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The Sarah Palin – Troopergate Timeline: A Sordid Trail of Corruption, Squalor and Lies

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I take no relish in re-tracing the squalorous, trashy trail of Sarah’s Palin’s corrupt political life. In fact, I resent like hell the need to do this. It’s exhausting, maddening, sickening, depressing, dirty work. Were the evening news, the cable news and the press doing their job in presenting the full facts of this case, outright, it would not be up to rinky-dink bloggers like me to cob together these facts, as they exist, into a cohesive body of truth. 

On that note, here is the convoluted and excruciatingly long timeline on Troopergate — but one of many scandals littering the short (up to this point) span of Palin’s political career. The links at the bottom of the page substantiate every single word in this post. Palin’s quotes are in red:

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April 11, 2005

Eighteen months before Sarah Palin was elected governor, her sister, Molly McCann, filed for divorce from her husband, Mike Wooten. This marked the beginning of a fierce custody battle and an investigation into allegations made by the Palin family against Trooper Mike Wooten. According to state documents, Palin and her husband, Todd, hired a private investigator shortly thereafter (approx. June 2005). Sarah also wrote a letter to Alaska Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, alleging that Trooper Wooten had threatened to harm her sister and father, and had engaged in numerous instances of misconduct, including using a stun gun on his 10-year-old stepson.   

March 1, 2006

After a yearlong investigation (actually, there were more than 20 internal investigations into the Palin family allegations), Wooten was found guilty of 4 misconduct charges: killing a moose while using his wife’s permit, drinking a beer before driving a state vehicle, having an open beer can in the vehicle, and violating state policy by demonstrating the Taser’s test setting on his son. Wooten acknowledged the moose and Taser charges, but denied the beer charges. All four charges were nonetheless sustained. Regarding the Taser incident — which had happened several years earlier— Trooper Wooten told investigators he had, at his son’s request, showed him how the Taser felt, by using the test-setting, which is said to be weaker than an electric fence charge, and is the setting that troopers use on themselves, as a training aide. At the time of the incident, Wooten’s wife, Molly, was at home — as they were still married. According to testimony in the case, the son thought it was fun and wanted to do it again, while wife, Molly, along with the rest of the Palin clan, thought the incident to be humorous — or, at least they thought so until the divorce, a few years later. According to the internal police investigation, Wooten’s misconduct was not his demonstration of the Taser’s test-setting on the son, but was using state property for personal use. Wooten said, in retrospect, that he deeply regretted the incident. The investigation failed to sustain the death-threat allegations waged by the Palin family. Wooten was disciplined for the 4 (above mentioned) misconduct charges with a letter of warning and a 5-day suspension beginning on March 1, 2006. The letter warned that if he “messed up again” he’d be fired.

December 4, 2006

Sarah Palin was sworn in as Governor of Alaska.  

January – February 2007

In January 2007, Todd Palin invited Public Safety Commissioner Monegan to the governor’s office, where Todd Palin urged Monegan to reopen the Wooten case. After checking on it, Monegan said he informed Todd Palinthat he couldn’t do anything because the matter had been processed and the case was closed. In an interview with the Washington Post, Monegan said that a few days later, the governor also called him about the Wooten matter and he gave her the same answer. Monegan said Gov. Palin brought the issue up again in a February 2007 meeting at the state capitol, prompting him to warn Gov. Palin that she should back off. 

During this same time period, Sarah and Todd began what has been termed a “rogue investigation,” that was to last for months, over a worker’s compensation claim made by Wooten. The Palins alleged that Wooten was faking a job-related injury he claimed in January 2007, when he suffered a back injury while pulling a dead body from a wrecked automobile and slipped on icy pavement. After Wooten started receiving workers comp, Todd Palin began following him around “snapping pictures.” Palin’s office added these pictures to a dossier of information against Wooten, which they turned over to the state’s workers compensation board, purportedly to prove that Wooten was not too sick or injured to work.

April 2007

Seemingly our of the blue, Trooper Wooten’s workers comp claim was contravened, which means he received a letter saying he wasn’t entitled to benefits anymore. According to amended state documents, his injury was deemed to be the result of a preexisting condition from the his days in the U.S. Air Force, and notfrom the slippery ice fall he sustained. According to John Cyr, executive director of the Public Safety Employees Association which represents Wooten and other state troopers, Wooten “hired an attorney and filed a counterclaim against the state.”

August 2007

Several days before the Alaska State Fair, Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan got a phone call from the director of Palin’s Anchorage office asking that the trooper, Mike Wooten, not be assigned to work at a state fair, where he had volunteered for duty in full costume as “Safety Bear,” a child-friendly mascot. The reason provided by the gubernatorial aide was that Palin “was also planning to attend and did not want the trooper nearby.”

November 2007

According to John Cyr, there was a settlement in November 2007 in which Wooten underwent a back operation. In Cyr’s words, “This was a serious injury and he was flat broke and had to file for bankruptcy because his claims were denied.” Cyr accused Palin of abusing her power. “There was absolutely a personal vendetta against this trooper by the governor and the governor’s staff.”

July 11, 2008

Palin fires Commissioner Walt Monegan. In her statement on the firing, Palin said that she wanted “a new direction.” The firing took place, via an intermediary, while Palin was at a meeting in Philadelphia. Monegan alleged that his failure to fire Trooper Wooten may have been a factor in his firing. He stated that Palin’shusband, as well as members of the governor’s administration, had talked with him about the accusations against Wooten, which he considered improper. Palin responded that she had “never put pressure on Walt Monegan to fire – hire or fire – anybody.”

July 17, 2008 

At a Public Safety Employees Association press conference, Wooten’s released his packet of investigative papers (482 pages plus hours of recorded interviews) asking the public to read them and judge for themselves. Included in the packet was a letter written by Palin, in which she enumerated the earlier allegations against Wooten and suggested that many consider Wooten a ticking time-bomb. Palin continued to maintain, at this time, that Monegan’sfiring had nothing to do with his refusal to fire Wooten. On July 28, Palin’soffice issued a statement that she “will cooperate fully” with the investigation.

July 28, 2008

The Alaska Legislative Council – a bipartisan panel composed of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats — authorized, by unanimous vote, a probe into the “Troopergate” allegations. 

July 31, 2008

 In a CNBC interview (her infamous “What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” interview, see video below) Sarah Paln responded to questions on Troopergate, saying that she looked foward to an investigation into the charges against her: “A couple of lawmakers who were pretty angry with me for replacing him, an at-will political appointment who was serving in my Cabinet — which every governor does — a couple lawmakers who weren’t happy with that decision certainly were looking at me as kind of a target right now and wanting to probe and find out why I did replace this, uh, Cabinet member, and it’s cool. I want them to ask me the questions. I don’t have anything to hide and, um, didn’t do anything wrong there, and it is a governor’s prerogative, a right, to fill that cabinet with members whom she or he believes will, um, do best for the people who we are serving, so I look forward to any kind of investigation or questions being asked because I’ve got nothing to hide.”

When asked why she fired Monegan, she said,

“I’m glad that you’re asking, because I never tried to fire a former brother-in-law, who’s been divorced from my sister for quite some time. No, it was the commissioner, uh, that we were seeking more results, more action to fill vacant trooper positions to deal with bootlegging and alcohol problems in our rural villages especially, just needed, uh, a new direction, a lot of new energy in that position, um, that is why the replacement took place there of the Commissioner of Public Safety. It had nothing to do with an estranged, former brother-in-law, a divorce that had happened some years ago.”  

August 13, 2008

An audio tape surfaces, proving Monegan’s claims that — while he was never directly told by Palin or anyone to fire Wooten — he was contacted many times by Palin, members of her administration and her husband, Todd Palin, in calls and emails that raised issues about Wooten’s employment. One of the recorded calls took place between Frank Bailey, Gov. Palin’s Director of Boards and Commissions, and an Alaska state trooper serving as a liaison to the Legislature. Bailey is heard saying, “Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, why on earth hasn’t, why is this guy still representing the department? He’s a horrible recruiting tool. … You know, I mean from their perspective, everyone’s protecting him.” (the Troopergate news begins at 0:33 on the video below).

August 14, 2008

In the wake of the audio-tape’s ‘gotcha-moment,’ Palin was forced to acknowledge on August 14th that at least dozens (three dozen, as the investigation would later show) of calls were made from her staff members to Monegan’s office, questioning Wooten’s employment, which “could be perceived as pressure.” Gov. Palin denied orchestrating the calls.

August 21, 2008

It was one week before John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin for the VP candidacy. A routing slip, dated August 21, indicated that Wooten’s workers comp file had been pulled from the Alaska Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development and sent to the attention of Mike Mongale (not to be confused with Walt Monegan), a state manager with the workers compensation division. The routing slip was marked: “Wooten, as requested,” and was made out tot he attention of Mongale. According to a note faxed to John Cyr from the workers compensation division: “A request came in to return all of Wooten’s [workers comp] files to Juneau [the state capital]. The person who asked to route the files was told the files were being copied for the governor.”

Friday, August 29, 2008

John McCain announces his selection of Sarah Palin to fill the VP slot on his ticket. Sarah Palin hires attorney Thomas V. Van Flein to represent herself and the Governor’s Office in the investigation. Van Fleinreleased a statement that read, “We fully welcome a fair inquiry into these allegations. Please know that we intend to cooperate with this investigation.”

Simultaneously, Palin — via her attorney Van Flein — moved that the ethics investigation be dismissed, using the argument that the investigation should be turned over to the State Personnel Board (staffed by Palin’s political appointees, who would be subject to firing by Palin, if she so chose) , instead of being conducted by the Alaskan Legislative Council. Gov. Palin was to later expainthis move during her ABC interview with Charlie Gibson: “Our state statute says, if there’s a question about actions of the governor, you go to the Personnel Board. So we’ve said all along that that’s appropriate.” 

August 30, 2008

The McCain campaign releases a statement that reads: “Governor Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because of an honest disagreement over budget priorities – that’s it. The allegation that Governor Palin retaliated against Commissioner Monegan for not firing Trooper Wooten is cut from whole cloth. [Gov. Palin] did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide.”

September 1, 2008

Replying by letter to Friday’s letter from Palin’s attorney, State Sen. Hollis French (appointed by the legislature to manage the investigation) explained to Van Flein that — while the Personnel Board investigates complaints brought under state ethics laws — “the Legislature, of course, has its own separate powers of investigation. I hope you are not suggesting that the legislature does not have the authority to investigate potential violations of law by members of the Executive Branch.”

Sen. Hollis French also noted that the Legislative Council had not yet received a response their request for an interview with Gov. Palin. “I am requesting that you set a September date for the Governor’s deposition … by the close of business this Friday,” French wrote. “Delays in witness interviews will jeopardize the timely conclusion of this investigation. Indeed, delays would cause me to convene a meeting of the Judiciary Committee and ask that subpoenas be considered.”

The McCain/Palin campaign did not reply to questions about whether Palin would voluntarily provide a deposition, and her attorney did not return calls requesting comment, although McCain campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella, did issue a statement: “The bottom line is Governor Palin has a proven record championing transparency in government and we are confident in that record.”

 September 2, 2008

The McCain campaign began questioning the legitimacy of the Legislative Council’s investigation, as McCain spokesmen and allies in Anchorage began contending that the probe had become “tainted” and “politicized” by Obama supporters

September 13, 2008

Investigators decide to subpoena 13 witnesses in the Troopergate case, including Todd Palin, to investigate whether pressure was applied from the governor’s office to deny Trooper Wooten’s workers compensation claim. Investigator Steve Branchflower said he wanted to interview Gov. Palin, but stopped short of issuing her a subpoena, because it would look bad to have the Governor or future Vice President subpoenaed. 

September 16, 2008

McCain campaign lawyers try to either end the investigation or delay it until after the election. Former Justice Department prosecutor Edward O’Callaghan, now working for the McCain campaign, told reporters that Palin was “unlikely to cooperate” with the Alaskan legislative inquiry into Monegan’s firing because it had been “tainted” by politics. O’Callaghan stated that the McCain campaign was directing an aggressive legal strategy to shut down a pre-election ethics investigation. 

In this spirit, Van Flein and O’Callaghanfiled a new motion with the Personnel Board. This one argued that, after a review of the evidence, including internal e-mails within the governor’s office, the governor’s lawyers had determined there was “no probable cause” to pursue any ethics inquiry into Palin at all. As a result, it argued, the previous motion for an ethics inquiry (which Van Flein himself had filed just two weeks earlier) should be dismissed. According to O’Callaghan, “There was no Ethics Act violation and there is no need to go forward with this.”

 October 1, 2008 

(Here, the squalor grows even more corrupt and complicated. These developments are very important to understanding Palin’s “governing style,”in general, and Troopergate, in particular). 

In a bombshell development, Murlene Wilkes, a key witness in the “Troopergate” investigation was forced to reverse her earlier (August) testimony in defense of Sarah Palin, after it was revealed she’d lied in her earlier statements to Steve Branchflower (lead investigator in the Troopergate probe). MurleneWilkes is the owner of Harbor Adjustment Services in Anchorage Alaska — a company that contracts with the state to handle all workers compensation claims for the State of Alaska. In Murlene Wilkes Augusttestimony, she had initially denied ever talking to anyone in the governor’s office about the Wooten file, and also denied ever seeing the photos Todd Palin had taken of Trooper Wooten. 

Forced to back off of her earlier defense of Palin, Murlene Wilkes admitted in her October 1st testimony that the governor’s associates had, indeed, applied pressure to deny workers compensation to Wooten. In her corrected testimony, Wilkes admitted to a state investigator that she had received phone calls and personal visits from advisers to Palin, including her husband, Todd Palin, the officials said. Further, Wilkes testified that she was told to deny workers compensation to Trooper Mike Wooten, because he supposedly was lying about his physical condition.  

This particular twist in the story is important because — in the wake of denying Wooten’s workers compensation claim in 2007 — Wilkes’ company,  Harbor Adjustment Services, received a renewal of their $1.2 million contract with the state, only the renewal was raised to $1.5 million, and was awarded despite lower competing bids. One losing firm has since appealed the contract award. 

October 2, 2008

An Alaska judge refused to block the state ethics investigation. Judge Peter Michalski threw out the lawsuit filed by five Republican state legislators who said the investigation had been tainted by partisan politics and was being manipulated to damage Palin shortly before the Nov. 4 presidential election. “It is legitimately within the scope of the legislature’s investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination (of) a public officer the legislature had previously confirmed,” the judge wrote in his decision.

Judge Michalski also threw out a lawsuit filed by Palin aides seeking to dismiss the subpoenas compelling their testimony in the investigation. The aides argued that the subpoenas should not have to be honored, because they shouldn’t have been issued in the first place. 

As of this date, Todd Palin and several other top aides had still not testified, refusing to appear, despite the subpoenas. Todd and Sarah Palin, along with some of her staff, continue to assert that the legislative investigation has been compromised by politics and that they would only cooperate with a separate investigation run by the Alaska State Personnel Board (whose members, remember, could be fired by Palin, if she so chose).

October 3, 2008

The Alaska Supreme Court agreed to hear an emergency appeal from lawyers seeking to shut down the Legislature’s Troopergate investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin. The action came one day after Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski threw out their lawsuit attempting to halt the Legislature’s investigation into Troopergate. The suit was filed by Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute and Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Alaska Republican state legislators opposed to their colleagues’ investigation. 

 

October 9, 2008

The Alaska Supreme Court rejected an attempt by a group of six Republican legislators to shut down the Legislature’s investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin. This meant that Steve Branchflower, the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, would release his report as scheduled on October 10th. 

In a related development,  the McCain campaign released its own “report,” clearing Palin of any wrongdoing. In their 21-page statement, the McCain campaign alleged that the whole Troopergate investigation was a plot between Trooper Wooten and an angry blogger, saying: “It is tragic that a false story hatched by a blogger after drinks with Trooper Wooten led the legislature to allocate over $100,000 of public money to be spent in what has become a politically driven investigation.” 

Although the McCain campaign’s statement described Wooten as a separate issue from the Monegan firing, the McCain campaign went into great detail about the “rogue” trooper and his “long history of unstable and erratic behavior.” Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Wooten had already been investigated and alternately disciplined/cleared in March 2006 for the charges waged against him by the Palin family, the McCain campaign nonetheless described allegations of violence, including threatening Palin’sfamily and shooting his stepson with a stun gun. The McCain campaign statement also included allegations that Wooten cheated the workers’ compensation system. Todd Palinwas now saying that he’d had numerous conversations with government officials about why Wooten was allowed to stay on the job.

According to a McCain campaign statement: “The Palins make no apologies for wanting to protect their family and wanting to bring attention to the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge and abusing the workers’ compensation system. But Todd Palin said he never pressured anyone, including his wife.”

The McCain campaign also said that the investigation has become “muddied with innuendo, rumor and partisan politics.”

October 10, 2008

INVESTIGATION FINDS SARAH PALIN GUILTY OF ABUSE OF POWER

Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her Public Safety Commissioner this July, a state investigation has concluded.

“I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch ethics act,” Branchflower said in the 263-page report to the Legislative Council released Friday afternoon.

“Alaska statute 39.52.110(a) provides ‘the legislature reaffirms that 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,'” Branchflower continued.

His findings were presented to the Legislative Council Friday morning. The Council then met in a closed-door executive session for more than six hours as it reviewed the report. Friday afternoon the council voted unanimously to release the report to the public.Branchflower concluded that Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, Palin’s former brother in-law, was “likely a contributing factor to his termination” but “not the sole reason.”

Still, Palin’s dismissal of Monegan “was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads,” Branchflower said in the report. Branchflower also said Palin’sattorney general failed to provide him with emails of Palin’s that he had requested as part of the probe.

The report also found that Wooten’s workers’ compensation claim was handled properly, and that Wooten “received all the workers’ compensation benefits to which he was entitled.”

The above words, that Monegan’s refusal to fire Wooten was “not the sole reason”  will surely be parroted for all eternity, or the next few weeks (whichever ends first) by the McCain campaign.

SEE FULL 263 PAGE REPORT

[Editor’s note: It is unlikely the votes would be there for impeachment, but some censure is possible, if not likely. More, if anything, on this later….]

October 12

Spin City, here we come.

According to an ABC news report, Palin Makes Troopergate Assertions that Are Flatly False, “Palin spoke on the phone with Alaska reporters about the report. The McCain-Palin campaign only allowed one question per reporter. The journalists came from the Anchorage Daily News, KTVA-Channel 11 and KTUU-Channel 2. No follow-ups were alllowed.”

[No follow-ups? Huh?]

In this call, Palin said, “Well, I’m very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.” 

[On this note I’m putting a punctuation point on this Troopergate timeline. As Forrest Gump might say, “Squalor is as squalor does.”]

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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 BONUS RESOURCE ON TIMELINE: In case you missed it, Bellflower has an excellent and succinct “Super duper Troopergate Timeline” that includes a few details I overlooked.  

ABC— Palin Denies Monegan Firing is Connected to Wooten Custody Battle

Washington Post: Palin’s Ex-Brother-in-Law Says He Regrets Bad Blood

McClatchy: Did Alaska’s Palin try to force firing of her ex-brother-in-law?

Huffington Post: Palin Hires Lawyer for Troopergate

Daily KOS: Palin files complaint against herself in a bid to stop investigation

AP: Troopergate probe running into new resistence

Anchorage Daily News: Lawmakers to Subpoena 13 in Troopergate — Investigators want to know if a workers compensation employee was pressured

mudflats: New McCain Stall of Troopergate Investigation: Part Karl Rove, Part Laurel & Hardy

Consortium News: New Witness Said to Implicate Palin

Newsweek: Can He Stop Troopergate? A McCain lawyer scrambles to block a Palin ethics inquiry

New York Times: Palins repeatedly pressed case against trooper

Huffington Post: McCain camp clears Palin of any wrongdoing in Troopergate before the State’s report is even issued

CBS: Judge Lets Palin Troopergate Probe Proceed

Anchorage Daily News: Judge Refuses to Halt Troopergate Probe

Anchorage Daily News: Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Troopergate Appeal

Anchorage Daily News: Supreme Court Won’t Block Troopergate Inquiry

KTUU News (Alaska) : Branchflower: Palin Abused Power

see also:

canarypapers: The Categorical Lies of Sarah Palin, Categorically Arranged

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The Categorical Lies of Sarah Palin, Categorically Arranged

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A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

 

Retracing the story of Sarah Palin’s career is like traveling through a carnival funhouse of smoke and mirrors. No sooner do you think you’ve finally rounded the corner on Palin’s gallery of clever distortions, dirty tricks and lies, than you’re confronted with another, then another and another, until you realize you’ve traveled an entire catacomb of lies, smoke and mirrors.

 

Here, we are working to assemble the entire funhouse of lies — a motley mix, ranging from little white lies, to boldface whoppers, to the more subtle forms of needle-nosed lies that are currently being molded by team McCain into a propaganda campaign that, so far, shows promise of duping American voters into believing that the McCain-Palin ticket has something to offer besides an empty platform and a plateful of lies.

Because Palin’s lies permeate nearly everything she says and does — and also tend to reflect back and forth through her history — it was tricky to categorize them. (How to organize such a diversity of lies? By topic? By their size? By type? By era?) We finally settled on 3 categories: Sarah’s lies as mayor, governor and vice-presidential candidate. You’ll still find much overlap, with lies about Palin’s gubenatorial record being floated through her VP candidacy, and with team McCain’s lies being puppeted by Palin, and so on. Our facts were drawn from myriad credible sources, all of which are yours for the plucking at the bottom of this post. The quotes are courtesy of Pinocchio, unless otherwise noted.

 

Give a bad boy enough rope, and he’ll soon make a jackass of himself.

 

Mayor Sarah Palin (1996-2002)

 

LIE: Sarah Palin’s mayoral candidacy was built on a platform of bucking a corrupt, good-old boy system of politics.

TRUTH: The centerpiece of Sarah Palin’s mayoral campaign was an evangelical, anti-abortion, pro-NRA platform, which left many townsfolk to puzzle over her perplexing lack of interest in the town’s actual needs, such as roads. Sarah’s candidacy transformed Wasilla’s former electoral spirit from one of a bi-partisan, “friendly intra-mural contest” between neighbors, into a highly polarized, angry, partisan debate centered on evangelic-based, hot-button issues. This tactic not only put her into office, but spurred a rise in evangelism that continues to this day. Sarah was re-elected by a landslide 3 years later. 

LIE: As mayor, Sarah cleaned up the good-old boy system of Wasilla politics and ran a transparent government.

TRUTH: Once in office, Sarah fired nearly all the city department heads (six in all) — most of whom had been loyal to her and helped put her in office. She then used her political power to advance personal agenda and grievances, replacing the fired department heads with her own political hacks, cronies and others who stood to advance her political agenda. As the local newspapers became critical of both her campaign methods and her fractious governing methods, Sarah put a gag order on the city’s department heads, instructing them to get her permission before speaking to reporters.

LIE: Sarah fired Wasilla’s Chief of Police because he didn’t give her his “full support.”

TRUTH: Sarah fired police chief, Irl Stambaugh, because (1) he stepped on the toes of Palin’s campaign contributors by trying to move up the closing hours of the local bars from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. after a spurt of drunk driving accidents and arrests, and (2) because his stand on restricting concealed weapons upset Palin’s National Rifle Association contributors/cronies.

LIE: Sarah didn’t fire police chief. In her own words at the time, “There’s been no meeting, no actual termination.” 

TRUTH: Sarah had already delivered the letter of termination to Police Chief Stambaugh by the time she made this statement. The statement read, in part, “Although I appreciate your service as police chief, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore, I intend to terminate your employment.” As Stambaugh so aptly observed, “If that’s not a letter of termination, I don’t know what is.” Stambaugh had headed the Wasilla Police Dept. since its creation in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Dept., rising to the rank of captain before his retirement. Sarah replaced Stambaugh with one of her cronies, who said of the early bar closing, “I have a philosophy that every time there’s a new law or new ordinance, we lose a little more of our freedom.”

LIE: In Palin’s words: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending… and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

TRUTH: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks totaling $27 million for a town of 5,000-9,000 people over a 3-year period.

LIE: A keen executive, Sarah was a smart businesswoman and a responsible steward of the Wasilla budget.

TRUTH: When Sarah arrived, the budget was balanced. When she left office in 2002, she also left Wasilla with a $22 million deficit. Most of this is due to the ice rink/recreation center, complete with heated seats for the spectators. Sarah failed to get clear lands right before building it the center, which has left the city mired in expensive legal proceedings that continue to this day. Had Sarah stuck around long enough, she could have at least claimed experience in dealing with a huge deficit, which the next president will need in dealing with the federal government’s newly announced $417 billion deficit.

LIE: Sarah did not ask the Wasilla librarian to ban books. She was simply asking a rhetorical question, wanting to know if the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons (now Barker) would remove a book from the shelves, if people were to, say, circle the library in protest of a certain book.

TRUTH: Sarah twice posed such rhetorical questions to the librarian and reportedly cited three specific books, which purportedly include the titles, “Pastor I am Gay” and “Go Ask Alice.”  After the librarian refused, Sarah gave her a letter of termination, but was forced to re-instate her after a large public protest.

LIE: Sarah Palin is family-friendly.

TRUTH: The above is likely true, so long as you’re not her mother-in-law, and so long as you don’t cross Sarah’s political path. Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law, Faye Palin — a pro-abortion democrat, with a respectable history of civic and community work in Wasilla — ran for mayor after Sarah vacated the position in 2002. Faye’s campaign was not endorsed by Sarah, but was, in fact, targeted by Sarah’s political allies, as the race disintegrated into a pro vs. anti-abortion battle, with the word BABYKILLER smattered across Faye’s campaign signs several days before election day. Faye Palin was defeated by one of Sarah’s political cohorts. (It’s not that Sarah opposed her mother-in-law, it’s how she opposed her).

 

Perhaps you haven’t been telling the truth, Pinocchio.

 

Governor Sarah Palin (2006-present)

 LIE: In Palin’s words, “I told Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

TRUTH: For one thing, Sarah Palin’s say-so was irrelevant to Congress by the time she entered office, so that — even if she did say ‘thanks but no thanks,’ no one was listening. The funding for the bridge (which she kept) was a done deal. The point being that I would question whether or not she even said ‘thanks but no thanks’ to  anyone other than a mirror. For another thing, Sarah embraced the Bridge to Nowhere — even using it in her political platform while campaigning for governor — but only so long as it was politically advantageous to do so. She joined in a cause, of sorts, rallying to the defense of those poor people from “nowhere” being ridiculed by the liberal media. Once the project became a national ridicule, she jumped onboard with that idea and withdrew her support for the $398 million porkbarrel albatross, a project which McCain was to later blame for the Minnesota bridge collapse that killed 13 and injured nearly 100 people.  In a Sept. 2007 press release, Sarah actually seemed to blame the bridge’s demise on a lack of funding from Congress. Sarah continues, to this day, to brag on her ‘thanks but no thanks’ mavericketynesshood.  

LIE: Sarah Palin sold the governor’s jet on eBay for a profit.

TRUTH: Sarah Palin tried, but failed, three times to sell the jet on eBay. She finally sold it to a Republican campaign donor, a Valdex oil executive named Larry Reynolds, at a $600,000 loss to the state of Alaska.

LIE: Sarah Palin is suing the Federal government to reverse their decision to protect threatened polar bears under the Endangered Species Act because, according to Sarah, their decision wasn’t based on the best scientifc evidence.  

TRUTH: Sarah Palin is suing the Federal government — despite that she’s been given the best scientific evidence by many credible authorities and scientists, whose conclusions were based on studies of declining sea ice habitats (studies which her office chose to withhold from public debate)  — because Sarah  fears this protection will cripple offshore oil and gas drilling in Alaska.

LIE: Sarah didn’t try to pressure Alaska State Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, into firing her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Nor did she fire Monegan for his refusal to fire Wooten.

TRUTH: Sarah, along with her husband and various people from her office, repeatedly called and emailed Monegan for this very purpose. Sarah, et al, vehemently denied this until, in August 2008, an audiotape surfaced, proving they were lying. By then, however, she was already part of a state investigation (with a tab of up to $100,000 for the taxpayers) for abuse of her executive power in the firing of Walt Monegan — an impeachable offense. 

LIE: Sarah didn’t fire Walt Monegan for his failure to fire her ex-brother-in-law, but fired him for not properly addressing bootlegging and alcohol abuse issues.

TRUTH: Several weeks before she fired Monegan, Sarah praised him for his efforts against bootlegging and alcohol abuse issues and, in fact, named him Director of the Alcohol Beverage Board, all of this appearing a bit schizophrenic, when you consider her earlier firing of Police Chief Stambaugh (see mayoral lies, above) in the wake of his efforts to address alcohol abuse issues.

LIE: As commander of the Alaska National Guard, Sarah has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities.

TRUTH: Sarah’s role with the Alaska National Guard is as little more than a figurehead. Upon out-of-state deployment, the National Guard reports solely to the Dept. of Defense, with the governor’s authority ending absolutely when those units are called into actual military service, the exception being for certain in-state deployments, such as floods. In these cases, the Maj. Gen. Campbell of the Alaska National Guard has authority to make decisions. Sarah Palin has never given orders to the Alaska National Guard.  (An aside, of interest here, is that the City of Wasilla’s website has undergone changes in recent weeks, with the addition of National Guard pics at the tops of varoius pages, including the home page. One can only assume this is to bolster Sarah’s military credentials, as there is no National Guard base in Wasilla. Correct me if I’m wrong).

LIE: In Palin’s words: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending… and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

TRUTH: In less than two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation.

LIE: As governor, Sarah Palin cleaned out the corrupt good-old-boy system in Alaska politics and replaced it with a clean, transparent, fiscally responsible government.

TRUTH: Sarah bilked, er… billed the Alaska taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office (uh, she’s only been in office for about 19 months), charging a per diem allowance intended to cover the cost of meals and incidental expenses during the governor’s travels. She also billed the state for travel expenses for her children and husband during her travels, PLUS billing the state for expenses and a daily allowance for husband, Todd, during her travels — all to the tune of $43,490. Flight expenses were the most costly, with daughter Piper’s alone totaling nearly $11,000. Lodging was also costly, with one Bristol & Mom jaunt to NYC costing taxpayers $707 per night. A question that remains to be officially asked or answered is whether or not Palin paid taxes on the income from her at-home per diem charges for those 312 nights, as this would be considered taxable income, since being paid to sleep in your own bedroom is not considered a tax-deductible expense by the IRS. This could easily be grounds for a criminal tax fraud investigation, if Palin did not pay taxes on this taxable income. Palin brags that her own personal travel expenses ($93,000) are an improvement over her predecessor, Murkowsky ($463,000), who could offer no comment on these figures to the press, as he was moosehunting.

 

What does an actor want with a conscience, anyway?

 

Vice-Presidentail Candidate Sarah Palin (8/28/08 – present)

 

LIE: Sarah Palin got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.

TRUTH: Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayoral election and 909 in the 1999 re-election race. Despite that Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses, he received a total of 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia during the 2008 primaries.

LIE: Alaska is a wealthy state because of its oil revenues and Sarah’s wonderful executive and budgetary skills, making so much money that the state can afford to cut its own citizens checks from these revenues.

TRUTH: This is a yes, but only because Alaska sucks an exorbitant amount of money from the federal government. Among the 50 states, Alaska rates #1 in taxes per resident, and #1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden is 2.5 times the national average, its spending more than double. The trick is that Alaska spends money on its citizens, then bills the rest of us to pay for it. Alaska ranks number #1 in the country for the absolute amount it receives from Washington, over and above the amount it sends to Washington. Alaska receives more federal aid per capita than any other state.

LIE: The McCain-Paln team will change liberal Washington into a conservative Washington.

TRUTH: Uh, conservative Republicans, Bush-Cheney, have been in office for nearly 8 years, and the Republicans controlled Congress for 6 of those years, until the Democrats took control in 2007.

LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “This is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the State Senate.

TRUTH: Obama worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. In Illinois, he was the leader on two major, contentious measures: studying racial profiling by police, and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

TRUTH: You’d not have to listen to many Obama speeches to know this is patently false. Payroll taxes will decrease for 95%  of Americans (an inverse arrangement to the Bush-McCain plan) netting an after-tax increase of income by 5% (averaging approx. $2,000 annally) by 2012 for Americans earning under $250,000 annually. This is according to the Tax Policy Center, a think-tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.  Income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes will be raised for the wealthiest, including individuals and business making over $250,000 annually. Obama will provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum wage workers, with higher credits for larger families. Again, Obama’s plan benefits 95% of Americans, unlike the Bush-McCain plan, which gives disproportianate favor to the wealthiest Americans, which comprise approx. 5% of the population. 

LIE: (and a particularly vile lie, at that, which Margaret Talex of the McClatchy Report called ‘a deliberately misleading accusation’ and ‘a deliberate low blow’ —>). A recent McCain-Palin ad claims that Obama supported legislation to provide sex education to kindergartners.

TRUTH: The legislation for sex education for grades K-12 already existed in Illinois regarding STD and pregnancy prevention. Obama voted to allow local school boards to teach ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, geared toward educating children ages K-12 on how to recognize inappropriate behaviors, as a measure to protect them from sexual predators. One need not dig too deeply into the headlines to see that pedophilia is a sad reality in our society. It is ridiculous and patently sick to insinuate that Obama approved laws to teach young children about the birds and the bees. As one blogger noted, the McCain ad’s claim that Obama approves sex-ed for tots will nonetheless be effective, as the media continue to repeat the McCain-Palin smear, without bothering to dispute it with the outrage it should be disputed. It’s a lose-lose proposition for politicians like Obama, as it takes a lot more words to defend against such outrageous lies than it takes to wage them. The defense is never as powerful as the accusation, and can never quite be disproved in the court of the media. That’s the beauty of a smear campaign. Of course, McCain, Palin, Rove and Co. already know this. 

 

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventualy they will believe it.Adolph Hitler

 

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by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers

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ABC News: Another Controversy for Sarah Palin

Associated Press: Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

thecanarypapers: Monkeys with Molotovs: The gutter politics of McCain, Palin, Rove & Co.

Librarians Against Palin: ABC Investigates

Anchorage Daily News: Troopergate Inquiry Hangs Over Campaign

Anchorage Daily News: Palin touts stance on Bridge to Nowhere, doesn’t note flip-flop

Anchorage Daily News: State will sue over polar bear listing, Palin says

Anchorage Daily News: Alaska sues over listing of polar bear as threatened

Anchorage Daily News: Oil firms get ok to bother polar bears

Daily Kos: Alaskanomics: How Palin’s State Sucks the Rest of the Country Dry

What Fresh Hell is This? (JD Rhoades’ Blog): The Librarian Who Said No to Sarah Palin, by Tess Gerritsen

AZ Central: Shook up “old boy’s network’

McClatchy: Palin has never ordered Alaska National Guard to Do Anything

Daily KOS: We need grown-ups in the White House (excellent background info, especially with respect to oil and Alaska politics, plus sorting out Sarah Palin’s financial facts vs. fallacies, written by an author whose first choice was not Obama-Biden). Excerpt: It’s 2008 in America, people: the budget is broken, the military is broken, the financial system is broken, our standing in the world is at an all-time low. We need grown-ups in the White House….

Gov. Sarah Palin’s September 2007 Press Release on the demise of the Bridge to Nowhere

Talking Points Memo: Palin Again Recites Lie About Bridge to Nowhere

TIME: Sarah Palin’s Alaskanomics

The New York Observer: The Fairy Tale of Palin the Reformer

The Reality-Based Community: Evidence of Consciousness of Guilt (regarding per diem pay for living in your own home being taxable income)

WinkNews.com: here, you can see McCain’s Sept. 21, 2007 comments on the Bridge to Nowhere.

Wall Street Journal: Record Contradicts Palin’s ‘Bridge’ Claims

Washington Post: Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home — Taxpayers also funded family’s travel

Washington Post: Does the truth matter anymore?

‘Troopergate’ news footage from August 14, 2008 (Palin coverage begins at 0:33). It’s interesting, here, to see a liar perform her craft, as Sarah first denies the charges, then backpeddles a bit when she hears, to her horror, the audiotape recordings that prove she’s been lying.