Palin on the Honor System. No Subpoena. Yet.

5 09 2008

Alaska legislators are preparing to issue subpoenas as part of an investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin’s handling of the “Troopergate” affair, but Palin herself won’t be hit with one.

State Sen. Hollis French, the Anchorage Democrat who is managing the probe into Palin’s firing of her former public safety commissioner, said legislators decided not to subpoena Palin as a gesture to calm what has become a tense standoff between the Legislature and the newly minted Republican vice presidential nominee.

“We’re trying to de-escalate the situation. We just want the truth, clear the air,” French said.

However, legislators still want their investigator to interview Palin.

Hollis French, who was just interviewed on KUDO progressive talk radio in Anchorage said, “The governor says she will cooperate, and we have no reason to disbelieve her.  She’s said it 6, 7, 8 times.  She’s said it so many times, it seems illogical that she wouldn’t show up.”  When asked what would happen if she did refuse to testify, he said, “We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.”  (*Note to Senator French – Please…no bridge metaphors.)

French also expressed disgust at Frank Baily, the Palin staffer who refused to show up for his scheduled deposition, noting that he’s currently on paid administrative leave and is “making $78,000 a year while he sits home,” refusing to testify and winning the prize for most irritating use of government funds in the state of Alaska.

State Senator Johnny Ellis (well respected and bipartisan) also made an appearance on KUDO, and stated that he firmly believed that no vetting process had happened.  He was in contact with anyone who’s anyone in Republican circles, and no one was contacted about anything.  Only Palin’s lawyer has claimed to have been contacted by the McCain camp, but never specified whether it was before or after she was selected.  He wrapped it up by saying that he felt if we asked ourselves the question in our heart of hearts, no matter how we may feel about Palin personally, she is definitely not qualified to be the commander in chief, and leader of the free world.

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Palin Vetting Documents from 2006. For Hard Core Palin Addicts Only.

5 09 2008

In 2006, when Sarah Palin ran for Governor of Alaska, the Democrats (unlike the Republicans of 2008) vetted her. The documentation is extensive, and was published online.

Recently, the link from various websites including Politico to the documents went dead. Then it came back. Then it went dead. Then it came back. You get the idea. Considering the tendency for things to vanish these days, and thanks to a reader of Mudflats, you may now peruse the document in its entirety below.

It’s 63 pages, so be warned. I suggest using the table of contents on page two to guide you on this “more than you ever wanted to know about Palin tour.” I wonder how long McCain’s document was?

palin-2006-vetting





Legislature Steps Up Palin Ethics Investigation.

5 09 2008

Hollis French and Sarah Palin - Photo from AP

If you’re marking your calendar with upcoming Alaska political scandal “Dates to Remember”, it’s time to get out your eraser. The release date of the Palin ethics investigation has moved…but not in the direction you may think.

ABC News has exclusively learned that Alaska Senator Hollis French will announce today that he is moving up the release date of his investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her office to get the Alaska public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, fired. The results of the investigation were originally scheduled for release Oct. 31 but will now come almost three weeks earlier, according to sources.

Friday is obviously a big news day up here in Alaska. And now, the latest on the jousting match between teams French/Branchflower and Palin/Van Flein. The Palin/Van Flein strategy has been to stall, stonewall, dig in their heels, grit their teeth, throw grenades, light fires, and jump in the bunker. It seems to be meeting with limited success.

Despite Palin filing an ethics complaint against herself to force an investigation by a friendly self-appointed board, the Legislature, under the leadership of Democrat Hollis French, chair of the judiciary committee, marches on. It remains to be seen how they will pull this off, but subpoenas must be just around the corner, because both Frank Bailey (the Palin staffer whose phone call to Troopers was recorded), and Sarah Palin who originally said she’d be completely cooperative, have refused to testify.

Also, Republican Rep. John Coghill is now asking for Hollis French to step down from his leadership role stating that because he’s used the word ‘impeachment’ more than once, and has stated he feels the whole thing will be ‘damaging’ for her, he is no longer impartial.





This is Getting Ugly. New Palin Rumors Fly.

5 09 2008

It’s hopeless. Just when you think you’ll get a few minutes to eat, or work, or have a life, more cars on the train wreck that is the McCain-Palin ticket derail.

The latest story the National Enquirer is working on is that Palin had an affair with Todd’s ex-business partner in an Anchorage Car Wash venture. This was an interesting twist because it was also rumored that Todd Palin had an “Edwards problem”. Maybe he has an Elizabeth Edwards problem. I generally try to resist getting too caught up in the smarminess, unless it becomes impossible. It just did.

Two days ago, Todd’s ex-business partner filed an emergency motion to have his divorce papers sealed. Yesterday the motion was DENIED.

Buckle up. I’ll post updates and links…unless the entire intertube network collapses first.





Book Gate. Palin Wanted to Ban Books.

5 09 2008

That den of iniquity we know as The Wasilla Public Library. From my photo safari of Wasilla.

Book banning. This is just getting downright medieval. It’s out now that Sarah Palin, while mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, tried to fire City Librarian Dorothy Emmons for not agreeing to remove “objectionable books” from the Wasilla Public Library. Dorothy Emmons, to her credit, and the credit of librarians everywhere, refused. Something about….which amendment was that?….oh, that’s right….the FIRST ONE.

Here’s what happened after Palin asked the librarian if she’d be “alright” with removing books that Palin found unacceptable.

According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn’t fully support her and had to go.

Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.

The question everyone wants to know is, “What books was she trying to ban?” Unfortunately, no concrete information exists on this…yet. Emmons has not been reached for comment, but may be able to shed some light, especially since she now lives in another part of the state and is no longer in Wasilla, where perceived “Sarah bashing” can be risky.

But until then, I present for your literary amusement, a random selection of “the most harmful books of the 19th and 20th century” as compiled by Newt Gingrich’s conservative online cabal known as “Human Events”. Presumably, knowing what we do about Palin’s ideology, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume any or all of these would be on the hit list. (No link provided to Human Events because, trust me, …you don’t want to go there)

Das Kapital, The Feminine Mystique, The Communist Manifesto, The Course of Positive Philosophy, Beyond Good and Evil, Mein Kampf, On Liberty, Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Silent Spring, Coming of Age in Samoa and….wait for it…The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. And I’ll go ahead and do some wild speculation that the name Harry Potter may come up. It wouldn’t surprise me.

Ironically, the first time I remember Sarah Palin being portrayed in the national media was in a piece on the Daily Show where she was salaciously compared to a “naughty librarian.” I’d like to claim my very own Lloyd Bentsen moment right now and say to Sarah Palin, “I know librarians. Librarians are friends of mine. Governor, you’re no librarian.”