abuse of power by a politician? Hmmm….nothing new there. She is unethical, period. There was nothing unusual about her muscle flexing, particularly in Alaska where they are more than used to Stevens and his antics. Check out the hundreds of “native American” super-8 firms that are currently raping the Federal Government…entirely operated by former politicians and retired military (Chenega sitting atop of this pile.) As for Senator McCain’s health, well, I sincerely hope that if he is elected, he lives a very, very, very long time. Can anyone–on either side of isle–imagine President Palin?

      Comment by Charlie — Saturday, October 11, 2024 @ 6:27 am

    5. Pippa writes from South Africa:

      I am not surprised by this finding regarding
      the ‘Troopergate’ probe.

      Sarah Palin has been reviled, savaged, hated
      and mauled by the media and the ‘upper echelons’
      of ‘intellectual’ America.

      Democrats, I ask you to cease from such exhibiting
      such neurosis over Sarah Palin. She is now a disgraced
      carcass deemed ready for the maggots by media scrutiny.

      Sarah will trot back to Alaska with that tribe of a family she drags around. How base to parade them in public. An affront to American mothers. Sarah should be at home! No matter. In Alaska she will be comfortable with her guns and
      the revolting company she keeps.
      Those racist ’six pack joes’, trailer trash on welfare, and over bred families, (the film ‘Deliverance’,) comes to mind.

      Then there is that ‘whacko church’ to ‘witch’ she belongs.
      Such moral turpitude is simply disgusting. They call themselves Christians! They are certainly not in the same spiritual sphere of Obama’s banished pastoral flock led, by the Revered Jeremiah Wright.

      Though to be fair, Sarah Palin’s congregation do pray for the Americans serving in Iraq. (AIIRAQ, pardon the pronounciation.) Hpw could Sarah ship her son off to that war zone. I might be mistaken, there is still a war going on over there. Obama says that one reason why America is bankrupt. Indeed! Not for long though. Obama is bringing the American troops home!

      Reader, please do not laugh, but I wager, that soon, Sarah will begin writing her first book.
      Hah! You may think.
      Reader, she can hire a ghost writer, after all, we know her degree in Journalism took so long to achieve.
      Sensationalism sells.
      ‘Say it ain’t so Joe.!’

      In future, may I suggest that the youth of America think of
      studying journalism at Harvard. Obtain a decent qualification, take elocution lessons and a stint in ‘community work’, would be an advantage. should you consider a career in public service.
      Remind yourself of what happened to ‘duck brain’ Sarah Palin.

      The Republican Bus has run out of fuel.
      We know this.
      John McCain has no clue about
      vetting V.P.’s foreign policy, and as for the economy,
      well, even the best economic minds in the world
      are clueless as to how to repair the current
      American economic demise.
      I might add that John owns more cars and homes than Obama and this is unacceptable.
      More importantly, McCain is frequently alluded to as half dead as is rumored to have a permanent medical entourage in his wake. Furthermore, McCain’s onset of senility is evident. How can he refer to Obama, as “that one.”

      Readers, Obama has already won the White House.

      The Republican Bus has run out of fuel.
      We know this. Look at the polls. Avail
      yourself of this information and know that
      the Republicans cannot win this election.

      I thank America for the most entertaining
      spectacle of the year.

      I will now cease my observation of this election from my perch on my ‘third world’ rock.

      Sarah Palin’s abuse of power and multitude of trangressions
      are just too much for me. Can Obama not ‘pull some strings’ and detain her in some Chicago prison? Surely the justice system have enough to indict her on inciting hatred against the Democrats?

      Thank you for reading.

      Peace Out from South Africa.

      Comment by Pippa — Saturday, October 11, 2024 @ 6:43 am

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