TrooperGate Findings Undermine Palin's Reform Message
First, the McCain camp and Palin herself are saying that the investigation found no laws were broken or nothing unethical was done.
On the first count they’re right. No laws were broken. But do you know why she didn’t break any laws? Because the employment law states she A) could either fire him for any reason or B) she didn’t even need a reason. So as far as laws go, that one was virtually impossible to break.
On the second count, though, they’re either not reading the report or they’re simply trying to convince folks of something that isn’t true.
The report clearly stated that she violated state ethics laws and that the firing of Monegan was influenced by the Wooten case. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act states, “[…] 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.â€
In fact, the investigation showed that Todd Palin contacted NINE separate people about Wooten, two of whom were contacted, as stated in the report, on “numerous occasions.” And Sarah made five phone calls herself about the trooper. Three to Monegan and two to somebody else. And then there’s her staff, four of whom contacted various concerns.
Listen folks, if you think Wooten should have been fired, that’s fine, but for the Palins to say the following back in July shows that they played fast and loose with the truth…
“All I know what the facts are and what the truth is. And the truth is never was there any pressure put on Commissioner Monegan to hire or fire anybody.”
“Never putting any pressure on him,” added first gentleman Palin.
Long story short, if Palin claims to be bringing reform and change to Washington, but had no problem lying about something as trivial as this only 3 months ago, I think that’s obviously a knock against that claim.
For a more detailed look at the report and the arguments for and against the Palins, see David Post’s thoughts at The Volokh Conspiracy.