Friday Night News Dump, Alaska Style
Sarah Palin abused the power of her office. Why didn't they read the report she released exonerating herself? Wouldn't that be the fair and balanced thing to do?
A legislative committee investigating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has found she unlawfully abused her authority in firing the state's public safety commissioner. The investigative report concludes that a family grudge wasn't the sole reason for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan but says it likely was a contributing factor.
The Republican vice presidential nominee has been accused of firing a commissioner to settle a family dispute. Palin supporters have called the investigation politically motivated.
Monegan says he was dismissed as retribution for resisting pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.
Well, she's said six or seven different things, that's just today's excuse, but that's besides the point. By the way that "politically motivated" investigation included 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats.
The report has been released (by unanimous vote of the Council) and can be found here. The nut graf:
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."
The wingnuts will hang their hat on the fact that the report says that Palin's firing of Walt Monegan was within her statutory authority, but the above paragraph doesn't have a lot of wiggle room. Her handpicked Attorney General failed to turn over documents in the case, too.
I think the best way for the McCain campaign to spin this is to assert that, by being found guilty of abusing power and obstructing justice, Palin has now shown herself to be perfectly qualified for the office of Vice President as it has been conceived by Dick Cheney.
Or, they can go the route of Palin's lawyer and claim that the report is incomplete because they never talked to Palin herself, which leaves me to wonder if there's a word in Eskimo for "chutzpah."
Perhaps the best, or saddest, part of this is that they tried to stage a replay of the Brooks Brothers riot, this time by dressing up in red noses and rallying against what I guess they'd call a "reindeer court":
As for the nitty-gritty details, I figure Marcy Wheeler's better at that than I am.