Newsweek reports that Sarah Palin and John McCain are stonewalling the troopergate investigation:
Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin’s firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called “October surprise” that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election.
In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska’s bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called “troopergate” investigation.
The investigation, authorized by the Legislative Council last July, revolves around charges that Palin abused her power by embroiling the governor’s office in a bitter family feud involving her ex-brother in law, a state trooper named Mike Wooten. Specifically, the council is investigating whether Palin fired [Public Safety Commissioner Walter] Monegan when he refused to dismiss Wooten (who at the time was involved in an ugly custody battle with Palin’s sister) after getting repeated complaints about him from the governor and her husband, Todd Palin.
“How can this possibly be read as anything but a partisan attempt to shut down a legitimate investigation that was approved and funded with bipartisan support?” said one state Democratic legislative aide, who asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivities.
One major reason the probe is so sensitive is that it raises the prospect that Governor Palin’s credibility could be called into a question in a major state probe on the eve of the election. When the “troopergate” story broke over the summer, Palin adamantly denied that anybody in her administration exerted any pressure on Monegan to fire Wooten. But only weeks later, a tape recording surfaced in which another one of her top aides, Frank Bailey, was heard telling a police lieutenant, “Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, ‘Why on earth hasn’t this, why is this guy [Wooten] still representing the department?'”
And then there’s this:
Within days of Palin’s selection, at least seven of her aides and associates, who had previously agreed to cooperate with the trooper-gate investigation, informed investigator Steve Branchflower that they were now no longer willing to be deposed. Note too that this was immediately after the McCain team deployed what George Stephanopoulos reported was a “rapid response team of about ten operatives that includes lawyers” to the state.
I used to think Sarah Palin was like Tom Eagleton–a desperate, poorly-vetted last-minute pick designed to breathe life into a flagging campaign.
But now I think she’s more like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush–willing to do anything to get ahead.
Just like Bush and Nixon, Palin abused the power of her office to seek revenge on her personal enemies. She fired a competent public servant only to replace him with a political loyalist. And when someone opened up an investigation into her unethical political machinations, she stonewalled the investigation and tried to replace the investigators themselves with political loyalists.
This is telling as to what we would get under a McCain-Palin administration–more abuses of power, more politicization, more lack of accountability. In other words, four more years of failed government. Can we really afford that?