I realize that in blogging about this, I risk the wrath of those Palinites who just think that Saint Sarah can do no wrong. Her supporters will also be quick to analyze even further the political leanings and affiliations of the 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats on the investigatory panel to come up with their own version of Palin’s “gotcha” politics.
But her folksy and charming ways bely a darker side to the moose-killing former mayor of Wasilla and current governor of Alaska. Palin probably thought that no one would pay attention to her or her husband’s shenanigans in the northern most state of the Union – a state that is far removed from the mainland and tends to draw little attention unless the “bridge to nowhere” is mentioned.
A legislative investigation has concluded that Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so. While some of the committee disagreed with the findings, all 12 members, including the 8 Republicans and the 4 Democrats, voted to release the report.
“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,” concluded investigator Steve Branchflower in his report made public Friday.
Ah, the sin of omission rather than the sin of commission.
Photo credit: Anchorage Daily News
Todd Palin talked with over a dozen state officials, many of them repeatedly, in his crusade to get a state trooper fired whom he considered to be a bad cop, a dishonest person, and a threat to the Palin family, according to his sworn statement given Wednesday to a legislative investigator. Todd Palin’s efforts started before his wife became governor and accelerated during the first 19 months of her administration.
Todd Palin fought for weeks to avoid responding to subpoenas issued by the investigatory committee. When a state judge last week refused to invalidate the subpoenas, Palin was forced to answer the questions he had avoided for so long.
The downside to the entire sordid mess is that, while Palin was found to have abused her power, her firing of public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, in July was found to be a lawful exercise of her powers. However, Monegan’s refusal to fire Wooten was one of several reasons he lost his job, the investigator said.
The old saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” certainly fits Palin’s actions. It would appear that Saint Sarah’s crown has lost a few gems.