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Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate

 
Mr. Berkut
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Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
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Palin Refuses to Testify
09.03.08 -- 11:07AM By Josh Marshall
It didn't take long. We've already brought you news of the official investigation into Gov. Palin's firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Steve Branchflower, the lead investigator, began trying to arrange a deposition of the governor days before her veep selection. And despite claiming executive privilege to shield requested emails, up until that point Palin had promised full cooperation with the probe.

Now, however, she is refusing to submit to questioning by Branchflower unless he and the legislative committee that appointed him agree to relinquish control of the investigation and turn it over to a state review board made up of three Palin appointees.

Yesterday, Palin took the unusual step of having her lawyer, Thomas van Flein, file an ethics complaint against her with the state's Attorney General. This, she hopes, will lead the AG to give the investigation to the aforementioned state personnel board. Unless that happens, and Branchflower agrees to close down his investigation, she will refuse to testify.
Berkut (OP)
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09/04/2008 06:37 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
The problem with the Palin choice isn't that her judgement is in question, (which it is), but that McCain's judgement is flawed. He makes hasty, impulsive, ill-considered choices.

Putin will eat McCain alive, if McCain wins steals this election.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/04/2008 06:39 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
This seems to be the standard GOP excuse every time they put up a candidate whose skeletons keep falling out of the closet; it's the fault of the "LIberal" media.

But if the media really were biased in favor of the Democrats (most major media owners are Republican BTW), they would have gone after Palin's preacher for saying that terror attacks in Israel were god's punishment for the Jews refusing to convert to Christianity with the same fervor with which they plastered Barack Obama's pastor all over the media.

The GOP's stock excuse for everything seems to be, it's God's will or someone else's fault.

GOP: Party of avoidance of all personal responsibility.

I think the fact that they are taking this approach this early on is because they know they have a real problem here in Palin.
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
McCain Camp Threatens Legal Action Against the National Enquirer

CBS News' John Bentley reports:


John McCain’s campaign threatened legal action against the National Enquirer today for running a story about McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, allegedly having an affair with her husband’s business partner.

“Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin look forward to discussing the issues that Americans care about, fixing broken government, creating jobs, making our country energy independent and securing the peace for the next generation by bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a victorious end,” said Schmidt.

“Legal action will be considered with regard to this disgraceful smear.”


The National Enquirer responded via Drudge:


The National Enquirer's coverage of a vicious war within Sarah Palin's extended family includes several newsworthy revelations, including the resulting incredible charge of an affair plus details of family strife when the Governor's daughter revealed her pregnancy. Following our John Edwards' exclusives, our political reporting has obviously proven to be more detail-oriented than the McCain campaign's vetting process. Despite the McCain camp's attempts to control press coverage they find unfavorable, The Enquirer will continue to pursue news on both sides of the political spectrum.
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
ANCHORAGE, Alaska-- Wednesday brought a dramatic turn of events regarding an inquiry into Gov. Sarah Palin's termination of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

The governor hastily called a press conference to announce that her administration did in fact make calls regarding Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten.

Palin said her administration made more than 20 calls to the Department of Public Safety regarding Wooten, the governor's former brother-in-law.

Palin previously had denied her administration pressured Monegan but at least one of those calls was caught on tape.

Recently Palin told Channel 2 News that Monegan was not terminated over his refusal to terminate Wooten.

She continues to stand by that statement. But now she says evidence uncovered by an inquiry by a state attorney general inquiry suggests the administration applied pressure on Monegan to fire Wooten.

"The individual inquiries taken by themselves are one thing. Many of these inquiries were completely appropriate; however, the serial nature of the contacts understandably could be perceived as some kind of pressure, presumably at my direction," Palin said.

Attorney General Talis Colberg's office determined there were more than two dozen calls from Palin's husband, Todd Palin, and her staff to Monegan and other supervisors in the department regarding Wooten.

Palin says she was aware of many of the contacts and says many were completely appropriate.

But one of the calls beween her aide, Frank Bailey, and Trooper Lt. Rodney Dial was preserved on tape.

The governor released the tape to the media Wednesday and called it "out of bounds."

In the call Bailey told Dial the Palins were frustrated Wooten had kept his job.

"Everything that has come back to Todd and the governor, there's nothing we can do and that's very frustrating," Bailey said.

Bailey goes on to say the governor is unhappy Monegan won't take action.

"The CD of this conversation is obviously problematic because Mr. Bailey seemed to be speaking on my behalf -- and because he complained in this conversation that Trooper Wooten had not been terminated," said the governor. "But Mr. Bailey was not speaking for me. His comments were unauthorized as well as just wrong."

Late Wednesday, Bailey affirmed the Gov. Palin's statement that neither she nor her husband asked him to make the call.

"I know we keep using the word 'pressure' but nobody pressured me to say anything," Bailey said.

Colberg also reports it wasn't just Bailey contacting Monegan and others at DPS regarding Trooper Wooten.

The attorney general revealed that he, along with Todd Palin and former Palin Chief of Staff Mike Tibbles had all made contact regarding Wooten.

The administration says all of the information will be turned over to the special investigator hired by the Legislature to look into abuse-of-power allegations.

This was scheduled to happen Wednesday afternoon.

Contact Jason Moore at [email protected]
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Palin E-Mails Show Intense Interest in Trooper's Penalty

Gov. Sarah Palin, shown in her office in Juneau, sent two e-mails to the public safety commissioner in 2007 about her former brother-in-law. (By Brian Wallace -- Juneau Empire Via Associated Press)
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By James V. Grimaldi and Karl Vick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 4, 2008; Page A27

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska, Sept. 3 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the running mate for GOP presidential candidate John McCain, wrote e-mails that harshly criticized Alaska state troopers for failing to fire her former brother-in-law and ridiculed an internal affairs investigation into his conduct.

The e-mails were shown to The Washington Post by a former public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, who was fired by Palin in July. Monegan has given copies of the e-mails to state ethics investigators to support his contention that he was dismissed for failing to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, who at the time was feuding with Palin's family.

"This trooper is still out on the street, in fact he's been promoted," said a Feb. 7, 2007, e-mail sent from Palin's personal Yahoo account and written to give Monegan permission to speak on a violent-crime bill before the state legislature.

"It was a joke, the whole year long 'investigation' of him," the e-mail said. "This is the same trooper who's out there today telling people the new administration is going to destroy the trooper organization, and that he'd 'never work for that b****', Palin'.)"

Asked about the e-mails, Palin's campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella, said that Palin was merely alerting officials to potential threats to her family and that there is no evidence that Palin ever ordered Wooten to be fired.

"Let's be clear, Governor Palin has done nothing wrong and is an open book in this process. Mr. Monegan even stated himself that no one ever told him to fire anyone, period," Comella said later in a statement. "The Governor was rightly expressing concern about Mr. Wooten."

Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body that was authorized last month to look into whether Palin pressured Monegan to force Wooten from the state police force and whether his failure to do so led to his dismissal.


Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week moved to change the jurisdiction of the case to the state personnel board, which Palin appoints. Her attorney, Thomas V. Van Flein, who was hired last month, challenged the jurisdiction of Stephen Branchflower, the retired prosecutor hired to investigate and report back to the legislature by the last week of October.

When Palin entered the governor's office in late 2006, Wooten already had been reprimanded, reassigned and suspended for five days for incidents reported by Palin's family. They had filed complaints in April 2005 after her younger sister's marriage fell apart and the couple battled in a bitter child-custody dispute.

Palin has said previously that she discussed Wooten with Monegan only in the context of security concerns for the family. Monegan has said that Palin never directly told him to fire Wooten but that the message was clearly conveyed through repeated messages from Palin, her husband and three members of her Cabinet.

"To allege that I, or any member of my family . . . directed disciplinary action be taken against any employee of the Department of Public Safety, is, quite simply, outrageous," Palin said in a statement in mid-July after Monegan's dismissal.

In August, Palin acknowledged that "pressure could have been perceived to exist, although I have only now become aware of it."
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Alaska Judge: Palin's Family Showed Lack of "Good Judgment"

by Jonathan Singer, Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 12:53:48 AM EST

I've written a bit about the extent to which Sarah Palin seemingly went in a quest to get back at a former brother-in-law, an effort which has drawn an investigation and has forced Palin to lawyer up. But even before Palin became Governor, her actions were already being called into question. According to The Washington Post's James V. Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy, the judge overseeing the custody case involving Palin's sister and former brother-in-law had some strong words for Palin's family.


The divorce went to trial in the fall of 2005 while the state police internal investigation was pending. Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock reviewed the complaints filed by Palin and her family. At trial on Oct. 27, 2005, the judge expressed puzzlement about why the family was trying to get Wooten fired, since depriving the trooper of a job would harm his ability to pay family support to Palin's sister.

"It appears for the world that Ms. McCann and her family have decided to take off for the guy's livelihood -- that the bitterness of whatever who did what to whom has overridden good judgment," Suddock said in an audio recording from the trial on TV station KTUU's Web site. "Aesop told us not to slay the goose who lays the golden egg. For whatever reason, people are trying to slay the goose here and it tends to diminish his earning capacity."


With such a near constant flow of uncomfortable news about Palin, it's no wonder some in the establishment media (and also the not-so-establishment media) are beginning to ask whether Palin will endure on the GOP ticket or if, like Tom Eagleton before her, she will be replaced with another choice deemed to be less risky.
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
As the GOP convention braces itself for Hurricane Sarah tonight, more and more revelations are coming out about how poorly vetted she was and whether she is fit to be on the ticket at all. The vetting question is essential because it speaks to the judgment of John McBush… err, I mean McCain. If he thinks the decision of who is second in line to the presidency is so cavalier, it does not bode well for his other appointments he would have to make as President of the United States.
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
From NBC's Aram Roston
ANCHORAGE, AK -- A key witness in the Alaska State Senate Ethics investigation of Gov. Palin has backed out of testifying today, the state senator in charge of the investigation tells NBC News. The senator -- Democrat Hollis French -- says Frank Bailey's decision not to testify will slow down the "Troopergate" investigation into the current candidate.

The investigation centers on whether Gov. Palin abused her power when firing her commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan in July 2008. Monegan maintains he was fired, for not firing another man in his command -- Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten -- Gov. Palin's ex-brother in law who, years earlier, went through a messy divorce with her sister.



VIDEO: Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is under investigation for the firing of a former Alaska public safety commissioner, Walt Monhegan. NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

Frank Bailey, a member of Palin's administration, was caught on tape in August 2008 on a phone call with another trooper in which he questioned why Wooten was still on staff, seemingly speaking on behalf of Palin. The release of this tape proved embarrassing for Palin, who was forced to backtrack on her earlier statements, in which she had maintained neither she, nor her family, nor staff, ever pressured Monegan or anyone else to fire Wooten.

Bailey was put on paid leave from the administration following the release of that tape.

Since becoming the VP nominee, Palin has challenged jurisdiction of the ethics investigation. Bailey cites that jurisdictional uncertainty as his reason for not testifying.

State Sen. French says no one in the investigation, including Bailey and Gov. Palin, was subpoenaed to testify because all had previously agreed to cooperate voluntarily.
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Palin Aide Ducks State Probe
Aide's Lawyer Cancels Deposition, Questions Legislature's Jurisdiction
By LEN TEPPER, BRIAN ROSS, and MADDY SAUER
Sept. 3, 2008
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SHARE The deposition of one of Gov. Sarah Palin's staff members was canceled yesterday by the staffer's attorney, in what is yet another setback to the state legislature's investigation into claims that Palin fired the public safety commissioner after he refused to dismiss a trooper, Palin's former brother in-law.

Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin has denied any wrongdoing surrounding the dismissal of Walt Monegan, but has acknowledged that phone calls were made by her staff members to Public Safety officials regarding the trooper, Mike Wooten.
(ABC News Photo Illustration)
Palin has denied any wrongdoing surrounding the dismissal of Walt Monegan, but has acknowledged that phone calls were made by her staff members to Public Safety officials regarding the trooper, Mike Wooten.


One of those calls was made by Palin's director of boards and commissions, Frank Bailey. Bailey was scheduled to be deposed as part of the legislature's investigation, but his attorney canceled the deposition yesterday and challenged the legislature's jurisdiction, according to the state senator running the probe.


"This attempt is undermining the authority and integrity of the legislature by challenging its jurisdictional authority in this matter," said Sen. Hollis French, a Democrat.


Bailey's attorney, Greg Grebe, said he canceled the deposition, which was to take place today, last night after speaking with Palin's private attorney Thomas Van Flein. Grebe said that Van Flein informed him that there is a jurisdictional dispute that is unsettled.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
So why was Walt Monegan fired out of the blue? Why would Governor Palin send a surrogate to fire her Public Safety Commissioner and then not have a decent explanation for the public? And why would Monegan's replacement be telling people three days before Monegan got fired, that he was going to become the new Commissioner of Public Safety?

Walt Monegan got fired for all of the wrong reasons. Walt Monegan got fired because he had the audacity to tell Governor Palin no, when apparently nobody is allowed to say no to Governor Palin.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Why Walt Monegan got fired: Palin's abuse of power
Last Friday, Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan went into a meeting with Governor Sarah Palin's acting chief of staff thinking he was going to be discussing security for the governor's picnic. He left the meeting without a job.

The abrupt firing of Walt Monegan was a shock not only to him but all of the men and women of the Department of Public Safety. The way Monegan was fired raises serious questions about the governor's true motives.

So why was Walt Monegan fired out of the blue? Why would Governor Palin send a surrogate to fire her Public Safety Commissioner and then not have a decent explanation for the public? And why would Monegan's replacement be telling people three days before Monegan got fired, that he was going to become the new Commissioner of Public Safety?

Walt Monegan got fired for all of the wrong reasons. Walt Monegan got fired because he had the audacity to tell Governor Palin no, when apparently nobody is allowed to say no to Governor Palin.

Monegan said no, he couldn't cut his budget because his State Troopers were already being stretched to the limit and public safety suffering. He said no, he couldn't cut his budget because fuel costs for planes, boats and patrol vehicles soaring, while crime in rural Alaska was putting more demands on the Troopers transportation system.

But more alarming than any budget battle, Monegan said no to firing a State Trooper who had divorced Governor Palin's sister because the guy was being maliciously hounded by Palin's family.

And not just that; Monegan's firing came after his Colonel had to reprimand the governor's office for meddling in department personnel affairs.

Monegan's budget battles

When Walt Monegan was appointed, he realized the deep problems at DPS including low morale, understaffed detachments and the lack of a funding commitment to a long term vision.

He also recognized, that along with the strategic plan his department developed and introduced just months ago, there needed to be a commitment of resources to follow through on the public safety needs for Alaskans.

"We want out employees to know that help is on the way; that we are planning to grow our staff to provide both the needed services for this vast state, and the appropriate training necessary to do it", Monegan wrote in his 2008-17 Strategic Plan.

But the Palin administration wanted Monegan to go in another direction. They wanted him to cut corners on a budget that had already fallen behind over the last decade. Under Former Governor Murkwoski there was significant investment made to try and catch up with growing costs but Palin's budgets have again started to starve the agency.

To make matters worse, the change to the state's retirement benefit program adopted by the legislature in 2004 has had a negative effect on the departments ability to recruit new Troopers.

Meanwhile, since Governor Palin appointed Walt Monegan in 2007, she has spent less than one hour in face to face discussions with him about the critical public safety issues in Alaska.

And her fy09 budget for public safety clearly shows the results of her lack of understanding about the challenges that DPS faces.

According to the Legislative Finance Agency, the public safety budget in fy09 was cut by .06% from what the governor originally proposed while the governor's own budget increased 22.6% over what she originally proposed.

The problem for Palin was that Monegan was vocal about his concerns about the growing problems in rural Alaska due to alcohol and drug abuse and recognized that the state needed to invest more in protecting the public.

A few months ago, Monegan warned that Troopers were stretched so thin with no funding support coming from the administration that they might not be able to respond to all calls and even suggested the department prepare a statement for when those situations occurred

Monegan and his department were getting too far out in front of Palin, acting in ways that were independent and contrary to the governor's wishes. Palin needed to replace Monegan with someone who would be seen but not heard while doing the governor's bidding.

That's why Palin replaced Monegan with Chuck Kopp from Kenai, an old Palin family acquaintance who is more likely to follow the governor's line and never say no.

Monegan, ever the good cop, even advocated for a safer Alaska after he was relieved of his duties. In an interview with KTUU on Sunday, two days after he was unceremoniously fired by one of Palin's surrogates, he stated that he informed the administration of a few things that should not be ignored, including the current economic situation in Alaska's rural communities, where he believes poor fishing returns could potentially cause social unrest.

"Thefts increase. Domestic violence increases. When you apply a lot of stress on a situation, money and fuel oil are an absolute hope at some point. And unless we band together as a government to address it head on it could be very bad," Monegan said.

Walt Monegan was fired because he fought too hard. Governor Palin fired Monegan because she understood too little and wanted a puppet as commissioner.

But there was another reason that contributed to Monegan's ouster; a more alarming reason.

Trooper Mike Wooten: Being hunted by the governor

In the fall of 2004, Trooper Mike Wooten had decided the differences between he and his wife Molly of four years had grown to the point of being irreconcilable. His wife just happened to be the younger sister of Sarah Palin.

The beginning of the divorce proceedings set off a chain of bizarre and chilling events that has continued through today. During that time it has resulted in the governor and her family trying to ruin the career of an eight year Alaska State Trooper that has served his state on the SERT Team, Motor Unit and DUI Team.

Beginning in spring of 2005 and for the next ten months, over 25 formal complaints were filed by Palin and Heath family members against Trooper Mike Wooten. From drinking while driving his patrol car to making threats to shooting a moose without a permit.

According to Trooper records, Sarah Palin said that in January and February of 2005, Wooten was drinking while driving. After investigating the complaint, the investigator found that Palin never actually saw what she reported.

In another complaint, Sarah's father said that Wooten made threatening remarks. Again, the investigator found there was no probable way that it could have happened.

In all cases except one, the charges were ruled unfounded after an internal investigation. And the one charge that was valid, Wooten immediately admitted to.

In 2003, Wooten, his wife and a friend were moose hunting. Upon spotting a moose, Wooten instructed his wife to shoot the moose since she had the permit, she refused so Wooten did.

After carting the moose back to town, Sarah's father actually butchered it in his garage, and Wooten shared the meat with both Sarah and Todd Palin as well as her parents. Two years later, during the divorce battle, the family filed a complaint alleging that Wooten had taken that moose illegally. At least they waited until they finished the meat to file the complaint against Wooten.

But it didn't stop there. Threatening phone calls, private detectives that were hired to follow Wooten, notes left on windshields, Todd Palin taking pictures then submitting them to Wooten's supervisor, all designed to intimidate Wooten into backing off from demanding equal child custody rights.

But every time they filed a spurious complaint, the Troopers would bring in an Administrative Investigator who after seeing more than two dozen of these ridiculous and time consuming complaints stated that in all his years he had never seen such a shotgun pattern against one officer.

Meanwhile in court, Wooten prevailed at every turn as Judge Suddock quickly realized there was a concerted effort to damage Wooten. Finally the judge warned that if any of their actions caused Wooten to lose his job or pay in anyway, Molly and her family would be held liable.

After the divorce was final in late 2005 things settled down, until last fall.

At the request of the court, Wooten and his ex-wife were instructed to return to re-visit the custody schedule. Once the paper work started in April of 2008, the complaints and the intimidation started all over again.

But now Wooten wasn't dealing with just Sarah Palin, he was dealing with Governor Sarah Palin.

On April 23, 2008 in written testimony to the court, Palin denied ever making claims against Wooten, when in fact she had emailed a State Trooper Colonel in April of 2005 accusing Wooten of driving drunk.

Twice in the last few months complaints were filed by the governor's office accusing Wooten of improperly using his patrol car. Both times he was visiting his kids at school and both times he had permission from his sargent. The last complaint came in May after Todd Palin saw Wooten pulling out of the school parking lot and six days later the complaint landed on Wooten's supervisor's desk.

During the legislative session this past spring, Palin reportedly told Commissioner Monegan to fire Wooten because he was giving Troopers a bad name. However Monegan said he would do no such thing.

A short time afterwards, it was discovered that confidential material in Wooten's Administrative Investigation file had been released to his ex-wife and her attorney. This drew outrage from the Public Safety Union as well as the Commissioner. AI files are strictly confidential and can only be released with the written signature of the Trooper, but yet no one could explain how the detailed confidential information was released.

Reportedly, both Commissioner Monegan and Colonel Audie Halloway warned that if they found out the file was leaked by the governor's office, they would pursue charges.

Unfortunately, Commissioner Walt Monegan has been fired and word on the street is Colonel Audie Halloway's days are numbered as the new commissioner brings in those who won't object when the governor uses the Troopers as her own private security force.

The most tragic part of this whole story is Trooper Mike Wooten. For the last four years his children have endured inexcusable stress at the hands of the governor and her family. The same governor who has been on television telling Alaskans how important it is to love your kids and spend time with them. Truth be told, Governor Palin should watch her own television commercial.

For eight years, Trooper Mike Wooten has served the people of the State of Alaska by putting his life on the line to protect them from harm. Today the question is; who will protect Wooten from the blatant abuse of power now that the governor has free hands.

Commissioner Walt Monegan was fired because he fought for his employees, he fought for a safer Alaska and he didn't care if he had to fight Governor Palin to do it.

In the mean time, God help Trooper Mike Wooten.
BUMPER
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
5a bump 5a
Enlilson

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Wow is what i have to say you got a lot of info....btw there is whole thread by yours truley about troopergate.

Thread: VP Palin's Alaska Trooper Gate Read All about it...... (Page 3)
It doesn't matter who I m it's who U R so ChoOse
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It sure is beginning to appear that this Palin is quite the piece of shit..... she fits right in with the rest of their sorry GOP asses.
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bump for PACnwGUY
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Another Controversy for Sarah Palin
Former Police Chief Says He Was Fired for Challenging Palin's Campaign Contributors
By BRIAN ROSS and JOSEPH RHEE


Sept. 3, 2008
486 comments FONT SIZE
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SHARE Gov. Sarah Palin is already facing ethical questions over her firing of the Alaska public safety commissioner, and now she faces questions over the firing of a longtime local police chief.

New reports raise questions about the firing of a local police chief.
After taking over as Mayor of the small town of Wasilla, Palin fired the longtime local police chief. The former police chief, Irl Stambaugh says he was fired because he stepped on the toes of Palin's campaign contributors, including bar owners and the National Rifle Association.


Stambaugh's lawyer, William Jermain, says the chief tried to move up the closing hours of local bars from 5 a.m. to two a.m. after a spurt of drunk driving accidents and arrests.


"His crackdown on that practice by the bars was not appreciated by her and that was one reason she terminated Irl," said Jermain.


In his 1997 lawsuit, Stambaugh also alleged that his stand on restricting concealed weapons upset the NRA.
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Wow is what i have to say you got a lot of info....btw there is whole thread by yours truley about troopergate.

Thread: VP Palin's Alaska Trooper Gate Read All about it...... (Page 3)
 Quoting: Enlilson


Yes, thanks a lot. I was running into a lot of dead urls.
Berkut
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Remember when John Edward's affair was the hot news story all during the time Hillary's supporters claimed that public knowledge of the affair would have shifted the nomination to her? (And remember how quickly the Edwards story faded once Hillary conceded to Obama?) Remember all the attention Edward's affair got even though he was already out of the race, and the affair unable to affect our daily lives?

Well, I am casting the gauntlet down to the corporate media on this one. Only a few days ago, I pointed out how the media went after Obama's pastor for his supposed racist views, yet seemed unconcerned with Palin's pastor's claim that terrorism in Israel was God's punishment on Jews for refusing to convert to Christianity!

And here we are. The "Family values" nominee for Vice President has her own stained sheets. Fairness and honesty demands that the media examine this story with the same intensity with which they reported on John Edwards' affair.

So, media, will you be fair and unbiased? Or will you prove that you are still the lackeys of the rich and powerful GOP? Will it be one set of journalistic standards for the Democrats, and another kinder and gentler set for the GOP?

The gauntlet is thrown. The challenge is made
Anonymous Coward
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09/05/2008 01:11 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Rolling down an alaskan ski slope like a snowball named Sarah. It's all downhill from here. And take the old dude with you
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09/05/2008 01:12 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
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Berkut
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09/05/2008 01:16 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Read VIDEO
From Matt Smith and Scott Bronstein
CNN


(CNN) -- Aides to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin improperly obtained her former brother-in-law's state police personnel files and cited information from those records to raise complaints about the officer, the head of Alaska's state police union said Thursday.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has put an aide on leave during a probe into the firing of the public safety commissioner.

"It's apparent to us that the governor or someone on her staff had direct access to his personnel file, as well as his workers' comp file, and those are protected," said John Cyr, executive director of the Alaska Public Safety Employees Association.

Palin, now the Republican nominee for vice president, is battling allegations that she sacked her public safety commissioner in July because he refused to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, her sister's ex-husband. But a spokesman for GOP presidential candidate John McCain's campaign released documents late Thursday indicating Wooten signed a waiver during his divorce that allowed his entire personnel file to be released.

"When you're a real reformer like Sarah Palin, who isn't afraid to take on entrenched political interests, scurrilous attacks and empty allegations come with the territory," campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said.

In an ethics complaint filed Wednesday, the union names the governor and three aides, one of whom cited Wooten's records in a tape-recorded call to a state police lieutenant in February.

And the former commissioner, Walt Monegan, said he believes his refusal to fire Wooten led to his firing. Watch Monegan say Palin fired him for personal reasons »

Monegan said no one directly demanded Wooten's dismissal, but the trooper was the subject of "constant" questions or comments "either verbally or in e-mail saying, 'Is this the kind of trooper that should be representing the troopers?' or 'This is not the kind that we want to have as a poster child.' "


Campbell Brown: Election Center
Tonight, the man at the center of the Sarah Palin troopergate scandal. Did she abuse her power as governor? Palin’s ex-brother-in-law speaks exclusively to CNN.
8 p.m. ET

see full schedule »
"In the center of all of the controversy is Trooper Wooten's continued employment," the former police commissioner said. "My job was to provide passion and support to 900 people -- almost 900 people -- in the Department of Public Safety, and one of them -- which included Trooper Wooten -- was an irritant to her."

Palin said Monegan was sacked because of disagreements over the state budget. His firing is under investigation by the Alaska Legislature, but Palin's attorneys filed papers this week to request Alaska's Personnel Board take over the probe.

In August, Palin admitted members of her administration had contacted people in Monegan's department more than 20 times regarding Wooten since she took office in December 2006.

"The individual inquiries taken by themselves are one thing. Many of these inquiries were completely appropriate; however, the serial nature of the contacts understandably could be perceived as some kind of pressure, presumably at my direction," she said.

But in papers requesting the probe be transferred to the personnel board, Palin's lawyer called Wooten a "rogue trooper" who threatened the governor's family during a bitter divorce and custody battle. Thomas Van Flein, the governor's attorney, said it was appropriate to complain to the head of the department about a trooper the Palins believed posed a threat to their security.

Van Flein had no immediate response to the union complaint.

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Palin had been complaining to state police officials about Wooten since before she became governor. In March 2006, Wooten received a five-day suspension for drinking beer in his patrol car, illegally shooting a moose under his wife's hunting permit and using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson "in a training capacity."

Wooten, in an interview with CNN's Drew Griffin, said he wanted to be "the best father I can be to my children" and "the best trooper I can be to the state."

"You know, I was young and I made mistakes," Wooten said. "And I was punished for those mistakes. I learned my lesson. They're behind me."

Van Flein, Palin's lawyer, said Wednesday the Palins were unaware any action had been taken against Wooten until after Monegan's firing.

In the February 29 call by Frank Bailey, Palin's boards and commissions director, to state police Lt. Rodney Dial, Bailey complained there had been "absolutely no action for a year on this issue." During the call, he said there was some "really funny business" about a worker's compensation claim Wooten had filed and suggested he lied about a health condition on his state police job application.

"That's extraordinary for them to reference that," Cyr said. Police application files contain results of background checks and reference letters, "and those are sealed. Even Trooper Wooten doesn't have access to those."

And during the February conversation, Dial questioned how Bailey had obtained information that was "extremely confidential."

"I'm trying to find out how it was determined by anybody that he had indicated something on his application that later was found to be not true," he said.

Bailey replied, "I'm a little bit reluctant to say." But he added, "Over in admin is where, you know, we hold workers' comp right in there."

Efforts to contact either Bailey or his attorney on Thursday were unsuccessful.

But the McCain campaign released copies of a February 7 waiver Wooten signed during divorce proceedings that authorized the release of his personnel file, "including but not limited to any and all disciplinary actions and or complaints, and personnel records and actual shift and date worked records."

"Mike Wooten signed a waiver as part of the divorce proceedings, and as a result the information was in the public domain," Griffin, the campaign spokesman, told CNN.

When she turned over the recording of the February 29 call to the Legislature, Palin said she was "truly disappointed and disturbed to learn that a member of this administration contacted the Department of Public Safety regarding Trooper Wooten. At no time did I authorize any member of my staff to do so."


Palin placed Bailey on paid leave until the investigation is over.

Cyr said the union's complaint has been in the works since August 13, when the Bailey-Dial conversation was disclosed. "Of course, we had no way of knowing that Gov. Palin was tapped to be the vice president," he said.
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Mr. Berkut
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09/05/2008 01:34 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
During her mayoral administration, most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings, which had given rise to a recall campaign.


Just the kind of leadership the United States needs more of!


About Sarah Palin: an e-mail from Wasilla
A suburban Anchorage homemaker and activist — who once did battle with the Alaska governor when Palin was mayor — recounts what she knows of Palin's history.

By Anne Kilkenny

Editor's note: The writer is a homemaker and education advocate in Wasilla, Alaska. Late last week, Anne Kilkenny penned an e-mail for her friends about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom she personally knows, that has since circulated across comment forums and blogs nationwide. Here is her e-mail in its entirety, posted with her permission.


-------------------------------------------------------------​-------------------

I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Gov. Sarah Palin since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first-name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99 percent of the residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice for vice president and won't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because she is a "babe."

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months.

She is "pro-life." She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out there" and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her lifestyle ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She's smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time) and less than two years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration, most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings, which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative." During her six years as mayor, she increased general government expenditures by more than 33 percent. During those same six years, the amount of taxes collected by the city increased by 38 percent. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax, which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefitted large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenue during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list, though — borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt but left it with indebtedness of more than $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? Or a new library? No. $1 million for a park. $15 million-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex, which she rushed through, on a piece of property that the city didn't even have clear title to. That was still in litigation seven years later — to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5 million for road projects that could have been done in five to seven years without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.

These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as governor Sarah proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenue: Spend today's surplus, borrow for needs.

She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was mayor of Wasilla, she tried to fire our highly respected city librarian because the librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the city librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys." Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the city and as governor, she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal — loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the state's top cop.

As mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's police chief because he "intimidated" her, she told the press. As governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a state trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than two dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town, introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal city administrator; even people who didn't like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Gov. Frank Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission — one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil and gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job, which paid $122,400 a year, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this commission (who was also the state chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the "old boys' club," when she dramatically quit, exposing this man's ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Sen. Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the "bridge to nowhere" after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects — which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance — but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork."

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The state party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla, there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as "AGIA" that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state initiaitive that would have either protected salmon streams from pollution from mines or tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on whom you listen to). She has pushed the state's lawsuit against the Department of the Interior's decision to list polar bears as a threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for president; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being president.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there are a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

Claim vs. Fact
"Hockey mom": True for a few years
"PTA mom": True years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
"NRA supporter": Absolutely true
Social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, but vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
Pro-creationism: Mixed. Supports it, but did nothing as governor to promote it.
"Pro-life": Mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby but declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation.
"Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
Political maverick: Not at all.
Gutsy: Absolutely!
Open and transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
Has a developed philosophy of public policy: No.
"A Greenie": No. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
Fiscal conservative: Not by my definition!
Pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
Pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
Pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla's history.
Pro-labor/pro-union: No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.
Why am I writing this?
First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name, you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "bad things happen when good people stay silent." Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that's life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the city librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

Caveats: I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending and taxation two years ago (when Palin was running for governor) from information supplied to me by the finance director of the City of Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: Did I adjust for inflation? For population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall — they are swamped. So I can't verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000" up to 9,000. The day Palin's selection was announced, a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-1990s.

Anne Kilkenny is a homemaker and education advocate in Wasilla, Alaska.
Topics: White House, 2008 Election, Politics / Government, Alaska
Anonymous Coward
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09/06/2008 11:52 AM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
bump
Anonymous Coward
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09/06/2008 12:04 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Team McCain and the Trooper


Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called "October surprise" that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election.

It occurs to me that if the Alaska legislature really wanted to delink the investigation from the campaign they would have postponed the conclusions until after the election. If they are moving it up two weeks, it tells me the fix is in and they are going to clear Palin so she can play the poor wronged victim right into the US Naval Observatory.
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09/06/2008 12:04 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
But she's got a nice rack!

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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Palin won't face 'Troopergate' subpoena

By WESLEY LOY | [email protected]

Published: September 5th, 2008 02:18 PM
Last Modified: September 5th, 2008 02:19 PM

Alaska legislators are preparing to issue subpoenas as part of an investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's handling of the "Troopergate" affair, but Palin herself won't be hit with one.

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State Sen. Hollis French, the Anchorage Democrat who is managing the probe into Palin's firing of her former public safety commissioner, said legislators decided not to subpoena Palin as a gesture to calm what has become a tense standoff between the Legislature and the newly minted Republican vice presidential nominee.



"We're trying to de-escalate the situation. We just want the truth, clear the air," French said.


However, legislators still want their investigator to interview Palin.


Legislators also have decided to move up the date for completing their investigation into whether Palin abused her powers as governor by leaning on former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire a state trooper involved in a messy divorce with Palin's sister.


The Legislature's independent investigator, retired state prosecutor Steve Branchflower, will complete his investigative report on Oct. 10 rather than at the end of October, which would be right on top of the Nov. 4 election.


The idea, said state Republican Rep. Jay Ramras of Fairbanks, is to avoid the appearance of a last-minute "October surprise."


Ramras chairs the House Judiciary Committee, which with its Senate counterpart has the power to issue subpoenas.


Another committee member, Eagle River Republican Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom, said legislators talked and agreed not to issue a subpoena to Palin.


"She has told the public that she intends to cooperate with the investigation, indeed, she has told the public that she welcomes the investigation and I have every faith that she means it," Dahlstrom said. "If necessary we can send Mr. Branchflower to wherever the governor is, or she can give her statement to him over the telephone, whatever is most convenient for her. We recognize that her schedule is extremely busy, and we want to accommodate that."


Although Palin earlier this summer said she and members of her administration would gladly cooperate, in recent days she's retained a lawyer and questioned the legitimacy of the legislative investigation.


The investigation began in July, well before it was known Palin would be running for vice president. Now that her political fortunes have skyrocketed, the Troopergate matter is drawing intense international media scrutiny.


Palin's lawyer, Thomas Van Flein of Anchorage, said Friday legislators never had any need to subpoena Palin, that she's always been willing personally to work with the investigation. He said no effort had yet been made to bring Palin in to talk with Branchflower.


"She will provide a statement," Van Flein said. "We're willing to sit down and do this."

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State legislators said Friday that seven "key witnesses," all Palin administration members, cancelled appointments this week for interviews with Branchflower.


These seven could receive subpoenas compelling their cooperation, depending on decisions made at a joint hearing of the House and Senate judiciary committees next Monday in Anchorage.


The seven people who cancelled deposition appointments include Frank Bailey, a Palin aide who has been suspended for calling a trooper supervisor to question why Palin's former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, is still on the force.


Others include:


- Annette Kreitzer, Palin's administration commissioner.

- Kris Perry, a Palin confidant who managed her gubernatorial campaign and now manages her Anchorage office.

- Nicki Neal, state personnel and labor relations director.

- Karen Rehfeld, the governor's budget director.

- Brad Thompson, state risk management director.

- Dianne Kiesel, a state human resources manager.

Not all state legislators are happy with the direction of the Troopergate investigation. Republican Rep. John Coghill of North Pole on Friday called on French to step down as manager of the Branchflower probe, saying he no longer had confidence in French's objectivity.


Coghill said he was concerned about media statements French had made, including that Branchflower's report could be a damaging "October surprise" for Palin and that she faces possible impeachment.


"These statements cause me to think that the report is already written even though the investigation is only just begun and the most important witnesses have not even been interviewed," Coghill wrote in a letter calling for French's replacement. "The investigation appears to be lacking in fairness, neutrality and due process."


French said whether he's replaced is up to the bipartisan legislative panel that installed him as manager of the investigation, which could cost the state up to $100,000.


"The key point here is, I'm not doing the investigation. Steve Branchflower is," French said, adding Branchflower is free to reach any conclusions the facts support.



Find Wesley Loy online at adn.com/contact/wloy or call 257-4590.
Pollyannuh

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09/06/2008 12:23 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Palin Quayle is not only a liar she's a flip-flopper, too!

chuckle
Berkut
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09/07/2008 03:09 PM
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
How is Bristol supposed to have conceived the baby we are told she now carries 5 months ago ... when she supposedly was still missing school from being sick with mononucleosis ... without giving the disease to Levi?
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09/07/2008 03:12 PM
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How is Bristol supposed to have conceived the baby we are told she now carries 5 months ago ... when she supposedly was still missing school from being sick with mononucleosis ... without giving the disease to Levi?
 Quoting: Berkut 318158


Does Trig look like a 4 month premie baby to you? Supposedly Palin had the baby a month premature. A whole month! Yet the baby weighed a normal weight and was released the same day? It is all so fishy.

I think it is good the MSM dropped this story but the story of Trig's birth is still very suspicious to me. I truly think this may be Bristol's second pregnancy. She could easily be 4 months pregnant not 5.
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Re: Palin Refuses to Testify at Her Deposition re: Troopergate
Blog Swarm Lessons? Palin Pays Off Sexual Harasser
by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse

Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 07:16:04 PM PDT

Like a ripple in a pond, the troopergate scandal gave birth to the sexual harassment scandal, which was just a blip on the megamedia radar screen. Troopergate looks at whether Palin fired a state commissioner for not firing a state trooper, who coincidentally was divorcing her sister. Palin replaced the fired state commissioner with a fellow fundie who was officially reprimanded for sexual harassment. While the national media went on vacation, Alaska media wanted to know why she appointed a known sexual harasser.

A local "media firestorm" culminated 2 weeks later in his resignation, which may have been "encouraged" by a $10,000 exit "bonus" from Palin. The chronology of this scandal shows how not even Palin, a graduate of the Bush/Cheney school of executive spin, can defeat a media firestorm and also illustrates how Palin is the right-wing's "feminist" darling by gender only. Remember the Tweety Effect last January? With a little organization, why couldn't we get a blog swarm started on priority Palin and McBush issues to impact megamedia coverage, which in turn may have "enormous impact" on the general election.

Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse's diary :: ::
When news broke that Palin would replace the fired state commissioner with city police chief Chuck Kopp, a woman sent an email to Palin to warn her that the city had validated her sexual harassment complaint against him. The complainant offered to show her files, but no one from Palin's office contacted her before announcing Kopp's appointment the following day. The governor's office confirmed that Palin did receive the email.

Flashing back a few years to when the sexual harassment occurred, Kopp was a city police chief and acting city manager and the complainant was his assistant. After an investigation by the city, Kopp was officially reprimanded for hugging her frequently, massaging her neck and shoulder, kissing her on the cheek (which may have been witnessed by another officer) and grabbing her leg in a car ride. (video of complainant interview at this link)

The complainant objected, and told Kopp that she would not have an "unprofessional relationship." Kopp assured her that it would be a professional relationship and that the "close relationship" that he had with his "previous assistant" would not happen again because it was a "mistake." However, Kopp continued with his sexual harassment and so she filed a complaint with the city. According to the complainant, Kopp admitted (video interview at link) to another city manager that he had hugged and kissed her and how he was "sorry about that."

The city attorney informed the complainant by letter that the city "immediately launched an investigation" into Kopp's conduct. As a result of its investigation, Kopp was "removed immediately from his supervisory role" over the complainant, but confidentiality precluded the city from telling her what other action had been taken against Kopp. Media reports revealed that the "other action" taken against Kopp included the issuance in his personnel file of an official letter of reprimand, which mandated that he should never hug or touch employees. Kopp then worked out a deal with the city that his reprimand would be removed from his personnel file if no other complaints were filed in a two-year period. Palin would later use the absence of this reprimand in his file today as an excuse for not knowing that she had appointed a sexual harasser.

Moving forward to July 2008, Palin spent two weeks brushing off media inquiries as to why she appointed a sexual harasser as a state commissioner, showing her true "feminist" colors.

Around July 17th, Palin initially dismissed the sexual harassment by saying that it was quite common for people who had been arrested to "bad mouth" the police, but did not explain WTF this has to do with this case. Palin's initial remarks trivializing the sexual harassment are revisited when Kopp resigns as Palin continues to suggest that it is Kopp who got a bum deal.

On July 18th, Palin "explained" that she knew about the sexual harassment complaint against Kopp when she appointed him as state commissioner, but "looking at the investigation" conducted by the city, "we have been shown that he was cleared of the allegations." While the reprimand had been expunged from his personnel file, what about the city attorney's letter which validated the complaint or any witness statements or other evidence which led the city to conclude that an official reprimand was necessary?

On July 21st, Kopp tried to end media questions (video at link) by stating that no "sexual harassment allegation" ever "resulted in a lawsuit or a settlement" and "no job action was ever taken against him – if there was, he would not be here today" as the state commissioner holding his first press conference. This is important. Even Kopp admitted that it would not be appropriate for Palin to appoint him as commissioner if the city took some job action against him. Hello? After the investigation, the city removed Kopp as the complainant's supervisor and issued the official reprimand.

On July 22, Palin tried to quell the media firestorm by stating that the sexual harassment charges were never "substantiated," which she should know because she had reviewed the sexual harassment complaint. LOL, that same day, Kopp held another press conference where he admitted that the city officially issued a letter of reprimand which told him to never hug or touch employees.



A couple days later, Palin states that she did not learn about the reprimand letter until Kopp's press conference. However, Kopp stated that Palin's office knew of this harassment complaint since 2006 when he was named to her transition team, but that this case and the letter of reprimand was not raised with him when he was interviewed for the commissioner position.

On July 25th, Kopp announced his resignation at a press conference with Palin and both indicated that he had been smeared. Kopp stated that while he has been "portrayed in a negative light," his "personal worth was found in the person of Jesus Christ."



Kopp indicated that his resignation was due to the "media firestorm" which interfered with his ability to perform his job. The day before, Palin stated that she was very concerned when she learned that Kopp had been officially reprimanded. But, Palin's concern disappeared at this press conference where she suggested that the unfounded media firestorm had tainted this good man to the point that his resignation was now in the best interest of all concerned: "Is it any wonder that not too many people choose to enter the political and public arena. This has been brutal on a good family" and Kopp must now "protect his family from further stress."

Thus, Palin decided Kopp's resignation was politically expedient because it was now public that he had been reprimanded for sexual harassment. Palin then rewarded Kopp with a $10,000 severance package for his two weeks as commissioner. However, the money does not constitute wages but rather a settlement against future claims against the state related to his two weeks as commissioner.

Palin has refused to discuss her vetting of Kopp or why she concluded that the sexual harassment complaint was "unsubstantiated." But, we can rest assured that she will be a great VP for McBush because she conducted a "thorough investigation" of Kopp before he was appointed.

It only took 2 weeks to move from smirking arrogance about an issue to resignation, which Kopp opposed the day before he resigned. We have a progressive netroots infrastructure in place and dozens of bloggers writing about Palin and McBush. Conservative bloggers are embedded with Faux News. But, we have access to LTEs, online independent media and political organizations as well as Keith and Rachel Maddow. Instead of waiting or hoping for a viral blogging campaign, why not organize it?

noweasels set up digg for us to spread word. Thanks.





GLP