Saturday, October 11, 2008

Surprise! Sarah Palin abused her powers as Governor

Damn the subpoenas, full speed ahead - McCain/Palin yard sign.
Well well well. Can't say I'm surprised by the results of the Troopergate investigation - it was pretty clear that Sarah Palin was abusing her powers in trying to get rid of Trooper Wooten.

I have to say though that I am pleasantly surprised that the investigation actually managed to proceed as planned (and even more pleased that they decided to publish their findings!), seeing as how the McCain campaign seems to have sent every Republican lawyer in the lower 48 up to Alaska to try and stop it.

Anti-Palin protest sign: Alaska demands honesty. I think it's very interesting how Palin seems to be channeling Cheney by denying that anything untoward ever happened - even in the face of a report that says she abused her powers... which is par for the course for the McCain campaign - but I see hope in the fact that more and more Republicans are backing slowly away from the McCain/Palin ticket and everything it stands for.

Now I was planning at this juncture to give you a bunch of links to US news media articles on this latest Palin scandal, but a quick Google on "Palin abused powers" made me realise that this story isn't just making headlines around the US - this one has gone truly global.

Anti-Palin protest sign: Come back up to Alaska Palin - clean up your own damn mess. I think those of you in the US would be interested in how closely the rest of the world is paying attention right now. I've never seen this much overseas interest in a US presidential election before - and I've been watching them myself for a while now.

The vast majority of the rest of the world, as you probably know, would vote for Obama/Biden over McCain/Palin by an incredibly high ratio (the Economist worldwide poll currently has McCain with 13 global electoral-college votes and Obama with 8,764), but as we can't vote, I guess the next best thing is to pay attention and help spread the word.

So without further ado, here's a small selection of the Troopergate coverage from around the world. All photos on this page are courtesy of alizasherman's Alaskans for Truth Rally Sept 27, 2008 set on Flickr - thanks heaps, dude:

Critics say 'First Dude' too involved - The Chronicle Herald (Canada):

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Todd Palin is not just the quintessential Alaskan man. In many ways, he has also been the quintessential first spouse since his wife, vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, took office some 22 months ago...

...But questions have been raised about the quasi-official role of Todd Palin, 44, in his wife’s administration. Some lawmakers have said they have been surprised to find him sitting in on the governor’s meetings with lawmakers on state budget issues. He often stands in the back of the room during her press conferences and legislative committee hearings. Recently released e-mails from Sarah Palin’s personal accounts reveal that her husband was copied on correspondence about state business.

Palin abused power, probe finds - BBC News (UK):
The running mate of US Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been found guilty of an abuse of power, according to a state legislature probe.

Inquiry finds Sarah Palin abused powers in Troopergate affair - The Guardian (UK):
Anti-Palin protest sign: Stonewall it, plead the fifth, cover-up. John McCain's election campaign last night suffered the body blow that Republicans had been bracing themselves for when his vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was found to have abused her powers in pursuit of a personal feud against her former brother-in-law.

At the conclusion of the ten-week investigation into the so-called Troopergate affair, Palin was found to have breached the ethics rules that govern her conduct as governor of Alaska.

Palin's Alaska vendetta adds to McCain's woe
- The Guardian (UK):
When John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate, his supporters declared the move a masterstroke. But Republican poll ratings have been falling day by day - and now the 'Troopergate' scandal has turned the Hockey Mom from Alaska into a liability for a campaign that has lost its way.

Palin: An abuse of office - The Independent on Sunday (UK):
John McCain's beleaguered presidential campaign was yesterday struggling to weather yet another blow, after his running mate, Sarah Palin, was judged to have abused her power as Governor of Alaska when she and her husband sought to kick her former brother-in-law out of the state's police force.

Probe finds Palin abused her power - Financial Times (UK):
Sarah Palin abused her power as governor of Alaska, according to an official report released on Friday into the so-called “Troopergate” scandal that has clouded her candidacy as John McCain’s Republican vice-presidential running-mate.

The case involves accusations that Ms Palin fired a senior state commissioner because of his refusal to dismiss her brother-in-law, a state trooper, who was involved in a divorce and child custody battle with her sister.

‘Pitbull’ found guilty of abusing power - TimesOnline (UK):
Anti-Palin protest sign: I can see corruption from my house. THE so-called Troopergate investigation into Sarah Palin’s conduct as Alaska governor has blown a hole in John McCain’s White House campaign and called into question the role of her husband Todd as “first dude” should she become vice-president.

Palin’s breezy, shoot-from-the-hip style on the stump was just as evident in the way she managed Alaskan affairs. An ethics report to Alaska’s legislative council, released this weekend, found that she had abused her power as governor by pressurising officials to sack a state trooper involved in an ugly divorce from her sister.

Sarah Palin 'unlawfully abused power' in feud with state trooper, report finds - Telegraph (UK):
It started as a bitter family dispute over an ugly divorce and allegations ranging from illicit moose hunting to death threats in the small Alaskan town of Wasilla.

But that feud exploded into the race for the White House after an independent investigator concluded that Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, unlawfully abused her power as Alaska governor to push for her former brother-in-law to be sacked as a state trooper.

Alaska ethics inquiry finds Palin abused power - Irish Times (Ireland):
An Alaska ethics inquiry has found that Governor Sarah Palin, the US Republican vice presidential candidate, abused her authority by pressuring subordinates to fire a state trooper involved in a feud with her family.

The finding, announced yesterday, cast a cloud over John McCain's controversial choice of running mate for the November 4th election.

US probe says Palin abused power - Al Jazeera (Qatar):
Anti-Palin protest sign: Sarah Palin lies lies lies. Sarah Palin, the US Republican vice-presidential candidate, abused her power as Alaska's governor when she fired the state's public safety commissioner, a legislative committee has found.

A report to the committee concluded late on Friday that a family grudge was not the sole reason for her firing of Walter Monegan, but said that it likely was a contributing factor.

Palin abused powers: Probe - The Telegraph (India):
New York, Oct. 11: Governor Sarah Palin abused the powers of her office by pressuring subordinates to try to get her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired, an investigation by the Alaska Legislature has concluded.

Alaska probe finds Palin 'abused her power' - India Express (India):
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the running mate of John McCain, ‘abused her power’ in seeking to get her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, an ethics report has found, dealing a blow to the Republican Presidential nominee who is struggling to hold ground against Democrat rival Barack Obama.

Palin guilty of abusing power - The Age (Australia):
REPUBLICAN vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her power as Alaska governor, investigators found yesterday, in another blow to John McCain's struggling White House bid.

As Senator McCain sought to restore control over unruly rallies that have seen a stream of invective, including a death threat aimed at Democratic rival Barack Obama, the "troopergate" scandal threatened to torpedo his campaign.

Palin 'abused power' - Herald Sun (Australia):
Anti-Palin protest sign: Lesson 1, Governor, you are not above the law. SARAH Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor to get her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel has found.

The politically-charged "troopergate" inquiry could damage Governor Palin's reputation as a reformist vice-presidential candidate on Senator John McCain's Republican ticket.

And it could have a significant effect on the party's hopes of winning next month's US election.

Palin abused power, inquiry finds - NZ Herald (New Zealand):
Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded today.

The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket.

And finally, a piece from TPM, written back at the end of August, which pretty much nails the entire Troopergate story - Getting Real About Palin:
I've noticed some people who should know better claiming that bringing up Gov. Palin's troopergate scandal is tantamount to making a victim of or defending her slimeball ex-brother-in-law who allegedly once used a taser on his stepson.

That's awfully foolish. So I thought I'd put together a post explaining why.

...and a couple of more recent articles from the US for good measure:

Alaska Inquiry Concludes Palin Abused Powers - New York Times (US):
Gov. Sarah Palin abused the powers of her office by pressuring subordinates to try to get her former brother-in-law, a state trooper, fired, an investigation by the Alaska Legislature has concluded. The inquiry found, however, that she was within her right to dismiss her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, who was the trooper’s boss.

What the Troopergate Report Really Says - TIME (US):
Friday's report from special investigator Stephen Branchflower to Alaska's Legislative Council answered some basic questions about the political and personal bog known as Troopergate.

Did Governor Sarah Palin abuse the power of her office in trying to get her former brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, fired? Yes.

Sarah Palin: The view from Alaska - Salon (US):
Anti-Palin protest sign: Sarah is a disgraceI sat on the bank of the Kobuk River in northwest arctic Alaska on a mid-September morning. Upstream somewhere, wolves were howling — their chorus filling the silence, close enough that I could hear the aspiration at the end of each wavering call. Behind me, the slate-gray heave of the Brooks Range spilled off toward the north, the shapes of some peaks so familiar I’ve seen them in my sleep. The nearest highway lay 250 miles away. This is the Alaska where I spent half my life, and the only place that’s ever felt like home — the land of Eskimo villages, waves of migrating caribou and seemingly limitless space.

Though I was beyond the reach of the Internet and cellphones, and life was filled with rutting bull moose, incandescent autumn light and fresh grizzly tracks, I knew that thousands of miles to the south, the rest of the country was getting a crash course on our governor, Sarah Palin — someone who believes that climate change isn’t our fault; is dead set against a woman’s right to choose; has supported creationism in the schools; and was prayed over by a visiting minister at her church to shield her against witchcraft.

There. That should keep you busy for a while. Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .