Alaska Judge to Hold TrooperGate Hearing

There will be a hearing Thursday before an Alaskan judge to decide whether the legislative ethics investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin may proceed.

The lawsuit was filed by five Republicans who say the legislative investigation is partisan, a false claim in my view. Palin wants the Personnel Board, whose members serve under her in the Executive Branch, to decide.

< Palin's Next Couric Gaffe May Be on Ignorance of Supreme Court Cases | Tuesday Open Thread >
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    She has no chance of being VP (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:58:06 PM EST
    ...unless the Democrats demonstrate astounding incompetence and stupidity over the next few weeks. And if that's the case, then perhaps it doesn't matter whether the stupid people who take office have a D or an R after their name. We're screwed either way.

    I wish "progressives" and liberals would stop wasting their time obsessively beating up on Palin and spend more time demanding genuine accountability from the party that claims to support their interests. It is way past time to stop settling for our side being only "the lesser" evil.

    Frankly, my own side's stupidity, and corruption, worries me a lot more than Palin's.

    The election won't be won or lost (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 06:35:17 PM EST
    because of "troopergate." But the best interests of the country certainly may be lost if we continue down such an unserious road politically.

    The country is in real economic trouble. Can Democrats focus on that? The Palin obsession is self-indulgence. In the context of what is happening in the country at large, it looks extremely petty. No matter what high minded excuses are made for indulging in it.

    Legislative Democrats have a lower approval rating than Bush. I would think people who want Democrats to win would be doing everything they can to encourage a focus on things that make Democrats and liberals look like serious people.

    You know, it takes two sides to tangle in terms of culture war (those on the left aren't the innocents they like to think they are). And culture war, which is mostly what the obsession with Palin amounts to, is the last thing we need right now -- although some real, serious economic fights wouldn't be amiss. The time for tribal appeals and my team is better and more virtuous than the other team, my team right or wrong silliness is past. Supporters of both parties need to be demanding more from the people who represent, or seek to represent, them.

    But how can they do that if they are focus on the petty and unserious themselves?

    Hating Sarah Palin is not a political act.


    Are you voting based on troopergate? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 07:37:16 PM EST
    Or Palin? Would you really have voted for McCain if he had just made a "better" VP choice? I doubt it. Nor do I believe it has anything to do with how the vast majority of people who post here, or on any of the other Left-leaning sites, all of which devote a hell of a lot of time to Palin, will vote. (And who, by the way, would that "better" choice have been? Guiliani? Huckabee? Pawlenty? Would you feel any safer with any of those guys on the Republican ticket? I wouldn't.)

    The people Palin appeals to are Republicans who were never going to vote for the Democrat, but who McCain needed to give a reason for coming out for him in November. She has one talent -- she knows how to throw a populist punch. Her answer to Couric's question about her limited travel outside the country -- "worked two jobs... was raising children...not from the kind of background where you're given a backpack and a trip to Europe" -- was a brilliant example. It's the kind of thing that gladdens the heart of her partisans -- and, apparently even more so, makes people on the Left lose their reason. But, of course, all that gnashing of teeth over Palin by the Left isn't going to change Republican votes. Most important, it isn't addressing the issues that Democrats need to address to get less partisan swing voters to both come out strongly in November and, of course, come out for them.


    This story has so many versions, (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by YesVirginiaThereIsASanta on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 05:31:21 PM EST
    I can't keep up.

    The legislators want to block the state Legislative Council's investigation into whether Palin acted improperly when she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan this summer. Palin denies that she pressured Monegan to fire a state trooper who had gone through a bitter divorce with her sister.

    I thought Palin requested the probe. I also heard Commissioner Monegan himself say she never even asked him to fire her ex-brother in law, let alone pressure him. I also heard the Commissioner was never fired. He had been offered a different position where he would be more qualified and he turned it down - deciding, instead, to leave the government.

    Can someone straighten this mess out?

    Yes (none / 0) (#11)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 05:34:40 PM EST
    there is indeed someone who can straighten out the various details for the benefit of you and everyone else.  That someone is the state-appointed investigator, whose investigation is currently being impeded by the McCain campaign.

    Thursday, huh? (none / 0) (#1)
    by rdandrea on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 02:36:58 PM EST
    Not the best timing for Sarah's coming-out party.

    Clinton v Jones (none / 0) (#3)
    by hgardner on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:13:17 PM EST
    would seem to provide the answer as to whether Troopergate should proceed.  Sauce for the goose and all of that.  

    Well (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:38:18 PM EST
    From a karmic perspective, you may be right.  From a legal standpoint, this is an issue that will be decided under Alaska law, which I understand to have some unique provisions regarding investigations.  So I guess we'll see.

    iirc (none / 0) (#5)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:25:11 PM EST
    I believe Palin has started cooperating with the investigation after they agreed to keep the whole thing quiet until the final report is out (oct 10?).

    So assuming the judge doesnt scuttle this we should know more in a few weeks.

    wait (none / 0) (#23)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 10:21:49 AM EST
    Ah, she tricked me.   They are cooperating with the Personel Board investigation, I think, and not the legislature's version.

    Possibly too late. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Christy1947 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:36:29 PM EST
    Over on GOS, there is a report from Alaska that in at least one instance, a witness under oath has sworn to Investigator Steve Branchflower that, contrary to prior statements, she and her agency, which handle workers' comp claims, were in fact pressured by Palin's office to deny the workers' comp claim of Trooper Wooten. According to the article, the claim was initially allowed for a three month period and then denied, and he had to commence litigation to reverse the denial.

    The horse, or one of them, may be out of the barn.

    politically motivated? (none / 0) (#7)
    by laila on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 03:38:18 PM EST
    This investigation was started when?  With a bipartisan committee that is now backing out because of her vp nomination.  If they get away with this then that is a travesty.

    Jason Leopold? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 06:02:21 PM EST
    The guy who swore up and down that Karl Rove had been indicted?  I'm not sure I exactly trust his anonymous sources any more.

    I disagree with you (none / 0) (#17)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 06:49:16 PM EST
    First of all, Leopold most definitely reported that Karl Rove had already been indicted.  That is indisputable.

    As to the current story, the news that a key witness has supposedly changed her story is most certainly attributed to anonymous sources:

    An Alaska woman who owns a company that processes workers' compensation claims in the state has told an independent investigator that she was urged by the office of Gov. Sarah Palin to deny a benefits claim for Palin's ex brother-in-law, a state trooper who was involved in an ugly divorce and child custody dispute with Palin's sister, despite evidence that the claim appeared to be legitimate, according to state officials who were briefed about the conversation.

    In the case of Rove, of course, the noteworthy part was not simply that Leopold got it wrong (lots of people got it wrong) but that he repeatedly insisted that he 100% knew these facts to be true, that he would get the last laugh, etc.  And it just didn't turn out that way.

    So I think anyone ought to be appropriately skeptical when Jason Leopold shows up claiming that yet another bunch of highly-knowledgeable anonymous sources have fed him a bombshell.  I have no idea why you resort to the smarmy line "thank you for your concern."  I am not expressing "concern," I am flat-out stating that I do not believe Jason Leopold has credibility.


    Uh (none / 0) (#20)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 07:11:29 PM EST
    I quoted the article, and bolded the relevant portion, so I don't know why you keep claiming that I refused to read it.

    The rest of the article is background stuff, maybe interesting to some, but the only "bombshell" is the claim that this witness has now changed her story.  That claim is supported only by anonymous sources.

    When a claim is supported only by anonymous sources, it is not "impugning the messenger" to talk about whether the journalist has had a shaky relationship with the truth in the past.  Rather, it is common sense.

    Listen, you can choose to believe whatever you want, but in my book going around saying "hey everyone, look what amazing stuff Jason Leopold's anonymous sources have told him THIS time!" is a bit like advertising one's own gullibility.


    Why do any of ou (none / 0) (#22)
    by CRAsucks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:55:23 PM EST
    think that people care that Palin went out of her way to fire an abusive cop from his job? You people would be screaming for his head had he tazed some abortion rights supporter.

    the problem is (none / 0) (#24)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 06:28:47 PM EST
    what's the biggest issue...

    an executive branch misusing it's power for personals interests...during a time when there seems to be an epidemic of abusive executive powers that needs to be curtailed...


     a bad cop, of which you'll find many if you come to small town missouri...and no one is calling for their heads...


    If Obama were under investigation... (none / 0) (#25)
    by stevea66 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 07:46:48 PM EST
    If Obama were under investigation for 'abuse of power,' his race would be over.  I think it's the most important event in this race.  Yes, their handling of the bailout is important, but not as important as a person who is one step away from the nuclear codes being guilty of abuse of power.  It's so eerily like the Bush Administration.