Sarah Palin’s Own, Personal World
The findings of the ‘Troopergate’ investigation are out, and here’s a summary:
Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. That states: “Each public officer holds office as a public trust and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest though official action is a violation of that trust.”
- The most damaging finding. Stephen Branchflower, the investigator appointed by Alaska legislators, concluded that the Governor abused her power by conducting a campaign to have her former brother-in-law Mike Wooten fired as a state trooper, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so. He deemed this an effort to secure “a personal interest” under the Ethics Act, through her position.
Public safety commissioner Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Wooten was not the only reason Mrs Palin dismissed him, but was “likely a contributing factor”. Nonetheless, the Governor has authority to sack executive branch department heads, and acted within that.
- Technically a plus for Mrs Palin, but reveals she bears grudges. Mrs Palin can hire and fire her department chiefs as she wishes, so long as she acts “in good faith”. She said she dismissed Mr Monegan because of a budget dispute but he said he believed he was sacked because he resisted pressure to oust Trooper Wooten.
A worker compensation claim by Mr Wooten was correctly handled and he received the benefits to which he was entitled.
- An all clear for Mrs Palin. Her husband, Todd, had circulated pictures of the trooper driving a snowmobile while he was supposed to be on sick leave and receiving benefits for a bad back sustained at work – implying he was feigning the condition. The Palins denied interfering in his benefit claim and the inquiry did not disagree.
Alaska’s Attorney General, who was the conduit for requests for information from the executive branch, failed “to substantially comply” with the investigator’s request to Mrs Palin to answer by email questions from the inquiry.
- An implicit criticism of her refusal to cooperate. Gov Palin initially welcomed the investigation, saying she and her staff would co-operate fully and had nothing to hide in her dismissal of Mr Monegan. But after she was chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, she withdrew her co-operation, saying the investigation had become a partisan witchhunt. The legislature authorised subpoenas on several of her aides to force them to testify but did not issue one against Mrs Palin. Investigator Stephen Branchflower offered to travel anywhere in the US to meet Mrs Palin or to accept answers from her by email, but the suggestion was ignored.
So some unethical behavior has been determined. But this is how Sarah Palin responded:
”I don’t micromanage my commissioners and ask them to hire or fire anyone,” Palin told reporters outside a service station in Altoona. “And thankfully the truth was revealed there in that report that showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part.”
From Miami Herald
So, I’m wondering, what world does she live in that the findings that say that she violated the Ethics Act in Alaska prove that no unethical activity was performed by her? Just wondering.