Anchorage Daily News headline Sunday, October 12 - Palin says report vindicates her
According to this story Palin was thoroughly briefed on a report from Steve Branchflower into her abuse of power in office, but her response leads on to wonder, was she briefed on the findings of the report, or only on what to say? The report clearly states that ethical violations took place. According to the Branchflower who authored the report at the behest of the Alaska State Legislature, Todd Palin, and very possibly the governor herself took numerous opportunities to pressure subordinates to help remove a former family member Mike Wooten from his position with the state patrol. The Palins have made several allegations against the trooper. As a result, he was put on leave and was already been subjected to discipline as deemed appropriate by the Alaska State Troopers. As far as is known at this point, no further accusations have been reported to justify additional action against Wooten.
The only portion of the report that could be considered vindication is the clarification that Walt Moneghan, the former State Safety Commissioner, could be released from his position by the governor for any reason whatsoever as he served 'at the pleasure of the governor'. Palin could, legally, release him from his position if she didn't like his tie. However, the report does indicate that Moneghan's failure to assist in firing Wooten was likely a contributing factor to the governor's decision to remove him from his position.
While Palin takes the findings as vindication for her actions, she also insists that the investigation itself was politically motivated. This is contrary to her original attitude, before being picked as McCain's running mate, of welcoming the legislature to 'hold her accountable' when the investigation was first proposed.
All in all, her recent vitriolic comments and attacks on the campaign trail, her disjointed answers to the Anchorage media about the Branchflower report and her apparent disconnect with its findings leaves one wondering, what is happening to Sarah Palin? Though she has her failings, one is left to wonder, why not just admit that a mistake had been made and move on. Why all this posturing and obfuscation? What does her behavior indicate for her actions as a potential vice president?? And, perhaps most interesting of all, what will her political future be if and when she returns to Alaska?
Added note: October 14, 2008
Last night's news coverage on the local CBS affiliate did a story about Palin's allegation of partisanship on behalf of the legislative investigation. She has charged that there was enmity and past disagreements between her and legislators involved in the investigation. To verify whether or not this might be true, they checked into how many of the legislators in question had agreed or disagreed with Palin on one of her major proposals, the AGIA plan. Turns out the split was about half and half, with many of the Democrats voting with the governor on this major piece of Alaska legislation.