Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Sarah Palin Files, Pt. 54


Nothing shocking here. The Alaska Legislative Panel overseeing the Troopergate investigation of Sarah Palin voted unanimously in favor of releasing the Troopergate Report authored by independent investigator / counsel, Steve Branchflower. The report can be read in its 263 page entirety here.

After all, it might be raining where you are now.

For those of you twelve readers who want to cut to the chase, here it is. Quoting from the report:

Finding Number One

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides

The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.

Somewhat surprisingly, Finding Number Two says:

I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.

The McCain campaign, as only it can do, reads this as exoneration. Yes, really.

I was glad to hear the news. But as someone I know is fond of saying, I will not tarry on the details here.

I'm glad that the whole process didn't become corrupted by the politics surrounding Palin's ascention to the VP candidacy. Because, folks, this is an absolute no brainer. Here's the deal, this is what is known in the law as a "retaliation" suit. When an employee can otherwise be terminated for any damn reason is terminated because he refuses to do something illegal at his employer's behest, that makes the employer liable for "retaliation"(I'm generalizing, but humor me).

If Walt Monegan walked into my hypothetical law office with all of the facts involved in Troopergate, to wit:

Governor pressured him to abuse her executive power to settle a family score;
He refused;
He is fired;
Governor gives 5 or 6 different explanations for the move ...

There are only two words to describe the strength of that case:

Slam. Dunk.

The conclusions of this report shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. And that is true whether Obama operatives influenced the proceedings (as Republicans claim) or not (as is, -er, well, the reality). I'm telling you, somewhere there is a dude who finished last in his class at the worst law school in America and had to take the bar 4 times before he passed it. Even that hapless motherfucker could not fuck this case up. A trained monkey could make this claim against Sarah Palin stick.

But enough with that. The question is politically what will this mean. I think nothing. McCainiacs and Paliniacs will be hopelessly inclined to outright dismiss the report's validity. Everyone else is convinced she's unfit for office already. So, this doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

Still, it was welcome news. The Hot Rodette even cheered when she heard Rachel Maddow announce it on MSNBC, which was the first we heard of it. Momentarily, I thought someone had just scored a touchdown.

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