Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fear The Palinator!

Make no mistake, Michael Wooten sounds like a redneck and a jackass and was probably a pain in the ass as a brother-in-law and even worse during the divorce, but we should be very, very alarmed at the prospect of a president who is willing to turn the full force of an Executive Office to pursuit of a personal vendetta with this degree of unyielding obsession.

ANCHORAGE — The 2007 state fair was days away when Alaska’s public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, took another call about one of his troopers, Michael Wooten. This time, the director of Gov. Sarah Palin’s Anchorage office was on the line.

As Mr. Monegan recalls it, the aide said the governor had heard that Mr. Wooten was assigned to work the kickoff to the fair. If so, Mr. Monegan should do something about it, because Ms. Palin was also planning to attend and did not want the trooper nearby.

Somewhat bewildered, Mr. Monegan soon determined that Mr. Wooten had indeed volunteered for duty at the fairgrounds — in full costume as “Safety Bear,” the troopers’ child-friendly mascot.


Ms. Palin has denied that anyone told Mr. Monegan to dismiss Mr. Wooten, or that the commissioner’s ouster had anything to do with the trooper. But an examination of the case, based on interviews with Mr. Monegan and several top aides, indicates that, to a far greater degree than was previously known, the governor, her husband and her administration pressed the commissioner and his staff to get Mr. Wooten off the force, though without directly ordering it.

In all, the commissioner and his aides were contacted about Mr. Wooten three dozen times over 19 months by the governor, her husband and seven administration officials, interviews and documents show.

Also alarming is the level of authority that seems to exist for First Husband Todd Palin. Ostensibly he's a seasonal fisherman and oil industry employee, but the truth is that his involvement in state business has been so significant that the governor's own staff would regularly quip "What would Todd do?" on most serious decisions.

Ms. McCann “wanted to know what relief was available to her” without spending the money to return to court, the lawyer said, adding, “As a close family, the Palins did their best to help her by reaching out further to the trooper hierarchy, with Todd taking the lead.”

On Jan. 4, 2007, a month into the Palin administration and his tenure as public safety commissioner, Mr. Monegan was called to the governor’s Anchorage office to meet Todd Palin. Mr. Palin was seated at a conference table with three stacks of personnel files. That, Mr. Monegan recalled, was the first time he heard the name Mike Wooten.

“He conveyed to me that he and Sarah did not think the investigation into Wooten had been done well enough and that they were not happy with the punishment,” Mr. Monegan said. “Todd was clearly frustrated.”

Also troubling: Sarah Palin was having this man watched, a fact that was revealed in 2007 - two years after Trooper Wooten's divorce from Palin's sister.

Several evenings later, Mr. Monegan’s cellphone rang. “Walt, it’s Sarah,” the governor said before echoing much of what her husband had said. Mr. Wooten, he recalls being told, was “not the kind of person we should want as a trooper.” He told the governor, too, that there was no new evidence to pursue.

Soon after that, Mr. Palin and several aides began pressing the public safety agency to investigate another matter: whether Mr. Wooten was fraudulently collecting workers’ compensation for a back injury he said he had suffered while helping carry a body bag.

Mr. Palin’s evidence: He told Ms. Peterson, the commissioner’s assistant, that he had seen Mr. Wooten riding a snowmobile while on medical leave, and that he had photographs to prove it.

John McCain has consistently stated "look at the record" if you want to know the future. In this case Sarah Palin has shown herself to be perfectly willing to use - and thus abuse - the power of her office to try to take someone down for personal reasons. This is the kind of leadership we have seen around the world with such all time greats as Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin.

John McCain is liable to croak at an inaugural ball on the night of January 20th, 2009. Do we really want to risk putting the unlimited power and resources of the United States of America in the hands of Todd and Sarah Palin?


Here's the full story:
Palins Repeatedly Pressed Case Against Trooper

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