Troopergate: Nothing to See Here, People. Move Along….
For a brief but interesting period of New York State history, the term “Troopergate” referred to Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s alleged use of New York State troopers to dig up dirt on Republican State Senate majority leader Joe Bruno. Then, in one of the most spectacular flameouts in NY history, Spitzer was caught red-handed patronizing hookers, pushing “Troopergate” off the pages and, temporarily, into the annals of history.
Then Sarah Palin came along, dusted it off and gave the phrase a story more deserving of the ‘gate’ suffix. In a Days of Our Lives re-make of the Bush Justice Department’s Prosecutor Purge scandal, Palin, then Mayor of Wasilla, made numerous allegations of misconduct against her brother-in-law Mike Wooten, an Alaska state trooper, and attempted to get him fired. Wooten, involved in a custody battle with Palin’s sister, was admonished for some infractions, cleared of others, and for everyone but Palin and her family, the matter was considered resolved. But hell hath no fury like a barracuda scorned.
Once she became governor, Palin and her husband Todd (aka “First Dude) renewed their efforts to get Wooten fired, despite being told by Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan that the pressure the Palins were exerting on him could be seen as inappropriate at best – illegal at the worst. Monegan told Palin, in much kinder words, to pound sand. Career-wise, given Palin’s previously demonstrated vindictive streak, this was not a smart move. Palin fired Monegan for not firing Wooten. When even the Republican dominated Alaska state legislature thought something seemed fishy, Palin vowed full and unhindered cooperation.
Not long after, Palin found herself under the world’s biggest microscope when John McCain tagged her for his running mate. Sensing that perhaps the Monegan situation could bite her in the ass, Palin tried to claim that Monegan had merely been reassigned, and then quit voluntarily in protest. This lie lasted about as long as it took for Monegan to stop laughing before he debunked it in the national press. Then, in a not-so-stunning 180-degree reversal, Palin clammed up and turned her defense over to the McCain campaign, who, naturally, refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Fast forward to the present. The Alaska state legislature, in what may well be this season’s “October Surprise” is poised to release their findings in the Troopergate (AK) scandal today. Yesterday, the McCain campaign announced it had conducted its own investigation and released a report of the findings. The results are sure to astound and amaze!
You’ll never guess what they concluded.
Really. Never guess.
The suspense is killing you, I know.
Shall I tell you?
You’ll really never guess on your own.
Okay….ready for it?
“Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe.” [news.yahoo.com]
I told you you’d never gu…..What’s that?
UPDATE: The real investigation disagrees, says Palin broke Alaska ethics law. [www.adn.com]
Betcha didn’t see that one coming either.
– Michael Turner