Troopergate: No "there" there.

Troopergate: No "there" there.


As I said from the beginning of this nonsense.

Ed Morrissey covers the story:

“Sarah Palin issued a response to the Troopergate investigation yesterday by releasing internal memoranda that show Walt Monegan got fired for insubordination on budget matters and not because of his refusal to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law. Monegan went behind Palin’s back to attempt to revive a project Palin had vetoed, which “stunned” the Office of Management and Budget Director. On another occasion, Monegan held a press conference with Hollis French to dissent from Palin’s budget priorities — the same Hollis French pushing the ethics complaint against Palin… According to the papers filed by Palin’s legal team, that was not the only instance of insubordination from Monegan… From this presentation, it looks like Monegan had decided from the start to be a loose cannon in the Palin administration. The wonder of this isn’t that he got fired — it’s how he managed to hang onto his job as long as he did… Monegan served as a political appointee, at the pleasure of the Governor. Obviously, Monegan didn’t act to support Palin’s budget initiatives, often acting in opposition to them. In anyone’s administration, that will result in dismissal. “

In an odd way, this does bring up a question of Palin’s leadership style. She is trying to get things done, and a political appointee was working actively against her.

She really should have fired him sooner.

  • Gaucho Politico

    Did you read the pleading? far from making monegan out to be some horrible non team player who should have been fired it makes him look like a guy fighting against a governor more concerned with consolidating her power than working to fight the major problem of sex crimes in Alaska. She fired him because he was working to get the funding for a program aimed at the violence against women and children.

    Palin seems very unconcerned about the issue of sex crimes based on the pleading. She claims she fired him because of her budget priorities, ie not funding a unit targeting sex crimes. She sends a check of over 2000+ dollars a year to the people yet cannot find the money to go after sex crimes? How does that make any sense. To be giving money away means that you should have no budget shortfalls, there should be money for everything and the only reason there would be no funding is that the project would be deemed unworthy.

    Also evident in their pleading is reliance on federal pork to run the state. She references the money coming in from stevens and how the sex crimes unit ranks behind the other areas she wants funded.

    Maybe she did not fire monegan over wooten but the reason she cites for firing him reveals a major political liability that conflicts with her stance against earmarks and against sex crimes.

  • mw

    He was a political appointee. He was not elected governor. As an unelected political appointee he took it upon himself to subvert and work actively against the budget initiatives of the elected governor of the state. If he wanted to set the budget priorities for the state, he could run for governor himself and put his case in front of the people of Alaska.

  • gerryf

    I noted this in an earlier post on this topic–the part you are leaving out is that Palin campaigned on a platform of improving police service (and was critical of the previous administration for cutting police funding) and then she immediately turned around and started slashing once elected.

    Monegan called her on it. She didn’t like it.

    To say there is no there there is inaccurate. It’s just not only about firing him for not canning her ex-brother-in-law.

    There is a there there, so there.

  • rob

    Read pages 42 and 43.

    It’s not that they think it’s a bad idea, she just wanted DPS to provide all the estimated costs and how it would be paid for.

    At 10 to 20 million a year, it’s a fair request.

    Not to mention Monegan had 37 unfilled vacancies budgeted (but he was using that money else where). He could have used those budget from there to fund the initiative, but instead he wanted to pull an end run and embarrass the governor into capitulating, by saying she doesn’t care about rape victims and children.

    Real classy guy…

  • Ed in NJ

    Third excuse is the charm, huh? So will you be pushing for the completion of the investigation or supporting the campaign stalling tactics?

    [insert mw talking point about how the majority Republican investigative panel is tainted]

  • Gaucho Politico


    I am not disputing her legal right to fire monegan. What i am saying though is that the reason she chose to fire him, budget priorities, will look worse when that budget priority is targeting sex crimes an especially large problem in alaska.

    Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average  a ranking it has held for many years. Children are no safer: Public safety experts believe that the prevalence of rape and sexual assault of minors in Alaska makes the state’s record one of the worst in the U.S. And while solid statistics on domestic violence are hard to come by, most  including Gov. Palin  agree it is an “epidemic.”

    People might have let her go on the wooten thing because wooten seems like someone who might have needed firing. She had the moral justification. When it looks like she did not feel that sex crimes deserved to be a budget priority in a state like alaska that sends some bad signals. She is arguing that she had a legal right because he did not stick to process. However people might see monegan as having a just cause in the targeting of sex crimes. A process argument versus a justice argument loses. People will bend the law to suit a just out come.

  • rob

    Actually page 44 shows he’s got even more resources than just that:
    49 troopers, 2 corporals, 1 sergeant, 3 lieutenants, and 1 captain, not counting any new hires.

    I’d be pissed if my governor just threw money at some problem without asking why he couldn’t manage it with the money for vacancies for which he hadn’t filled. Where’s that money going?

  • mw

    Ed, Remind me. Exactly what were we investigating again?

  • Split Party Household

    So she is essentially cleared of the inappropriate firing, but what is the latest CNN headline? “Palin couldn’t run company, says aide” If you take the time to read the article, which many people don’t, this is a terribly misleading headline. Additionally, I am sure Ms. Fiorina had other nice things to say about both Palin and McCain, but we’ll never hear them from CNN. But as we all know, there is no liberal bias in the media. Keep pretending it doesn’t exist but it is not going to go away. Here’s the actual article:

    Fiorina: Palin, McCain not qualified to run company
    Posted: 05:00 PM ET

    From CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

    Carly Fiorina spoke at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
    WARREN, Ohio (CNN) – Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO turned John McCain Victory chair, said Tuesday that Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to run her old company.

    Appearing on a KTRS Radio show in St. Louis, Fiorina was asked by the host, “Do you think she has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett Packard?”

    “No, I don’t,” Fiorina answered. “But that’s not what she’s running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things.”

    “I would just remind you that it is Barack Obama who is running for president,” she continued. “John McCain who is running for president.”

    Fiorina contended that while Palin may not be up the task of running a multi-billion dollar IT company, she does have more relevant governing experience than Obama.

  • Justin Gardner

    I’ll remind you.

    Alaska’s Legislative Council, made up of 4 Dems and 8 Repubs, voted unanimously to open up an investigation into the numerous phone calls and emails to Walt Monegan about Trooper Wooten. And this was a trail so long that even Palin’s ethics adviser said she should apologize for it.

    I do think this latest evidence makes a compelling case for her side of the story, but I find it sad I have to remind you that this is ONE side of the story. And as I’m sure you’re well aware how these things work, BOTH sides need to have their sides presented.

    So, I’d reserve the “I told you so”s until this is all said and done.

  • mw

    Since you have been doing an exemplary job of headlining one side (ethics advisers, husband subpoenas) I am headlining the other. On this story, I think every donkle should get a phant. I am, admittedly, running behind on that equation.

  • Justin Gardner

    Well, that’s the problem. There have been no “phants” to report. Palin was simply denying the allegations and then refusing to cooperate with the investigation…both of which I shared.

    It has only been recently (sometime today?) that this stuff came out. You posted before I even had a chance to look at it, although I would have posted it.

  • Ian

    There is no “there” here for sure. There is a difference between real news and nonsense.

    Republican controlled Legislative Council decides to investigate Republican Governor.
    Governor refuse to cooperate.
    Governor releases four different versions of the story of what happened.
    Governor is caught in a bunch of lies about earmarks and tele-prompters and….

    The assertion that a couple memos completely exonerate the Governor when she has systematically refused to release emails and testify.

    OK, this is a blog and everyone is allowed their own opinion, but really. There is no “there” in this post, just a lot of nonsense.

  • Rob in Denver
  • Rich Horton

    Gaucho says “I am not disputing her legal right to fire monegan. What i am saying though is that the reason she chose to fire him”

    Have you recently patented a “soul reading machine”? I didnt know needing to be “true of heart” was a legal necessity.

  • Jim S

    Since you have been doing an exemplary job of headlining one side (ethics advisers, husband subpoenas) I am headlining the other.

    So you’ve decided to repeat any lie passed on by people who have tanked, like Morrissey? Is this what you are admitting to?

  • Jim S

    BTW, Ed Morrissey no longer covers stories. He says anything it takes to defend the Republican ticket no matter how much BS is involved.

  • Rob in Denver
  • L

    “I didnt know needing to be “true of heart” was a legal necessity.” – Rich Horton

    It may not be a legal necessity, but since when did voters only care about legal necessities. We are screening her for a vice-presidential position not a judgeship.

  • Ian

    Now that it has come out that the insubordination story is BS (I am posting this on Sept 20), I thought I’d like to reiterate the nonsensical nature of the claim in the first place. What’s more amusing isn’t that she would make a claim like that, it’s that anyone would believe that she might get away with it. Here’s the bad news – closing your eyes, clicking your heels and wishing hard doesn’t make things come true. Doing it in public does make you look like a fool though.

  • Todd

    If there really is “no there there”, then why all the obstructionism?

    Before being chosen as the Vice Presidential nominee, Gov. Palin had pledged to cooperate with this inquiry. Had she gone forward with that cooperation, I think this would be much more of a non-story.

    I think this is another example of the McCain campaign thinking that doing what the base wants is the same thing that will play well with the electorate as a whole.

    I suspect that they’re wrong.

    I don’t know if there’s an intrade category for this yet, but I’d say the percentage that Sarah Palin will not be the Governor of Alaska at this time next year should be pretty high. (decreasing chance of becoming Vice President + increasing chance of something eventually coming out of this scandal = good chance of not being in Juneau)

    Remember, with most political scandals, the biggest trouble usually results from the attempted cover-up … whether there was an actual underlying “crime” or not.

    Just my two pennies,