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On Ethics

As I read about the report on Governor Palin's alleged violation of ethics laws and rules, I started getting the strangest sense of deja vu -- that I had read pretty much the same story, but with somewhat different details. And that I had read it more than once.

Here was the story of someone with a stated agenda of reform getting tripped up by their political foes over a technical violation of ethics rules, being roundly denounced as corrupt and venial and selfish far and wide. And it had played out before. But I could not remember where.

Then I heard a news account on the world credit crisis, and they mentioned the World Bank. That triggered it:

Paul Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz had left the Bush Administration to head up the World Bank, but was forced out after it came out that he had authorized a significant raise for his paramour, a longtime World Bank Employee.

Wolfowitz had his defense ready -- before he accepted the position, he had fully disclosed their relationship to the directors. Further, he put in steps to make sure that she would not come under his direct authority, and isolated himself from any part in her career.

Until it came time for her annual raises. All the underlings passed the buck upstream until it reached his desk, saying that her position had risen to the point where no one short of the head of the bank -- Wolfowitz himself -- had to sign off on the matter. He consulted the ethics board, and they punted the issue back in his lap. So he signed off on it without comment.

Then they had him. Someone else within the bank filed an ethics complaint over Wolfowitz giving his girlfriend a healthy raise, and that was that. Wolfowitz was out.

And, oddly, I was reminded -- tangentially -- of former Representative Tom DeLay. DeLay had the misfortune of crossing the path of a very enthusiastic prosecutor in Texas with a history of going after his political rivals and opponents. This prosecutor was convinced that DeLay was corrupt, and started investigating. He thought he had found some fundraising irregularities in DeLay's campaign, so he brought the matter to a grand jury.

They refused to indict DeLay.

So he waited for a new grand jury, and tried for another indictment. This time he got it, but there was one slight problem: the deeds that DeLay was charged with had occurred the year before the law banning them was passed. In brief, the prosecutor had charged DeLay with breaking a law before it was a law -- and that is a violation of the United States Constitution. The indictment was dismissed.

But the third time is the charm, it sees. The prosecutor took his digging to a third grand jury, won a second indictment against DeLay, and finally won his conviction.

Now, I'm not saying that DeLay was any kind of a saint. Indeed, it's long been a belief of mine that when it comes to members of Congress, the presumption should be "guilty until proven innocent," and I never had any great respect or affection for DeLay. But when a prosecutor has to go to these great lengths -- one grand jury refused to indict, and a second that has to violate the Constitution to hand up its indictment -- I'm convinced that it's more likely of a prosecutor with a vendetta than a flagrantly corrupt politician.

And that, to me, is far more dangerous than a pol who takes some money than he should.

But back to Sarah Palin. What exactly does that report say, and what does it mean?

First off, it's not any official, final report. It's just the report of the investigator to the legislative committee that hired him.

Second, the two conclusions come across as somewhat contradictory:

* Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. 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.

*Although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.

So, Palin had the "proper and lawful" authority to fire Monegan, because she "likely" had his refusal to fire Trooper Wooten as part of her motive, she violated the law which said that public officials must not act in any manner where they might have a personal interest.

That law is so poorly crafted as to be essentially useless. If applied literally, then Palin has violated it countless times.

Her husband works for an oil company. Therefore, every single time she has dealt officially with oil companies, she has violated it.

He also works as a commercial fisherman. Therefore Palin should have nothing to do with any sort of laws governing the fishing industry.

Her teenage daughter is pregnant. Therefore she cannot act on any law helping pregnant teens.

Three of her children attend public schools. Therefore she must recuse herself from any matters dealing with education.

Her youngest child has Down Syndrome. She has to avoid any issue that deals with children with special needs.

What's more entertaining is to take the same standard and apply it to her current rivals. Of course, Alaskan laws have no legal standing on the actions of Senators from Illinois and Delaware, but it's a fun little exercise.

Barack Obama steered a one-million-dollar earmark to his wife's employer, shortly after she received a raise that more than doubled her salary. And Joe Biden voted in favor of several companies after they had hired his son to lobby on their behalf. Were they Alaskan officials, those would be open-and-shut cases of ethics violations.

But let's get serious once again. Palin's failing here is not in trying to get Wooten fired, but in not stopping members of her family from doing that.

In brief, Palin is being held responsible for her husband's pursuing Wooten's dismissal.

First, is that such a bad thing?

Wooten, it is clear, is a bad cop. The Alaskan state police investigated the allegations made by Palin's family and upheld most of them. He was found to have violated numerous laws and regulations, laws he was charged with upholding -- and was given a slap on the wrist for them.

Wooten drank while on duty, in his cruiser. He shot a moose without a license. He used his taser on his 10-year-old stepson. And he threatened to kill his father-in-law if he helped Wooten's wife get a lawyer for a divorce Any one of these would get an average person arrested and fined, if not jailed.

Instead, Wooten's superiors gave him a ten-day suspension from his job. And when his union protested, it was reduced to five days.

This is the situation Todd Palin found himself in. Here was a man who was threatening to kill Palin's sister-in-law and father-in-law, who had used a taser on Palin's nephew in front of Palin's daughter. And not only was he allowed to stay on the job as a law enforcement officer, but as his wife became governor, that very same agency was charged with protecting the physical safety of his wife and their immediate family.

In those circumstances, what sort of person would not pursue every legal option to protect his family?

Apparently, the kind of person who has the great misfortune to be married to an elected official.

As far as I can tell, once she became governor, Sarah Palin should have sat down with her husband and said "now, honey, I know this guy's a bad guy, I know he's abused our nephew, I know he's threatened to kill my dad and my sister, I know he's driven drunk in his cruiser and broken hunting laws, I know he's unstable enough to have racked up four marriages and divorces before he's 40, but I'm the governor now. That means that we have to give up a lot of our legal rights and expectations. I'm now in charge of the state police, and that means that you can't do anything at all -- not even the things that every other citizen of the state can do -- that might be perceived as benefiting me in any way. And that includes protecting my family from this nutcase. We just have to live with the fact that we're going to be surrounded by armed men who very well could be buddies of this psycho, and just hope for the best."

That, in a nutshell, is nuts.

That, in a nutshell, is what the report of this investigator (an old buddy of Monegan's) says.

And that, in a word, is bullshit.

The report clearly states that Sarah Palin's ethical lapse was in not preventing her husband from exercising his legal rights in seeking redress, for not pursuing legal remedies against an individual who had not only threatened, but actually harmed Todd Palin's family, and had been given less than a slap on the wrist for his misconduct.

Under any reasonable circumstances, the report would be seen as an exoneration of Sarah Palin.

Unfortunately, we're not in any reasonable circumstances. We're in the middle of a presidential campaign.


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Comments (89)

This actually reminds me of... (Below threshold)

This actually reminds me of Martha Stewart. Convicted of lying to investigators about a crime she could not be charged with.

This feels like Palin has been found guilty of a hate crime with actually committing the underlying crime.

People understand that Pali... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

People understand that Palin's ethics violations weren't egregious.

It's the Faux Outrage-strategy. Lets pretend what she did was horrible. Let's pretend this is an indication of what she'd do on a worldwide scale were she to become VP even though it's absurd. Let's repeat it endlessly. Let's always just ignore any explanation. It gets the sound bites out there. It's character assassination by a thousand cuts.

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Aw, poor Adrian.Th... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Aw, poor Adrian.

The difference is - from what I've been able to see, Obama really IS corrupt and not someone you want to put in charge of a 7/11, much less the country. All you've got to do is look at the record - his 'community organizing' days where he accomplished nothing of any significance, the Grove Parc deals, his dealings with Rezko, the Englewood 'Botalical Gardens' - what HAS Obama done that's actually helped anyone long-term?

He's charismatic as hell though, in front of a teleprompter. And he tells you how much he 'cares' - guess that's got to count for something...

Jay, as I have argued in an... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Jay, as I have argued in another post and on Blue, there is another issue that Branchflower completely ignores. As Chief Executive of the State of Alaska, Sarah Palin has a duty anda responsibility to provide for the Public Safety of the citizens of the state.

This case is unusual in that the Governor has direct knowledge of Wooten's misbehavior. She was on the speakerphone when Wooten told his wife that her father would "Eat a f'ing lead bullet." Her daughter was in the room when Wooten tasered his stepson.

She is supposed to protect the state from rogue cops.

Well said, Eric. ... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

Well said, Eric.

What makes me angry is that -- although Wooten has admitted that he tasered his stepson, the MSM is still using the term "allegedly" as if it were open for discussion.

Not one media outlet has brought up your point about a Governor's responsibility to insure the public safety.

Faux Outrage-strategy? The... (Below threshold)

Faux Outrage-strategy? The only faux-outrage I've seen is coming from her detractors, many of them commenting here over the course of this story, pointing to her actions as particularly egregious, without regard to the circumstances.

The fact is, she did nothing to Monegan until he took actions that she knew were consistent with her rights to let him go. And then she merely offered him a different job that he refused to take and quit.

And instead of your cryptic, "SOUND FAMILIAR?" why don't you tell us what's so familiar. Or just let me guess that perhaps the object of your fantasy, a certain Senator from Illinois, who has established a pattern of behavior over many years, a pattern so ingrained in his decision making process and actions, will suddenly 'change'.

6:"The only faux-out... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

6:
"The only faux-outrage I've seen is coming from her detractors, many of them commenting here over the course of this story, pointing to her actions as particularly egregious, without regard to the circumstances."

I agree. And that's what I said. I was clearly talking about her detractors.

The SOUND FAMILIAR part refers to the minor gaffes that McCain has made (completely understandable gaffes that any human keeping his schedule would make) and the statements like the "staying in Iraq for 100 years" that have been pounced on, deliberately misinterpreted and twisted by Democrats.

Let's see, what is worse.</... (Below threshold)
just me:

Let's see, what is worse.

Palin trying to get a dirty cop protected by his police union fired (and this is one reason I really hate unions, especially for government employees) or say taking tons and tons of bribes and putting them in your freezer, or not paying taxes on your various properties and such (when your committee is in charge of tax policy)? Shall I go on.

What bugs me about this whole Palin issue was that if Palin was a democrat this would be a non story, or if it was a story it would be all about domestic violence, scary cops, and how the state protects them.


Uh, Is this anywhere... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Uh, Is this anywhere in the "Investigation Report."

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.

Leave out a fact or two here, a fact or two there, and pretty soon, you can make a case. . .

AdrianYea, yea, ye... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Adrian

Yea, yea, yea; there is a huge difference between this deal with Palin and those that surround Obama. Obama has a host of associations and deals. And the reason is simple. To advance in Chicago and Illinois politicsw, you must kiss a lot of rings.

Obama isn't the first politician to go up the ladder of a cess pool political machine. But later, he wants to purify himself as a guy who will do change, heal the sick and stop old style politics, which is a bunch of baloney.

His ambition caused him to kiss a lot of rings and butts in Chicago. And he never, ever, even once, took on the machine.

Adrian is in the process of... (Below threshold)

Adrian is in the process of building an argument for Obama. He just hasn't gotten there yet. His idea is to get one to agree with all the things he's saying about Palin and McCain and then to try and draw a parallel with Obama. I ain't falling for it. Adrian has already established a pattern here that can't be ignored. And that pattern is to denigrate and criticize anyone here that he disagrees with. Continuing to engage him in this, you'll see. You'll be considered as having an IQ of 80 or to be intellectually dishonest. It will devolve into an ad hominem attack.

The only way it won't devolve just as I predicted is if he goes silent or expresses some "faux-outrage" over my assessment.

11Well said. I tota... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

11
Well said. I totally agree with your assessment.

Well, at least there is a s... (Below threshold)
epador:

Well, at least there is a sense of humor there in AB, Oyster. Reminds me of the time I told my 4 year old I knew he was NOT going to eat his green beans.

"As I read about the report... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"As I read about the report on Governor Palin's alleged violation of ethics laws and rules"

"alleged"

lol

jp2 -From the find... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

jp2 -

From the finding...

I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
So... it's wrong to exercise proper and lawful authority?
Wow.

That was from page 8 of the PDF report, by the way.

http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/10/10/16/Branchflowerreport.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf

I really don't think you can have it both ways here - if legal and proper use of authority is seen as unethical, then all you're left with for ethical behavior is illegal and improper use of authority and that doesn't make any sense at all.

Unless you're 'reality-based', in which case anything goes if you've got the proper party affiliation.

So this 'alledgedly' improper behavior was well within the scope of her responsibilities. In this case 'alledged' is all it is - something with no basis in reality...

(But for the 'reality-based', when has Reality actually had anything to do with what they imagine?)

Yes, jp2, "alleged." Look u... (Below threshold)

Yes, jp2, "alleged." Look up the word some time -- it means "unproven."

It's the word of one investigator who has submitted his report, and it may or may not be included in the final decision.

Unless, of course, you think this investigator (an old buddy of Monegan's) has the authority in and of himself to make final, binding decisions of fact in this matter...

What am I saying? Of course you do. This is something BAD about a Republican, so OF COURSE it's true -- unless it's an understatement!

J.

Remember, 77% of the Legal ... (Below threshold)
syn:

Remember, 77% of the Legal Profession(as in Lawyers and Judges) are supporting and funding Obama.

There is no Justice in America.

Yea, it is "alleged"... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Yea, it is "alleged" in Harlem that she would make a GREAT VP with Obama. ROFLMAO

I think all libs sacrificed... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I think all libs sacrificed their imput into ethics questions with their total support of everything Clinton did that was unethical not to mention illegal. ww

Discussing ethics with libe... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Discussing ethics with liberals is like discussing default credit swaps with your dog.

RE "finally won his convict... (Below threshold)

RE "finally won his conviction": I don't think DeLay has been convicted. Wikipedia says he is still awaiting trial:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_DeLay_campaign_finance_investigation

You're right, Paul. It's b... (Below threshold)
Mike:

You're right, Paul. It's been three years since DeLay was indicted, and his case is still awaiting trial. Sixth Amendment concerns notwithstanding, it would seem to me that the "DeLay delay" indicates that the only reason DeLay was indicted was to remove him from House leadership, and bolster the "Republicans are crooks" argument used by the Democrats to take back Congress in 2006.

As I mentioned in another thread, the complaint against Palin is laughably weak, and it becomes even more so when you consider that we may elect the Democratic Party's Chicago Political Machine into the White House in just a few weeks.

The corruption, cronyism, influence-buying, and rubber-stamp politics that will infest an Obama-Pelosi-Reed government will make the Republicans of 2002 - 2004 look like amateurs.

You're right, Paul... (Below threshold)
You're right, Paul. It's been three years since DeLay was indicted, and his case is still awaiting trial.

I'm no lawyer, but isn't there some sort of "C'mon Mr. Prosecutor, sh*t or get off the pot" motion that DeLay can file so this business can be concluded?

the only reason DeLay was indicted was to remove him from House leadership, and bolster the "Republicans are crooks" argument used by the Democrats to take back Congress in 2006.

Exactly right.

Mike, it's gonna make the <... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Mike, it's gonna make the Clinton administration (not to mention Reid and Pelosi) look like amateurs.

O/T...on Wednesday Debate..... (Below threshold)

O/T...on Wednesday Debate...

I sure hope McCain understands what I am about to type regarding the upcoming debate...

OPTION 1 -
McCain comes out swinging!
He calls Obama's FRIENDS/MENTORS/ASSOCIATES/ALLIES what they are: hateful, spiteful, Socialists, America-haters, criminals He DEMANDS, on behalf of the American people, that Obama how explain to America how we can expect that all those people are NOT who HE, Obama, is!
RESULT: NY Times, MSNBC, CNN, et al, call McCain "Mean-spirited, focused on the past, unfit to be President!"

OPTION 2 -
McCain maintains the 'Country Club' demeanor with Obama.
He barely mentions Obama's FRIENDS/MENTORS/ASSOCIATES/ALLIES, and certainly NEVER calls them what they are: hateful, spiteful, Socialists, America-haters, criminals. He alludes to "bad-judgment", but takes the 'high-road' and even reminds us all that Obama is a "fine man". [GAACK!]
RESULT: NY Times, MSNBC, CNN, et al, call McCain "Mean-spirited, focused on the past, unfit to be President!"

That's right! The NY Times, MSNBC, CNN, et al, have already WRITTEN the stories. No matter what you do John McCain, the MSM will react EXACTLY the same!!

With Option 1, however, your supporters will be encouraged, and those on the fence will get some serious things to think about!! With Option 2 the election is OVER!

The District Attorney for T... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

The District Attorney for Travis County, Ronnie Earle, did not run for reelection in 2007. Delay seemed to a personal project of Ronnie Earl as it took three Grand Juries to actually get an indictment.

It would not be at all surprising if the charges against Delay are dropped.

Rick

Actually, it took 6 grand j... (Below threshold)
Beth Johnson:

Actually, it took 6 grand juries to indict Tom DeLay. And the 6ht one had just been sworn in a couple hours before they handed down their indictment.

Ronnie Earle is a tool for the left. And a complete douchebag.

I have wondered why ... (Below threshold)
Larry:


I have wondered why DeLay doesn't push. There must be a reason. DeLay is no shrinking violet. There must be a reason why his letting it go. And I, for one, would be interested in knowing what it is.

I am no fan of DeLay. He led a Republican Congress that tried to emulate Democrats in spending our children's legacy.

Ronnie E... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Ronnie Earle is a tool for the left. And a complete douchebag.

True.

"He led a Republican Congre... (Below threshold)
syn:

"He led a Republican Congress that tried to emulate Democrats in spending our children's legacy."

Come now the American Centrist is far more responsible in encouraging Big Government spending than most Americans are willing to admit.

Let's face facts, the undecided voter is always looking for the politician who will give them the goodies.

Americans are responsible for the greed, politicans simply pander for that vote.

Time to grow up people; stop demanding free health care, free college education, free food, free gas, free abortions, free pre-natal care, free housing and mortgage bailouts to name just a few goodies Americans believe they're entitled to receive.

Honestly America stop think... (Below threshold)
syn:

Honestly America stop thinking you have the right to steal from your neighbor, it's unethical.

Grow up America, you are not hapless children who need Big Mommy Government taking care of you.

By the way...those big spender republicans were voted out in 2006, can we talk about why bigger spending Democrats are still in office?

I mean Chuck Rangel doesn't even know his own tax codes yet Americans refuse to vote him out of office.

Americans are doing a fine job of screwing themselves, stop blaming the politicians.

Governor Palin: "<a href="h... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Governor Palin: "Well, I'm very 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".

Well, if Governor Palin thinks there is no problem with her high-handed mixing of the public and private spheres, even after an investigator's report said she did exactly that and violated the State Code of Ethis she should certainly be able to clean up Washington D.C politics, and pursue whatever vendettas she wishes..Hey, that's the sort of change we need in the nation's capital (as if we didn`t a have enough of politicizing the DOJ and EPA for starters the last eight years the Bush/GOP administration- The law it is what I decide (post facto) approach.

Come on Steve Crickmore, yo... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Come on Steve Crickmore, you are better than that. Didn't you READ the full report? You have jumped to a bad analysis and fallen in the Branchwater ditch.

Frankly, I think you are stretching in your attempt to discredit Palin because her husband was trying to protect his family from a rogue cop. By design, this is supposed to distract the public from the cess pool of Chicago politics where Obama thrived? Right?

Not only are you wasting your time Steve, but you are not being your usual self, a reasonable guy who happens to support Obama for President. Next thing you know Steve, you will be agreeing with the nutcases who think Palin is a racist because she wears white. Stop reading Lee Ward, Steve; doing so will lower your IQ by up to 20 points. *grin*

American... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Americans are doing a fine job of screwing themselves, stop blaming the politicians.

Dang it syn, you got me. I am not going to live in San Francisco, where Pelosi is thought of as a moderate. I am not going to live in Nevada, where Reid obviously took lessons from Senator Pat Geary (The Godfather II).

I refuse to live in Maxine Waters district, or Barney Frank's or Connecticut. I like living where I live and we have a pretty decent Congressman, Conaway, whose moral code and ideology seems in line with my own ideals.

So what is a body to do?

Steve -Seriously, ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Steve -

Seriously, man, did you even BOTHER to read the report?

I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Since when is it wrong to exercise proper and lawful authority?

Oh, wait! When someone is actually DOING something, instead of just sitting around whining about a problem! OR - when someone is pawing through a whole lifetime trying to find something, ANYTHING, that can be used to discredit someone for high office!

That was from page 8 of the PDF report, by the way.

http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/10/10/16/Branchflowerreport.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf

If Obama was subjected to the same standards by the DEMOCRATIC party, he'd have been thrown under the bus long before he's where he is now. But I'm pretty convinced by watching the Dems for the last couple of decades that the Democratic sense of 'ethics' is highly situational - to say the least - and subject to expedient revision when it looks like there's ANY sort of advantage to be gained from ignoring foul-smelling garbage in the politician's history.

(By the way, how's that 'most ethical government' stuff of Pelosi's doing ya? Is the party credibility up to double digits yet?)

No, JLawson and Larry I hav... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

No, JLawson and Larry I haven`t read the full report (I don`t think Palin has either) but I have read pages 48 and 49 starting from...

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

THe virtues of smalltown America politics are pretty much its vices...Trying to get a statetrooper fired doesn`t exactly rank with trying to get Beria dismissed from the KGB but it is clear the Palins didn`t go about it the right way.

Todd Palin doesn`t even have an office in the Governor`s executive in Anchorage but he does wield a lot of influence and authority, and sits on any meeting apparently he feels like, often to the evident discomfort of the participants. What is going on there? How do you guys condone the behavior of someone Sarah calls the `First Dude` and is totally unelected or unappointed. Surely Sarah must bear some of the responsibility for the intrusive actions of her husband. He doesn`t seem to spend much time as commercial fisherman.


she violated the law whi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

she violated the law which said that public officials must not act in any manner where they might have a personal interest.
That law is so poorly crafted as to be essentially useless.

No, Jay, the law is crafted just fine. It's your misrepresentation of it that's essentially useless.

The law does NOT say "public officials must not act in any manner where they might have a personal interest". You made that up. It says, "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.". That does not mean that you can't perform official action where you happen to have an interest. It means exactly the reverse: that you can't satisfy an interest by performing an official action. There is an obvious difference.

In fact, the law goes on to expressly say that public officials "cannot and should not be without personal and financial interests in the decisions and policies of government", and that "people who serve as public officers retain their rights to interests of a personal or financial nature". But it also says she "may not intentionally secure or grant unwarranted benefits or treatment for any person."

So your attempt to portray this law as you did above is complete hogwash.

The difference can be summed up thusly: Say Monegan on his own brought Palin a list of 5 troopers to be fired, including Wooten, and she had to approve the list. The ethics law says that Palin CAN act in a matter where she has a personal interest, since it is a "discharge of an officer's public duties and responsibilities". But she can't INITIATE his inclusion on that list (nor could she have him alone removed from the list).

You should agree with this, as it fully meshes with your Wolfowitz depiction. There were routine scheduled raises, and he happened to be in the position of approving them. Is that not different from him intentionally initiating an off-schedule raise for his paramour?

The rest of your attempts to misrepresent the law are equally bogus:

Her husband works for an oil company. Therefore, every single time she has dealt officially with oil companies, she has violated it.

Horse hockey. It means that she can't order the state to do business with his company. And can't order it to hire him as a fisherman. Etc.


This is the situation Todd Palin found himself in. ... In those circumstances, what sort of person would not pursue every legal option to protect his family?

They were always free to pursue every legal option, and still are. In fact, they did, and a judge warned them to tone it down. There were always legal options open to them.

As far as I can tell, once she became governor, Sarah Palin should have sat down with her husband and said, "...I'm the governor now. That means that we have to give up a lot of our legal rights and expectations. I'm now in charge of the state police, and that means that you can't do anything at all -- not even the things that every other citizen of the state can do -- that might be perceived as benefiting me in any way.

First of all, every other citizen of the state could pressure Monegan to fire a trooper? I didn't realize Alaskans shared power like that.

But gross mischaracterizations aside, Palin did not have to give up any of her "rights and expectations". For argument, let's say that an average citizen has an avenue for reporting a rogue cop directly to the governor, and that governors routinely investigate these claims. In this case, Palin could have recused herself from involvement, and asked someone like the Lt. Governor to handle it. All of her "rights and expectations" would have been preserved.

This attempt to portray Palin as some victimized innocent who had her rights stripped away from her falls shockingly flat. And I ask you, if she believes had every right to fire Wooten or Monegan at will, then why has she not proudly stated, "I fired Monegan because he would not fire Wooten, a bad cop who I did not feel deserved to serve the people of Alaska"?

Since when is it wrong t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Since when is it wrong to exercise proper and lawful authority?

When the law says, "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."

Seriously... did you read it? Because the answer to your question seems rather obvious.

The corruption, cronyism... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

The corruption, cronyism, influence-buying, and rubber-stamp politics that will infest an Obama-Pelosi-Reed government will make the Republicans of 2002 - 2004 look like amateurs.

22. Posted by Mike


Heh. Via Instapundit:

"Mark Foley's successor has a sex scandal. "ABC News says Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., had an affair with one of his aides and then agreed to a $121,000 settlement when she threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit . . . Mahoney replaced Rep. Mark Foley after the Palm Beach Republican resigned amid allegations that he had exchanged sexually explicit messages with underage male pages on Capitol Hill.""

SC:"Todd Palin do... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

SC:
"Todd Palin doesn`t even have an office in the Governor`s executive in Anchorage but he does wield a lot of influence and authority, and sits on any meeting apparently he feels like, often to the evident discomfort of the participants. What is going on there? How do you guys condone the behavior of someone Sarah calls the `First Dude` and is totally unelected or unappointed."

And yet when Hillary did it, it was touted as 'executive experience' for her resume when running for Senator and President. I don't recall the libs/Dems complaining about it when she did it.

I love the lefties attitude... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I love the lefties attitude. If anybody threatened the well being of their family, it is nice to know the left would not do anything in their power to stop it. ww

brian - "And I ask you,... (Below threshold)
marc:

brian - "And I ask you, if she believes had every right to fire Wooten or Monegan at will, then why has she not proudly stated, "I fired Monegan because he would not fire Wooten, a bad cop who I did not feel deserved to serve the people of Alaska"?"

So, is it your contention she fired Monegan?

You've repeated it enough in the last couple threads, it leads me to believe you do.

it is nice to know the l... (Below threshold)
Brian:

it is nice to know the left would not do anything in their power to stop it.

Whoa, incoming strawman from Willie! Take cover!

Hillary was given an execut... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Hillary was given an executive office( I don`t know in which wing). The first lady has a staff paid for by the taxpayer with line responsibilities..She was given the position to head up the task force on health care in the Clinton adminsitration(AND BOTCHED IT BADLY)..Everything is very official, records must be kept..In Palin's version of the Alaska first family it was completely ad hoc..What did a Oscar Wilde character say about a woman in a novel of his, "she was so ignorant she was delightful"..I think that about expresses Sarah Palin's appeal and weakness.

So, is it your contentio... (Below threshold)
Brian:

So, is it your contention she fired Monegan?
You've repeated it enough in the last couple threads, it leads me to believe you do.

Effectively, she did.

I sure hope that the whole basis of your view on this fiasco isn't rooted in your naive word parsing!

[patiently awaiting JT's re... (Below threshold)
epador:

[patiently awaiting JT's rebuttal]

Maybe Jay got mixed up when... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Maybe Jay got mixed up when he read the Palin/McCain report on Palin instead of the actual report. (Could happen to anybody)

She's lied through her teeth this entire campaign - you don't have to help her out though Jay.

Steve & Brian:I ha... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Steve & Brian:

I have skimmed the report. Two hundred and sixty plus pages is a lot to digest. I noted a few things.

Where is Robert Cockrell's deposition? It is listed in the table of contents, but is not part of the public record. Why? By title, Special Agent Cockrell is in charge of coordinating the Governor's security and had done that job for many preceeding Governors.

Secondly, it would seem the key player in all of this is Todd Palin. Unless the two of you are gonna go off on Hillary, just leave his role alone other than what he did that was wrong with relationship to Wooten, ok?

Based on his prior remarks, why was his deposition left out of the public record? He is reputed as stating that he told Todd Palin to contact Monegan.

Based solely on the report, it would appear that Palin had substantive reasons for reassigning Monegan other than Wooten. I do encourage each of you to review the file and see what you think, if you are able to look at it in an unbiased way.

I do believe that the Wooten deal was part of the reason why Palin reassigned Monegan, but not the ONLY reason. The record supports that.

The only person who knows is Monegan, but it seems to me that he might just have been stubborn on the matter of Wooten because he wanted to give the Palins a hard time. Either that or he was sucking up to the trooper's union for some reason. That is speculation on my part.

Now the report and findings go to the committee for whatever they elect to do with it.

The report and finding was generated under the direction of Hollis French, a Democrat and a supporter of Barack Obama. The investigator's wife worked for Monegan at one point in time.

Can I request that someone appointed by Karl Rove be assigned to do an investigation of Joe Biden? Sorry, that ought to make anyone laugh.

This is a comedy side-show,... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

This is a comedy side-show, too. What presidential campaign would be complete without a media smear against a veep candidate who fired a crooked commissioner of safety? I would like to know why Monegan resisted firing Wooten to begin with. What would he have to gain or lose?

What do you expect from a p... (Below threshold)
Anne:

What do you expect from a person with an IQ of 83 - she probably does not even know how to spell ethics.

Steve. . .<blockquote... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Steve. . .

Everything is very official, records must be kept


No No No No Steve - a bunch of records were missing. A few were found on a coffee table at one point in time. The Clintons were always chasing files. And they had their own issues with letting people go; travelgate.

Why Steve, I bet things were so informal in Alaska, population a bit over 600K, that they didn't even keep good call logs. :-)

Ann:Oooooo good on... (Below threshold)
Larry:

Ann:

Oooooo good one ann, shows a lot of class on your part.

What do you expect from a person with an IQ of 83 - she probably does not even know how to spell ethics.

At least she knows whose ticket she is on. Did you LISTEN to those Obama supporters over on the Howard Stern show? The first three I heard said they thought Sarah Palin would make a great VP for Obama.

ROFLMAO

Loose the IQ thing ANN, it just makes you look stupid and you can't fix stupid.

So the summary of the findi... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

So the summary of the findings on page 8 are undercut later on?

Page 8, finding 2 - at the risk of repeating myself (for the third time...)

I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Now 'proper' and 'lawful' is seen as unethical behavior.

Sorry. You've lost me on this one. In essence, you're trying to argue that what Palin did was both a proper and lawful exercise of her authority, AND unethical.

Hmm.

Proper and lawful - that implies she was correct in what she did.

Yet unethical. That implies she WASN'T correct in what she did.

Proper. Lawful.

And unethical...

Okay, let's look at it another way - who gets harmed here? Monegan gets transferred for cause (proper and lawful) - then quits. Wooten still gets to be a drunk, shoot moose, and taser kids - he's still a cop. (Seems unethical to me, btw.) Seems to me Alaska loses, because Wooten is still a cop, but Palin attempted to have Monegan fire him (proper and lawful) ... and Monegan wouldn't... so... he gets transferred? And that's unethical (?) but a proper and lawful exercise of statutory authority.

Nope, it just ain't meshing for me that SHE did something wrong here. Sorry. I think Wooten should be out on his ass, and Monegan's protection of Wooten should have earned either a severe reprimand or a dismissal if it were a pattern of behavior.

Dealbreaker? Hell, no! The woman's got a sense of right and wrong, and she's willing to act on what she believes is right. That earns her points as far as I'm concerned.

Anne(?)~W... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Anne(?)~

What do you expect from a person with an IQ of 83 - she probably does not even know how to spell ethics.

Obama's a fraud, you know it. Stop copying the other lefty's (dr. lava) air-headed comments. Ya got nuthin'.

The motives of an executive... (Below threshold)
captbilly:

The motives of an executive politician in breaking the law are completely besides the point. The Govenor of a state is the head of the executive branch of government, the branch of government that enforces the law. If the head of the executive branch decides that he she is above the law what kind of message is that to everyone else in government? What if I as a simple citizen feel that some law or another shouldn't apply to me and so I willfully choose to ignore it? Will I be given a free pass because my motives were good?

This is a woman who would be a 72 year old 4 time cancer survivor's heart beat away from the Presidency and we are arguing about whether or not she should have violated the law? What will she do if she finds some law involving Presidential ethics inconvienient? We have had that kind of President for the past 8 years (and a couple of times before that) and it has never worked out well for the American people. For Palin to claim that a finding that she violated the ethics laws of her office is of no significance is the absolute height of hypocracy. It is much more significant for the head of the executive branch of government to obey the law than for anyone else. You cannot enforce the law if you yourself don't believe that the law should apply to everyone.

What if I as a sim... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
What if I as a simple citizen feel that some law or another shouldn't apply to me and so I willfully choose to ignore it?

Been there, done that. Her firing of Monegan wasn't illegal. Look it up, please.

As a citizen of the State ... (Below threshold)
Cindy:

As a citizen of the State of Indiana- we cannot take the law into our own hands. When you are verbally threatened; you can get a restraining order. Sara Palin is not responsible for her sister's behavior, it just seems like common sense says- there was probably a good reason his previous marriages didn't last. Todd Palin probably should have stayed out of this one. No good could come out of this. This sounds like a real dysfunctional family to me. Sadly, may just be a too common story once you remove the position of Governor. This is the kind of matters hat are troubling me about Gov. Palin; we thought Bill Clinton made nasty headlines. In the White House, I don't want ordinary; I want extraodinary, this situation is not a good example for all the little girls that could grow up & think anything goes in our Whitehouse. Pregnant teens, though I feel for Sara; this does not belong in politics no more than her sister's marital problems & poor choices. Sounds like Joe six pack is her ex brother n law? I just knew she wasn't referring to my sons.

I am so sorry for this fu... (Below threshold)
Rose:

I am so sorry for this fueding family. This is just a family in crisis that let things get way out of control. My main concern would be what kind of character bashing did they do in front of their family and children. It's really a crying shame. I would ask where were the "family values" she claimed to have early on in the race.
I guess the real Sarah has yet to shock the country and entire world with her audacious behavior. Pit Bull indeed!! Woo Hoo! NOT! Sheer and utter ignorance on the part of the Palin's!!! SHAME ON YOU!!! 10 minute time outs work wonders.. even for adults!

Was the trooper charged wi... (Below threshold)
Elise James:

Was the trooper charged with any of his alleged crimes? If not, why not?
If so, wouldn't he be removed from his postiion pending trial?

Jay, looks as you're a magn... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Jay, looks as you're a magnet this evening
for mobys, and sock puppets.

I guess you ladies missed t... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

I guess you ladies missed the part where Wooten drank on the job, hunted without a license and tased his stepson. Who cares about the four divorces? Wooten broke the law repeatedly. What was she supposed to do, get a bill passed?

Palin will be vindicated. ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Palin will be vindicated. The only thing we still don't know is why Monegan refused to fire Wooten. That will come out eventually.

Again ... I'm wondering if ... (Below threshold)
Elise James:

Again ... I'm wondering if the lower 48 is that different from Alaska. If an officer of the law did those things in my state, he would be put on administrative leave and charges would be filed. It wouldn't be as matter of convincing anyone to fire him.

Todd Palin is a private cit... (Below threshold)

Todd Palin is a private citizen, and he is free to lodge as many complaints with the state government of Alaska and the Alaska State Patrol as he sees fit.

And here's the screwy part:... (Below threshold)

And here's the screwy part: this 'report' says that by exercising her power as governor, Sarah abused her power as governor.

Thru the looking glass.

I believe Sarah Palin has p... (Below threshold)
Redphilly:

I believe Sarah Palin has post-partum depression. I can see it because I had it. Behind closed doors she crys alot nowadays. She is not fit to help lead a country that is falling apart.

I believe Sarah Pa... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
I believe Sarah Palin has post-partum depression.

Heh.

Sarah Palin: Rally 10/06/08

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9pSahoJFhA

Do us all a favor, post the... (Below threshold)
Chad:

Do us all a favor, post the whole report, all the testimony, get the head of the security detail to publish his testimony as well, let it all out in the open. As to the post partum depression and IQ statements, you're kidding, right? What a load of crap. Yep, you're the super therapist, you can see it through the tv, can't you. What a load of projected make believe shit.

Todd Pain may be a private ... (Below threshold)
cindy:

Todd Pain may be a private citizen but his actions do matter. He is, as sara puts it, her first dude. Would any of us care about this entire story line if sara was not running to serve this nation. She may have an 80% approval rating in Alaska with a very small population. We conduct ourselves very different in the rest of this country. The only family business made public is sex scandals & illnesses.
On the post partum comment, I bet you are right. You made me chuckle, too!
We should all just vote Obama & call it a day!

Now 'proper' and 'lawful... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Now 'proper' and 'lawful' is seen as unethical behavior.
Sorry. You've lost me on this one. In essence, you're trying to argue that what Palin did was both a proper and lawful exercise of her authority, AND unethical.

I agree it's poorly worded. What I interpret that to mean is reinforcing that the governor has proper "constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads". In other words, it is legally part of her job to hire and fire them. As opposed to, for example, if she tried to personally fire Wooten, which she apparently does not have the authority to do.

But the ethics laws state that you cannot "violate the public trust" in the execution of your lawful duties, and then goes on to list what constitutes a violation.

Sarah and her family had no... (Below threshold)
Phyllis:

Sarah and her family had no problem eating the evidence (the moose). Nor did she think ill of Trooper Wooten until her sister's marriage went sour. Did the officer make a poor decision using the taser on his son, (yeah probably,even if it was in test mode) but how many times has your child begged to try something and you gave in? The kid thought it was cool and even bragged to his friends about it. It didn't become a problem (just like the moose and anything else they could think of) until the divorce. Check the link to see how everything is dandy until you cross the Palins. bhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site163/2008/0721/20080721_111415_PalinLetterofRecomend.pdf

Cindy -You get a g... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Cindy -

You get a good sale on astroturf? You might want to take it back - it's REALLY substandard.

I agree it's ... (Below threshold)
maggie:

I agree it's poorly worded.
What I interpret that to mean is reinforcing
that the governor has proper "constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads".
In other words, it is legally part of her job to hire and fire them. As opposed to, for example, if she tried to personally fire Wooten, which she apparently does not have
the authority to do.

That is insane.

"Sarah and her family had n... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Sarah and her family had no problem eating the evidence (the moose)." Hahaha! You libbies crack me up!

"Nor did she think ill of Trooper Wooten until her sister's marriage went sour." How do you know, socky?

"We should all just vote Obama & call it a day!"

Who's we? You can vote for whomever you want, but I won't vote for a guy who petitioned his only opponent off a ballot to get into politics, and refuses to submit his birth records in a court of law.

"That is insane."W... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"That is insane."

Well, it is a full moon tomorrow...

It must be moonaid they're ... (Below threshold)
maggie:

It must be moonaid they're drinking then. lol

<a href="http://lamentans.w... (Below threshold)

A Rebuttal to Branchflower is pretty easy to write.

That is insane.... (Below threshold)
Brian:

That is insane.

Gee, given your well-reasoned arguments to support your contention, how can we not all agree with you?

Brian, I'm not going to ins... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Brian, I'm not going to insult your
intelligence on this one.
You need to re-read what you posted, as you
must have been looking through Alices looking
glass when you wrote it.
She can but she can't. The only thing I can
assume is you're posting this because she's
a republican.
What does moonaid taste like?

Sorry, but it's your... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Sorry, but it's your intelligence that's taking a hit here. And your partisan blindness. What's more likely? That Branchflower worded something poorly? Or that after writing a 200+ page report, he forgot that he really meant to say the opposite, and JLawson is the only one who figured it out?

And don't pretend you're confused by "she can but she can't". Yes, she can fire, but she can't offer to fire someone in exchange for money. She can't fire all black people. She can't fire all men and hire only women. It doesn't take too much intelligence to understand.

At least I hope you're pretending.

Now, why don't you reread what you posted, and learn how to make supporting arguments instead of insults.

Brian, For someone w... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Brian,
For someone who spends tons of time on
Wizbang throwing rocks, you really should
reconsider condemning others.
If asking you about the taste of moonaid is
an insult, you are awfully thin skinned.
/pun intended
As to the 'she can but she can't', that is the
interpretation I got from it.
It has nothing to do with what Wooten wrote,
it's all about what you posted.

What is being missed by mos... (Below threshold)
Dean:

What is being missed by most is that the issue is *not* whether Sarah Palin 'broke the law'. After all, the issue with Obama regarding Ayers is also not about breaking the law. Why can Obama's defense not be "But I didn't break any law"?

Because the issue is *judgement*. Sarah Palin allowed a non-elected, non-government-employee to use the Governor's office for his own personal agenda. I don't know about anyone else, but I call that 'poor judgement'. She was warned that if it continued it would cause embarassment - and she didn't stop it. She allowed it. There are other allegations about per diem expenses, etc. that also point to 'poor judgement'.

Of course, the hotheads will start yelling 'terrorist!!!!' to divert attention. McCain has made it clear that his point is not that Obama *is* a terrorist, nor that he would ever engage in or condone terrorist activities - it is simply that he had "poor judgement" in selecting his associates.

And so it is with Sarah Palin. She showed poor judgement. Pure and simple. You might shrug it off. You might rationalize it until you are blue in the face. You might wave your hands, speak loudly with spittle flying out and eyes bulging... but the real point is that "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". It makes you look stupid, and it damages your house.

This, for better or for worse, is exactly what we are looking at. Palin and Obama may both be damaged goods - but Palin has, by her words and actions, also damaged her campaign. And the polls show it.

you really should... (Below threshold)
Brian:

you really should
reconsider condemning others.

This from someone whose only attempt at argument is "What does moonaid taste like?"

If asking you about the taste of moonaid is
an insult, you are awfully thin skinned.

No, thin skinned would be if it bothered me. Quite the opposite, actually. I think it undercuts any suppositions that you might be making a rational reasoned argument.

As to the 'she can but she can't', that is the
interpretation I got from it.

So explain the interpretation. Support it. Make an argument. Or is your only goal here to make snide remarks and then run away?

It has nothing to do with what Wooten wrote,
it's all about what you posted.

So your interpretation of the report is based not on what it contains (I assume you meant "Branchflower"), but it's based solely on me. I'm flattered, but you ought to try thinking on your own.

LaMedusa wrote, "... (Below threshold)
Phyllis:

LaMedusa wrote,

"Sarah and her family had no problem eating the evidence (the moose)." Hahaha! You libbies crack me up!

"Nor did she think ill of Trooper Wooten until her sister's marriage went sour." How do you know, socky?

How do you know my political affiliation? and what is with the name bashing? It's called research...


"Did the officer make a ... (Below threshold)

"Did the officer make a poor decision using the taser on his son, (yeah probably,even if it was in test mode)..."

Probably?

"... but how many times has your child begged to try something and you gave in?"

That depends on what they asked to do. Tasering doesn't quite generate an immediate "yes" for me. Would you have tased your child if he asked? No, don't answer that. I'm afraid you might say "probably".

Not to mention your prognostications of what the Palins might have felt about Wooten at any point, nor whether the tasering of his step-son was ever a problem with them until, well ... when? When it happened? Or when you heard about it?

Personally, given all the c... (Below threshold)

Personally, given all the circumstances, I'm giving Palin a pass on this one. Did she exert some level of pressure on Monegan to fire Wooten? Yes, even though she didn't outright tell him to fire him. Would she have done so even if it weren't her family involved? I certainly hope so. Can't say for a fact though.

But did she fire him even after all the time that had passed? No. She ended up firing him for the right reason. Oh wait...she didn't fire him. She offered him another position she thought he was better suited for and he refused it.

If some people can give Obama a pass on his relationship with Ayers "because he was eight when Ayers did bad things" then I think I'm entitled to this one.

You don't like it? Tough.

Brian:This is my las... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Brian:
This is my last post on this subject. I know a
circle jerk when I see one, and this is one.
A waste of my time and Kevins bandwidth.
For you to post a slack jawed post about someone,
anyone in such a manner, she can and she can't,
and then demand others to give it reason is
amazing.

How do you know my polit... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

How do you know my political affiliation? and what is with the name bashing? It's called research...

Phyllis~

My apologies if you were not just another name on the same IP address. However, the crap about "eating the evidence" is just that, crap. Unless, of course you can provide a link where it shows Palin eating the moose that Wooten killed without a license. But let's complete forget that he tased his stepson and drank on the job. Whatever your party is, you are really scraping the barrel, here.

Larry,"I have wond... (Below threshold)
Beth Johnson:

Larry,

"I have wondered why DeLay doesn't push. There must be a reason. DeLay is no shrinking violet. There must be a reason why his letting it go. And I, for one, would be interested in knowing what it is."

I don't really understand what you mean. He has begged and begged to go to trial. But Ronnie Earle has use (and abused) the appeals process over and over because he is terrified this will go to trial while Earle is still in office. He is going to be incredibly embarrassed when this is all over and he knows it.

He has hardly "letting it go." he has traveled all over the country and been all over the media talking about this trial and over and over begging to go to trial so all the facts can come out. But he can only push so much...there is a justice system, as warped as it is, that he has to follow.




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