Palin Investigation vs. Palin Investigation. The Basics.

23 09 2008

You may be hearing about how Sarah Palin has decided to cooperate with the Troopergate investigation. Most people who haven’t been following the ins and outs of this whole sordid affair, may think that this is a good thing. They may think she’s had a change of heart. They may have heard something about another investigation, but believe it to be ‘partisan’ and a Democratic witch hunt. Well, it’s time to leave the witch hunting to the pastor who prayed her into the governor’s mansion, and explain exactly what’ s going on with these two, very different, investigations. Here are the basics:

Investigation #1: The Alaska State Legislature/The Legislative Council

First, it’s important to know that the investigative powers of the Legislature are plenary. This means they can investigate anything they want, whenever they want, if they vote to do it. Period. This investigation began with a unanimous vote of 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats. This group unanimously chose Democrat Hollis French to direct and organize the investigation because he was the right person for the job, and they all agreed. He recruited former Alaska prosecutor Stephen Branchflower who was living out of state, to come back to do the investigation. The council unanimously approved him too, because he’s very very good, and very very impartial. Otherwise, the vote wouldn’t have been unanimous, would it?

Palin herself supported this investigation and pledged to cooperate fully….until August 29th, the day she was tapped by John McCain as his VP pick. At this point, the investigation mysteriously became ‘political’, ‘partisan’ and a witch hunt.

The storm rages, and Branchflower soldiers on, conducting interviews, and preparing a report. The report will be finished by October 10th. Have you marked your calendar? I have.

Investigation #2: The Personnel Board

The personnel board is made up of three people, all Republicans, all governor-appointed, and all working for Palin. She can fire them at any time.

The McCain campaign hoped that after they started calling the first investigation “tainted”, the State Legislature would drop the ball. Palin and her newly acquired legal staff attempted to end the Legislative investigation, and begin an investigation by the aforementioned Personnel Board.

For this board to begin an investigation, there first had to be a complaint filed against Palin. So, Palin filed a complaint…..against herself. Later, she asked that this complaint be dismissed stating it was groundless. Now she’s changed her mind and says she will cooperate with the board that she asked to investigate her.

I promised the basics, and there they are. There are MANY subplots, and twists to the Troopergate story. I’ve tried to tease these out in other posts and will continue to do so in the future. So, as tempted as I am to go on, I won’t.

The bottom line:

Bipartisan, unanimously endorsed, Palin-sanctioned investigation by the Alaska State Legislature


Republican, 3-member board, governor appointed, working directly for Palin, McCain sanctioned investigation.

You make the call.

Palin’s Lawyer is at it Again.

11 09 2008

Investigator, Stephen Branchflower

Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein

Palin’s lawyer is at it again… Remember him? Thomas Van Flein?  Last time I wrote about him, I talked about my irresistable urge to pronounce his name with an accent.  It’s such a good villain name.  Well now, not only am I typing his name with an accent, but in light of his new shenanigans, I’ll add a thin twirly moustache.  So what have you been up to now….Van Fleinnn??

After his last attempt to derail the ethics investigation into Palin’s firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan falied, he’s trying again.  This time, instead of Senator Hollis French, he’s going after retired prosecutor turned special investigator Stephen Branchflower.

“Steve Branchflower is a highly respected prosecutor and public servant,” said Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage. “If there were wrongs committed, he will find them. If there were not, he has the professional experience and good judgment to say so.”

Apparently Mr. Van Flein has another opinion.  He says that both Hollis French, and Stephen Branchflower are friends of Walt Monegan, but didn’t say upon what he was basing that statement.  He also requested copies of all emails having to do with the hiring of Branchflower, and emails among the legislative council to Branchflower and French.

In July, Palin said she did nothing wrong and that she welcomed an investigation.  Now, after becoming McCain’s running-mate, and with the outcome of the investigation set to come on October 31, just 5 days before election day, any roadblock will do.  No more welcome wagon.

So far, the Legislature has successfully dodged attempts to delay the investigation.  Will they be able to fend off Van Flein’s latest diabolical scheme?  Stay tuned.