Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin's Professional and Personnel Problems Percolate

Camp McPalin has been keeping their VP pick Sarah Palin on a very short leash. Given how poorly she did in her one and only interview, I can understand why. With all the secrecy going on, it's no wonder that some people are already calling her Dick Cheney with lipstick.

But no matter how much McCain's marauders try to hush up any and all information about Palin, there is a political version of Hurricane Ike headed their way. And almost all of it is boiling up regarding Troopergate.

We already know that Troopergate involves Palin firing the state's top cop, Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, for not firing her ex-brother-in-law, Michael Wooten. But everyday, more and more information about Palin's pattern of behavior and other issues surrounding Troopergate are emerging.

As mayor of Wasilla, Palin had a rough start. She fired the police chief because he was giving her "mean looks." She asked twice about banning books. When the librarian told her no, she fired her, which caused an uprising among the citizens. She also fired the head of the museum, which prompted two other department heads to quit. She tried to make museum employees decide which one of them should be fired. She also tried to illegally replace two members of the town council. All of these abuses of power started rumblings of a recall.

As she tried to make a name for herself as a reformer, she showed herself to be no better. From
The moment that crystallized her image as a reformer came when she turned in state Republican chairman Randy Ruedrich after discovering he was using his state e-mail account to conduct party business.

Palin and Ruedrich were serving together as commissioners on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a state regulatory agency, at the time. Ruedrich resigned from the commission in November 2003, and was later fined $12,000, according to a 2004 article in the Anchorage Daily News.

In 2006, Palin found herself asking forgiveness for a similar offense from her past, according to a July 28, 2006, article in the Anchorage Daily News. She had sent campaign e- mails from her Wasilla mayor's office in 2002, when she made an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor.

``For any mistakes like that (were) made, I apologize,'' Palin said of the e-mail controversy in July 2006, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

As governor, Palin's pattern of abusing her power continued. When Monegan refused to fire Wooten, who already had been investigated and punished, she fired Monegan. Then the big cover ups and distortions started. First, she tries to say Monegan wasn't fired, but quit. But a TV station in Alaska caught her up in her lies when she states that she fired Monegan for something that she praised him for just a week before. Interestingly enough, the person Palin appointed to replace Monegan had to step down two weeks later due to an old sexual harassment charge.

Palin kept up her personal vendetta against Wooten despite being warned by a judge to drop the issue. More recently, an ethics adviser warned Palin that she should admit her mistakes and move on, before it blew up on her. She obviously did not listen to either of these people.

The Alaskan State Legislature has now issued subpoenas for thirteen people, including Todd Palin, to investigate whether Palin has abused her power of office.

And why Todd? Well, Todd, aka the First Dude, has a history of being overly involved in the affairs of the State, even though he holds no official role or capacity to be so involved. From the New York Times:
While that suggestion goes beyond the image presented of Mr. Palin during the Republican convention as a blue-collar family man and sportsman, it echoes a widely held understanding among lawmakers, state employees and lobbyists about Mr. Palin’s heavy engagement in state government.

In the small circle of advisers close to the governor, these people say, Mr. Palin is among the closest, and he plays an unpaid but central role in many aspects of the administration of Ms. Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president.

Mr. Palin’s involvement in the governor’s office has prompted an irreverent quip by some capital staff members when decisions are to be made that might affect the governor: “What would Todd do?”

Mr. Palin has encouraged lawmakers to support his wife’s agenda, helped her review budget items and polish speeches, surprised some lawmakers by sitting in on meetings. and received copies of top administration staff e-mail messages.

Mr. Palin also has stepped into personnel issues that have personal relevance, most notably his contact with Walt Monegan, then the public safety commissioner, to express concern about the continued employment of a state trooper who had gone through a bitter divorce and custody battle with the governor’s sister. Mr. Monegan was later fired, and it is that firing that prompted the vote Friday on the subpoena.

On a side note, it is Todd's level of involvement is even more disturbing when one takes in consideration that he was a long standing member of the Alaska Independence Party, which advocates secession from the United States. He even got his wife, Sarah to attend two conventions of the AIP. One can only wonder what other strange and inappropriate things the Palins were into.

Mike Mathias, of Pundit Nation, has more on Palin and her history of cronyism and personal vendettas.

The Mighty Brawler also has more cronyism and how Palin not only bullies underlings, but also citizen bloggers.

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