Many Alaskans have been privately simmering over the ethics and antics of our now world famous Governor. While she has been off skipping across the land, and seeing how many hours of air time she can manage, there have been busy people back on the Last Frontier, with forms, ballpoint pens, and moral outrage busy at work.
It’s time to start keeping track of ethics complaints against Sarah Palin. First, obviously, is the one regarding Troopergate for which she has already been found to be in violation of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act for allowing the inappropriate pressuring of Walt Monegan to fire her ex-brother-in-law, whose case had already been reviewed and dealt with by a previous administration.
Regarding this ethics issue, we are now in an uneasy holding pattern, waiting to find out what the Legislature will do about this finding. I say “uneasy” because several high-profile Democratic Legislators have started sounding sort of warm and fuzzy, and talking about “moving on”….(faint strains of Kumbayah are heard in the distance)… Stay tuned for more information on that front.
So that’s one ethics violation.
Now, for the other ethics complaints.
#1 – Frank Gwartney
Frank Gwartney, a retired lineman here in Anchorage filed a complaint based on the following statute in the Executive Branch Ethics Act:
Sec. 39.52.120. Misuse of official position
(a) A public officer may not use, or attempt to use, an official position for personal gain, and may not intentionally secure or grant unwarranted benefits or treatment for any person.
(b) A public officer may not
(3) use state time, property, equipment, or other facilities to benefit personal or
Gov. Palin attempted to and in fact did use her official position for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits for her daughters by, among other things: charging the state for her children to travel with her to events that they were not invited to and to which their presence served no legitimate state purpose or business. Gov. Palin later amended travel expense reports to give the appearance that the presence of her daughters at these events constituted legitimate official and/or state business.
That’s right. It’s probably known to you as “Travelgate”. Read the nitty gritty on Progressive Alaska.
#2 – Zane Henning
Henning is a resident of Wasilla, who works on the North Slope oil fields to pay the bills, and in his free time, he’s one of those engaged citizens who is paying attention and taking action. And he doesn’t like what he sees coming from the Governor.
As Sarah Palin settles back into her job as the state’s chief executive, a new ethics complaint filed Tuesday says she’s already improperly mixing her official duties and broader political ambitions.
The charge: That Palin broke state ethics rules by holding national television interviews about her run for vice president from the governor’s office.
The complaint comes as Palin’s personal life, her prospects as a future presidential candidate and everything she says and does continues to draw headlines.
Zane Henning, a North Slope worker from Wasilla, said he filed the complaint with the attorney general. He says Palin is promoting her future political career on state property, pointing in particular to the governor’s Nov. 10 interview with Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren.
“The governor is using her official position and office in an attempt to repair her damaged political image on the national scene,” Henning wrote.
The Palin camp, besieged by interview requests, said the governor was no longer a candidate at the time of interviews, but otherwise had little to say about the complaint.
“The consideration of complaints under the executive branch ethics act is a confidential process, by law,” wrote Palin spokesman Bill McAllister.
“The governor will respect that legal requirement for confidentiality, even if others do not.”
#3 will surely follow.
And you know how, in movies, when there’s something under water that’s about to rise to the surface and wreak havoc…there are those little bubbles that rise to the surface….and then they start to get bigger….
Well, there are bubblings. There were little bubbles a couple weeks ago, and they’re getting bigger. I’ll report as things develop, but suffice it to say that those bubbles are the byproduct of grass roots organization. It’s a beautiful thing.