Late Night: Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Warren Zevon version here.

Here are First Dude Todd Palin's sworn interrogatories (pdf) submitted today in TrooperGate. Shorter version: Poor, poor pitiful me.

It is unfair to apply a double standard against my wife just because she is the state's first female governor."


"Anyone who knows Sarah knows she ...calls the shots."

"I make no apologies for wanting to protect my family against" the big, bad trooper.

He even blames bloggers. He's says he's been harassed.

He spends 10 pages objecting to the interrogatories before he begins to answer them on page 11.

Did Palin confess? He says he wanted to publicize Trooper Wooten's abuse of the workman's compensation system. Some of Wooten's records appear to have been illegally taken from his file and leaked to the press. He says he made a call to Brad Thompson about Wooten's workman's comp issues and brought it up with others, including Monegan. He gave "a file" of information on Wooten's workman comp issue to Monegan. In a taped converstaion, Bailey says the Governor's office obtained and copied the file.

The workman's comp claim is potentially very damaging to Palins:

The real damage to Palin from Troopergate comes with an injury claim involving trooper Wooten when he hurt his back while in the line of duty. Independent investigator Steve Branchflower testified recently he believes someone in the governor's office tried to block Wooten's workers' compensation injury benefits.

Harbor Adjustment Services, the company hired by the state to process, evaluate and decide on workers' benefit claims, had great financial incentive in bowing to pressure from the governor to deny Wooten's injury claim.

Obviously, the state is Harbor Adjustment Services' largest client. The owner of the company denies the governor's office pressured her to deny Wooten's benefits. Why wouldn't she? Ratting out the governor could cost her the lucrative state contract.

But Branchflower says an employee with Harbor Adjustment Services contradicts the owner and has testified the governor's office did apply pressure to deny Wooten his benefits. Branchflower says the unnamed employee testified, "I don't, you know, care if it's the president who wants the claim denied. I'm not going to deny it unless I have the medical evidence to do that.

As to why it's so damaging:

And there is the governor's aide, Frank Bailey, caught on tape admitting he has information that came from Wooten's workers' comp file.

The very file that includes pictures, taken by none other than Todd Palin, of Wooten riding a snowmachine trying to prove the trooper was not injured.

Here's why this is all so damaging to the governor. It's one thing to try to get a trooper fired because you believe he is a danger to the public. But using your considerable power as governor to block the benefits of a former family member you have a long-running dispute with moves this scandal into a new realm. It becomes about one thing and one thing only, revenge. Not public good, but settling a score.

More evidence someone broke privacy laws and snooped and filched a document from Wooten's personnel file:

Bailey said he obtained information about Wooten’s medical and employment history from Todd Palin.

On Aug. 28, Van Flein deposed Michael Mongale, a state manager with the workers' compensation division. Monagle said there was no truth to rumors that the governor or her office had requested Wooten's workers' comp file. "Absolutely not," said Monagle, who said that the file is "in my office in a locked file cabinet" for safekeeping.

However, John Cyr, executive director of the Public Safety Employees Association, the union that represents Wooten and other state troopers, disclosed a document that appears to contradict Monagle’s sworn deposition.

A routing slip dated Aug. 21 from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows Wooten’s workers comp file was pulled and sent to the attention of Mongale. “Wooten, as requested,” the routing slip says, which was made out to the attention of “Mike Mongale.”

“A request came in to return all of Wooten’s [worker’s comp] files to Juneau [the state capital],” according to a note and routing slip faxed to Cyr from the worker’s compensation division. “The person who asked to route the files was told the files were being copied for the governor.”

Under Alaska’s strict privacy laws, Wooten would have had to provide written authorization to allow such access. Cyr said the governor does not have the authority to peek into the private employment and medical files of state employees.

“Even as early as a month ago the governor’s office is still mining through Trooper Wooten’s records,” Cyr said. (emphasis supplied.)

One more tidbit:

According to the transcript of the call between Bailey and Lt. Dial, Bailey also claimed that Wooten lied on his trooper application form by failing to disclose “physical impairments” that he suffered while in the Air Force.

Cyr said there was no truth to Bailey’s allegations. But Cyr said some of the issues Bailey raised during his conversation with Dial in February could only have been known if Wooten’s personnel file was accessed. “It would be illegal for anyone to access Mike [Wooten’s] personnel file unless they had written authorization,” Cyr said.

What has Palin said about her and her husband's access to the personnel files?

In a statement issued in July, Palin heatedly denied illegally accessing her ex-brother-in-law’s personnel files and posted two documents on the governor’s Web site, including a release signed by Wooten in February giving his wife’s divorce attorney access to his “entire employment file.”

The posted documents suggested that Palin obtained information about Wooten’s personnel file through the discovery process related to the divorce/custody battle with her sister. “Any information regarding personnel records came from the trooper himself,” Palin said in her statement.

But the fact that Wooten’s personnel file was released to his ex-wife’s attorney during court proceedings does not mean that Palin’s office then had the right to access the files so it could be used against him, Cyr said.


“Those files were strictly for use during the divorce,” Cyr said. “And it has a sunset provision,” expiring on May 1.

Plus, Cyr said, conducting an investigation of a state trooper’s workers comp situation is “not the job of the governor’s office and that’s exactly what we have been saying. … Why is the governor’s office involved in this trooper’s worker’s compensation claims?”

Here's the Complaint (pdf) Cyr and the union filed over the improper access by the Governor's office of Wooten's file that lays out the laws and regulations prohibiting disclosure. It quotes the transcript of the Bailey phone call. See Paragraph 5 on page 5. The complaint seeks an ethics investigation into the Governor's conduct.

Maybe Todd Palin will soon be singing another line from the Ronstadt song.... "Woe, woe is me."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Palin is small minded, (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Newt on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 12:56:52 AM EST
    not presidential.  Trying to take away Wooten's workers comp as revenge, trying to find a way to ban books, and firing people who disagree with her all indicate character flaws that would be dangerous in a president.

    Palin's small mindedness fits hand in hand with her narrow minded views on evolution, women's right to choose and gay rights.

    Small minded (none / 0) (#36)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 12:59:42 PM EST
    has never been a prob (in fact, it's probobly a plus), for the thugs, as long as you say the lines with panache.

    You think those snakehandlers who fill up mega-churches are men and women of ideas (to use David Brooks's term)?


    Camp McCain promises some announcement (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 01:01:55 AM EST

    I wonder what the stunt/revelation is this time?

    Any announcement he makes (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:08:41 AM EST
    Would generally have to be made by today because Friday's he flies back to Arizona to rest for the weekend. Don't count on anything concerning Palin. This is more likely to be his economic thought du jour before he retreats back to Sedona debate camp.

    McCain will announce he's suspending. . . (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:10:28 AM EST
    Obama's campaign.  The won't allow "that one" to campaign, run commercials, or canvass voters until the Dow is back over 12,000.

    They're replacing Sarah (none / 0) (#20)
    by stevea66 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 08:45:05 AM EST
    That's it.  She's gone, now that there's some proof of 'abuse of power.'  They can take her off the ticket and try to win back the vote of people who require intelligence in their candidates.  Unfortunately, many of those people don't also require honesty in their candidates.

    Damn - and I thought I could finish my book, but there's a whole new chapter that needs to be written now.  Have a grand day, everyone!


    Perhaps. . . (none / 0) (#24)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:12:28 AM EST
    they're promoting her to the top of the ticket.  Certainly they're not replacing her, which would get rid of the only thing McCain has that's exciting his base, and make his campaign look weak and confused.

    well (none / 0) (#28)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:50:55 AM EST
    The troopergate report is due tommorrow.   Whatever is said, they'll want to spin it.

    the Alaska Appellate opinion is due out by 4 PM (none / 0) (#34)
    by Christy1947 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 12:14:56 PM EST
    Alaska time today, and tomorrow the report will or will not be released. I've read the briefs on both sides and it's gonna be interesting. The respondent brief seemed to be the better one in my personal opinion.

    Todd's negotiated written answers were deliberately vague, no when did you do this and what did you say on that occasion. But it is clear from them that he was pushing his grievance against Wooten to anyone he could coerce into listening. Many of them people he would not have been in touch with save for Mrs. P being governor and their having to hear him out on that account. I do notice nothing in here about the various Palin official announcements about why Monegan was fired. The big deal to him seems to have been the availability of the airplane (remembering what she did and said about the Murkowski airplane that did not get sold on Ebay), and the handling of a complaint of Mrs. P riding Trig around other than in an approved car seat.


    State Sen. President Lyda Green may not be (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 02:13:25 AM EST
    the most impartial opinion  ;)

    Check her history with Palin (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 02:50:26 AM EST
    It's fairly well known there's no love lost . . .

    President of the senate doesn't mean squat, imo. If it did, we would have to give positive credit to Cheney on opinion  ;)


    Green exceeded common decency (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 11:46:02 AM EST
    if not her power, too, in dealings with Palin.  As you've been told, you could look it up -- in archives here, and it's widely reported elsewhere.

    an impeachment hearing would be amazing (none / 0) (#39)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 02:05:44 PM EST
    though, and would hopefully relieve me of my fears that the extremist fundamental right (terrorists?, hmmm...maybe the way the word is thrown around these days) will not take over the world in 2012...

    will take over the world (none / 0) (#40)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 02:06:26 PM EST
    I'm not worried that they won't, I'm worried that they will...

    obvious, but just had to point it out...


    Green is 'qualified' because Palin (none / 0) (#43)
    by andrys on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:44:51 AM EST
    refused to let her re-submit two failed anti-abortion bills in yet another session unless she could "show a path to success first" as Palin insisted, and Palin got Green's enmity since she couldn't.

      That's what she means about Palin not being qualified to be Governor.



    You know (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 07:17:44 AM EST
    it's amazing to me that the party that hates affirmative action, that wants to continue filling up our prisons under inherently discriminatory laws, that has no problem with women not making the same $$ as men, is suddenly so sensitive about double standards and social ills.  Now as they are forwarding one of their most conservative candidates ever, they are suddenly seeing the light!  Amazing.

    For the same reason (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 12:54:22 PM EST
    that they were aghast at "the homo-phobia of the Left" during the the Larry Craig scandal: because they're irretrievably, terminally, full of sh*t. Not to put too fine a point on it.

    Nice (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:46:15 AM EST
    or does anyone else see the palin clan as "trailer park trash"?

    I live in a trailer park. Perhaps you could explain your remark to me?

    My regrets for the elitism here (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 11:50:35 AM EST
    and good for you for speaking up.  I have relatives in trailer parks.  One spends half the year there and the other half in a cottage elsewhere, so apparently she and her spouse are only seasonally trashy to people here.  Another is in a small town with no rentals other than the trailer park, and he lost his home in divorce, but he wants to stay near the kids.  How trashy of him, too, huh?

    Again, my regrets for the latte-sippers here.  Do have some fun imagining them in a flood zone having to deal with basements under water while you stay -- literally and figuratively -- above it all.


    there are trailer parks in California (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 02:01:18 PM EST
    that start at around $1M...

    not too shabby...

    I also have lived in a trailer for short periods of my life...

    my only problem with trailers is how badly they are usually built...as a wannabe architect I could think of other structures that would be better for the inhabitant, the inhabitant's safety and for the environment, and they wouldn't cost much more than a new modular home...

    there are some colleges in the south that build environmentally friendly housing for persons who probably couldn't afford a house on their own, they do some real nice stuff, although the general population probably would find them strange, considering the close-mindedness our country has with reference to vernacular structures (just look at all those really badly built suburban monsters out there that people seem to love)


    is it just me, (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 12:57:25 AM EST
    or does anyone else see the palin clan as "trailer park trash"?

    Enjoying that latte... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by rghojai on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 06:30:30 AM EST
    ...while you wait for work to be finished on your Volvo?

    Not really. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Fabian on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:54:48 AM EST
    True "trash" folks don't wield any kind of power and the results of their poor judgment is usually limited to their family.

    OTOH, politics is the same the world over, with those who want to make the world better for everyone duking it out with those who want to make the world a better place for those who are most "deserving".  School boards, city councils, the local Rotary Club....


    It ain't (none / 0) (#6)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 01:06:05 AM EST
    just you.

    Norm Coleman (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 12:53:46 AM EST
    Poor poor pitiful me could also be the song being sung by the spokesman for Senator Norm Coleman today. This may be the most stiff, uncomfortable question and answer period I have seen. It is in regards to whether Coleman had suits purchased for him at Neiman Marcus by a campaign backer without reporting it.

    With GOP politicians falling from toe tapping and sexual IM's with minors, it would be pretty humorous if one takes a dive November 4th due to the suits he wears. I'm guessing Al Franken can have some fun with this.

    You can watch it

    Looks (none / 0) (#5)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 01:05:08 AM EST
    like a personal vendetta carried out by 'irregular' means.

    Completely unfitting for any elected official.

    If it turns out that way and gets big play in the press it would be the final dagger in the heart of the McCain campaign.

    When is this due to be resolved?

    due (none / 0) (#27)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:49:17 AM EST
    Legislature's report is out tommorrow.

    IIRC the AK supreme court will decide today if they want to stop it.


    I wonder (none / 0) (#13)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 03:37:59 AM EST
    if the announcement is dropping Palin from the ticket and substituting yet another whack-job.

    Speaking of Sarah Palin (none / 0) (#14)
    by cal1942 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 03:58:40 AM EST
    I SAVED a Thomas Friedman column. This is the first time I've actually SAVED a column by the Moustache.

    This election is just chock full of firsts.

    Im starting to think it might be over... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Thanin on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 05:23:07 AM EST
    for Obama.  According to the NY Times, hundreds of thousands of new voter registrations in Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada & North Carolina have been taken off the rolls.

    So despite the hopes for a landslide, a decent amount of these polls seem to be based off of Dems having much higher new registered voters, but if theyve been thrown off the roll, what they tell pollsters wont matter.  Id much, much rather be wrong on this, but Id rather not get crushed again by another republican victory from BS voting practices.

    ... Hit post too soon... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Thanin on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 05:26:28 AM EST
    Id much rather not get crushed again by another republican victory from BS voting practices, so Im going to start assuming the worst, unfortunately.

    Boo Hoo (none / 0) (#19)
    by WS on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 07:57:45 AM EST
    Todd Palin: I had to protect my family by trying to deny a police officer worker's comp.  Huh?

    Is he actually saying: Why can't me and the Mrs. do whatever we please in Alaska?  Very Nixonian and Bushian.  

    If they impeach... (none / 0) (#21)
    by stevea66 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 08:46:29 AM EST
    someone damn well better begin impeachment proceedings on Bush & Cheney, too!!!!

    Wow, he admitted it (none / 0) (#25)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 09:33:07 AM EST
    He's trying to take the whole load on himself and deny she had any involvement.

    That's one heck of a stretch for most people.

    Throwing Todd Under The Bus (none / 0) (#31)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 11:43:39 AM EST
    Well, he did it all by himself. Yes sir. Stalked Wooten all by himself to take pictures of him snowmobiling. Since when did Todd Palin become a PI?

    $3300 just for being an Alaskan (none / 0) (#37)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 01:57:06 PM EST
    no wonder Palin is so popular...

    nothing makes you liked as much as giving out money...

    The NY Times (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 06:05:50 PM EST
    has done quite an article on this just now. Read it HERE

    Wow! (none / 0) (#42)
    by stevea66 on Thu Oct 09, 2008 at 07:33:57 PM EST
    Just how bad is Wooten?  Do we really know?

    1.  I, too, have made the mistake of drinking a beer and getting into the car.  I'm a pretty good person, though.

    2.  If my 10-year old begged me to taser him because he didn't think it could be all that bad, I surely would be tempted to show him, while taking the safety precautions Wooten did.  Well...maybe I wouldn't, cuz you never know, but...

    3.  Illegally killing a moose is bad, but I've known many people who poach and get away with it.  Is it a crime?  Yes.  Does it make him a 'bad' person?  I don't really think so.

    And if it was all that bad, and so rare for a state trooper to do these things, and policy said that a trooper would be dismissed in such a case, Palin would have every right to demand his dismissal.  It sounds like Monegan did what needed to be done.  A suspension.  Should he have lost his job? I don't know, but it's obvious that had this been a trooper other than Wooten, she probably could've cared less.  Why didn't she call the governor before she became the governor to demand his dismissal?


    HEH... (none / 0) (#44)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:54:27 AM EST
    Do have some fun imagining them in a flood zone having to deal with basements under water while you stay -- literally and figuratively -- above it all.

    Indeed, Cream City! Thanks for laugh...One of my neighbors wears a tee-shirt that reads, "You Mess With Me, You're Messing with the Whole Park."

    Argh... (none / 0) (#45)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:55:18 AM EST
    Thanks for THE laugh. You'd never know I wuz a professional editor (yes, some of us trash denizens is even litterut.)