Gov. Squeakyclean to Speak at Republican Convention

21 08 2008

In a world of corrupt Republicans, Sarah Palin has apparently made enough of an impression on the G.O.P. that she’s been asked to speak at the Republican National Convention on September 2nd. It looks like a little pesky thing like an ongoing ethics investigation isn’t enough to keep her from being invited to speak on the evening in which “Reform” is the theme. (Is it possible they don’t read political blogs, or newspapers, or surf the internets?) She’ll be slotted in the evening before keynote speaker Rudy Giuliani. Popcorn and irony go so well together.

Here are the speakers for the evening:

  • Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
  • Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
  • Former Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.)
  • Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska)
  • Gov. Jon Huntsman (Utah)
  • Rosario Marin, California Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and former Treasurer of the United States
  • Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.)
  • Gov. Linda Lingle (Hawaii)
  • Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (Md.)

UPDATE: (After coming up for air after laughing myself silly)  McCain has just handed Obama a nice election day gift…the election.  This should eliminate all doubt that McCain is capable of making a serious presidential decision.  Apparently the creationist beauty queen who is under investigation by the Legislature would be a heartbeat away from the presidency in a McCain administration.

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Palin’s Self-Investigation Bears Fruit!

13 08 2008

The governor lost no time today.  Mere hours after announcing that she had launched her own preemptive investigation of her own firing of Department of Public Safety Chief Walt Monegan, she also announced that she has discovered something!  Eureka!

It seems that despite the fact that Palin repeatedly claimed no one on her staff ever ever pressured anyone to fire her ex-brother-in-law Trooper Mike Wooten…er….they did.  Dozens of times.  As a matter of fact, (oh gosh this is SO embarrassing) one of the phone calls was tape recorded by the the DPS!  BUT, the governor tells us with a straight face, that she knew absolutely nothing at all about it.  Nothing.  Really.  Although she did know something about some of the other ones, which she forgot she did before, but now she remembers.  But not THIS one that was recorded.

The phone call “Pressurizer”, long term Palin staffer Frank Bailey, has even come out with a statement that says he acted alone.   He decided to pressurize all by himself.  He’s a lone wolf.  No direction from the governor.  None. Completely spontaneous.  AND, he “can’t stress it enough.”  Wow.  So he reeeeally must be telling the truth.

I don’t know whether Palin really thinks we are all that stupid, or whether her options are just running out.  I suppose the administration is thinking that it looks better to turn over the damning evidence themselves.  That sort of looks honest, right?   

ADN’s Kyle Hopkins’ notes from today’s press conference: (emphasis is mine)

— Palin and Attorney General Talis Colberg say there were at least two dozen phone calls from members of Palin’s staff asking about Wooten.

Colberg said he had a conversation with Monegan about Wooten.

— One of the calls came from Palin’s husband, Todd Palin.

Many came from Palin’s former Chief of Staff, Mike Tibbles.

— Palin says she didn’t know about Bailey’s phone calls, but did know about at least some of the other calls.

— Just after the press conference, Palin’s team was to meet with the independent investigator hired by the Legislature to look into Monegan’s firing.

— Palin said Monegan’s firing wasn’t about Wooten, who kept his job even as members of the governor’s staff kept asking about him. She says Monegan wasn’t “a team player” when it came to the budget, asked for more money while failing to fill vacant job positions, and wasn’t doing a good enough job combating alcohol issues such as rural bootlegging.

— Monegan turned down the governor’s offer to head up the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board.

— Monegan’s replacement, Chuck Kopp, was paid a “severance package” of $10,000, after quickly resigning.

— Palin said no decision has been made yet about what happens to Bailey.


So, we’ve gone from firm statements that nobody from the administration ever talked to Monegan about Wooten, to dozens of calls?  It’s amazing how recording devices and investigations can trigger the memory.

And she fired Walt Monegan in part because of his inadequacy in combatting alcohol issues, and then in the same breath offered him the head position of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board?

And the other reason is because he wasn’t filling empty trooper positions, and also because he had the nerve to ask for money to do it?

Have we entered the Bush/Cheney Whitehouse at some point?  Black is white, and white is black.   2+2=5.  And it’s all lies, I tell you, LIES!





The Great Alaska Kopp-Out.

25 07 2008

Word is out.  Chuck Kopp, the new Commissioner of Public Safety is now the new ex-Commissioner of Public Safety.  That was quick.

Yesterday, despite the outing of past allegations of sexual harassment, Kopp said he had absolutely no intention of stepping down,  and today a resignation?  Methinks there may have been more skeletons knocking on that closet door, or the Governor sharpened up the axe and handed him his head wrapped in a pink slip, with the opportunity to “resign”. 

The excuse reason given at the joint press conference today?  Play along.

A)  “This is too much of a distraction from more important things we need to be focusing on.” 

OR

B)  “This has been too hard on my family.”

The answer is both, but with a twist.

“The recent media firestorm has been detrimental to the Department of Public Safety mission, the citizens of Alaska and my family,” Kopp said. “While I have been portrayed in a negative light, my personal worth is now in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Ahh.  We’ve got a big helping of “Blame the Media” and a dash of Jesus thrown in for good measure.  Nice try.

The Governor’s thoughts?

“We’re going to move forward now,” Palin said. “This has been brutal on a good family.”   “This has been a tumultuous week in the Department of Public Safety, and as your governor, I apologize.”

Move forward?  I’m sure that’s Palin’s firm hope, but there are still investigations to come about why Monegan got fired in the first place.  This little diversion was not the main issue.  This was just the lesson on fully vetting potential commissioners before you hire them.   But, Sarah does win a style point for the apology.  More than I can say for Kopp.

Now, the question is…who’s next?  Hey, I hear Walt Monegan is looking for a job…





Good Cop/Bad Kopp? The Palin Train Wreck Continues.

25 07 2008

 

Just when we thought it couldn’t possibly get any more smarmy…  Prepare for the next chapter of Sarah-Gate. (sliding glasses down on nose, and opening book)  Are you comfortable?  Good.

When we last left the Governor, she was busy denying allegations that she fired the popular and beloved Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan becuase he refused to dismiss Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, her ex-brother-in-law of questionable character,  and currently embroiled in a nasty custody battle with her younger sister.  She said neither she nor any staff or family member pressured him to axe Wooten.  But Monegan said she, her husband, and staff members did.  Hmmmm.  Investigation by the Legislature?  Very likely.

The scene today features the Governor (again) and also the man slated to replace (Good Cop) Walt Monegan as Commissioner of Public Safety – Chuck Kopp.  It seems that Chuck Kopp has a skeleton in his closet in the form of a sexual harrassment complaint filed against him when he was Chief of Police in Kenai.  Despite his little gem of a quote, “I am not a sex harrasser”, what Kopp describes as “hugging a friend”, was apparently not interpreted as such by the woman on the receiving end.  She complained of unwanted hugging and a kiss, and the result was an investigation, an official letter of reprimand, and Kopp being removed as her boss.  One wonders in this day and age, how anyone doesn’t know that it’s not OK to hug or kiss people who work for you.  But I digress…

So, the people of Alaska asked themselves, “How could this be?  How could a man be offered up to the state to lead the Department of Public Safety, and deal with matters of….well….the LAW, and have this nasty accusation, investigation, letter of reprimand, and reassignment hanging over his head?  And this guy is supposed to replace the likes of Walt Monegan?  What was the Governor thinking?”

We hear the answer today from Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow.  Here’s how it plays out in my screenplay:

Leighow: The Governor didn’t know.

Chuck Kopp:  Yes, she did know.  She knew about the whole thing in 2006 when I was on her transition team.

Leighow:  Well, she didn’t know about the letter.  She knew about the other stuff but thought it went nowhere.  Nothing was said about a letter.  The Governor found out about it at the press conference on Tuesday, just like everyone else.

Chuck Kopp:  Well, no one ASKED me about the letter.  It just never came up in the interview. So, I didn’t mention it.

HUH?  Sooo…..no one bothered to ASK him, and he never offered.  When hiring people, doesn’t one generally ask about such things?  Don’t you do a background check?  Don’t you want to know if you’re going to have egg on your face, and risk public humiliation and scandal?  If the media managed to pry it out of him using the strongarm tactic of…asking…wouldn’t it have worked for the Governor?   The mind reels.

Back to Kopp. According to the ADN:

He does not consider the letter of reprimand a validation of sexual harassment. He considers it a “letter of instruction” for future dealings with employees.”

He does not consider the letter of reprimand a validation of sexual harassment. He considers it a “letter of instruction”???   Yeah, and Walt Monegan wasn’t “fired”, he was just offered a lesser position and turned it down.  And it’s not really a rainy summer….there’s just a lot of water falling from the sky.

Well, that’s all we have time for tonight (closing book).  We’ll see what happens in the next chapter.  Will the investigation into the firing of Walt Monegan be declared?  Will Chuck Kopp’s name ever actually be submitted to the Legislature for confirmation? If so, what then??  We’ll just have to wait and see.

 





Sarah-Gate Goes National.

22 07 2008

Finally!  Sarah Palin’s scandal gets picked up by the National Blogosphere. 

Here’s the link to Daily Kos,  and TPMMuckraker links to the Daily News article about the investigation.

In addition to my previous commentary, also enjoy these Alaskan offerings from Progressive Alaska, and Immoral Minority,  and Celtic Diva’s great coverage of the Chuck Kopp subplot to this whole sordid affair.

Just for amusement, here’s a clip from a FOX News article that came out on July 11, 2008.

JUNEAU, Alaska —  The wipeout in the 2006 election left Republicans in such a state of dejection that they’ve overlooked the one shining victory in which a Republican star was born.

The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating in the 90s, and probably the most popular public official in any state.

Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle–especially to transparency and accountability in government–can produce political success.

Ah, what a difference a week makes.