Palin’s Neiman Marcus Pants on Fire?

8 11 2008

Think waaaay back to November 3rd…I know it seems like a lifetime ago, and another era. In many respects it was another era. The 2008 election will go down in history, and we were all there, drinking it in as it happened. Nobody feels like looking backward. And that’s just what those who released the report from the Personnel Board’s investigation into Palin’s ethical conduct in the Troopergate scandal are counting on.  Their report is old news.  It’s sooooo pre-election.  Let’s just move along…nothing to see here.

You’ll recall that Palin initiated this investigation of herself, into her own actions, by a board that reports to her, and whom she can fire…..and the report found her innocent! This report conflicts with the ‘other’ investigation by the Alaska State Legislature’s bipartisan Legislative Council. They found her guilty of violating the state executive ethics act. I remember this well, as the giant green bound copy of that report has been sitting on my desk since October 10th.  Here’s the exact wording:

Finding Number One:  For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.  Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides”

“The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.”

The not-so-coincidental timing that released the Personnel Board’s contrary “Palin is innocent” finding on November 3rd, meant that headlines on election day in Alaska and elsewhere proclaimed Palin’s exoneration of wrongdoing. How very beneficial for her.

So now that election day is past, it’s time to revisit that slippery little event that snuck past us right before the election.

There’s a lot to cover, and these two Troopergate reports contradict each other in multiple ways. So, rather than to overload our poor brains that are still recovering from the frenzy of the election season, let’s just look at one for now.

The question at hand: Did Palin, and/or her staff inappropriately apply pressure to then Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan to fire her ex-brother-in-law Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten? And was the reason that Monegan subsequently lost his job at least in part because he didn’t fire Wooten?

Commissioner Monegan testified under oath that the Governor called him in January 2007 to talk about Trooper Wooten.

Sarah Palin denied, under oath, that the conversation occurred.

<<<LOUD FIRE ALARM SOUND>>>

One doesn’t need to be a great legal mind to realize that if two people are questioned about the same thing, and both are under oath, and each one contradicts the other one….then….somebody is lying. And when you lie under oath, that’s known as perjury.  And perjury is a crime.  (ominous chord played on giant pipe organ)

Furthermore, although Todd Palin acknowledges talking to Monegan about Trooper Wooten, he states, and Governor Palin concurs that she had no knowledge of this.  And Petumenos tells us if the Governor says it, and her husband says it, then that’s good enough for him.  Case closed.

Only one problem.  There’s the matter of a little email to one Commissioner Monegan.  It is dated February 7, 2007, shortly after that aforementioned phone call that did, or didn’t happen, depending on who you believe.  In this email, Palin states to Monegan”

I know you know I’ve experienced a lot of frustration with this issue.  I know Todd’s even expressed to you a lot of concern about our family’s safety…”

Hmmmm.  So…if we believe the Governor about not talking to Monegan about the Wooten issue, then how does she know that Monegan knows….and if she didn’t know about Todd talking to Monegan, then how does she know that Todd has expressed concern to Monegan.

<<<<ANOTHER FIRE ALARM SOUND>>>>

One of the options that could have been exercised by the Personnel Board is that after the investigation, they had discovered “probable cause” to believe that there may have been a violation of the State Executive Branch Ethics Act.  This acknowledgment would have resulted in further investigation to determine if any violation had occured.  One would think that the above situation would be enough to indicate “probable cause.”

Not so, says independent investigator Tim Petumenos.  As a matter of fact, the report completely ignored the email. (Mental picture of Tim Petumenos sticking his fingers in his ears going LALALALALALALA!)

With all these alarm bells going off, you’d think someone would be paying attention.  And this is only scratching the surface.  Stay tuned.

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Sarah Palin Back at Work. (Video)

8 11 2008

Here’s part of Sarah Palin’s press availability on Friday at her Anchorage office. She’s back on the job, sans stylist, sans makeup artist, and sans Neiman Marcus wardrobe. She perks up a little by the end, but she is not looking particularly happy these days.  When questioned about her abrupt change in lifestyle, Palin responded:

“It’s gonna be busy days here like it was busy days on the trail bein’ the governor full-time, in addition to bein’ a candidate. Now, of course, we get to concentrate on just one of those.”

It’s interesting to note, that Palin never actually turned the reins over to Lt. Governor, Sean Parnell while she was gone. Instead, she felt she would be the best person to manage the affairs of state (since she had all that free time to concentrate on Alaska), and took along with her long-time hometown friend and aide Kris Perry to the tune of $1000 a day. Perry was facilitating communication between the governor and her staff in Alaska. This travel bill will be paid by the residents of Alaksa to the tune of $1000 a day. Keep this in mind when you get to that first highlight I’ve marked below.

Highlights:
1:35 – talking about “being prudent with other people’s money”
2:18 – I know that I know that I know…..?!? (A new Palinism for sure)
5:19 – Advice to the girls of America – “You better study hard.” (learned that one at the Couric interview)
6:30 – The other 49 states are behind Alaska in equality
7:30 – A run for the senate seat if Stevens gets elected and expelled? “Not plannin’ on that.”
7:45 – “This is the best job in the world” (Who wanted that VP job anyway…)
9:30 – She wants to help “fix” the media.  There’s a funny exchange in here where Palin tried to discredit whoever reported on those “anonymous sources” in the McCain campaign that said she was a nightmare.  Then she finds out it was the New York Times. 

Now that you know what to look for, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, or a crunchy snackfood, and enjoy 10 minutes of post-election Palin.





More on Alaska’s ‘Puzzling’ Election Results.

8 11 2008

The Anchorage Daily News has now gotten on the bandwagon casting a critical eye on Alaska’s “puzzling” voter turnout.

Did a huge chunk of Alaska voters really stay home for what was likely the most exciting election in a generation?

That’s what turnout numbers are suggesting, though absentee ballots are still arriving in the mail and, if coming from overseas, have until Nov. 19 to straggle in.

The reported turnout has prompted commentary in the progressive blogosphere questioning the validity of the results. And Anchorage pollster Ivan Moore, who usually works with Democrats, said Friday that “something smells fishy,” though he said it was premature to suggest that the conduct of the election itself was suspect.

With 81,000 uncounted absentee and questioned ballots, some of which will be disqualified, the total vote cast so far is 305,281 — 8,311 fewer than the last presidential election of 2004, which saw the largest turnout in Alaska history. That was the election where Alaska’s selection of George Bush for a second term was a foregone conclusion, though there was an unusually hot Senate race between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Gov. Tony Knowles.

Four years later, the lead-in for the 2008 election was extraordinary:

• Unheard of participation in the Democratic caucuses and strong Republican interest in theirs as well.

• A huge registration drive by Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama that enrolled thousands of first-time voters.

• Obama’s historic candidacy.

• Gov. Sarah Palin’s unprecedented bid for vice president as an Alaskan and a woman.

• A race in which Republican Ted Stevens, a 40-year Senate veteran, was facing voters as a recent convicted felon against Anchorage’s popular mayor, Mark Begich, a Democrat.

• A Congressional race in which Republican Don Young, in office almost as long as Stevens, was seeking re-election after a year in which he spent more than $1 million in legal fees defending against an FBI investigation of corruption involving the oil-field services company Veco Corp. Young’s opponent, Democrat Ethan Berkowitz, had been filmed on the state House floor in 2006 demanding an end to Veco’s corrupt practices weeks before the FBI investigation became known. The news clip played over and over as legislators and then Stevens were indicted and convicted, boosting Berkowitz’s status.

 

 

The full article, including reactions from pollsters, the Democratic and Republican parties, the Division of Elections, and progressive blogger, Shannyn Moore.

The fact that this is on the radar of all those mentioned above is a very good thing.  After the last eight years, it’s become more and more difficult for those ‘puzzling’ election anomalies to slip under the radar.  Mark Begich himself set up a legal team to monitor the vote counting to make sure every vote is counted.

So on it goes.  The election in Alaska is not over yet.

 

 





Bedtime in Alaska – Open Thread

8 11 2008

yawn…..Good night all.

Moose update! I did see Brenda the moose hanging out in the neighbor’s yard as I drove in from a meeting this evening. She was standing right by the edge of the road and didn’t seem bothered by me as I drove by. Too dark to get a picture, unfortunately. But she looks well and healthy, with a very shiny coat…for a moose.

See you in the morning!