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.
- 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.
- The governor thinks we are not paying attention.
- 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!