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Tasergate Findings may be Delayed Until After Elections

Tasergate should even exist because the whole thing is a political witch hunt created to hurt a woman who took on the corruptocrats in Alaska and won. They're just bitter because she kicked their butts. From the Guardian:

The Republicans today effectively won their battle to delay the findings of the Troopergate investigation into Sarah Palin until after the White House election on November 4.

Her husband, Todd, and other witnesses signalled late yesterday they would ignore subpoenas demanding they attend an Alaska senate judiciary hearing into the affair in Anchorage today.

One of the Democrats on the committee, Bill Wielechowski, admitted that Todd Palin and the others could continue to refuse to testify for months without facing a penalty.

A lawyer for Todd Palin, Thomas van Flein, told the investigators the subpoena was "unduly burdensome" because he would be out on the campaign trail with his wife until election day.

"His scheduling obligations over the next two months will make it virtually impossible for him to prepare for and present the testimony called for in the subpoena at the specified location during that time period," Flein said in a letter.

This joke of an investigation has been defanged, much to The One's disappointment, I'm sure.

Update: According to the AP, ultra-enthusiastic Obama supporter Senator Hollis French is going to ram the investigation through even without key witnesses. The sham findings are supposed to be released October 10th.


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Comments (33)

When can you even force a s... (Below threshold)

When can you even force a spouse to testify? Any lawyers out there that aren't afraid to admit it? ;)

So much for the rule of law... (Below threshold)
scoober:

So much for the rule of law.

I thought Republicans believed in following the law?

"I thought Republicans ... (Below threshold)
marc:

"I thought Republicans believed in following the law?"

Other than what's alleged in the investigation, and for various reasons highly suspect, what is in this post that you feel broke the law scoober?

Even if it's true, why is t... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Even if it's true, why is there a problem with the Governor using her position to get rid of a bad cop. Here in Tennessee, such politicians become heroes and legends. You on the left seem to believe bad cops should keep their jobs.

Ah, a hint of the ethical, ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ah, a hint of the ethical, transparent government we can expect to see from the Palin/McCain administration.

Sure, we'll cooperate with investigations and oversight, and by cooperate we mean block and derail, of course. Straight-talkin'!

what is in this post tha... (Below threshold)
Brian:

what is in this post that you feel broke the law scoober?

Since when is it legal to ignore a subpoena? Pre-Harriet Myers, that is.

Since when does an AG refuse to enforce a subpoena because the target of the investigation "declines to participate in the process"? Do you think it's uncommon for targets of investigations to "decline to participate"? Is that all it takes to allow witnesses to refuse to testify without consequences?

Since when can a private citizen refuse a subpoena because it doesn't fit in with his busy schedule?

Pretend this was Obama being investigated, and tell me that you still think it's reasonable.

By the way, compare Palin's... (Below threshold)
Brian:

By the way, compare Palin's tactics to those of Ted Stevens, who is actively pushing for his investigation to be concluded BEFORE election day, in the expectation that he'll be cleared.

Pretend this was O... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
Pretend this was Obama being investigated

Seemingly, Bri, that's all we CAN do as no one dare actually REALLY investigate him. Knob.

(Kim, first sentence in article "should" should be "shouldn't).

good logic. next time someo... (Below threshold)
billy:

good logic. next time someone is under investigation for murder they can just refuse to show up because they dont like the investigators.

this looks real bad for mcpalin.

and also you are wrong. the investigation will be done before the election. witnesses are really not needed. all the evidence of her guilt is already in the public record.

mcpalin will lose the election. she will slink back to alaska and get impeached and/or imprisoned and she will embarass any few conservatards left in the country again.

Seemingly, Bri, that's a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Seemingly, Bri, that's all we CAN do as no one dare actually REALLY investigate him.

Well it doesn't really matter, because if they did he could just decline to participate and that would be OK with you.

No, he has already declined... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

No, he has already declined to participate through obfuscation and deception... A tactic no doubt taught to him by his mentors Ayers and Wright.

The associations are there, but the MSM is much more concerned with the firing... no, the "attempted pressure put forth" to fire an inept, unqualified trooper.

A serious question, Brian... Which do you consider the greater offense:

FIring someone for not adhering to a budget? or having verifiable close ties to a domestic terrorist and a race-bating America hater?

Nevermind, no need to answer. I think we all know the lefty viewpoint.

Wow, way to change the subj... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wow, way to change the subject.

Is it or is it not OK to refuse to comply with a subpoena because the target of the investigation refuses to cooperate, or because you're too busy?

Brian - "Since when is ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Brian - "Since when is it legal to ignore a subpoena? Pre-Harriet Myers, that is."

Since the subpoenas were issued to appear before a body (the Legislative Council) that isn't legal by the local Constitution.

You have heard of the Personnel Board investigation right?

The one that does have actual authority via Alaskan State law to hear complaints under the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

Right Brian? Or are you just spitting into the wind?

billy - "and also you a... (Below threshold)
marc:

billy - "and also you are wrong. the investigation will be done before the election. witnesses are really not needed. all the evidence of her guilt is already in the public record."

Slam dunk then right? And, please point us to them. The "public records" I mean, gotta link?

Again, like the last time w... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Again, like the last time we discussed "Troopergate", something quite obvious seems to elude them. Palin released all the pertinent records to show she had plenty of justification to fire the lout.

The releasing of those records IS the good Gov. Palin cooperating. I also wonder about that whole subpoena to testify against your spouse thing too. I seem to recall that it's Constitutionally guaranteed (as in US Constitution) that you don't have to if you don't wish too.

I'm not a constitutional scholar, though, so don't quote me on that.

Tasergate, huh? Did you mak... (Below threshold)
wbgonne:

Tasergate, huh? Did you make up Freedom Fries, too? How about Homicide Bombers? You might want to doublecheck the talking points on the nomenclature here, though. See, the current official story is that Palin's firing of Monaghan was NOT related to Palin's brother-in-law. So then it really doesn't matter what the brother-in-law did or didn't do, does it? But logic has little to with this; when you are pulling a Bill Clinton you just savage everybody and let the bodies fall. You are proving what I always feared: Bill Clinton was no Democratic aberration. He was the harbinger of grave, bottomless dishonor in American politics. When you did have an honorable person in McCain 2000, you Republicans wouldn't support him. In fact, Bush and Rove tried to destroy him. And maybe you did. Now that he's jettisoned his honor. Now he's your man. Now that he lies through his teeth, picks an utter incompetent to be his VP, kisses the butt of the religious freaks controlling your party, Now. he's ready to be a Republican president. Congratulations. I really didn't think it was possible to sink lower than Bill Clinton but you have proved me wrong. God help America.

marc has a valid point. An... (Below threshold)

marc has a valid point. And he's brought it up more than once. I read carefully about it myself. There is a reasonable debate going on about the jurisdiction here.

First, one has to ignore this statement:

One of the Democrats on the committee, Bill Wielechowski, admitted that Todd Palin and the others could continue to refuse to testify for months without facing a penalty.

And then forget that this statement (and the following paragraph) is only half the story:

A lawyer for Todd Palin, Thomas van Flein, told the investigators the subpoena was "unduly burdensome" because he would be out on the campaign trail with his wife until election day.

The other half of the story, which is completely ignored by the article, is the jurisdictional debate.

A little ignoring, a little forgetting and voila! you have massive indignation and accusation.

And then we have this lovely prognostication:

The senate had been due to complete its investigation and report by the middle of next month, potentially damaging for Palin and McCain.

"Potentially damaging". Not potentially vindicating. Or just leaving off the "potentially" altogether, which would be, I don't know, unbiased reporting?

You have to remember these are people who think it's a good idea to get their readers to write letters to Americans advising them on who to vote for.
-----------
wbgonne, just cram it. Your myopic view bears no resemblance whatsoever to my thinking, and I think I can safely say that of many here.

I see the natives are getti... (Below threshold)
max:

I see the natives are getting restless.

http://www.adn.com/opinion/view/story/529587.html


"Alaskans and the rest of the country need to know the truth of what happened in Troopergate. And to get the truth, they need answers from Gov. Palin, her staff and her husband -- before the November election.

BOTTOM LINE: Palin and McCain are trying to ignite a partisan firestorm that wipes out the Troopergate investigation until after the election."

I have a feeling Alaskans are going to turn on her, as Don Young would say, "very much like the mink in my state that kill their own."

you cant put lipstick on th... (Below threshold)
billy:

you cant put lipstick on this pig! how convenient. she put out an email exonerating herself. case closed.

he quit! he disagreed with the budget. he wanted to go after sex predators and i didnt want him too.

what new reason will she put out next?

again the gop is clueless as to how america perceives corruption. that is why you were spanked in 06 and it is why mcpalin will be spanked in 08.

maybe oj could put out an email saying i didnt do it and we can just shut dowen the trial.

the more she obstructs the more obvious it is she is guilty as charged.

and the one about jurisdiction is laughable. sure. the 3 person board appointed by palin should investigate, not the alaska legislature. good one.

Since the subpoenas were... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Since the subpoenas were issued to appear before a body (the Legislative Council) that isn't legal by the local Constitution.
You have heard of the Personnel Board investigation right?
The one that does have actual authority via Alaskan State law to hear complaints under the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

As you are so fond of asking others, do you have a source for that? I mean, one other than Palin's attorney's claim that that's the case.


Because no one has previously suggested this, including Palin herself when she said she "welcomed" the investigation, prior to being chosen.

Regardless, you are... how did you say... spitting into the wind. The jurisdictional issue is one charged by Palin, not by those subpoenaed. Until there is a finding on that matter, the subpoenas stand.

Of course, any of the subpoenaed could fight their subpoena on those grounds too. But none have, as far as I am aware. In fact, their attorney even acknowledges the jurisdiction of the legislature on this matter:

"As state employees, our clients have taken an oath to uphold the Alaska Constitution, and for that reason, they respect the Legislature's desire to carry out an investigation in support of its lawmaking powers.

That's a great position, "our clients have taken an oath to uphold the Alaska Constitution". One doesn't expect it to be followed by a "however":

However, our clients are also loyal employees subject to the supervision of the governor.

What's that? You're bound by oath until your boss is investigated, and then you're bound by loyalty? Where is it written in the law that oaths are binding only at the discretion of your supervisor?

There is a reasonable de... (Below threshold)
Brian:

There is a reasonable debate going on about the jurisdiction here.

What makes it "reasonable"? That Palin's attorney argued it? O.J. argued about "the real killer", but that didn't make it a reasonable argument. On what basis are you finding it reasonable vs. a stalling tactic?

And first, you have to ignore that that is a reversal of Palin's previous position.

One of the Democrats on the committee, Bill Wielechowski, admitted that Todd Palin and the others could continue to refuse to testify for months without facing a penalty.

What is that statement supposed to prove? He's not saying they're allowed to, he's stating the fact that the system won't react quickly. If a cop flashes his lights and I speed away, I "could continue to drive for miles without facing a penalty". But when they catch me, penalty.

The other half of the story, which is completely ignored by the article, is the jurisdictional debate.

It's not ignored; it wasn't argued! The subpoenaed argued loyalty. First Dude argued burden. None of them argued jurisdiction. Only Palin is arguing that. The subpoenas aren't being challenged, they're being ignored.

"Potentially damaging". Not potentially vindicating. Or just leaving off the "potentially" altogether, which would be, I don't know, unbiased reporting?

Why do you care how it's reported? If you think Palin will be vindicated, then let the investigation conclude.

You have to remember these are people who think it's a good idea to get their readers to write letters to Americans advising them on who to vote for.

OK, how about Anchorage Daily News article, linked above? Or the conservative Alaskan Voice of the Times? Does that help?

Brian, CNN failed to mentio... (Below threshold)

Brian, CNN failed to mention a lawyer named Clarkson who appears to be the one primarily challenging the jurisdiction issue. There are some points CNN managed to bring up regarding it but by and large they weren't very unbiased at all.

If you would rather read something that doesn't have a whole load of extraneous crap in it as it omits all manner of information and stick to that which pertains to the actual issue, then read this.

You can also pick up the .pdf of the suit there.

And per Clarkson's brief:
Legislatures are properly and inherently biased and therefore not well suited to serve as neutral adjudicative bodies. Delineating the Constitutional rights of Alaska's citizens in the shadow of the McCarthy era, the State founders were acutely aware of the dangers of allowing partisan legislators to sit in judgment of their fellow citizens or political adversaries. To insure against that possibility, the Constitution itself guarantees that "the right of all citizens to fair and just treatment in the course of legislative and executive investigations shall not be infringed". [Alaska Const Article I, Sect. 7]

The same basic concern over the abuse of legislative power inspired the Alaskan Legislature to act again, 50 years hence, to create the Alaskan Personnel Board as the neutral adjudicative body to resolve government ethics disputes, including disputes involving the Governor, in a fair and unbiased fashion. The Personnel Board, not the thinly-veiled "independent" adjudicated inquiry spearheaded by Senator French is the proper forum to conduct a neutral review.

Billy, I'll explain it for ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Billy, I'll explain it for you, and I'll try to use small words.

She submitted LEGAL DOCUMENTS that contained the memos and e-mails.

I'm sure you're not aware of this, but I've learned, in the jobs I've worked, that e-mails made on "company computers" (company could be federal gov, state gov, or any company for that matter) are not owned by the person sending or recieving them. The "company" owns them. Furthermore, as they are company owned, they are required to be maintained for legal purposes (record keeping and such). In fact, those e-mails are often used for legal purposes (to prove misuse of computers against company policy, using company resourses for personal business, etc...)

But the thing that AMAZES me you haven't wrapped your brain around, is that these copies were filed, via her lawyers, as attachments to LEGAL PAPERS. You know, the ones that are signed, and able to be used against you in court, and have the full weight of "falsification of legal documents" laws to punish anyone from lying in them.

She submitted LEGAL DOCUMENTS that contain ample proof that she had plenty of "just cause" to fire the guy. If those LEGAL DOCUMENTS prove to be false, or forged, or untrue in ANY WAY... she can then be prosecuted for "Falsifying a LEGAL DOCUMENT." And for that, you can get all sorts of fines ($10,000 if memory serves) and/or jail time to go with it.

So, yeah. Her submitting LEGAL FRICKEN DOCUMENTS really is good enough.

Oh, and if those documents prove to be false, you'll find me at the front of the line to castigate her. That's cause I really am a conservative, and we don't take kindly to liars.

Was that clear enough for you?

It's not ignored; it was... (Below threshold)

It's not ignored; it wasn't argued!

No, Brian. It wasn't reported. For Pete's sake, read the CNN article. What a mess. It's all over the map on this issue. That article, the Guardian and several others are all omitting the jurisdiction suit. Just because you can't find it doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that "only Palin is arguing that".

"And first, you have to ignore that that is a reversal of Palin's previous position."

Palin hasn't been subpoenaed. When she refuses, you can say that again, but at least you won't be able to honestly argue that there's no reason for it other than 'stalling tactics'.

Oh, that "Marine" Hollis Fr... (Below threshold)

Oh, that "Marine" Hollis French, with little Kimmie Elton and Steven "My wife is a Monegan boot licker" Branchwater...

They are being very objective and above board, with high standards.

What they don't tell you is that their standards are Stalin's show trails of the 1930's!!!!!!!!!!

So much for the ru... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
So much for the rule of law.

"Senator Wielechowski, a member of the panel that summoned the witnesses, said they could avoid testifying for months without penalty and that court action to force them to appear sooner was unlikely."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24371633-5013948,00.html

And one final word on it:</... (Below threshold)

And one final word on it:

I think it's a bit ironic that a special Personnel Board was set up for this type of dispute by the very legislative body that now tries to deny it its power.

The Personnel Board, not... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The Personnel Board, not the thinly-veiled "independent" adjudicated inquiry spearheaded by Senator French

The Personnel Board is appointed by the governor (one by Palin, two by her Republican predecessor), and it meets in secret. Is that less "thinly-veiled independent"?

No, Brian. It wasn't rep... (Below threshold)
Brian:

No, Brian. It wasn't reported.

What wasn't? I said the subpoenaed haven't claimed "no jurisdiction", and you point me to a link showing that "Alaska legislators and citizens" have. What does that have to do with what I said?

If I'm arrested for a crime that is being challenged in court, that doesn't give me an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card. I still have to argue for a stay of enforcement while the issue is being settled. The subpoenaed have not done that.

>"And first, you have to ignore that that is a reversal of Palin's previous position."
Palin hasn't been subpoenaed. When she refuses, you can say that again

It has nothing to do with her being subpoenaed. She pledged cooperation with the legislative investigation, and then challenged their jurisdiction. That's a reversal.

And if that wasn't enough, here's another one. Just two weeks after arguing the Personnel Board should take over the investigation, they now filed a new request that the investigation be dropped altogether.

but at least you won't be able to honestly argue that there's no reason for it other than 'stalling tactics'.

Quite right. It's far worse than just stalling.

Bill Clinton. Every one of ... (Below threshold)
wbgonne:

Bill Clinton. Every one of you pukes.

Okay, Brian. That's fine. ... (Below threshold)

Okay, Brian. That's fine. I just wanted to see you actually type the words yourself showing that you were fully aware of all the circumstances before you continue to argue your single minded approach.

Palin's initial response was that she looked forward to cooperating with the panel. Several developments since then have caused her, and her counsel, to begin challenging the manner in which the investigation is being handled. While you appear to be of the mind that in spite of those developments, which could jeopardize the fairness and unbiased nature of such a panel, she should allow herself to be exposed to it. Because if she doesn't, you'll criticize her for going back on her word.

The Personnel Board was created for this very type of dispute. But because current and past Governors were responsible for the appointment of those on the Board, some think it will be too biased in her favor. That's understandable. But the solution is not to create a special panel composed of politicians with ties to an opponent actively campaigning against Palin. Especially when at the creation of the panel they willfully and deliberately withheld that information.

If this were any other ordinary citizen, and not Palin, I think we might be getting a different opinion from a lot of people. We'd be hearing things like "stacked jury" and "violation of rights to impartial judgment".

I don't pretend to be a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But a member of the panel itself, saying "they could avoid testifying for months without penalty" and saying that "court action to force them to appear sooner was unlikely," seems to be an acknowledgment that there are indeed problems.

The Personnel Board is a... (Below threshold)

The Personnel Board is appointed by the governor (one by Palin, two by her Republican predecessor), and it meets in secret.

That would be her Republican predecessor, Frank Murkowski, that she defeated in the primary by campaigning against the corruption in the Legislature and Republican Party establishment.

But the solution is not ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

But the solution is not to create a special panel composed of politicians with ties to an opponent actively campaigning against Palin. Especially when at the creation of the panel they willfully and deliberately withheld that information.

"The governor has said all along that she will fully cooperate with an investigation and her staff will cooperate as well," [Palin spokeswoman Sharon] Leighow said. . . .

Supporters as well as detractors of the Republican governor generally agreed the legislative investigation is needed into the circumstances leading up to Monegan's dismissal. . . .

Sen. Gene Therriault of North Pole, leader of the small Republican Senate minority that generally has backed Palin's policies, said he expects the governor will cooperate, and if she's cleared, the investigation could strengthen her. . . . Senate President Lyda Green, a Wasilla Republican and member of the Legislative Council, said the investigation is "absolutely" needed.

Oh, and back to marc's "what is in this post that you feel broke the law?"

Ignoring a legislative subpoena is punishable by a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail under Alaska law.



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