Well, we’re still waiting for the release (or lack thereof) of the Branchflower report on the Troopergate circus. I don’t really want to go into too much detail until we know more but I do want to offer some thoughts:
I personally doubt this will happen, but let’s say we end up with a “worst-case” scenario where most of the “allegations” against Palin are deemed to be true. Even in that case, I have difficulty discerning a crime. Legally, you can’t say that Commissioner Monegan was wrongly fired. First, he wasn’t dismissed. He was offered a reassignment, which he refused. Second, a Commissioner can be legally dismissed for any reason or even no reason. If I recall, they’re no longer even investigating that angle.
So, if it’s not about Monegan, maybe it’s about Todd Palin’s undue influence on his wife’s administration. Again, there’s no crime there. The governor can choose whoever she wants as an advisor, and numerous first spouses have had as much, if not more, influence than Todd Palin. Nancy Murkowski, Todd’s predecessor, admittedly had a VERY large role in her husband’s administration.
So, if it’s not about Todd, maybe it’s about the idea that Sarah used her power to pressure the department of Public Safety to fire Trooper Mike Wooten. I’m guessing that this is the actual focus of the “investigation”, but there are a lot of pitfalls there as well. I don’t have a link ready, but I remember reading somewhere that the legislators running this show originally said that pressuring for the dismissal of Wooten would be within the governor’s rights if she believed that he genuinely was a bad trooper. So, in order for the kangaroo court to find any wrongdoing, they would have to prove that Sarah not only applied direct pressure to fire Wooten (an accusation which already seems to have been debunked), but also that she disbelieved her own assertion that Mike Wooten was a bad trooper and a threat to public safety. First off, that’s a rather extraordinary burden of proof for the investigator; and second, I think it’s painfully clear that Trooper Wooten is no saint (I would point to his numerous official reprimands). Now, I’m no lawyer, but from what little I know, there objectively should be no case. The only thing they could potentially do is accuse somebody of trying to cover up a crime that…well…was never a crime to begin with.
Now, let’s compare this farce to some of the recent events involving the Obama campaign. Obviously, there’s the Willaim Ayers issue, on which Obama has shifted his position (he now says he knew of Ayers’ terrorist activities but believed that he had be ‘rehabilitated’). That’s worse than Troopergate to begin with in my mind, but most of those associations do go back a little farther than Palin’s issues with Mike Wooten, so let’s deal with something a little more current: A.C.O.R.N. If you’ve been reading the news, you should know that A.C.O.R.N, a community organizing network, is in a lot of hot water for voter fraud. Not only has Barack Obama associated with them in the past, his campaign paid $800,000 to an A.C.O.R.N. -affiliated organization back in the primaries. Now, as it comes to light that A.C.O.R.N is responsible for thousands of false voter registrations in numerous states, Sen. Obama is trying to backpedal. The conservative media and the Republican Party are getting mad, but the “mainstream” people don’t even seem to think that A.C.O.R.N. is even relevant. We’re talking about an organization that is actively trying to rig votes for Obama, which is a much bigger deal than trying to get a bad trooper fired, but I don’t hear anyone in the press screaming for an investigation. Maybe they’re just too busy camping out in the Alaska State Capitol.