Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 16, 2008

SO MUCH FOR TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.... When Sarah Palin's "troopergate" scandal first broke, the investigation was supposed to go smoothly. Everyone involved emphasized the importance of "transparency." The governor told state lawmakers and the public that she welcomed the investigation, saying, "Hold me accountable." The support for the probe was bipartisan, the governor's office was anxious to cooperate and clear the air, and there wasn't even any need for subpoenas.

So much for that idea.

The McCain campaign said [last night] that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) "won't speak with an investigator hired by lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner" in the controversy known as "Troopergate." The campaign declared the investigation to be "tainted," despite the fact that the five-member committee is composed of three Republicans and two Democrats. Palin had previously agreed to cooperate and thus was not subpoenaed.

And just as Palin is breaking her word about cooperating with the investigation, five Republicans in the Alaskan legislature filed a lawsuit today, asking a state judge to end the probe altogether.

On a related note, Palin is also claiming executive privilege to shield her gubernatorial emails from scrutiny from investigators. Asked about her refusal to cooperate today, Palin, according to an AP account, "looked up, smiled -- and then stepped wordlessly into her waiting car."

This is, of course, the same Palin who boasted to a Colorado audience yesterday, "We're going to make everything more open, and more accountable, and more attractive to those who want to serve." There's no word on whether she was able to say the line with a straight face.

It's a reminder that sometimes, when controversial political figures act like they have something to hide, it's because they have something to hide.

Steve Benen 3:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Comments

Huh? What? Look, over there. Pigs! Lipstick! Elitists!

Posted by: Everett on September 16, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Palin was for "transparency" etc. before she realized that the person she fired had recorded the damning phone calls.

Posted by: GeorgiaGirl on September 16, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

well, i'd say she certainly has one qualification to be vice president - she knows how to claim executive privilege

orange

Posted by: just bill on September 16, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that some will say the whole probe is politically motivated. That doesn't make sense, of course, given that it began at a time that few could guess that she'd be running for VP now.

Still, I bet that's what a lot of her defenders will say and think.

Posted by: PE on September 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Like using personal emails so the records can't be subpoenaed. What exactly would you be hiding Cariboo Barbie . That would make a good interview question .

Posted by: John R on September 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Only an idiot can't see through her lies. Now that's transparency you can believe it.

Posted by: Danp on September 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Palin had previously agreed to cooperate and thus was not subpoenaed.

So bring on the subpoenas.

On a related note, Palin is also claiming executive privilege to shield her gubernatorial emails from scrutiny from investigators.

Would those be the ones sent from her personal account? Or the copies sent to and from her husband? Executive privilege, my eye.

Bloom County called this the "DeLorean Desperation Defense."

Posted by: Gregory on September 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

There are a couple of things worth keeping in mind here.

The probe was approved unanimously, by a Republican-controlled legislature. There were no protestations of "partisanship" until after Palin was selected as VP. The committee chose not to subpoena Palin, because she said she would cooperate.

The probe is composed of politicians. They know what a superstar Palin has become in AK, and probably wouldn't want to be known as the folks who took her down.

I think if she cooperated here, she really would have a transparency/accountability card to play in the election. And I think she likely would have walked away without much more than a scratch. I'm not sure there's a smoking gun to be had here. But the fact that she's choosing obfuscation instead is really not encouraging.

Posted by: Jake on September 16, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Some reformer.

Posted by: Jet on September 16, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

What this suggests is that Palin's actions in "troopergate" were not merely inappropriate, but criminal, and she knows it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 16, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Palin is a maverick who opposed the Republicans in her own state. So that means elected officials of both parties have it in for her, and thus there is no possible investigation of her that wouldn't be 'tainted'.

See how neat that works?

Posted by: kth on September 16, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The probe was approved unanimously, by a Republican-controlled legislature. -Jake

Unfortunately, it no longer looks like there is a cooperative legislation, since they are trying to end the probe.

Most unfortunate.

Posted by: doubtful on September 16, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

One's actions speak louder than words.

When I think of Ms. Palin, the word mendacious comes to mind.

Haven't we had enough mendacity this past 7 years?

Executive privilege= above the law.

Are dem bible study groops in AhlasKA a prayin' for miz Saree to get folks off her baick?

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 16, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure there's a smoking gun to be had here.

Oh no? Maybe not criminal malfeasance, but definitely inappropriate emails.

There's a long thread about "Racism on the Radio" which are being withheld, which in all likliehood (the dates match) is about this:

http://kska.org/2008/04/15/community-forum-combating-racism-on-radio/

The forum at the radio station was to discuss the firing of a morning zoo radio team for racist slurs on the air.

Now, what do you suppose that the alleged racist Palin had to say in those emails that she wants withheld?

Surely nothing that would damn her in the eyes of the country, correct?

Also, since she included her husband (ie. one of the public) in the email chain, she cannot claim executive priviledge. What one member of the public is privy to, all members must be privy to.


Posted by: Monkey on September 16, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

I was for transparency before I was against transparency.

I was for cooperating before I was against cooperating.

I was for the bridge to nowhere before I was against the bridge to nowhere.

I see a pattern forming here.

Posted by: on September 16, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Carly Fiorina doesn't think Sarah Palin or John McCain would be qualified to run Hewlett Packard, the job she wasn't qualified to do in the first place! lol

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/16/fiorina-palin-couldnt-do_n_126827.html

Posted by: Nashville_fan on September 16, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see:

* executive privilege
* fuck transparency
* Republicans want to call off the investigation
* politicized hirings and firings
* the threat of a subpoena, which will be ignored
* lies about her records as mayor and governor
* priggish smirks when cornered

How did they find the only person on the planet who can out "George Bush" George Bush? And how on earth can they stand beneath a banner touting "Change!" without bursting into flames?

Posted by: chrenson on September 16, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mooseburger Barbie may regret signing on for this Lie-a-thon. Seems like she and Todd and the cozy little crew she had around her in AK might be in danger of overexposure.

Two weeks ago I might have been able to tell you who Sarah Palin was but maybe not. And now I know quite a lot about Sarah Palin and really, at least from my perspective, not much of it is good.

Beating McBush will be excellent in it's own right but watching Gov. Palin try to crawl back into comfortable, corrupt obscurity will be quite fun as well.

Posted by: burro on September 16, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Five legislators file a lawsuit to stop an investigation that's being conducted by the legislature they serve in? An investigation that is being conducted under the legislature's plenary authority to investigate matters as it sees fit? An investigation that was launched after a unanimous vote of the bipartisan Legislative Council?

Does this gang of five really think the court has jurisdiction over the internal working of a co-equal branch? If they want to stop the investigation, they ought to try and gather their legislative colleagues and try and round up the votes to stop it -- if they can. Fools!

Posted by: JustBeingPedantic on September 16, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

kth,

you might note that the investigation became "tainted" only after mccain picked her as his running mate. you might also note the comment made earlier that it is unlikely that even her political enemies within the alaskan republican party would want to torpedo her candidacy on a national ticket.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on September 16, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Many reporters spent years, full-time, investigating a money-losing land deal in Arkansas. I'm sure they'll be just as diligent here.

Posted by: John McCain: Serial Liar on September 16, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

A bipartisan committee unanimously approved the go-ahead for the investigation, so the "tainted" claim won't wash in court. The moment---and I do mean, the exact moment---the judge dismissed this "frivolous lawsuit," the Committee needs to immediately subpoena the e-mail and telephone records of the five state legislators who filed the action to dismiss.

Those records will be the smoking gun that identifies the McCain campaign as being the sole source of the problem here, thus costing Palin/McCain the state of Alaska on November 4.

Those records may well cost Palin/McCain the election---and they will, in all likelihood, cost Palin her job as Governor, and McCain his job as a US Senator.

After all, you can't hold either job if you're convicted of a felony---and obstruction of justice is a felony....

Posted by: Steve on September 16, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I say Enough of the lack of experience, lying and obfuscation of the facts charges. The operative word here is INSANITY. There is nothing short of insanity being played out here. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who is allowing this charade to procede is not fully aware of what is going on and has not been paying attention, or their minds are so damaged that they are unable to manage the truth. If this were a person on the street, begging for change and unable to connect with another human being, s/he would be either ignored, or if found to be a danger to self or another, incarcerated for psychiatric evaluation. The only difference here is that the drooling fool is standing in a position of power from which no one feels capable of removing them. A simple question is, since children seem to be such sacred objects of this society (AK may be the exception), would you allow someone with these qualities as displayed by McCain/Palin to care for your children?

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 16, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Dammit, we didn't question Sarah Palin before we picked her, and you're not going to either!

Posted by: McCain '08 Campaign on September 16, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The campaign declared the investigation to be "tainted," despite the fact that the five-member committee is composed of three Republicans and two Democrats.

Nothing like declaring an inconvenient investigation "tainted" and acting above the law. Come to think of it, maybe Palin does have the qualities to be Bush's successor in the Oval office.

Posted by: ckelly on September 16, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

There may be no criminal referral after the investigation, but Palin will look terrible anyway. Look up the pdfs of her police complaints on teh Ancghorage Daily News website - she is incredibly vindictive, unbecomingly petty, and obviously out of line. The police reports show her making complaints well after the fact, involving her children in making allegations, and when asked by the Troopers if she was a witness to any of the actions she was alleging her brother-in-law took, her "evidence" was repeatedly "my sister told me about it." You have to read the reports to get the sense of how sordid her actions were. Her withheld emails will show a raging termagant and a husband who inappropriately and probably illegally interfered in state government.

And still I say, check out the dismissal of the health and social services commissioner in May.

Posted by: ghillie on September 16, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

There may be no criminal referral after the investigation, but Palin will look terrible anyway. Look up the pdfs of her police complaints on teh Ancghorage Daily News website - she is incredibly vindictive, unbecomingly petty, and obviously out of line. The police reports show her making complaints well after the fact, involving her children in making allegations, and when asked by the Troopers if she was a witness to any of the actions she was alleging her brother-in-law took, her "evidence" was repeatedly "my sister told me about it." You have to read the reports to get the sense of how sordid her actions were. Her withheld emails will show a raging termagant and a husband who inappropriately and probably illegally interfered in state government.

And still I say, check out the dismissal of the health and social services commissioner in May.

Posted by: ghillie on September 16, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I guess you could call me a flip-flopper. I was for Obama all the way. I thought his speeches were very passionate and moving. And you can look at him and tell he means well.

But then, I clapped eyes on Miss Sarah Palin. Truly she is what America is all about. Look at the hardships she's had to endure. Look at her beautiful Christian family. Listen to the passion in her voice and you will know there's only one person in America that belongs in the White House and that is Miss Sarah Palin, proud governor of Alaska.

I wish the liberal media would stop torturing her and looking for dirt where there isn't any. Why can't reporters and other so-called liberal "fact-finders" just accept that she is what this proud nation needs to save it from its sorry state. She is qualified and a mother. And no one better doubt that she loves her country and always puts America first.

When I cast my vote in November you can be sure it will be for Miss Sarah Palin.

Posted by: ProudVoter on September 16, 2008 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Palin is a maverick who opposed the Republicans in her own state. So that means elected officials of both parties have it in for her, and thus there is no possible investigation of her that wouldn't be 'tainted'.

Actually, there might be something to that. The divisions in Alaska do not seem to break cleanly along the lines of the national parties; it's the oil. She does seem to have worked very seriously on oil and gas issues, to strengthen Alaska's negotiating position and strike a better deal with the big three oil companies. Whatever you might think about her otherwise, that's good for Alaska. But ironically, getting there drove her to build up her administration as a cult of personality run by a secretive and nepotistic inner cabal, which was probably unsustainable politically.

So in a sense you could say that she's been co-opted by an appeal to her political vanity. Now that she's on the Republican ticket, she's owned by the Republican Party, and the controlling interest in the Republican Party is held by Big Oil.

It's all very sad, really. This one actually would make a tragic storyline for a decent movie someday, after the dust settles on the election circus. Sure hope she doesn't end up as VP, that would just add to the tragedy.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on September 16, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

The McCain campaign said [last night] that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) "won't speak with an investigator hired by lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner" in the controversy known as "Troopergate." The campaign declared the investigation to be "tainted,"
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Right. So when one side says an investigation has become "tainted", that side can just refuse to speak, ignore the law, and shut down the investigation. If that is your thinking, Repigs, then where were you with this line of thought during Monicagate? More hypocrites, cretins, autocrats, and mini fascist dictator wanabes. That's change you can BANK on.

Posted by: optimysticalcynic on September 16, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Edna - by all means lets have that investigation! Maybe we can also look into her appointing her high-school friend to some agriculture commission. The friend's bona fides? Her love of cows as a child. Haven't you had enough of cronyism from Bush/Cheney? Why do you think this group of republicans will be any different from our current crop of republicans? Meet the new boss - same as the old boss.

ProudVoter - that was satire, right?

Posted by: Lori on September 16, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

See, folks, I didn't fire Monegan because of that troopergate stuff--I booted him 'cause he wanted funding to fight sexual predators!

Now Alaska may not be first in a lot of categories, but we are number ONE in per-capita sexual assaults. I'm damned if I'm gonna let some meddling career bureaucrat screw that up for us!

Posted by: Sarah Palin, hottie guvner on September 16, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's being schooled by the best in the bidness: Rove and "Shooter" Cheney. Those two hoods no more than anyone in the U.S. of A. about how to obstruct an investigation and skate away from consequences.

Posted by: Retardo Montalban on September 16, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Perhaps they should investigate why she didn't fire him sooner."

Nice try, Edna. If the real story was that simple, why all the obstruction?

I've worked with document discovery, and you can bet this is a very filtered view of what actually went down. That's why the opposing side is supposed to have access to everything the other side has, but Palin is using the standard GOP SOP of executive privelige.

With "First Dude" Todd in on the email loop, however, I don't how they can make it stick, which is why they're so frantic to stop the investigation altogether.

Posted by: bdop4 on September 16, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's being schooled by the best in the bidness: Karl Rove and "Shooter" Cheney. Those two hoods know more than anyone in the U.S. of A. about how to obstruct a lawful investigation and skate away without consequences.

Posted by: Retardo Montalban on September 16, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Outright insubordination? Rogue mentality? Sounds like a maverick to me. I thought mavericks were cool? Boy, this is getting confusing.

Posted by: jward23 on September 16, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Palin is sounding more and more like Dick Cheney every day. Has she ever had a hunting accident?

How about this new word to describe Palin's rediculous lies and claims:

Palinisms -- statements so obviously false they cause coffee to shoot out your nose.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 16, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

edna wrote: "Perhaps they should investigate why she didn't fire him sooner."

Perhaps you should investigate why Sarah Palin has given multiple contradictory explanations of why she fired Monegan -- including claiming that she didn't fire him, he resigned.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 16, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Geez, if McCain wanted to stop an investigation, why didn't he pick Ted Stevens? Oh yeah, not much excitement factor there.

Still, is this a Republican thing? Nominate someone as Vice President and all their past misdeeds are beyond investigating. Yeah, sounds like a Republican thing.

Funny, though, I don't recall hearing McCain comment that Ken Starr's Tainted Investigation was "tainted". And is that all it takes to stop an Alaskan investigation, having McCain call it tainted?

Posted by: Capt Kirk on September 16, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Edna, if Palin fired Monegan for "outright insubordination", why on earth did she wait until NOW to tell us? What has she been waiting for all this time?

Posted by: sceptic on September 16, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Edna, if Palin fired Monegan for "outright insubordination", why on earth did she wait until NOW to tell us? What has she been waiting for all this time?

Because....because....because...shut up that's why!

Posted by: Stefan on September 16, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Huh?

It's not enough to have presidents that become cminals once they're in office, we need to elect people who have already been indicted for abuse of power?

Republicans want to make sure felons can't vote...
When they should be running for office instead!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on September 16, 2008 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

If this disgraceful combo of McCain/Palin gets elected,the American people are more gullible and stupid than I ever thought possible.

Posted by: dave walker on September 17, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

This is a clear case of "more of the same". You've got Rove and company avoiding the law, avoiding seopenas, essentially thumbing their nose at the justice system. George W. Bush throws a middle finger out to the justice department, and here we go again with Palin throwing a middle finger out to Alaskan justice.

Posted by: JWK on September 17, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

I have hope that the Obama / Biden campaign is involved in ensuring due process in this scandal because I know that McCain / Palin sure as hell is. If Obama / Biden sits and waits, it'll be the same bullshit that Congress has done with the Bush Admin. They better not yell fire after the case is dismissed by Republican influenced judges.

Don't wait for their interference. Stop the special interest activity before now, before they get away with anything else. You know they're up there, pulling strings, making threats and breaking the law. How about a $25,000 money bomb free prize to anyone who can expose the Republican corruption!

Posted by: Dannyshenanigan on September 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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