Palin Refuses to Cooperate with Ethics Probe. What a Surprise.

15 09 2008

This one didn’t surprise me.  The Associated Press is now reporting that Sarah Palin will no longer be cooperating with the Troopergate investigation.  Actually, I’m not sure if she ever was cooperating with the Troopergate investigation.  So far her cooperation has involved:

  1. Saying she was going to cooperate.
  2. Reiterating that she was going to cooperate.

and….that’s about it.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A campaign spokesman says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won’t speak with an investigator hired by lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner.

McCain campaign spokesman Ed O’Callaghan told a news conference Monday that the governor, the Republican nominee for vice president, will not cooperate as long as the investigation “remains tainted.” He said he doesn’t know whether Palin’s husband would challenge a subpoena issued to compel his cooperation.

The campaign insists the investigation has been hijacked by Democrats.

And I have yet to have anyone explain to me how a Republican dominated Legislature could have voted unanimouslyto proceed with the investigation by special investigator Stephen Branchflower, and have been “hijacked by Democrats.”   That story may cut it with her new-found friends in the Lower 48, but it’s not cutting it here in Alaska.  I think that this move lost her a lot of respect with Alaska lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and with a lot of Alaskan voters.  There are plenty in Alaska who are caught up in Sarah-mania, and will defend her no matter what she does, but not everyone.

The only reason Palin was not issued a subpoena, is because the Legislature actually believed her when she said she would cooperate.  They actually took her at her word.  (Patting Legislature on head) Oh, you trusting souls. 

Alaskans know corruption.  They know what it feels like to be kicked in the teeth by their elected representatives.  They recognize the signs of guilt, and the twisting and squirming, like a bug on a pin, that our corrupt politicians display when the heat gets turned up.  This is not new.  We’ve danced this dance more times than we care to admit in the last two years. But this one was supposed to be different.  THIS one was supposed to be “clear and transparent.”  THIS one stood up there in her lipstick and her red blazer, and her mantle of change and said, “Hold me accountable.”

We know what’s tainted this investigation, and ‘taint the Democrats.

OK, Legislature.  The ball is in your  court.  Dust yourselves off, because it’s your play.

 

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Another One Bites the Dust – Cowdery Goes Down.

14 07 2008

Take a week off and see what happens?!  John Cowdery is the latest member of the Corrupt Bastards Club to taste the bitter pill of come-uppance from the FBI raid of Alaska legislators’ offices in 2006.  Has it been two years already?  Almost, according to the “Alaska Corruption Scandal Timeline.” The fallout from that legendary raid seems like one huge, glacially slow soccer game.  We get a goal once every six or eight months.

This also goes to prove that my semi-reliable friend of a friend of a coworker who heard a rumor that Ben Stevens was the next to drop, was wrong… grumble, grumble.  I’ve been on “Ben Watch” since June 1st, fueled by this rumor that his indictment would come in the next 30 days.  But other than the fact that it was 40 days, not 30…and John Cowdery, not Ben Stevens…my source nailed it!

This latest indictment hits close to Senate Leadership.  The crowd is thinning out, and Lyda Green with fewer and fewer buddies around her, is standing in the middle of the field looking reeealy conspicuous.  After the indictment came down, and after finding out that among other atrocities, Cowdery told corrupt Veco executive Bill Smith he thought it would be “easy and clean” to bribe Senator Donny Olson (owner of Olson Air Services)  with gasoline for his airplanes to win a vote on the Petroleum Profits Tax, Governor Sarah Palin asked Cowdery to step down.  (*Note to Mr. Cowdery – Nothing involving petroleum products in Alaska is EVER easy OR clean)

But Senate President Lyda Green would have none of that ‘stepping down’ talk.  She said that she didn’t think Cowdery should step down from his senate seat.  Why?  Take this little Mudflats Quiz.

Q:  Lyda Green thinks that indicted Corrupt Bastard John Cowdery should stay in the Alaska State Senate for the following reason(s). Check all that apply.

a) He is a friend of hers.

b) He’s held that position for a long time.

c) He’s in bad health and hasn’t been there much lately anyway.

d) Give him a break. He’s at the end of his career soon.

e) Sarah Palin wants him to step down so I DON’T! Humph.

Mind-numbing as it is, Lyda’s official rationale, according to her quote in the Daily News includes A through D, but I’m going with All of the Above.

Cowdery is scheduled to appear in District Court on August 11th. 

And “Ben Watch” begins again.  Check out this awesome post from TPMMuckraker.  What will they ever do when all our scoundrels are behind bars?





I Pity the Intern! Don Young’s A-Team.

19 06 2008

Apparently a paid member of Don Young’s staff decided it would be a good idea to distribute a “Survival Guide” to interns on Capitol Hill. Frankly, I can’t imagine any survival guide getting me through being Don Young’s intern. Maybe if it came in a flask. But I digress…

This handy guide discusses phone etiquette, among other things, and refers to Don Young’s “A Team” a group of nine lobbyists with unfettered access, who are to be immediately connected to any member of the staff with whom they wish to speak. Seriously, it really did refer to these people as “The A Team”. Much to my dismay, fictional good-guy mercenary Mr. T, from the original “A-Team” was not on the list, but the following nine lobbyists were:

Rick Alcade, Colin Chapman, Randy DeLay, Billy Lee Evans, Jack Ferguson, Mike Henry, Duncan Smith, CJ Zane and Jay Dickey. “These people can talk to whomever they want.”

My favorite picks are Rick Alcade, the lobbyist at the heart of the infamous Coconut Road earmark, and Randy DeLay, brother of the equally infamous Tom DeLay. There’s also Jack Ferguson, former chief of staff to Alaska senator Ted Stevens – also under investigation. Please note that these nine get better treatment than “Other Members” “Government People” or “Other People”. You and I did get a mention, though. “Constituents – Call to voice their opinion.”

Other little gems discuss his wife Lu “Mrs. Y” Young’s interesting and sometimes bizarre idiosyncracies

  • Has good days and bad days, try to get people to warn you
  • Her orders are often disguised as offers, suggestions, or invitations – they are not. Do them.
  • Does not permit noise from computers
  • Don’t stand in her way – don’t stand anywhere I would suggest. Sit down or hide in the broom cupboard.
  • You should not put anything on her desk
  • You should not keep her waiting. She says you go – you go.
  • Eat when she tells you to eat
  • If you sneeze, it’s always allergies or pressure changes; stick strong to your case.

Apparently “Mrs. Y” has germ issues?

“The Boss” (Mr. Y)

  • Expects you to open doors for him (particularly tricky when he does not specify where he is going, make a guess).
  • Doesn’t like facial piercings
  • Doesn’t like people putting their hands in their pockets
  • Should always be referred to as “the Congressman” or “the Chairman”

The official response from Don Young’s office?

“Rep. Young has welcomed dozens of interns into his office over the years and finds their assistance in the office invaluable. But interns are not staff. This incredibly outdated “survival guide” was pieced together by several former interns and not by staff. This “guide” in no way reflects the official policies of Rep. Young’s office.”

So…..why was it being distributed to prospective interns by Mike Anderson, Young’s Chief of Staff?

The internets are all a-buzz. For more on this latest PR disaster, check out Talking Points Memo, The Anchorage Daily News, Politico, The Hill, Think Progress and The Wall Street Journal with many many more to come, I’m sure.

This little bombshell is certainly not going to help in the current primary race against Sean Parnell. But think about it, people…if we don’t reelect him, the good ol’ boy from Ft. Yukon is going to be forced to (shudder) open doors for himself! Oh, the horror.

I wonder what kind of phone calls those interns are taking today? Should we all call, pretend we’re on the A-Team and see what happens? Nah, they’re probably all in the ‘broom cupboard’.