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Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Vindicated!" Palin Abused Authority

Only in the Orwellian depths of the GOP propaganda machine can an official finding of abuse of authority and violation of state ethics law constitute vindication. But that's exactly the word the McCain-Palin campaign is using to describe the independent finding, approved unanimously by a bipartisan Alaska state legislative panel, that Governor Sarah Palin acted improperly in trying to get her brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers. (Full report available in PDF format from the Alaska Legislature.)

Does anyone care to make an analogy to the Dan Sutton case here in South Dakota? Sutton was never found to have violated any law, but the South Dakota State Senate censured him for inappropriate behavior. Some said Sutton's actions warranted his removal from office:

What is at stake in these situations is not whether there is criminal wrong doing, but whether the honor of the office has been disgraced. That is a political standard, not a legal one, and the courts should, and I think will, defer to the political body.

The fact that Sutton is attempting to hold on to his seat with legalisms rather than by fighting the charges directly is damning. For the sake of his own honor and that of the South Dakota Legislature, Dan Sutton should simply resign [Jon Schaff, "Plenty of Sutton, South Dakota Politics, 2007.01.12].

The voters gave Sarah Palin power, and she abused it. That's pretty serious. Serious enough to remove a politician from office? We'll find out in January, when the Alaska Legislature reconvenes.

Update 17:25: From independent investigator Stephen Branchflower's report, 2008.10.10, p. 66:

Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired. She had the authority and power to require Mr. Palin to cease contacting subordinates, but she failed to act.

Such impermissible and repeated contacts create conflicts of interests for subordinate employees who must choose to either please a superior or run the risk of facing the superior's displeasure and the possible consequences of such displeasure.


  1. Good comparison Cory to a Democrat some should note, and if true uglier than Palin's mistakes. But you'll find blind defense everywhere. Yesterday driving an older friend (unknown Republican) across town I asked permission to run over Russell Olson crossing with his literature. Shocked by Democratic leanings, his response quickly turned to Palin, who he couldn't believe I would not vote. "She was not found guilty of any crime." They just want to believe again! Hopefully not as desperately as we want to in Obama. He went on to say after five years of torture, McCain has earned the Presidency. Wow, friends can think profoundly differently I found.

  2. Cory, Cory, Cory...Sarah Palin's ex brother-in-law, the highway patrolman, threatened to kill her father. He should have been charged, fired and imprisoned. I will agree that this is nothing but a tit-for-tat family squabble, but the report also says that while she "may" have abused her power in asking that her ex-brother-in-law be fired, and then firing the person who was suppose to fire him, she has full authority to fire at will, just like we do in South Dakota. This is an at-will work state too. If someone threatened my parents and I were a public authority, they wouldn't work for me or the taxpayers either. That's common sense. That's why so many people like Sarah. Common sense, which we could use more of in DC. This is purely partisan-driven, even though they call it a bipartisan review. Up in Alaska, bipartisan means you attend two different celebrations in one evening.

  3. I have a slightly different take on "Troopergate". Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska, and she is so ineffective that she can't even get a state trooper fired. What is she good for?

    Come to think of it, when she was the mayor of Wasilla, she couldn't even get the library books banned that she wanted to ban, and she couldn't even keep the librarian fired that she tried to oust. Completely ineffective.

    As a governor candidate, she tried to get a bridge built to nowhere, and couldn't get that done. Poor leadership.

    She tried to sell the state plane on e-bay. Couldn't get it done, sold it elsewhere for a loss and got the state sued by the buyer (suit still pending).

    She tried to teach abstinence and values to her teenage daughter. Didn't work so well.

    Last but not least - back to troopergate: She tried and failed to get the investigation quashed.

    Sarah Palin is an example of failed leadership. Seems she can't accomplish anything substantive she sets out to do. On November 5th, we'll be talking about one more failure.

  4. Wait, Anon 1:12: The Wall Street Journal says "Palin abused authority." Are you saying that abusing your authority as an elected official is o.k., as long as you have some "common sense" goal in mind?

  5. It is like being indicted. Lawyers will tell you that you can indict a grapefruit because it is one-sided with no balance of testimony, and what are most legislators? Attorneys! Anybody can make any action seem surly if they put the right spin on their investigation and report. There's always a paranoid conspiratist who has a story or feels there is a reason for what happens in government. Don't look too deep into Joe Biden's closet, close friend of girlfriend-killer, Ted Kennedy.

  6. This is so a non-issue. Guess that's all the umpteen investigators could turn up when they went to Alaska to "get" Palin. There is so much more in so many more politicians' closets.

    How about going after actual voter fraud that just might end up stealing an election?? ISn't this just a little bit more important? But no, becuase it involves Acorn, Obama, and Dems. Sad. Really sad.

  7. From what I have read and heard Trooper Wooten was investigated and suspended for a period of time. The whole point is that Sarah's husband was doing her dirty work for her, while using a state office and employees. She apparently was powerless to stop him, which doesn't surprise me. I have a hunch in that marriage he might be a control freak. From what I have heard and read she also shared business emails with him and also discussed state business with him. She is supposed to have said that she depends on him to help her make decisions. If she isn't capable of making decisions on her own, how can she be VP.

  8. chuck ritter10/13/2008 8:38 AM

    So, she was charged with not reighning in her husband. When her husband was trying to defend his sister-in-law, niece and father-in-law.
    So, caheidelberger, what kind of abusers are OK with you. Because last week we were discussing how vile rapists are. And now it seems a child abuser, an assaulter and, with statistics on my side, a probable wife beater has a right to keep his job as a 'law enforcer'. This is the definition bias and bigotry.

  9. Thanks Chuck yet another Reason to for me to continue to spread the Gospel of Don't shop at Walmart!

    Shouldn't you be working on buying some shoes or clothes made in some 3rd world country by children?

  10. I'm glad some blog is talkin' about me bein' vindicated by the report. Thanks Korie!

    Me & John McCain are out maverickin' around the country askin' everyone who the real Barack Obama is & talkin' straight to the American people about what they care about most - terrorist Bill Ayers. The liberal media won't tell ya that we're ahead in all the polls and headin' for a landslide victory. But we're not gonna just sit back on are lead.

    And I'm teachin' Trig his first word: "GOP". He's a future star in the Republican Party.


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