Monday, September 01, 2008

Alaska Independent Investigator's Abuse Of Power Ethics Report On Gov. Palin Due Out In October

Just in time for the election due out in October is the report from the independent investigator in the abuse of power investigation of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. A bipartisan committee of the Alaskan legislature voted 12 to 0 to investigate Palin after she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan after it was learned that Wooten had refused to fire a state trooper who had been involved in a messy divorce with Palin's sister.

Palin certainly had the power as Governor to fire the Public Safety Commissioner if reasonable grounds existed. However, the situation regarding Palin's sister's divorce and some inconsistent statements by Governor Palin call into question the real reasons for this firing. In fact, Governor Palin had used her Chief Of Staff, Mike Tibbles, her husband, the state's Attorney General and herself to contact Public Safety Commissioner Monegan no less than 24 times in regards to complaints about Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. Wooten had been the subject of official discipline before for some conduct in the past. But the divorce situation regarding Palin's sister has certainly raised the issue of ethics in this case.

Governor Palin has attempted to justify the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan with claims that he did not adequately fill state trooper positions in the state, however Wooten has claimed that state trooper graduating classes have had some of their largest classes within the last several years which indicates that someone here is not being completely honest. The Alaska legislature has decided to get to the bottom of this matter when it authorized the report by the independent investigator into Governor Palin and her office and not the fired Public Safety Commissioner.

If the report turns out favorably for Governor Palin, then it will no doubt clear her name before the election, however a negative report will certainly be damaging right before the election and will certainly call into question any claims that Palin is indeed some sort of a reformer concerned with ethics.

It seems strange that John McCain would choose a running mate who is the subject of an ethics probe of this sort, which if it turns out badly could damage his chances right before the election. But this only proves what a high risk gamble the decision to choose Palin was in addition to her serious lack of experience should she ever become president in the event of some national emergency. The fact that some former city council member and mayor of a small town of just 9,000 persons could have their finger on the nuclear trigger in the event of a national emergency is a sobering notion when hundreds of far better qualified choices for a running mate were available to McCain, once again speaks volumes about his erratic and strange leadership style. McCain is not so much a "maverick" as he is wild and unpredictable. That's hardly "the steady hand" of leadership that many Americans think of when they think about McCain. But that's the real John McCain.


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