Palin's attack dogs from McCain's Camp and the lies they tell
Like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, Governor Sarah Palin has finally come up with yet another excuse for why she fired her former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan that she's hoping is just right.
After offering the public a handful of excuses over the last sixty days about why she suddenly fired Monegan, on Monday her attorney and McCain campaign attack dogs settled on claiming that Palin's reason was "Monegan's "rogue mentality."
Oh really, it took Palin sixty days and the help of John McCains campaign to come up with this bizarre explanation?
According to papers filed by Palin's lawyer, Monegan lost his job as public safety commissioner because he resisted Gov. Sarah Palin's budget policies and ultimately showed "outright insubordination."
According to both Palin's lawyer and a McCain campaign spokesman, it was Monegan's "rogue mentality" on budgeting and other policy issues that got him fired in July, not his alleged refusal to dismiss a state trooper who was involved in a messy divorce with the governor's sister.
Ironically, this revelation was released just days after the legislative council heard compelling testimony from special investigator Steve Branchflower that raised such serious questions about the administrations role in trying to fire Palin's former brother in law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, the legislature issue subpoenas.
However, both Palin and her new attack surrogates from the McCain camp should have spent some time vetting both her and her staffs previous statements to the press over the last two months.
On July 14, 2008 Kyle Hopkins of the Anchorage Daily News asked Palin press spokeperson Sharon Leighow about Monegan's firing:
Hopkins: "Was there a personality conflict here? You know, a rift between the governor and ..."
Leighow: "No, absolutely not. I don't know if there's more to add than what I've already told you as far as the governor wanting to change leadership in the public of safety. I don't know if we can point to one specific incident or one particular, specific detail."
In a July 21, 2008 story in the Anchorage Daily News, "The governor says she dismissed Monegan and replaced him with Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp last week because she wants a new direction for the department.
Palin has said she wants more of a focus on trooper recruitment and fighting drug and alcohol abuse in rural Alaska. The governor’s spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow, said no more details are coming about the reasons for Monegan’s dismissal."
In a July 28 story in the Anchorage Daily News, Palin abruptly fired Monegan on July 11 and later explained she wanted to take the Department of Public Safety in a different, more energetic direction.
And yet according to McCain campaign spokesperson Megan Stapleton at today's press conference, she said that Monegan's "egregious rogue behavior" had become a major issue over the previous eight months and represented the reason for his termination?
But after two weeks and countless press interviews between July 14 and 28, neither Palin nor her staff uttered not one word of Monegan's rogue behavior.
Nor did they even mention the word rogue.
Is this really their final answer?
Then during an August 13, 2008 press conference, Palin reveals a recorded tape conversation where her close aide Frank Bailey is on tape trying to enlist the help of another State Trooper to help get Palin's ex brother in law fired.
In the recorded phone call, Bailey talks about Palin's feelings toward Monegan; “She (Palin) really likes Walt a lot, but on this issue she feels like it’s, she doesn’t know why there’s absolutely no action for a year … it’s very troubling to her and the family. I can definitely relay that.”
So according to Bailey, the governor "really" liked Monegan's performance, but just not his performance in responding to her wishes to see Wooten out of a job. This was on February 29...and then four months later Monegan is out of a job?
Also during that August 13, 2008 press conference Palin gave more reasons why she fired Monegan.
"And now I want to talk about Walt Monegan. I appointed Monegan as commissioner of public safety because of his grasp of both urban and rural law enforcement issues. Unfortunately as my term progressed, Commissioner Monegan was not making headway on key goals, such as filling numerous trooper vacancies. Alaskans deserve a fully staffed trooper force," Palin said.
Palin's comments however were in complete contradiction to her State of the State speech just months earlier when she told Alaskans, "In Public Safety and Corrections, after years of positions left vacant, we've doubled academy recruits."
Palin then defended her firing of Monegan by saying he wasn't doing enough to combat bootlegging and alcohol problems in rural Alaska. Then she turned around and contradicted herself by saying that Monegan was offered a job where his skills could be better used; in charge of fighting bootlegging and alcohol problems in rural Alaska.
So after firing Monegan for what today is she is calling "outright insubordination" she offered him another job?
Is anybody paying attention to this?
Also during the August 13 press conference she defended her firing of Monegan by saying he was asking for lawmakers for too much money. However records from the State Legislative Finance Division, show Governor Palin proposed a $7.3 million increase to the public safety department budget but the legislature reduced the amount to $6.4 million.
According to one House Finance Committee member, when the governor's original proposal was being cut by $900,000, she nor her staff said a word while Monegan was begging for the administration to fight for the original amount they requested due to skyrocketing fuel prices and increasing costs. He wasn't asking for more, he was simply asking for the original amount proposed by Palin.
In addition, the Associated Press reported today that the McCain campaign released a series of e-mails detailing the frustration several Palin administration officials experienced in dealing with Monegan. The "last straw," the campaign said, was a trip Monegan planned to Washington in July to seek federal money for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases.
First, how is the McCain campaign able to release administration emails when the administration itself refuses to release emails that have been requested by both the press and the public?
Second, Monegan stated on the KTUU News that the trip was authorized and supported by Governor Palin which seems to make sense because Alaska leads the nation in sexual assault.
But even if one was to believe Palin's story, the fact that she'd offer someone who she accuses of having a "rogue mentality" and was guilty of "outright insubordination" another job in her administration, raises serious questions about her ability to run government.
And by the way, where have I heard that term rogue cop before?
Oh yeah; in the Anchorage Daily News on September 4, 2008: "Palin says she never pressured anybody, doesn't know that anyone on her staff did, and wasn't aware of what Todd was up to. She has called Wooten a dangerous "rogue trooper."
The only thing rogue around here is Palin's imagination and the McCain camps attempt to mislead Alaskans.