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Friday, August 15, 2008

Accusations against Palin imploding, media ignoring key facts

First off, my apologies for not picking up this story earlier, I have been very getting ready to move and have had very little time for the blog. That said, the "Troopergate" story has reared it's head in the national media again, and lots of new information is being released. So I figure that now is the time to shove another nail into this story's coffin and make a concerted effort to get the facts out. The Associated Press article was relatively even handed, but it was not a full accounting of the facts, and the Alaskan media has been downright horrible. I will be updating this post this story to add detail. But for now, I wanted to give a quick rundown of of the developments that have occurred and the facts that I would like to see reported.

Developments

Gov. Palin held a press conference Wednesday announcing the results of her administration's internal audit regarding the situation. They did find several unauthorized calls made by Palin's staff regarding Trooper Mike Wooten, but no involvement by Gov. Palin, and all of the information will be willingly turned over to Investigator Steve Branchflower. This is an unprecedented level of openness and transparency for an official involved in such a situation.

The key item released was the audio of a recorded phone call by Frank Bailey, a member of the Governor's staff, to the Public Safety Department. The phone call was condemned by the Governor, and I will be detailing later how the audio clearly shows that Bailey was not authorized to make the phone call and not speaking for the administration. That said, Bailey raises some interesting concerns about Walt Monegan in the call, which I will detail later.

For now, I'll let you watch the press conference and listen to the phone call, I'm interested in hearing your comments. Personally, I think Palin is doing a bang-up job handling his.

Facts that have yet to be reported in any media

1. Investigator Steve Branchflower has a GLARING conflict of interest. Not only did he work closely with Walt Monegan's Anchorage Police department for years in the District Attorney's office, but his wife was a detective in that department, including after Monegan became chief. She was even quoted singing Monegan's Praises to the Anchorage Daily News when he was hired as chief. ("New Chief" by Lisa Demer, Anchorage Daily News, Jan. 31, 2001).

2. Todd Palin was ORDERED by the head of the Governor's secutity detail, Special Agent Bob Cockrell, to discuss Trooper Wooten with Walt Monegan, as Wooten presented a credible threat to the Governor's safety. Here's a direct quote from Special Agent Cockrell, who is now providing security for his sixth consecutive governor:

“When made aware of the security concerns regarding a state trooper, I instructed the First Gentleman to contact the commissioner of Public Safety. It is standard protocol to ask every governor about any threats they perceive or have realized. I will not hesitate to set the record straight in answering these false allegations by former Commissioner Monegan.” (emphasis added)

3. State records show that Monegan lied about the number of times he met with the Governor during his tenure. While Monegan claims that the Governor was inaccessible and only met with him four times, records indicate that he had more than two dozen meetings with Gov. Palin, including.

51 comments:

Kristofer said...

“ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin (R), whose name has been floated as a potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), said she has submitted some paperwork to national Republicans, but added she thinks it is unlikely she will be tapped to be McCain’s vice presidential pick.”

the "original" ted said...

Where is Wooten??? Still at an undisclosed location out of the country? Why?

Campaign Team Obama's Alaska Chief, State Sen. Hollis French, with the help of the left-leaning media, is leading a full course press to endeavor to stop Palin (knowing full well that the Dems have no chance in November with Palin on McCain's ticket). Where is the investigation of French's 'investigator' Branchflower's (his wife's)connection to Monegan? Now THERE'S a story, not troopergate, but Branchflower-French-Obama Campaign-Monegan-gate.

Kristofer said...

original Ted, did you see what I wrote?

"said she has submitted some paperwork to national Republicans"

Paul said...

This is great news! This suggests she's interested and we are halfway there!

Contact McCain campaign right now, I've already did my rounds :)

BTW: Why not join the discussion here?

http://www.palinforamerica.com/index.php?option=com_jfusion&view=wrapper&Itemid=113

BigRob-68 said...

This story just never seems to catch fire despite the best attempts of those who oppose Palin and reform. It just has a certain emotional Hooterville or Mayberry feel to it rather than actual malfeasance or "abuse of power" as the ADN puts it. Like CNN AC360 last week, when investigators dig into the story it falls apart.

BigRob-68 said...

kristofer--Do you have url for the quote up top?

the "original" ted said...

Since it now looks that Romney, Ridge and/or Pawlenty are the main alternatives to Palin for Team McCain, need we remind Team McCain that (1) Romney's own health care program he began as Governor of Massachasusetts is a financial disaster only getting worse (and entirely conflicts with McCain's views), (2) virtually every time Romney's name comes up, the flip-flop, slick, issue emerges and is jumped on by media and Dems who are salivating for McCain to name Romney, (3) Pawlenty no excitement whatsoever to conservative base (with Palin more likely to carry Minnesota for McCain than Pawlenty), (4) Ridge boarrrrrrring, not conservative, pro-choice.

Rush Limbaugh now absolutely bashing Ridge (pro choice) and Lieberman (a domestic Democrat).

Rush more than emphasizing need to excite conservative base. The UNIQUE BEAUTY OF PALIN is that she wow's both the conservative base and many of the Hillary and moderate voters!!!

For McCain NOT to pick Palin, he'll have to plead temporary insanity!

TC said...

Hey original Ted, here is the link to kristofer's quote. It's from Roll Call. The title is "Palin says she isn't being vetted," which means one thing, she's being vetted.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/27427-1.html

Anonymous said...

Right you are, TC!

Note how the title LIES about what Palin says.

The article states:
<< Gov. Sarah Palin.... said she has submitted some paperwork... she thinks it is unlikely she will be tapped....”>>

-She's sent in paperwork: that's FACT.
-She won't be picked: that's her GUESS.
-But she does NOT say she isn't being vetted; in fact, she's revealing here, for the first time, that she IS being vetted---or why would they have asked her to submit paperwork?!

Yet the title to this article states:
"Palin says she isn't being vetted"

HUNH? Palin said no such thing!

Now WHY would the article's title misrepresent what Gov. Palin said?

Because the liberal press hopes to GOD that Palin isn't being vetted and won't be picked.

PRAY that McCain will select Sarah Palin as his VP, so he'll be elected!

And I think McCain will just cause a REBELLION if he does not select a pro-life VP! How can McCain even THINK of betraying Republican moral values?

Scott said...

McCain is not picking a pro-choice VP. I think he wants to keep everyone guessing and also show respect to strong supporters such as Lieberman and Ridge, but in the end, he's picking a strong conservative. I will also say the floating of Eric Cantor's name is also likely a ruse -- I just don't see it -- and Romney is unlikely. I feel it's exactly where it was a month ago -- either Palin or Pawlenty. I like both, but much prefer Sarah.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scott--I believe the choice is down to Pawlenty and Palin. Pawlenty is, perhaps, the "safe" choice of the two and would appeal to the conservative base. But I believe the most recent Pew Research poll indicated that most of the conservative base is already behind McCain. He needs to court the swing and I think Sarah Palin is perfect for that.

I mentioned to Adam that he might consider posting reader articles re: Sarah Palin on RealClearPolitics.com--letting us know so that we can vote on them to appear on the main page. Now is not the time--but once Obama announces....

K2

Anonymous said...

PS. "original" Ted--I am your biggest fan! Really appreciate your optimism.

K2

Anonymous said...

You guys have figured out I'm a woman, so I will give my bias on the vetting thing. One, the MSM views the Repub Party as a white male wealthy party, and thus do not believe repubs will seriously consider a woman unless it is someone like Hillary Clinton who has a huge history. Two, the media is sexist. Why would they run Jindal's name constantly, who is really just flat out too young and arguably less experienced, and not Palin? I do think being from Alaska is a bit of a handicap, but I do not think it is enough to explain how much more coverage he gets than she. And the little investigation snafu has the MSM jumping to the conclusion that she's off the list, without I would add, looking into the seriousness (or in this case, lack of) the investigation. That, and the gal is just really good of responding with a "deer in the headlight" look when asked about vp.
dr. v

Anonymous said...

Frank Bailey is still a member of the Governor's staff.

I find that to be extremely odd. Don't you?

Mongo Mere Pawn said...

Adam,

You wanted an honest assessment of the telephone call. I listened to the entire call, and I find myself troubled by its implications.

Bailey sure sounded like he was calling on behalf of Governor Palin, especially when he indicated he was "relaying" information, as though he was handing over a baton handed to him by Governor Palin and her husband. Lt. Dial clearly took it that way because he proceeded to confirm each and every piece of information so relayed by Bailey concerning Trooper Wooten, and told him to tell the Governor that he would look into it (without actually committing to do anything).

It also looks like Bailey contacted Lt. Dial with a cover story that took the first six minutes of the call, just in case anyone asked about it. Passing along confidential employment information on Wooten also looks like an abuse of executive authority. And at least once he used the old, "Governor Palin really likes Walt, but ...."

Based on this telephone call alone, there is sufficient evidence to get to a jury and for the jury to infer Bailey acted on instructions from Governor Palin or her husband. And we haven't even heard the other phone calls.

But getting to the jury and having the jury actually draw the inference Governor Palin's opponents want them to draw are two different things.

Recall my comment about Henry II and Thomas a' Becket yesterday. It is quite possible that this was enough of a burr under the Governor's saddle for her to say something that led her assistants to take action, on their own, on her behalf. She essentially concedes that this is what happened.

And that is what leads me to believe her version of events. I am unfamiliar with how things are done in Alaska, but if you are going to pressure a government official to terminate an employee, especially one that virtually everyone in the state already knows you don't like, why in the world would you go through so many back channels and create so many witnesses? That's just stupid, and Governor Palin does not strike me as stupid.

Either you press your point with Monaghan directly in a true "he said/she said" situation, or you have someone you trust make the approach in a similar situation, discretely. There is absolutely nothing discrete about Bailey's telephone call.

By getting out in front of this call, and by admitting that it looks like what her opponents want the public to think it is, Governor Palin is doing the only thing she can do to retain or regain her credibility. Whether it ends up disqualifying her for VP, who knows. I sure hope not. I would like to hear more of your defense.

Anonymous said...

To K2:

I'd also heard that certain polls were showing that conservatives have already decided to vote for McCain. But I've also heard that McCain is therefore assuming that to get the "swing vote" (ie., independents or Hillary supporters, etc.), he'd better NOT choose a pro-life supporter for his VP. That's why he's leaning toward Ridge or Liebermann.

I agree with Scott--I believe the choice is down to Pawlenty and Palin. Pawlenty is, perhaps, the "safe" choice of the two and would appeal to the conservative base. But I believe the most recent Pew Research poll indicated that most of the conservative base is already behind McCain. He needs to court the swing and I think Sarah Palin is perfect for that.

Anonymous said...

To K2:

I'd also heard that certain polls were showing that conservatives have already decided to vote for McCain. But I've also heard that McCain is therefore assuming that to get the "swing vote" (ie., independents or Hillary supporters, etc.), he'd better NOT choose a pro-life supporter for his VP. That's why he's leaning toward Ridge or Liebermann.

I agree with Scott--I believe the choice is down to Pawlenty and Palin. Pawlenty is, perhaps, the "safe" choice of the two and would appeal to the conservative base. But I believe the most recent Pew Research poll indicated that most of the conservative base is already behind McCain. He needs to court the swing and I think Sarah Palin is perfect for that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, K2 et al.

I must have hit the POST button twice, not to mention fail to delete K2's remarks, which appear at the bottom of mine.....
Sorry!

Palin for America said...

PalinforAmerica.com Forum Update!!

Ok so there were some technical difficulties with the forum so I've decided to forgo the registration process on the main page.

Just click on Forum link at the top and post away!

PalinforAmerica.com

Anonymous said...

OK here is the scoreboard on the Republican VP finalists and what groups they would appeal to (or anger):

Joe Lieberman:

Conservative hawks, Independents and undecideds but will have social and fiscal conservatives seething bullets and likely causes a revolt at the convention-but a good choice for secretary of defense where he will have zero say in picking Supreme Court Justices

Tom Ridge: At least he is CONSISTENTLY wrong on abortion which is more respectable than Romney. Pro-choice Republicans, Libertarians who dislike Bob Barr.

Tim Pawlenty: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzz....No Doze
distributors

Mitt Romney:
Mormons who flip-flop on abortion,
Investment bankers, mannequins

Sarah Palin: Fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, military hawks, maverick senators (very important), Hillary supporters, 2nd amendment supporters, Drill ANWR now crowd

(Good luck trying to get this assortment of groups to agre on anything else than the time of day)

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: 5:53pm Friday and Frank Bailey is still a member of the Governor's staff.

the "original" ted said...

mongo and the anon who keeps bring up Bailey, YOU ARE MISSING ONE THING, EVEN IF THERE WAS IMPLICIT PRESSURE (while nothing ever expressly said BY GOV PALIN to fire Wooten), BIG F_ _ C K I N G D E A L !!!!

What a mountain out of a molehill! Moreover, put yourself in Gov Palin's place and an ex-brother-in-law threatened to kill her dad, and the Palin's were told to report this to the State Police. sheeeeeeeze, she did the only right thing -- carefully not to stop concern from being shown yet never herself ever expressing to the people with authority to fire Wooten that they must fire Wooten. Actually, when you examine this whole thing, Gov Palin acted perfectly and more than appropriately under the circumstances!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An Alaskan in Alaska said...

"original" ted - The allegations you mentioned were reported by the Palin/Heath clan in 2005. Wooten was given a 5 day suspension for tasing the 11 y.o. The "death threat" was found to be unsubstantiated.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

the "original" ted said...

alaskan in AK, you are dead wrong if you're saying or implying what I say has no direct relevence, whereas your 2 points have been more than fully addressed.

Go to Adam Brickley's Saturday, July 19, 2008 Video response to Andrew Halcro's allegations. Go back to the palinforvp 7/19/08 posting and watch the videos yourself. Would be easier than repeating everything here.

Adam B. writes:
"Here is my full video response to Andrew Halcro's salacious allegations against Gov. Palin. Part 1 is an introduction to the situation, while Part 2 details several key aspects of the case. I am on an extreme time crunch at the moment, so I will have to post all of my supporting documentation this afternoon. However, you can find all of the documents cited at KTVA.com (yellow box on the sidebar)."

the "original" ted said...

alaskan in AK, I just went back and reviewed.

IN FACT THE DEATH THREAT BY WOOTEN WAS SUSTAINED!!!!!

An Alaskan in Alaska said...

Are you lying or just wrong, Ted?

The governor's husband says the family was concerned about the governor's safety. The Palins say that Wooten threatened to kill Sarah Palin's father and made vague threats to her that he would "bring me down."

Monegan said he told Todd Palin that he would look into Wooten. The then-commisioner, though, found that the allegations had already been investigated with an internal trooper investigation in 2005. All but two -- an illegal moose killing and a Tasering of an 11-year-old -- were found to be unsubstantiated. Wooten was disciplined.

www.adn.com/politics/story/469135.html

flapper said...

scott,

I agree. It's Palin or Pawlenty.


palin for america,

I had no trouble registering. If we move over there, the haters, losers and trolls will follow.

Haters, Losers and Trolls! Oh My!

the "original" ted said...

alaskan ak, no you're wrong, the death threat was "sustained"

Anonymous said...

Apparently you are a liar, Ted. That's a shame.

Here's my proof. Where's yours?

All but two -- an illegal moose killing and a Tasering of an 11-year-old -- were found to be unsubstantiated. Wooten was disciplined.

www.adn.com/politics/story/469135.html

the "original" ted said...

To anonymous and alaskan in AK:

1. Why was Mike Wooten not fired after suffering a "sustained" complaint of threatening to make Chuck Heath "Eat a f***ing lead bullet”? (see document: http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site163/2008/0717/20080717_062016_641.pdf) 2. How does a miniscule ten day suspension compensate for 11 "sustained complaints", including a credible death threat? 3. Why did Walt Monegan reduce Mr. Wooten's suspension to five days after such an egregious violation? (see article: http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?s=8695727) 4. Why was Union Representative John Cyr, while sitting in on Officer Wooten's interview regarding the allegations, allowed to demand that the tape recorder be turned off for 30 minutes in the middle of the interview because he didn't like the line of questioning that the interviewer was pursuing? (see document: http://www.ktva.com/CommissionerControversy) 5. Why, after being told in 2005 that "any further occurrences of these types of behaviors or incidents will not be tolerated and will result in your termination", was Officer Wooten not immediately terminated last week after his ex-wife had to call 911 to get him to return her children? (see document: http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site163/2008/0717/20080717_061601_637.pdf) So, yes, I really want an investigation. Lets investigate why it looks like the Public Safety Department is placing the personal interests of Mr. Wooten and/or the PSEA above the safety of the citizens who they are supposed to be protecting. If you want to investigate Sarah Palin while you're at it, be my guest; I doubt that you'll turn up anything. However, it is massively hypocritical to demand an investigation of Palin while not wanting to investigate the fact that Wooten (an obvious threat to public safety) is still wearing a badge.

the "original" ted said...

anon and alaskan in AK, go to --

http://www.andrewhalcro.com/comment/reply/805/3327

Once there, you can get to the pdf's

An Alaskan in Alaska said...

#1) Because the dad wasn’t anywhere around when Wooten made that comment.
#2) I assume they didn’t really think Wooten was a threat. The news reported here that all the allegations were from the Palin and Heath family around the time of a messy divorce.
#3) Monegan wasn’t the Commissioner when Wooten’s suspension was reduced.
#4) Who knows? Apparently they can do that.
#5) Who knows? Maybe there was an acceptable excuse.

The fact remains, Palin is the one being investigated. Not Monegan or Wooten.

the "original" ted said...

AND THE QUESTION REMAINS:

Where is Wooten??? Still at an undisclosed location out of the country? Why?

AND THE FACTS DO REMAIN:

Campaign Team Obama's Alaska Chief, State Sen. Hollis French, with the help of the left-leaning media, is leading a full course press to endeavor to stop Palin (knowing full well that the Dems have no chance in November with Palin on McCain's ticket). Where is the investigation of French's 'investigator' Branchflower's (his wife's)connection to Monegan? Now THERE'S a story, not troopergate, but Branchflower-French-Obama Campaign-Monegan-gate.

An Alaskan in Alaska said...

Wooten was at the Governor's picnic in Wasilla last month. I saw him there.

The Legislative Council is a bipartisan, 14-member panel made up of seven senators and seven House members. They voted 12-0 to investigate Palin.

Face it, Ted. This has nothing to do with the Dems or the left-leaning media trying to "stop" Palin. The media here in Alaska loves Palin because she's all about increasing taxes and growing government.

Most reasonable people realize Palin isn't being considered a VP possibility. Sorry to burst your bubble.

the "original" ted said...

alaskan in ak, Wooten wasn't at any picnic in Wasilla last month. Can you site any media or any documentation whatsoever?

Your last comment reveals you're really bogus!

An Alaskan in Alaska said...

"Wooten showed up at the governor's picnic in Mat-Su on Friday."

www.adn.com/politics/story/469135.html

Who's bogus now, ted?

Anonymous said...

to an alaskan in alaska--

How can Alaskans feel safe with somone like Wooten in the public safety department?

How can anyone be defending him and his group "birds of a feather flock together".--a former Wasilla Alaskan.

the "original" ted said...

alaskan in ak, re Wooten showing up at the picnic, that was in mid July when the bruhaha was first launched re Monegan and Halcro. Since then, Wooten is no where that can be found, reportedly at an undisclosed location out of the country. Where is Wooten? Where has he been since the picnic? Why hasn't the media or any one or any investigator gone to seek or question Wooten? Because he's reportedly out of the country and can't be contacted.

An Alaskan in Alaska said...

Anonymous - Wooten hasn't done anything illegal, why should anyone fear him? The Palin's are the people to fear. If I were Wooten I would get a restraining order to keep them from stalking me. The Palin's were way too involved in their divorce.

"original" ted - I have no idea where Wooten is. Where did you hear he was out of the country?

Anonymous said...

to an alaskan in alaska--

In the state where I live, and that is in one of the 50 states of the USA, if you threaten to shoot someone in the head, you are charged and incarcerated.--a former Wasilla Alaskan

Anonymous said...

"a former Wasilla Alaskan" - The "death threat" was determined to be unsubstantiated. Period.

Just because Sarah Palin was elected Governor does not give her the right to circumvent the law. That's illegal.

The Governor doesn't get to pick and chose which laws to uphold. She took an oath to uphold ALL the laws.

I believe it will be determined that she tried to abuse her power. And that's a shame.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was the summer of 2001 when Anchorage Mayor Wuerch cracked down on the drunk drivers. That one fellow had 9 DUI's when he killed 3 people and 2 other multi violators each killed 1 person that summer. So, 5 people lost their lives to drunk drivers. Now, you people want to defend a state trooper drinking and driving a state vehicle.--a former Wasilla Alaskan.

Anonymous said...

Anon - "Now, you people want to defend a state trooper drinking and driving a state vehicle.--a former Wasilla Alaskan."

That allegation (from the Palin family) was also unsubstantiated.

Anonymous said...

I lived amongst you people for over 10 years, so I know how some of you all do. Why don't you all leave our blog alone. Comment on your own blog, as we all here fully support Governor Sarah.--a former Wasilla Alaskan.

Anonymous said...

To: former Wasilla Alaskan - Are you saying that you fully support a politician that abuses their power?

If so, that is disturbing news. God help us.

Anonymous said...

Monegan was offered the position of Alcohol Commissioner. He was not fired. 2 of my co-workers were asked to transfer to different positions. They would have rathered kept their positions, but transferred. They didn't put up a ruckus.

You people have all fabricated this story against Governor Sarah.

We all love Governor Sarah in my state. And, we don't live in fear as we can trust our state troopers. Alaska's public safety department needs a cleaning up; it's history is not a good one.--a former Wasilla Alaskan.

Anonymous said...

Monegan was asked to transfer to the position of Alcohol Commissioner to clean up the problem of boot legged liquor in the villages.

Just this past week a mayor from one of the villages was found with illegal liquor in his luggage.

So, what is the underlying reason why Monegan would not want to be in charge of cleaning up this problem.--a former Wasilla Alaskan.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows Walt Monegan was fired. Only the Palin spin masters say otherwise.

http://tinyurl.com/56rx79

Sarah Palin is under investigation for abuse of power.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the qualities of Palin I like. She is not afraid to fire an ineffective DPS head, who clearly has his own agenda.

Sorry, but I just don't understand how it is an abuse of power for a sitting governor to suggest to HER DPS head to dump an out of control trooper: 4 marriages, drinking in patrol vehicle, the list goes on and on.

And, if Wooten is such a great guy, why is he being hidden out of the country? He's a maggot.

If that punk threatened my family while I was governor, he'd be off the force long ago and sent packing. He is a disgrace to the uniform he wears.

4 wives? You have to be kidding. What a psychopath.

the "original" ted said...

anonymous/ "a former Wasilla Alaskan" says: "The "death threat" was determined to be unsubstantiated. Period."

NOT TRUE, IT WAS SUSTAINED. Here verbatim are the words from the official State of Alaska Memorandum of Findings on Michael Wooten, dated 10-29-05:

* * *

"Molly McCann, Sarah Palin and Track Palin allege that on February 17, 2005, Investigator Wooten made a comment to Molly McCann that he would shoot her father if he hired a lawyer for her. McCann advised that Investigator Wooten made this comment to her, and that Sarah and Track Palin who were listening over an open telephone line overheard it. Investigator Wooten was questioned about the comment and denied ever making the statement. Although McCann, Sarah Palin and Track Palin all recalled hearing the statement, a statement or implied threat to a non-present third party is not a crime. Although McCann and Sarah Palin felt that their father's life was in danger by the statement, neither mentioned the threat to their father for several weeks. Nevertheless, a statement of this sort by a trooper reflects badly on AST.

OPM 101.070(A) Unbecoming Conduct. Sustained.

OPM 101.070(B) Personal Conduct. Sustained.

OPM 101.070(C) Conformance to Laws. Not Sustained."

Anonymous said...

to the "original" Ted--
Ted I am the former Wasilla Alaskan and I fully support Governor Sarah heart and soul. That was someone's reply to my comment.--a former Wasilla Alaskan.