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Monegan to Palin: 'Ma'am, I Need to Keep You at Arm's Length'

POSTED: 12:09 PM ET, 08/30/2008 by The Editors

In his exclusive interview with the Washington Post on Friday, fired Alaska state police chief Walt Monegan detailed how Gov. Sarah Palin kept raising the issue of her ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten. Palin's sister, Molly, was involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle with Wooten.

Monegan, who was fired by Palin's office in July, told The Post that the subject came up when he invited the governor to a birthday party for his cousin, a state senator, in February 2007 during the legislative session in Juneau.

"As we were walking down the stairs in the capitol building she wanted to talk to me about her former brother-in-law," Monegan said in the first interview he has given since Sen. John McCain announced on Friday that Palin would be his running mate on the Republican ticket. "I said, 'Ma'am, I need to keep you at arm's length with this. I can't deal about him with you. If need be, I can talk to Todd."

Todd Palin, the governor's husband, had brought Monegan a dossier of information on Wooten compiled by Todd and a private investigator. Monegan looked at the information and determined that, "There was no new evidence, no new complaints." In 2005, when Gov. Palin's sister filed for divorce, her father had lodged several complaints with state police against Wooten: using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson, shooting a moose without a permit and drinking beer while driving a patrol car.

An investigation sustained the allegations regarding the moose hunt and the Taser, and later also sustained the drinking charge after at first finding it unsupported. Documents say Wooten was reprimanded and suspended.


Monegan and John Cyr, chief of the troopers' union, said that Wooten's wife had obtained a permit to hunt moose but balked when she saw the prey. She handed the gun to her husband, who killed the moose. Cyr also said that Wooten told him he used the Taser on his stepson when the boy asked him to try it on him. Cyr said Wooten has a "spotless record" and no complaints in his file other than those filed by the governor's family.

After looking at Wooten's file, Monegan called Todd Palin back and said there was nothing he could do. "I tried to explain to him, 'You can't head-hunt like this,' " Monegan told The Post. " 'What you need to do is back off, because if the trooper does make a mistake, and it is a terminable offense, if can look like political interference.' "

Monegan also called Gov. Palin on her call phone. "I explained to her there as no new evidence, the issue was closed. She also was unhappy with that."

Monegan was fired by Palin's office on July 11. Her chief of staff told Monegan that the governor wanted "to go in another direction," Monegan said. "When I was let go, I was a little surprised. There was not a warning shot or anything." Gov. Palin at first denied that she or anyone in her administration had ever pressured Monegan to fire Wooten. But on Aug. 13, she acknowledged that a half dozen members of her adminstration had made more than two dozen calls on the matter to various state officials. "I do now have to tell Alaskans that such pressure could have been perceived to exist, although I have only now become aware of it," she said.

Also that day, Palin's office released a recording of a call made in February by Palin's chief of commissions, Frank Bailey, to a police lieutenant. Bailey said Palin "really likes Walt a lot, but on this issue ... she doesn't know why there is absolutely no action for a year on this issue. It's very, very troubling to her and the family."

Palin has said the Wooten made a death threat against her father.

"Wooten was not a model trooper," Monegan said. "On the other hand, the allegations pre-date her election. So, there is some issue about whether it was truly motivated by public safety concerns, or it was vindictiveness."

By The Editors |  August 30, 2008; 12:09 PM ET
Previous: Prince George's Land Deals Lack Oversight | Next: The Daily Read

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Im glad the post is on top of this scandal.
There seems to be more and more leaking out on Sarah Palins Trooper Scandal., I wonder How this will effect McCains Campaign. They have extensive video's on the scandal at the veep http://www.veeppeek.com This might turn out to be a gift to Obama.

Posted by: Mike B | August 30, 2008 1:30 PM

The article states that the allegations were raised prior to her election.

If a trooper would use a taser on his own 10 year old son, he has no business holding ausch a position. The allegation were found to be true and he obviously had issues according to Monegan. I think the left is just looking for something to hang on her.

Posted by: Sherry T | August 30, 2008 2:05 PM

I have to side with Palin on this one. Any trooper who uses a taser on a 10 year old is unfit to be part of any police force. I had no idea that this trooper had engaged in such a horrible act of child abuse.

How could Monegan allow this guy to remain on the force - and if these charges were substantiated - why wasn't this guy prosecuted.

Posted by: cpr | August 30, 2008 2:08 PM

Interesting...

So now the lamestream media is going to defend a racist, wife-abusing, drunken, out of control cop.

You go lefties! Obama for emperor!

Posted by: patch | August 30, 2008 2:09 PM

Wooten is not running for Vice President. Palin will be - it's legitimate to ask how she used her power as Governor.

Posted by: Colleen Breitenstein | August 30, 2008 2:16 PM

I guess you editors never had a Nun beat the rules of grammer and writing into you.

The opening sentence of this article is impossible to make sense of AND, one sentence does not form a paragraph, two or more do.

Oh, Jeez. Intelligent journalism is crumbling in ths country.

Posted by: Christopher Ryan | August 30, 2008 2:20 PM

If America should become a victim of nepotism, arrogance, constant abuse of political power, and fear then McCain and Palin are your buddies. In fact, RNC has screwed this nation for decades, so keep nailing the coffin by sending the same gang to the White House. No external power could ever do it to America.

Posted by: O.P. Neon | August 30, 2008 2:21 PM

Hey,
Isn't this standard operating procedure for the goons who have hijacked the White House for the last 8 years? Talking about McSame, looks like Palin will be a female clone of Cheney. We really don't need more of this garbage, bring on Obama and let's rescue this country.

Posted by: Chris | August 30, 2008 2:21 PM

What an interesting commentary. A two-hour interview and she becomes the vp choice. Unbelievable. If women vote for this ticket just because of the feminist agenda, then they will get exactly what they deserve...one step forward and two steps back.

Posted by: Darrell Hitchens | August 30, 2008 2:22 PM

Monegan confirmed his allegiance to the "Good Old Boys Network" in failing to do anything about an obviously unfit trooper. Obviously, he was not doing his job to protect and defend the residents and laws of Alaska and he had to ge.
Way to go, Gov. Palin

Posted by: Larry | August 30, 2008 2:22 PM

Dirty laundry, gotta have more dirty laundry! Let's also dig back into the families Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Raven | August 30, 2008 2:23 PM

I find it interesting that so many people on the right hand side of the dial bring up the fact that Wooten deserved to be fired, yet ignore the question. Did Monegan? Who did he use a taser on?

Firing Monegan for trying to keep his hands clean of it sounds unethical at best.

Posted by: Well | August 30, 2008 2:26 PM

It is interesting to me how every confession of fact that tends to discredit ones opinion (“Wooten was not a model trooper”) is followed by the sophistry of questioning the motive of the person who pursued the justice required by the fact. Monegan has no facts to discredit Palin’s actions, so the mud is slung. Those who believe this misleading gossip are the same who have no trouble denying the factual corrupt connections of Barack Obama to Ayers and Rezko. Sure…Wooten tazed his step son, sure, he drank beer while he drove his squad car, sure he shot a moose without a permit, but Palin must have something personal about it all and abused her office to “get” him. LOL

On the other hand, Monegan was just an innocent public servant caught in the cross hairs of this power hungry woman who only got elected so she could FIRE her ex brother in law! Give me a break.

Posted by: Kevin | August 30, 2008 2:26 PM

No one (left, right or middle) is not making this stuff up. She interfered in legal process by injecting personal politics and abusing her position.

I don't hear anyone trying to back up the trooper. From the one sided stories that we do hear, it appears that what he did is clearly grounds for dismissal - even in Alaska.

But Palin fired the troopers superior for not carrying out her personal vendetta. That is the troubling part of this episode.

If the trooper broke the law then his removal should have been carried out by legal process.

Posted by: behind_the_glass | August 30, 2008 2:28 PM

Next up from WaPo Investigations?

Obama ties to Ayers, Rezko, and the Iraqi billionaire

How many huts do Obama's family have?

Obama's Sharia connections in Kenya

...

Posted by: Anon | August 30, 2008 2:28 PM

yawn,lets just hang all of washington

Posted by: PJ | August 30, 2008 2:30 PM

*sigh*

Monegan said Thursday that he never specifically told Palin he was feeling pressed -- he didn't think he had to say it, he said -- but that he would sigh every time he heard complaints originating from the governor's office about the trooper.

(Anchorage Daily News (AK) - August 15, 2008)

Posted by: anon | August 30, 2008 2:35 PM

Didn't she fire his superior for failing to fire an out of control officer rather than for failing her personal vendetta? think on it, a man is abusing your sister and her son, driving while drinking, tasering children and you tell his boss about it - and wait - nothing happens. ??

so, you have the power to fire the sob, do you do it? i would. and my sister isnt that nice.

Posted by: o | August 30, 2008 2:38 PM

Ok, in this story one guy (Troopers' Union Chief Mr. Cyr) says that Trooper Wooten had a "spotless record." Then another guy (The fired Alaskan State Police Chief Mr. Monegan) says "Wooten was not a model trooper."

Which is it gentlemen?

Forget about the moose without a permit deal, which is petty. Using a taser on a 10 year old boy regardless of what the boy says he wants is child endangerment. Drinking beer while driving is gross negligence and unacceptable in any capacity for an individual in that type of position. This trooper should have been long gone, and a state police chief who tolerates this kind of behavior with a slap on the wrist, needs to be gone as well too. I am sorry, I am a democratic, but this apparently has nothing to do with politics. Based on what information I have seen, heard and read, I hope every Governor in America would respond as Palin did. The only vindictiveness I see is that of the fired Alaskan Police Chief who has obviously (still) failed to take responsibility for his poor handling of the matter after the allegations were sustained.

Posted by: gfamily | August 30, 2008 2:38 PM

McCain's campaign needed a jump start
but his V.P. pick is not very smart
She hunts sweet caribou
Is there a scandal, too?
Let's just hope he doesn't depart.

Posted by: D. Weis | August 30, 2008 2:39 PM

INTERESTING HOW SOME CAN SPEND TIME DEFENDING THE TROOPER. THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM WERE PROVEN TO BE TRUE. ANYONE WHO WOULD TAZER A 10 YR. OLD...FOR THAT MATTER ANYONE WHO WOULD ACQUIESCE TO SUCH A REQUEST FROM A TEN YEAR OLD AS HE CLAIMS HE DID MUST NOT EVEN HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE TO BE A LAW ENFORCER. GOV. PALIN HAS GRIT. OBAMA'S RECORD OF ABSTAINING FROM A MAJORITY OF VOTES BEFORE HIM SHOW HIM TO BE A WEAK CANDIDATE TO LEAD OUR NATION...SIMPLE AS THAT.....SHE IS CAPABLE OF DOING JUST THAT IF NECESSARY.

Posted by: KAYE | August 30, 2008 2:40 PM

My-Oh-My
I find it truly amazing that in less than 24 hours the Post can get the complete low down on this unknown governor from Alaska, but seems to yet be unable after two years get to the bottom of the John Edwards hush money and misappropriation of campaign funds.
The state of the American media is at an all time low when when we the electorate has to resort to the National Inquirer or FOX news to get the straight story. Disgraceful!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2008 2:43 PM

My-Oh-My
I find it truly amazing that in less than 24 hours the Post can get the complete low down on this unknown governor from Alaska, but seems to yet be unable after two years get to the bottom of the John Edwards hush money and misappropriation of campaign funds.
The state of the American media is at an all time low when when we the electorate has to resort to the National Inquirer or FOX news to get the straight story. Disgraceful!

Posted by: JustaDad | August 30, 2008 2:45 PM

May I humbly suggest that people be careful who they accuse. They seem to ignore facts about Sen. Kennedy, President Clinton and others. It happens with Republicans and Democrats. Personally, if Monegan did not take care of the trooper I would question his leadership. A trooper should not be allowed to break the law. If a trooper caught someone drinking and driving - a ticket. If a trooper caught someone Tasering their son I can't imagine what he or she would do....be real people. I personally can't get away from Obama sitting in a church with his family for 20 years hearing hateful messages against whites and Jews. Explain that one to me.....

Posted by: Independent Voter | August 30, 2008 2:46 PM

Independent Voter, i think Obama was listening to sports on his ipod in church. he never knew to hate whitey and jewy, so he doesnt. but his wife? she is superior to us all and a saint.

since when was the DNC given over to first lady mania on its first day? her mom showing baby pictures of her?

south side girl? give me a break she's a middle aged woman. i found it unbelievable.

Posted by: o | August 30, 2008 2:53 PM

I like this. The leftist media is nw going to bat for an on duty drunkard patrolman who poached a moose against all game and fish laws. Then he didn't have the common sense, if his 10 tear old stepson requested his father to taser him, to sit the boy down and explain that though tasering normally does not kill that in certain circumstances it can kill, that it is not a toy, nor would he use it on the stepson so he could brag to friends.
This guy is completely offensive for just these actions alone. That Palin fired Monegan is not surprising. Monegan is just using the investication into his termination as a vindictive tool. He should be drop kicked and never allowed a similar position again. I wonder what else he allowed.

Posted by: Gus B. | August 30, 2008 2:58 PM

Actually the moose issue is not petty. If the hunting permit was for his wife and he shot the moose, that is poaching and it is a felony. This is all the more an issue because state troopers are game enforcement agents in Alaska. You just can't have a game warden poaching.

Also, any officer who tests a Taser on a child (regardless if the 10 year old requests it) may not be a child abuser, but has severely impaired judgment and is not fit to carry a badge.

Third, nobody seems to acknowledge the fact that Trooper Wooten (as far as I can tell) is still serving with the Alaska State Police. If Gov. Palin fired Mr. Monegan for not firing Wooten, why didn't Monegan's successor fire Wooten?

In fact, Gov. Palin offered Monegan a position as director of the alcohol bureau, which in most states is related to the department of law enforcement. He refused.

I think we need to give Gov. Palin the benefit of the doubt and look at the facts regarding Trooper Wooten's behavior.

Posted by: Jeremy | August 30, 2008 2:58 PM

Yes, let's try to assassinate Sarah Palin's character so she will pose less of a threat to Obama.

I am an African American Christian female who is ESTATIC about Sarah Palin's V-P candidacy. Well done John McCain. I can't wait for November!

Posted by: harriet-tubman | August 30, 2008 3:00 PM

I bet the psycho left will still jump on this "scandal" without reading the facts in order to better their cause. Hopefully the majority of Americans decide to understand the facts before jumping to conclusions.

Posted by: Mike | August 30, 2008 3:00 PM

What I don't understand is that these stupid articles never mention the fact that he was offered another job or how the mayor of Anchorage also canned him after a couple of years!Walt Monegan is one of the good ole boys and needed to go! This story gets more elaborate each time he says it! If your ignorant enough to believe this crap you need to think about the fact that McCain wouldn't have selected her if he thought that there was any merit to these allegations!

Posted by: Proud_Alaskan | August 30, 2008 3:02 PM

Scandal=Rezko
Scandal=Ayers
Lack of judgement = Rev. Wright.
At least the lady has done something besides run for the next higher office while NOT fulfilling the duties of the current one

Posted by: Lk | August 30, 2008 3:06 PM

Odd McCain picks a VP who just recently has erupted in scandal. Weird how in a change election McCain picks a VP that is corrupt.
No one is going to like the fact that Palin is corrupt and politicizes government just like the Bush administration has done.
Another weird thing is that McCain has now proven that everything he's said about Obama was just political games and lies. Obama has enough experience; fact is Obama has more experience then Ronald Reagan had and Palin only has 2 years of experience. And in Plains tenor has Mayor she bankrupted the city and drove it into the ground.
Horrible choice McCain... Not to mention Palin is a staunch extremist right-winger who supports Bush 95% of the time, hates science, is bought by big oil (as proven by her executive decisions and bills), and is wants a theocracy (again proven by her positions on the issues).

Posted by: Sam | August 30, 2008 3:08 PM

Odd McCain picks a VP who just recently has erupted in scandal. Weird how in a change election McCain picks a VP that is corrupt.
No one is going to like the fact that Palin is corrupt and politicizes government just like the Bush administration has done.
Another weird thing is that McCain has now proven that everything he's said about Obama was just political games and lies. Obama has enough experience; fact is Obama has more experience then Ronald Reagan had and Palin only has 2 years of experience. And in Plains tenor has Mayor she bankrupted the city and drove it into the ground.
Horrible choice McCain... Not to mention Palin is a staunch extremist right-winger who supports Bush 95% of the time, hates science, is bought by big oil (as proven by her executive decisions and bills), and is wants a theocracy (again proven by her positions on the issues).

Posted by: Sam | August 30, 2008 3:09 PM

Governors aren't supposed to misuse their power to go after the ex-spouses of siblings. It's not a question of whether he was a bad guy, it's a question of public trust. There are better ways to handle the situation, honestly, than the way she did it. It shows a lack of responsibility.

Posted by: Anna | August 30, 2008 3:10 PM

How about Biden's history of plagiarism, lying about graduating in the top half of his law school class when he was actually in the bottom 10 out of 80 something students. This forced him into stepping out of the 1988 election but he is still a Senator. Obama has his skeletons also. Maybe he and Obama are why Congress has a grand 9% approval rating.

How about the Democratic messiah Spitzer who fell to his own fraud detection methods. Why was it that National Enquirer had to break the Edwards story? Are main stream, left leaning media trying to keep Democratic scandals secret? Where was the Washington Post in digging up the Edwards scandel? Are the National Enquirer's investigative techniques superior?

Republicans are hardly the only politicians with scandal. Both sides are crooked. Keep in mind that the investigation was brought forth and headed by Democratic politically motivated opponents in the Alaska legislature.

Posted by: angry voter | August 30, 2008 3:12 PM

Sounds like poor Monegan got caught between the Hatfields and McCoys! Will Sarah continue to place her family's issues above the LAW? If she was truly concerned for her (step?) nephew, she SHOULD have called children's services to investigate the incident. She SHOULD have called the Game Warden about the supposed illegal hunting. I'm NOT taking the officer's side. But the officer has a spotless record other than dealings with the governor's family. OR, was his record spotless because he WAS the governor's brother-in-law? We don't know these people so we don't know who they are as everyday people. Regardless, there are channels that EVERYONE must take. The law is the law. And WHY fire the chief? It sounded like he was doing his job by investigating Wooten. He did all he COULD do, based on the LAW.

Posted by: cstrat | August 30, 2008 3:16 PM

The fact is that Palin's massive scandal, where she abused government power and politicized the government (just like Bush) is more proof that McCain has no judgment.

There is no Rezko scandal, regardless of how many times McCain lies. How ever McCain is the one who was involved in the Kettling scandal that cost taxpayers 150 billion dollars, further proving McCain has no judgment.
Obama meeting Ayers and a charity event when Obama was 8 years old isn't a scandal, it is however proof that McCain puts politics before country, and his focused on a Bush campaign of lies, misinformation and an avoidance of the issues.

Posted by: Intel | August 30, 2008 3:16 PM

Sarah Palin has a solid record of fighting and reducing corruption in Alaska. She has not hesitated to take on her own party. There will always be those that are angry with someone who does this difficult work in government.

Good to know that Wooten is no longer in law enforcement in Alaska, should have been removed for the drinking and driving offense alone....

Monegan was an appointee and served at the pleasure of the governor. He knew the rules.

Posted by: FreedomLover | August 30, 2008 3:18 PM

"Massive scandal?" Pffffffft.

Palin took on the good ol' boys and now we are hearing sour grapes from a disgruntled former employee.

Posted by: Girl Power | August 30, 2008 3:27 PM

Becoming informed citizens, and thinking on our own can be helped by looking at other articles also. It is good to challenge the candidate we like, not just the one who is against.

Six things about John McCain's decision.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/12997

Posted by: O.P. Neon | August 30, 2008 3:27 PM

What is up with Palin is really the grandmother of her youngerst child?
The seeds sown by Pat Buchannan have reached maturity. Now we have Buchannan Girl as Johnny Mc’s Vp. The Republicans desire another election about guns, gays, and abortion. They are building the bridge back to the 19th century. Unlimited access and no regulation of firearms is great until your three elementary school children are killed in a mass slaughter on the school grounds. Banning abortion is great until your mother conceives (when life begins?) due to having been raped in the restroom of the local Wal-Mart. It’s great to cut taxes for everyone and demagogue infrastructure maintenance (pork barrel?) spending until your entire family is killed when an interstate bridge collapses. It’s great as a Christian-nation to despise and demonize the other religions of the world until we need assistance in stopping terrorists. Ms. Palian is the type of extreme right-wing ideologue that is found in every community. In Memphis, Shelby county we have Marilyn Loeffel types who want to impose their self-absorbed and hateful ideologies on their communities. This type of vulgar nonsense is unacceptable in a national election. We have serious national problems which need to be addressed after the last 16 years of neglect. The only thing conservative about the current Republican Party is a desire to conserve the American aristocracy (the ability to have seven houses or more?) and the romance of the Salem witch trial era.

Posted by: Timmy Coffee | August 30, 2008 3:35 PM

S. Palin don't do anything for the Alaskan Inuit population...The Greenlandic ICC member Mr. A. Lynge is very concerned about the future.

So far she has promoted her husbond with fishing quota's....that's all.

On the other hand, she is right, global warming are NOT man-made.

Posted by: GLAR - Greenland | August 30, 2008 3:40 PM

It seems strange to me that, seeing this event happened a long time ago, that it only became "important" when Gov. Palin was nominated for VP. A Taser is a weapon, Using a weapon against an innocent person (especially a child) is a violation of law. To support this action would suggest a complete lack of trust. This trooper's Chief should have been removed and the trooper prosecuted. This is really just another blatent attack against a perceived formidable threat to Barack Hussein Obama. Just like the actions of the Obama campaign against Dr. Stanley Kurtz for investigating Obama's past, or the arrest of an ABC news reporter on public property for investigating Obama's ties, this is one more example of the thuggish, gestapo-like tactics being propagated by the left in this country. Gov. Palin did her job. She removed someone who could not be trusted. She should be praised for having the courage to take action so many of our Democrat leaders (?) seem to lack.

Posted by: MM | August 30, 2008 3:42 PM

So Palin wanted to fire an officer who TASERS a child.

Really Obamaians? This is where you want to go?

I guess only if you want every soccer mom in america to vote for Palin!

Posted by: David G. | August 30, 2008 3:47 PM

Anyone who doesn't fire a cop who tasers a 10 year old DESERVES to be fired.

Period.

If that's ABUSE of power in office, so be it!

Posted by: Mike Wilmar | August 30, 2008 3:49 PM

I am a moderate Republican woman who was looking forward to casting my vote for McCain in the fall. Although I think this "scandal" regarding Palin is pretty puny, I will not be able to support the ticket because McCain sacrificed our security and safety to play to his base--the evangelicals who place their anti-abortion stance above national security. My criteria for the president: keep us safe and don't tax us to death. McCain's selection of this nice but inexperienced soccer mom has miserably failed my first criterion. Guess I'll vote Libertarian.

Posted by: samantha | August 30, 2008 3:53 PM

It's abuse. And a government official holding folks accountable? I am impressed with this candidate. I know more about her in one day than I knew about the other candidates in 6 months. Now, why would that be?

No, this is a refreshing candidate who kicks butt and takes names...I like her.

Posted by: CarolD | August 30, 2008 4:14 PM

QUOTE: I guess you editors never had a Nun beat the rules of grammer and writing into you. The opening sentence of this article is impossible to make sense of AND, one sentence does not form a paragraph, two or more do. Oh, Jeez. Intelligent journalism is crumbling in ths country.

Among your more obvious mistakes:

1. "Nun" is not capitalized
2. "Grammar" is the correct spelling
3. In fact, it is not the number of sentences that construct a paragraph, but the unity and coherence of ideas among those sentences. For instance, in some styles of writing, particularly journalistic styles, a paragraph can be one sentence.
4. There are more but why bother

Posted by: mariet | August 30, 2008 5:16 PM

ISN'T IT STRANGE THAT OBAMA HAS ADMITTED, IN ONE OF HIS BOOKS, THAT HE TOOK DRUGS AND SOLD THEM.

BUT THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO BOTHER THE LEFT.

Posted by: Sonny | August 30, 2008 5:29 PM

Sonny, it doesn't bother them because they are hypocrits. No-one has the corner on honor during this election. Obama has very questionable real estate dealings and ties to a church that by any standard acts disgracefully. Biden had to withdraw from a previous Presidential run due to revelations of plagerism both in college and as a senator. And I'm not sure quite what the stigma is on McCain, but maybe he owns a bunch of houses? Hypocrits turn a blind eye to the shortcomings within their sphere of interest, yet see the same shortcomings as great immorality in the spheres of interest of others. Don't know about you Sonny, but how about that governor from Alaska? Appears to be a real winner!

Posted by: Don | August 30, 2008 5:55 PM

Please Washington Post, keep bringing this up - as Keith Olbermann tried to warn the Left last night, this is a "nonstarter" for Dems. If you keep bringing it up, average voters will go away with one top-of-mind impression: the scumbag abuser had it coming. And you will look like as much a bully as the scumbag child-abusing trooper who deserved to be fired. So please keep talking about it.

Posted by: Houghton | August 30, 2008 6:00 PM

So..if this is just a fake 'scandal' manufactured by the liberals, why is the Republican Alaska assembly investigating?

Posted by: Mr Who Knows | August 30, 2008 6:14 PM

First of all, this is a terribly-written article, with multiple typos and spelling mistakes. Doesn't anyone proof read stuff anymore?

I don't see how the trooper's behavior is particularly relevant. Especially the taser incident: while I wouldn't tase someone, especially a kid, I'll allow that a state trooper knows the risks better than most folks, and that he know what he was doing; also, he *is* the kids dad. And the kid asked him to do it.

So to me, the just sounds like the kind of dirt any bitter wife might bring up to gain advantage during a divorce proceeding.

What is more disturbing is that people are focusing on that instead of the very real abuse of power and position by Ms. Palin. EVEN IF YOU DON'T CARE FOR THE TROOPER, the is the issue that she was conducting a personal vendetta, and then firing good people who dared to object or were uncooperative.

This is a society ruled by laws, not personalities. This sort of behavior in public servants should be no more tolerated than a when a cop gets abusive.

Posted by: wildshovel | August 30, 2008 7:35 PM

The trooped used a taser on his 10 year old nephew because the nephew asked him to do it? And the trooper thought this was a good idea?sounds like she had a good reason for thinking he was unfit for duty.

Posted by: AnnC | August 30, 2008 7:46 PM

She belongs at home taking care of her babies not in elected office. What is the matter with you men?
Obama/Biden 08

Posted by: Jericho | August 30, 2008 7:48 PM

This is a simple issue: Abuse of power for personal reasons is illegal. It is harassment and the person having the power is the harasser. If Wooten is guilty of using his taser abusively against a child, then there are legal channels to relieve him of his taser, his gun, and his position. But Sarah Palin does not have the right to use the power of her position against a private citizen WITHOUT going through the established legal channels. She is the Governor, not the Queen, of Alaska. Alaska is a State in the Union, not a Palin Police State.

Posted by: Alexandra | August 30, 2008 7:55 PM

I recently was a computer technician for the State of Alaska. Before that I was a full time Alaska Army National Guardsman. I had the honor of meeting Gov Sarah Palin once. I was the driver for the Dep of Military and Veterans Affairs' management (directors, commish, etc). They had me drop them off at the capitol building to meet with their newly elected governor and they invited me to sit in on the meet and greet. I have to say that Gov Palin is a very good communicator by the fact that she really listens to you when you are talking. During the meeting she had to step out for a five minute prior arrangement. We continued our briefing with her chief of staff. She returned and apologized for the interuption. She had promised her youngest daughter that no matter if she became the governor or not she would still take the time to pick her up at the bus stop after school. That of course doesnt come from a power hungry politician.

This is the kinda rare person that you run across at school or work once or twice in your life and you say to them, "Someone like you should be the President." That person emits such an honest quality about them...caring yet very strong. The person we wish all our leaders would be. And of course they always just grin and say, "Me, President? Yeah, right." But now's our chance to have that kinda person in the White House, at least as OUR Vice President of the United States of America.

Posted by: Soldier from Alaska | August 30, 2008 8:06 PM

If Governor Palin is in the habit of seeking retribution using executive power why is Randy Ruedrich still chair of the Republican Party?

Posted by: alaskan | August 30, 2008 8:07 PM

This Lady has got more executive experience than any candidate on the ticket; her political career began in 1992, while Obama's began in 1996. She FOUGHT her party elite and BIG companies to become governor; Obama never fought any establishment - the establishment made him.

If her decision to have a baby diagnosed with downs syndrome was wrong, then I assume that all people born with downs syndrome wish they were never born. I am yet to find one person who wishes her mother aborted him/her.

Women can now look forward toward having a real representative at the Whitehouse or wait until 2012 for a ceremonial handover to Hilary.

Finally, it would seem that this lady and Obama both studied political science....Obama is running for the position of PRESIDENT and this lady for the Vice President.

Posted by: Emma | August 30, 2008 8:25 PM

The article fails to mention that there is an on-going investigation into possible "abuse of power" by Palin.

http://www.ktva.com/ci_10026165

The results of the investigation will be released 4 days prior to the Nov. elections. What timing!

Posted by: HonestAbe | August 30, 2008 8:38 PM

Wooten is probably bi-polar. Bi-polar with a legal gun. The reason the Palin's didn't file further charges against Wooten earlier was, they were afraid to.

Posted by: joe poe | August 30, 2008 10:05 PM

It's funny. I keep hearing people use the "Obama was 8 years old when Ayers was naughty" excuse. So.. where was Obama in 2001 when Ayers said, coincidentally printed in the New York Times Sept. 11th of 2001 that ''I don't regret setting bombs, I feel we didn't do enough.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E1DE1438F932A2575AC0A9679C8B63

There's your link.

To answer your question, Obama was receiving a re-election fund from Ayers that year.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/obamas_weatherman_connection.html

So quit telling me he didn't know diddly because he was "only 8."

To the person who said she should stay home with her kids, shame on you. That's no different from the racism I hear on Obama threads.. and as much as I don't like him I don't agree with those either. Pathetic.

Posted by: Kat | August 30, 2008 10:40 PM

Hmmm. This week: "Cyr said Wooten has a 'spotless record' and no complaints in his file other than those filed by the governor's family."

But, just one month ago on 7/27: "'Mike is not without a blemish,' the union's Cyr said."

http://www.adn.com/politics/story/476430.html

Also worth noting is that until Friday, Monegan had repeatedly said Palin had never pressured him about Wooten. Now he says she did. Which is it?

Posted by: KBCraig | August 30, 2008 10:47 PM

This women knew exactely what was going on in her administration and to lie and say she didn't is just another example of the lies and deception that American will have to endure for the next four years. Can America trust her? This country is tired. Americans haven't we suffered enough. Palin has five young children, I wonder if she has selected someone to take her place as a MOM? McClain's thought process was good, but he made a wrong choice in Barracuda.

Posted by: chris | August 30, 2008 11:32 PM

She has a stay at home husband. So, as far as daycare, I'd say she's set. Oh, and they're not 5 "young children." Nice try though.

Posted by: Kat | August 30, 2008 11:58 PM

OK, so we have 4 corrupt, morally weak people running. The question is what will they do if they win? Do you want some improvement on the present administration or do you want to take a chance on a smarter but risky pair? I don't know....

Posted by: Juan Elu | August 31, 2008 12:27 AM

Intel

Try to keep up. Obama was 8 when Ayers tried to blow up the Pentagon. He was an adult when he met Ayers. He launched his Political career at Ayers house. They also served on a board together. If you guys want to recite the Democrats talking points at least read them first, and make sure you understand them before you go out and repeat them. This mindless cult like behavior really scares me.

Posted by: Russ | August 31, 2008 12:53 AM

Monegon/Wooten & Experience is all we are going to hear from the mainstream media (aka Obama's media club) for the next 65 days. The Democrats are scared to death of Palin, anyone who tells you other wise is lying. Obama's new politics? I am still waiting, so far all I see is personal attacks and more of the same old mud slinging. I feel sorry for you "real Democrats" your party has been hijacked by the far left. George Soros and moveon.org own you now, you will never get your party back. They packaged Obama as a moderate Democrat, Washington outsider,then they wound him up turned on the teleprompter and you bought it hook line and sinker.

Posted by: Blue Horseshoe | August 31, 2008 1:14 AM

Monegon/Wooten & Experience is all we are going to hear from the mainstream media (aka Obama's media club) for the next 65 days. The Democrats are scared to death of Palin, anyone who tells you other wise is lying. Obama's new politics? I am still waiting, so far all I see is personal attacks and more of the same old mud slinging. I feel sorry for you "real Democrats" your party has been hijacked by the far left. George Soros and moveon.org own you now, you will never get your party back. They packaged Obama as a moderate Democrat, Washington outsider,then they wound him up turned on the teleprompter and you bought it hook line and sinker.

Posted by: Blue Horseshoe | August 31, 2008 1:15 AM

I wonder how spotless her record is on taking on her own party. What if it was a sly grab for power? That in getting rid of someone corrupt, she made herself look good and paved the way for her own candidacy. Watch out John MCcCain.

Posted by: wilmad | August 31, 2008 1:29 AM

I wonder how spotless her record is on taking on her own party. What if it was a sly grab for power? That in getting rid of someone corrupt, she made herself look good and paved the way for her own candidacy. Watch out John MCcCain.

Posted by: wilmad | August 31, 2008 1:30 AM

It turns out that this was the second time (and counting?) that Sarah Palin has fired a public official for personal reasons rather than reasons of performance. In 1997, while mayor of Wasilla, she fired the chief of police and the library director for supporting her opponent in the election. She later denied it to the press until the ex-police chief produced a letter of termination signed by her.

http://hatthief.blogspot.com/2008/08/vetting-sarah-palin-irl-stambaugh-walt.html

Thanks to the Post and others for vetting Gov. Palin. If only the McCain camp had shown the same diligence, maybe they wouldn't have made this mistake.

Posted by: whatmeregister | August 31, 2008 1:51 AM

It's really sad how many people focus on the trooper and ignore the CONFLICT OF INTEREST and ABUSE OF POWER.

So the fact that this trooper was involved in a custody dispute with Palin's sister had nothing to do with why she wanted to see him fired? It's just concern about his behavior as a trooper? If you believe that then I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

Posted by: Jean | August 31, 2008 2:15 AM

Why wasn't Trooper Wooten fired?

That is the REAL question. Not why did Sarah Palin's administration pressure to get him fired.

Trooper Wooten:
-- Threatened to kill the Governor's father if he obtained a lawyer for her sister.
-- Used a Taser on his stepson.
-- Drank beer in his patrol car.
-- Was written up 7 times prior for negligent damage to a state vehicle; reckless driving; receiving a speeding ticket; illegal hunting; and being consistently late to work and conducting personal business on duty.

Source: http://www.adn.com/politics/story/476430.html

Even *IF* the accusations that some members in the Palin Administration acted independently to pressure the Alaska State Troopers to fire Trooper Wooten are true, I say more power to them!!! The real scandal is that he wasn't fired after the first 7 mishaps.

"The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession"
- Col. Julia Grimes, head of Alaska State Troopers

Posted by: HERE IS THE TRUE STORY | August 31, 2008 2:54 AM

Okay folks, first of all...it would be really nice for the Outside Lower 48 media to get things straight. First, Walt Monegan was the Commissioner of Public Safety. We do not have State Police. It is the Alaska State Troopers. Second, John Cyr is not the Chief of the Trooper's union...he is the Business Manager of PSEA - the Public Safety Employee's Union.

Now, as far as Wooten is concerned, two incidents were found to have substance: One, he dry tazed his 10 year old stepson, and second, he took a moose on his wife's tag, not his own. As for the dry tazing...indefensible. He's an idiot. He was suspended for the tazing. He's not a model trooper. But it wasn't an assaultive action regardless of how stupid it was. Don't get your panties in a twist boys and girls...unless you know exactly what you're talking about.

As for the moose being taken on his wife's tag: His father in law, Sarah's father, helped him butcher it in his garage, and the entire family shared in that moose and it wasn't an issue for TWO years...until the divorce and custody issue arose.

Sarah Palin is not the sweet, fresh faced little hockey mom she portrays. She is a barracuda but not in the way we need her to be. She'd be great to have in the CIA...but then we'd have to be afraid of her using her position to retaliate against our citizens. Oh wait, she already does that!

You folks in the Lower 48...do your research before you jump the gun.

Posted by: Alaskan Woman | August 31, 2008 1:55 PM

The entire point is NOT whether the ex-bro-in-law is a louse or not. NO one knows for certain.

All the blind people who presume he's a major scum bag must also be presuming that every state trooper who should have been enforcing the law is corrupt. They had all the supposed evidence over one full year before Palin was elected and tried to pursue her vendetta.

That's a ridiculously unfair and baseless judgement against a lot of people.

If he is a bum and committed crimes; it is the governor's RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that there are protocols in place to protect everyone from such people, NOT just selectively and secretively attack her sister's soon to be ex. The police should be investigating and prosecuting the man IF crimes may have been committed and reported. It would be WRONG for his boss to play judge and jury based on the complaints of an employee's ex-wife.

If they were so afraid of the man; why did the family go to his boss instead of the police OVER ONE YEAR after any of the alleged events? Think about this reasonably. If all their "evidence" was so damning and the family courts didn;t rule against her sister's ex; why not???Were they in league with the troopers for no particular reason???

Of course the Dems are scared of Palin but it has nothing to do with qualifications. She was a PTA member, mayor of a tiny town and mayor of a tiny population state where in less than a year after running on an ethics reform platform SHE is under investigation and more and more comes out against her. It would be hard to find a LESS qualified candidate.

However, she's already used her Down's infant as a media shield for herself and will continue to do so. She can deflect her overwhelming lack of qualifications with comments about living in Alaska and court the mommy vote with more comments about how she's going to give her all and rearrange her governor's schedule to give the baby all the extensive care and therapy he needs.

Having a Down's baby is the result of old age and unlucky genetics. It is NOT "proof" of anything including ethics, morals or honesty. If it was; you'd be "proving" that ethics and morals are determined in the uterus!

Anyone who tries to use a handicapped child in such a way should be HORRIBLY ashamed of themselves.

Now 3 weeks later; the Down's baby's needs are forgotten and she announces giving her 110% to a political campaign AND then to being VP. Guess the kid's all better now?

She also campaigned for Gov supporting one of the biggest wastes in gov history...the infamous bridge to nowhere.

One of the keys to her gas pipeline proposal is GIVING 1/2 BILLION dollars to a foreign company as a show of good faith. So much for local hire and buying policies in areas that are STRICKEN with horrific unemployment.

She even publicly refused to advocate prosecuting Iditarod racers who were caught on tape BEATING their dogs with sign posts from the race because they were too tired to make a mad dash at the end. She stated that she felt the matter was "better handled by race officials". Since when is it the job of the governor to IGNORE THE LAW and let a private company "handle" crimes??? Alaskan police and troopers are not as capable of prosecuting animal cruelty crimes as private companies??? Her husband likes to dabble in mushing so I guess you have to show "family support" no matter what is sacrificed. Pretty definite pattern developing in an extremely short time...

BTW, I am not against mushing or the Iditarod at all. Just against animal cruelty and politicians who refuse to enforce the law.

Plain also has been relentlessly pushing to get a vote to move the capital from Juneau to her hometown of Wasilla. her campaigning of "transparency in government" went down the toilet when she began attempting to remove requirements of FULL DISCLOSURE fo the entire cost of the move stating "the people don;t need to know the details...they should be trusting in their elected officials to do what's right for them." All so she can have a short commute to work and doesn;t particularly like the governor's mansion in Juneau.

I'm a lifelong Rep and don't know if I can bring myself to vote Rep this time. The only plus about this is that if she were on the elected ticket; she'd be out of Alaska and that's GREAT for us!!!

Posted by: Alaskan | August 31, 2008 2:30 PM

There is plenty more on this Lady from Alaska .... this is just the start. McCain should have vetted this pick.

Posted by: Kevin | August 31, 2008 6:10 PM

This is just more evidence of McCain's poor judgment in choosing Palin. It was an impulsive, politcally motivated choice based on poor vetting.

My family and I were leaning toward McCain on the experience/wisdom front, but he's lost our votes.

Posted by: Former McCain supporter | August 31, 2008 6:42 PM

Good for Palin.

It is clearly obvious to me that anyone who delays, by a year, to fire a patrolman that uses a tazer on a 10 year old kid, makes death threats, and drinks while driving a patrol car deserves to be fired them selfs. PERIOD

Posted by: Tony in SD | August 31, 2008 7:08 PM

This is a more complete local news story about the issue. It is the investigation by a local CBS affiliate,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UojMnCgqVA

Posted by: Angie | August 31, 2008 7:51 PM

WHY aren't the big network news agency's all over this?!?
Even MSNBC & CNN are dropping the ball on it.
The Woman has less than 2 years in office and she's CLEARLY guilty of Ethics violations and abuse of power.
THIS is CLEAR PROOF she is not only unprepared to hold office, she's unfit to hold it as well.

So much for McCain's "Judgement"

Posted by: Fred | August 31, 2008 8:25 PM

my father was a police officer... a well respected police officer... he has taken me shooting, shown me how to use pepper spray.. his baton.. etc etc.

oh yes.. and he did show me what a stun gun does at a low setting. i don't call that child abuse.

Posted by: birdy | August 31, 2008 9:22 PM

America was quite literally founded on the ideas of (1) due process and (2) checks and balances on the arbitrary use of executive power. It is disappointing that the GOP lost touch with that over the last eight years. It is absolutely scandalous that McCain would signal that the violations of the above principles will continue in his administration, by selecting such a VP. The lame rationalizations above of Palin's breaches of due process are intellectually bankrupt. Sad that a once-great political party and its supporters have come to this.

Posted by: Mr. X | August 31, 2008 11:23 PM

This Story is about a potential VP's abuse of Power. Alberto Gonzales ring any bells, more of the same, John McSame. Any one remember Harriet Miers? W Bush's incompetent choice for Supreme Court Justice.

If ever we needed proof that McSame would continue the failed policies and incompetencies of Bush, we have it now.

Posted by: Message in the bottle | September 1, 2008 12:05 AM

You can't even make this stuff up:

Sam Said:

>>>> Odd McCain picks a VP who just recently has erupted in scandal. Weird how in a change election McCain picks a VP that is corrupt.

No Sam, it's not weird. There's always a "scandal" directed at Republicans that look like they have a chance of winning. No biggie - S.O.P

And what of change? "Change", if sincere, would require a different path forward for both Democrats and Repulicans. Obama's big speech included the line that McCain votes with the President, i.e; his party 90% of the time, and that 10% change wasn't enough.

Well, Obama voted with his party like 99-100% of the time. Obama has NO record of working across the aisle - either in DC or Chicago.

So, what of change? It's all hope-ium!

>>>> Obama has enough experience; fact is Obama has more experience then Ronald Reagan had

Ha! What a laugh. Let's compare:

Obama was a well-paid community activist who got summer jobs for Chicago kids.

Obama had an entirely undistinguished term as an Illinois state legislator who probably voted "present" more than anyone in recent memory.

Obama has another entirely undistinquished 3 years in the US Senate, even when he did actually show up, and was elected only because his opponent's campaign imploded.

Of the 750+ days he should have been present in those 3 years, he only showed up for 175 +/-. He never even held any committee meetings of those committees he was assigned.

Wow - Sparkling record!

Regan was Governor of the largest state in the US for 8 years.

Yeah, puny qualifications. Are you not aware that most of our presidents were governors first?


>>> and Palin only has 2 years of experience.

And is only the VP for now. Has a record as a reformer much like McCain. This is the team who will actually provide change.

>>>> hates science, is bought by big oil (as proven by her executive decisions and bills)

No, actually taxed big oil even more. And what of "Big Oil"? (Profits of 8-10%)

What of "Big Cola"? (Profits of 12%)

What of "Big Mac"? (Profits of 15-18%)

What of "Big Software"? (Profits of 25-35%

Oil is the lifeblood of the Western world. Try living a day without it - impossible.

Next, you'll be saying that polar bears are drowning.

See ya in November!

Posted by: Dave Labuz | September 1, 2008 2:22 AM

A copy of the phone call made by Palin's chief of commissions, Frank Bailey, to a police lieutenant regarding her former brother in law is posted at: http://blip.tv/file/1214523

After listening to the phone call, I believe that John McCain made a terrible mistake in choosing Palin for the Vice Presidential position. It is clear by the phone call that Mr. Bailey is way out of line and acting in Palin’s behalf.

Not only is it clear that Palin acted improperly using her position of power to have her ex-brother in law fired and to fire the Alaska state police chief Walt Monegan, but her choice in hiring Frank Bailey to be chief of commissions.

Posted by: noslor | September 1, 2008 3:11 AM

I have to agree that an officer of the law using a taser gun (for what ever reason) on a ten year old is child abuse. However, I am amused the Repubes find this offensive. Since Palin is 95% pro-Bush would it have been more politically correct if Officer Wooten had water boarded the kid instead?

Posted by: Outside Lookin'In | September 1, 2008 9:04 AM

Sarah Palin - Country First, Family Second.

Posted by: el Guapo | September 1, 2008 11:13 AM

A further detail on the Monegan firing: Palin replaced Monegan with Charles Kopp who it turned out had a history of sexual harassment charges. Apparently Palin knew of this history but hired him anyway. When the harassment story came out, Kopp resigned after only 11 days on the job and was given severance pay of $10,000 by Palin. Not bad for 11 days on the job.

Sarah Palin is just the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Republican incompetence, abuse of power, and cronyism. We seriously do not need 4 more years of this kind of soap opera.

Posted by: DAS | September 1, 2008 2:30 PM

Dear cpr,

"I have to side with Palin on this one. Any trooper who uses a taser on a 10 year old is unfit to be part of any police force."

The issue, as I understand it, isn't whether the trooper was fit or unfit to be on the force, but whether it was appropriate or inappropriate for the Governor to become involved given her personal involvement in the case.

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 9:31 PM


Dear Larry,

"Monegan [failed] to do anything about an obviously unfit trooper... Way to go, Gov. Palin".

If an unfit trooper and the Governor had a history of conflict in their personal lives, the Governor has to recuse herself from any decisions involving that trooper. She can file a complaint and bring forward evidence, but she can't function as the judge in a case where she claims to be a victim.

It's a very basic principle of government. And it's the only issue at stake here. So far as the case against Governor Palin is concerned, the merit of her complaints against the trooper are irrelevant.

To think that the truth of the allegations against the trooper are a defense to the charges leveled at the Governor is akin to thinking that she could defend herself against a 1st amendment lawsuit by arguing only people who speak the truth have a right to free speech.

Please tell me you understand why that's a howler.

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 9:45 PM


Dear Sherry T.

"I think the left is just looking for something to hang on her."

I can't speak for the left.

Speaking only for myself and as an independent, I'm concerned she doesn't understand which actions are permissible and which are impermissible for an elected figure. After eight years of Dick Cheney, evidence like this raises a big red flag for me.

I'd hope that her supporters would have some concern for the principle at stake here. It would be tragic if people like you who have an interest in civics thought that supporting a candidate entails denying the his or her departures from the rock bottom principles of good governance.

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 9:56 PM


Dear Kevin,

"Those who believe this misleading gossip ..."

What do you make of those of us who neither believe nor disbelieve but think that there's a credible basis for launching an investigation and that if the alleged facts are proven true then the Governor has abused her office?

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 9:59 PM


Dear Patch,

"So now the lamestream media is going to defend a racist, wife-abusing, drunken, out of control cop."

Could you clarify the basis for that conclusion? I haven't read any article which defended the trooper, and most certainly not this one.

The only explanation I can offer for your drawing that conclusion is that you didn't understand what you were reading and thought the allegation being made against the Governor is that she fired a trooper who deserved to keep his job.

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 10:08 PM

Dear 'o'

"Didn't she fire his superior for failing to fire an out of control officer rather than for failing her personal vendetta?"

You could be right about that. But again, that's not the issue. The mere fact one can make that claim proves the allegation against her. I.e., anyone who holds a public office has to recuse herself from making any decisions relating to an employee with whom she has anything more than an "arms length" relationship.

Aside from that confusion, I quite liked your post. It was clear, and showed wit :-)

And between you and me, the sob deserves a lot worse than being fired. The Governor's mistake was in thinking she could dispense justice in a case where her father, sister and nephew were victims.

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 10:17 PM

Dear Dave Lubuz,

"There's always a 'scandal' directed at Republicans that look like they have a chance of winning."

That sounds a tad defensive Dave.


In our culture, it doesn't matter, except to hyper-partisans, whether a scandal involves a Democrat or a Republican. What counts is whether the allegations are salacious, regularly fueled by new revelations and likely to have dramatic consequences if proven true.

Yes, it's sad. But there's no reason to take it personally.

Best,

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 10:36 PM


Dear Mike Wilmar,

"If that's ABUSE of power in office, so be it!"

I wondered if someone would have the courage and honesty to say that. Would you please repost this comment all over the internet and in particular in response to stories on the same topic?

It would save people a lot of time and effort, and help clarify how the Governor's supporters really feel about this issue.

God's speed.

Susan B.

Posted by: Susan B. | September 1, 2008 10:41 PM

interesting about the trouper's history of questionable/illegal behavior. i'm not clear on the chronology and would love to know if his earlier behavior may have been overlooked because he was the governor's brother-in-law. and perhaps his bad behavior did not become an issue until he divorced his wife (governors sister)? until he no longer had the governor covering his ass? this is only conjecture of course, but doesn't it make sense that if the governor was willing to use her position to get him fired, that she may have used her power in the past to stop him from getting fired??

Posted by: jasper | September 2, 2008 12:27 AM

If the state trooper system did an investigation on Wooten and found all these terrible things about him to be true, and didn't fire or suspend him, something stinks in the whole system. But this is not what concerned Palin. She was upset that they did not take specific action against this specific person she did not like personally. Have there been any calls for reform of internal affairs? Nothing like that has been stated in the after-the-fact justifications of the Monegan firing or at any other times that I'm aware.

This is personal head-hunting, reminiscent of Bush. I have also heard that some of Palin's actions as mayor were similar.

And the reaction is also telling. Palin denies knowledge and responsibility of her own staff?! We've had "leadership" in Washington that can't lead their own staff for the last eight years.

And that isn't even including the $10,000 of taxpayer money going to the new appointed police chief for two weeks of work.

Posted by: BuddyToledo | September 2, 2008 10:16 AM


There's one thing the article didn't make clear: did Trooper Wooten
agree before or after he had a beer in his patrol car to experiment on his stepson with a weapon that generates 50,000 volts and which can induce potentially lethal ventricular
fibrillations?

Posted by: John Carpenter | September 3, 2008 3:46 AM

I guess the powers behind this witch hunt missed this in a San Diego paper. Place this in "The devil can cite scripture for his purposes" file.

By Steven Quinn
ASSOCIATED PRESS
7:56 p.m. August 13, 2008

JUNEAU, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday said at least two dozens calls were made from her staff members to Department of Public Safety officials questioning the employment of a trooper who went through a messy divorce with Palin's sister.

But Palin maintained none was done at her direction, a claim backed up by one administration member caught on tape.

Frank Bailey, the boards and commissions director, told The Associated Press he acted on his own – and not on behalf of Palin or her husband, Todd – when he called Ketchikan-based Lt. Rodney Dial, pushing for the firing of Trooper Mike Wooten.

“There was never any direction by the governor, never any direction by Todd to make the call or to make any call to DPS on this stuff,” Bailey said.

In the recorded conversation, Bailey is heard telling Dial: “Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, why on earth hasn't, why is this guy still representing the department? He's a horrible recruiting tool. ... You know, I mean from their perspective, everyone's protecting him.”
_____________________________

Clearly, Governor Palin made enemies in high places just as President Bush did. From the blood lust of those who like to wallow in this kind of bile, she's apparently also incurred the wrath of some people way out their on the wings of the Bell Curve.

Posted by: Greg Marlowe | September 3, 2008 4:08 AM

it (the taser on his stepson) wasn't an assaultive action regardless of how stupid it was.

At the very least it was endangering the welfare of a child (if the
stepson was indeed one) which, I assume, must be against some
law in Alaska.

Posted by: Don Christionson | September 3, 2008 4:14 AM

"Having a Down's baby is the result of old age and unlucky genetics."

You need to adjust your thorazine drip.

Posted by: Dr. Phibes | September 3, 2008 4:17 AM

Introduction of the Palin family into the national political dialog of this nation has cheapened and trivialized everything. News of these fighting, feuding, baby-making, northern redneck ignoramuses should be confined to TMZ. It is a pathetic turn that important journals of news and opinion must deal with such trashy people. What must sophisticated Europeans think now? George W. and Laura Bush are bad enough. They have embarrassed all Americans for almost a decade. Now, the world must contemplate the Palin clan as the latest representatives of contemporary American ideals. Will this nation never rise again out of the present darkness? I am beginning to lose faith.

Concerning Sarah's Down Syndrome child, I find it highly inappropriate that the governor of a state should be running around attending to her official duties when her water breaks. Any woman who has been elected to the office of governor should have, at age 43 or whatever, moved beyond child bearing.

And it is a fact that middle-aged women are more likely to produce a Down Syndrome baby than younger women. Sarah Palin has shown a lack of good judgment in her personal life by having a pregnancy that produced the Down Syndrome baby. She has shown a lack of good judgment again in management of her family by permitting a minor daughter to become pregnant at 17. And according to reports about her ongoing “Troopergate” investigation, she has shown herself to be a vindictive abuser of power in her head hunting efforts to destroy a former brother-in-law.

Sarah Palin has no class. She and her family are disgusting caricatures of American excess.

Posted by: D. Grant Haynes | September 4, 2008 5:22 AM

Ms. Palin should have stayed in the lane of "sister" and not Governor while making decisions to assist her family members. Had she done so, there wouldn't be an ongoing investigation and her integrity (on this issue) wouldn't be in question. She (like many people) cannot separate "personal" and "professional" when issues/situations involve the people she loves, specifically her family. We "all" want to save our loved ones from being hurt, disappointed, public humiliation and/or embarassment; but we "all" don't use our positions of record as the 'tool' to do so.

Laws and processes are established and set in place to deal with the unjust. Breaking the law to uphold another causes confusion, distrust and it divides the people! Allow time for the process to work and when all resources have been exhausted, turn to God and Trust that He will make the wrong right!

Posted by: Bubbles | September 4, 2008 9:26 PM

Palin's firing of *Monegan* is the issue, not whether Wooten deserved to be fired. Although it's questionable to press for the firing of a public employee in a situation where she couldn't hope to be impartial, if she really thought he was a menace to the public, it's not a big deal to send a bunch of emails, say he's bad news, whatever.

But did she actually *fire* Monegan because he disagreed with her, and not because of his own job performance?

If so, that's really bad--smacks of the U.S. Attorneys scandal where basically good employees were fired for "disloyalty".

And it doesn't have to be illegal--it's bad even if it's just kind of sleazy. We're not deciding whether or not Sarah Palin should be punished in some way--we're deciding whether or not she should be *rewarded* with stewardship of our government.

So, what we need to see is a clear and convincing reason for firing Monegan that has nothing to do with her ex brother-in-law.

Posted by: Jen | September 5, 2008 1:41 PM

Here's an explanation of the Taser incident:

Speaking Thursday to CNN's Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston, Wooten gave his account of the Taser incident but denied ever drinking while driving.

He said that he was a new Taser instructor, and his stepson was asking him about the equipment. "I didn't shoot him with live, you know, actual live cartridge," Wooten said.

Instead, he said, he hooked his stepson up to a training aid "with little clips. And, you know, the Taser was activated for less than a second, which would be less than what you would get if you touched an electric fence. ... It was as safe as I could possibly make it."

Saying that he "Tasered" his son is inaccurate and makes it seem much worse that what he claims happened.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2008 9:19 PM

Att Washingtonpost.com next time do a little more homework please, the head commissioner of Alaska State Troopers Mr Walt Monegan was not fired by Governor Palin. Mr Monegan was told by the Governor he was being replaced as commissioner (do to the fact the Governor wanted to take the State Troopers into a new direction of leadership). The Governor offered Monegan a different job, as executive director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. 107k a year He turned it down and quit.
This is not the first time Monegan has lost his job. In 2006, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich asked him to leave his post as Anchorage police chief early, although Monegan was willing to stay on another year. At the time, Begich had just won re-election and was restructuring department leadership.
Please stop telling the world our great Governor Sahra Palin fired Mr Monegan the truth is he quit. Palin also as Mayor asked for all the head department people to turn in resignation letters, Palin has a habbit of cutting loose the fat, and for that we Alaskans love her.

Posted by: Danny Wasilla Alaska | September 6, 2008 8:31 PM

Ive looked thru all these posts hoping that someone would post this point - couldnt find it.. but Alaska is an At Will state for employment.. You can legally be let go, for a reason or NO reason at all. And Monegan wasn't 'fired' but was offered a change to another department which he refused.. I wouldnt be surprised if Monegan and Wooten are being paid by the Dems to cry to the media and make themselves look victims...
Of course if this clown Wooten had hurt a citizen in the line of duty, the state would get Sued for allowing him to continue to "represent" law enforcement in Alaska..

Posted by: Voter from the North | September 6, 2008 9:19 PM

http://www.adn.com/politics/story/463340.html

Dated 7/13/08

Palin wanted the public safety department headed in a new direction, Leighow said.

Asked Saturday what Palin wants to change, Leighow said she didn't have details.

"The governor feels that the department of public safety could be better served under new management," she said.

Palin offered Monegan a different job, as executive director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. He turned it down. (At reportedly 107K a year..boo hoo)

The head of the union that represents state troopers, one of the agencies Monegan oversaw, said replacing him was the wrong move and that troopers were happy with department leadership "for the first time in years."

Leighow said she wasn't aware of budget decisions playing a role in Monegan's dismissal and that Palin is looking to trim spending across all departments -- not just public safety.

"The governor supports fully funding trooper positions," Leighow said.

This is not the first time Monegan has lost his job. In 2006, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich asked him to leave his post as Anchorage police chief early, although Monegan was willing to stay on another year. At the time, Begich had just won re-election and was restructuring department leadership.

Monegan joked that he's "getting a complex," but said the kinds of jobs he's had lately are ones where you serve at the pleasure of your boss.

"They can call me in and say, you know, 'I don't like your hair; you're fired,' " Monegan said.

!! VERY Interesting. Dont ya think??

Posted by: Voter in the North | September 6, 2008 9:54 PM

Guess I should not have used some sort of Brackets, it dropped one part of my post.

**The head of the union that represents state troopers, one of the agencies Monegan oversaw, said replacing him was the wrong move and that troopers were happy with department leadership "for the first time in years."**

~ Translation: They knew they would be allowed to misbehave under current management.. Without fear of disciplinary action..!

Posted by: Voter in the North | September 6, 2008 9:58 PM

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