Palin Stomps Out of Room and Slams Door. Won’t Empty Pockets.

5 12 2008

Indulge me in a little impromptu Mudflats Theatre.

Characters:

Mom & Dad – Well-meaning, but indulgent. Unsure of how this whole family dynamic works. They appear weary and run down.

Child – Cute as a button. Feisty, bold and confident.

Friend – (if actors are hard to come by, this part can be played by a bobble-head doll, and his one line can be cut)

(Curtain rises. We see an average American kitchen. Mom and Dad are standing in front of a child whose arms are folded indignantly. A large jar lies on its side, with the lid removed. Half a cookie sits on the counter.)

M&D – Child, we’ve got a problem here. Someone’s been stealing cookies from the cookie jar. We’ve done some checking, and due to the crumb trail leading to your room, the fact that nobody else was around, and the chocolate in the corners of your mouth, we’ve come to the studied conclusion that it was you. You know you weren’t supposed to be doing this. We haven’t decided what the consequences are going to be, but we are in complete agreement, and do believe you are the one who took the cookies. Do you have something to say?

Child – I do have something to say to you, but you’re going to have to wait a minute. (wipes chocolate from corners of mouth and clears throat) I’ll be right back. (brightly) I’ve done nothing wrong and I can prove it!

(Child runs out the door. Time passes and child returns with a friend.)

Child – (out of breath) I have decided to ask my friend to investigate this, and he has come to the conclusion that I did nothing wrong. So, I really think we need to move along here. I hope you feel better now, Mom and Dad. (smiles)

Friend – (nodding) She has done nothing wrong.

M&D – (tentatively, to friend) But….what about all the evidence? Did you see the crumb trail? It’s not like we didn’t check this out ourselves. And she said she was going to prove she didn’t do it!

Child – So, you’re saying you don’t trust me? (silence) What. Do you want to see what’s in my pockets? Is THAT what you’re saying? Because there are no cookies in there and I’ll show you to prove it. Do you want to know every single thing I told my friend to prove it? Is that what you want? That’s what you want, ISN’T IT?!

M&D – (looking at the floor) Yes. We would like to see that. You promised you’d show us, so go ahead and empty the pockets, and tell us what you said to your friend.

Child – This is rediculous. I can’t believe you won’t let this drop! You really don’t trust me….I can’t believe it. I mean I had my friend check this all out! You are just being unfair! Why do you hate me?!? (pause) You know what? Forget it. I’m NOT showing you what’s in my pocket because you are just being ridiculous! Dad, I know you’d agree with me if it wasn’t for Mom butting in! She just wants to ruin my life! We’ll I’m moving on. There are more important things going on in this house, like homework, and chores, and dinner!

(Child stomps out of room and slams door hard.)

Now, I bring your attention to today’s headline in the Anchorage Daily News:

Governor’s Office: Troopergate is Over and Palin Testimony Won’t Be Released to the Public

As far as Gov. Sarah Palin is concerned, Troopergate is behind her and she won’t provide a transcript of testimony she gave in an investigation into whether she violated ethics laws in firing her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan. [snip]

“The people of Alaska — and of the nation — deserve to have a decision from the proper tribunal putting their minds at ease that suggestions of misconduct that have circulated on the Internet and in some media outlets are not true. I therefore am waiving the confidentiality that usually covers personnel board complaints,” Palin said in a statement released by her lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, on Sept. 2, just days after she was named John McCain’s running mate.

She gave her only testimony in the matter on Oct. 24 while on the vice presidential campaign trail. Van Flein said at the time that she wanted to release a transcript of her deposition. Reached Thursday evening, Van Flein said he hadn’t talked to Palin about releasing it since then. “That’s their call, I guess,” he said.

Palin is simply ready to move on, her deputy press secretary, Sharon Leighow, wrote in an e-mail exchange this week.

“This matter is closed. We see no public purpose in artificially prolonging this controversy.”

Sarah (child) who promised to release her sworn testimony (empty her pockets) which was given to Timothy Petumenos (friend), who performed the investigation of Sarah Palin, which she initiated herself, is now stomping out of the room.

Meanwhile, Mom & Dad (the Legislature) have been told that their work is meaningless, that they are impotent, that they are laughable. The kid just told Mom and Dad that they have no power. And unless we do something about it, Mom and Dad are about to say, “OK, Sweetie. You just go clean your room and we’ll forget all about it. I’m sorry if we upset you.”

These are the kinds of parents that raise spoiled children with a sense of entitlement, who do whatever they want until someone stops them. I don’t want that kid running my state.

This entire situation, of course, is dripping with irony, as GovernorPalin just returned from a trip stumping for Saxby Chambliss on the premise that if Democrats managed to get a 60-seat majority in the Senate, it would be a disaster because “we would have no checks and balances”. And she wouldn’t want HER kids growing up in a country like THAT. Indeed.

Well, Alaska Legislature, I don’t want my children growing up in a country with no checks and balances either. Of course the Palin administration sees no purpose in finishing this process. Because the truth will hurt. Her testimony will open a big can of worms that we can all look at, and pick through, and figure out what she might have said that contradicts the truth. There’s a word for that……oh, yes! “Perjury.” Last time I checked, perjury was a crime.

So, if she really really did nothing wrong, then why won’t she empty her pockets?

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Walt Monegan for Governor?! Can I Vote Now?

4 12 2008
Walt Monegan at UAA on 12/3/08. Photo by Linda Kellen Biegel.

Walt Monegan - Photo by Linda Kellen Biegel.

Has Christmas come a little early here in the North Land? I almost fell off my chair yesterday when the latest rumors broke. I was unable to attend a talk given by former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, but two of Alaska’s intrepid bloggers were there and they have some interesting news.

First, let’s hear from Phil over at Progressive Alaska:

Former Anchorage Police Chief and Alaska Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, speaking to a group of journalism students, UAA faculty, and community members, refused, when asked whether he might consider running for governor of Alaska, to rule it out.

When asked a third time about this, he stated that he had agreed with his faculty host, not to discuss his political future at the event.

I attended the talk to meet Monegan, a public safety officer I’ve long respected. There were a couple of questions I had hoped to ask, but they weren’t about his political aspirations. The questions on future politics and potential political considerations he might be pondering, took me completely by surprise.

And this, from Linda at Blue Oasis:

Mr. Monegan spoke on what he’s learned over the years about the relationship between the people and their government. “Basically, what I want to talk about, and what I’ve been invited to speak on, is the importance of the integrity of our government and its leaders.”

He discussed his appreciation of our Founding Fathers and how “the law of the land” includes an understandting that “If the government starts to become more oppressive, the citizens not only have a right but an obligation to alter or abolish the government.”

The third question on the subject was from APRN, who first asked if Walt was going to take any action against the State on being called a “rogue” and he said “I love the State of Alaska so the answer is no.” Then she asked for a firmer answer to the question about running for governor and he said he didn’t want to violate the non-political requirement of speaking at UAA. [snip]

As long as it’s not violating any rules I could honestly say that my wife and I are talking about it.

And a hush falls on the land. What’s this? Did someone actually address the importance of the integrity of our government and its leaders and MEAN it? Ears prick up everywhere. I’d recommend reading both posts in their entirety, and also check out the link to the audio of Monegan’s talk on Blue Oasis.

2010 could be very very interesting. I wonder what’s being chatted about at the Governor’s office today? I’m sensing another chapter in the Greek myth that is Alaska politics. OK, Mr. Monegan, you take the left flank, and Senator Murkowski, you take the right flank and Alaskans for Truth will head right up the middle. Someone blow a horn!

And if anyone wondered about what kind of support people feel for Walt Monegan, how many other former Commissioners of Public Safety could inspire someone who lives thousands of miles away to dress up like Sarah Palin and make the following statement:

Sarah...er...I mean Lila with a 2010 campaign sign!

Sarah...er...I mean Lila with a 2010 campaign sign!

Sarah Palin isn’t the only Alaska politician with national appeal! This is Lila from the Mudstock meetup in Chicago in October. It’s true…Mudflatters can see the future!





The Alaskan White Knights are Waffling, and We Have Homework to Do.

25 11 2008

waffle

I have a couple questions.

What do you do when your Governor is accountable to your Attorney General, and your Attorney General is accountable to your Governor, and neither one of them will either acknowledge or administer consequences for bad behavior.  It’s like a kid whose Mom says, “Go ask Dad,” and whose Dad says, “Go ask Mom.”  Neither one of them wants to be accountable, and neither one of them has any  intention of answering the question.  They are hoping the kid will go away.

Now I have another question.

What do you do when the Legislature, the voice of the people who hired the Governor, also refuses to administer consequences for bad behavior, and simply stands mute?  And what do you do when that silence then turns into statements that run not only counter to the expectation of the people, but to their job description, and the bounds of ethics and the law? 

What do you do when your “voice” no longer speaks for you?

I have a small understanding about how people with Tourette syndrome, or muscular spasms must feel.   It must feel like a betrayal of mind and body when the things that are meant, on the most basic level, to represent you  (your voice, and your actions) are hijacked by unknown forces, leaving you making declarations and gestures that have no connection with your true intent. 

When the Alaska Legislature starts talking about how we’re all weary of Troopergate, and Governor Palin, Attorney General Talis Colberg, and those who ignored legislative subpoenas should just be able to continue without facing any consequences for violating the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act, and the law,  I feel like shouting, “This is not me!  I’m not saying this!  I’m not doing this!”

I have often compared the Democrats of the Legislature to white knights. I’ve been blown away at times by their bravery, their conviction, and the fact that they put themselves out on a limb to do the right thing. And I’ve also given a pat on the back to Republicans who have planted themselves on the right side of the fence despite their party affiliation. In some ways the Repulicans had the harder job. When the bipartisan Legislative Council voted to make public the Troopergate report whose first finding was that Sarah Palin abused her power and violated the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act, I was amazed. I began to…dare I say it aloud….have faith in my Legislature.  All of them.

Now, after the election, as Sarah Palin gets back to the business of the state (when she’s in town), I am beginning to lose that faith.  The white knights are starting to pull their punches, the horses are rearing like they’ve seen a snake, and the villagers are getting a horrible sinking feeling. We are wondering what happened to them? We wonder if they are breaking their vows to us, and justifying the betrayal in the name of “moving forward and working together on the issues that really matter.”

Call me crazy, but I think ethics really matters.   If you polled voters and asked if they’d rather have an ethical politician or an unethical one, you’d get the obvious answer. And if you broke down the results of this poll by party affiliation, I don’t think you’d find much difference.  Everyone wants ethical politicians. So, why, after a candidate has been elected, would anyone want to stop a process that was designed to find out if that politician is corrupt?  Why would you budget $100,000 for an investigation to find out whether a politician violated the ethics act if you were going to ignore the finding?  And why, if the findings showed that the politician had indeed violated the ethics act, would you decide to give them a free pass?  And why, if witnesses, and perhaps the head of the Department of Law violated…..the LAW, would you be just fine with that?

For right now, I’m going to give our White Knights on both sides of the aisle the benefit of the doubt.  I, on behalf of the villagers, am going to accept some responsibility for their waffling.   Perhaps we just haven’t been doing a good enough job of letting them know we’re here, and that we’re going to back them up.  Maybe they really think people don’t care.  Perhaps they feel like they’re headed off to battle with no ammunition.  That has to be scary.

So here’s your homework Mudflatters…  As a Thanksgiving present to the Alaska State Legislature, I want you to give them some ammunition.  Every email you send, every letter you write, every phone call you make is an arrow in their quiver.  Phone calls count as two arrows…maybe even three.

I want our white knights to be armed to the teeth.  I want them to ride into battle feeling invincible.  I don’t want them to feel like they were abandoned by the village.  Let’s hang a garland of flowers around their necks, and sent them off with a full quiver of public outrage.

I’m not willing to throw them under the horse just yet.

For emails to all Alaska State Legislators – Click HERE – then cut & paste them all into your email address bar.

For phone numbers of the Alaska State Legislators – Click HERE

Giddyup!





Alaska Needs Your Help! In Which I Explain That the Creature from the Black Lagoon is a Good Guy.

24 11 2008

creature-from-the-black-lagoon

I’ve been talking for weeks now about goings on beneath the surface of Alaskan politics. I’ve fielded dozens of inquiries asking, “What can we do to help?” I’ve answered, “Don’t worry. News is coming. Things are happening. Just be patient.”

I’ve said it’s like bubbles in a pond that start small, and get larger, and clue you in that there’s something down there…and the bigger they get, the sooner you know it’s coming.

Now I want you to imagine a rowboat containing all those Alaskan politicians that don’t want to be held accountable for their actions, all those that have been stonewalling, and twisting the truth, and doing everything possible to stay comfortable right where they are. The boat is large, and the crew is pleased with themselves. They sit under parasols and straw hats, dining on little sandwiches without crusts spread with lies, and tiny cakes glazed with croneyism.

“Do you guys hear anything?….Sounds like bubbles.” says communications director A, with a mouthful of sandwich.

“I don’t hear anything. Can you pour me a glass of lemonade? Ooo…And take my picture!” says politician B, smiling.

“Yeah, I hear it. It definitely sounds like bubbles to me.” says Politician B’s husband.

“What’s that?” (shrieks spokeswoman C, peering over the side of the rowboat at the large growing circle of bubbles)

“Get away from the edge!” bellows Legislator D.

(The occupants all scoot over to the far side of the boat. It lists precariously from the sudden shift in weight distribution, and almost starts to take on water. All of a sudden, a large webbed hand emerges from the bubbles, grabs the rail, and pulls down hard. The boat is now upright again, and the picnickers gape in horror as they realize the boat is about to be boarded. Another webbed hand grabs the rail, and the creature, fueled by the moral outrage of the citizenry pulls its massive body out of the water with a terrible cry. It’s……

Alaskans for Truth! Hooray! (The creature places its webbed hand on its leathery abdomen, extends its leg backward, and makes a sweeping bow. Distant applause is heard over the water.)

The boaters realize with growing dismay that the crowd that has gathered on the shore has not come to help them fight off the beast. They are actually cheering for the creature who has boarded the boat! What can this mean?! Why do they hate us?! Quick, offer this thing a sandwiche or something!

But neither the creature, nor the townsfolk on the shore will be deterred. The creature has made itself quite comfortable on the boat, and is now sitting, and has actually begun to row the boat ashore (Hallelujah!) with the intent of delivering the trembling crew right into the middle of the mob of agitated townsfolk….

It’s amazing what can be brought to life with some good old fashioned community organizing. What all this means is that Alaskans for Truth is now an official Political Action Committee, registered with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. And they have issued a call to action.

Rather than to try to figure out how to get our creature to pull something out of his non-existant pocket, and read an eloquent call to action, I’ll just give you a link to the Alaskans for Truth website, which spells it all out. What do they want?

  1. Censure of the Governor for violating the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.
  2. Penalties for the state employees and Todd Palin who ignored subpoenas.
  3. Hold hearings on whether Governor Palin and her husband committed perjury in their sworn statement to Timothy Petumenos.
  4. An independent investigation into Attorney General Talis Colberg’s alleged witness tampering in the Troopergate investigation.

How is this going to happen? In two ways.

First, the call to action involves emailing the Alaska State Legislature and letting them know in no uncertain terms that these things still matter. A governor who is in violation of a state ethics act matters. An Attorney General who tells state employees to ignore legislative subpoenas matters. A Vice Presidential candidate and her husband who may have committed perjury matters. They are trying to tell us that these things don’t matter. But, they do.

And don’t for a minute think, dear Mudflatter, that what you do won’t have an effect. Do you remember when we were all biting our nails, wondering if the Legislative Council would release the Troopergate Report? It was touch and go. That report almost didn’t get released. I was there biting my nails in person, when they voted to release it. And one of the Legislators said, “Maybe I’ll be able to get through my inbox again…….”

That means you mattered. And you can matter again. Alaska is small, and every voice that speaks up may as well be using a megaphone. Nobody gets lost in the shuffle. Everyone is heard.

And don’t worry if you are not from Alaska. Because when Sarah Palin was foisted upon you as a Vice Presidential candidate, and when she was made an international celebrity, and when 77% of Republicans want to see her on the national political stage, this matters to you too. All you need to do is explain that, in case they don’t get it.

And the second way to help, is by donating. Alaskans for Truth wants to get their message out, and that means funds are necessary. The goal is to take out ads in the Anchorage Daily News, The Anchorage Press, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, The Juneau Empire, The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, The Tundra Drums…you name it. You’ll see the big yellow DONATE button on the website.

And here again, your voice matters. Alaska is one of the cheapest media markets in the country. Don’t think that a donation of $5 or $10 won’t matter. Everything will.

I once compared Alaska Bloggers, and citizens on both sides of the aisle who wanted the truth to get out to “Whos”, from the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who. Those little Whos, living on a dust speck, had to raise their collective voices to be heard by the outside world, and save themselves from doom. We in Alaska have been doing our best since August 29th to tell you our story, and to make sure that the rest of the country learned the truth. Just like the Whos, we have been yelling “We are here! We are here! We are here!” Do you hear us?

If so, then climb on board the rowboat, go to Alaskans for Truth, and start emailing and donating. The time has come to hold Alaska’s leaders accountable. The time for action is now.





Sarah Palin’s Ethics Problems Keep Getting Bigger.

19 11 2008

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
financial interests;

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.





I Saw Walt Monegan Today.

15 11 2008

I was running around town today, doing a few errands and who should I see, but Walt Monegan. I’ve met him before briefly, but I was sure he wouldn’t remember me. I was taken by surprise, and I felt like I had so much to say. I wanted to thank him for his service to the state. I wanted to tell him I though he really got the short end of the stick. I wanted to tell him that I appreciate all he was doing for the Troopers, and for rural Alaska, and that I was sorry he never had the chance to make his plans a reality. I wanted to ask him if he needed anything….I don’t know what it would be, but I, like so many others wish I could do something. He looked a little tired.

I froze. Maybe, I thought, he just wants to have a Saturday afternoon running errands like everybody else. Maybe he just wants one small block of time without having to think about Sarah Palin, or talk to anybody about Troopergate. I know I have times where I just don’t want to think about Sarah Palin anymore….I can only imagine how he feels.

Then I started thinking that people are always grateful for kind words. Maybe I’d make it really short, so I wouldn’t interrupt his day, but so he’d know that there was one more person out there pulling for him, and doing what they could to support him. I wouldn’t engage him in conversation, but I ‘d let him know I was on his side. But what would I say? I stood there for a minute composing the perfect 10-second statement that would encompass all those things, and come out just right.

Of course by the time I had mentally composed my script, he was gone. I saw him with his wife off in the distance, and thought maybe I could still catch him if I ran…but then I decided it would ruin the effect of my casual quick 10-second support statement if I had to arrive there gasping and out of breath from running top speed down the street to catch up with him.

So, I hope Walt and his wife had a nice afternoon, and I hope they didn’t think about Sarah Palin.





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.