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Stonewalling the “Troopergate” Investigation September 19, 2008

Posted by Kate Ryan in National Politics, Sarah Palin.
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There has always been corruption and abuse of power in government.  It’s almost a given that every few years, some hapless politician is trotted before the cameras and lights to give a tearful mea culpa to the people he or she represents.  Knowing that it exists, however, doesn’t make it any harder to accept.  The feelings of betrayal and disappointment are the most difficult to forgive and/or forget.

Now we are faced with the uncomfortable fact that the person John McCain tapped to be Vice-President may be guilty of betraying the public trust.  The Alaska “Troopergate” investigation is trying to determine if Governor Sarah Palin had the Public Safety Commissioner fired because of a family dispute with her ex brother-in-law, an Alaska state trooper.  From what I have been able to discern, the trooper and the Governor’s sister endured a messy divorce and child custody fight.  The Palin family was materially involved in several complaints against the man – resulting in an internal police investigation.  The investigation resulted in the trooper being suspended for 10 days.   For many reasons, the Governor’s family was not enthralled with the decision, and that’s where this scandal really begins.

According to Walter Monegan, the dismissed commissioner, Governor Palin put pressure on him to fire the trooper.  In early 2007, Todd Palin (the Governor’s husband) asked Monegan to look into the supension and “see if there was anything he could do.”  He reported to Mr. Palin that he could not – and that’s when an all-out campaign by the Palins to fire the trooper began.  Monegan was dismissed on July 11. On July 18, Monegan made his allegations public.  Governor Palin immediately released a statement denying any involvement; on July 28, a bi-partisan (4 Democrats, 8 Republicans) committee voted 12-0 to investigate the allegations.  The Governor wholeheartedly agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

All that changed when John McCain selected her for VP.  All of a sudden, the investigation turned into a “partisan witch-hunt” and the promised cooperation evaporated like raindrops in the desert.  We hear that “Obama operatives” are responsible, that it is “disrespectful” to question the Governor when she is running on a national ticket, that “they” are only trying to bring this good woman down.

Talk about McSame.  After almost 8 years of lies, challenged ethics, secret meetings, and virtual treason, the “reform” ticket is offering up more of it.  What kind of people promise you that things will change in Washington when they are singing out of the same hymnal? 

Maybe Governor Palin is guilty of this – maybe she isn’t.  I know that it would be really hard for me to not use MY position and influence to help a family member.  I think a lot of Americans would understand that if she were guilty and just “fessed up”.  The problem for the American people isn’t so much the abuse – but the cover-up.   Governor Palin’s problem is that by refusing to answer to this investigation, she appears to be guilty – “thou dost protest too much”, and all that.

I remember when I was flipping out because the government said it was OK to tap my phone without a warrant.  Many of my friends said, “well, if you’re not guilty, why should you care?’  So I pose the same question to you, Governor Palin.  If you’re not guilty – why shouldn’t we investigate?

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