Palin’s VP Prospects Circling the Drain

21 07 2008

After much speculation about what Sarah Palin actually meant when she said the reason she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was to take the department “in a new direction”, the governor has finally given us an explanation. Unfortunately, the explanation is feeble at best.  At worst, disingenuous.

Apparently the ‘new direction’ involves increasing recruitment and dealing with alcohol and substance abuse problems in the bush. ……ohh kay….. how is this different? And how was Walt Monegan not doing this? Palin’s “new direction” is basically a carbon copy of material released by Walt Monegan and Colonel Audie Holloway at the beginning of the year.  In other words, the new direction is the old direction.

So, what does this mean?  Several things, potentially.

  1. The ‘new direction’ is a lame attempt to explain why Monegan got fired, when, in fact, his firing had nothing to do with direction, and everything to do with not firing Palin’s ex-brother-in-law and Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, despite being pressured to do so.
  2. The governor thinks we are not paying attention.
  3. The governor thinks we are not very bright.

So, what does the Legislature think of all this? Buckle your seatbelts Alaska, and prepare for…..another investigation.

Senate President Lyda Green (fellow Wasilla Republican and Palin arch-nemesis), and Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French  have said that an investigation is likely, and Senator Johnny Ellis stated this weekend, “There will be an inquiry. Any use of public position for personal use or gain is wrong. We will get to the bottom of it.”  Same story in the House.  And the House and Senate are talking about holding hearings regarding the Monegan firing.  It’s only a matter of time before the can is opened and the worms come out.

This investigation will have a slightly different flavor than the others to date. So far we’ve had investigations (with accompanying indictments and convictions) of state legislators, and of oil service execs. We’ve got investigations of our congressional delegation, and likely an ex-governor.  But now we’re going to have an investigation of not only a sitting governor, but a potential Vice Presidential candidate. Until now, Palin has been the darling of the right, and on McCain’s short list for VP running mate.   She’s cute, she’s tough, she wears red suits, she’s a social conservative, she’s pro-life, she’s a woman, she’s a hockey mom with 5 kids, and most of all she’s squeaky squeaky clean!  …  Uh oh.

Truth is, her reputation for sweeping the state clean of corruption, and restoring ethics and transparency to government was the foundation on which all those other things rested. Take that away, and  it all falls like a house of cards.  McCain isn’t considering her as a running-mate to secure Alaska’s three electoral votes, that’s for sure.  He wants her image. And now, that image is sullied, which means right about now her chances for the VP nod are circling the drain.  In this election, no one can afford to be linked to another corrupt Republican….least of all a corrupt Republican.

UPDATE:  The Anchorage Daily news has linked to an interview with Walt Monegan that aired today on KUDO 1080-AM.  More discussion on KUDO was promised for tomorrow.

UPDATE #2 8/29/08:

Let me be the first to say I was wrong.  The choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s VP running mate proves how foolish I was for imagining that the Republican’s weren’t that stupid!


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15 responses

21 07 2008
Ted

Actually, your “feeble” attempt to tarnish Palin is what’s “circling the drain”, as its all backfiring on the Palin foes (she’s coming out of this fake story appearing stronger than ever and McCain will only be impressed with her fortitude in a rough and hostile political environment — which is leadership and which is Presiential).

Consider this, all Sarah and Todd Palin did vis a vis Wooten and Monegan is bring Wooten to the attention of Monegan BECAUSE WOOTEN WAS A THREAT TO THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF PALIN AND HER FAMILY, especially after Wooten allegedly threatened to kill Palin’s dad and bring down the Palin family.

As Sarah Palin has reiterated, she does not get involved in personnel and disciplinary matters of the Dept. of Public Safety. The Palins’ were merely reporting concern surrounding their safety and security of their own family. What were Palins’ to do, say nothing, and then be deemed negligent or remiss in doing nothing.

And finally, Palin was careful not to recommend Wooten’s firing. Sarah acted carefully, appropriately and discreetly. Case closed. (Even Monegan was quoted at the police picnic essential saying much ado about nothing and case closed.)

21 07 2008
Ted

A commenter on the palinforvp blogsite sums it up this way:

“As a non-Alaskan I find the Monegan affair just plain petty. Governors should be able to fire ineffective employees. How about a little objectivity even if you dislike Palin? A state employee threatens a family and abuses his own son. His immediate supervisor fails to fire the bad employee. The supervisor gets his feelings hurt when he gets transferred and tries to get back at his boss. Then he brings in more people to validate his need for revenge and takes it to the blogs and papers. This type of story is more suited to the soaps on tv than serious news. Gimme a break! And now an independent investigator on the taxpayer dime. Some people need to back off the fried foods!”

21 07 2008
akmuckraker

While I find your ubiquitous comments in the Daily News, and on every blog that uses the word ‘Palin’ to be entertaining, all I have to say is “Don’t shoot the messenger.” Not my blog, nor any other did this to her. She did it to herself. Her actions are suspect enough to have caused an upcoming investigation by the State Legislature with support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Wooten appears to have his own set of problems, but if Monegan’s failure to fire him was the reason he was terminated, then Palin has lied about it. If it was defensible, then she should have been up front and transparent about it.

It’s always the cover-up that gets you. She should know that. Those of us who DO live in Alaska are pretty familiar with the drill, and we’re getting pretty tired of it.

And as for your prediction that all this will magically backfire, and Palin will come out smelling like a rose, and be “stronger than ever”…..Well, if you really believe that, I’ve got a bridge to nowhere I’d like to sell you.

22 07 2008
Julie

I’m kind of confused…Why is everyone saying that Palin fired Monegan? She transfered him to a different department/job where his talents/gifts would be better utilized. He chose to refuse the transfer; in essence he quit. This is a common practice in many civilian and government agencies, so what’s the big deal. No one called for an investigation or explanation when he was removed from his last Chief of Police postion by the Mayor. What’s the difference?.

22 07 2008
Julie

P.S. And if you’re going to say that it’s different this time because he says the Governor didn’t like him, that is nothing but conjecture on his part and is totally without proof. So don’t hit me with that one.

22 07 2008
Lenny

What makes you think the soccer mom from Wasilla was ever on any list for VP?

22 07 2008
Ted

I never said Palin fired (offered a different job to) Monegan because of Wooten. Palin’s already publicly announced her reasons. I was just providing some info/background/opinion on the Monegan/Wooten thing.

Oh, and yes it IS gonna be Palin. McCain’s already got this new ad up which essentially announces Palin as his pick (without ever having to mention her name).

22 07 2008
akmuckraker

LOL! When your boss ‘transfers you’ to a lower paying, lower ranking position, removing you from a higher position…that’s called firing. He chose not to take it. To pretend it was somehow an honor that he chose not to accept, is a bit naive. Again, don’t shoot the messenger. The legislature – Republican and Democratic – think the investigation is warranted. You could try complaining to them.

Feeds of Monegan’s interview are available. I link to them in the post.

22 07 2008
Peter

I’d like Palin to be McCain’s running mate… We’d get a bit of Alaska honor out of it and it’s not like McCain’s going to win anyways.

Would she resign as governor though if she was chosen? If so, would that mean Parnell would be governor? I don’t know these things… but that thought very much scares me.

22 07 2008
akmuckraker

I would assume that she would step down if she accepted a VP slot. And yes, that would mean Gov. Sean Parnell….unless he wins the primary for the House race and beats Don Young. Depending on the timing, I believe she could in effect choose her own replacement via the Lt. Governor slot. Confusing.

My personal feelings are that she should stay put, if she has the best interest of Alaskans at heart. These are critical times for energy issues, among other things and stability would be best. We’ll just have to wait and see.

My hunch is that McCain will declare soon, and the latest rumors are that it will be Mitt Romney.

22 07 2008
Dan

I agree with Ted on this one. This issue is petty and it is the Governors privilege to hire and fire. I think Palin felt Monegan wasn’t getting the job done. She offered him another prestigious job and he turned it down. Then he chooses to take the low road to shift the blame away from himself by blaming it on the Wooten issue. She did not say Monegan was incompetent. Sarah chose to take the high road by talking about her concerns for the safety of the Alaskan people and taking the department, “in a different direction”. The data supports her on this. Now the politicians that she has tangled with in the past, (and we know who they are and what they stand for) are slithering out of their holes to try to discredit the Governor. They are so desperate to get her on something…..anything!

Why is it we always ask for our public officials to be held accountable and when one is, we are so quick to look for ulterior motives.

22 07 2008
akmuckraker

A) Firing public officials for personal motives is not a petty issue.
B) Monegan WAS getting the job done, and was well-liked and well-respected by virtually everyone.
C) Click the link and listen to the interview with Walt Monegan, and tell me you honestly think he’s taking the low road.
D) There is absolutely NO data that supports anything about a ‘new direction’. In fact, the new direction is a carbon copy of the old direction, which was exactly where Monegan was going.
E) Why are we quick to look for ulterior motives? We live in Alaska.

As for slithering out of holes, and taking joy in the misfortunes of Sarah Palin? Absolutely, there are those who are getting a good chuckle. Namely Lyda Green, and Don Young (who stands to benefit from Sean Parnell’s association with the Governor).

Was I rooting for Sarah Palin when she got elected? Yes, I was. I, like many Alaskans am feeling pretty disappointed. Every politician that falls leaves us all more cynical.

29 07 2008
Al

What is it about Alaskans and their inability to govern themselves?

I personally think that Palin probably was not considered a serious shot at VP due to Obama really starting to show his inexperience. McCain doesn’t need a Sarah Palin, although she would bring tons of excitement. The Israeli’s might bomb Iran and then that will catapult McCain in office anyway. McCain is catching up to Obama without any Veep announcement because Obama just is too inexperienced and he is making people nervous. If Obama picks a white guy, McCain will pick a white guy too and probaby win a close election by doing what Bill Kristol and Krauthammer said, “double-down” on experience.

However, that being said, Palin will probably bounce back from this investigation and win another term as governor or run for the other senate seat later assuming the fishing finds nothing.

I mean lets’ face it, Alaska is short on great leaders. The people seem to be similar to the gold country Californian’s (white trash?)

13 08 2008
Palin Investigates Self in Innovative Winning Strategy. « Mudflats

[…] would be conducting an investigation of the controversial firing of DPS chief Walt Monegan. That little debacle had everything – drama, revenge, infidelity, abuse of power, intimidation, drunk driving, child […]

13 10 2008
Rick Davis denies "any wrongdoing" by Palin day after bipartisan finding that she violated Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act | PoliticsMuch.com

[…] Sarah Palin was asked to join our ticket.” Uh, wrong again, Davis. The Alaskan blogger at MudFlats has been covering this since it first hit the fan, and said in July (long before people outside […]




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