The Washington Post on the Palin "Scandal"
9:54 AM, Aug 30, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In a nutshell, Palin faces allegations that she pressured a political appointee, public safety commissioner Walt Monegan, to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who was involved in a messy divorce and child custody fight with Palin's sister. Last month, Palin fired public safety commissioner Monegan. She has http://kudlow.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Nzc0NzA2N2M5ZTM2ZDI3ZTBiNDM2YTc... target=_blank>said the firing wasn't about trooper Wooten, but Palin's foes in the legislature appointed an investigator to determine if any wrongdoing occurred. A report is due in October.
The Wooten controversy began before Palin announced her candidacy for governor in 2005, when she and her family pushed for an investigation of Wooten's criminal and abusive activities. The Post reports:
While the Post refers to mere "allegations" made by Palin's father, it fails to note the state troopers' investigation and 482-page report--released to the Anchorage Daily News--that found Wooten guilty of these charges:
The Post's failure to report that Wooten was found guilty naturally leads to its failure to report Wooten's scandalously light punishment for issuing a death threat and Tasering a 10 year-old:
The second half of the Post article is comprised entirely of unchallenged assertions made by Monegan and the troopers' union boss John Cyr--who includes this blatant lie among his tendentious statements:
According to the Anchorage Daily News that's not true:
So where do things currently stand with the controversy? The Anchorage Daily News reported on August 14 that although Palin "has previously said her administration didn't exert pressure to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten," the governor said she had recently become aware that her staffers had made two dozen calls to the public safety department about Wooten. "Many of these inquiries were completely appropriate. However, the serial nature of the contacts could be perceived as some kind of pressure, presumably at my direction," Palin said.
In one of the supposedly inappropriate phone calls, a Palin staffer--who has since been placed on leave--tells a staffer at the public safety department that "â€˜Todd and Sarah [Palin] are scratching their heads, 'Why on earth hasn't this, why is this guy still representing the department?'"
So: Is there really much of a scandal here? In my view, the only way this story can hurt Palin is if the media continue to ignore or downplay exactly what Wooten did. Any normal American would want to knock Wooten's teeth in for Tasering a 10 year-old and threatening to kill Palin's father. If anything, this "scandal" reinforces Palin's record of being a reformer who stands up to thugs and bureaucrats content with the status quo.