Troopergate. My new favorite political buzzword/scandal. For those not in the know, Troopergate is the scandal concerning Alaskan governor turned republican VPilf Sarah Palin, Alaska’s top cop Walt Monegan, and Palin’s ex-brother in law Mike Wooten, an Alaskan state trooper.
Monegan has accused Palin of pressuring him to fire Wooten, and when he did not, he says that she used her power as governor to fire him (Monegan). Palin has denied pressuring Monegan, and has given several conflicting accounts of why she fired him. At first it was because of a difference in law enforcement philosophies, then it was because Monegan was not cracking down on bootleggers in a sufficient manner. The latest reason given by Palin’s camp is that Monegan took unauthorized trips to Washington D.C. in attempts to lobby for federal money.
Whatever the reason Palin fired Monegan, one thing is clear: the potential fallout concerning her credibility and VPilf candidicy is immense. Just think, here is a woman who claims to be a reformer of government. She has stated on numerous occasions that she will fight against government corruption and abuse of power. But here she is, changing her story repeatedly, and refusing to appear in front of the Alaskan state inquiry, which is investigating the matter.
Why doesn’t she want to appear in front of the inquiry? It would stand to reason that if she had nothing to hide, she would have nothing to feat, and therefore would be the first in line at the inquiry. Also, by appearing in front of the inquiry, she could show her supporters, and those still on the fence, that she is willing to sit down and clear things up. She would be claiming responsibility, and demonstrating her willingness to not just have politics as usual. As it stands right now, however, she seems to be playing exactly that game, and potentially damaging her role as a reformer.
Palin has agreed to go before another committee that is looking into the ethics of the situation. So that’s good, right? She’s showing that she is willing to sit down with someone so that must count for something, right? Well, sort of. The committee she will sit in front of is led by a democrat, but its three member panel is made up of people Palin appointed herself.
Yes you read that right, Palin will sit down with an ethics committee whose members she appointed!
Is it just me, or does there seem to be something terribly wrong with that idea? Wouldn’t that be kind of like if the Republicans had allowed Clinton to appoint the people who would investigate him? Or if Nixon has appointed his prosecutors in the Watergate scandal? Getting judged and investigated by people who owe their jobs to you does not seem fair, or clean, or clear. In fact it reeks of cronyism and politics as usual–two things Palin says she fights against. I guess we’ll see.