Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's Veep's Scandal

Sarah Palin, McCain's choice for veep and 2-year governor of Alaska, may be very grateful indeed that she was picked. Sarah may welcome the chance to put some serious distance between herself and the Alaska legislature.

Palin is caught up in a nasty scandal. She's alleged to have pressured the commissioner of Alaska's Public Safety Department to fire a cop, trooper Mike Wooten. Why? Hard to say but it could have had something to do with the ugly custody battle Wooten was then engaged in with Palin's sister.

For a while Governor Sarah denied there was anything to the story. Then the Alaska legislature unanimously approved the hiring of an investigator. Suddenly Governor Sarah had an epiphany - why yes, someone in her office did press the Public Safety Department to fire trooper Wooten - but, of course, it has nothing to do with her. She knew nothing about the whole nasty business.

From McClatchey Newspapers:

Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday [August 13th] revealed an audio recording that shows an aide pressuring the Public Safety Department to fire a state trooper embroiled in a custody battle with her sister.

Palin, who has previously said her administration didn't exert pressure to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten, also disclosed that members of her staff had made about two dozen contacts with public safety officials about the trooper.

"I do now have to tell Alaskans that such pressure could have been perceived to exist although I have only now become aware of it," Palin said.

The majority of the calls came from Palin's chief of staff at the time, Mike Tibbles, according to an information gathered by the state attorney general's office. Attorney General Talis Colberg and Palin's husband, Todd, also contacted Monegan about the trooper.

Palin said she'd only known about some of the contacts and never asked anyone on her staff to get in touch with state public safety officials about Wooten.

"Many of these inquiries were completely appropriate. However, the serial nature of the contacts could be perceived as some kind of pressure, presumably at my direction," she said.

Governor Sarah apparently overlooked something back when she was denying the whole thing - the Public Safety Department tapes all these calls.

Yes, Governor Sarah, two dozen calls from your aides and your husband to the Public Safety Department demanding trooper Mike Wooten's badge, "could be perceived as some kind of pressure, presumably at [your] direction." If you would like people to perceive it otherwise, kindly come up with some explanation of why you wanted Wooten sacked other than the custody battle with your sister.

And I thought Cheney was the grand dissembler. That Dick has nothing on Sarah.

h/t Scott Tribe


Anonymous said...

This part of the story may get only a little mention for the next day or so - one tidbit as the media chortle about all the implications of McCain's choice.

But I see potential that this issue will blow up for McCain as things progress.

EVERY news agency in the country is going to be scrutinizing this little episode now. I mean, it has really only been news in Alaska for a few weeks after a very slow start earlier this year. And the interest to get to the bottom of it is going to be outrageous!

As the tapes of the calls are bound to be released and played NATIONALLY soon enough. Is that really what McCain wants the press to cover about his campaign and his fresh VP candidate?

It might really explode if one loyal aide - or one furious former aide - admits Palin put them up to it, either spilling the beans on their own or when forced to in an affidavit.

I just don't get it. It really seems bizarre.

Anonymous said...

Finally, it just seems tawdry and very small-town (in a bad way, not in a glowing Americana kinda way).

I mean, governor's aides involving themselves in trying to fire a trooper in a messy custody battle with the governor's sister!

Would anyone really believe her chief of staff decided on their own to launch a vendetta involving nearly two dozen phone calls to try to get a state trooper fired?

Is this the executive experience McCain will be out on the trail touted of his new running mate?

The Mound of Sound said...

Wow, she's got a "fingernails across the blackboard" voice to boot! I've read a couple of comments suggesting trooper Wooten is/was a nasty piece of work but there's no way the governor should use her office to oust the guy, especially given the optics of his being her brother in law. Of course the real problem may not be the deed but the denials. Sarah really ought to have had someone check into the tapes thing before she denied all.

Besides, I don't know how well a staunch anti-abortion woman will play with disgruntled Democratic women.

Ed said...

If you want a Palin scandal, try this on for size.