PART 1 of 2
October 20, 2008
� 2008 - NewsWithViews.com
As soon as Juan McCain announced his running mate, August 29, 2008, the feeding frenzy began. A female, pro-life, "tough image" crack the whip 'reformer' launched some of the ugliest media coverage, as well as fierce defense of any candidate in my life time. It appeared being qualified for the vice presidency before anyone knew anything about Palin (except those who were priming her long before the announcement), were things like being a runner up in a beauty pageant. Okay, I was first runner up in the Miss San Lorenzo pageant long ago; I think my mom probably still has some pictures.
Fishing. Important qualification and here I am getting ready to throw my line in the Stanislaus River (California) for trout when I was first learning to fish and after that, I was hooked!
This is a small mouth bass I caught at the very beautiful Trinity Lake, Trinity National Forest, CA, years ago; excellent fishing in that lake. I've caught many a sturgeon in the Carquenez Straits and I clean my own catch. Although I haven't gone for quite some time because our country needs every patriot willing to fight, fishing is one of my great passions in life.
Hunting moose seems to be a qualification. Here I am in the mid-1980s learning survival skills. I have no desire or need to hunt a moose, but this Black Knight compound bow will take care of most two or four legged problems.
Can shoot a gun. There are millions of pretty women in America who own guns and know how to use them. My Glock is the best equalizer when it comes to two legged predators.
Like Palin, I believe the sanctity of life is paramount. Palin has publicly admitted to smoking marijuana when it was legal in Alaska. I have never touched the weed. I also wear glasses, but $375 frames are a bit out of my budget.
Does any of this make Palin or yours truly, qualified to fulfill the duties of vice-president? Is Palin qualified to step into the presidency should McCain die in office? Palin's rise to the governor's mansion in Alaska is unique and anyone who thinks Palin is just some folksy, small town girl doesn't understand the nature of the political world:
Member of the Wasilla, Alaska city council (1992-1996)
2- Mayor of Wasilla (1996 - 2002); population 9,236
3- Unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor of Alaska in 2002
4- Chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004, but resigned. To her credit, Palin resigned over issues regarding ethics violations.
5- Elected governor of Alaska, November 2006
After her term as mayor expires in 2002, Palin runs for lt. governor and loses. Her chair on the oil and gas commission was short lived. In between her various locally elected positions, Palin went back to being a full time mother to her children until her astounding election as governor in 2006. Her short job resume:
Palin has tried to duck the issue of the bridge to no where, but the 'Road to No Where' got built anyway.
September 6, 2008. "The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters. The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin's legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla."
The much promoted story of how she sold the state's plane and made money is patently false; see here. The state actually lost money. The fact that Juan McCain repeated such a lie is nothing new as McCain can rarely keep his facts straight. The image of Sarah Palin as some sort of conservative fiscal who will help McCain "balance the budget in our first term," is nothing more than political cow patties. There isn't an earmark Palin hasn't loved as governor.
Palin has had some legal problems, which is not unusual for elected officials and the dirty world of politics. However, it appears Palin might have a serious problem with her federal income tax returns; see here. Is this significant? You can decide after you understand the decision in the 'Troopergate' investigation. One thing people should keep in mind: Palin's power in the Alaska State Legislature has a whole lot to do with liberal Democrats supporting her.
Palin is one of those love-hate relationships. She has very loyal fans and friends in Alaska and others who literally hate her. This is an email I received from a man who lives in Wasilla. I bring it up because after reading the Troopergate investigation, this man's opinion of Palin's judgment appears to be on point, at least in my opinion. September 13, 2008:
"Bravo! As a long time Wasilla resident you are one of the few non-obamites who gets the picture and tells it about our Sarah (SP). I feel like I am living in an alternate universe where black is white and white is black. SP is not a republican, nor is she conservative. Yes, she does the family thing well, give her kudos for that. SP is a populist and an extreme narcissist.
watched her literally come to life as the crowd starting screaming at
the RNC convention. We witnessed a type of animation occur in her face
as she fed off the adoring crowds. Her administration has been an unmitigated
disaster for the state of Alaska that will come to roost sooner or later.
The suppression of this coming train wreck by the local printed media
(her allies) has been frightening to watch. How many conservative reformers
do you know that get the local leftist media to run cover for them (that
should tell you something).
"Not many years ago the cost of running the state was pegged at around $35 a barrel for oil (that is what drives Alaska, not fishing). Today if the oil price drops below $87 a barrel we are in big trouble because under SP that is what the cost of running the state has swollen to. The result will be a new state income tax (which her democratic friends have been salivating over) and other drastic cuts (like dipping into the permafund). This is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak. I could go on and on...The blind infatuation with SP is like nothing I have ever seen before, except within the democratic la la land. That in itself is frightening. From Wasilla." (Please don't use my name. SP has a reputation for ruining those who get in her way.)
Oil closed at $74/barrel on October 17, 2008. You might wish to read this report I cited in an earlier column: 'Alaska: bloated state budget, fiscal disaster waiting to happen.' If you cross check it with other sources for figures and data, it is accurate.
Much has been written about it and the foul language on 'progressive' (liberal) blogs as well as outright lies is a sad reflection on this country. Most carried the same accusations: Palin's former brother-in-law tasered his '13-year old son' and she's a religious wacko. On the other side, Palin supporters claim Trooper Michael Wooten (her sister's ex husband) threatened her family with bodily harm.
This investigation was agreed to by both Republicans and Democrats in the Alaska State Legislature. After all the wrangling, the investigation concluded that Palin did indeed abuse her power. I have read all 263 pages of sworn testimony, under oath, and this is what I found:
Sarah and Todd Palin made the accusation that Wooten illegally shot a moose; Wooten unlawfully used his wife's permit as he was the one who pulled the trigger. In order for charges to be brought, Palin's father would also have to be charged because he cleaned the illegal kill. Both Sarah and Todd didn't want her father charged in this crime, so that issue went away. I guess breaking the law wasn't so important if it involves your father as a participant.
Did Wooten taser his 11-year old step son? Yes. Because this incident involved a minor, a full blown investigation was conducted. "Mr. Wooten, 36, has admitted using a Taser on his stepson, yesterday calling it "a poor choice". According to Mr. Wooten, he had returned from a Taser instruction class and the fascinated boy pleaded to be shot. He said his stepson flinched, but was unhurt. Mr Wooten said he had learned from the 2005 investigation that led to his five-day suspension. He said he refused to "throw stones" at the Palin family or his ex-wife, Molly, and that he had turned down cash offers for interviews." Wooten said it was incredibly irresponsible of him and he should have known better. Darn straight he should.
Did Wooten threaten Palin's father? Palin's family all swore they heard him, so an investigation determined Wooten made a threat to a third person, not to Palin's father directly. Palin and her son, Track, listened to a private conversation, actually an argument between Wooten and Palin's sister, Molly, hoping to catch Wooten admitting to an extramarital affair. Nice behavior for a VP candidate. Snooping on a private phone call to get dirt. Molly McCann stated during her appearance in court for a domestic restraining order that Wooten never hit her or never physically abused her or ever touched the children. She told the judge she was "feeling pressure from her family to file the order." The judge dissolved the order stating there was no proof whatsoever of domestic violence and called the original order an abuse of the system. The judge also scolded Palin's sister for keeping Wooten's children from him. However, in a later memorandum from one of the official investigations, McCann made specific allegations of physical abuse. Did she lie to the judge or later to an investigator?
Todd and Sarah Palin spent a lot of time making accusations about threats against her family. As governor elect, Palin was asked point blank by State Troopers if she needed extra protection, was there anyone she felt threatening to her or her family? They already had a detail of six for her and family. Palin said no on the record. Within days of being sworn in, she turned around and claimed they were being threatened by Wooten. However, Palin cut her security detail from six down to two full time and one part time troopers. If the Palin felt so threatened, one has to wonder why she cut her security detail by half?
Within days after Palin was sworn in, Todd Palin, a major instigator in this soap opera, moved right into Palin's office. The "First Dude," according to sworn testimony, spent at least 50% of his day in his wife's office. He sat in on official meetings involving personnel and confidential information when he had no legal right or authority to be there. Todd Palin had significant interaction with staff and became the "go to" guy to get to the governor. As a matter of fact, I think this is going to prove to be another big problem for Palin:
"In June, Andrée McLeod, a self-described independent government watchdog in Alaska, sent an opens record act request to the office of Governor Sarah Palin. She requested copies of all the emails that had been sent and received by Ivy Frye and Frank Bailey, two top aides to Palin, from February through April of this year. McLeod, a 53-year-old registered Republican who has held various jobs in state government, suspected that Frye and Bailey had engaged in political activity during official business hours in that period by participating in a Palin-backed effort to oust the state chairman of the Alaska Republican party, Randy Ruedrich."
Todd Palin spent a lot of time running around photographing Wooten to turn him in to anyone he felt would listen to his complaints. He photographed Wooten dropping off his children at school in an official police car and hurried to file a complaint. It was later proven Wooten had permission from his supervisor and that decision fell within department guidelines under certain conditions. The Wooten matters were fully investigated and closed before Palin ever became governor. Four days after Palin was sworn in, she and Todd began their vendetta against her sister's ex. They even hired a private investigator to get dirt on Wooten. That whole episode literally is a bad soap opera. Todd and Sarah Palin did everything in their power to get Wooten fired from his job, although I'm not sure how that would help her sister.
Palin's sister was married to Wooten for four years; the divorce was known in Alaska as the never ending 'saga.' I don't know the politics of the divorce judge, but he came down hard on Sarah Palin and the First Dude for their behavior with the judge questioning the Palin family filing complaints: "It appears for the world that Ms. McCann and her family have decided to take off for the guy's livelihood -- that the bitterness of whatever who did what to whom has overridden good judgment," he said. "Aesop told us not to slay the goose who lays the golden egg. For whatever reason people are trying to slay the goose here and it tends to diminish his earning capacity." In the end, the judge was generous to the ex-Mrs. Wooten in the money settlement.
Divorces involving child custody are usually and sadly, messy, ugly and in this case, very public. There is no "winner," especially when children are involved. Trooper Mike Wooten has a clear record of violations, some very minor and has been punished according to their guidelines. Considering his number of failed marriages, Wooten might be wise to slow down in that department. According to reports, since the investigation that concluded before Palin took office, Wooten has learned his lesson and appears to be keeping a clean record. I suppose time will tell.
There are those who say this was no big deal and defend Palin. If you read the investigation of all these people, elected and civilians, under oath as well as the exhibits, there can be no other conclusion than Todd and Sarah Palin conducted a non stop campaign, a vendetta, against her ex brother-in-law and she used the power of her office to do it. That is abuse of power. The full investigation is here. It goes to character and judgment. And, please keep in mind before you send me hate mail laced with all kinds of profanity: I did not conduct the investigation or write the report. For part two click below.
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